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Critical Path Method (CPM)

The Critical Path Method (or CPM) is the method by which the critical path through a project schedule is calculated. It helps answer the question 'How long is this project going to take?'

The critical path is the sequence of tasks which have zero float. Thus, if any task on the critical path finishes late, then the whole project will also finish late. There is always at least one critical path.

CPM is a fairly involved approach with many calculations. Fortunately, many Project Management software programs, such as Microsoft Project, do this work for you.

See also:

Activity Network, Critical Path, Float, PERT

 

Toolbook chapter: Activity Network

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