Improving Effectiveness of Constraints Removal in Construction Planning Meetings: Information-Theoretic Approach

Ashtad Javanmardi, S. Alireza Abbasian-Hosseini, Min Liu, Simon M. Hsiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Timely identification and removal of constraints is critical for improving workflow reliability. Construction project managers need to spend a significant amount of working time in various types of planning meetings to discuss, analyze, and remove constraints. However, the amount of uncertainty associated with each constraint, mutual information shared among constraints, and any information gained by addressing those constraints are not necessarily known with any great accuracy or precision. This research used a bridge construction project as a case study to collect empirical data on detailed weekly meeting minutes over 18 weeks and the planned and actual starting and finish times of 475 activities. An information-theoretic approach was used to develop a framework to measure the amount of uncertainty and information sharing among constraint discussions. A Chow-Liu tree was then developed to help project managers optimize the sequence of topics discussed so that meeting time may be spent more productively. Results from this particular study indicate that weekly planning meetings need to strategically address issues of equipment availability, design and working method clarification, and prerequisite work readiness since removing those constraints could improve workflow reliability by 5.6%, 4.9%, and 3.6%, respectively. The contribution to the body of knowledge of this research was the development of a framework to utilize an information theoretic-based approach to measure information exchange, uncertainty, and sharing in construction planning meetings. The method can be applied to other construction projects, and the findings can help project managers plan and run meetings more effectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04020015
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Improving Effectiveness of Constraints Removal in Construction Planning Meetings: Information-Theoretic Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this