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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.
- 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
- You are running out of time
- Behind schedule
- 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,
- Find Critical path
- Find the duration of critical path
- Find near critical path