A Master of Science in Engineering Systems Management Submitted by Omar Radwan Al-Mourad Entitled, "Progress Evaluation and Diagnosis Indices for Construction Projects - Omar's Diagnostic Technique," June 2006. Available are Both Soft and Hard Copies of the Thesis.
The construction industry constitutes a major part of the global economy. Large amounts of money are spent annually for the construction of residential, commercial, industrial, and other types of projects, including infrastructure. The control of construction projects is an essential managerial requirement to ensure ontime completion within the budget though it is a real major challenge due to the large amount of un-avoidable losses in time and cost as well as the high level of uncertainties that complicate the control process. The control process uses progress evaluation techniques that compare actual and planned progress to assess the progress status. The current evaluation techniques are based on assessing the status of the critical path and the completion percentage. However, these techniques have deficiencies which cause undesired ambiguity and trigger significant disputes. Improvements are required in the field of progress evaluation to overcome these deficiencies. Considering the required improvements, the author proposes a new technique named "Omar's Diagnostic Technique". The technique is composed of several indices. It takes input data from the baseline and the updated schedules to perform some calculations then infers interpretations on the most accurate progress status. Based on the calculations the technique recommends necessary corrective action. The indices are classified into categories and each category deals with a group of related indices. The categories cover several topics such as: the overall project criticality, the commitment of the progress to the baseline schedule, the baseline float consumptions, the resources, the percentages of completions, and the repeated cycles. The research focuses mainly on the first three categories while the other categories are discussed briefly. The discussions of each index include the definitions, the calculation equations and their derivation as needed, and the interpretations of the different possible values of the indices along with what indications they give of the actual progress status. The research shows that there is potential for great improvements in progress control concepts and techniques. The proposed indices could assist in enhancing and standardizing the progress interpretation process. The indices are able to provide the project management with valuable information such as: progress concentration, outof-sequence works, resource shortages and inadequacy, supervision and management competency, over / under estimation of the work at the planning stage, global and local delays, level of commitment to the baseline schedule, potential future critical delays, etc. The conclusions that can be drawn from the results of the indices might be used by the different stakeholders as a tool to support the decision making process. Several discussions on how to interpret the results of the indices and what are the inferred progress interpretations are shown in the research.