Definitive Guide to the Linear Scheduling Method

Linear scheduling method in construction management

For construction management, this method involves repeatedly running a set of projects in each location for the duration of the work. Some examples of prominent projects that use this method include highway construction and airport runway projects.

The length of a linear project is represented by the horizontal axis in the linear scheduling method, and the duration of project activities is represented by the vertical axis. It is also known as distance-time scheduling. The order of the activities in each project section determines how each activity is mapped sequentially on the graph. In a linear schedule graph, the beginning time and place of the activity are displayed as its starting point, and the ending time and place are displayed as its endpoint.

Linear Schedule Basics – GraphicSchedule

Linear scheduling method vs. critical path method

While both the linear scheduling method and the critical path method (CPM) can be used to plan construction projects, they have different goals, advantages, and procedures. Some differences between linear scheduling and critical path methods include:

Purpose of use

LSM only applies to linear construction projects because it necessitates the presence of repetitive actions and the continuous use of resources along a linear path, even though both LSM and CPM apply to linear projects. LSM graphs show the duration, frequency, and location of project-related activities. LSM may be a more suitable method for scheduling linear projects that call for repetitive activity because of its particular nature. For instance, a team might use LSM for railroad, resurfacing, and highway projects.

CPM can be used for both linear and nonlinear projects because it doesn’t emphasize repetitive tasks or specific work environments. Instead, it measures the time and order of project tasks. CPM is a tool used by managers to determine the lengthiest and shortest timeframes for each activity within a project.

Relationship of activity

LSM emphasizes the connection between the tasks and teams working on a project. Contrarily, CPM ignores the connection between the steps of the process and instead focuses solely on the length of activities. When a project is planned with LSM, the timing and location of each activity are accurately determined, preventing the randomness of location and completion that can happen with CPM planning. In order to maintain a continuous workflow, LSM planning makes sure that crews and activities don’t conflict with one another.

Type of graphing

LSM and CPM are both graphical scheduling techniques, but they each make use of a different kind of graph. A velocity graph used in LSM planning displays each activity’s trajectory. An LSM graph has an x-axis for time and a y-axis for the distance between repeated activities. An LSM graph also includes the location of each activity. The graph displays and progresses all the linear activities along their completion path. This helps to guarantee that crews can work without distractions and that they finish the tasks in every area.

The longest timeline for the entire project and the earliest and latest timelines for each activity are estimated using CPM scheduling using a graph of forward and backward pass network calculations. As it primarily focuses on the length of the activities, this graph does not take into account the location or path of completion of the projects. The lack of location and progress information in a CPM graph could cause activities and resources to overlap.

Adaptability of timeline

It is possible to alter the anticipated timelines and completion rates for each activity by using LSM planning. The project manager can quickly calculate and change the velocity rate on the graph if more resources become available during the project. The new velocity then presents a chance for subsequent activities to be accelerated appropriately.

CPM planning, in contrast, makes use of a projection of the bare minimum time allotted for each activity. Instead of displaying the current state of development, the graph displays completion projections. The interaction between each activity and its completion is also disregarded by CPM. These two aspects make it difficult, when using CPM, to chart a change in the rate of completion.

What is the linear scheduling method?

Professionals frequently plan and monitor linear construction projects using the graphical scheduling method known as the linear scheduling method (LSM). It’s a technique for creating a project schedule that will make the best use of resources for repetitive tasks that happen during the construction process. LSM focuses on organizing the order, location, and movement of the construction crews to ensure that they complete their work as quickly and effectively as possible and make the best use of their available resources without causing any delays or conflicts.

Benefits of the linear scheduling method

Here are some benefits of LSM planning for construction managers:


When finishing linear construction projects, the linear scheduling method can maximize resource use by ensuring an effective and continuous flow of materials and energy. Resources are saved by avoiding repetitive work and waiting for the completion of earlier steps when there is a steady flow of materials and a clear record of progress. Construction managers can also see obstacles coming with LSM planning, which allows them to deal with them faster and with less resources.


LSM graphs are unmistakable, unambiguous charts that show progress and time. These graphs’ clarity makes it possible for teams to comprehend the tasks, locations, and deadlines required for the projects they are working on. Managers can easily spot potential delays or overlaps as the graph shows how each task is completed before they become a problem. LSM planning ensures that each activity is completed and accurate within a predetermined location and time frame.


The manager has a completed documentation of the timeline, order, and rate of completion of each action at the conclusion of a project that uses LSM planning. This graph also displays any opportunity for improvement. Project managers can use this finished graph to forecast, plan, and enhance strategies for related projects. The LSM graphs gradually demonstrate which procedures and sequences of actions produce the best outcomes and best utilize resources.


How do you make a linear schedule?

Different Techniques of Project Scheduling
  • Mathematical Analysis. Project managers most frequently employ the Critical Path Method (CPM) and the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT).
  • Duration Compression. …
  • Simulation. …
  • Resource-Leveling Heuristics. …
  • Task List. …
  • Gantt Chart. …
  • Calendar.

What are the methods of scheduling?

A graphical scheduling technique called the linear scheduling method (LSM) focuses on continuous resource utilization in repetitive tasks.

What is a linear construction project?

The majority of the work in linear construction projects consists of extremely repetitive tasks. For the duration of the work on these projects, a set of project activities is repeated in each location. Once a project activity has begun, ended, or both in one place, it is repeated there.

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