What is Critical Path Method (CPM)?
Critical Path Method (CPM) is basically a step by step procedure that aids in making a well planned schedule for a given set of projected tasks and activities. CPM plays a very important role in the field of product management and is an indispensible tool in the hands of managers facing difficulties in managing the work on hand. CPM allows the project to run in a well balanced and smooth manner, as the whole process of product management is determined and planned way ahead of time.
Why do Product Managers use CPM?
Critical path method is one of the most frequently used techniques in product management. As the process of production involves many tasks and people, it is easy for some activities to lag behind schedule and get lost in a maze of endless jobs. These forgotten errors and tasks can adversely affect the entire project’s time scale. Failure to meet schedules on time can result in grave financial losses and unhappy customers alike.
Critical path method goes a long way in helping managers figure out the entire gamut of time required to complete the project and assess the critical tasks that require completion; before other dependent tasks are begun. Incorporation of CPM in product management diagrams helps managers get a clear view of the important tasks on hand. It also makes it easier for the entire project team to plan and visualize their work in an aligned manner. Adding critical activities onto the diagram makes it possible to assess the exact time required for completing each component and predicting the adequate timescale of the entire project.
The benefits of utilizing CPM in product management
· Creation of an accurate timescale for the client.
· Prediction of the time frame required for each activity.
· Assigning the correct department and team to corresponding tasks.
· A clear understanding and formulation of goals and plans.
· Review of actions and prediction of outcomes, with a series of tools and analytical processes to get the desired output.
Techniques for Using Critical path Method
The basic steps used for the construction of a critical path method (CPM) model are as follows:
· Listing of all the activities that are required for the completion of the project with the expected end result of having a high quality product on hand.
· Calculation of the time durations required for the completion of each small activity in the diagram.
· Assessment of the dependencies between the various tasks and a proper co-ordination of all activities to achieve the desired output.
· A careful review of all the essential factors determining the critical path analysis–to facilitate accurate estimations of the processes on hand.
CPM helps product managers and their teams get a clear sight of short and long term goals alike. It is an important tool for time management and chalks out the optimal ways of finishing the tasks connected with product management. The critical path and associated network diagrams also help in identifying the days when it is possible to dedicate extra time on the not-so-critical tasks and the other parts of product management.
In a nutshell, CPM is a powerful technique used by product managers to get their desired output in time and in the most systemized manner.