The project network is the difference between a list of tasks with
durations and start/finish dates; and a well-coordinated plan for when
the tasks will be accomplished.
Its advantage also lies in its ability to strategize for “what if” analyses,
such as where there are resource constraints and time critical tasks,
and the impacts of early or late start or finish times.
You can construct a project network using the process known as the
Critical Path Method (CPM); consisting of the following action steps:
Critical Path Method (CPM)
The CPM method is used to calculate the theoretical earliest start and
finish times for schedule tasks, and also their latest start and finish
times, based either on a defined start or finish date.
” through the schedule network.
pass begins with the first task in the schedule and continues to
the last task in accordance with the relationships between the
This results in the earliest start and finish dates.
” is then performed beginning with the last
task, and working backwards through the network to the first
task while adhering to the task relationships.
pass results in the latest start and finish dates for all the tasks.
Once the above information is known, the critical path of the project
can then be determined, as well as any float associated with schedule
The critical path is:
The path with the least amount of float or slack
tasks located on the critical path do not have any float or slack.
This means that tasks on the critical path cannot be delayed
without delaying the finish time of the entire project.
The sequence of tasks through the schedule network which
has the longest total duration
– Hence, this path established
the minimum length of time to complete the project.
forward and backward passes have been completed, the critical
path can be determined.
Ideally, a project should have only
But given the complexity of most projects which
may have hundreds, thousands, or even tens of