# Critical Path Method Analysis

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The Critical Path Method According to PMI (2013), “the critical path method is a method used to estimate the minimum project duration and determine the amount of scheduling flexibility on the logical network paths within the schedule model” (p. 176). This information is important to project schedulers and project managers because identifying the critical path will determine the longest path of activities, the shortest possible project duration and the level of scheduling flexibility that exists. The critical path also identifies the most important tasks that if missed, will delay an entire project. How the Critical Path Method is Used To determine the critical path, a project network diagram is created. This diagram will show all the paths…show more content…
• It helps you assign the float to activities and flexibility to float activities. • It shows you where you need to take action to bring project back on track. The information learned from performing the critical path method, helps schedulers understand the complexity of the jobs in their project and their interrelations. From this analysis, the project manager can examine the critical path to see if there is any room for improvements. These improvements could potentially shorten a project’s duration because the critical path method focuses on the jobs that are critical and provides an easy way to determine the effects of shortening various jobs in the project Critical Path Method Example Last year, the Siemon Company had a project called; Enhancements to the Company Profile Data in Salesforce/CRM. Changes were needed to the Customer Relationship Management database (Salesforce) because it was missing important sales data and reporting function capabilities needed to compare year-to-date sales against target commitments for our Certified Installer (CI) and Registered Installer (RI)…show more content…
Figure 1 below shows these three calculations and what the critical path would look like if this method was used. Path B, C, D, F, G and H is the path with the longest duration and therefore the critical path. The float calculations revealed that activity E has a float of 5; therefore it can be delayed for up to five days before the project completion date would be effected. As mentioned earlier, this project completed five days late. The main reason for the overrun was because of activity F. Activity F had limited resources and computer equipment assigned to that activity whereas activity E had more. Activity F’s duration took fifteen days to complete instead of the ten days original planned. Using the critical path method for this project would have identified activity F as a critical path activity with a float of zero showing no flexibility in the schedule. With a float of zero, any delay in this activity would directly delay the completion of the project. On the other hand, activity E, had a float of five revealing its duration can slip for up to five days without causing the project to be delayed. Using the critical path method would have helped the project scheduler develop a tighter schedule with no overrun. Assigning more resources and equipment to activity F and less to activity E would ensure both tasks completed on