Critical path method
The critical path method is a method used to estimate the minimum project duration and determine the amount of scheduling flexibility on the logical network paths within the schedule model. This schedule network analysis technique calculates the early start, early finish, late start, and late finish dates for all activities without regard for any resource limitations by performing a forward and backward pass analysis through the schedule network. The critical path is the sequence of activities that represents the longest path through a project, which determines the shortest possible project duration. The resulting early and late start and finish dates are not necessarily the project schedule, rather they indicate the time periods within which activity could be executed, using parameters entered in the schedule model for activity durations, logical relationships, leads, lags and other known constraints. The critical path method is used to calculate the amount of scheduling flexibility on the logical network paths within the schedule model.