Completing a project in time is one of the most important objectives and expectation of the stakeholders. Critical Path Method is used to prepare the optimized project schedule involving all the project activities.
Online PMP certification helps managers understand the critical path method better.
The typical steps involved to develop a project schedule using CPM method are as below:
An example of Critical Path analysis is as below:
In the above diagram, the path with longest duration is Start-D-E-F-G-End is the critical path with duration of 17. The other 2 non-critical paths Start-A-B-C-G-End has duration of 10 and hence has a slack or float of 7 and other non-critical path Start-D-H-I-End has a duration of 11 and has a float of 6 days.
Critical Path once identified, the team can further explore if the duration of the critical path can be compressed if the need be. Techniques such as crashing (applying more resources on critical path) or Fast Tracking (doing tasks in parallel) are applied. Compressing the critical path helps in compressing the overall project duration, thereby helping to meet the required deadline.
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