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Critical path analysis (CPA) is a project management technique that requires mapping out every key task that is necessary to complete a project. It includes identifying the amount of time necessary to finish each activity and the dependencies of each activity on any others.

Also known as the critical path method, CPA is used to set a realistic deadline for a project and to track its progress along the way.

Key Takeaways

  • Critical path analysis is a project planning method that focuses on identifying tasks that are dependent on other tasks for their timely completion.
  • Understanding the dependencies between tasks is key to setting a realistic deadline for a complex project.
  • Critical path analysis is used in most industries that undertake highly complex projects.

Properties of critical path in the project:

Critical Path Analysis:

Network diagram is shown below to illustrate the CPM in the project schedule.

Critical Path and Near critical path of the project are listed below,

ABEG = 18 days ——> Critical Path

ACEG = 15 days —-> Near Critical Path

ACFG = 12 days

ADG = 15 days

According to definition, critical path ABEG has longest duration of 18 days with a minimal time to finish the project.

Usually these been computed using the forward pass and backward pass techniques.

Computation of Early start date = Early finish date + Duration – 1

                         Late start date = Late finish date – Duration +1

Activates in the critical path has

Early start date = Late start date

Early finish date = Late finish date

Total float or slack is the difference between late start date and early start date or late finish date and early finish date.

If you have a situation in your project that

  1. You are running out of time
  2. Behind schedule
  3. Should expedite more in the duration

Then you should focus more on the critical activities in your project.

Fig: Network Diagram

Fig : Critical path displayed in yellow color.


 Here is the network diagram to practice yourself and do comment your answers below to double-check the correct one,



  1. Find Critical path
  2. Find the duration of critical path
  3. Find near critical path
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By Hassan

An Astute Engineering Professional more passionate about civil engineering domain and project management along with forensic delay analysis. Also, Competent project planner and forensic delay analyst. Founder of Civil Invents Blog page to learn and share about the wealth of international experience including project management, planning, International Arbitration's and Claims preparation skills. Also, to groom individuals who wish to be an aspiring professional in Oracle Primavera Software, Delay analysis and High-profile projects. Feel free to visit the Blog and drop feedback to my email: [email protected]

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