Critical path method (CPM) have been used for planning and scheduling in construction project management. The use of CPM varies from user to user, with some contractors feeling that critical path method (CPM) is a waste of time and money.
With the time, the use of project management technique have improved with experience. Most likely, the unsuccessful applications of CPM resulted from trying to use a level of detail far too complicated for practical use, or the schedule was developed by an outside firm with no real input by the user, or the CPM diagram was not reviewed and updated during the project.
Advantages of Critical Path Method (CPM) in Construction Project Management
Experience with the application of CPM on several projects has revealed the following advantages of Critical Path Method:
- CPM encourages a logical discipline in the planning, scheduling, and control of projects.
- CPM encourages more long-range and detailed planning of projects.
- All project personnel get a complete overview of the total project.
- CPM provides a standard method of documenting and communicating project plans, schedules, and time and cost performances.
- CPM identifies the most critical elements in the plan, focusing management’s attention to the 10 to 20% of the project that is most constraining on the scheduling.
- CPM provides an easy method for evaluating the effects of technical and procedural changes that occur on the overall project schedule.
- CPM enables the most economical planning of all operations to meet desirable project completion dates.
An important point to remember is that CPM is an open-ended process that permits different degrees of involvement by management to suit their various needs and objectives. In other words, you can use CPM at whatever level of detail you feel is necessary.
However, one must always remember that you only get out of it what you put into it. It will be the responsibility of the user to choose the best technique. They are all good, and they can all be used effectively in the management of construction projects; just pick the one best liked and use it.
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