Critical Path Method
The Critical Path Method (CPM) has been around since the 1950s and is used in any sort of formal project management technique. Project management training classes will cover this subject in much more detail, but you can get the gist of the idea here.
Begin by following these criteria:
1. Generate a list of every action that needs to be accomplished in order to complete the project.
2. Establish a the duration of each and every action will take.
3. Determine the differences between activities
Once these values are established, the Critical Path Method in project management is used to determine the absolute longest time it will take to complete the project. In addition, it will determine the earliest each activity can begin, as well as the latest each activity can begin – and still finish the project on time.
Once you know these things, you can determine which activities are on the ‘critical path’. In other words, the activities that will delay the project if they are not completed on time. All the other activities have some float time in which they can be started early, or finished late, but they will not impact the final completion date of the project.
Once the critical path has been established, project managers can assign extra resources to the critical path, or pay special attention to ensure smooth transition through essential activities. If anything goes wrong on the critical path, a manager can always double up, or fast track, by running multiple activities simultaneously to try and get the project back on the timeline.
Don’t try to do all of this by hand. It is terribly confusing and gets complicated very quickly. There is fantastic project management software out there that can you organize and plan your project. Gantt charts will help you to visualize your project and plan more thoroughly, too. Sound critical path project management can make your project a success, and make you look like a star!
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