Microsoft KB Archive/43617

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PRJ: Definition of CPM in Microsoft Project

Article ID: 43617

Article Last Modified on 1/18/2007


  • Microsoft Project 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Project 4.1 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Project 4.1a
  • Microsoft Project 1.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Project 3.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Project 3.0a
  • Microsoft Project 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Project 1.1 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Project 3.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Project 4.0 for Macintosh

This article was previously published under Q43617

CPM (Critical Path Method) is a project management technique that focuses on methods of categorizing the work performed in a project. The traditional method of diagramming a CPM network of tasks is often referred to as the "Activity on Arrow" or "Arrow Diagram Method." The CPM method of project management features a single time estimate for each activity and an associated cost of that activity.

Microsoft Project uses the CPM internally to calculate the duration of projects. Microsoft Project defines the critical path as a set of those tasks that if delayed or started early will affect the finish date of the entire project. Therefore, those tasks that constitute the critical path are the "critical" tasks.

The best method of displaying a CPM-like view of a project is to create a custom dual-pane view with a Gantt Chart (formatted to display critical tasks) on the top view and a Task PERT chart on the bottom. Filters can then be applied to restrict the viewable data according to the CPM criteria.

Project does not provide a networking (PERT-like), timescale-oriented CPM view.

Additional query words: 1.0 1.1 3.0 algorithm

Keywords: kbinfo kbusage KB43617