Support for Project Planning by an Agent-Based System: A Position Statement

Markus Zanker

Agent-based systems and their potential impact on the business world is of high interest to our research group. Beside issues in configuration and model based diagnosis we are working on project planning and scheduling. Similarly to classical planning and scheduling tasks in production (e.g. scheduling in job shops) the problem domain in project planning and scheduling consists of activities, resources and a number of goals and constraints which have to be regarded. Primarily differences emerge out of the dynamic nature of projects. They can be attributed a kind of non-routine character, because the sequence of steps taken to fulfill the expected goals are not fixed from the beginning of the project. Though project members usually benefit from prior experience in realizing similar tasks projects cope mainly with one-time jobs. Therefore the process of planning and scheduling of medium-size projects (20 to 50 participants) poses already a demanding problem of high complexity that is only weakly supported by currently available project management tools.

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