CPM Mechanics is the first volume of the ICS-Compendium* — and for a very good reason. Construction Project Time Management squarely depends on one’s understanding of the basics of the Critical Path Method at its functional core.
The singular goal of CPM Mechanics is to fully explain every aspect of how the Critical Path Method works “under the hood.” [Note: Left for another ICS-Compendium text (Volume 3) is how to apply the CPM technology discussed in this volume — i.e., how to design, develop, maintain, and effectively use the Project Schedule.
Arguably the best project management book on the Critical Path Method, the principle objective of CPM Mechanics is to teach the underlying science behind the Critical Path Method. While the subject matter may seem a bit dry and technical, its full understanding is essential to any subsequent usage of the information derived from a network-based schedule. Such usage would include Critical Path Method (CPM) Analysis, delay analysis, Earned Value’s Schedule Performance Index (SPI) or Schedule Variance (SV), CPM’s Total Float and Free Float, and so forth.
So before you tackle the question, “What is CPM scheduling?” make sure you can fully answer this question: “What is the Critical Path Method and how does it work?”