An ex ante control chart for project monitoring using earned duration management observations


Department of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Narmak, Tehran, Iran


In the past few years, there has been an increasing interest in developing project control systems. The primary purpose of such systems is to indicate whether the actual performance is consistent with the baseline and to produce a signal in the case of non-compliance. Recently, researchers have shown an increased interest in monitoring project’s performance indicators, by plotting them on the Shewhart-type control charts over time. However, these control charts are fundamentally designed for processes and ignore project-specific dynamics, which can lead to weak results and misleading interpretations. By paying close attention to the project baseline schedule and using statistical foundations, this paper proposes a new ex ante control chart which discriminates between acceptable (as-planned) and non-acceptable (not-as-planned) variations of the project’s schedule performance. Such control chart enables project managers to set more realistic thresholds leading to a better decision making for taking corrective and/or preventive actions. For the sake of clarity, an illustrative example has been presented to show how the ex ante control chart is constructed in practice. Furthermore, an experimental investigation has been set up to analyze the performance of the proposed control chart. As expected, the results confirm that, when a project starts to deflect significantly from the project’s baseline schedule, the ex ante control chart shows a respectable ability to detect and report right signals while avoiding false alarms.