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DPWH

Basic
Principles
and
Application
Handbook
Project SCHEDULING
PROJECT Scheduling Technique:
TECHNIQUE:
METHOD
PRECEDENCE
DIAGRAM
METHOD
TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ...................................................................... 2
PRECEDENCE DIAGRAM METHOD (PDM) ................................... 3
DEFINITION OF TERMS............................................................ 3
PDM LOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS ................................................ 6
Finish-to-Start (F-S) relationship ............................................ 6
Start-to-Start (S-S) relationship ............................................. 7
Finish-to-Finish (F-F) relationship ........................................... 8
Start-to-Finish (S-F) relationship ............................................ 8
LAG AND LEAD TIMES.............................................................. 9
ANALYZING PDM NETWORK ................................................... 11
Forward Pass Calculation .................................................... 11
For Finish-To-Start Relationship ........................................ 11
For Other Relationships aside from F-S ............................. 15
Backward Pass Calculation .................................................. 17
For Finish-To-Start Relationship ........................................ 17
For Other Relationships aside from F-S ............................. 21
THINGS TO REMEMBER ......................................................... 24
ANNEX .................................................................................. 28
BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................................................................... 31

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INTRODUCTION

In connection with D.O. No. 133, Series of 2015, the adoption of


Precedence Diagram Method as Project Scheduling Technique in
DPWH Projects, this handbook was made to serve as basis in
preparation/evaluation/review of PDM. However, this handbook was
prepared in such a way so that it can be used by DPWH and other
organizations.

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PRECEDENCE DIAGRAM METHOD (PDM)

PDM is a network diagram that shows activities in nodes and usually


represented by rectangular/square boxes which are connected by
arrows showing the relationships between the activities. This network
diagram is also called as Activity on Node (AON) where the nodes are
used to designate the activities.

ITEM NO. ACTIVITY NO. DURATION

FINISH
START

ITEM DESCRIPTION

EARLY START EARLY FINISH


LATE START LATE FINISH
Figure 1. PDM Network Diagram Node

Figure 1 shows the standard layout of PDM and the organization of its
attributes, which will be the standard format to be adopted by DPWH
for PDM.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Activity a single work step with a definable scope of work, an


identifiable start and finish requiring time and typically resources to
complete

Activity number numbers used for unique identification which are


ordered from lower numbers on the left to the higher numbers on the
right to match the logic flow of activities.

Backward Pass the process of navigating through a network from


finish to start for the purpose of calculating the late start and finish
times for each activity

Bar Chart another term for Gantt chart; chart showing the
construction time schedule of project activities.

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Critical Path Method (CPM) a project management technique that
analyzes which activities have the least amount of scheduling flexibility
and predicts project duration schedule based on the activities that fall
along the "critical path." Activities that lie along the critical path
cannot be delayed without delaying the finish time for the entire
project.

Dummy Activity An activity (represented by a dotted line on the


arrow network diagram) that indicates that any activity following the
dummy cannot be started until the activity or activities preceding the
dummy are completed. The dummy does not require any time.

Duration the length of time required to complete an activity

Early Start (ES) earliest point in time an activity can start

Early Finish (EF) earliest point in time an activity can finish

Finish to Finish relationship between two activities where the


successor activity cannot finish until the predecessor activity has
finished

Finish to Start relationship between two activities where the


successor activity cannot start until the predecessor activity has
finished

Float period by which a task can be delayed, brought forward or


extended without affecting the schedule; a measure of how much an
activity can be delayed without delaying the project completion date.

Forward Pass the process of navigating through a network from


start to finish and calculating the early start and finish times for each
activity and the minimum time required to complete the project
Free Float the amount of time the start of an activity can be delayed
or its duration extended without delaying the early start of following
activities

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Lag period of time that must pass after the finish of one activity
before the following activity may start

Late Finish (LF) latest point in time an activity can finish and not
delay the project

Late Start (LS) latest point in time an activity can start without delay
in the project

Lead period of time that must pass after the start of one activity
before the start of the following activity

Logical Sequence the sequence of the activities wherein the


preceding activity should be started and/or partially or totally
completed first before the succeeding activities started in a logical
manner

Node contains the attributes of the activities such as Item Number,


Item Description together with Activity name, duration, early
start/finish, late start/finish and start and finish side of the node

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) a graphic


representation of a projects schedule showing the sequence of tasks,
which can be performed simultaneously.

Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM) a method for diagramming


construction activities wherein a single node represents an activity
which is logically connected to other activities

Predecessor an activity that must be partially finished or finished


before a specified activity can start

Relationships the logical links between activities used to


demonstrate work sequence which is represented by a

Scheduling the process of determining the timing and specific


sequence of tasks in order to carry out the planned construction
operations

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Start to Finish one activity can only be finished when the next
activity has started

Start to Start two activities that can be started simultaneously

Total Float the maximum amount of time an activity can be delayed


from its original early start without delaying the duration of the entire
project; calculated by subtracting the early start time and duration
from the activitys late finish time.

PDM LOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS

PDM also shows interdependencies among various activities which is


not limited to Finish-to-Start (F-S) relationship as compared to
PERT/CPM. This network diagram also uses four (4) logical
relationships and these are:

Finish-to-Start (F-S) relationship

Finish-to-Start relationship is the most common logical relationship


used in PDM. This is also used in PERT/CPM. This kind of
relationship denotes that the succeeding activity cannot start until
the preceding activity has been completed.

Figure 2. PDM F-S Relationship

Figure 2 shows two activities, Activity A and Activity B, having a


Finish-to-Start Relationship. This figure shows that right after
Activity A is finished, Activity B can already commence its work.

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Start-to-Start (S-S) relationship

Start-to-Start relationship is a logical relationship that shows two


activities starting simultaneously. In PERT/CPM, Start-to-Start
relationship can be presented by having additional nodes and use of
dummy arrows. Figure 3 shows S-S relationship between activities A
and B in a PERT/CPM Network Diagram.

Figure 3. PERT/CPM Network S-S Relationship

In PDM, Start-to-Start relationship is introduced to show the


relationship between two parallel activities that should be started
simultaneously. For example, in Figure 4, both activities A and B can
already start their respective works since both activities are using
Start-to-Start relationship.

Figure 4. PDM S-S Relationship


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Finish-to-Finish (F-F) relationship

As with Start-to-Start relationship, Finish-to-Finish relationship is


used to show the completion of activities simultaneously. As shown
in Figure 5, activities A and B are in Finish-to-Finish relationship.
This shows that when Activity A is completed, Activity B should also
be finished.

Figure 5. PDM F-F Relationship

Start-to-Finish (S-F) relationship


Start-to-Finish relationship is rarely used since there are less
confusing interdependencies available in PDM. This relationship
indicates that one activity can only be finished when the next
activity has started. Figure 6 shows Start-to-Finish relationship
between activities A and B. In this figure, Activity B can only be
completed as soon as Activity A has started.

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Figure 6. PDM S-F Relationship

LAG AND LEAD TIMES

Lag (+) and Lead (-) times are expressed as part of the immediate
predecessor notation. Lag time is defined as the delay between two
activities, that is, when one activity is completed and there is a waiting
period before the succeeding activity starts. In construction industry,
specifically in concreting, lag is most commonly used in situations that
require material to strengthen before the next activity can be
performed. Lag is also used to simplify the network diagram by
representing other subactivities related to the main activities (i.e.
curing period for concreting, removal of shoring, etc.)

Lead time, on the other hand, is an overlap between the first and
second activity, that is, when the second activity will start prior to the
completion of the first activity. This condition is used in cases which
allow succeeding activities to begin before preceding activities have
been completed.

In F-S relationship, lag and lead times are commonly used. As shown
in Figure 7a, since activities A and B can work subsequently without
any delays, the lag time is equal to zero (0), thus resulting to a total
duration of 8 calendar days (c.d.).

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Figure 7a. Activities A and B in F-S Relationship

Given that there is a delay between two activites, a lag time is


introduced. As shown in Figure 7b, there is a need of 2 days lag
between activities A and B which means that Activity B can only start
2 days after Activity A has finished. In this figure, the lag time is equal
to 2 c.d. resulting to a total duration of 10 c.d.

Figure 7b. Activities A and B in F-S Relationship with Lag Time

In Figure 7c, there is an overlapping between activities A and B where


Activity B can already start 2 days before Activity A finishes. In this
case, lead time is being used, which is equivalent to 2 c.d., resulting
to a total duration of 6 c.d.

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Figure 7c. Activities A and B in F-S Relationship with Lead Time

For S-S, F-F, and S-F relationship, lag time is also used to signify a
delay between two activities. Lead time, on the other hand, may be
used in these interdependencies to finish the project early and on time
but is best to be avoided, if possible, due to difficulties and complexity
in analysis of the logic diagram and computation of backward and
forward pass.

ANALYZING PDM NETWORK

Forward Pass Calculation

For Finish-To-Start Relationship

a) General Rule in Calculating Early Start & Early Finish dates based
on Finish-to-Start relationship without lag and lead time

ES of the Current Activity = EF of Preceding Activity; ES=0 for


starting activity

EF = ES + Duration

For Multiple Predecessors, use the latest or largest value of EF


of the preceding activity as the ES of the current activity being
considered

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STEP 1:

ESA = 0 (starting activity)


EFA = ESA + durationA = 0 + 5 = 5

STEP 2:

ESB = EFA + (Lag or Lead Time)


ESB = 5 + 0 = 5

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STEP 3:

EFB = ESB + durationB


EFB = 5 + 3 = 8

Figure 8a. Forward Pass Calculation for F-S relationship

b) General Rule in calculating Early Start and Early Finish dates


based on Forward pass calculation for Finish to Start relationship
with Lag and Lead Times

For Lag Time (+); ES of the Current Activity = EF of the


Preceding Activity + (Lag Time) and EF of current activity will
be equal to ES of current activity + Duration (See Figure 8b)

If there is a Lead Time (-) between two activities; ES of the


Current Activity = EF of the Preceding Activity + (- Lead Time)

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STEP 1:

ESA = 0 (starting activity)


EFA = ESA + durationA = 0 + 5 = 5
STEP 2:

ESB = EFA + (Lag or Lead Time)


ESB = 5 + 2 = 7
STEP 3:

EFB = ESB + durationB


EFB = 7 + 3 = 10
Figure 8b. Forward Pass Calculation for F-S relationship
with Lag Time

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For Other Relationships aside from F-S

For F-F relationship, to get the EF of the preceding activity, EF


CURRENT = EFPREVIOUS + (lag or lead). (See Figure 9.)

If in case that there are other relationships aside from F-F


with the current activity, EFCURRENT can be also determined by
adding ESCURRENT with its duration. Then assess which value for
EFCURRENT is higher or latest.

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STEP 1:

ESA = 0 (starting
activity)

EFA = ESA + durationA


EFA = 0 + 5 = 5

STEP 2:
ESB = ESA + (Lag or
Lead Time); (S-S
relationship)

ESB = 0 + 1 = 1

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STEP 3:
To determine EFB
consider the following:
1. EFB = ESB +
durationB
EFB = 1 + 3 = 4

or

2. EFB = EFA + (Lag or


Lead Time); (F-F
relationship)
EFB = 5 + 0 = 5

*Given there are two


(2) possible values for
EFB, choose the bigger
or later value for EFB

Therefore; EFB = 5

Figure 9. Forward Pass Calculation for S-S and


F-F relationship

Backward Pass Calculation

For Finish-To-Start Relationship

a) General Rule in Calculating Late Start & Late Finish dates based
on Finish to Start relationship

Late Finish of the Current Activity = Late Start of Previous


Activity minus lag or lead time; LF of final activity = EF for the
final activity of the project

Late Start of the current activity = Late Finish of the current


activity its duration
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For Multiple Predecessors, use the earliest or smallest value of
LS of the preceding activity as LF of the current activity

STEP 1:

LFB = EFB (final activity)


LFB = 8

LSB = LFB durationB


LSB = 8 3 = 5

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STEP 2:

LFA = LSB - (Lag or Lead Time)


LFA = 5 - 0 = 5

LSA = LFA - durationA


LSA = 5 5 = 0
Figure 10a. Backward Pass Calculation for F-S relationship

b) General Rule in Calculating Late Start & Late Finish dates based
on Backward Pass calculation for Finish to Start relationship with
Lag and Lead Times

For Lag Time (+); LF of the Current Activity = LS of the


Preceding Activity - (Lag Time) and LS of the current activity
will still be equal to LFCURRENT duration. (See Figure 10b)

If there is a Lead Time (-) between two activities; LF of the


Current Activity = LS of the Preceding Activity - (- Lead Time)

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STEP 1:

LFB = EFB (final activity)


LFB = 10

LSB = LFB durationB


LSB = 10 3 = 7

STEP 2:

LFA = LSB - (Lag or Lead Time)


LFA = 7 - 2 = 5

LSA = LFA - durationA


LSA = 5 5 = 0

Figure 10b. Backward Pass Calculation for F-S relationship


with Lag Time

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For Other Relationships aside from F-S

For S-S relationship, to get the LS of the preceding activity,


LSCURRENT = LSPREVIOUS (lag or lead). (See Figure 11)

If in case that there are other relationships aside from S-S


with the current activity, LSCURRENT can also be determined by
subtracting LFCURRENT with its duration. Then assess which
value for LSCURRENT is lower or earliest

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STEP 1:
LFB = EFB (final activity)
LFB = 5

LSB = LFB durationB


LSB = 5 - 3 = 2

STEP 2:
LFA = LFB (Lag or Lead
time); (F-F relationship)

LFA = 5 0 = 5

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STEP 3:
To determine LSA consider
the following:
1. LSA = LSB (Lag or Lead
Time); (S-S relationship)
LSA = 1 0 = 1

or

2. LSA = LFA - durationA


LSA = 5 5 = 0

*Given there are two (2)


possible values for LSA,
choose the lower or earlier
value for LSA

Therefore; LSA = 0

Figure 11. Backward Pass Calculation for S-S relationship


with Lag Time

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THINGS TO REMEMBER

In PDM, the relationship between the current and


previous activities can be better calculated by using two
or more of the four possible logical relationships than by
using only one relationship.

o In a PERT/CPM diagram, which is only limited with F-S


relationship, additional nodes and dummy can be used to
represent activities that are concurrent. As shown in Figure
12, the activities in the bar chart are presented in PERT/CPM
showing the correct relationships by breaking each activities
into repetitive activities and with the use of dummy.

o Using PDM, however, can be simplified the calculation of the


same by using two of the four possible relationships together
with lag and lead times, the same correct relationship can be
shown in Figure 13 with only three activities.

Calculation of the critical path requires consideration of


the logical relationship of each activity.

o The critical path in PDM is continuous from the beginning to


the end of the diagram. Just like in PERT/CPM, the total float
of an activity must be equal to zero to be considered critical.
Usually activities using F-S relationship without lag are
considered to be critical.

o In PDM, a scheduler should observe completeness and show


all logical relationships among activities, avoiding any
unnecessary or redundant relationships. Too many arrows will
complicate calculation of task dates during the forward and
backward passes. However, while avoiding redundancies, one
must be careful not to oversimplify the schedule.
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Project Scheduling: Precedence Diagram Method
25 | P a g e
Figure 12. Bar Chart and PERT/CPM of Subbase Course, Base Course, and PCCP
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Figure 13. Bar Chart and PDM of Subbase Course, Base Course, and PCCP
Usually activities with a start-to-start relationship will
also have a finish-to-finish relationship.

o Failure to show finish-to-finish relationships among activities


that have start-to-start relationships indicated on the logic
diagram may change the logic and the critical path resulting in
inaccurate duration among the activities.

In a comprehensive schedule all activities except the first


and last nodes should have at least one preceding
activity and at least one succeeding activity.

o Dangling activity refers to an activity that is open ended


where there are no activities connected either on the left or
right side. This activity also has no activity relationship
originating either left or right side and should be avoided as
this is considered as poor scheduling practice.

o In a PDM diagram, more dangling activities may prevent a


realistic critical path preventing the schedule from accurately
measuring the delays and any changes in the time frame.

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ANNEX

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Figure 14. Sample PERT/CPM of Road Project

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Figure 15. PDM of Sample PERT/CPM from Figure 14

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baldwin, A., & Bordoli, D. (2014). Handbook for Construction


Planning and Scheduling. West Sussex: John Wiley &
Sons, Ltd.

Hildreth, J., & Munoz, B. (2005). An Introduction to the


Management Principles of Scheduling. Virginia:
VirginiaTech College of Engineering.

Max B. Fajardo, J. (1997). Project Construction Management.


Quezon City, Philippines: 5138 Merchandising.

Taylor, J. (2006). A Survival Guide for Project Managers. New


York: AMACOM.

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