Why does the Critical path matter?

Project Execution

In the last post, we have covered the meaning of the Critical path. We have established that the Critical path is the chain of interdependent tasks.

But why does Critical Path matter?

The Critical Path matters because delays on the tasks that are on the Critical path can delay the project.

For example: Consider the following chain for building a house:

Foundation-> Walls-> Roofing-> Flooring

If there is a delay in erecting walls, it will affect the next task in the chain (roofing). There is a risk of delaying the overall project.

The Critical path is the longest chain of interdependent tasks to complete the project. Therefore, the delay in one task can have a ripple effect on subsequent tasks in the chain.

As a Project Sponsor, you must protect the Critical Path for the project. Therefore, before approving additional scope, assess how it affects the Critical Path.

During Project Status Report meetings, always ask if the tasks on the Critical path are on track. Assess the risks for the tasks that are on the Critical path.

It is much more efficient to allocate more resources to get tasks on the Critical path back on track than suffering the project delays.

So, put every effort to protect the Critical path. Because Critical Path matters – to deliver the project on time!