Free Critical Path Templates

Smartsheet Contributor Kate Eby

Jul 31, 2020

Streamline your project management and scheduling with critical path method (CPM) templates. Choose from a variety of options, including spreadsheet and diagram templates, which you can download and customize for free.

Included on this page are a critical path Gantt chart timeline, critical path chart templates in Excel and PowerPoint, and an event planning critical path template.


Critical Path Tracking Template

Critical Path Tracking Template

Determine and highlight the critical path for your project with an Excel Gantt chart template. Enter project tasks into the CPM spreadsheet along with predecessors and duration for each task. Use the template to calculate expected duration based on your optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic time estimates. The Gantt chart provides a critical path timeline with flexible tasks shown in blue, critical tasks in yellow, and slack time shown in green. 

Download Critical Path Tracking Template

Excel | Smartsheet

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Critical Path Construction Schedule Template

Critical Path Construction Schedule Template

This simple construction project critical path template provides a visual representation of the minimum time required to complete a project. Once you identify the critical tasks for a project, enter them in the spreadsheet portion of the template to create a Gantt chart showing the critical path. This chart serves as a reminder of which tasks cannot be delayed without impacting your project’s completion date. 

For more information on using the critical path method in construction scheduling, see the guide on CPM and construction management.

Download Critical Path Construction Schedule Template

Excel | Smartsheet


Project Management Critical Path Template 

Project Management Critical Path Template

Create a critical path calendar to manage projects efficiently. On this template, you’ll find columns for work breakdown structure, project stages and tasks, status for each activity, and timeline dates. Use the CPM portion of this template to identify the critical tasks, which appear in red on the Gantt chart schedule. The duration for each task is shown in days based on the starting and ending dates you select.

Download Project Management Critical Path Template

Excel | Smartsheet


Event Management Critical Path Template

Event Management Critical Path template

Find the critical path for your event planning activities to ensure that you complete everything on time. Edit the template to reflect the steps in your event management process along with predecessors, which are the activities that you must complete before you can start a task. Add time estimates for each task, and the template will show which tasks are critical and cannot be delayed. Other tasks are flexible, and the bar chart shows how much slack time you can allow for those tasks without going past your event deadline.

Download Event Management Critical Path Template - Excel


Critical Path Diagram Template

Critical Path Diagram Template

This critical path analysis template provides a network diagram that includes nodes with the task name, earliest start and finish dates, latest start and finish dates, duration, and total float time. You can also use the template to display critical path DRAG, which is the amount of time that a critical path task adds to the project duration. 

Download Critical Path Diagram Template

Excel | PowerPoint


Critical Path Chart Template

Critical Path Chart Template

The PERT chart template provides a simple visual representation of tasks, duration, and the critical path in red arrows. The chart makes it easy to see the different paths in your project, identify predecessors and successors, and highlight the critical path. This template is available in Excel or PowerPoint for CPM reports or presentations.

Download Critical Path Chart Template

Excel | PowerPoint


How to Use the Critical Path in Project Management

Visit our comprehensive guide to the critical path method to learn about its advantages, how to identify and show the critical path in a CPM chart, how to utilize PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique), and tips for finding the critical path with Microsoft Project.

To learn more about how to determine a project's critical path and the difference between a Gantt chart and critical path analysis, visit our article that covers everything you need to know about Gantt charts and the critical path method.


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