A Computer Based Approach

for Determining the Probability of Completing a Project at a Certain Due Date



By Benedict Amade, PhD

Department of Project Management Technology
Federal University of Technology

Owerri, Nigeria




This paper reports on a solution approach for determining the probability of completing a project at a certain due date via a computer-based approach. When estimating the expected completion probability of any construction project within a specified/certain due date/duration via program evaluation and review technique (PERT). This paper dwells on the computation of expected completion probability of a project within a specified/certain duration by using a computer-based program. The PERT-enabled software is designed using a C sharp programming code system to provide a unique capability such as viewing the expected project’s probability of completion in line with the optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic times. In analyzing the project, provision was made by seamlessly integrating the project schedule computations into the system and implementing and developing the following modules viz; graphic user interface; the database; an iteration module; and a computing module. At the end of the exercise, an illustration of the entire process was presented by way of demonstrating and verifying the applications of the proposed computer-based software using stochastic computations of a case study construction project.

Keywords: Computer based approach, pert, project, probability of completing a project

  1. Introduction

A Project can be viewed as a well-conscripted and a collection of tasks, jobs or activities that must be executed in some order and when all tasks are completed, the envisaged project objective is achieved (Thaeir & Ramadan, 2014).  For instance, the construction of a building project consists of so many tasks like; preparation of site; pouring of footing and slab; the erection of walls; and finally roofing which must follow a sequence. One of the fundamental problems in project management is that of determining the minimum project duration/time and schedule.  The Project Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) is one of the fundamental tools for determining a schedule. As opined by Bregman (2009), a network is a representation of projects and is comprised of activities with uncertain durations that appear as a probabilistic activity network. In actual fact, large-scale projects have numerous network paths that can share activities which include complex sub-paths, dependencies and share similar expected durations. Except for unusual special-case scenarios (Bregman, 2009), the probability of completing projects before the envisaged due dates and the anticipated benefits ensuing from expediting individual activities cannot be predetermined analytically. A lot of commercial scheduling software is readily available in the industry. According to Lee (2003), the software program are generally well articulated and does a good job by supporting scheduling functions, but it’s unfortunate that they most often do not perform computations on probabilities of completing a project.

In a bid to complete a project on time and within budget has never been an easy task (Agyei, 2015). Despite all the recent advances in project management as a profession, most projects in Ghana today are still bedeviled with incidences of cost and time over-runs which invariably leads to an increase in the complex nature of the project. Agyei (2015) further reiterated that a large number of factors must have been responsible for the delays typically emanating from contractor related delays, delays from the client, consultant’s delay, labour related delays and various other forms of external delays. These delays most times gives rise to schedule overrun, cost overrun, dispute, arbitration, complete abandonment and litigations of all sort. Bregman (2009) opined that although the use of simulation has been accepted as a method of evaluating probabilistic related issues in networks, Yang and Tsai (2008) were of the view that uncertainty associated with project duration often times leads to numerous schedule problems with regards to time-control, in as much as building project related activities are subject to considerable uncertainty which gives rise to the inability of projects to be delivered at the specified /planned or as contracted timelines.

In this paper, we concentrate on determining the due date for project completion using a computer-based approach. The objective of this paper is to determine the probability of completing a project at a certain due date using a computer-based approach. The contributions of this work is to provide an avenue for the effective use of the proposed program in determining the probability of completing a project at a certain due date at the click of a button without having to start computation manually. The other part of this paper is follows; Section 2 literature review, Section 3 materials and methods, Section 4 case study and Section 5 Conclusions.  



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How to cite this paper: Amade, B. (2020). A Computer Based Approach for Determining the Probability of Completing a Project at a Certain Due Date; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pmwj94-Jun2020-Amade-computer-based-approach-to-determine-probability-of-project-completion-date.pdf



About the Author


Benedict Amada, PhD

Federal University of Technology
Owerri, Nigeria



Dr. Benedict Amade is a Project Manager by Profession. He read and obtained a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) Degree in Project Management Technology, specializing on Construction Project Management from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria. He is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) U.S.A. and presently lectures in the Department of Project Management Technology of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria for the past 10 years. His areas of research interest include construction project management, computer-based project management and construction supply chain management. He has authored over 40 scientific publications in international refereed journals and also presented papers in both National and International Conferences. He can be reached on benedictamade@futo.edu.ng; benedictamade2@gmail.com; or  benedictamade@yahoo.com.