Planning and Scheduling Techniques Adopted By Financial Class A1B1 and A2B2 Road Construction Firms in Ghana

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Planning and scheduling of construction works are fundamental to successful project delivery. Planning and scheduling is useful in the delivery of construction projects within budget; judicious use of resources such as labour, plants and equipment and time. In spite of their usefulness in the construction of projects such as roads, planning and scheduling has not been a smooth process and the construction industry for that matter road contractors have not achieve much success. Clearly, poor road construction planning and scheduling has resulted into waste of resources leading to delayed project completion. Furthermore poor planning and scheduling has led to the idleness of key road construction resources notably labour, plant and equipment and increase in construction cost as a result of delay in project completion. Similarly, the planning and scheduling of construction activities using inappropriate planning and scheduling techniques is common among planners and schedulers in the industry. In the light of this, the conduct of this study was to explore construction planning and scheduling among class A1B1 and A2B2 road contractors in Ghana in order to improve upon the existing planning and scheduling techniques. To attain this aim, a quantitative approach was adopted using structured survey questionnaire to collect data from respondents which yielded a response rate of 79%. The study uncovered existing planning and scheduling tools in the road construction sector as bar charts/Gantt chart; programme evaluation and review technique (PERT); critical path method (CPM); and flow charts. Also the study found Microsoft Project as the main computer software for planning and scheduling road construction works while the resources needed for successful planning and scheduling were found to be the bills of quantities; designs and drawings; construction method statements; specification; site conditions; local resources; market survey; project planning data; and technical and commercial studies documents. In view of the findings of this study, it is recommended that the findings of this study in relation to the processes for planning and scheduling must be adhered to during road construction planning and scheduling. Also documents and resources required for road construction planning and scheduling must always be made available before the commencement of planning and scheduling. Likewise, there should be proper record and document management in order to effective plan and schedule road construction activities. Finally, higher level tools such as mathematical programming; heuristic models; and evolutionary algorithm are employed for effective and precision planning and scheduling of road construction works.  
A thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology, College of Art and Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Science in Construction Management.
Road, Construction, Contractors, Planning, Scheduling, Techniques