To continue with more details from our Part 1 Blog on Critical Path Project Management, below is a general outline of steps needed to follow protocol.
If you are relying on a schedule for completion to build your financial models, it’s imperative to have your project finished on time and within budget, getting the doors open without delays due to workforce, materials, permits, change orders, or mistakes.
Low price doesn’t mean it will cost less!
There are 6 steps to successfully implement the critical path method.
Step 1. Identifying each task in the project
You will need to break down each specific activity in your project, and do not leave out high-level activities as well! To start this off, main project deliverables will need to be identified, and then you will be able to break down high-level activities into smaller workloads.
Step 2. Organizing activity dependencies and sequences
As we stated in Part One of the post, there are predecessor relationships in the path. This means that there are activities in the project that must take place before others can be started or completed. To establish what these are and what they are linked to, take note of the following:
Identify prior tasks that occur before another task begins
Establish tasks that should be completed at the same time as the task being questioned
Determine follow-up tasks to be completed after each task
Step 3. Laying out the Networking Diagram
At this point, you should now have detected all your project activities and their dependencies. You are now ready to draw out your critical path analysis chart, which is also known as the Network Diagram. This chart shows the order of all your construction activities based on all dependencies that have been established.
Step 4. Time needed to complete activities
In this step, you will require the help of an experienced project member so you may estimate the precise completion time for each segment in your project.
Step 5. Determining the Critical Path
In this step, you can visually inspect your diagram to find the longest path through your network. One thing to note: Find the longest path in regards to the DURATION of days instead of looking for the MOST amount of nodes.
Another way you can determine what the critical activities may be is by the forward pass/backward pass process, which involves the utilization of duration times. This helps to identify the possible earliest and latest start/finish times for each activity in your project.
For MULTIPLE critical paths, you will have to run into network sensitivity because the more critical paths in a project, the higher possibility of change.
Step 6. Showing Progress by an Updated Critical Path Diagram
Once you begin your project and as it progresses, you will realize the ACTUAL completion times for each activity. You will need to continuously update your network diagram with new information instead of the earlier-realized estimations. As data emerges, you may be able to find a different critical path. This allows better progress tracking, as well as a better timeframe for your completion date.
The critical path method is the MOST EFFECTIVE and MOST RELIABLE technique in construction planning. It helps to keep your project on track, deliver on time, and within your budget.
Signing with a budget contractor usually results in project delays due to not adhering to a schedule, insufficient workforce, no-show days, and lack of planning and flexibility.
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