Progress reporting

Having drawn the network programme, it is now necessary to develop a simple but effective system of recording and reporting progress. The conventional method of recording progress on a bar chart is to thicken up or hatch in the bars, which are purposely drawn 'hollow' to allow this to be done. When drafting the network, activities are normally represented by single solid lines (Figure 27.1(a)), but the principle of thickening up can still be applied. When the network is drawn on transparent paper for subsequent dyeline reproduction, the simplest way is to thicken up the activity line and black in the actual node point (Figure 27.1(b)). If the node point has a number in it, one will have to thicken the outline of the node (Figure 27.1(c)).

If an activity is only partially complete (say, 50%) this can be easily represented by only blacking in 50% of the activity (Figure 27.2). It can be seen, therefore, that in the case of the string of activities shown in Figure 27.2 the first activity is complete while the second one is half complete. By rights, therefore, the week number at that stage should be 4 + 50% of 6 = 7. However, this presupposes that the first activity has not been delayed and finished on week 4 as programmed.

How, then, can one represent the case of the first activity finishing, say, two weeks late (week 6)? The simple answer is to cross out the original week number (4) and write the revised week number next to it, as shown in Figure 27.3. If the duration of the second activity cannot be reduced, i.e. if it still requires six weeks as programmed, it will be necessary to amend all the subsequent week numbers as well (Figure 27.4).

This operation will, of course, have to be carried out every time there is a slippage, and it is prudent, therefore, to leave sufficient space over the node point to enable this to be done. Alternatively, it may be more desirable to erase the previous week numbers and insert the new ones, provided, of course, the numbers are written in pencil and not ink. At first sight, the job of erasing some 200 node numbers on a network may appear to be a tedious and time-consuming exercise. However, in practice, such an updating function poses no problems. A reasonably experienced planner can update a complete network consisting of about 200 activities in less than one hour. When one remembers that in most situations only a proportion of the activities on a network require updating, the speed of the operation can be appreciated.

Naturally, only the earliest dates are calculated, since this answers the most important questions, i.e.

1 When can a particular activity start?

2 When will the whole project be completed?

There is no need at this stage to calculate floats since these can be ascertained rapidly as and when required, as explained in Chapter 14.

Precedence (AoN) networks can be updated as shown in Figures 22.2 and 22.3 in Chapter 22.

Figure 27.1 Weeks

50% complete

50% complete

Figure 27.2

Figure 27.2

Figure 27.3

Figure 27.3

0 46 1012 1517

0 46 1012 1517

Figure 27.4

Figure 27.4

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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