Title: Dynamically allocating expediting funds in projects with schedule uncertainty

Authors: Robert L. Bregman

Addresses: Department of Decision and Information Sciences, C. T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston, 334 Melcher Hall, Houston, Texas 77204–6021, USA

Abstract: When large-scale projects have tasks with uncertain durations, it is often necessary to expedite tasks in order to improve the probability of completing the project before a fixed deadline. Whereas traditional project scheduling tools focus managerial attention on tasks that comprise the longest path(s) through a project network, tasks with uncertain durations on other paths may ultimately delay the completion of the project. In addition, the status of a project schedule can vary over time as tasks are completed (early or late) and new information concerning future tasks becomes available. This research introduces and evaluates a matrix-based procedure for allocating expediting funds relative to the traditional deterministic approach and a method based on task Criticality Indices (CIs). The results from a large simulation experiment show this new matrix-based procedure to be the preferred method for allocating expediting funds in order to manage schedule risks over the life of a project. [Received 15 August 2008; Revised 15 February 2009; Accepted 18 February 2009]

Keywords: project scheduling; heuristic; simulation; expediting funds; schedule uncertainty; criticality indices; fund allocation; simulation.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2009.025052

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2009 Vol.3 No.3, pp.363 - 376

Published online: 10 May 2009 *

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