Critical Path Analysis is a type of network analysis used in operational research. It is used for scheduling projects by analyzing the activity into separate jobs each of whose duration is estimated and between which precedence relations are established. A project network is thus produced within which a critical path can be determined on which lie those activities whose completion is critical for the successive phases of the project. Other activities may be slotted in with more flexibility subject to the governing schedule provided by the analysis. (See Lighthill.)

Fuller's reference to critical path in the book of that name does not go into the essence of critical path analysis. A critical path is described (p.248) merely as an exhaustive list of all the activities necessary to the achievement of an objective. As we can see, critical path analysis is more than a matter of "first things first".

In the book, critical path is identified with Part 4 of Universal Requirements.



Paul Taylor 2001