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Top 6 critical path analysis software

Read our review of the 6 best critical path analysis tools to effectively plan, schedule, and track your project’s critical path activities.

Dec 20, 2022

9 min read

Top critical path analysis software

As helpful as critical path analysis has proved to be in project management, the process itself can definitely become a nuisance. Most project managers will agree that manually charting all task details, paying constant attention to due dates, and tracking everything is simply too much sometimes.

Fortunately, there are automated tools that can make identifying a project’s critical path seem a walk in the park.

If your work heavily relies on using the critical path method (CPM) and you are looking for related software solutions, then this blog post is for you. Explaining what critical path software and its benefits are for starters, it then proceeds to curating 6 of the best options available on the market so you can make an informed decision.

What is critical path software?

Critical path software or CPM software refers to dedicated project management programs or apps that allow you to generate critical path diagrams for your project. These tools simplify your work by helping you analyze, schedule, and manage project tasks, dependencies, and resources.

Benefits of critical path analysis software

Here are the main benefits of using purpose-built critical path analysis software:

  • Time efficiency – allowing you to input your project data based on which it generates the best route to completing your initiative, an ideal CPM program will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend on determining the critical path manually.
  • Visualization – critical path tools offer a high-level display of all the tasks involved in your workflow, thus making it easier for you to identify their status and determine how long it will take to complete each of them.
  • Performance tracking – a software system for critical path analysis lets you compare planned start and end dates with the actual ones, helping you monitor the performance of your activities in real time, detect potential delays and avoid bottlenecks.
  • Increased efficiency – by saving you time and efforts spent on determining the critical path, CPM tools enable you to redirect your resources towards efficiently scheduling and managing your project’s actual tasks, which speeds up workflows, drives performance, and ultimately improves overall efficiency.
  • Enhanced collaboration – quality critical path software offers a centralized view for different project activities and a unified platform that allows various team members collaborate with one another.

Having laid out the advantages of using CPM software at the front, we can now proceed to reviewing a few practical examples of such tools.

What is the best software to use for critical path analysis?

Here is our shortlist of top 6 critical path analysis software solutions to check out:

  1. Office Timeline
  2. nTask
  3. ProjectManager
  4. Wrike
  5. Zoho Projects
  6. LiquidPlanner

Let’s have a more detailed look at each of these critical path tools.

1. Office Timeline

Strategic roadmap with critical path made with Office Timeline

Office Timeline is a user-friendly and flexible project planner that helps you generate elegant Gantt charts, timelines, and program roadmaps as native PowerPoint slides.

Key features:

  • Task and milestone customization;
  • Creating and showing task dependencies;
  • Critical path display by the switch of a button;
  • Ability to import dependencies from Microsoft Project and Smartsheet;
  • Ready-made templates with dependencies;
  • Automatic update of schedule based on date changes;
  • Task duration, % complete markers, along with Today and Elapsed time indicators;
  • Drag&drop functionality to immediately update your plans;
  • Show programs with multiple projects or work streams inside a Swimlane;
  • Integration with Jira, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Excel, Wrike and Smartsheet;

Pricing for the desktop version:

2. nTask

With features that range from task management to financial summaries and time tracking, nTask is a project management software solution that has signed up more than 250,000 teams all across the globe.

Key features:

  • Gantt chart and Kanban board views for full visibility on workflows;
  • Creating and adding tasks, dependencies, assignees, and to-do lists;
  • Setting milestones, and planned vs. actual dates;
  • Task prioritization with custom statuses;
  • Creating and assigning risks and issues;
  • Linking issues and meetings with projects;
  • Budget management and financial summary reporting;
  • Real-time notifications and alerts;
  • Third-party integrations.


  • Basic plan – available for free forever.
  • Premium plan – $3 per user per month.
  • Business plan – $8 per user per month.

3. ProjectManager

Our third pick from the list of the best software for critical path analysis is ProjectManager. Equipped with powerful yet simple to use functionalities, such as the ability to drag and drop tasks to create project schedules, this solution can greatly help you change the way you manage your projects.

Key features:

  • Timesheets to keep track of the time your team spends on their tasks;
  • Critical path calculation algorithm and visualization on Gantt chart;
  • Status update alerts for slippage tracking;
  • Critical task assignment capability;
  • Task filtering by due date, owner, project and more;
  • Dashboards for a high-level overview on your project health, time, and workload;
  • Task import and export functions;
  • Integrations with 1000+ business apps.


  • No freemium model.
  • Team plan – $13 per user per month.
  • Business plan – $24 per user per month.
  • 30-day free trial for the Team and Business plans.

4. Wrike

Apart from mainstream project management features, Wrike also offers a suite of advanced customizations with high usability that allow you to personalize your business workflows.

Key features:

  • Task creation, adding dependencies and progress tracking functions;
  • Gantt chart and Kanban board visualization, along with templates;
  • Critical path analysis features to identify bottlenecks;
  • Date adjustment functionality;
  • MPP, MPX and .XML tasks with duration, dependencies, and resource allocation;
  • Multiple project monitoring options;
  • Over 400 integrations with third-party applications and programs.


  • Free plan – $0 per user per month.
  • Professional plan – $9.80 per user per month.
  • Business plan – $24.80 per user per month.

5. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management platform that allows you to plan, track, and collaborate on your project goals in an easy and intuitive manner. Here is what makes is worthy to be featured on our list:

Key features:

  • Ability to create and edit four types of task dependencies;
  • Critical task identification function;
  • Baseline feature to track progress;
  • Multiple templates to help you get started faster;
  • Color-code system for better organization;
  • Task dependency visualization;
  • Reminders and notifications;
  • Integrations with other apps and tools.


  • Free plan – available for individual use.
  • Premium plan – $5 per user per month.
  • Enterprise plan – $10 per user per month.

6. LiquidPlanner

Allowing you to build efficient plans using predictive scheduling, LiquidPlanner is another great tool for critical path analysis.

Key features:

  • Smart schedule bars to clearly indicate task completion time;
  • The capability to organize tasks based on status, while keeping the priority status intact;
  • Automatic resource leveling;
  • Multiple project management through portfolios;
  • Data-driven insights;
  • Task time-tracking;
  • Estimate calculation functions to predict completion dates;
  • Task import and export options;
  • Predictive scheduling through the addition of target dates.


  • Free plan – $0 per user per month.
  • Essential plan – $15 per user per month.
  • Professional plan – $25 per user per month.
  • Ultimate Plan – $35 per user per month.


This was our roundup of some of the best critical path analysis software available on the market. We have tried to make the selection process easy for you by highlighting key features and pricing details for each of the suggested products. Now, all you have to do is analyze your business requirements and decide which solution is the most suitable for you. Use our summary table below:

1.Office Timeline
Office Timeline logo
Freemium model available
Paid editions (for professionals) – from $199/year
14-day free trial with full features
nTask logo
Basic plan – available for free forever
Premium plan – $3 user/month (7-day free trial available)
Business plan – $8 user/month (7-day free trial available)
ProjectManager icon
No free plan
Team plan – $13 per user/month
Business plan – $24 per user/month
30-day free trial for the Team and Business plans
Wrike icon
Free plan – available
Professional plan – $9.80 per user per month
Business plan – $24.80 per user per month
14-day free trial for paid plans
5.Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects logo
Free plan – available
Premium plan – $5 per user/month
Enterprise plan – $10 per user/month
10-day free trial for both paid plans
Liquid Planner logo
Free plan – available
Essential plan – $15 per user/month
Professional plan – $25 per user/month
Ultimate Plan – $35 per user/month
14-day free trial for Ultimate Plan

FAQs about critical path software

Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to critical path software.

Project management tips and tricks

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