CPM Schedule Development:

Developing a CPM schedule starts with identifying critical project requirements and establishing key milestones.  Once key milestones are established, a level I CPM schedule can be built. The level I CPM schedule depicts work flow and rough sequencing, and opens communication for developing a CPM schedule with a higher level of detail.  Development from a level I CPM schedule to a workable level III or IV baseline CPM schedule requires participation from everyone involved with the project.  Once the baseline CPM schedule is established and all parties agree on the CPM schedule, the baseline CPM schedule becomes the project’s point of reference with regards to time and sequence of activities.

Periodic CPM Schedule Updates:

Once the baseline CPM schedule is complete, periodic CPM schedule updates take place to gauge progress, changes, delays and other pertinent project information.  As the CPM schedule is updated, the updates are compared to the baseline CPM schedule to monitor project progress. As the project progresses, modifications to the updated CPM schedule are made to ensure that the duration of the plan does not affect key project milestone and completion dates.

Level of CPM Schedule Detail:

Level I:
Schedule contains key milestone completion dates and overall sequencing.  Level I schedules are often used for presentation, preconstruction and bidding.

Level II:
Schedule contains critical project activities and rough sequencing.  Level II schedules are often used to set overall sequencing and facilitate development of a higher level of detail.  Level II schedules are also used as an executive level reporting tool.

Level III:
Schedule contains detailed activity descriptions and network logic.  Schedules can be used by project managers, superintendents and subcontractors to manage projects.   Schedules developed to this level are detailed enough to be cost and/or resource loaded and can be set up to track schedule and cost performance index.  Level III schedules typically satisfy most contractual scheduling obligations and in most cases are sufficient tools to effectively manage a project.

Level IV:
Schedule contains all of the detail and functionality of a level III schedule but is developed to a higher level of detail.  The detail in a level IV schedule can be used in the field at a project foreman level.  Schedules developed to this level of detail are often used to track labor hours and material quantities.  These schedules typically require a longer development period and are more labor intensive to update and manage.