Identifying critical activities

The critical path identifies those activities which are critical to the end date of the project: however, activ ities that are not on the critical path may become critical. As the project proceeds, activities will invariably use up some of their float and this will require a periodic recalculation of the network. As soon as the activ ities along a particular path use up their total float then that path w ill become a critical path and a number of hitherto non-critical activities w ill suddenly become critical.

It is therefore common practice to identify 'near-critical' paths - those whose lengths arc w ithin, say. 10-20% of the duration of the critical path or those w ith a total float of less than. say. I Oft of the project's uncompleted duration.

The importance of identifying critical and near-critical activities is that it is they that are most likely to be the cause of delays in completing the project. We shall see. in the next three chapters, that identifying these activities is an important step in risk analysis, resource allocation and project monitoring.

For a more in-depth discussion of the role of the critical path in project monitoring, see Chapter 9.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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