Interesting article from Seth Godin:
The longest string of dependent, non-compressible tasks is the critical path.
Critical path analysis works backward, looking at the calendar and success and at each step from the end to the start, determining what you'll be waiting on.
Yet most organizations focus on shiny objectives or contentious discussions or get sidetracked by emergencies instead of honoring the critical path.
It applies very well to any given project, however it's tough to apply as clearly / literally in the context of an organization that runs many projects at once, each of which having its own critical path. What's the meta critical path? Is there one?