The Critical Path Engine follows a logical process known as PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique) analysis. PERT is a bi-directional calculation of dependent timing made as follows:
- SmartTasks are evaluated to determine their earliest possible start and finish dates from project initiation based on predecessors and durations (AKA Work Windows). The longest chain of SmartTasks becomes the Critical Path.
- Using the earliest possible project completion date calculated in the first step, each SmartTask is then evaluated to calculate its latest possible start and finish date. Essentially, the first step is repeated in reverse order.
- Float (excess time available to complete a SmartTask) is evaluated. Float is calculated as the difference between early finish and late finish. Note: Any SmartTask on the Critical Path will have no float.
Using these attributes, the project owner can better consider all available alternatives to maintain even the most complex timeline.