Let’s start with three undisputable observations:
- A Project Schedule depicts a Project Execution Strategy that has been created and adopted by the Project Execution Team.
- A statused Project Schedule reflects progressive achievement of that Strategy.
- A Project Schedule built on the Critical Path Method provides dynamic functionality simply not achievable through less robust, more limited scheduling methods such as Listings, Timetables, and Bar Charts.
The Critical Path Method is comprised of arithmetic formulas (aka CPM formula), a discrete symbolic language, a unique lexicon, and proven techniques for schedule logic construction. Together, a Project Execution Model comes alive under the Critical Path Method. The Schedule “breathes” as it expands and contracts in response to actualized information injected into the Schedule.
At the core of the CPM network diagram are basic elements: activities, durations, logic, constraints, calendars, resource and productivity assumptions, software settings, and an amalgam of other variables that combine to give CPM its dynamic attribute. All of these elements, and much more, are covered in extreme detail in CPM Mechanics.