Critical Path

In project management, a critical path is the set of tasks which define the shortest possible time to complete the project.  Any delay in critical path tasks will delay overall project completion. To identify the critical path, it is essential to know dependencies between tasks, that is, which tasks must be complete before another task can start. For tasks away from the critical path, there may be room to start late, or take longer than planned, without any impact on the overall project completion.