Advantages and Disadvantages of CPM (Critical Path Method)


Planning Techniques Used in Construction

In construction world especially for site person, planning technique play very important role which will determine achievement for particular project. Several planning technique is very familiar to us such as Bar Chart, Line of Balance, Time Grid Diagram, and Network Techniques which can categorized into several technique ie CPM (Critical Path Method), Precedence Diagram, and PERT (Programme Evaluation & Review Technique).
Advantages and Disadvantages of CPM Critical Path Method
For sure there is so much technique to learn, but today we will discuss more on CPM (Critical Path Method). What is CPM (Critical Path Method) ? What do you know about CPM (Critical Path Method) ?

What is CPM (Critical Path Method) 

CPM (Critical Path Method) is a project scheduling method where activities are arranged based on interrelationships and the longest time path through the network. CPM (Critical Path Method) developed in the late 1950s by Morgan R. Walker of DuPont and James E. Kelley Jr. of Remington Rand. The basic technique for using Critical Path Method is to construct a model of the project that includes the following ;

1) A list of all activities required to complete the project (typically categorized within a work breakdown structure),
2) The time (duration) that each activity will take to complete,
3) The dependencies between the activities and,
4) Logical end points such as milestones or deliverable items.
Planning Techniques Used in Construction
Advantages of CPM (Critical Path Method)

a) Reduce the risk of overlooking essential task and provides a blueprint for long-range planning and coordination of the project.
b) Identify critical tasks
c) Easier to plan, schedule and control project
d) Determine the resource required
e) Improve productivity
f) The CPM makes it easier for the project managers to build a team and create human network for efficient handling of a multitasked project.
g) The CPM binds the entire team together and motivates the human resources in timely completion of the tasks in a project.
h) The CPM takes into consideration the requirements well in advance to complete a project in the most efficient way possible.
i) With help of the CMP the project managers can determine the duration and estimate exact time and cost of the project. It helps to monitor human resources, and the direct and indirect costs associated with the project.
j) The CPM assists the project managers in planning schedules, monitoring tasks, and helps control the project expenses.
k) The CPM also makes it convenient for the project managers to calculate the time required to complete the tasks of the project. That helps them to predict completion date of every phase, anticipate problems along the way, if any, and react accordingly.
l) Charting in a CPM makes it easier to evaluate parallel activities, handle delays and judge the outcome of a task.
m) It enables the managers to minimize the project length by monitoring the critical path.
n) The CPM chart clearly identifies critical path/s of the project, which assists the managers in decision making to address the issue quickly. It also enables the project head to determine if the task is on schedule or needs boost to accelerate the process.
o) The charting in a CPM also enables the managers to determine start time, end time, slack time and float time associated with each activity of the project.

Disadvantages of CPM (Critical Path Method)

a) Difficult to understand for beginner.
b) Computer software can be used but expensive.
c) In a big project, a CPM can become extremely complicated and difficult to fathom for the new recruits to the project team.
d) If the project is far too bulky and lengthy, the CPM requires software to monitor the plan.
e) CPM can become ineffective and difficult to manage if it is not well-defined and stable.
f) It cannot effectively handle sudden changes in the implementation of the plan on ground. It is very difficult to redraw the entire CPM chart if the plan of the project suddenly changes midway.
g) The CPM cannot form and control the schedules of the persons involved in the project.
h) The allocation of resources cannot be properly monitored.
i) The critical path of the CPM of a big project is not always clear. The project managers have to spend a lot of time to calculate it carefully.
j) The CPM takes longer to identity and to monitor the critical path when the project is of big dimension.
k) Using CPM, identifying and determining a critical path is difficult when there are many other similar duration paths in the project.
l) At times, to design a CPM is time consuming. It is also difficult to estimate the activity completion time in a multidimensional project.

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