When the contractor (prime or sub) or the construction manager is involved in the process of setting up the anticipated progress schedule for all of the labor and materials that will go into the construction of the project, they will commonly deploy the critical path method for scheduling the progress of the work.
Most commonly, the method used for setting up and tracking the progress of the work is the use of a "Gantt" or "Bar" chart. State-of-the-art computer programs are available such as Primavera™ Professional Project Management Software.
A critical path method schedule should provide the construction team with a graphical view of the project including the required completion time, all activities, and to determine all of the activities which are essential to the project if not completed within the specified time, thus the term: "Critical Path Method."
The C.P.M. Schedule should be updated on a regular basis, as the progress of the project varies. This should include any accelerated work schedule or delays, for any reason. The start and completion dates are stipulated in the contract, unless the contract completion date has been shortened or extended due to changes in the work and accompanied by executed written "Change Orders."
The contractor or project manager must be a consummate expert possessing many years of education, specialized training and experience with all aspects of the type of construction being scheduled. The preparation of a good, all inclusive and updated construction schedule is truly a science and an art-form.
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