The graphical path method (GPM) is a scheduling algorithm that 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 which make GPM-based schedules more flexible, realistic, and better suited for collaborative planning.
For instance, how often do schedules actually proceed according to their early dates? With GPM, activities can be scheduled anywhere between their early and late dates, without imposing a constraint that subsequently reduces total float.
GPM was created in response to the demand for a more interactive and collaborative planning and scheduling tool that would also produce a more mutually-understandable and communicable network diagram. After considering the rules of CPM, it was determined that a new paradigm would be needed to enable the behavior envisioned. In 2004, Dr. Gui Ponce de Leon, CEO & Managing Principal of PMA, developed a new set of equations based on his PhD thesis work at the University of Michigan, laying the foundation for what would become the GPM algorithm.
GPM has introduced several new concepts to the world of scheduling and has established a whole new paradigm for collaborative planning.
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