Project Management

[ Project Management Topics ]

Critical Path Method (CPM)

The critical path method is a network analysis technique used to predict project duration by analyzing the sequence of activities that has the least amount of float (float, also known as slack, is the amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying the project finish date). Using this method you basically allocate key or minimal resources to the critical activities first to make sure they are completed and don't hold up the project as a whole. As Webopedia (n.d.) notes, "Abbreviated as CPM, a project management technique that analyzes what activities have the least amount of scheduling flexibility (i.e., are the most mission-critical) and then predicts project duration schedule based on the activities that fall along the “critical path.” Activities that lie along the critical path cannot be delayed without delaying the finish time for the entire project. Projects planned with CPM typically are graphically represented in a diagram showing how each activity is related to the others." Here is a sample critical path:

Critical Path Diagram

Learn more about the critical path method at: http://www.netmba.com/operations/project/cpm/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_path_method