Project Scheduling: A Research Handbook

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Springer, Jun 30, 2002 - Business & Economics - 685 pages
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Project management can be broadly defined as the process of managing, allocating and timing resources to achieve given objectives in an efficient and expedient manner. The builders of the pyramids in Egypt and the Maya temples in Central America are often cited as the world's first project managers. Without the help of computers or planning software, they managed exceptionally complex projects, using the simplest of tools. Nowadays projects, sets of activities which have a defined start point and a defined end state and which pursue a defined goal and use a defined set of resources, come in many and various forms. The Manhattan project which created the first atom bomb, the Apollo moon program, the construction of the Channel tunnel, the design of the Airbus, the development of new products, the construction of large office buildings, the relocation of a factory, the installation of a new information system, as well as the development of a marketing plan are all well-known examples of projects.

Our objectives in writing Project Scheduling: A Research Handbook are threefold: (1) Provide a unified scheme for classifying the numerous project scheduling problems occurring in practice and studied in the literature; (2) Provide a unified and up-to-date treatment of the state-of-the-art procedures developed for their solution; (3) Alert the reader to various important problems that are still in need of considerable research effort. As such, this book should differ from other project scheduling books in its use of an innovative unified resource scheduling classification scheme, and a unified treatment of both exact and heuristic solution procedures.

Project Scheduling: A Research Handbook has been divided into four parts. Part I consists of three chapters on the scope and relevance of project scheduling, on the nature of project scheduling, and finally on the introduction of a unified scheme that will be used in subsequent chapters for the identification and classification of the project scheduling problems studied in this book. Part II focuses on the time analysis of project networks. Part III carries the discussion further into the crucial topic of scheduling under scarce resources. Part IV deals with robust scheduling and stochastic scheduling issues. Numerous tables and figures are used throughout the book to enhance the clarity and effectiveness of the discussions. For the interested and motivated reader, the problems at the end of each chapter should be considered as an integral part of the presentation.

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