Updated: Apr 1, 2021
CPM is a requirement for most construction projects. That's fine! We can make that work... If... you start your plan with a Takt plan and create flow.
When projects are created in CPM flow is not naturally created in the system. The picture below shows an analysis of a project created in CPM.
You may notice some of the activity colors have flow, and others stack, and others actually go backward. This is a common finding when doing a flow analysis on CPM schedules across the country. This is why projects crash land, crew counts increase, material inventory becomes unmanageable, and we do not have flow. The only way to fix this is to structure a schedule with flow. The graphic below shows this effort based on the example above.
What do you see? You see a better flow, you see there is a need for separate crews in the second area, and you see the path to completion. This approach will finish the project on time. Once this analysis is done, it is time to format this into a Takt plan for the project to follow:
Now we have a plan the entire project can follow. But! And this is the inspired part... All of this would have been easier if we would have started with Takt, and then built a CPM schedule from it if the Owner requires it.
Our plea is to please start with Takt planning. Please design flow into your system. Please set yourself up for success. If you start with Takt planning, you will have a more correct overall project duration, a steady flow, reduced chances of a crash landing at the end, and reduced crew counts, material inventory, and costs. This is what winning looks like!