Paper: When is the Critical Path NOT the Most Critical Path?

Introducing the Monitored Path Ranking SystemToday, more than fifty years after the Critical Path Method made its debut, there still is no universally accepted definition for the central term, Critical Path. Among the dozens of more obscure definitions, two conflicting theories dominate scheduling glossaries: the Longest Path interpretation and the Least Total Float Path interpretation. As this White Paper exposes in its opening pages, these two interpretations are deficient in three major ways: * From a practical perspective, they are incompatible * From a value perspective, they both prove incapable * From a stability perspective, they are


The problem goes much deeper than a lack of agreement on how to spot a Schedule’s Critical Path. Remarkably, there is virtually no discussion of the underlying words, “Path” or “Critical.” But even more astounding, as this White Paper concludes, the two prevailing definitions of a Critical Path (Longest Path and Least Total Float Path) share the same deficiencies: * They apply the word, “critical,” in a comparative manner. This White Paper proposes a refreshing alternative to the Critical Path concept, called the Monitored Path Ranking System. * Every Finish Date Constraint is being monitored; not just the last Finish Date Constraint, * By comparing Achievement Probability Values across Deadline Milestones, 

Table of Contents
1: Defining Path, Critical, and Critical Path 
1A: Defining the Term, Path 
1A1: Definitional Criteria for the Term, Path 
1A2: Where Does an Activity Path Start and End? 
1A3: Defining an Activity Path's Secondary Terminology 
1A3a: Defining the Term, Activity 
1A3b: Defining the Term, Series of Activities 
1A3c: Defining the Term, Open End Condition 
1A3d: Defining the Terms, Path Start, Path Finish, and Path Ends 
1B: Defining the Term, Critical 
1B1: "Critical" Must Mean More than Just Important or Essential 
1B2: "Critical" as Used, is a Comparative Term 
1B3: Criticality: A Chicken or Egg Question 
1B4: Criticality Must Be Objectively, Not Subjectively, Derived 
1B5: Critical ... to What? 
1B6: Definitional Criteria fir the Term, Critical 
1C: Defining the Term, Critical Path 
1C1: Why Urgency is NOT a Comparative Value 
1C2: No Silver Bullet Rarely Just One Critical Path 
1C3: Definitional Criteria for the Term, Critical Path 
2: A New Paradigm for Ranking Path Urgency 
2A: Two Additional Definitional Criteria 
2A1: Singular Modifier is Inadequate 
2A2: Each Finish Date Constraint Has a Set of Affecting Paths 
2B: Putting the Two Innovative Concepts Together 
1B1: Introducing the Monitored Path Ranking System 
2C: Solving the "Critical Path" Definition Problem 
2C1: Advantages of Using the Monitored Path Ranking System 
2C2: Example pf Using the Monitored Path Ranking System 
2D: Conclusion 
3: Definitions of Terms Used in this White Paper 
Content Features
Pages: 37 
Illustrations: 4 
Bookmarked: Yes 
Glossary: 24 Items 
Product Number: WPAKK14 
Format: Static PDF 
 Item #: WPAKK14