Conceptual design is a critical design phase during which initial design solutions, called design concepts, are developed. These design concepts must be evaluated to ensure they satisfy the specified design requirements and the most appropriate design concept must be selected. It is often difficult for the designer, especially for the novice, to make an appropriate design concept evaluation and selection. Existing work on design evaluation lacks an effective tool for evaluating the temporal performance of the design concepts. To address this problem, a Critical Path Method (CPM) from project management is adapted for design evaluation, whereby a CPM network is converted from a causal behavioral process (CBP) and the methodologies relating to CPM are also applied to design improvement. A case study of a lever-clamp assembly system is also presented to illustrate as well as validate the method.