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What is Critical Path Method (CPM)?


The Critical Path Method (CPM) is a project management technique used to determine the duration of a project from start to finish. It involves identifying all of the tasks required for a project, determining their dependencies, creating a network diagram showing the sequences of tasks, estimating the duration of each task, calculating the critical path (the longest path in the network which determines the overall project duration), and determining the float (the amount of time a task can be delayed without delaying the entire project). CPM is often used in construction projects to ensure that tasks are completed efficiently and within the planned timeframe.


To successfully use the Critical Path Method (CPM) in construction projects, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Outline all of the tasks required for the project: Start by creating a list of all the tasks that need to be completed for the project to be successful.

  2. Identify task dependencies: Determine which tasks are dependent on others, as this will affect the order in which tasks can be completed.

  3. Create a network diagram: Use a diagram to visually represent the sequences of tasks, using arrows and nodes to show which tasks must be completed before others can begin.

  4. Estimate task durations: Assign realistic timeframes to each task based on your past experiences or industry standards.

  5. Calculate the critical path: Determine the longest path in the network, which will determine the overall project duration. You can use forward and backward pass techniques to calculate the critical path.

  6. Determine the project float: Calculate the amount of time a task can be delayed without delaying the entire project. This will allow you to identify any potential issues or bottlenecks in the project schedule.

  7. Monitor and update the project schedule: As the project progresses, it's important to monitor the schedule and make any necessary updates to ensure that the project stays on track and is completed within the planned timeframe.


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