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What is a Critical Path Method And How is It Used to Quantify Delays?

Schedule delays are often the most recurring type of disputes in construction projects. To avoid such conflicts, precise and accurate planning and execution are mandatory. The construction industry needed an effective and precise schedule to complete the projects on time. The introduction of the critical path method (CPM) technique greatly helps the involved parties avoid disputes. A CPM contains the details of how much time a specific activity will take to get completed. Having such a pre-designed schedule in place can reduce the frequency of disputes in the construction industry. This article will explain what a CPM is and how the delay experts use it to quantify the delays.

What is the Critical Path Method (CPM)?

Ensure Proper Utilization of Critical Path Method (CPM) in Construction

The critical path method often referred to as critical path scheduling, is the effective way to schedule a construction project. This scheduling technique is used to plan and calculate the time required for the completion of a project. It also entails the starting and ending dates of a construction project. Activities are scheduled to be completed. Any delay along the road can easily be identified and will require extra time to complete.

What are the Benefits of Using a Critical Path Method?

The critical path method is an effective tool to schedule the project activities. The CPM is recently added to the quantitative tools used for decision-making. Analyzing large and complex projects is now easy with the CPM. Following are the three main benefits of using the critical path method.

  • Reduce Delays: The scheduling tool can be used to detect and reduce project delays. It is a viable technique used by the management and construction professionals to avoid construction delays.
  • Improved Efficiency: With all the activities planned in a sequence, the project can be completed on time. With an effective CPM model, project efficiency can be improved.
  • Visual Information: CPM is always created in the form of graphs/charts. The information is portrayed visually and is easy to understand.

How is it used to quantify delays?

The critical path method is a plan which contains all the information about the construction activities. The order and required time for all the activities are mentioned in the path method. Delay experts use this scheduling plan to detect any delays caused by the involved parties. Following are the steps involved in a CPM that could help the experts quantify delays.

1. Scheduled Activities:

A CPM schedules all the construction activities in order. Which action should be completed first, and in how much time is explained by the CPM? If the project is delayed due to a specific activity delay, the responsible party and reason could easily be spotted. If there is any disarray in the order of activities planned, the responsible party will recover the damages, if any.

2. Progress Tracking:

The CPM empowers the parties to track the progress of the construction project. Current performance can be compared to the planned progress. If the recent progress lags behind that of the calculated, the project is facing a delay issue. In such a scenario, the experts analyze the situations and make an informed decision based on the facts. The tracking also helps the parties avoid any future mishaps by catching up on speed.

3. Improved Visibility:

The critical path method enables everyone to see the project’s progress. It helps the involved parties understand the different activities and their sequence. These sequential activities must fit together because they affect the overall duration of project completion. Dividing big tasks into smaller ones improve management and oversight. As a result, delays in the project are easily identifiable.

4. Primacy of delay:

Project delays that are critical to the CPM are meaningful. Those delays which are identified concerning the scheduled path could be entertained. This point places greater importance on the relevancy of the CPM. Another supporting fact for the critical path method is that legal authorities universally accept it. The crux is, delays identified by the delay expert concerning the CPM would be meaningful in courts and other legal places.

5. Prioritized Sequence of Tasks:

Since all the activities are prioritized on a critical path method chart, delays could easily be identified. A delay in a specific task can affect the entire project. That is the reason why all the activities are listed in sequence and must be performed accordingly. In case of delay, the construction professionals can easily detect the delay cause and effect.

Why Need an Expert for CPM Analysis?

The critical path method plays an important role in identifying and quantifying construction delays. For a detailed and accurate analysis and decision making, construction owners need to take professional delay experts on board. They ensure a precise measurement of the facts and make an informed decision.

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I am a content writer and digital marketing strategist with nearly a decade of experience helping brands and businesses communicate with their audience.

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