The purpose of this article is to report on an investigation of the use of critical path and critical chain methods in the South African construction industry. Through a questionnaire survey, data was collected to establish which construction sectors apply these methods, the percentage of construction professionals using these methods, the reasons why these methods are applied, and the factors that influence the use of these methods.
Based on the findings, the critical path and critical chain methods are mostly used in the South African construction industry by the building sector, in comparison to the civil and industrial sectors. The critical path method is used more than the critical chain method, with over 70% of the responding companies applying the critical path method and only 22% applying the critical chain method. The latter method is considered to be a relatively new project management tool and requires a culture change in the company. Users of the critical path method believe that the method mainly improves their project understanding, planning, scheduling and control, with all these improvements ultimately leading to better on-time completion of projects and cost saving.