The purpose of this paper is to present some rules of thumb based on experience
for the early planning of new civil and building construction work. In such construction,
resource input (men, materials, equipment, etc.) is varied according to the planned
timing and availability of the work. On a well-run site, this resource loading
as well as its consequent output follows a distinctive pattern within relatively
narrow limits for the whole of the job. Practical considerations why this should
be so are presented.
Based on experience, this paper suggests first approximation profiles for both
typical resource loading and progress S-curves, and shows that the difference
could be due to the effects of learning. The basis for calculating the shape
of the learning curve and how the application of this concept is limited on a
construction site are described. The manner in which an alternative learning
curve calculation can be more useful in tracking progress is demonstrated. The
significance of these profiles and their relationships for improved planning
and tracking of new construction work is suggested. An example of the output
from a less-well managed project as compared to the planned S-curve is also included.
Keywords: learning curve, productivity improvement, progress/production
curve, resource loading.