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# KAEA 4165

## CRITICAL PATH METHOD

Dr. Tan Chee Ghuan
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What is CPM?
The Critical Path Method is a mathematically
based algorithm for scheduling a set of project
activities.
It is an important tool for effective project
management.
Commonly used with all forms of projects,
including construction, software development,
research
projects,
product
development,
engineering, and plant maintenance.
Any project with interdependent activities can
apply this method of scheduling

What is CPM?
The essential technique for using CPM is to
construct a model of the project that includes the
following:
A list of all activities required to complete the
project (also known as Work Breakdown
Structure)
The time (duration) that each activity will take to
completion
The dependencies between the activities.
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What is CPM?
CPM calculates
The longest path of planned activities to the end of the
project
The earliest and latest that each activity can start and finish
without making the project longer

## Determines critical activities (on the longest path)

Prioritize activities for the effective management and
to shorten the planned critical path of a project by:
Pruning critical path activities
Fast tracking" (performing more activities in parallel)
Crashing the critical path" (shortening the durations of
critical path activities by adding resources)

## APPRAOCHES FOR NETWORK DIAGRAM (CPM)

1. ACTIVITY ON ARC (AOA):
Uses arcs to represent activities and nodes to
represent events.
It is Event Oriented.
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DUMMY ACTIVITY

## AOA approach requires the addition of a Dummy

Activity to clarify the precedence relationship
between the two activities.

resources.

## Dummy Activity is used in two situations:

1) When two or more activities start and end at the same
nodes

3
Dummy

2
2)

## When two or more activities share the same

precedence activity but not all the precedence are
shared.

Activity

Precedence

A , B

5
7

## Uses nodes to represent activities and arcs

indicate precedence relationships between
them.
It is Activity Oriented.

## ESTIMATING TIME OF COMPLETION

Planning the schedule of the project
Time estimates include:
1)

## Total duration for completion.

2)

D Duration of an activity.

3)

## ES - Earliest start time: the earliest time at which the activity

can start given that its precedent activities must be
completed first.

4)

## EF - Earliest finish time: equals to the earliest start time for

the activity plus the duration required to complete the
activity.

5)

## LF - Latest finish time: the latest time in which the activity

can be completed without delaying the project.

6)

LS - Latest start time: equal to the latest finish time minus the
duration required to complete the activity.

## 7. SLACK TIME (TOTAL FLOAT)

- The amount of time an activity on a non-critical path can
be delayed without affecting the duration of the project
- Critical path is the path of activities having zero Slack
time.
8. FREE FLOAT
- Free float is amount of time that an activity can be
delayed without affecting any succeeding activity.
Total Float
0

12

LS

EF

20

A (12)

ES

LF
17

24

ES

EF

36

B (7)

Free Float

LS

LF

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1.
2.
3.

## Specify the activities, duration and dependencies

Draw a network diagram.
Perform the forward pass to identify all Early Start and Early Finish
time for the network.
Early Finish (EF) = Early Start (ES) + Duration (D)

4.

Perform the backward pass to identify all Late Start (LS)and Late
Finish (LF) time for the network.
Late Start (LS) = Late Finish (LF) Duration (D)

5.

## Calculate the Slack Time.

6.

Slack Time (Total Float) = Late Start (LS) Early Start (ES)

## Identify the task on critical path with zero slack time.

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Terminologies

D - Duration
ES Early Start
EF Early Finish
LS Late Start
LF Late Finish
S - Slack

ES

EF

S ID D
LS
LF

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A

----

B
C
D

2
1
3

A
A
A

E
F

1
3

C,D
B

E,F

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2. Network Diagram

F 3

Duration

Predecessor

C,D

E,F

A

C 1

G 2

Duration

ES

D 3

E 1

F
LS

EF
ID

D
LF

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3. Forward Pass
2

Early
Start
0

1st

2
A 2

4
B 2

7
F 3

Total duration
= 9 days

Early
Finish
2

3
C 1

5
D 3

EF = ES + D
ES = EF of predecessor
When more than one predecessor, pick the
larger #

6
E 1

9
G 2

ES
F
LS

EF
ID

D
LF

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4. Backward Pass
2

4
B

end with LS = 0.
0
A
0
Late
Start

2
2
2

7
F 3
4
7
7

9
G 2
7
9

3
C

1
6

Late
Finish

2
LS = LF - D
LF = LS of successor

5
D 3
3
6

6
E 1
6
7

ES
F
LS

EF
ID

D
LF

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smallest #

2
4
0 B 2
2
4

0
2
0 A 2
0
2

4
7
0 F 3
4
7
7
9
0 G 2
7
9

2
3
3 C 1
5
6

2
5
1 D 3
3
6

5
6
1 E 1
6
7

ES
F
LS

EF
ID

D
LF

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6. Critical Path
The path with 0
Slack is the
critical path.

2
4
0 B 2
2
4

4
7
0 F 3
4
7

## A-B-F-G is the critical path

0
2
0 A 2
0
2

2
3
3 C 1
5
6

2
5
1 D 3
3
6
LS = LF - D
LF = LS of successor

0 G 2
7

5
1
6

6
E 1
7

ES
F
LS

EF
ID

D
LF

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## Calculation of the Critical Path

Critical Path
The path that
takes the longest
to complete

4 weeks

10 weeks

2 weeks

3 weeks

5
4 weeks

16 weeks

4 weeks

1 week

## Calculation of the Critical Path

Critical Path
The path that
takes the longest
to complete

4 weeks

10 weeks

2 weeks

3 weeks

5
4 weeks

16 weeks

4 weeks

1 week

C.P. = 40 weeks

## Calculation of the Critical Path

It is possible for multiple
Critical Paths to exist
New information suggests
that Activity 4 will take 5

4 weeks

10 weeks

5
X

2 weeks

3 weeks

5
4 weeks

16 weeks

4 weeks

1 week

8
21

## Calculation of the Critical Path

It is possible for multiple
Critical Paths to exist

New information
suggests that Activity
4 will take 5 weeks

4 weeks

10 weeks

5
X

2 weeks

3 weeks

5
5 weeks

16 weeks

4 weeks

1 week

8
22

C.P. = 40 weeks

## Calculation of the Critical Path

Critical Path may also
shift if non-critical
activity is lengthened
or Critical Path activity
is shortened
Another update
indicates it will
actually take 6 weeks
for Activity 4

4 weeks

10 weeks

6
X

2 weeks

3 weeks

5
4 weeks

16 weeks

4 weeks

1 week

8
23

## Calculation of the Critical Path

Critical Path may also
shift if non-critical
activity is lengthened
or Critical Path activity
is shortened
Another update
indicates it will actually
take 6 weeks for
Activity 4

4 weeks

10 weeks

6
X

2 weeks

3 weeks

5
6 weeks

16 weeks

4 weeks

1 week

8
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C.P. = 41 weeks

Exercise: CPM
Question:
Determine the total duration of the project using CPM. Find the
critical path.

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