Critical Path Analysis at Network Rail
A Network Rail case study

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Page 5: Advantages and disadvantages of Critical Path Analysis

Critical Path Analysis is a very useful tool for Project Managers. It helps them to focus on the key activities of a project and how they all fit together. Project Managers and site managers can then allocate resources to critical activities. These are ones that require extra consideration to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Monitoring the process

The Leven Viaduct planners created a spreadsheet which identified the budgeted costs of each of the steps involved in their project. As a result they were aware at all times of the cost implications of each stage of the project, and the importance of getting each step in the sequence finished on time. Delays can add extra costs to a project and can involve financial penalties for being late.

Benefits of Critical Path Analysis

Critical Path Analysis is a very detailed process. However, the time spent in putting the plan together was well worth it. Careful planning meant the project ran smoothly which led to cost and time savings later on. At the same time, Network Rail was able to take on board the highest safety standards and consideration for the environment. Of course, carrying out such an analysis does not guarantee success but it certainly helps. Creating the plan enabled the engineers to identify improvements to ensure the project finished on time. For example, at an early planning stage they increased the number of construction workers required.

Network Rail | Critical Path Analysis at Network Rail