Complex project: people are working on many activities that are dependent on others.
The project network: you have the work break down into tasks, a duration for each activity, dependencies and milestones. The longest sequence of tasks in the project network that are dependent and cannot be compressed is the Critical Path.
Quant finance projects are usually complex and quants are on the critical path.
But do the organizations they work for always know what that means?
The problem is not the methodology to find the critical path.
The problem is, that people on the critical path are usually excellent, acting as know how centers and asked in emergency cases. But people on the critical path must not be interrupted. Because one day delay on the critical path is one day delay at the very end of the project.
A little analysis tells you who is on the critical path. And they should wear "I am on the critical path" T-shirts or caps ….. And team members without should ask them: "can I do anything for you?"
In general reliable foundations and tools help to master the complexity, but the principle problem remains.
Quants are usually racers on critical paths and master builders
This post has been inspired by another post of Seth Godin's Blog.