Used in many industries, including construction, product development, software development, critical path management is a method of identifying key tasks. Once these tasks are determined, a proper timeline can be established for the overall project. Other work is established throughout the timeline as well, dependent on those key tasks.
What makes a key task on the critical path? Work that needs to be completed before the project can move forward or has the longest sequence of activities. Let’s take a look at a tenant improvement project. Before work can even begin, a design needs to be in place, permits secured, and neighbors alerted (among other things). Of these three tasks, which will have the longest duration?
While the permit process can be time-consuming, that can’t happen until the design/plan is finished. Giving the other tenants a heads up is critical – being a good neighbor should always be on the list – but can be taken care of relatively quickly. So the first key task will be getting the designing/planning/engineering in place.
No two jobs are alike, so every project schedule will be different. But there are similarities on how they are created. Planning/permitting will always be near the start of the, getting a certification of occupation will always be near the ned. What we figure out is everything in between those two points.
Halbert Construction has been utilizing this management process to establish a project plan and make sure our projects stay on target and are completed on time. It helps us identify major deadlines, dependent activities, and other actions that need to place from start to finish.
Other parts of the project are scattered along the timeline, each identified as key task dependencies. The work breakdown structure ensures everyone understands what has to happen and where each activity on the critical path belongs.
It’s critical for any project that takes time and effort to stay focused on the end goal. Halbert Construction has been using critical path management for years to provide a professional – and transparent – sequence of events for our clients. Used in conjunction with site evaluations and feasibility studies, our clients know as much about any project as we do.
No one likes surprises, that’s why so much work goes into a project before the first shovel of dirt is turned or swing of a sledgehammer.