Testimonials about Faster Construction Projects with CPM Scheduling

“Faster Construction Projects with CPM Scheduling” was the first book written by Murray Woolf. Published by McGraw-Hill Publications in 2006, this literary work shook the very foundations of traditional Construction Project Management by daring to boldly challenging deeply-held beliefs that, under closer scrutiny, simply did not hold up. Catapulted by this book into the global limelight, Murray was invited to deliver the Keynote Address at the 2006 Annual Conference of the College of Scheduling arm of the Project Management Institute.  Here are just some of the many accolades given about this ground-breaking work.

 

Murray’s book, “Faster Construction Projects with CPM Scheduling,” is in my opinion “the real thing.” I expect his readers to revisit this book many times as they become more experienced; it will be a useful reference. His analysis of Total Float and Free Float was outstanding!! He postulated several conclusions that I had never even considered.

I find that his book is full of ideas and concepts that are interesting and refreshing to me, a 44-year scheduler veteran, and I would suggest that it is an equally good set of guidelines for the “rookies.” It is also a must read for project owners, project directors, and project managers. This text is an excellent stand-alone book, with a promise of good things to follow. It offers so much that it is worth reading once lightly, and then again with a notepad in hand. Enjoy the journey!

James J. O’Brien, Considered by many to be “The Father of Modern Scheduling”

Author , “CPM in Construction Management”

Murray’s book, “Faster Construction Projects with CPM Scheduling,” is a seminal work which will shape this industry for generations to come.

Keith Pickavance, Senior Vice President, Hill International

Just two weeks ago I was asked to recommend a quality book on scheduling practices. I suggested Murray’s “Faster Construction Projects with CPM Scheduling,” even though the requestor doesn’t work in construction. It’s the book I turn to when I want to know the “right” way to assemble and manage a schedule as well as the reasoning behind that practice. It also provides a candid look at the weaknesses of our current processes and recommendations for an improved path forward.

David Kaiser, President, Schedule Associates

I was glad to see [Murray’s book] in print. Many people monitor a schedule strictly by float and don’t understand that there is so much more involved in the analysis of a schedule that just looking at float or even earned value. I would recommend this book to all of the classes that I teach.

Jeff Huneycutt, Planning/Scheduling Director, US Army Corps of Engineers

This is by far the most interesting and comprehensive book I’ve ever read on project scheduling. The concept of Momentology is much more viable than Critical Chain and should really deserve more attention. Although not for the novice scheduler, I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in CPM.
N. Zonneveld
Impressive! Hope and wisdom for Scheduling. This book was way better than I anticipated. After 20 years of construction scheduling experience I looked around for a wider perspective and picked this book. This is, as the author agrees, two books in one – a scheduling practice book and the laying out of a vision to save the scheduling “profession.” He did both “books” admirably except that the second book is incomplete. After designing a whole new way to use and analyze schedules (the awkwardly worded “Momentum science”) in a way that got me excited, he reveals that he plans to do two more volumes to finish out this first book. That was a disappointment, but in reading further I was still really satisfied with the amount of useful and wise insights to chew on. Usually, a scheduling book is something that one looks at once or twice or leaves on a reference shelf to collect dust. With this book I was shocked that I read and enjoyed the whole thing.
Let me start over. The author is not just writing a book or even the first of three books; he is so frustrated with the state of scheduling (me too!) that he wants to completely reform how it is practiced. Apparently, he is also starting a scheduling college. This book could easily double as a textbook for that college-in-formation. As such it is written in extreme clarity and always back and forth from real project needs to decisions about how to schedule or track schedules.
What did I find so valuable? He starts with a clear critique of today’s practices to the point where schedules are being ignored. He begins again with the primary goal of scheduling – time management. He highlights the two different construction cultures – control versus collaborative where schedules must be much more people-focused. He gives the outline of the Momentum piece which appears to be (I need the next 2 volumes!), sort of like trending on the cost side. One half-joking example that he puts in here speaks of how a project schedule of 2 years duration that loses 2 days for 3 months in a row would show a negative float of 6 days to therefore predict, from the software alone, that the finish would be 6 days behind schedule. And of course, silly as it is, this points to a trap in thinking that can put total float ahead of some trending metric.
Most of the book is about scheduling practices. He manages to make things like activity durations or relationship durations (lags) very interesting. He covers a variety of situations, practices, software settings, etc. always with the clear objective of building a better scheduling practice. In fact he also spends a good bit of energy saying what should not be included or done in schedules always with a reasoning of the pros and cons to the overall objective of better scheduling practices. So, the book is not a simple how-to (in fact he almost never mentions any software since he intends his practices to be good for any software); it assumes that one knows the basics and wants to review them in light of making better schedules and having schedules succeed in the project management world.
He comes across as old school and part of the first generation of construction schedulers. But his respect for what scheduling could be seems to have given him the energy to imagine a rather brave new world of scheduling. It is a vision where schedule usefulness would rise over its being ignored or used for arguments. His focus and faith are admirable. The book gave me a big dose of faith and focus around all the little things I see and do as a scheduler – i.e., I got to go over the little things always with an eye to how they folded into the bigger picture. He most often presented many sides of an argument especially the varying circumstances while giving his always strong conviction of the way to handle something. This determined and optimistic vision is both written as a call to arms to other schedulers as well as a passing of the torch to the next generation.
And if his momentum view takes hold, the future will be very different. Impressive.
Jake Keenan