Building a project plan is easy, right? Just establish a timeline in a piece of software, generate the PDF of the Gantt chart and throw it over the fence to the team for execution. If only it was that simple …
First, you need someone who understands both planning and scheduling. Planning and scheduling? Aren’t the two the same thing? Actually, no, they are very different. A scheduler is someone who understands the science of critical path method (CPM). A scheduler knows how to drive a CPM scheduling tool and understands which building blocks to use when developing a CPM schedule. A planner is someone who has inherent knowledge about how to execute a project and is able to articulate how much time, in which order or sequence and how much money it takes to execute a project. Finding someone with sufficient expertise in both is a real challenge.
Expertise Needed to Build a CPM Schedule
More than just the financial investment in the CPM scheduling software itself, there is an expensive expertise factor required to properly drive an enterprise CPM tool. You can’t learn how to build a CPM schedule in an afternoon or just by reading CPM for Dummies. Unfortunately, this CPM knowledge is diminishing today, as those carrying the decades of CPM experience are retiring from the workforce and not being replaced by incoming apprentices.