Links drive the programme, collectively they are know as Logic. Without links, planning software would not know the relationships between activities and the scheduling calculations would be useless.
Accurate and correct logic links within a programme are therefore paramount to its robustness.
Links can be placed on activities for a number of reasons for example (but not limited to)
– Construction sequencing
– Resource availability
– Material availability
– Spatial availability
– Quality (Curing time etc…)
Activities can be manipulated so that the links are overridden. This is done with the use of constrains or lags. Certain constrains will completely override any logic whereas lags will adjust the timing of the links.
Ultimately as the links drive the activities within a programme the planner should be able to explain the reason for each and every link used.
Constrains should be avoided wherever possible as these will interfere with any critical path scheduling calculations. In the same way that all links should be explainable so should any constraints or lag. In fact these should be the first area to scrutinise a programme.
As its possible to manipulate levels of float or a critical path with the use of lags or constraints each and every one should have a very good reason to be in the programme in the first place.
First of all if there are unexplained constraints within the programme then the question needs to be asked why they are even there in the first place.
Secondly a review of the programme should challenge some of the links. A challenge might not result in any change to the programme but in this case it will increase confidence in the robustness.
Links are the structure that holds a programme together. Without the right links the programme wont stand up as it should. Manipulated float and critical path mask programme issues that unless uncovered early on will grow more problematic.
It can be possible to have a blinkered view of a programme when your part of the team that built it. Sometimes it takes an outside party to highlight any issues or opportunities with the project plan. Alternatively clients interrogating contractors plans will often benefit from a third part review.
If you need any assistance with programme reviews or interrogation then contact us.
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