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

Simulated schedule delay mitigation via float allocation Lucko, Gunnar; Thompson, Richard C.


As delays in construction project schedules are widely documented, new approaches to manage this problem are needed. Previous studies have explored float as an inherent ability of schedules to absorb delays. However, all ignore the critical path; some recommendations as to float ownership directly contradict the inherently unfair ‘first come first serve’ principle; and none have derived testable methods to fairly allocate float to multiple participants. This study therefore employs the mathematical analogy of decision-making among a group of unequally sized individuals to explicitly allocate project float a priori to those most vulnerable – the critical path. While intuition might indicate allocation proportional to activity duration, or perhaps equal shares, it is demonstrated that neither is truly fair and a mathematical compromise can be found. The performance of this approach is tested quantitatively by simulating a case example of project schedules with and without such protection. Delays are modeled as probabilistic events that affect activities. It is found that even a relatively small amount of project float allocated along the critical path provides significant delay mitigation.

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