critical path method (CPM)



Network analysis technique used in complex project plans with a large number of activities. CPM diagrams (1) all activities, (2) time required for their completion, (3) and how each activity is related to the previous and next activity. A sequence of activities is called a 'path,' and the longest-path in the diagram is the critical path. It is 'critical' because all activities on it must be completed in the designated time, otherwise the whole project will be delayed. Also called critical path analysis or critical path methodology.

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  • In a complex program, the manager frequently monitors and tracks schedule progress using the critical path method because any delays there will directly translate to real delays to the end result.

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  • You should try and come up with a critical path method and do your best to stick close to it along the way.

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  • The critical path method provided some insight to our complex project as there are many different departments that must coordinate activities.

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