Five years have passed since my book Construction Project Scheduling and Control came out. The response was more than encouraging. I received correspondence from several countries—comments, suggestions, requests for solutions, and simple complements. The simplicity was the most praised trait of the book. I was so happy and proud when the language editor (of the first edition) corrected me regarding an activity’s total float in an example in the book. She was not a technical person but learned the Critical Path Method while linguistically reviewing my book.
During the past five years, I used my book in my seminars and college classes. I discussed it with my friends, colleagues, and students. I kept a log of all suggestions and corrections. I was thinking of the second edition just after the first one came out in 2004, just like a basketball coach thinking of the next season while in the current season. Although I was very happy and content with the way the book came out and was received, I discovered that there is no such thing as perfect human product. Imperfection is part of our nature as human beings, but we should think positively about it; there is always room for improvement.
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I had to combine satisfaction with ambition in completing this second edition with a strong conviction that the third edition is coming out in a few years. One experience has added to my knowledge and the book—the overseas job I have held since July 2008. I could not imagine the pace and amount of construction in such a small place as Qatar. There are more tower cranes than you can count. Professional people came from all over the world, like a huge bouquet of flowers, with their diversity in education, culture, race, and language. Communications has been a challenge to say the least. Even though English is the official business language in the organization where I work, one soon realizes that English is not English!
Forget about the difference in pronunciation and accents, forget about spelling of labor or labour and program or programme; there are differences in the interpretation of technical terms and in the way we conduct business. To make it interesting, none of these ways is wrong. This situation is the cure for what I call the background paradigm, in which everyone believes he is right just because he was brought up this way! Then our cultures and ways of doing business clash and everyone believe the others are wrong! In many of these situations, there is no right and wrong; there are different ways. However, in a project management team, all must sing together with one common tune; what a challenge! Believe it or not, I enjoy every minute of this ‘‘clash of cultures’’ . . . I think of it like this: ‘‘one cubic meter of concrete mix, $100; one ton of steel, $600; one workday with 30 different nationalities, priceless!’’
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This edition contains many additions in almost every chapter and part of the book. Two new chapters have been added. One is on the Dynamic Minimum Lag (DML), a concept for a new logical relationship in CPM scheduling I recently developed. The other new chapter is on risk management in scheduling and project control. Since the first edition, I have observed more qualitative interest in project scheduling in the professional and academic worlds. In particular, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has created a subsidiary in 2004 called College of Scheduling (PMI-COS), entirely dedicated to project scheduling issues—research, best practices, and standardization.
In addition, the PMI recently created a new certification track in scheduling (Scheduling Professional, PMI-SP). I was invited to be in the committee that wrote its exam questions. Other organizations such as the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, International AACEi, the American Institute of Architecture (AIA), the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), the Associated General Contractors (AGC), and many others inside and outside the United States have also showed increased interest in scheduling and project control issues.
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