Symposium FAQ

Symposium Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you create the Symposium?

Across all industries where network-based scheduling is an integral component of Project Time Management, the quality of the Project Schedule has diminished with each passing year. While many reasons for this decline have been cited, the most common criticism is a lack of available training in the art and science of Project Planning and Scheduling.

The second observation, an extension of the first, is that most Project Schedules are built by individuals who are self-taught and really do not truly understand what they are working with. ICS-Institute was tasked with developing and offering a quality Project Time Management educational program, designed specifically for the Construction Industry.

Since Project Time Management is virtually impossible without a dynamic Project Schedule, and since a dynamic Project Schedule necessarily requires that it be network-based, and since the Critical Path Method is the foremost network-based scheduling technology … we decided to start with CPM itself.

As for this unusual medium we have chosen, we felt that a social networking site such as LinkedIn would offer the accessibility, freedom, openness, functionality, and flexiblity to promote, encourage, and facilitate active participation by those who most need the training: Project Managers and Superintendents (although others, with like interest, are welcome to participate).

How does the Symposium work?

The CPM Mechanics Symposium comprises eighteen weekly “Study Sessions.” Each Weekly Session entails a Reading Assignment followed by interactive Discussion among and between participants, and moderated by the author of the CPM Mechanics Symposium’s chosen textbook.

Who was the Symposium Created For?

The CPM Mechanics Symposium was carefully developed with you — the working Construction Project Manager and Field Superintendent — squarely in mind. The projects you run on a daily basis constitute a major demand on your time. But your family is your highest priority, and its adds additional stresses on your calendar. We know that that is why professional development is so often postponed or dismissed altogether.

Even the underlying text, CPM Mechanics, is a 500-page book that was written with Project Managers and Superintendents as its primary audience (although anyone with a desire to really understand how the Critical Path Method actually works “under the hood” will get a tremendous amount of knowledge out of the book, as well).

How time-consuming will Symposium participation be?

In preparation for the CPM Mechanics Symposium, its underlying text, CPM Mechanics, was divided into eighteen Book Passages. Each week a different Book Passage will be cited. In addition to the Session’s Book Passage, each week we will post two blog articles specifically written to complement the Week’s Book Passage. One blog series is known as It’s About Time, and the other is Thinking Outside the Box.

On average, the combined reading time for both the Book Passage and the corresponding blog articles is around 90 minutes. But, keep in mind: the weekly reading is what forms the basis for the roughly half-dozen Discussion Questions that are discussed and debated in the CPM Mechanics Symposium “Study Hall” out on LinkedIn.

We realized that the shorter the CPM Mechanics Symposium in number of weeks, the greater the amount of material to be covered per week. This would of course create a heavier weekly time burden and study workload for our busy Participants. And should a Participant have to miss a week, the ability to catch up might just be prohibitive.

When will the Symposium start and how long will it last?

Think of the CPM Mechanics Symposium as a year-round, ongoing Book Club that essentially discusses just one book, CPM Mechanics.  Go there to read the comments of others, of to leave behind your own pearls of wisdom.  Similarly, the CPM Mechanics Course is a self-paced program that one can commence at any time, and complete at any rate of speed. So, neither the Symposium nor the Course has any set start or completion dates.

Who can participate in the Symposium?

The CPM Mechanics Symposium is open to anyone with a LinkedIn profile and a copy of CPM Mechanics. It costs nothing to join LinkedIn, and the book is as little as $75. But while anyone can apply for admission into the CPM Mechanics Symposium, be aware that (a) seats are limited and (b) that enrollment will be based on two primary factors:

Need to Know: The CPM Mechanics Symposium is primary meant for those who run construction projects, to help them learn how to achieve better Project Time Management. Top priority, therefore, goes to Project Managers and Site Superintendents. Next are those who supervise or monitor PMs and Supers, such as Operations Managers, Construction Managers, and Owner’s Reps. Third in line are those who support PMs and Supers, such as field engineers, contracts and procurement managers, scheduling personnel, etc.

The ICS Community: If there is a tie between two applicants based on the Need to Know criteria, we will favor those who are within the ICS Community. Members of the ICS Community include members of any ICS-Global group or subgroup on LinkedIn; customer, client, or consumer of any ICS-Global products or services; contacts within Murray Woolf’s personal network of Connections on LinkedIn.

How Can I Learn More about the Symposium and Course

The CPM Mechanics Symposium and CPM Mechanics Course are so unusual, and inspire so many questions, that we decided to create a website dedicated entirely to the two offerings. If all of your questions have not been answered thus far, by all means check out the CPM Mechanics Symposium & Course website at www.cpmmechanics.info.

How can I enroll in the Symposium?

The Enrollment Process is pretty straight-forward. Simply click here to download an Enrollment Application Form, fill it out completely, and return it to us.  Once your Form has been received and processed by us, you will receive detailed instructions on how to register in the CPM Mechanics Symposium Study Hall (LinkedIn) which will require joining  LinkedIn, if you have not already done so. Membership in LinkedIn is free.

Does the Symposium offer varying Participation Roles?

Yes! Participants are classified based on whether or not they are seeking formal credits for their participation efforts: Colleagues (who participate for credit); Bookworms (who attend strictly for the knowledge); and Instructors (who teach college-level Planning & Scheduling classes).

Bookworms: Bookworms are participants who own the book, CPM Mechanics, and are participating strictly for the knowledge that they can gain from the experience. No minimum performance requirements are imposed on Bookworms; the extent of their involvement is entirely up to them. Obviously, the more steadily and substantially they participate, the more they will get from the experience.

Colleagues: For Colleagues, however, participation in the CPM Mechanics Symposium earns extra credit toward their final grade in the CPM Mechanics Course, which they are taking “for credit.” Successful completion of the CPM Mechanics Course earns the student a formal Certificate of Completion and qualifies them for forty (40) Professional Development Units (PDUs).

Educators: Those who teach Planning & Scheduling courses at the college level to classes of 20 or more students are welcome to receive an Evaluation Copy of CPM Mechanics, and are invited to “sit in” on the CPM Mechanics Symposium.  This is an excellent opportunity for academics to hear directly from industry practitioners.

What does the Symposium cost?

As just explained, there is no cost to participate in the CPM Mechanics Symposium, itself. However, only those who have a copy  CPM Mechanics will be admitted. Thus, Educators (who are given a complimentary copy) are welcome to participate. All others will be required to prove book purchase.  A digital version of the book is available through the ICS-Store for $75.