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What is the Critical Path Method?

The Critical Path contains all project tasks which – when delayed – are directly affecting the project end date. These tasks therefore do not have an total buffer time (total float is 0). Tasks on the critical path determine the total project duration.

Critical tasks are of great importance since they make the following statements:

  • Which tasks have to be focused on?
  • Which tasks must not be delayed in order to not delay the end of the project?

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Anyone who has ever had to prepare for a theoretical examination in project management certainly knows that network planning is rarely used in practice. Nevertheless, it makes sense to understand the logic behind it.
In general, network planning aims displaying all tasks and their dependencies graphically in the project.

What are the Objectives of Network Planning?

  • Determination of project duration
  • Determination of the Critical Path
  • Determination how to speed up a project (if necessary)
  • Basis for scheduling

What is a Network Node?

In addition to the task name, a node contains task information such as Early Start, Late Start, Early Finish and Late Finish. In addition the task duration is indicated and the buffer time (float).
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