Construction Schedule: Critical Path Method

April 7, 2016


Critical Path Method scheduling was developed in 1957, to address challenges on complex projects. Being one of the most used scheduling techniques in the construction industry, the Critical Path Method is a valuable tool that can lead you to achieve project results.

The Critical Path Method schedule shall include all work specified in the Contract Documents, including all expected activities of subcontractors, vendors, suppliers and all other parties associated with construction of the project.


A critical path method will provide you with a graphical view of the project, giving you the time required to complete an activity and determining the activities that will become critical to the project if not completed within the specified time.


This process is more elaborated and detailed than a simple bar chart. With a large list of activities, each activity is then linked to previous and subsequent activities, specifying that each activity has at least another one that must be completed prior to starting the preceding one. With the Critical Path Method, calendar days are established and activities are assigned with an early date, first date that an activity can start; late start, specifying the last possible date that this activity must be started to avoid delays in the overall construction process; early finish, the earlier date that the proposed activity will be completed; and the late finish, that is the last date the activity must be completed without affecting the start of the next one, and subsequently affecting the entire construction schedule.


The steps in producing a network are:

- Listing of activities

- Producing a network showing the logical relationship between activities.

- Assessing the duration of each activity, producing a schedule, and determining the start and finish times of each activity and the available float

- Assessing the required resources.


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