International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Applying the chronographical approach for modelling to different types of projects Francis, Adel Jun 30, 2015

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5th International/11th Construction Specialty Conference 5e International/11e Conférence spécialisée sur la construction    Vancouver, British Columbia June 8 to June 10, 2015 / 8 juin au 10 juin 2015   APPLYING THE CHRONOGRAPHICAL APPROACH FOR MODELLING TO DIFFERENT TYPES OF PROJECTS Adel Francis1 1 Department of Construction Engineering, École de technologie supérieure, University of Quebec, Canada, adel.francis@etsmtl.ca Abstract: Graphical modeling is considered to be a suitable approach for displaying project data because of its ability to effectively communicate information. To meet this objective, the Chronographic Approach analyses the layout of the user interface in the spatial dimension and discusses the suitable visual parameters and their associated values. The main goal is to communicate information clearly and effectively through a visual graphical representation of the schedule. This paper discusses the application of the Chronographical Approach to modeling different types of projects, such as buildings and infrastructure. The graphical approach describes how the schedule information can be communicated using tabular and graphical interfaces, in order to manage specialties, locations, means, processes and constraints on different strata and show them either separately or combined using layering, sheeting, juxtaposition, alterations and permutations while allowing for groupings, hierarchies and the classification of project information. The result is the presentation of the same project schedule through different compatible approaches. The planner has the ability to switch from one approach to another by changing the graphical parameters. In this way, graphic representation becomes a living, transformable image, thus assisting planners in solving problems of a variable nature, and simplifying site management while simultaneously utilizing the visual space as efficiently as possible. 1 BACKROUND 1.1 Graphical modeling of projects' schedules Over time, graphic modeling has become an essential tool for project managers. Project schedules represent the graphical modeling of project performance that serves as decision support tool. In order to construct a model, we isolate a class of phenomena and try to report on them using a number of assumptions and rules. As a simplification of the world, every model has its limitations and its range of validity (Legay, 1997). Facing increasingly complex processes and procedures, and multidisciplinary infrastructures, a model with a clear visualization can facilitate the demonstration of the necessary information, and becomes a useful tool for decision making. Shen-Hsieh et al (2002) support the fact that each decision is a step based on the experience and intuition of the manager, and remains subjective. Graphical tools can easily summarize the information in order to improve response time and facilitate decision making for managers, designers, and other stakeholders to a project. What cannot be modelled cannot be properly managed. Any model must allow proper identification of a problem’s source, or even anticipate them upstream. The aim is to improve the level of coordination and the ability to identify problems. Karavakis et al (2010) mention that the extraction of the desired data is facilitated from simple graphical interfaces. 101-1 Visual representation usually allows for faster data exploration and often provides better results, especially in cases where automatic algorithms fail (Keim, 2002). According to Friedman (2008) the main goal of data visualization is to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means. Bertin (2005) notes that visual perception has three sensitive variables: the two planar dimensions and the variation of the mark on the plane. For comparison, sound perception and its representations (such as scriptural or mathematical), possess only two variables. Graphs are understood differently than text, i.e. the former is understood globally, whereas the latter is understood sequentially. In addition, graphs can act as both a type of artificial memory and as a research tool in that they allow for the simultaneous display of the general structure, as well as the details and exceptions: they can show the leaves, the branches and the whole tree at the same time (Bertin, 2005). 1.2 Actual Limitation for Graphical modeling of Project schedules Kuo et al (2010) states that the development of methods of presenting information in building a multi-mode system will improve access to and understanding of the project information required for each. They also state that although technological developments today enable the development of high performance tools, the fact remains that the current planning software only partially meets the demand of managers. Francis and Miresco (2006b) remark that many weaknesses are associated with the existing scheduling software. None of this software is intended for the planning of all types of projects. In addition, they are only directed by activities and cannot graphically use the other constraints, such as resources or work area, to present a production schedule. We can also remark that the proposed graphical schedule is global. These systems do not use multiple sheets, like spreadsheets, in order to manage lots separately. They also do not use multiple layers, as CAD does, in order to lay out data and constraints on different layers, thus allowing managers to improve the graphical visualizations of the schedule. Consequently, we can note the complexity encountered in the following the project schedule on screen (Fisk 2010; Francis 2004).  Francis and Miresco (2006b) states that the actual situation of project scheduling demonstrates that traditional methods seem to be unable, individually, to answer all planners’ needs, to solve multiple kinds of problems or to represents all types of projects. The managers have to deal with various project types and they are confronted with problems of different natures. Modeling information using several strategies and displaying them on numerous angles of points of view seems to be appropriate as a decision-making tool. It is thus relevant to model simultaneously more than one scenario and to perform analyses in order to improve the works coordination, optimize the performance execution, reduce risks and minimize uncertainties. In addition, the quality of needed information to be displayed on the project schedule model, and the required level of detail depends on the role and position of an entity in the project and the hierarchical reporting of the manager. As an example for a building project, the primary role of the general contractor's project manager is to manage the project site. This manager is responsible for coordinating the deliverables of the subcontractors, monitoring the progress of work, quality control and insurance and health security, managing workspaces, storage areas, the vertical and horizontal circulation of materials on site and the reverse cycle for recycling and scrap. Schedules and progress monitoring are preferably arranged according to the price schedule. The sub-contractor's manager is responsible for the planning, coordinating and monitoring of the daily or weekly progress of work teams. He also manages the supply according to the site progress.  Francis and Miresco (2014) state that subcontractors and general contractors do not share the same goals. Figure 1 shows the intersection between two schedules, the vertical for the general contractor and the horizontal for the subcontractor. The general contractor organizes project planning and monitoring vertically in which he coordinates the work and deliverables of the various subcontractors. He is interested in completing the project within time and budget. The sub-contractor promotes the optimal use, the leveling and the improvement of the productivity of his teams between the different projects in which he is involved to the detriment of the overall health of these projects. Francis and Miresco (2013) state that a schedule capable of providing a user-friendly tabular and graphical interface, able to easily structure project information, able to adapt to work in an interactive, changing environment, and accept productivity variation, is necessary for everyone on the site, especially the foremen and superintendents.  101-2  Figure 1: Intersection between vertical and horizontal schedules This paper discusses the application of the Chronographical Approach to modeling different types of projects, such as buildings and infrastructure. The graphical approach describes how the schedule information can be communicated using tabular and graphical interfaces, in order to manage specialties, locations, means, processes and constraints on different strata and show them either separately or combined using layering, sheeting, juxtaposition, alterations and permutations while allowing for groupings, hierarchies and the classification of project information. In this way, graphic representation becomes a living, transformable image (Francis 2013).  1.3 The Chronographical Modelling Approach As designed by Francis (2013), the Chronographic Approach analyses the graphical representation of the schedule and discusses the suitable visual parameters and approaches. The main goal is to communicate information clearly and effectively using tabular and graphical means. The Chronographic Approach defines five categories, called Entities (Table I) as modelling parameters: • The Physical Entities represent all the elements required to perform the construction operations (e.g. activities, labor, permanent materials, operators or haulers, construction site locations).  • The Associative Entities indicate the dependencies among the Physical Entities. They can represent: Relationships and Constraints; Hierarchy; Grouping; c) Layering and Sheeting; and Attributes. • The Functional Entities characterize the Physical or Associative Entities. These entities may denote deterministic relations, decisional or probabilistic functions or Temporary Functions.    • The Scale Entities designate the external measuring units (e.g. Time, Cost, Quantity, % Progress, Risk, Performance, or Resources) or internal measurement. • The Direction Entities present the coordinates on up to three Cartesian axis systems. Each axis allows for no scale, single scale with cumulative data, or grouping. Table 1: Entity Types (Francis, 2013)  Project 3Lot 1Lot 2Lot 7Project 1 Projcet 2 Lot 8 Project 4 Project 5 Project 6 Project 7 Project 8Lot 9Lot 27Physical (PE) Associative (AE) Functional (FE) Scale (SE) Direction (DE)Activities / Deliverables Relationships & Constraints Deterministic ; Time No axis (Cyclic scales)Probabilistics &Direct & Indirect Labours Hierarchical Heuristic Cost Single axisScaled, Grouped or noneOperators / Haulers Grouping Fixed and variables QuantityTwo axisPermanent materials Layering Optimization % Progress Scaled, Grouped or noneEmplacements Sheeting (Sub) Decision Performance Three axisScaled, Grouped or noneType of contract Attributes Generalized Risk   101-3 2 APPLYING THE CHRONOGRAPHICAL APPROACH FOR MODELLING DIFFERENT TYPES OF PROJECTS Managers have to deal with various project types and they are confronted with problems of different natures. To answer these various needs, managers must currently handle information within several incomplete methods, which are incompatible between each other. Although the existence of several scheduling methods is criticized because of the lack of compatibility, the existence of a complete model, which can present information within different and compatible facets, is considered as an optimal solution (Francis and Miresco 2006b). To meet this objective, the Chronographic Approach analyses the layout of the user interface in the spatial dimension and discusses the suitable visual parameters and their associated values. The main goal is to communicate information clearly and effectively through a visual graphical representation of the schedule.  Francis (2013) describes the preparation steps for the project schedule using the Chronographical Model. First, we should define the necessary Physical and Associative Entities that simulate the construction operation: a) the work breakdown structure (WBS) for deliverables, activities and tasks; the work location breakdown structure (WLBS), by dividing the site locations; c) the Organization Breakdown Structure (OBS) for the composition of project teams and specialities. Then we define the attributes’ entities and we define the Cartesian axis and their measurements. We can use zero to three Cartesian axes; external and internal measurement scales; hierarchy, grouping, layering, sheeting and attributes; relationships and constraints to model construction operations through the Physical Entities (e.g. activities, labour, permanent materials, operators or haulers, construction site locations). The result is the presentation of the same project schedule through different compatible approaches. The planner has the ability to switch from one approach to another by changing the graphical parameters. In this way, graphic representation thus assists planners in solving problems of a variable nature, and simplifying site management while simultaneously utilizing the visual space as efficiently as possible. 2.1 Linear Projects Developed by the US Navy Department in the early fifties, linear methods are designed to ensure continuity of resource use and support a stable and optimized production. Trimble (1984) mentions that schedules oriented by resources are more realistic than those dominated by activities. These methods show graphically any imbalance due to uneven progress of activities and quickly allow the manager to quantify the deviation (Khisty 1970).   Figure 2: Example of scheduling a linear project These methods have been the subject of countless improvements either through their graphical models and their methods of calculation. These methods are therefore well-suited to road, highway, railway and m1009080706050403020101 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26  DaysManholeManhole101-4 Figure 7 shows the construction work during week 12. In this plan, we can see : a) Areas 1, 2, 3 and 9 are vacant demonstrating underutilization of the work area; b) the conflict between teams 1 and 2 in Zone 4; and c) team 3 is used at the same time in both zones 6 and 8. Using this type of planning we can easily manage conflicts and adjust the plan manually during weekly site meetings without complex calculations. 3 CONCLUSION The present paper discusses the application of the Chronographical Approach to modeling different types of projects, such as, buildings and infrastructure. The main concern is studying the modalities of information representation. The graphical approach describes how the schedule information can be communicated using tabular and graphical interfaces, in order to manage specialties, locations, means, processes and constraints on different strata and show them either separately or combined using layering, sheeting, juxtaposition, alterations and permutations while allowing for groupings, hierarchies and the classification of project information. The Chronographical Approach defines the graphical parameters that model the construction operation, establishes constraints, and determines directions and scales. Using these parameters, the planner can schedule the construction operation by laying out project information under diverse approaches. The result is the presentation of the same project schedule through different compatible approaches. The planner has the ability to switch from one approach to another by changing the graphical parameters. In this way, graphic representation becomes a living, transformable image, thus assisting planners in solving problems of a variable nature, and simplifying site management while simultaneously utilizing the visual space as efficiently as possible. The use of understandable visual communication methods facilitates the sharing of information while aiding in planning and controlling project activity, including the improvement of productivity, performance and effectiveness.  References Ingold, T.S. and Miller, K.S. 1983. Drained Axisymmetric Loading of Reinforced Clay. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE, 109(2): 883-898. Bertin, J. 2005. Sémiologie graphique, les diagrammes - les réseaux - les cartes, 4th ed., EHESS, Paris. Cheng-Han K., Meng-Han T., Shih-Chung K. 2010. A framework of information visualization for multi-system construction. Automation in construction, Elsevier, 20(3): 247-262. Fisk, R.E., and Reynolds, W.D. 2010. Construction projects administration. 9th ed., Prentice-Hall, N.J. Francis, A. 2004. La méthode chronographique pour la planification des projets. Ph.D. Thesis (20), ÉTS, Montreal, Quebec University. Francis, A. 2013. The Chronographical Approach for construction project modelling. Management, Procurement and Law, ICE, 166(4): 188-204. Francis, A., and Miresco, E. 2006a. A Chronographic Method for Construction Project Planning, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 33(12): 1547-1557. Francis, A., and Miresco, E. 2006b. Toward a new generation of project management software. Proceedings of the International conference on computing and decision-making in civil and building engineering, Montreal, Canada, IC-553: 3558-3567. Francis, A., and Miresco, E. 2013. Applying the Chronographical Approach to the modelling of multi-storey building projects. Proceedings of the 4th International Construction Specialty Conference, CSCE, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, CON-180: 1-10. Francis, A., and Miresco, E. 2014. Case studies for the planning and monitoring of unit- and fixed-price contracts using project scheduling software. Proceedings of the International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering, ASCE, Orlando, Florida, USA, 1: 1021-1028 Friedman, V. 2008. Data Visualization and Infographics. Graphics, Monday Inspiration. J.-M. Legay, 1997. L'expérience et le modèle, un discours sur la méthode, INRA Editions, Paris.  Karavakis, E., Andreeva, J., Khan, A., Maier, G., and Gaidioz, B. 2010. CMS Dashboard Task Monitoring: A user-centric monitoring view. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 219(7): 072038. Keim, D. A. 2002. Information Visualization and Visual Data Mining. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. 7(1): 100-107. Shen-Hsieh, A. and Schindler, M. 2002. Data Visualization for Strategic Decision Making. Visual-IO, 10: 15. 101-9 

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