Sunday, 30 August 2009

Critical tasks – how can I review this quickly? (part 1)

As you will have gathered there are different ways of entering and viewing data within project professional. Here are some of the ways to view critical tasks on your project;
    Detail Gantt View
    Gantt Chart Formatting Wizard
    Built-in filter for Critical Tasks
    Built-in Group for Critical Tasks
But first let’s recap on the definition of critical task/Path. This is best understood as “the series of tasks that must be completed on schedule for a project to finish on schedule. Each task on the critical path is a critical task”. If one task on the critical path moves, the end date of the project will move as well.

As you update your project by modifying tasks, be aware of the critical tasks and that changes to them will affect your delivery milestones and project finish date. It is therefore, important to review not just the critical tasks but also the non-critical tasks (with ‘float’) that can become critical as result of some change.

Detail Gantt View

You can access the view that displays the critical path via Views > More Views and applying the Detail Gantt View. See fig below.

CriticalTasks_2

(click picture to enlarge)

CriticalTasks_1

Gantt Chart Formatting Wizard 

On the View menu, click Gantt Chart, and then click Gantt Chart Wizard  on the Formatting toolbar or right clicking on the right hand side of the splitter bar and select ‘Gantt Chart Wizard’. Follow the instructions in the Gantt Chart Wizard to format the critical path as required.

CriticalTasks_5a

CriticalTasks_5b

CriticalTasks_5c

Using Built-in Filter for Critical Tasks

The alternative to above is that you can apply the built-in project filter ‘Critical’.

CriticalTasks_6

Using Built-in Group for Critical Tasks

The alternative to above is that you can apply the built-in project Grouping for ‘Critical’.

CriticalTasks_7

Here is a really good video demonstration from Microsoft office online that you will find useful.

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