Last edited 31 Jan 2021

Retrospective longest path analysis

Network analysis can help identify the interrelationships between tasks that make up complex processes and establish the most appropriate timing and sequence for their execution. The critical path is the path through the network that requires the longest period of time to progress from start to completion. This is the minimum timeframe necessary to complete the whole project.

Retrospective longest path analysis involves the determination of the retrospective as-built critical path.

This first requires the development of a detailed as-built programme. It is then possible to trace the longest continuous path backwards from the actual completion date to determine the as-built critical path. The incidence and extent of critical delay can then be determined by comparing key dates along the as-built critical path with the corresponding planned dates in the baseline programme. It is then possible to study project records to determine which events may have caused any critical delays identified.

This method only has limited capacity to recognise changes to the critical path during the course of the works.

Ref The Society of Construction Law Delay and Disruption Protocol, 2nd edition, published in February 2017 by the Society of Construction Law (UK).

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