Schedule Critical Path is a conception used in project planning, management and time estimation. This conception is utilized in Critical Path Method (CPM) – a technique to calculate amount of time required to accomplish a project. A project’s Critical Path is a sequence of tasks going one-by-one throughout the project schedule, which don’t have a slack, or leeway, allowing delaying these tasks. Durations of the tasks lying on a project’s Schedule Critical Path, when summed up, determine the minimal possible time needed to complete this project. If only one task residing on the Critical Path gets delayed for any reason, then automatically the whole project’s due date gets delayed as well.
Schedule Critical Path has the following features:
- It determines the finish date of a project, as it is the shortest possible way to get the project done;
- Once all tasks from this path are completed on-time, then automatically the entire project is done on-time;
- Tasks on this path don’t have any spare time to float (in other words they don’t have slack), meaning they can’t be completed earlier or later, but they have only fixed start and finish dates;
- Tasks on this path need to be estimated maximally accurately and realistically, so the most true time estimation can be given to the whole project;