4c project portfolio, programme and resource management software

Home
 
Contact Us
Site Search
Site Map
Products Industries Services Customers News About Us
 

Home > 4c Project Manager > Critical Path Analysis

   
 

4c

Fully-integrated portfolio, programme, project, resource management and critical path analysis software

Critical Path Analysis

By identifying the critical activities in a project, Critical Path Analysis helps you to:

  • optimise performance

  • eliminate bottlenecks

  • clarify responsibilities

  • improve control.

The success or failure of your projects will be determined from the management and scheduling of these critical activities.

In order to remain on top of all of the component tasks within your projects, you need access to a wealth of information, including likely activity durations, costs and logically necessary sequences.

You need to know which tasks must be completed on time for the whole project to remain on schedule, and which tasks can be delayed if resources need to be reallocated to catch up on missed tasks.

Identifying the critical tasks with 4c is really easy

- the Gantt Chart and Precedence Network show them in yellow.

If a task's earliest start/end time is earlier than its latest start/end time, the task is said to have float: in other words, it can be delayed without affecting the project end date. If the earliest and latest end times are the same, the task is critical.  Such tasks need to be monitored closely to avoid overrunning the target project end date.

Critical Path Analysis shows you the minimum amount of time needed for the whole project, based on the task durations you have estimated and the task interdependencies you have defined.

If the project end date is fixed, Critical Path Analysis will tell you the latest date you need to start the project to meet that end date - sometimes called reverse scheduling

Not all Critical Path Analysis software can do this - 4c can.

If the analysis shows that the project can't be delivered by a required date, what can you do?

  • Increase the resources allocated to the critical tasks to reduce their durations;

  • Revise the resources' working patterns (e.g. change from single to double-shift working, or add overtime hours);

  • Revise the dependencies so that at least one of the critical tasks is carried out at the same time as another critical task;

  • Remove one or more of the critical tasks.

4c shows you the problems - and helps you to resolve them.

Create a link to multiple tasks in a single step:

 

4c streamlines and simplifies your entire Critical Path Analysis process:

  • Estimate task durations both directly and by resource effort. 4c will calculate the duration based on resources' working patterns

  • Draw task dependencies graphically on Gantt Charts or Precedence Networks (PERT/CPM or Logic charts)

  • Create multiple links from a one task to other tasks in a single easy step

  • Specify delays or lags between the end of one task and the start of the next

  • Plan projects and tasks around specific start and end dates for the project

  • Use reverse scheduling to find out the latest date the project must start to meet a fixed end date

  • Focus on the critical tasks

  • Monitor current scheduled dates against deadlines on key milestones

  • Quickly identify slippages

 

Do you need to provide a Critical Path for a tender or proposal?

Not sure how to do it?

We can build a critical path for you, using information you give us, and we'll output the result as a picture file or a Microsoft Project file.

Contact Us

for more details

     
 

Critical Path Analysis - defining dependencies

Critical Path Analysis - defining dependencies

 

       
   

Gain more from 4c

Find out how 4c can benefit your entire organisation

 

Planning and Estimating

Discover how 4c helps with planning and estimating

 

Go Back

 



Download our articles or run any of our on-line demos
All graphics (except third-party logos & screenshots) were designed & executed by Natalie Catchpole.