critical path method (PM) (CPM)
In project management, the critical path method( CPM) is a network planning technique in which the path through all activities and subprojects is listed and used to determine the total duration of the project.
Typically, the critical path represents the longest path through the project plan. The critical path is made up of individual activities from the earliest start date, the Early Start Date( ES), where project implementation begins, to completion. This is the latest completion date, the Late Finish Date ( LF). In some cases, the critical path can also end at a specific intermediate target without the need to complete the entire project.
As in other network techniques, the critical path method uses simple graphical symbols for representation: Circles, lines and arrows. Circles are nodes and indicate events and activities. They are numbered consecutively and also contain the earliest and latest event dates. The lines with arrows show the sequence of events.
The Critical Path Method (CPM) is used to better estimate the minimum project duration and the Early Finish Date and to determine a planning reserve for the planning model. The Critical Path Method was developed into the Critical Chain Method.