Tips for Developing an Efficient Critical Path Project Management Plan

Le chemin critique (en anglais, Critical Path Method ou CPM) est une technique qui permet d’identifier les tâches nécessaires à l’achèvement d’un projet. En gestion de projet, le chemin critique représente la plus longue séquence d’activités à réaliser dans les temps, afin de boucler l’ensemble du projet. Vous trouverez ci-dessous les différentes étapes qui vous permettront de trouver le chemin critique pour vos prochains projets.

Using the critical path method can make it easier for companies to complete complex tasks.

Tips for dealing with constraints
  • Use the fast-tracking process. …
  • Crash the project. …
  • Avoid date constraints. …
  • Update the schedule. …
  • Prioritize communication.

What is the Critical Path Method (CPM)? PM in Under 5 minutes

Tips for dealing with contingencies

Changes in the critical path project management plan can affect the goal completion date. Here are a few tips for dealing with contingencies:

Identify whats required

The first step to addressing contingencies is to identify what it needs. For example, the contingency could require more money, time or labor.

Create an assumptions list

An assumptions list is a list of project-related facts that you can assume are true. The people responsible for each task can identify assumptions related to their portion of the project and share this information with other team members. An assumption list can prevent the need to double-check data like what tools the team requires or how much they cost.

The list typically includes notes on:

Once there is an assumption list in place, members may make fewer contingency decisions based on wrong assumptions.

Predict the risks

Predicting risks like bad weather in your suppliers area should be part of your contingency plan. In a typical risk log, include:

Allocate resources

Resources include team members, new software, finances and materials. To deal with contingencies relating to resources, its best to consider each resource beforehand and think about how you can resolve any potential issues. For example, you may need to introduce third parties to train more members or allocate additional funding from another source within the organization.

Analyze the project schedule

For this step, ask yourself the following critical questions:

How does critical path project management work?

Critical path project management works by detailing the longest sequences of tasks needed to complete a project. A well-designed critical path project management plan is important because if some tasks take too long to complete, the entire project could risk going off schedule. Try to assign tasks at an appropriate time when employees are ready and consider contingencies to prevent last-minute changes. Doing so is important because later changes to the critical path can affect the end date of the project.

When planning, the person responsible can consider:

In detailing this information, you can measure a project from start to finish and determine the time needed to complete it. When you calculate each tasks duration, you might find some tasks in the path that have float or slack. These terms refer to activities that you can delay without affecting the schedule of the project.

Tips for dealing with constraints

Constraints are situations or other factors that limit the efficiency and success of your project. Here are tips for dealing with contingencies:

1. Use the fast-tracking process

Having to wait for one task to end to start another is a common constraint in a critical path project management plan. To minimize such a restriction, you can opt for the fast-tracking process, which means you run several activities at once.

You can use fast-tracking on tasks that dont depend on anything else. For example, in a construction setting, you can build the foundation of a house and, at the same time, buy the material required to build the walls.

For this process, excellent resource management is essential to keep the project moving, as you will need additional resources and members to work on different tasks.

2. Crash the project

When there is an early deadline, you can opt for a process known as crashing. The term refers to assigning a task additional resources to get it done in a shorter time. You can use resources from activities with high floats by imposing delays on other activities.

You can crash a project in several ways, including:

3. Avoid date constraints

Avoid adding unnecessary constraints to an already limited path. Unnecessary restrictions can include things like an arbitrary start date for a task. For example, instead of building walls in the first week of January, opt for a practical constraint and plan to start building the walls as soon as you lay the foundation.

4. Update the schedule

Members should regularly update the critical path project management plan so all employees know which tasks are complete and which are still on the list. Employees should try to update the plan in real-time. An efficient way to do this is by investing in a cloud-based project management software solution where members can submit progress updates from their laptops and cell phones. With reliable data available, you can track the critical paths progress.

5. Prioritize communication

To encourage optimal communication, you can use project management software to create an interactive graphic illustration of the projects performance. With details on the timeline and resources, team members can remain informed. When a team communicates effectively, they are more likely to complete the project on time and at a high level of quality.


What is a critical path activities in project management?

How to find the critical path
  1. List activities. Use a work breakdown structure to list all the project activities or tasks required to produce the deliverables. …
  2. Identify dependencies. …
  3. Create a network diagram. …
  4. Estimate task duration. …
  5. Calculate the critical path. …
  6. Calculate the float.

How do you mark a project in critical path?

A critical path in project management is the longest possible sequence of dependent tasks that stakeholders must complete on time in order to deliver a project on schedule. By identifying the critical path, you can determine the earliest project completion date.

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