For an in-class assignment for my Introduction to Construction course, we were given a schedule to be re-formatted into a network schedule with a partner that was assigned. The schedule we were given was a course bulletin with a list of classes and their prerequisites needed in order to graduate. With the given fact that each course will be a semester, a network schedule that included: early finish, early start, late finish, late start, and slack (the amount of time a course/activity can be delayed) was created.
As a curve-ball during the activity, we were asked to switch groups about halfway through. This was a difficult adjustment. You had to meet a new individual and coordinate, figure out where they were in the process, ahead or behind your former group. From there you had to quickly adjust to the person’s personality and figure out if you needed to lead the individual or just support them through the process. The most difficult part about switching was trying to figure out where they were in the process and how to fit in so that you’re not wasting time. My initial partner and my second partner were very supportive as well as proactive and found ways to reorganize the chart to make it easier to view. In that sense I had a easy time adjusting and was able to quickly resume in the process without too much delay. If I were to re-do this project, I would draw out the network on a piece of paper first like my second partner did. This made it easier to transfer the information and made it a lot faster.
Based off of the above image, I would say that this network is sensitive because the moment there’s any delay in the critical path, you will not graduate on time. If this schedule included any sort of course that required co-requisites it may have complicated the schedule. You would need to include extra details such as Start-Start, Finish-Finish, Finish -Start, and Start-Finish. This means the location of the arrows will start to matter. The image you saw beforehand will be an example that only includes predecessors which is a Finish-Start relationship.
Upon creating a hand made version of the network, we were tasked to re-create the critical path using Microsoft Project. Without any sort of prior understanding or instructions, figuring out how to make the network schedule was difficult. However, upon reading the instructions, the critical path for the courses was developed with relative ease. Any sort of additional information would, however, make it more difficult.
As someone who has never used Microsoft Project, I would prefer to do the schedule by hand. I probably should learn it just in case I need to schedule anything more advanced than what I did in class. However, being able to do it by hand can be advantageous in meetings to show any sort of rough steps to the client in a short amount of time.