The Untapped Value of your CPM Schedule

At CPM|axis, we feel that the critical path method (CPM) schedule that is central to all large construction projects is undervalued, and we intend to change that. We think it’s a shame to put all that work into creating and maintaining a CPM schedule, and then ignore it when it comes to the nitty-gritty details of executing the project.

Think about it…

  • The CPM schedule is the one information source that everybody involved in the project will come into contact with
  • Billing and invoicing are driven by the CPM schedule
  • Claims analysis centers on the CPM schedule
  • A well-maintained CPM schedule is the history of the project

And yet

  • Most of the real planning on a large construction job is done (and lost) in spreadsheets
  • Issues that come up in real-time are recorded and tracked in separate systems
  • Processes throughout the organization are driven by the CPM schedule, yet very few people actually interact with it

The Schedule-Centric Approach Unlocks the Value

There are many good reasons why the CPM schedule is so neglected. We know why General Eisenhower famously said that plans are worthless. And we know why he also said that planning is everything. So we set out to tackle the reasons that the CPM schedule has so little practical value, and turn it into a dynamic platform for continuous long-range and short-range planning, information sharing, and capturing all of the results as they happen in real-time.

Of course, we have a few advantages that General Eisenhower did not have. A tool such as CPM|axis was not really feasible even 5 years ago. We had to leverage the work of tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Oracle. But we also had to get real about the CPM schedule.

You know that it’s not really practical to plan every detail within the CPM schedule, but we leverage it to create a framework that you can build your detailed weekly and daily plans on. We had to invent new ways of planning that allow you to work the way things actually happen in the real and unpredictable world of construction, and new ways of capturing information and relating it all back to the CPM schedule. The result is CPM|axis, the schedule-centric system that everybody involved in planning or other managerial tasks at any level can quickly understand and use.

Something for Everybody

CPM|axis has something for everybody involved in the project:

  • Schedulers appreciate having the whole team contribute their schedule updates in real time, making the job of updating the schedule of record a matter of minutes, not hours
  • Superintendents are able to assign tasks and track what’s actually happening in the field
  • Foremen have their assignments at their fingertips, and are able to track and record actual field activities and conditions
  • Field engineers are able to track unforeseen conditions, RFI’s, workarounds, as-built conditions, etc.
  • Field workers at all levels appreciate being able to create short-term plans that reference the CPM schedule but are not rigidly bound by it, and having access to every other plan that might affect their own
  • Owners and senior managers appreciate having Lookaheads and Narratives that actually correspond to the Schedule of Record
  • Program managers are able to see the status of whole programs at a glance in convenient dashboards
  • AR/AP managers will appreciate the ease with which CPM|axis integrates schedule data with external billing systems
  • Forensic claims analysts will appreciate the ease with which they can reconstruct the history of any aspect of the project, including every little detail that adds up to real money
  • Everybody will appreciate the increase transparency and ease of communication of a common platform, organized by a common thread that they all understand– the CPM schedule.