Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Owner’s Project Schedule Management for High - Rise Office Building Projects: A Case Study of

Applying modern project management techniques in schedule planning and control for high-rise office building projects is not easy. The project schedule is crashed by reasons that are investigated in high-rise office building projects such as the following:
- Using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for schedule planning.
- Using the Critical Path Method (CPM) for schedule planning.
- Proposing the methods for crashing scheduling.
- Making reports for work performance.
- Measuring work performance.

It is very important to explore the project schedule management of the owner. Hence, Mr. Le Nam Binh made a study to enhance understanding of schedule management systems, and how it can be utilized effectively in construction projects. The objectives of his research were: (1) investigating the practice of the owner’s project schedule planning and control for managing high-rise office building construction projects in Vietnam; (2) analyzing the foregoing factors to identify the critical affecting issues, the strengths, weaknesses and consequences of schedule management practices, and (3) proposing particular recommendations and effective methods for managing the project schedule from the owner’s point of view for these projects.


The modern project management era started half a century ago, was the young branch arising from the management discipline, and developed stormily on a stable fundamental with broad application in most of the manufacturing and construction industries over the world. The stream of these scientific technicalities has just been imported into Vietnam along with the expert groups serving the implementation of the petrochemical refinery project and the skyscraper projects of new urbans for the latest ten years.

The project schedule management, or project time management, as one of the four core functions of project management, is an important element contributing to accomplish timely completion of the project through six mutual-interacting processes comprising of activity definition, activity sequencing, activity resource estimating, activity duration estimating, schedule development, and schedule control. The schedule management is the most considerable concern of the project manager as well as the project owner, as an investor, cares mostly about the profitability of the invested capital.

This report develops the framework of project schedule management, which is joined with the selected tools and techniques of schedule planning and control to be applied in practical projects. These theoretical utilizations are monitored, investigated, analyzed and compared with the experienced knowledge of on-site engineers, whereby the rules and principles are generalized to form the more perfect theory.

The case study focused on applying the researched framework to the typical high-rise office building project for checking the applicability and usefulness of the theory with a particular construction project. In consequence of the actual situations in the building site and their profound changes towards better, the fact leads to the conclusion that the application of these techniques has made some considerable improvements to the project schedule, helps the project manager to catch up the target schedule in case of project delay, and lightens the pressure of stakeholders’ workload.

Moreover, the theory is applied to the construction project, which is always unique and temporary in nature, therefore it cannot help exposing the shortcomings in several cases. These particular limitations are also studied in order to propose some useful solutions for the project manager as well as other partners of the project to mitigate the potential contingencies in hazard prevention and controllability.

The project schedule management tools and technique, which are verified through practice and adjusted for specific situations, are given in the table below.These techniques should be combined to enhance the effectiveness, whereby each of them can minimize its limitations and complement the others.


After studying the theories and the case study of an actual construction project within the analyses of application range and limitations for the implementation in Vietnam, the concise recommendations for project schedule management of high-rise office building projects from the point of view of the project owner are summarized as follows:

- The construction projects are unique and specific entities, no one is like others, except for the buildings of mass housing dwelling. This can be compared in images with human being in the society. The theory of project schedule management with its generalized rules and regulations should be flexibly applied to the construction projects to make use of its academic strength and mitigate its certain limitations. This way of looking at the concepts will facilitate the project stakeholders in planning and controlling the schedule. The experienced qualification of the project manager is a key factor for determining the important degree of schedule management techniques and tools to be used.

- In the initiation stage of the project, when many things are still ambiguous around the project vision, the project manager should make plans for basic tasks, using WBS and CPM techniques to organize all the initial activities into a miniature work breakdown structure as a componential subproject. The total project schedule planning is set up after the approval of the project fundamental design and general description.

- Towards more effective management of large construction projects with less confusion of master schedule chart scale, the project might be organized into smaller work packets in controllable view as separated schedule management charts, which are described in their own work breakdown structure for various monitoring purposes.

- If the project has parallel paths with similar durations, the project manager can utilize heuristics for identifying the essential activities of a selected critical path and focus on enhancing the activities’ quality instead of determining the best critical path. If project’s resources are spreaded and reallocated across different projects and activities, the prime contractor may be forced to undertake supplying sufficient resources for normal project operation and accelerating project schedule in the remaining stage.

- From the beginning of the project, a total quality management should be promulgated widely to all the project stakeholders. This comprises of paperwork transfer process, performance report forms and variance evaluation criteria to unite the comprehension of schedule management techniques through the project process.

- Skill training is an integral demand of the project, which help staff and engineers with specialized professions for such a multicultural working environment as the construction project. This contributes to its smooth run throughout stages. The project should reserve sufficient budgets for investment of management software.

Because of the limitation of the scope and time fund of the study, this report has just explored general issues in implementation of project schedule management for high-rise office building projects under the project owner’s point of view. It’s recommended that analytical research of great depth on the specific benefits of this theory to prove its great efficiency should be carried out. Besides, the higher rates of huge skyscraper investment projects with progressive schedule management techniques need to be penetrated. And after all, the further studies should make polydimensional analysis to draw the overview painting of the modern project management discipline.

His thesis abstract is copied and posted.


Project schedule management, which is described and analyzed in a mind of great depth in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge by the Project Management Institute, is one of the most important knowledge areas of modern project management and interacts closely with other processes. It is a really tough challenge that most of project managers today are aware of but not all of them have done well.

The final report focuses on construction project schedule management for high-rise office building projects in Vietnam from the viewpoint of the owner’s project managers. By reviewing several researches and factual studies on this field, knowledge as regards owner’s project schedule management will be explored gradually.

Through the case study of a typical office building construction project, PetroVietnam Finance Centre in Danang City, the critical issues that affect owner’s project schedule management would be investigated and analyzed. Some proposed solutions based on the reviewed knowledge above will be discussed in order to help project managers improve their project schedule management professionalism better.

1 comment:

James Muller said...

This is a good case study. I and my friend butch looked at the recommendations and I found this one very interesting - Skill training is an integral demand of the project. I completely agree with it because training your team or personnel can improve business performance, profit, and morale.