## Developing Risk Responses

One of the exam subobjectives talks about the critical path, a topic we ' ve not yet covered. The critical path of a project is the series of consecutive activities that represent the longest series of dependent actions through the project. There are critical path questions on the test and in this chapter ' s review questions.

If the first step in a project, Task A, must be accomplished before Task B can occur, you 've defined the first step toward the critical path. If Task C can occur at the same time that Task A occurs, and it does not hinge on any predecessor occurring first, then Task C is not on the critical path. Figure 6.1 shows a sample critical path.

TaiJi EL 5 days

Figure 6.1: An elementary critical path

In Figure 6.1, you can see that to move from Task A to Task B requires 10 days. Next, you use up 5 days in accomplishing Task B, but it has to be done before you can move on to Task C, which also requires 5 days. Therefore, the entire critical path takes 20 days. A is a predecessor to B, which is a predecessor to C.

Figure 6.2 shows that Task A is a predecessor to both Task B and Task C. Neither can go forward without the accomplishment of Task A. Likewise, Task B and Task C are both predecessors to Task D. To evaluate the critical path, you add up the duration that each path utilizes; the longest one is the critical path. In this case, A B D takes 20 days and A C D takes 22 days; thus, A C D represents the critical path for the project.

Figure 6.1: An elementary critical path

In Figure 6.1, you can see that to move from Task A to Task B requires 10 days. Next, you use up 5 days in accomplishing Task B, but it has to be done before you can move on to Task C, which also requires 5 days. Therefore, the entire critical path takes 20 days. A is a predecessor to B, which is a predecessor to C.

Figure 6.2 shows that Task A is a predecessor to both Task B and Task C. Neither can go forward without the accomplishment of Task A. Likewise, Task B and Task C are both predecessors to Task D. To evaluate the critical path, you add up the duration that each path utilizes; the longest one is the critical path. In this case, A B D takes 20 days and A C D takes 22 days; thus, A C D represents the critical path for the project.