The graphical path method (GPM) scheduling algorithm governs the behavior of activities and events in a network-based schedule. Like the critical path method (CPM), GPM calculates total float and identifies the critical path for a network of activities, but it includes several major innovations that make GPM-based schedules more flexible, realistic, and better suited for collaborative planning.
NetPoint, the first software representation of GPM, is an interactive project management application whose graphical, time-scaled canvas allows users to plan and schedule a project visually and collaboratively. NetPoint’s interactive, intuitive nature makes it an excellent tool for facilitating multiple-user collaborative planning and scheduling sessions.
Because CPM-driven software is not sufficiently responsive to facilitate dynamic interaction, collaborative project planning is often facilitated with analog methods, such as with well-known ‘sticky notes.’ This practice duplicates effort because initial team planning must then be translated by a scheduler into a CPM-driven scheduling application. Often, much of the work and mutual understanding created in the planning session gets lost in translation since many CPM schedules are understood only by accomplished CPM practitioners.
PMA leverages the power of GPM and NetPoint to facilitate collaborative planning in an entirely different way. NetPoint’s highly visual nature allows project teams to plan and schedule a project together in real-time without duplicating effort; the outcome is a mutually-agreed-upon project plan. Because of the visual way that NetPoint presents the resulting schedule, it can be clearly understood by the entire project team and effectively communicated to other stakeholders.
PMA staff are experts in the use of GPM and NetPoint as well as in the art of workshop facilitation; we put these skills to use when planning complex projects. Examples of positive application on large construction projects have included:
- Senior leader, high-level program scheduling
- Commissioning schedules
- Owner move-in schedules
- Issue resolution schedules
- Master (full-wall scheduling) schedules
- Subconsultant coordination schedules
- Forensic total float analysis
NetRisk Risk Analysis
NetRisk, an all new add-on for NetPoint, brings the interactive and collaborative power of GPM to the practice of risk management. Combined with a NetPoint schedule, PMA’s expert facilitators will help you get the most out of a NetRisk analysis by identifying key risks, planning response strategies, and developing appropriate allowances and contingencies.