Book: CPM Mechanics [Digital]


CPM Mechanics:[Digital]

The Critical Path Method (CPM) is at the very epicenter of Construction Project Management (see below). Isn't it about time that you learned how CPM really works?

CPM Mechanics is, far and away, the most comprehensive, coherent, and practical text ever written about the raw, underlying mechanics of the Critical Path Method (CPM). If ever you wanted to understand – really understand – how the Critical Path Method works “under the hood,” then this is the book for you!




CPM Mechanics
is such a ground breaking, game changing book that
it has its very own website
Be sure to check out
to learn all about why this text is destined
to fundamentally change the way we understand and apply
the Critical Path Method to our Construction Project Schedules.



As we all know:

  • Successful PROJECTS don't just happen!
  • PROJECT MANAGEMENT skillfully and meticulously micromanages every little detail, leaving nothing to chance.
  • Of all of the nine "Knowledge Areas" that command a Project Manager's daily attention, none is more important to a project's ultimate success than PROJECT TIME MANAGEMENT.
  • Without PLANNING & SCHEDULING, done well, successful projects are just a case of good luck. The role of the Project Schedule is to help formulate, optimize, communicate, and guide a coherent Project Execution Strategy.
  • What we have learned after 50 years of trial and error is that the CRITICAL PATH METHOD (CPM) is the best choice among all available technologies to depict and communicate a Project Execution Strategy.





A Glowing Testimonial!

Here is what Professor Gunnar Lucko of the Catholic University of America had to say about CPM Mechanics:

"A truly new and comprehensive explanation of scheduling mechanics from the ground up. It effectively explains each step in the voice of a senior scheduler standing right beside the student's side. The amount of detail exceeds any other textbook, yet is presented clearly without overwhelming the reader."



Comprehensive, Coherent and Practical

CPM Mechanics is written in a friendly conversational style by a world-renowned authority on Construction Project Time Management. The author has infused the text with his unique personal perspective, one that evolved over a dizzying 35-year career as a seasoned Construction Planner/Scheduler on over 225 construction projects (worldwide) of virtually every project type one can think of. (back to top)


What’s Inside?

CPM Mechanics fifteen chapters are heavily sprinkled with over 225 fully self-explanatory illustrations presented in crisp and vibrant colors. A nine-page List of Figures, along with a seven-page Table of Contents and 300-item Index make it a breeze to zero in on any topic within seconds. And the electronic version is completely hyperlinked for even faster and easier navigation. (back to top)


Thought-Provoking Content


CPM Mechanics is guaranteed to take you further and deeper into CPM details than you have ever been before. The author, in a provocative style that made his previous book a best-seller, dares to challenge what he insists are important misunderstandings with respect to some well-worn definitions and perceptions about CPM features and functions.

[As just one example among dozens of equally-intriguing discussions, the author insists (and subsequently proves) that Free Float is an Activity PATH attribute, and not the sole possession of the last activity in an activity string, as is commonly/overwhelmingly taught.] (back to top)


Follows a Crawl-Walk-Run Approach to Teaching

But CPM Mechanics' over-arching goal, of explaining how CPM works "under the hood," is never forgotten … despite the occasional detour into some meaty, insightful side discussion. ALL (and we mean ALL) of the details of the Critical Path Method are completely examined, sometimes in incredible "baby steps." For instance, there is a multi-page discussion of the construction of the Activity Box! And another few pages are spent on "how to draw an arrow (the logic tie)!" (back to top)


Who Should Read CPM Mechanics?

CPM Mechanics is the definitive book on how the Critical Path Method actually works "under the hood." This is a Must Have/Must Read reference for anyone who wants to truly and completely understand the core fundamentals of CPM.

CPM Mechanics is essential reading for Owners, Contractors, Construction Managers, Owner’s Representatives, Project Managers, Superintendents, Architects, Engineers, Claims Consultants, Construction Lawyers, Educators, Trainers … and Planners and Schedulers (and other Project Controls personnel) from novice to seasoned professional.

The fact is that anyone who has a vested interest in the timely completion of construction projects should read this book. Why? Because:

  • Timely projects result from skillful Project Management
  • Successful Project Management results from Effective Project Execution
  • Effective Project Execution requires a comprehensive Project Time Management system.
  • At the center of every comprehensive Project Time Management system is a comprehensive, coherent, and dynamic Project Execution Strategy

To be responsive, dynamic, and flexible, the Project Execution Strategy (Project Schedule) must be built on CPM platform by schedule creators who understand how CPM works at its core.

And to be valuable as possible to the Project Execution effort, those who will apply the information gleaned from the Project Schedule must also understand how CPM works at it core. (back to top)


CPM Mechanics is a Great Start to Your Continuing Scheducation!

Note: CPM Mechanics is the first book in a series of books that will teach you everything you need to know about Construction Project Time Management. Once you digest this (Technology) book on the underlying mechanics of CPM, look for its companion (Methodology) book on the human aspects of Project Time Management -- on how to design, develop, maintain, and use the Project Schedule. (back to top)


Table of Contents  


Chapter 1: CPM, A Modeling Method - Introducing the ICS-Compendium; Exclusively for Construction Project Management; The Three Meanings of the Express, "CPM Scheduling;" The Book's Organization and Structure; The Book's Information Transfer Strategy

Chapter 2: Static Project Time Management Tools - ?Introducing the Critical Path Method of Modeling; Static Project Time Management Tools; Project Execution Commitments

Chapter 3: Dynamic Project Time Management Tools - Introducing Dynamic Project Time Management; Activity Relationships: Two VERY Different Perspectives; From Activities to Logic Diagrams; CPM's Four Restriction Linkages

Chapter 4: How to Draw CPM Logic - Introducing the Network-Based Project Schedule; Key Elements of a CPM Schedule; CPM Method: Algorithms or Graphics; The Point-of-Day Perspective

Chapter 5: Calculating Primary CPM Dates -  Introducing the Concept of Earliest Dates; Introducing the Concept of Latest Dates

Chapter 6: All About Total Float - Five Key Elements to All CPM Schedules; Schedule Float: Two Most Prevalent Types; Understanding Total Float; Total Float: Ideological Discussions

Chapter 7: All About Critical Path - Understanding the Concept of a Critical Path; Critical Path: In a Nutshell; Two Schools of Thought (Maybe Three); Critical Path Misunderstood by the "Experts"; Critical Path: Ideological Discussions; Tracing the Critical/Paramount Path

Chapter 8: Free Float and Symbiotic Networks - Understanding Free Float; More about Symbiotic and Progressive Relationships

Chapter 9: Supplemental Schedule Elements - Essential, Supplemental, and Exploitive Schedule Elements; Elements that Provide Advanced Modeling Capabilities; Elements that Facilitate Schedule Data Management

Chapter 10: Exploitive Schedule Elements - Work Breakdown Structure (WBS); Activity-Resident Project Cost Information; Activity-Resident Project Resource Information

Chapter 11: Putting Reality into the Project Schedule - The Project Schedule Must Model Reality; How Time is Understood in a Project Schedule; Temporal Context of Schedules: Schedule Segments

Chapter 12: Schedule Data Credibility Profile - The Schedule Data Credibility Profile; Making a CPM Execution Model Really Dynamic

Chapter 13: CPM Calcs During Schedule Statusing - Understanding Schedule Updates; Data-Adjusting Calculations during Schedule Update

Chapter 14: Project Time Management Alternatives - Arrow Diagramming Method: Original CPM Format; PERT: Program Evaluation and Review Technique; Linear Scheduling and Line of Balance Scheduling; Building Information Modeling

Chapter 15: Interpreting the Project Execution Model - What the Critical Path Method of Modeling is Not; What the Critical Path Method of Modeling Is; Not All Project Execution Models are Schedules; Where Do You Go From Here?  (back to top)

    (for an in-depth Table of Contents, go to the CPM Mechanics website)  


  • 479 pages written in the author's familiar conversational style, following a crawl-walk-run instructional approach
  • 222 illustrations in crystal-clear, vibrant colors
  • Extensive Table of Contents, four-levels deep
  • Alphabetical Index of over 400 terms
  • Comprehensive List of Figures, over 300 deep
  • All technical terms fully defined, and cross-referenced to the ICS-Dictionary
  • All arithmetic formulas cross-referenced to supporting ICS-White Papers
  • Digital version:
    • Extensively hyperlinked and bookmarked.
    • In PDF format; readable on all tablets equipt with PDF readers.
    • Permits user to insert comments and notes.
    • Cannot be printed.  (back to top)


When you purchase CPM Mechanics (either digital or hard cover version), you get the following items FREE:?

  • ICS-White Paper WPA-KK-14: When is the Critical Path NOT the Most Critical Path? (37 pgs)
  • ICS-White Paper WPA-KL-13: Cognitive Project Management's Three Relationship Categories (29 pgs)
  • ICS-White Paper WPB-KI-13: How to Calculate Dates in the Critical Path Method (46 pgs)
  • ICS-White Paper WPB-KJ-28: Understanding Point-of-Day Perspectives (15 pgs)
  • ICS-White Paper WPB-LA-11: How the WBS Can Break a Schedule (24 pgs)
  • ICS-Dictionary: A Project Time Management Essential Desk Reference
    (back to top)


  • Item #: CMP001-DG
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Price $89.95