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March 14, 2024 - 5:56pm

How connected scheduling will reshape how you deliver projects

The evolution of project scheduling

Critical path method, or CPM, scheduling has been at the core of construction projects for decades.

What started as a simple analog process, which consisted more or less of gathering a group of individuals around a planning room board to assemble activities and milestones, has evolved into a comprehensive digital process that can incorporate a host of previously unconnected areas of project execution.

But this change didn’t happen overnight. Project teams slowly traded analog planning boards for mainframe computers and punch cards—and eventually moved to servers and desktop/laptop computers. Throughout those transitions, CPM scheduling accelerated exponentially by off-loading the math of calculating these activity networks to increasingly powerful (and fast) tools. But desktops and laptops aren’t for everyone. Field teams continued to point out that there was a challenging disconnect between the office and the jobsite.

So what did the jobsite community do next? They went back to basics; they went analog. They returned to the planning board, this time with a focus on taking the CPM contract schedule activities and breaking them down into detailed tasks needed to manage daily production. This is where many remain today, straddling the analog/digital fence—or even if fully digital, operating a still structurally disconnected CPM and task management solution.

As we’ll explore in the eBook, technology advancements in cloud computing and mobile technology have enabled contract scheduling teams and field teams to unify CPM scheduling and task management scheduling, eliminating historical disconnects. But the opportunities to leverage scheduling to improve project outcomes don’t end there.

With the right tools and approach, teams can connect project scheduling with the management of work packages―groups of related engineering and construction documents―to improve visibility, coordination, and control across project teams. In addition, they can start to better connect scheduling and risk management to help ensure projects are completed on time and on budget. And with AI and machine learning, project teams now can tap into predictive intelligence that dynamically analyzes schedule data throughout a project to help teams flag and address likely project risks before they turn into costly showstoppers.

In all of these new, connected approaches, the good old CPM contract schedule remains at the center of the project execution framework. In this ebook, you’ll learn more about how each of these connections helps construction project teams work smarter and more efficiently to keep projects moving forward to on-time, on-budget completion. Or, to put it another way, help your teams and projects move from rework to clockwork.

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