Guidelines for prioritizing buffers on location-based management (LBM) projects are established through the use of critical chain theory (CCT). Buffer management theory in LBM has gained little attention from the research community. CCT builds on the assumption that each task is, either consciously or unconsciously, given a certain time buffer with which to cope with unpredicted events, and that these buffers become a large part of the project lead time. However, CCT suggests that these buffers entail inherent waste within schedules and fail to protect both critical activities and projects. CCT assumes that time estimates become self-fulfilling prophecies, as practitioners tend to procrastinate, and the buffers are often wasted. In addition, excess time rarely benefits the project if activities do finish early, because succeeding activities are unlikely to begin before the planned date. Although the criticisms by CCT also apply to LBM projects, CCT is based on the critical path method, and the guidelines from CCT must be adapted to the criticality principle of LBM theory. Accordingly, the contribution to the body of knowledge of this article is guidelines of buffer placement and prioritization in LBM that are based on critical chain buffer management theory.
Construction Management and Economics, 2014, Vol 32, Issue 6