Linear Scheduling Software
Software applications for the preparation of Linear Schedules can be broadly categorised into three categories:
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Time Chainage Diagram Software
But firstly, Linear Scheduling methods are not a modern phenomena made available by sophisticated software tools. The benefits of using this visual representation of project schedules was well known before software tools existed to do such. Visitors to the Empire State building in New York can see an early example of how linear schedules were manually drawn by hand to manage the steel erection of the high-rise building in 1930.
Basic Drawing Applications
Manually drawing linear schedules is an option, and many free or cheap drawing applications are available that can achieve this. Even familiar applications with graphing or charting applications could be used. However there are many issues with this approach – it is time consuming, error prone, difficult to update and not a scalable solution that can be easily adopted across multiple projects or applied to increasingly complex projects. In developing Turbo Chart we considered the issues of the basic drawing methods and wanted to ensure they wouldn’t exist.
Linear Scheduling Software Applications
While we are not aware of any true linear scheduling method software available commercially (yet), there are project scheduling tools that are capable of traditional CPM scheduling, presented in linear scheduling format, or variants such as Line of Balance Software, Line of Balance Chart, Location Based Scheduling, Time Chainage Software, Time Location Distance Diagram Chart and such.
Software capable of such Linear Schedule Methods can be very expensive, especially if the features provided are doubling up on features that exist in other scheduling software already being used. Even when offered trials or free downloads of these Linear Scheduling Software, the trial period offered will not be sufficient to understand the complexities of the tools and the methods they employ, often requiring extensive training and on-the-job learning.
Tilos Linear Project Scheduling Software
Linear Scheduling Visualisation Applications
Between basic drawing/graphical applications and the more sophisticated Linear Scheduling systems, there is the ability to capitalise on the data already contained within scheduling tools, and to provide the Linear Schedule output based on this data. As well as the graphical output, there are other key features that make such applications preferable to other options:
Turbo Chart is a visualisation tool that has been designed to assist linear project planning and scheduling by creating Linear Schedules easily and quickly from existing schedule data. All that’s needed is:
- Additional data for tasks
- Linear start and end locations
- Code used to format the tasks display on the Linear Schedule
Linear Programming Scheduling Software
Linear Programming as defined by wikipedia as “ (LP, also called linear optimization) is a method to achieve the best outcome (such as maximum profit or lowest cost) in a mathematical model whose requirements are represented by linear relationships. Linear programming is a special case of mathematical programming (also known as mathematical optimization).” When used in the context of project planning and scheduling, the term program and programming may be used interchangeably with schedule and scheduling. The different use of these terms appears to be mostly related to geographic differences, where practitioners more influenced by UK standards use the term Program/Programme vs those of US influence using Schedule. As such, Linear Programming Scheduling Software, when used in a project planning and scheduling context, is the same as referring to Linear Scheduling Software.