PMA’s Gui Ponce de Leon presents on how the Graphical Path Method is assisting planners and schedulers in overcoming CPM’s contribution to project delays. The presentation was held at the University of Michigan’s CEE 830 Construction Professional Practice seminar for graduate students and faculty.

Overcoming the Scheduling Conundrum

Critical path method (CPM) schedules aside, projects finish late. Schedulers have identified a conundrum: they know that effective scheduling makes a significant difference to project success and what effective scheduling looks like; nevertheless, the schedule is ignored, bad scheduling practice is the norm, and most projects finish late. Prevalent contributors to late projects have been found to include underestimating durations and favoring judgement over statistics from prior projects (planning fallacy), seeing the future in rosy terms (optimism bias), not integrating responsible stakeholders with superior planning knowledge (coordination neglect), underassessing schedule risk (CPM algorithmic optimism bias), and developing unreliable and overly detailed CPM schedules without the benefit of stakeholders’ input (inferior knowledge). This keynote illustrates how the graphical path method of planning and scheduling is assisting schedulers in overcoming CPM’s contribution to the scheduling conundrum.

Presented by: Gui Ponce de Leon, PhD, PE, PMP
Dr. Gui started his career in 1969 facilitating scheduling sessions on a drawing board with Townsend & Bottum project managers and superintendents. He has served as contractor chief scheduler, program manager, construction manager, forensic scheduler, and expert witness, and he has pioneered innovations in project management throughout his 50-year career. He holds four US patents and has numerous patents pending on his graphical path method. Dr. Gui pursued MS studies at Vanderbilt University in 1966-1967 and obtained his PhD in civil engineering from Michigan in 1972. From 1973-1989, Dr. Gui taught two graduate courses in network-based project scheduling in the College of Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, at Michigan.