Several inherent factors make a CPM schedule more precise compared to other project scheduling options. The following are the primary reasons why a CPM schedule is considered accurate:
Ultimately, the accuracy of individual task completion, milestone achievement, and project completion are significant factors in project management and scheduling. Hence, project managers have been opting for the Critical Path Method (CPM) and its scheduling approach because it is widely acknowledged to be more dependable than conventional project management and scheduling methods.
One of the main reasons why a CPM schedule is more accurate than traditional project planning and scheduling methods is its flexibility. However, it is impossible to achieve a completely precise schedule for projects with multiple tasks and dependencies. Nevertheless, CPM methodology includes estimations to predict the schedule, but any errors in data collection or analysis can lead to inaccuracies in the generated schedule.
Yet, with a CPM schedule, any necessary changes can be easily measured and incorporated into the schedule due to its flexibility. The visual presentation of the schedule helps to identify any variances between the planned and updated versions, allowing for adjustments to be made when required. Therefore, the flexibility and adaptability of the CPM schedule ensure its accuracy throughout the project, even when changes are made due to errors or miscalculations along the critical path.
A CPM (Critical Path Method) schedule differs from a baseline schedule in that it is not a fixed timeline. Rather, it is designed to be adaptable, allowing for adjustments to ensure the project stays on track and on schedule.
In addition to informing stakeholders of project progress, milestones, and projected completion dates, a CPM schedule involves all stakeholders in its development. This means that all anticipated activities of project contributors, including contractors, subcontractors, project owners, vendors, and suppliers, are incorporated into the schedule. This collaborative approach ensures that all stakeholders have a shared understanding of the project schedule and can contribute to its successful completion.
Another reason for the accuracy of a CPM schedule is the involvement of stakeholders in its creation. The process of creating a CPM schedule includes the participation of all major stakeholders from the beginning of the planning process until the end of the project.
Having primary stakeholders involved from the project’s inception ensures that data required for the creation of the project schedule is not only collected but also consolidated. The main repositories of crucial information related to all project elements contribute directly to the development of a CPM schedule.
One of the significant factors contributing to the accuracy of a CPM schedule is the reliable algorithm used to provide project-related time estimates. The formula used to create a CPM schedule is based on the following equation:
E = (a + 4m + b) / 6
Here, a represents the best-case estimate, m represents the most likely estimate, and b represents the worst-case scenario estimate. The final project completion projection, calculated using this formula, is denoted by E.
Project management experts and analysts with extensive experience in the field suggest that incorporating Project Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) can make a CPM schedule even more accurate. In essence, the addition of PERT to the process introduces a slightly more conservative approach to the estimation process. This more cautious approach to generating estimates is believed to reduce the likelihood of tasks exceeding their projected timelines, which ultimately enhances the accuracy of the CPM schedule.
One of the primary reasons why CPM schedules remain accurate throughout the course of a project is due to the accessibility of stakeholders to the schedule. CPM schedules rely heavily on the involvement of primary project stakeholders, who are involved in the planning process from the beginning till the project is completed.
This active involvement of stakeholders in monitoring the project progress ensures that they remain engaged in any necessary modifications. Their direct involvement in scheduling and related issues increases the likelihood of more accurate data analysis and scheduling adjustments, including modifications to the critical path.
A significant reason why CPM schedule is more accurate and consistent throughout a project is due to the user-friendly visual network diagram. This presentation provides a clear overview of the factors that could affect task dependencies and potentially disrupt the critical path.
The graphical representation facilitates better comprehension and monitoring of critical and non-critical tasks, as well as their dependencies. It enables project managers to determine how resources assigned to non-critical tasks could be temporarily redistributed to address issues in the critical path without disturbing the entire project schedule.