Critical Path Analysis - CPA

Definition of 'Critical Path Analysis - CPA'


A process by which projects are outlined and sequenced to have the most favorable outcome. Critical path analysis involves the advanced and careful planning of complicated projects, taking into consideration the sequence of activities that must occur, and the estimated time necessary to each step's completion. The critical path can be thought of as the necessary flow that a project must follow to achieve timely success.

Investopedia explains 'Critical Path Analysis - CPA'


The intent of critical path analysis is to maximize success while minimizing the time needed to complete the project. It focuses on time management and the ongoing evaluation of a project's progress, and to help management with decision making. The process involves identifying the major activities that will be undertaken during the project, sequencing the major activities, constructing an activity flow design or chart, estimating the time for each activity, estimating the time to complete all of the activities and determining the critical path. This can be done, for example, by constructing a Gantt Chart.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Walras' Law

    An economics law that suggests that the existence of excess supply in one market must be matched by excess demand in another market so that it balances out. So when examining a specific market, if all other markets are in equilibrium, Walras' Law asserts that the examined market is also in equilibrium.
  2. Market Segmentation

    A marketing term referring to the aggregating of prospective buyers into groups (segments) that have common needs and will respond similarly to a marketing action. Market segmentation enables companies to target different categories of consumers who perceive the full value of certain products and services differently from one another.
  3. Effective Annual Interest Rate

    An investment's annual rate of interest when compounding occurs more often than once a year. Calculated as the following:
  4. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
  5. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  6. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
Trading Center