Effective Project Scheduling Under Workspace Congestion and Workflow Disturbance Factors
Effective project management implies the use of advanced planning and scheduling methods that allow to determine feasible sequences of activities and to complete a project on time and on budget. Traditional scheduling tools like fundamental Critical Path Method (CPM) and various methods for Resource Constrained Project Scheduling Problem (RCPSP) and Time Constrained Project Scheduling Problem (TCPSP) have many shortcomings for construction projects where spatial factor plays a critically important role. Previous attempts to interpret space as a specific resource were successful for particular problems of line-of-balance scheduling, space scheduling, dynamic layout planning, horizontal and vertical logic scheduling, workspace congestion mitigating, scheduling multiple projects with movable resources, spatial scheduling of repeated and grouped activities and motion planning. However, none of these methods considers the spatio-temporal requirements in a holistic framework of generic RCPSP problem and provides feasible results accounting for workspace and workflow factors. In this paper we start with the classical RCPSP statement and then present mathematically strong formalisation of the extended generalised problem, taking into account workspace congestion and workflow disturbance constraints specified in practically meaningful and computationally constructive ways. For the generalised RCPSP problem an effective scheduling method is proposed. The method tends to minimise the project makespan while satisfying timing constraints and precedence relations, not exceeding resource utilisation limits, avoiding workspace congestions and keeping workflows continuous. The method reuses so-called serial scheduling scheme and provides for additional computational routines and heuristic priority rules to generate feasible schedules satisfying all the imposed requirements. Advantages of the method and prospects for its application to industrial needs are outlined in the paper too.
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