In modern construction projects the schedules are made using various available software. There are software that can be used not only to produce reliable schedules but also to perform various other tasks such as; resource management, project monitoring … etc.
Critical path methodology (CPM) is a technique available with most of the software and is being used by large and complex projects for time management and by many other projects for determining time extension claims. Of all techniques available, CPM has proven to be the most useful and effective means of developing and displaying project progress.
In every software, each work activity is assigned a duration, start date, and end date, and is sequenced to follow and precede another activity. This sequence of events becomes a construction path. Generally, there are multiple paths created and many can occur simultaneously with and independently of one another. But there is only one continuous path that occurs from the beginning of the project to the end without a single float (an activity duration which has some flexible time slot); that path is considered the “critical path.” Delays in non-critical work activity paths will generally not delay the overall project; however, delays to the critical path will. Planning and scheduling project activities with CPM software creates a logic diagram or network that can be displayed graphically.
In a successful construction project, the schedule becomes the project roadmap that all parties can review to determine when their respective work is sequenced. This allows parties to plan accordingly and ensure that they have the required materials, labor, and equipment available to perform their respective work. The schedule also informs construction parties what work precedes, follows, and occurs simultaneously with their work. This will allow each party to plan its work at the project site so that it will not interfere with other parties’ work. Further, the schedule allows the owner, architect, engineer, and contractor to plan decisions or approvals on certain project items or deliverables.