Survey Comparing Critical Path Method, Last Planner System, and Location-Based Techniques

Hylton Olivieri, Olli Seppänen, Thais Da C.L. Alves, Natalie M. Scala, Vincent Schiavone, Min Liu, Ariovaldo Denis Granja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In construction, the most relevant systems used for project management (PM) and project production management (PPM) in the planning and control phases are critical path method (CPM), last planner system (LPS), and location-based techniques (LB). Studies have addressed these systems, mostly in isolated fashions. This study aims to compare and contrast their use in terms of PM and PPM and clarify industry benefits in order to eliminate potential misunderstandings about their use. A survey was administered to construction professionals in Brazil, China, Finland, and the United States. No single system addresses all needs of PM and PPM. CPM is the dominant system when considering the following characteristics: primary industry types, type of organization, size of organization, professional position within the organization, and area of work. Contributions to knowledge include that CPM is a contract requirement with perceived benefits associated with critical path analysis; LB and LPS have perceived benefits regarding continuous flow and use of resources, treatment of interferences, and improving production control. All systems were found to have a similar level of benefits for management of contracts, delay and change, and evaluation of the root causes of delays. The industry can benefit from aligning project scheduling methods with project needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04019077
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Construction
  • Critical path method
  • Last planner system
  • Location-based systems
  • Scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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