Summary
The critical path method (CPM), or critical path analysis (CPA), is an algorithm for scheduling a set of project activities. A critical path is determined by identifying the longest stretch of dependent activities and measuring the time required to complete them from start to finish. It is commonly used in conjunction with the program evaluation and review technique (PERT). The CPM is a project-modeling technique developed in the late 1950s by Morgan R. Walker of DuPont and James E. Kelley Jr. of Remington Rand. Kelley and Walker related their memories of the development of CPM in 1989. Kelley attributed the term "critical path" to the developers of the PERT, which was developed at about the same time by Booz Allen Hamilton and the U.S. Navy. The precursors of what came to be known as critical path were developed and put into practice by DuPont between 1940 and 1943 and contributed to the success of the Manhattan Project. Critical path analysis is commonly used with all forms of projects, including construction, aerospace and defense, software development, research projects, product development, engineering, and plant maintenance, among others. Any project with interdependent activities can apply this method of mathematical analysis. CPM was used for the first time in 1966 for the major skyscraper development of constructing the former World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City. Although the original CPM program and approach is no longer used, the term is generally applied to any approach used to analyze a project network logic diagram. The essential technique for using CPM is to construct a model of the project that includes: A list of all activities required to complete the project (typically categorized within a work breakdown structure) The time (duration) that each activity will take to complete The dependencies between the activities Logical end points such as milestones or deliverable items Using these values, CPM calculates the longest path of planned activities to logical end points or to the end of the project, and the earliest and latest that each activity can start and finish without making the project longer.
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Critical chain project management (CCPM) is a method of planning and managing projects that emphasizes the resources (people, equipment, physical space) required to execute project tasks. It was developed by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. It differs from more traditional methods that derive from critical path and PERT algorithms, which emphasize task order and rigid scheduling. A critical chain project network strives to keep resources levelled, and requires that they be flexible in start times.
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Critical path method
The critical path method (CPM), or critical path analysis (CPA), is an algorithm for scheduling a set of project activities. A critical path is determined by identifying the longest stretch of dependent activities and measuring the time required to complete them from start to finish. It is commonly used in conjunction with the program evaluation and review technique (PERT). The CPM is a project-modeling technique developed in the late 1950s by Morgan R. Walker of DuPont and James E. Kelley Jr. of Remington Rand.
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