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Graphical Planning Method®

Dr. Gui Ponce de Leon, PE, PMP, LEED AP

PMA Consultants LLC

Keywords:  Active Planning Surface, Logic Diagramming Method, LDM, GPM, Objectbase, Collaboration


The Graphical Planning Method (GPM®) transforms conventional Critical Path Method (CPM) planning and scheduling by making it an engaging, interactive, real-time process that results in a hands-on, planning-dominated experience for stakeholders.  GPM allows project managers, superintendents, key subcontractors and other stakeholders to collaboratively, in one session, network a project by graphically positioning activities on an “active planning surface,” using a variety of simple and intuitive logic ties to convey activity relationships.  GPM allows forward and backward planning, while, through its network graph algorithms, continuously refreshing floats.  This results in creation of a network schedule in the shortest possible time.  GPM allows floats to be realistically apportioned so delays to early activities do not consume floats available for downstream activities.  If resources are associated with activities, GPM continuously displays the evolving resource profiles.  Combining precedence and arrow diagramming into a new diagramming paradigm, GPM emphasizes the planning process for stakeholders charged with delivering the project but who are not professional schedulers [1].

GPM serves to interactively illustrate what impact activity-sequence variability has on overall project schedule performance.  As a decision support tool, GPM depicts in real time how the project should be sequenced in light of means and methods, phasing, milestones and other such constraints.  GPM fundamentally alters CPM practice by allowing evolving dates, floats, resource limits, crash-cost curves and risk to impact activity definition and logic.  GPM is an apt preceding step to look-ahead scheduling and other techniques promoted for work-flow planning.

© 2009 CMAA1

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