ADAPTABLE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLANS USING CHANGE TEMPLATES-BASED APPROACH
The uncertainty existing in the construction industry is bigger than in other industries. Consequently, most construction projects do not go totally as planned. The project management plan needs therefore to be adapted repeatedly within the project lifecycle to suit the actual project conditions. Generally, the risks of change in the project management plan are difficult to be identified in advance, especially if these risks are caused by unexpected events such as human errors or changes in the client preferences. The knowledge acquired from different resources is essential to identify the probable deviations as well as to find proper solutions to the faced change risks. Hence, it is necessary to have a knowledge base that contains known solutions for the common exceptional cases that may cause changes in each construction domain. The ongoing research work presented in this paper uses the process modeling technique of Event-driven Process Chains to describe different patterns of structure changes in the schedule networks. This results in several so called “change templates”. Under each template different types of change risk/ response pairs can be categorized and stored in a knowledge base. This knowledge base is described as an ontology model populated with reference construction process data. The implementation of the developed approach can be seen as an iterative scheduling cycle that will be repeated within the project lifecycle as new change risks surface. This can help to check the availability of ready solutions in the knowledge base for the situation at hand. Moreover, if the solution is adopted, CPSP, “Change Project Schedule Plan „a prototype developed for the purpose of this research work, will be used to make the needed structure changes of the schedule network automatically based on the change template. What-If scenarios can be implemented using the CPSP prototype in the planning phase to study the effect of specific situations without endangering the success of the project objectives. Hence, better designed and more maintainable project schedules can be achieved.