Why is knowing the critical path so important?

The critical path - at home

If you want your kids to be at school sooner, you need to get them dressed faster - drinking your coffee faster while driving the kids to school will not help since this is not on the critical path.
Can you already sense the importance of knowing the critical path in an every-day family situation? It can make a huge difference. And so it does for your projects. Do you know the critical path in your schedule and do you know the benefits you get from managing the critical path? Why is knowing the critical path so important?1

The benefits of investigating and managing the critical path

  • It helps reduce project duration - Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is a technique with which up to 33% of total project duration can be saved
  • It helps reduce project costs - If durations are shorter, there is a shorter need for expensive resources
  • It helps improve project efficiency - When focusing on a short critical path, tasks are better examined for efficiency, such as agreeing on specs before you start a task, which reduces rework
  • It helps schedule, monitor and control projects - Reporting on progress on the critical path is reporting on the progress of the total project duration
  • It reveals all the dependencies in the organization - It helps making your stakeholders understand why the project needs to take a certain duration, because of certain processes that have to be followed or certain items that need to be delivered by other projects first.

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