The critical path method (CPM) is a project management technique that typically consists of six essential steps. These steps are crucial for the creation of the critical path and its interdependent tasks. The first step involves specifying each activity, followed by the delineation of project dependencies.
The third step is creating a CPM network diagram, while the fourth step involves estimating the completion time for each activity. The fifth step is identifying the critical path, while the sixth step involves updating it as necessary. Projects with many tasks and interrelated dependencies, such as construction projects, require a phased approach to project management.
By identifying the key activities or tasks on the critical path, the CPM enables a visualization of the project’s dynamic flow chart. This chart encompasses the critical path’s component tasks and those that are not part of it. Understanding the CPM requires knowledge of the key steps involved. Typically, experts in CPM methodology have identified six key steps.
Below are the main 6 steps for the proper creation of Critical Paths.
The first step in the critical path method involves identifying and specifying all of the individual tasks or activities required to complete the project. These tasks should be broken down into specific, measurable, and achievable steps that can be completed within a defined time frame.
Once all of the tasks have been identified, the next step is to determine the relationships or dependencies between them. This involves analyzing which tasks need to be completed before others can begin, as well as any other constraints or requirements that may impact the sequence of activities.
The third step involves creating a CPM network diagram, which is a visual representation of all the activities and their dependencies. This diagram helps project managers identify the critical path and visualize the entire project as a whole.
In this step, the project manager estimates the time required to complete each activity, taking into account factors such as resource availability, potential delays, and any other relevant factors.
The critical path is the sequence of activities that determines the minimum amount of time required to complete the project. In this step, project managers identify the critical path by analyzing the CPM network diagram and determining which activities are essential to the project timeline.
The final step involves ongoing monitoring and updating of the critical path as the project progresses. This involves identifying any changes or delays that may impact the critical path, and adjusting the project plan accordingly to ensure that the project remains on track to meet its objectives.