On-Demand Course

Now available for purchase.

Interested in registering 5 or more engineers for a course? Contact us for information and rates.


0.5 CEUs / 5 PDHs


Member $220 | Non-member $270


Douglas D. Gransberg, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE

Dominique Pittenger, Ph.D

Purpose and background

This course teaches the fundamentals of critical path method (CPM) and the development of schedules based on the CPM network analysis output. CPM scheduling is a fundamental skill for engineers and project managers to accurately plan, manage, and to bring their projects in on schedule. The construction and engineering industry has adopted scheduling software programs to assist in building project schedules for increasingly complex projects, reducing the time needed to estimate project durations and produce baseline contract schedules.

The software relies on proprietary “black box” algorithms, which cannot be checked or adjusted. This makes it crucial for project managers and engineers to have a solid understanding of the processes utilized in their scheduling software to be able to identify potential shortcomings in new project schedules and to locate errors in schedules in the event of schedule related claims. The ability to produce and analyze CPM-based schedules allows engineers, project managers, and general contractors the capability to make better decisions, effective resource allocations, and to pursue or defend schedule related claims in their projects. Construction engineers need to be able to understand what is and isn’t going on inside the “black box” of their preferred scheduling software, or they run the risk of making poorly informed decisions which affect their clients’ bottom line. This course will take an estimated 4 hours and 30 minutes to complete.

Benefits and learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Apply the fundamentals of network analysis.
  • Develop schedules based on the CPM network analysis output.
  • Apply the principles of activity sequencing to typical projects of all types.
  • Explain the use of resource leveling to optimize the planned sequence of work.
  • Describe how cost-loading can be used to schedule cash flow.
  • Identify and prioritize scheduled tasks in order to streamline planning strategies, shorten overall construction schedules, and reduce costs.
  • Communicate effectively with team members by recognizing and utilizing best practices for planning and scheduling of construction tasks.

Assessment of learning outcomes

Achievement of the learning outcomes by attendees will be assessed through a short post-assessment (true-false, multiple choice, and fill in the blank questions).

Who should attend?

  • Entry-level engineers
  • Mid-career engineers
  • Architects
  • Construction professionals
  • Non-engineering construction professionals
  • Project managers
  • Design managers
  • Construction office
  • Schedulers
  • Estimators
  • Developers

Course outline

Module 1 : Introduction to project scheduling

  • Lesson 1.1 = Introduction to project planning and scheduling – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 1.2 = CPM terminology and precedence – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 1.3 = Activity take-off
  • Learning exercise

Module 2 : Network diagramming and calculations

  • Lesson 2.1 = Work sequencing – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 2.2 = Network diagramming – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 2.3 = CPM calculations
  • Lesson 2.4 = Practical exercise
  • Learning exercise

Module 3 : Optimizing the CPM schedule

  • Lesson 3.1 = Schedule adjustments and updates – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 3.2 = Resource loading the schedule – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 3.3 = Resource leveling
  • Learning exercise

Module 4 : Cost loading and earned value management

  • Lesson 4.1 = Cost loading the schedule – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 4.2 = Earned value management – this video contains a short quiz
  • Lesson 4.3 = Schedule delay case study
  • Learning exercise

Module 5 : Final exam