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Home » Task Dependency » Implement Critical Path Method for Defining Task Dependencies
Implement Critical Path Method for Defining Task Dependencies  

Implement Critical Path Method for Defining Task Dependencies


Critical Path is a popular method of project planning that lets define and set task dependencies in projects. The method uses time estimation as the basis for developing project schedules. It assumes that every activity is related to the previous and next activities. Dependent tasks create sequences or "paths". The longest path of dependent tasks is called critical because all activities of this path need to be completed in the designated (longest) time in order for the entire project to be done on due date.

The key advantages of using critical path method (CPM) in setting task dependency are as follows:

  • Using logic in project planning and scheduling
  • Encouraging long-range and detailed development of project tasks
  • Providing project personnel with a complete overview of the entire project as well as individual tasks
  • Using a mechanism for evaluating effects of procedural changes that occur as dependent tasks are performed

CPM determines the longest path of interdependent activities in a schedule network. The following steps can be taken to identify how to best relate tasks to each other and define critical path:

  • Make a list of all main activities of a project
  • Review this list and create start date and finish date for each of the activities
  • Estimate how long each activity will take (activity durations)
  • Figure out which of the activities are dependent on other activities before they can begin or after their completion
  • Map all activities and add them to the project schedule
  • Be sure dependencies between activities are highlighted on the schedule
  • Develop a project plan and combine it with the schedule. Now activities transform into scheduled project tasks
  • Review tasks to identify the longest route from start to completion of the project (critical path)
  • Define how critical path tasks are dependent on each other and also on other activities outside the critical path
  • Use the critical path to discuss, evaluate and mitigate project risks
  • Understand how much critical path tasks are dependent upon risks
  • Decide on deepening task dependencies within the critical path to minimize risks.

CentriQS Task Dependency Solution

CentriQS lets users set "Finish-to-Start" task dependency when depending task cannot begin until dependent-on task is completed. As soon as predecessor-successor relationship between the tasks is set, successor task gets state 'Blocked' with reason 'By predecessor' and only after predecessor is done, successor gets unblocked. Assigned users can get notifications both when their tasks get blocked and unblocked.

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