Planning and scheduling are forms of decision-making that are used on a regular basis in many manufacturing and service industries. Decision-making processes play an important role in procurement and production, in transportation and distribution, and in information processing and communication. The planning and scheduling functions in a company rely on mathematical techniques and heuristic methods that allocate limited resources to the activities to be done. This allocation of resources has to be done in such a way that the company optimizes its objectives and achieves its goals. Resources may be machines in a workshop, runways at an airport, crews at a construction site, or processing units in a computing environment. Activities may be operations in a workshop, take-offs and landings at an airport, stages in a construction project, or computer programs that have to be executed. Each activity may have a priority level, an earliest possible starting time and/or a due date. Objectives can take many different forms, such as minimizing the time to complete all activities, minimizing the number of activities that are completed after the committed due dates, and so on.

The following ten examples illustrate the role of planning and scheduling in the real world. Each example describes a particular type of planning and scheduling problem. The first example shows the role of planning and scheduling in the management of a large construction or installation project that consists of many stages.


Supply Chain Schedule Problem Project Schedule Schedule Model Schedule System 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information, Operations, and Management SciencesStern School of Business New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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