(Online Course) Pub Ad for IAS Mains: Techniques of Administrative Improvement - Critical Path Method (CPM) (Paper -1)

(Online Course) Public Administration for IAS Mains Exams

Topic: Techniques of Administrative Improvement: Critical Path Method (CPM)

CPM was developed by the engineers of the Du Pont Company in the 1950’s for its application in all scheduling work, construction projects, research and development programmes and in many other situation that require estimates of time and performance.

Main Features

  • A network of events and activities is presented pictorially in CPM with the help of several circles and arrows.
  • Each circle represents an event and each arrow represents an activity.
  • An event signifies the beginning of one activity and the end of another activity.
  • Events are assigned serial numbers for expressing their sequence and their separate identification.
  • An activity, on the other hand, implies time-consuming efforts or actions required for achieving an event. The flow of sequential activities is indicated by the arrow-head, and such flow calls for estimating time in number of days or weeks in respect of each activity between any two events. That is, there must be an elapsed timed for each activity between events.

After a network of events and activities has been prepared and times for all activities have been shown, the critical path is computed with reference to chose strategic events and activities which take the longest time to complete the whole projects and which thereby leave the least slack time. Slack time is the different between the target time and the project-completion time.

Advantage: The Network always through CPM leads to a number of benefits.

1. It focuses attention of the timely completion of the whole project or even on shortening its time span by several means.
2. Briefly, it results in the optimum utilization of resources and facilities.
3. Detect potential bottlenecks to the flow of work and to avoid an unnecessary pressure on other paths.
4. It improves the quality of planning, organising and controlling in a number of ways.

Limitations: CMP has some limitations:

1. In repetitive or routine operation and for recurring projects, it has limited use and applications.
2. As the time estimate for each activity is based on a single time without any consideration of future contingencies and impending difficulties, may prove to be unrealistic.

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