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Innovative Planning and Scheduling Solutions for Project Management Teams

CPM schedules can be complex and difficult for a project team to understand. What drives the schedule? Why are certain activities critical? Does a specific change cause an impact? These questions are often asked on projects; explaining to the project team or customer can be a challenge. PMA has developed planning and scheduling solutions that more clearly convey a summary of the schedules and that identify activities that contribute to impacts on the critical path. These solutions are utilized by PMA on client projects, and numerous private companies have purchased these software solutions for their own use. An overview of these innovations will be presented.

PMA Introduction

Founded in 1971 as a minority business enterprise, PMA is proud to be a nationally recognized program and project management firm consistently ranked in the top 50 program management firms by Engineering News-Record since 2000. At PMA, we manage the entire program and construction process—from pre-design through project delivery and closeout—serving clients nationwide and globally. Our services include program, project, and construction management; project management information systems, construction claims management and avoidance, project controls, project risk management, and green building oversight, among others.

As expert project management practitioners, we experience firsthand how project planning and scheduling processes have evolved since the early days of CPM to the highly convoluted environment many projects experience today. During this process, more often than not, control of planning and scheduling shifts from project teams, seasoned team members, and construction SMEs to only those who are able to navigate complicated and highly technical software, read many pages of CPM printouts, and understand database-driven environments.

Realizing this growing frustration in the industry, PMA has been leading the development of innovative planning and scheduling solutions that help project teams regain control of the process and that give a seat at the table to all stakeholders, schedulers and non-schedulers alike. These innovations include solutions to visualize large project schedules (5K+ tasks) in seconds to understand the critical path, sequencing, and schedule drivers, as well as to see the big picture of the project plan. Other solutions involve upgrading the planning process to develop schedules in real time, enhancing graphic interphases, and offering easy-to-understand products that enhance the team’s engagement and ownership of the plans. In addition, PMA also has developed state-of-the-art software that models integrated cost and schedule risk analyses to help project teams understand the risks associated with the project budget and/or schedule, as well as to provide insight in developing risk management strategies.

Angel Arvelo, PMP, LEED AP

Mr. Angel Arvelo serves as a Managing Director in PMA’s Braintree office. He has extensive project management, construction management, scheduling, project controls, risk management, strategic planning, and contract administrative experience on oil and gas, petrochemical, and GMP/biopharma facilities; life science research buildings; alternative energy and power generation projects; high voltage transmission lines and distribution stations; and airports, as well as on commercial and private development projects.

Brian Sullivan, PE, PMP

Mr. Brian Sullivan serves as Director of PMA’s Rhode Island office. He has project management, construction management, scheduling, project controls, claims, and expert witness experience on infrastructure and vertical construction projects throughout New England, including with departments of transportation, universities, and private clients.