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What is CPM Schedule?

In order to understand what a CPM schedule is, an examination of its component parts is fundamental. Thus, in addition to being presented a broad or global definition of this project management tool, an explanation of the component elements of a CPM schedule is necessary, which are:

  • Individual tasks
  • Earliest start date
  • Latest start date
  • Earlier finish date
  • Latest finish date
  • Crash duration
  • Identification of task dependencies
  • List of project milestones

Global Definition of CPM Schedule

At its essence, a CPM schedule (or critical path method schedule) is a project management timetable, typically presented in graphic form. A CPM schedule illustrates the specific individual tasks that comprise an overall project. It delineates the least amount of time that is necessary to satisfy the requirements of each task. The critical path itself really equates with the longest amount of time it is estimated to take to complete all individual tasks, and hence the project as a whole.

Individual Tasks

At the heart of a CPM schedule is a delineation of each of the individual tasks that must be addressed in order to ultimately complete the project in its entirety and in a timely manner. The individually enumerated tasks associated with the project, are examined utilizing the other CPM schedule components to obtain a clear image of a project’s actual schedule.

Earliest Start Date

The earliest start date, a key component of a CPM schedule, doesn’t refer to the earliest start date of the project as a whole, but rather the earliest start date of each individual project task. Thus, while earliest start date does relate to an individual task, the first earliest start date assigned to the initial task be default does become the start date of the project. As an aside, later task earliest (as well all latest) start dates are related to interconnected dependencies, which are part of a CPM schedule and will be discussed momentarily.

Latest Start Date

In considering what is a CPM schedule, another vital component is the latest start date for each task. The terminology “latest start date” must be taken at face value and does mean the latest possible moment a particular task can be started in order to complete in a manner timely enough so as not to upend the overall CPM schedule itself.

Earliest Finish Date

The earliest task finish date is another primary component of a CPM schedule. It is contingent upon a consideration of the earliest and latest start date potentialities, as well as dependencies associated with a specific task.

Latest Finish Date

The latest task finish date takes into consideration the basic CPM schedule factors enumerated a moment ago in associated with the earliest task completion date. However, the latest task finish date necessarily also factors in issues t hat might result in an initial task start delay as well as issues associated with task dependencies that might delay task completion.

Crash Duration

Crash duration is an overarching consideration associated with individual tasks in a CPM schedule. Crash duration is the absolute shortest period of time necessary to appropriately complete a project task. If, for some reason, this minimum amount of time becomes unavailable, an analysis of the CPM schedule necessitates a consideration task time, cost, and quality of final task result.

Identification of Task Dependencies

A crucial component of a CPM schedule is the identification of task dependencies. This is a clear delineation of the interrelationship between tasks, dependencies which impact the start dates of project tasks and serve as indicators of potential project points that might cause delays.

List of Project Milestones

Finally, a CPM schedule comes complete with project milestones. At there essential elements, project elements are a grouping of related tasks coupled with an estimated date by which they will all be completed.

HSE Insurance Certifications | construction scheduling Consultants

HSE Contractors is insured by the following professional liability policies, up to $4,000,000 for our clients’ protection:
General Liability.
Workers Comp

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