After researching on the internet for project planning, you must have familiarized yourself with the terms such as PERT, CPM and CCPM. However, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that these terms are referring to some of the oldest techniques that have been in use for project planning for decades. There is a new technique called the 4D BIM, where BIM stands for building information modeling, and is widely in use these days in the construction industry. You can even find consultants and professionals helping companies and project managers in keeping updated with the modern use of this technology.
Of course, CPM has its own benefits but we should not forget about its limitation as well. It is correct to say that small projects can still benefit from the critical path method without even going towards the 4D modeling but when it comes to complex tasks and constructions, it has become inevitable to use the 4D modeling. While you were simply working on some nodes and arrows with the CPM, you now have information about your project available in the graphical or image form. The example of CPM and 4D BIM planning could be easily given with the help of a radio and TV: where the former refers to CPM and latter could be associated with TV.
The base of the 4D BIM planning is simply a 3D CAD component. But when you say a 4D planning, you are including the idea of CPM schedule in it and time is serving as the 4th dimension in the representation. It is no myth and the reality is, many modern projects have already benefitted from this latest technology in completing many construction projects. The great thing about this type of planning is that almost anyone involved in the construction project could benefit from it. It is easy to read and gives information as soon as you look at it as opposed to the conventional CPM schedule.
When you are looking at the CPM schedule, you only have a chart in front of you and all you can do is know the activities that are involved in the project. The activities could be interrelated or independent but at the end of the day, you are not able to get the image of where your building project is standing at any time with the conventional CPM schedule. However, the new and latest 4D BIM planning has changed the way constructors, contractors and project managers used to look at the construction projects. You can now look at a 4D model which is an exact representation of the building you are working on.
You can look at the building from almost any angle you could think of but in addition to that, the availability of CPM schedule with the project makes you even more equipped with the decision making power. You are now in even more control of your human resources than ever before and if you have any of the area of your project not going as fast as you expected them to, you can relocate your resources to expedite the process in a particular direction. The availability of CPM schedule side by side ensures that you are only exploiting and using your resources on the activities that play the most important part in your project.
As you already know, the 4D modeling is even more advanced than the old 3D representation where you could only look at the building in a virtual environment and that was it. Today, not only are you able to look at the status of the building in a 3D environment but the 4th dimension has also been added in the form of your CPM schedule which keeps giving you a constant insight into the activities of your project. If at any time you think that some interdependent activities are delaying your project, you could improvise and work with resources to meet the timeline.