An article “Qualitative techniques for project management” written by Vasile Deac and Mihai Vrincut discusses the application of the Critical Path to project management. To accelerate the rotation of assets in an organization, it is necessary to improve the process of completing projects. Critical path refers to an assortment of procedures that allow completing a project in the shortest allotted time possible (Deac & Vrîncuț, 2012). Specific tasks that comprise a project have their own deadlines and requirements, needing to be done quickly in order to move the entire undertaking along. The combination of good management and strategy becomes crucial in completing each necessary part of the project on time. As the authors explain, the critical path asserts that some tasks can be delayed without impacting the overall deadline of the project, while others cannot (Deac & Vrîncuț, 2012). Activities without a flexible deadline are what comprise the critical path, and they depend on the completion of other parts of the whole in order to be started. Since the completion of all the critical tasks is what determines the completion of a project, it is also what determines its overall deadline. It is crucial to develop a critical path for long and complex projects as a way to keep every part of the whole on track.
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By calculating both early and late starts/finishes for each activity, it becomes possible to distinguish between critical and non-critical activities within each project. The time saved on tasks with a large reserve can be accordingly relocated to the critical path in order to move the entire project in accordance with deadlines (Deac & Vrîncuț, 2012). However, the application of the Critical Path can also be misleading, resulting in incorrect conclusions. The focus on the most important tasks can grow into negligence of the smaller ones, which builds risks (Deac & Vrîncuț, 2012). Additionally, bad planning techniques and incorrect estimations of the necessary deadlines can negatively impact the process as a whole. Multitasking and bad time management often present a large potential for additional losses, mistakes, and conflicts (Deac & Vrîncuț, 2012). Overall, the critical path approach has a number of downsides that should be accounted for and remedied by using other methods, such as the critical chain.
Deac, V., & Vrîncuț, M. (2012). Qualitative techniques for project management: II. A modern approach to the critical path. Quality – Access to Success, 13(129), 79–82.