Material can be seen as the fuel needed to execute the project from inception to completion. Material installed provides good indicators of progress achieved onsite vis-a-vis project schedule performance. It correlates well with the role of the schedule performance index (SPI) of the earned value method (EVM). Material is recognized to have a significant impact on achieved progress for physical completion of project activities. This paper presents a study on the development of material status index (MSI) in support of the EVM. Unlike the SPI, the newly developed index account for the criticality of project activities. This is carried out considering the total float of each activity, percent float (i.e. the ratio of float to activity duration) and the total float of the path on which the activity is located. MSI, can independently and jointly with SPI provide root causes behind problems encountered during project execution. In turn MSI can reveal material related factors behind the performance detected by joint interpretation of the two indices. MSI serves to provide added value in alerting management to take corrective actions. While SPI and MSI may have different values, they can jointly augment and enrich the captured project status based on EVM. To demonstrate the capabilities of the developed MSI method, it is implemented on a case study. The case encompasses the construction schedule of a hydro power station constructed in northern Quebec. Different scenarios are adapted from the real case to demonstrate a set of practical aspects of the developed index. The results generated from the analysis of the case study illustrate the useful features of MSI beyond those of the traditional SPI on two fronts; causation and the considerations of criticalities of actives.
Keywords: Materials; Projects; Performance; Construction; SPI; Progress; Process; Processes; Costs; Cost;
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