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Operational Research

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Operational Research

Topic: Manufacturing of a new product on the market - Coca-Cola mineral water


The Critical Path Method (CPM) is network analysis technique for doing project plans with a large number of activities. CPM diagrams all activities, time required for their completion, and how each activity is related to the previous and next activity. A sequence of activities is called a 'path,' and the longest-path in the diagram is the critical path. It is 'critical' because all activities on it must be completed in the designated time, otherwise the whole project will be delayed. Also called critical path analysis or critical path methodology.

CPM can help you figure out:

* how long your complex project will take to complete

* which activities are "critical," means that they have to be done on time or else the whole project will take longer

If you put in information about the cost of each activity, and how much it costs to speed up each activity, CPM can help you figure out:

* whether you should try to speed up the project, and, if so,

* what is the least costly way to speed up the project.

Description of solved case

I solved a project about the manufacturing of a new product - Coca-Cola mineral water. Manufacturing of a product requires the performance of certain tasks. The table 1 lists the various tasks with their priority relationship. This project is consisted of 8 notes and 10 activities (links). To solve it I chose to use CPM method.

The described process involves the following activities:

A. Design the bottle of the water

B. Research the market for existing competitors

C. Research the future customers

D. Product analysis of Coca-Cola mineral water

E. Create the test product model

F. Advertisements

G. Cost analysis

H. Product testing

I. Select a suitable price

J. Project report

CPM analysis starts when you have a table showing each activity in your project. For each activity, you need to know which other activities must be done before it starts, and how long the activity takes.

In my case:

Table 1

i j Description of activities ti,j (months)

1 2 Design the bottle of the water 3

1 3 Research the market for existing mineral waters` brands 2

2 3 Research the



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