11.62 The Critical Path

Running through the total Network of Commitments is something we call the Critical Path.

The Critical Path is the longest path of activities running through the project. It has no Float, meaning that if any activity on the Critical Path is not completed on Time, the Project will be delayed day for day.

For example, once the foundation of a home is done, we could make the choice to have our carpenters start working on building the cabinets, or we could make the choice to start framing the walls. Because the entire rest of the sequence of events is dependent on framing the walls, that is what must logically be done next with the limited time and energy we have to exert.

The carpenters should logically begin framing the walls, and then while the electricians and plumbers are doing their work inside the walls, the carpenters could begin building the cabinets, so that once the walls are closed up the cabinets are ready to be installed.

If we are spending time and energy on other ancillary activities, we may be busy, but the end of the project is not getting any closer. Every day we do not begin framing the walls is a day for day delay to the Goal of handing the keys of the house to its inhabitant.

Worse, if we build the cabinets instead of framing the walls, we create Waste by misallocating Resources and cluttering up the job site with things that are in the way and now must be stored and protected until the proper time.

Once we embark on the Critical Path, if we do not focus on completing the correct activities in the chain on schedule, we are losing precious time and creating Waste.

On even something as complex as fundamentally transforming our way of being as a species on planet earth, we have the skills and ability to model what activities we would need to engage in, in what order, based on the totality of all factors and constraints, to accomplish The Goal.

Forward to 11.63 Increasing Power and Resources Applied to the Critical Path
Back to 11.61 Efficient and Inefficient Paths
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