A new book on construction project scheduling for 2015

Construction project scheduling has seldom been treated as eloquently as in Saleh Mubarak’s new book. The reading is easy, and the insights are rare. (Photo by Duane Craig)

Saleh Mubarak has written a grand book about construction project scheduling, and one that deserves a serious look by anyone who deals with construction schedules.

If you’re learning construction project scheduling, actively involved in it, or want to expand your understanding, then Construction Project Scheduling and Control, Third Edition is for you. If you’re a project manager, you’ll definitely gain insights by spending some time with it. While the topic could lend itself to a dry presentation, there’s nothing boring or bland about how the author covers it.

Following the Logic

The book follows a logical path much like we do when building something. Mubarak opens with a strong foundation that includes the essence of scheduling, a summary of bar charts, and a deep exploration of networks, complete with activities to help you fully understand them. This logical structure continues throughout the book so you arrive at each succeeding chapter with all the background you need.

Examples From the Real World

The author’s examples throughout, present his case in real world ways. For instance, when suggesting we use constraints sparingly, his example is one that any scheduler or project manager would instantly recognize – using constraints to “fix” the dates of activities. As he walks you through the scenario, you quickly appreciate the superior logic of the scheduling software, and how important it is to let its dynamic nature handle most of your scheduling.

Construction Project Scheduling With Style

Insights go beyond the ordinary, and the book provides a deep look at construction project scheduling, and does it in plain language. If you want, or need considerable depth, it’s there, along with many fine illustrations and charts to help you visualize the concepts presented. And, if you have any doubts about whether you “got it” or not, there are exercises at the ends of the chapters.

Schedule Problems? No Problem

Besides walking you through the steps in building an effective schedule, this book is loaded with practical steps you can take to handle problems with schedules, and to improve them. But, there’s so much more, because it also explores the relationships between the schedule and other project aspects. Communications, even those in the international realm, estimating, advanced scheduling techniques, reports, logistics, and submittals are just a few of the interrelated topics Mubarak covers from the scheduling perspective.

Leaving Nothing to Risk

There’s even substantial coverage of risk items like delay claims, the role of documentation, schedule analysis, shifting risk in contracts, and overall risk management steps. The author completes the book with a thorough lesson in building information modeling, and a case study that explores the steps in using BIM on a project. If you want to understand all the particulars about BIM in action, and its impact on scheduling, you’ll find it here.

The appendices include a complete project scheduling exercise with nine assignments where you can test your knowledge and skills at scheduling. There are also ample examples of tabular and graphic reports, followed by a handy list of abbreviations, and a full glossary.

This is a complete and insightful book that offers much for anyone interested in construction project scheduling.