Word-of-the-Month: Critical Path Method

Critical Path Method

A critical path method, or CPM, is an algorithm of scheduling a set of project activities. It is a model that includes considering the complete list of tasks required to complete the project, the dependencies between various tasks, and the estimate of time each task will take to complete.

To determine the critical path, identify the longest stretch of dependent activities and measure them from start to finish. Once the critical path is determined, total float items, or tasks that can be delayed without making an impact on the schedule, can be ascertained.

Fun Fact
The CPM project modeling technique was developed in the late 1950s, however, precursors to what came to be the critical path method contributed to the success of the Manhattan Project in the 1940s.

Stahl utilized the CPM to determine the construction duration of 10 months for the International Institute of Minnesota’s upcoming addition and renovation project.