The Critical Path (CP) project methodology helps to determine the sequence of dependent tasks allowing project managers to better prioritize, build schedules, and more.

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In response to your peers, note the points upon which you agree and diverge regarding a particular methodology and discuss those points. Again, support your position with specific examples from your own experience or from your research.

 

Colton Brannon

The Critical Path (CP) project methodology helps to determine the sequence of dependent tasks allowing project managers to better prioritize, build schedules, and more. Dependent tasks, meaning tasks that are required before another task can begin, can fall into the categories of finish to start, finish to finish, start to start, and start to finish. These phrases identify the order of tasks to be completed and affect the start of each task. A few advantages of this method include easier prioritization, better risk detection, and the ability to adapt. Since it is understood which tasks have to be completed before starting another, they can be prioritized. Additionally, risks can be clear since they know which path the project will be following along. Finally, with CP allows for the schedule to be changed, if necessary, with the ability to see outcomes and make the best decision. Some disadvantages include complexity and applicability. The CP method revolves around many tasks and moving pieces requiring difficult calculations and the ability for human error. On the other hand, this method is not for every project. If there is not a clear structure to completing the project, this method may not be useful (Ramos, 2022).

The Critical Chain (CC) methodology is similar to CP as it focuses on the series of dependent tasks that must be completed for a project to be successful. The CC method, however, focuses on resources to buffer the timeline and therefore determines a success factor on the usefulness of these buffered resources. This method can be useful in reducing the time and cost of a project while allowing for problems to be detected quickly. Advantages include accelerating execution and reducing capital needs while disadvantages may include difficulty to grasp and required dedication. Overall CP and CC are similar, but CC operates with buffers and revolves more strongly around resources (Hlioui, 2020).

The third method agile, allows for continuous customer involvement through incremental delivery of project demands. This method is beneficial when there is uncertainty, unknowns, and room to work. By working with the client often things can be changed quickly to reflect the wants and needs from the customer. Agile advantages include fewer wasted resources, quick feedback, and the ability to experiment or create new ideas. Some of the disadvantages include increased effort due to constant interaction, inability to multitask projects due to constant attention needed on agile, and lack of design or knowledge of the project (Olic, 2020).

The criteria for the methods above can be unique to each situation as the task at hand and knowledge known differs every time. CP is often linked to construction projects as construction have concrete steps that have to be followed to achieve success. For example, the foundation has to be completed before building upon it as these are dependent tasks. CC is similar but can have a wide array of projects as well. Additionally, agile is often considered for IT projects as it allows for creative minds to work and develop new ideas, however, it is moving along to many projects nowadays. Overall, each method must be carefully considered with each task as the usual situation that these methods are used in can differ at any time. If used correctly for the correct situation there is great benefit for the customer and project management team.

 

References

 

Hlioui, O. (2020, December 11). The “Critical Chain Project Management ” approach (CCPM) -. cooens.com. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://cooens.com/knowledge-base/the-critical-chain-project-management-approach-ccpm/

Olic, A. (2020, October 28). Advantages and disadvantages of agile project management [checklist] · activecollab. ActiveCollab. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://activecollab.com/blog/project-management/agile-project-management-advantages-disadvantages

Ramos, D. (2022, May 5). Advantages & disadvantages of critical path method. Smartsheet. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://www.smartsheet.com/content/critical-path-advantages-disavantages

 

Response –

Emily Plante

Picking the right project management methodology is critical for executing a project successfully. There are many different methodologies that have their advantages and disadvantages. Three of these include Critical Path, Agile, and Waterfall. At the very core these methodologies are the same, they are ways of organizing a project’s sequence of events. Essentially, how the project will move from step A to step B (Westland, 2022). It’s their differences that really set them apart.

The waterfall approach is known as the most straightforward methodology. This approach flows down with each step, meaning that one step must be completed before the next one can start. This gives a very clear order of events. However, it does not allow for a lot of additional room for adjustments if needed (Westland, 2022). On the opposite end, the agile approach allows a lot of room for adjustments. This approach could be seen as more casual than the strict step to step approach of the waterfall methodology. An agile approach is fluid, there is an order of steps and what needs to happen to reach each milestone, but the order and timing of these steps is flexible. They can be moved around, sped up, or slowed down if needed (Westland, 2022).

The critical path method falls somewhere in between. The CPM takes a detailed look into each step, the amount of time needed, and compiles it into an estimate of the longest possible amount of time it would take to complete the project (Westland, 2022). It brings together the strictness of the waterfall approach by solidifying the steps and time, but there is room for flexibility as the CPM is the longest amount of time needed. Because of this, steps have the potential to be moved around and still stay within the timeframe (Westland, 2022).

 

 

What methodology is used is very dependent on the project and the project environment. For example, industries where an agile methodology works well is anything in tech, automotive, or music. These industries are always looking for the next big improvement and the agile method allows them flexibility with their projects (Westland, 2022). CPM and waterfall methodologies can both be used for smaller projects that are also very structured, construction for example (Westland, 2022). These projects tend to have a very set order of events and it could be costly for a project to deviate from the set plan. A small housing development would benefit from either method.

A small project I worked on while working in retail was a complete overhaul of the store and its products in between seasons. The waterfall methodology most closely resembled how we got the project done. We would stay after the store closed and follow a set structure of steps to get everything done. First we would work at the front of the store, take down and pack away displays and clothes not included in the new season, then refill that section starting with hanging clothes and moving to folded clothes and displays. From there we would move to the middle section, follow the same steps, and then the back sections of the store. With everyone knowing the exact steps and order it was accomplished efficiently and quickly. There was no wasted time trying to figure out who was working where and what product they needed.

 

Resources:

 

Westland, J. (2022, May 20). Top 10 project management methodologies: An overview. Project Manager. Retrieved September 13, 2022, from https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/project-management-methodology

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