Your Critical Path To Success

Do you remember the 1980s band Platinum Blonde? I do.

Platinum Blonde had a song called ‘Situation Critical.’ I feel like I should listen to it on YouTube right now. But I will stop myself. If I go searching for the song, I’ll have to watch the video, and then I’ll probably end up watching some other 80s videos. All of this would take me away from the tasks that are necessary to complete this blog post.

Your Critical Path

When you are doing any work, you sometimes have tasks that have to be done in a particular sequence. I cannot publish my blog post before I am finished writing it. But I can start to proofread my work before I am entirely done typing it. And I could also choose my font. The critical path is made up of the tasks that are going to define how long your project is going to take. If one of the tasks on the critical path is late, then all of the tasks are late.

In our example, if I don’t finish writing my post on time, then I can’t publish on time. But proofreading can be started and completed any time before publishing, so it isn’t on the critical path. Note that even though it doesn’t necessarily matter when I do the proofreading, I still need to do it. If I don’t proofread the article, it will mean that my project is of lesser quality, and maybe it won’t meet my expectations of delivering the scope of learning that I was hoping that you would get from reading this. Not proofreading on time can make the project late, but if I proofread earlier or later in the process, it does not affect on the time that I publish the post.

Your Critical Path To Success

So think about the change that you are trying to bring about in this world. What are the steps that you need to take to make that change happen in the shortest possible time? Which actions will have a significant impact on the timing of your change if you are early or late in delivering them? You need to make sure that you are paying particular attention to these steps. They are your critical path.

The other steps matter. But ignoring your critical path will mean that your project will be late. Start by defining your critical path in your current project. Then put those critical path tasks on your calendar. The other tasks you can then fit around the jobs that must be done.

Focus on your critical path. If you don’t succeed in following that, your project won’t succeed on time.


And as a treat, because I made it to the end of the post without being distracted, here is a little Platinum Blonde.

I was happy to see that this video wasn’t extremely offensive as some 80s videos can be – different thinking for different times. If it had been offensive, I wouldn’t share it. There’s no reason to rehash our previous poor choices.