6 Terms Relating To Schedule Management For Projects

6 Terms Relating To Schedule Management For Projects


Earlier,  I talked about Standard Schedule Diagramming Notations for projects. In this article, I want to talk about six terms relating to schedule management for projects. Follow me as we will look at these terms together in this article.


#1 The Critical Path

The critical path is the network path that has the longest duration. Activities on the critical path cannot be displayed or the whole project will be delayed unless subsequent activities are shortened.



The critical path is calculated by doing a forward pass to calculate the Early Start and Early Finish for each activity and then a backward pass to calculate the Late Start and Late Finish for each activity. The path with the longest duration and no scheduling flexibility is the critical path.

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#2 Float

Float is the amount of time an activity can be delayed from its Early Start without delaying the project finish date or the consecutive activities. Float occurs only in activities that are not on the critical path. Float is also called slack. There are two types of floats: Total and Free.



#3 Total Float

Total float is a type of float where the total amount of time an activity requires can be delayed without delaying the project finish date.


Total float for an activity can be calculated by subtracting its Early Finish from its Late Finish or its Early Start from its Late Finish.


Please note that when you see the term float by itself, it generally refers to total float.


#4 Free Float

Free float is the amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying the Early Start of any activity that immediately follows it. It allows flexibility of the start or finishes time within the activity only.



If there is a string of activities with float, free float will be available only at the end of the string.


Free Float for an activity is calculated by subtracting the Early Finish of the activity from the Early Start of its successor activity.



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