The Critical Path Method (CPM): How to build a CPM model that won't drive a project into crisis. You'll learn how to use CPM to its fullest. This self-paced course requires no textbook or instructor.
For most project managers today, CPM is just a couple of mouse clicks in a project management software package. What to do with it is typically a question not answered well. This course provides that answer.
Approximate study time: 4 hours
Upon completion of this course, you will:
Understand the concept of "Critical Path" and what it means for managing a project.
Know the basics of how to develop a CPM diagram.
Understand how to use the CPM for more than just providing a schedule.
Put your Critical Path Method skills beyond criticism.
Be able to use CPM as a personal competitive edge (for your career) and as a competitive advantage for your company.
The concept of "critical path" is, next to WBS, arguably the most misunderstood and misapplied concept in project management. This leaves many opportunities on the table for the project manager who is willing to understand CPM and how to use it. If you want to capitalize on those opportunities, this course is a very small investment toward making them realities.
This looks really interesting but I can't figure out what you are sending or how you are sending it.
These are downloadable files. In other words, you get download instructions as soon as the buying part is done and you get the files right away.
What is it that I'm going to get and how? Is it a file that I’ll download? Is it mailed?
As soon as your purchase is complete, you will receive download instructions both on screen and via e-mail. You download self-extracting zip file that contains the course material. Depending on the course, the individual files will be in the rich text format or in the e-book format. Most materials are in the easier-to-handle rich text format.
Are we talking about a lot of pages for me to read?
Here's something that pleasantly surprises most people about these.
If you look at a typical $99 professional book, most of it is filler. These courses don't have the filler. Ditto for $995 seminars covering the same information. Our courses get right to the meat, saving you the effort of wading through pages of nonsense. We don't mass up the high overhead of generating the filler, and we pass the savings on to our customers.
Do your courses on project management prepare me for the various certification routes of the Project Management Institute?
No. The material does not focus on exam preparation. It focuses on improving your real-world skills. However, what you learn will not impede certification.
Are you one of the approved (by PMI) course providers?
No. We are not affiliated with the Project Management Institute, although we may consider going that direction. Our goal is not to make you spend a lot
of money learning how to answer test questions. Our goal is to teach you how to do your job better.
How long does each of your courses take?
It depends on the student. These courses are essentially white papers with exercises to help you relate the information to what you are doing now. You can read the material in each course in under an hour. But, how long it takes to digest it and apply it is up to you.
Do I have to buy books in addition to your course material? Will those books have to be bought from you?
To both questions, no. You don't have to buy anything else. Each course stands on its own.
What if your course material is not clear? Are your course writers available for clarification? Since it is not possible to read all material at one shot, and collect all questions at the same time, will the course writers be available as needed or on a one time basis?
a. It will be clear.
c. Your success is important. If you have a question that is germane to the material, and not a probe for free consulting services, we will help you understand the material. We have kept the prices low, because not everyone can afford $995 for a two-day seminar that amounts to little more than a book promo. This is not a book promo.
What if I have other questions?
We'll answer to whatever extent is reasonable. It may be possible that you will ask questions that require developing a new course--some aspect of successful project management we didn't cover and that is not part of the normal project management training regimen. In that case, you would get the new course for free.
Do you have other courses?
Yes, and we are developing more. You can always write to us with specific needs, and we will adjust our product development accordingly. Also, it's a good idea to check Mindconnection on a regular basis, just to see what is new.
Who writes these courses?
That depends on the subject. For example, Dr. Jay Prince wrote the behavior courses based on his experience as a licensed therapist.
All of the courses are well-researched and devoid of pseudoscience. Most are written by a subject matter expert. All are reviewed by a professional editor for clarity and succinctness.
Do your courses qualify for employer reimbursement?
Possibly not, because they are not accredited. Then again, our cost is very low. So, you must ask yourself if that small amount is worth investing into the skills you need to keep yourself employed and employable.
The goal here is not to pile up paper credits. The goal is to get the information you would ordinarily get only from a lifetime of working in project management--if even then. We save you "classroom time" in the "school of hard knocks." You will recover your investment (and then some), simply because you will be that much better at what you do.
How much time can I reasonably expect to save, once I use the principles in your time management course?
That depends on how you presently approach your work. The typical student can expect to increase productivity by 50%. If you look at the way most people do their work, and then work your way through the course, you'll see why this is so. The author of that course works three full-time jobs and is Chair for one non-profit and acting Chair for another. Yet, he manages to excel in all of these roles while still maintaining outstanding health and enjoyment of life.
What are your real goals, in regard to project management education?
If you want PMI certification, then you should spend the $2200 or so that takes.
If you want to improve your skill set for better performance, our courses are the answer.
Essentially, our project management courses cover the same material as the PMI certification courses, but we haven't added the expense.
This course also shows you how to do Critical Path calculations and charting manually. It goes beyond that to explain how you can do more with the Critical Path Method (CPM)
than just determine task sequences and coordination on a project.
Many projects run into resource and scheduling conflicts due to misapplication or
misunderstanding of CPM. Don't let your project be one of those.
The phrase "Critical Path Method" sounds impressive enough. Many people assume it means the most important work on a project. But, thatís not what it means. What do we really mean by that?
A good working definition: Critical Path work is that work which must completed by a specific time for the project to also be completed on time. To truly understand the meaning of CPM, you need to follow the work as it proceeds through a CPM drawing.
This work is not necessarily the most important. However, it is the work that is most urgent.
It is the most urgent because of its location in the schedule and the its precedent relationship to other work. A delay on the critical path causes delayed completion of subsequent work.
Are you able to make CPM work for you? Do you understand how to open, utilize, and close windows of opportunity in a project? All of this is part of what you will learn in this course.
Unfortunately, CPM calculation is becoming a lost art. So is the proper use of CPM. Consequently, the incidence of clashing tasks, scheduling conflicts, and resource issues has been steadily rising. The good news is these problems don't have to exist on your projects.
If you understand CPM and how to properly use it, you will avoid a long list of problems. Even better, you can polish both your reputation and your resume with every project you do.
No more guesswork, no more misinformation, no more needless expense.
We have CPM in our PM software. SOP has been to crank out the schedule and then harass people if they fall short. But really using CPM effectively has never been explained. Until now. I feel I'm a much better project manager than before.
Useful insights, 5.27.2009
Reviewer: Daryl Metran (Sheboyban, WI)
I didn't use CPM very advantageously, before. Now I understand how to leverage it for a truly successful project. Well done, Mindonnection!
Reviewer: Walter Johnson (Buffalo, NY, )
Good course. I've utilized the CPM features in our project management software, but never really understood until now just how useful it can be and how to make it really work.