UO Construction Scheduling

UO Construction Scheduling

AIMS:

The purpose of this assessment is to gain experience in what is involved to schedule a project for construction management. In the construction industry, you will most often be working as part of a team. This will involve collaborative planning and management of activities within a project. Hence, this scheduling activity involves working collaboratively to develop and schedule a real-world project using MS Project software. You are also required to compress the project to develop a realistic solution for maintaining efficiency and then write a report to describe the process and subsequent outcomes for future reference.

To ensure successful completion of the assessment activity, as a partnership you will deliver two MS Project Files and a Brief Written Report. You will also be asked to identify which components represent individual and which represent team contributions.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

It is beneficial to familiarise yourself with the relationship between the assessment and the course objectives.

  • CO1. Achieve cognitive and technical skills to demonstrate a broad understanding of knowledge related to scheduling and its interaction to cost and resources management.
  • CO2. Achieve ability to work out planning, execution and control problems in professional practice of scheduling and its interaction to cost and resources management.
  • CO3. Achieve ability to work in teams and provide results in a professional manner.
  • CO4. Achieve ability to apply initiative and judgement for problem solving and decision making in complex issues regarding interactions of schedule, cost and limited resources in the context of construction management.

ASSESSMENT SUMMARY:

  ComponentsCourse ObjectivesWeighting (% of course grade)Due date (Adelaide time)Individual or Pairs  DetailsSubmission process
Part A: Project Files and Part B: Brief ReportCO 1, 2, 3 460%Week 10Pairs2 X MS Project files and Part B: 2000 Words2 X MS Project Files (.mpp ) and MS Word file (.docx or .doc) via Learnonline

PROJECT TEAM

For assessment 2 you are required to work in pairs. You will be required to select your project team via Pairs for Assessment 2: Project on the learning online course site from Week 1. As it is a team-based project, you are accountable to the other members of your team to communicate, complete work every week and to contribute equally to the final project.

Manage Project Meetings – Communication Technologies

Several groups generally make up a construction team. Often these groups are geographically dispersed, communication technologies have transformed the ways in which these groups communicate with one another. By better understanding communication technologies, you can decide how these can assist your partner in achieving the desired outcomes for Assessment 2. Explore and decide on which communication technologies will best suit you and your partner.

  • Skype for Business
  • Office 365 Planner
  • Google Hangouts
  • Phone
  • FaceTime
  • Facebook

Also, consider taking a short course on Building a Team (56 min 15 sec) through Lynda.com to learn how to form an efficient, high-performing team, establish your mission and run successful meetings.

Project Meeting Minutes

The project meeting minutes form part of your brief report and should be attached in the appendices. One of you must take notes of the meeting (use the template for meeting minutes). You should use your project meetings to consider the following:

  • Decide on your construction project that you plan to schedule.
  • Finalise your project partner agreement.
  • Identify risk areas, times when you’ll not be available to communicate and how tasks are going to be shared so that both of you can honestly, display your finished project as one to which you BOTH contributed.
  • Refine team plans.
  • Review and finalise the brief report and project files.
  • Provide feedback to each other.

Team Partnership Agreement

The aim of the partnership agreement is to indicate individual and team commitments (to ensure shared responsibilities and an efficient working relationship as it would happen in a real-world setting). The partnership agreement forms part of your brief report and should be attached in the appendices. Set up and agree to a partnership agreement that is to be signed by the both of you. You should use your partnership agreement to consider the following:

  • Identify who is responsible for the delivery of each assignment task by the due date.
  • Your and your partner’s schedules and commitments (i.e. rough meeting schedule).
  • The communication technologies you’ll be using (i.e. boundaries for communication).

How will you keep track of each other’s contribution?

  • Consider using Google Drive (shared google docs) to share and work on the brief report and project files together.

As a team you will provide a project (developed in MS Project) with at least 50 and no more than 80 activities within the project. This construction scheduling project needs to include consideration of the activities, links, and duration to be representative of what would happen in a real-world construction project.

ORIGINAL PROJECT

A MS Project File, including the Original Project:

In the Gantt Chart and resource sheet view prepare an original project schedule to manage all activities and information relevant to the construction project.

  • Select a project. You can choose to use any project that you are familiar with from the construction building industry. Examples can include, domestic construction works, construction works from a commercial project or a project that is an example from another course.
  • Create a work breakdown structure using the top-down approach:
    • Define the project outline (min 50 – max 80 activities) and organise it to include the project summary task, tasks and milestone tasks.
  • Enhance the work breakdown structure, to include:
    • Task duration (estimates)
    • Task dependencies (links and relationships)
    • Task start and finish dates
    • Task constraints and deadlines (if necessary)
    • Identify critical tasks (path) and slack
    • Create work resources
    • Define calendars (project, resource and task calendars) (if necessary)
    • Assign work resources to tasks
  • Assess the completed schedule and save the baseline.

COMPRESSED PROJECT

A MS Project File, including the Compressed Project:

Reschedule and compress the original project to 90% of its original duration.

  • Adjust the schedule of your original project:
    • Indicate processes for compressing (fast-tracking and crashing).
  • Assess the compressed schedule and save the 1st baseline.

Please refer to the course site, under Software Resources on the direction on how to install MS Project 2016 to your computer. Please ensure you do this in Week 1.

Technical writing is a key skill to develop while at university and beyond into your work life. This assessment is designed to assist you to develop some of the skills necessary for writing a technical report. Report writing is a method of writing to communicate and convey information to others about your observations and analysis, hence the information needs to be clear and accurate. Reports vary in style, yet they are structured and organised into headings. A full report might include sections such as an abstract, acknowledgements, table of contents, list of figures, list of tables, introduction, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion and recommendation, reference and appendices. However, the report you will prepare for this assessment is brief and will only include some of the sections as listed in in the description below.

One Word File: A written report 2000 words (±10%) about the process for the schedule assessment and schedule compression including your meeting minutes and partnership (Appendices). This report is a brief report and as such will not contain all of the components of a full report. This report is shorter and structured and organised into headings as follows:

Title page. Front page of the report:

  • Name of University, course name and code, title of report, group members/author’s names, student ID’s, name of Online Course Facilitator/Online Tutor and date of submission.

Contents page.

  • Introduction (250). Explain the context of the report to inform your reader of the content:
    1. Context of the report (the Project that you are scheduling)
    1. Purpose and objectives (team work, preparation of a construction schedule, compression of a project)
    1. Methods of approach (your process, how you went about completing the project)
    1. An overview of key aspects that will be discussed (hence it is suggested to write the introduction last).
    • Scope and limitations (optional) – what issues are covered, and what issues are not covered and why
  • Methods and Results (750 words). What was done, how it was done and what was the result:
    • Describe the assessment of the Original Project scheduling (link to the MS Project)
    • Describe the schedule’s interaction to cost and resources management.
    • If you include tables and/or figures in this section, refer to them in the text to keep your reader informed.
    • Describe the process of your partnership (role allocation)
    • Discussion (750 words). Discuss your realistic solution for the Compressed Project.
    • Explain the way in which you solved the problem, justify (refer to theory) your decision-making process to address complex issues regarding interactions of schedule, cost and limited resources in the context of construction management.
    • Link to the MS Project and if you include tables or figures, refer to them in text.
    • Conclusion (250). A clear and concise summary of the main points:
    • Provide a summary of the key points of the report as well as reflection on the benefits/challenges of team work.
    • Include your evaluation of the project.
    • Include a recommendation for future construction scheduling projects.

Reference List. A list of all sources that have been referred to in the report.

  • This is on a separate page and the heading of this page is ‘References’.
  • List your references according to the required UniSA Harvard referencing system.

Appendices. (Minutes and agreements)

  • All meeting minutes to be included in this section (use the template for meeting minutes provided on your course site).
  • Team agreement.

Please refer to Assessment 2: Part A: Brief Report Advice on the learn one course site. This document provides you with examples of what you may want to discuss under each section.

PLANNING STRATEGY

Below is a recommended strategy on completing Assessment 2: Project:

StepsActivities
1. Install MS Project.Ensure you install MS Project in Week 1.Refer to Software Resources on the direction on how to install MS Project to your computer. If you have difficulties installing the software (MS Project), please contact IT Support. All hours, all days. however public holiday hours may vary. Please note all times are for Adelaide Central Standard Time (CST).
2. Pairs for Assessment 2.You will be selecting your team via Pairs for Assessment 2 page from Week 1.You will be required to hold team meetings, record these project meetings as minutes and create a team partnership agreement.
3. Select Project.Brainstorm and select your construction project.You can choose to use any project that you are familiar with from the construction industry or a project that is an example from another course.It needs to have between 50-80 activities.
4. Proceed to MS Project and start creating the schedule to your original project.Document the process (taking screenshots) of how you created your original MS Project. You can include this in your methods and result section of your report.Refer to the step by step guide on the learnonline course site to provide you with beginner-level skills to assist you in adjusting the schedule of your original project using MS Project.
5. Begin the brief report.Create a word document that contains a title page and table of contents.Start writing a basic draft of your methods and results section.Please refer to Assessment 2: Part A: Brief Report Advice on the learnonline course site. This document provides you with examples of what you may want to discuss under each section.
6. Go back to your original project.Revise the schedule of your original project and make sure it is free of any errors, set baseline and save it.Refer to the step by step guide on the learnonline course site for a guide and training to provide you with beginner-level skills to assist you in adjusting the schedule of your original project using MS Project.
7. Proceed on compressing your original project.As a second file proceed to adjust the schedule of your original project to 90% of its original duration.Once free of any errors, save the 1st baseline.Refer to the step by step guide on the learnonline course site to provide you with beginner-level skills to assist you in adjusting the schedule of your original project using MS Project.
8. Go back to your brief report.Start writing a basic draft of your discussion on how you compressed the original project.Please refer to Assessment 2: Part A: Brief Report Advice on the learnonline course site. This document provides you with examples of what you may want to discuss under each section.
9. Review and finalise your project files, methods and results and discussion.Review both your original and compress project, so it is free of any errors.Review and edit your methods and results and discussion sections of your brief report.
10. Finalise your brief report.Write your conclusion and then your introduction.Include a reference list and the appendices which will have your meetings minutes and team partnership agreement.Please remember it would be great to see you refer to the original Gantt chart and the WBS in the methods and results section. And the compressed Gantt chart in the discussion section. You will save them as a PDF and copy and paste them into the appendices of the brief report. (Longways, up and down the page is ok for these charts).Don’t forget, to link and include tables or figures, when referring them in the body of the text.Ensure you proofread your work. Double-check your grammar and spelling to ensure it flows.

ASSIGNMENT ADVICE

  • Only one member of the group needs to submit the Group Project for assessment.
  • Refer to the Microsoft Project Topics on the learn online site for topical videos with basic instructions and tips to schedule your project using Microsoft Project.
  • Be prepared: Ensure that you have completed the learning activities from each tutorial to be well prepared.
  • Use the marking rubric to assist in understanding what is required to achieve success: You will be assessed on the content, team work process, because teamwork is one of the course objectives and presentation, which includes use of appropriate language and terminology, adhering to referencing conventions, and structuring texts professionally: e.g. headings, headers and footers, and cover pages.
  • Engage in discussion: as would be the case in the workplace, discuss ideas with your partner and check that you both understand each other’s perspectives as well as using the Course Q&A Forum. A key aspect of learning is to participate in discussion with your partner and with the cohort. As you discuss ideas you clarify your own understandings and help others to clarify theirs in the process. The more questions posed and discussed, the better the learning for everyone.
  • Be organised: plan and ensure that you keep accurate minutes of meetings, actions and subsequent deliverables.
  • Reference correctly using Harvard: If using another person’s ideas or work, acknowledge the source properly. In addition to helping you to avoid plagiarism, referencing also adds credibility and substance to your work, it demonstrates that you have read widely and enables you to provide evidence and information to support your ideas especially when justifying your approach to compression of the project.
  • Word counts for assessments do not typically include title pages, bibliographies or reference lists. In-line citations in the body of the document are included. Word counts are +/- 10%.
  • Feedback will be provided through the online rubric and gradebook. Tip: it is good practice to give and receive feedback with your partner throughout all stages of the project.
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