The critical path
The Critical Path
What is a critical path?
A Critical Path is a system for tracking goals and "action steps." An action step is a specific task that must be accomplished to achieve a larger goal. It's more than a "to-do" list. The Critical Path allows you prioritize your time and follow a timeline for completing your goals.
What is recorded on a critical path?
A critical path form typically has seven columns:
- Date the action step is assigned
- Details of the action step
- Primary person(s) responsible
- Designated assistant(s)
- Date the action step is due for completion
- Budget allowed or funds required
- Comments and clarification
How is it used?
Spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel are an efficient way to manage your Critical Path. Keeping a Critical Path on your computer allows you to sort activities by due date and print updated versions as often as necessary.
The Critical Path should be reviewed daily and updated weekly. Keep the forms where all who are involved with the projects can see and review them. You can use separate Critical Paths for different departments, shifts, or areas of the restaurant .
Set realistic deadlines that allow for real world delays. Give yourself plenty of room to keep good notes. And be sure that anyone assigned to a project gets a copy and knows his or her responsibilities.
Once Critical Path forms have been completed, keep them in a binder as a record of what, when and how your goals were accomplished.
When do I start?
Remember to Keep Your Goals SMART!
Specific • Measurable • Achievable • Realistic • Time-Dated
Bill Main is a nationally-recognized author, consultant and speaker. His company, Bill Main & Associates, specializes in strategic growth plans for foodservice entrepreneurs. For information on how you can grow your top line revenues through innovative marketing, menu, leadership and training systems, visit www.billmain.com.