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Chapter 23. Innovative Ways to Use Excel > A Brief Overview of Critical Path

A Brief Overview of Critical Path

Critical path is the path that cannot be interrupted in production; if interrupted, it throws off all timelines with dependencies. Let's say you're building software and you have multiple teams of engineers. However, you have just one team to animate the 3D or 2D animation; this is the gating factor in production. If the gating factor is delayed, it can create a chain-reaction bottleneck that affects other lines of production that follow.

Figure 23.56 shows the staggered approach to three phases of three projects. This is the critical path stage that needs to be closely managed for multiple-product production. Notice in Figure 23.57 how the critical path has multiple-team dependencies that have to ultimately flow off one project to another. If critical path slips on one project, multiple teams are affected. (Be sure to look for this worksheet on the CD to analyze the layout more closely.)


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