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.
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.