Critical path analysis (CPA) is used to determine the critical and non-critical activities related to the business processes or plans and the amount of float involved in each activity. As such, the result of this method identifies the critical path, which includes the sequence of essential steps that incorporate a value chain or work plan. It is a long-term path that covers all the crucial steps of the value chain and works plan and defines the shortest time to accomplish the task (Zareei, 2018). Considering the relevance of the CPA in project planning, it is crucial to discuss its methodology. First, one needs to define all steps within the business process or work plan and document them in the order in which they occur. It is also important to determine the connection between steps and trace the dependencies between them. One should identify the latest possible start and the completion time, or a date when each step can occur without delaying the next one.
The next step implies the calculation of a float value for each activity. All the information gathered above helps to define the critical and non-critical tasks by identifying the duration of the value stream or work plan. The finalizing step involves the visual depiction of the results through the critical path chart. CPA generally requires network diagrams to demonstrate logical relationships between the tasks; however, the study conducted by Hein & Min Htike (2018) investigates the successful calculation methods based on CPA without a network diagram. Zareei’s (2018) research implements successful project scheduling for analysis and assessment of constructing a biogas plant with a fixed dome using the CPM method with WinQsb software. As a result, the project schedule consisted of minimum completion time, earliest and latest start and end times, slack time, and critical activities. CPA is a fundamental approach in managing a project schedule since it examines the alternatives for reducing the duration of time needed to complete the essential steps identified within a business process or work plan.
Hein Soe, P., & Min Htike, T. (2018). Critical path analysis programming method without network diagram. MATEC Web of Conferences, 192(4), 01027.
Vergara, J. G. (2018). Critical path analysis. Project Management. Web.
Zareei, S. (2018). Project scheduling for constructing biogas plant using critical path method. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 81, 756–759.