Critical Path Analysis: A project-management technique that lays out all the activities needed to complete a task, the time it will take to complete each activity and the relationships between the activities.
Sets out all the individual activities that make up a larger project.
Shows the order in which activities have to be undertaken.
Shows which activities can only take place once other activities have been completed.
Shows which activities can be undertaken simultaneously.
Shows when certain resources will be needed.
Once the Critical Path Analysis has been constructed, the business will be able to identify the Critical Path itself, which is the route on the Critical Path Analysis that has no spare times (float). This means that if there is a delay in any of the activities of the critical path, the whole project is going to be delayed unless the firm changes something to aid bringing the project back onto track. Some operations on the Critical Path Analysis may have some spare time, when this is the case the firm can afford to time some time in completing their project, so long as they do not exceed their spare time.
The minimum time in which a project can be completed is the total time taken across the critical path.
If a business has a project delayed, they can:
Check to see whether they have any spare time in any other parts of the project, if they do they can switch staff from one activity to another to try aid in catching up on the delayed activity.
They could also higher extra people to try help in catching up, though it will add to costs, it is essential as it helps in putting the project back on track and not being delayed.
The CPA must always being and end with a ‘Node’
Nodes are numbered to represent what position they are in the activity, the Earliest Start Time (EST) of an activity, and also the Latest Finish Time (LFT).
In the CPA, there must be no crossings in activities