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# Graphical Planning Method® - page 5 / 11

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Common Steps Followed when Scheduling a Project

Common to CPM Practice

GPM

Scoping the project – what makes up the completed project

BATCH 1

PLANNING

PLANNING

(ONE-STEP FLOW)

Scoping the approach to the project, phases and milestones

Scoping the phases into activities that have to be performed

Sequencing the activities, that is, how do they interconnect

Calculating activity earliest dates (when can be performed)

BATCH 2

SCHEDULING

(STILL PLANNING FOR SOME)

Calculating activity latest dates (when must be performed)

Determining activity total floats (first come, first served)

Re-working durations and sequences until acceptable

BATCH 3

SCHEDULING

Establishing realistic early dates that level the work force

BATCH 4

SCHEDULING

Having to rework software-determined realistic dates

BATCH 5

SCHEDULING

N/A

Searching for an optimal plan in light of time dependent costs

BATCH 6

SCHEDULING

Working the plan, i.e., proceeding to look-ahead scheduling

BATCH 7

SCHEDULING

SCHEDULING

Batched CPM Practice v Non-batched GPM Protocol

Simultaneity of activity definition and sequencing, planned dates determination and float calculation means that GPM planning is never batched before scheduling begins; planning runs coterminous with scheduling.  Determination of planned dates reverts to a user-driven, planning function.  Thus, it is posited that GPM is a planning-dominated scheme of thought, the result of which is a perfected, optimized network schedule, including realistic dates and floats.  This is a departure from the current planning and scheduling paradigm as echoed by AACE International [7] and others.

# Planning on the Calendar v. Schematically

In GPM, planned start/finish dates flow naturally when activities are assigned durations and sequenced on the time-scaled calendar, obsolescing forward pass calculations.  Knowing planned dates as activities are being sequenced allows for re-planning to flow spontaneously.  This is not possible in the realm of schematic activity definition and sequencing that takes place in the abstract.

With the calendar in full view, planning, at any time, can move on to a completely unrelated set of activities, logic and milestones, and then eventually resume on prior activities.  In situations where