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MS Project & Critical Path

13 replies [Last post]
Tony Hughes
User offline. Last seen 5 years 37 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 64
Gentlemen,

What is the best software to use when a form of contract asks for a critical path?

Replies

I know, but theoretically MS Project can do it. My attempt to test it with the really large project failed. I tried to use copy and paste function, but after several iterations that took more and more time I came to the point when in the morning I found that the subproject is still not included and no information about what is going on is available. In any case the speed of work became too low to be practical.
I did not try large projects in PS8. I am interested in your experience in this field. It is interesting to discuss the practical aspects of managing large scale projects. But I think that it should be done in some other Forum Category.
P3e, MS Project, Open Plan, Spider Project can handle unlimited number of activities. So the cost per activity is zero.
If your projects are small it does not matter.
Rafael Davila
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Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 5229
BEWARE
COST RATIO TO SURETRAK (PER ACTIVITY)
      activities..... Cost.......Cost/activity... Cost Ratio
Contractor .......750.............$500.....0.67......13.40
Suretrak.......10,000............$500.....0.05........1.00
P3.................100,000........$3,000......0.03.......0.60

PRIMAVERA CONTRACTOR UNIT COST PER ACTIVITY IS NOT COMPETITIVE WITH SURETRAK. THE UNIT COST PER ACTIVITY IS OVER 13 TIMES THAT OF SURETRAK

With the Primavera Contractor limitation on activities not even free I would use Cotractor as the possibility of falling short with regard to number of activities is enormous.
Dayanidhi Dhandapany
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Click thisLinkfor a related discussion in another forum.
Critical Path Analysis is not enough for simulating construction. Activity duration shall be cakculated basing on production rates, shifts should be simulated if necessary, material supplies shall be taken into consideration, resources are always limited. The software that produce Critical Path analysis may be useless if this software is not able to simulate the real life situation.
Maybe your project has unlimited resources, all of them work in one shift, activity durations are known and do not depend on resources that are used, all project materials are available and there are no financial constraints, uncertainties are absent. In this case you are lucky and I will also recommend you to use any CPM software including MS Project.
Dayanidhi Dhandapany
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Dear Tony,

If you are a user of MS Project, you can stick with MSP i.e. more than sufficient for your present project size to do critical path analysis.

Regards

Daya
MK TSE
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Primavera have delivered a new product named PRIMAVERA CONTRACTOR. Functions is quite similiar to P3e/c but with limitation to no. of activities and others. Standalone version available only and the cost is quite competitive with SureTrak
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 28 min 3 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 5229
Definitively PRIMAVERA SURETRAK would be my choice for a first time user, as long as you have no need to schedule more than 10,000 activities per job. Can be network installed but it is not true multi-user.

I believe Primavera Contractor might be a good choice for those very few (very, very few, if any) in real need for enterprise features, but in no way it is for the average construction contractor. So be careful, a wrong selection might end in disappointment.

Please understand that Multistory Building Construction is a very repetitive process, traditional scheduling software might prove tedious. 50 activities, repeating on ea (7ea) floor might yield a 350 activities schedule.

Sometimes an electronic spreadsheet will do it, your schedule might easily be presented in a single page spreadsheet. Along with the progress payment curve overlay on it.

JUST KEEP IT SIMPLE
Tony Hughes
User offline. Last seen 5 years 37 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 64
Its a Government Project:

Refurbishment of 7 story Tower Block approximately 50 weeks in Duration.

With it being a government project they have asked for a Critical Path on the schedule.

The schedule is about 200 tasks in total, and is split into 4 phases, each phase cannot start until the other is finished as the site is live.