What is CPM Scheduling Software
CPM scheduling software is a tool used in project management to create and manage project schedules. The Critical Path Method (CPM) is designed to help project managers plan and execute projects efficiently by identifying the most critical tasks and their dependencies, and then scheduling them accordingly.
CPM scheduling software uses algorithms to create a detailed project schedule, based on inputs such as task duration, resource availability, and task dependencies. The software also tracks progress and alerts the project manager if any task is behind schedule, which enables the manager to take corrective actions to get the project back on track.
CPM scheduling software is especially useful in large, complex projects with many interdependent tasks. It provides a visual representation of the project schedule, which makes it easier to communicate with stakeholders and team members. The software also helps project managers optimize resource allocation, reduce project duration, and manage risk by identifying potential bottlenecks and delays.
Examples of CPM scheduling software include Microsoft Project, Primavera P6, and Smartsheet. Here are 10 CPM Scheduling Software applications:
CPM Scheduling Software Applications
- Microsoft Project – One of the most popular project management tools for creating and managing schedules.
- Primavera P6 – An enterprise-level project management tool that is widely used in the construction industry.
- Smartsheet – A cloud-based project management tool that includes Gantt charts, automated workflows, and collaboration features.
- ProjectLibre – An open-source project management tool that is compatible with Microsoft Project.
- Asana – A project management tool that includes a timeline feature for visualizing project schedules.
- Trello – A popular project management tool that uses boards and cards to track tasks and projects.
- Wrike – A project management tool that includes Gantt charts and a customizable dashboard.
- Zoho Projects – A cloud-based project management tool that includes Gantt charts, task dependencies, and collaboration features.
- LiquidPlanner – A project management tool that uses predictive scheduling to forecast project completion dates.
- Planview – A comprehensive project management tool that includes Gantt charts, resource management, and project portfolio management features.
How Does CPM Scheduling Work?
Here are the basic steps involved in creating a CPM schedule:
- Define the project scope: The first step in creating a CPM schedule is to define the project scope, which includes identifying the project objectives, deliverables, and requirements.
- Identify the project activities: The next step is to identify all of the activities required to complete the project, and break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
- Determine task dependencies: Once all of the tasks have been identified, the next step is to determine the dependencies between the tasks. This involves identifying which tasks must be completed before others can begin.
- Estimate task durations: Once the dependencies have been determined, the next step is to estimate how long each task will take to complete.
- Create a network diagram: Using the information gathered in the previous steps, create a network diagram that illustrates the sequence of activities, their dependencies, and their estimated durations.
- Determine the critical path: The critical path is the sequence of activities that must be completed in order to finish the project on time. It is determined by identifying the longest sequence of tasks that have no slack or float time, meaning that any delay in these tasks will delay the entire project.
- Calculate project duration: Once the critical path has been identified, it is possible to calculate the project duration by adding up the duration of all tasks on the critical path.
- Monitor progress: Finally, the CPM schedule must be monitored regularly to ensure that the project is on track, and corrective actions must be taken if any tasks fall behind schedule.
By following these steps, project managers can create a CPM schedule that helps them complete their projects on time and within budget.
Projects that have used CPM Scheduling Techniques
- The construction of the Hoover Dam: The Hoover Dam, one of the largest dams in the world, was built in the 1930s using CPM scheduling. The project involved numerous tasks, including excavation, concrete pouring, and electrical work, and the CPM schedule helped to ensure that all tasks were completed on time.
- The development of the Boeing 747: The development of the Boeing 747, one of the most iconic commercial aircraft in history, was also managed using CPM scheduling. The project involved a large number of tasks, including design, prototyping, testing, and certification, and the CPM schedule helped to ensure that the project was completed on time and within budget.
- The construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline: The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, a major oil pipeline in Alaska, was built in the 1970s using CPM scheduling. The project involved the construction of over 800 miles of pipeline, as well as numerous support facilities, and the CPM schedule helped to ensure that the project was completed on schedule.
- The construction of the Burj Khalifa: The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, was built in Dubai using CPM scheduling. The project involved a large number of complex tasks, including the construction of the building’s foundation, the installation of elevators, and the installation of exterior cladding, and the CPM schedule helped to ensure that all tasks were completed on time.
- The NASA Space Shuttle program: The NASA Space Shuttle program, which ran from the 1970s to the 2010s, also used CPM scheduling to manage its complex projects. The program involved numerous tasks, including the design and construction of the space shuttle, the development of the shuttle’s launch and landing systems, and the planning and execution of space missions, and the CPM schedule helped to ensure that all tasks were completed on time and within budget.
CPM Scheduling Software – Additional Resources
- PMBOK Guide – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
- PRINCE2 Project Management – PRINCE2 helps to successfully deliver projects of any size or complexity.
- PMI Standards Updates – standards that reflect the most up-to-date practices in the professions of project, program and portfolio management.