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Competition is increasing in all fields of engineering and construction, and in order to remain competitive in these evolving times, project managers must emphasize efficiency in all aspects of their operations. This paper presents a case study utilization of the work improvement study technique of crew balance charts to illustrate how a manager can optimize construction labor crew composition and performance. The case study uses data collected through a time study to create a crew balance chart for the work required to place a drainage pipe. The initial crew composition and work performed in placing the pipe is illustrated in the chart. After analysis, a revised crew composition is formulated, and a second crew balance chart is presented to demonstrate time and labor savings. Conclusions summarize the strengths and weakness of the crew balance chart technique and how project managers can best use this tool in day-to-day construction operations.
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