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Use of CPA diagrams


What are CPA charts used for? Look at the title again, especially PERT (Project Evaluation and Review Technique). CPA is used for:

  • Planning, and then
  • Control (checking performance)

of complex projects.

The plan should be reviewed regularly, and the actual performance compared with the plan (this is variance analysis again). If there are problems, then the team should work out solutions. Staff on non-critical activities may help out on critical ones that are drifting late (provided, of course, they have the requisite skills).

CPA can go beyond the obvious platform of time control. As a management philosophy it immediately has implications for efficiency, and allows construction/project type firms to be effective and profitable. It can help considerably in decision making in the area of resource planning, including capital and revenue expenditure forecasting and planning.

This will be true if, at the time of collecting the time estimates, managers are also required to estimate the following:

  • Staff needs - supervisors, fitters, riggers, electricians etc.
  • Plant needs - cranes, hoists, drill, welding sets etc.
  • Capital needs - cost of items in that activity
  • Revenue expenses - estimate of daily payroll and materials payments