Document Detail

Title: RS41-1 - Schedule Reduction
Publication Date: 4/1/1995
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Tool
Pages: 34
Reveals that schedule reduction techniques, such as freeze of project scope, constructability, concurrent engineering, cycle time analysis, and use of electronic media, can reduce project duration without escalating total installed cost.
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Owners are demanding higher quality in their construction projects, and that the projects be delivered at lower costs and within shortened durations. Recent research by CII reveals that meeting such demands is possible, and that using specific schedule reduction techniques can assist in reducing project durations without escalating total installed cost.

The Construction Industry Institute established three broad industry goals for the Year 2000: reduce total project costs by 20 percent, reduce project schedules by 20 percent, and improve recordable accident rates by 25 percent. In pursuit of the second of these three goals, CII established the Schedule Reduction Research Team. The purpose of the team was to investigate the efforts by the engineering and construction industry and other industries in the use of techniques that can bring about reductions in project duration. This publication is a summary report on the research.

The team examined case studies of successful projects, which showed that the following five techniques are highly effective in reducing project durations:

  • Freeze of project scope
  • Constructability
  • Concurrent engineering
  • Cycle time analysis
  • Use of electronic media

The team found that the use of techniques to reduce product delivery time is much more prevalent in industries where the work environment is much more controlled compared to the construction industry. No schedule reduction techniques, however, are unique to the other industries. Also, it was rare for a single technique to be used in isolation. What is important to note about schedule reduction techniques in the construction industry is that the working environment in which they are used is the most critical factor. Such an environment generally has management commitment and support for using the schedule reduction techniques, cross-functional teams with both technical and interpersonal skills, and good lines of communication among all project participants.