The critical path method is also known, as critical path analysis is the flow of the project process is an effective way to manage and handle the project processes. This also aids in making the project schedule and timeline for the project managers to follow. The Critical path method template is one of the most helpful and well-organized tools for managing your project tasks professionally.
In this article, we will help you understand the concept of the Critical path method (CPM). We will also discuss the way it works also shed light on its main components.
About Critical Path Method (CPM) Excel Template
The Critical path method holds a high spot in the process of project task management and handling. As its depressants and make the project proceed in a flow and avoid any issue related to the performance and successful completion. Furthermore, this method highlights and performs the most important and cuticle task first to make the process easy and quick afterward.
It also helps in maintaining a balance and saves you a considerable amount of time. The deadlines are met efficiently by the Critical path method. This method of project task management allows you to compare the real actual performance with the expected planned one. Moreover, all the critical activities are also highlighted to keep an eye on them. And the important tasks are highlighted as well, that need extra attention and proper handling.
Elements of Critical Path Method
The Critical path method is basically a way of scheduling and completing the important task of the project in a timely manner in accordance with their significance. The best way to do this is to make a model which should include all the tasks details, their dependencies, and estimated time duration for their successful completion.
Following are some of the significant components of the Critical path method:
- Identifies and pinpoints the basic tasks necessary for the project and makes an account for the dependencies on each other.
- Then comes the identification of the time needed for each task to complete efficiently.
- We must identify and recognize the critical path and critical activities of the project tasks.
- After that make a list of project processes with planning, scheduling, and finally monitoring the critical and analytical activities involving the project.
- After that in the Critical path method, we must also focus on project milestones and deliverables
- Finally comes the monitoring and planning of the stakeholder’s expectations and planned delivery timing of the project products.
Stages of Critical Path Method Excel
As the Critical path method is an effective method to highlight the important tasks and their dependencies let us see the important stages of this process.
- In the most initial stage, you must collect all the data of the activities and their relationship with each other. This allows you to see the linkage and the sequence of all the critical activities of the project.
- Then you should make a connection and network of the activities. This will allow you to calculate and estimate the time needed for each project.
- Eventually, you will have an idea of the total amount of time needed to complete the project
- You can also find out the time required to finish each task individually. Furthermore, the critical path is also determined for specific project tasks.
How to Create Critical Path Template in Excel
By default, there is no option in MS excel that helps in the identification of your project’s CP. But there are many customization options in excel that allow you to create your own CPM for a project.
Below there is a guide to make it;
- Creation of Hierarchy Diagram
With the help of a hierarchy diagram, we can make a flow chart of our project tasks list and activities in descending order. In this process, the Work breakdown structure plays an important role.
- Prepare the spreadsheet in Excel
Now evaluation process is the next step, for this purpose we create an activity list with time estimation and path required to complete the activity. Below the activity list option, we put a complete list of our project activity list as well as we set time duration or milestone under the option of duration. After that, we put specific paths that are chosen under the option of activity path.
- Identify your project’s critical path
As we know that, CPM is the path of completing a project with maximum time require, but to evaluate a critical path we have to calculate all activity paths and their required duration time.
Mostly, we evaluate the critical paths by choosing the longest path to complete a project this is the common method. But in the excel sheet, we can use the MAX function that will provide us automatically CP. In some project manager’s opinion, the MAX function of excel is an effective and error-free way to make a CPM.
- CPM & Gantt chart
Now its time to make a project schedule, execution plan, risk management plan, timeline, and Gantt Chart to make these plans presentable and visualize.
Critical Path Analysis & Project Management
Critical path analysis plays a vital role when it comes to managing a project as it efficiently defines the project scope and main goals of the project. This concept is mainly focusing one thing at a time.
As in critical path analysis, you pick a task and you do not start another one once you complete the first task. Subsequently, in the Critical path method tasks are completed in a timely order and proper sequence of arrangement.
It is possible to have more than one critical path in a project at a time. Therefore, in this case, different paths run simultaneously but parallel to each other. Another important point is it is not essential for the critical path to have all the most important tasks in it.
Subsequently, it is not imitative that the critical path must be the significant task of the project. The main concept of Critical path analysis to identify which activities and tasks need special attention and must be completed first for project success.