Class Discussion: Critical Path
Define "critical path."
Critical Path Method (CPM) is the most widely used and popular method used for scheduling a project. The CPM shows the path forward or backward for a project; meaning in shortest or longest time, start and finish time (earliest and latest) and slack time for a project. The CPM also shows the project duration. This is displayed through a project network diagram that shows the relationship between activities. CPM determines and separates critical and non-critical requirements, displays schedule and predicts time (as previously mentioned). “The critical path is the path (from start to finish) that joins all activities with zero slack” (QSO 640 Module 7) Discuss why it is so important to the project schedule. How is the critical path determined? Critical Path is determined through specification of each activity, sequence determination, network diagram, and estimate in completion time for each segment, critical patch identification and CPM updates through project cycle. How do you manage critical path activities differently from non-critical path activities? What could happen if you focus only on critical path activities and not caring about non-critical activities? Critical Path activities are managed with ‘no slack’. Meaning, they are scheduled and managed on no extra time for the project activity and setting the earliest possible close date so the next activity can begin. Non-critical path activities do not follow this same model, as we see from the readings. If a critical path activity is not completed within the scheduled time and cause slack, the end activity may also be delayed. This could happen is a non-critical activity is a focus for the project team. This is a trickledown effect for the remainder of the project. Resources:
QSO 640Module 7: Project Scheduling. SNHU. Retrieved on May 15, 2013 from...
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