The Most Important Part Of Your Project Schedule

What do you think it is? Is it that you don’t have tasks that span three reporting periods? Is it that your tasks are almost entirely “Finish-To-Start” dependent? Is it that each task has a clear assignee and resource allocation?

Those things and about 10 others are important for their own reasons, but their not the most important.

The most important part of your project schedule is the Critical Path.

If you come to me and say that your project schedule is ready to be baselined, I expect to hear (1) when you’re going to be done with the project, and (2) what the Critical Path is. If you don’t know exactly what tasks lie on the Critical Path, you’re slacking on 1/3 of your job (schedule/cost/scope).

What is the Critical Path?

The Critical Path is the longest path of tasks through your project. It’s the series of tasks where if any task is delayed by 1-day, the whole project is delayed by 1-day. Inversely, if any task can be completed 1-day shorter, the entire project can be completed 1-day shorter.

If you don’t do anything else with your project schedule management (and you should do much more than just this) you need to closely monitor your Critical Path tasks. Don’t ignore the Secondary Critical Path tasks, and don’t create a new critical path by letting too much schedule slack pass you by, but the Critical Path is where your 80/20 focus should be when it comes to schedule management.

If you want to know all the most important concept of Project Management, grab a copy of my free ebook, here.

P.S. This is day 15 of 30 in my challenge to write every day for 30 days. How have you been enjoying my content? What you rather see? DM me on Twitter @Josh_M_Newman

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