Precedential Important Activities RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

    There are some activities which are predecessor of many other activities in a project. Their delay can cause delay of a massive volume of successor activities. Is there any report in MSP to find these kind of activities and to highlight them?

    Or, is there any measure to show the importance of activities from this perspective?

    thanks a lot, Zolfi

    Tuesday, December 26, 2017 3:07 PM


All replies

  • Zolfi,

    I think what you really want/need to know is which tasks in the chain of events are the critical tasks, those which if delayed will delay the end milestone. Project already has a view and filters for critical tasks. You might want to take a look at the critical path and see if that addresses your issue.

    Hope this helps.


    Tuesday, December 26, 2017 4:18 PM
  • Thank you for reply John,

    The problem appears when project managers’ focus on the critical path and neglect activities with a widespread succeeding network. Criticality (path or activity) is different history. The measure I am looking for, is individually important which can be used in many projects and prevents many delays and risks beside critical path indices. Despite appearing in a critical path or not; these activities (which are predecessor of many other activities) can raise a peculiar concern of managers and stakeholders.

    Friday, December 29, 2017 6:15 AM
  • Zolfi,

    Okay, there is no separate report in Project to do what you want. I suggest you group activities of interest as necessary and then set a flag (e.g. Flag1, Flag2, etc.) for each group. Then filter on each flag to see all the activities in that group chain.

    Hope this helps.


    Friday, December 29, 2017 2:24 PM
  • Thanx John, I'll try it. I think it will work.
    Saturday, December 30, 2017 4:28 PM
  • Zolfi,

    You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.


    Saturday, December 30, 2017 4:36 PM
  • Dear All,

    I found my answer. The answer can be found in following link:

    if you search the keyword "Priority rule" then you will find that:

     the calculations of activity priorities will be based on four sources of information, as follows:

    • Activity information: information about time or cost estimates of the activities determines the activity priorities.
    • Network information: information on the project network logic determines the activity priorities.
    • Scheduling information: information obtained from simple critical path scheduling tools determines the activity priorities.
    • Resource information: information about the project resources determines the activity priorities.

    And one of rules that belongs to second category is:

    Most Total Successors (MTS): Put the activities with the most direct and indirect successors first in the activity list

    Best Regards 

    Friday, February 16, 2018 11:07 AM
  • Zolfi, That link is related to heuristic resource leveling priorities and does not address the original question. (It's not even clearly related to Microsoft Project, and if so - which versions.)

    Computing the number of logical successors for each and every task in a schedule - keeping in mind the many overlapping logical paths a and shared successors - is not a routine calculation in a schedule network.  My own logic tracers routinely do this, but only one task at a time.  You may consider looking into the "Hidden Critical Path Method" - I believe this runs that kind of deep analyses, though its been a few years since I reviewed it.

    Overall I don't see much value in that kind of statistic.  One is tempted to say that critical and near-critical activities scheduled early in the project "kind-of" meet your criterion - i.e. they have the most successors.  That also means they have the most time for potential recovery through management action, however, so the concern is a wash.

    A more valid analysis in my view would involve computational schedule risk analysis involving Monte Carlo simulation with resulting criticality indices for each task - e.g. the percentage of iterations that a task showed up on the critical path.  This is easily done using third-party tools.

    Saturday, February 17, 2018 3:56 AM
  • I was sort of going to go in the same direction as Tom. If you want to take this referenced article as "the answer ", then that's up to you. I read the article and the rest of the website. It was interesting, a lot of work and thought gone into it, and not much to disagree with, but does not really address the practical issues connected with using MSP.

    There other metrics that you might find interesting and perhaps more practical. Stephen Devaux wrote a book called "Total Project Control" in which he introduces the concept of DIPP and DRAG. I will leave it to you to explore the details. It basically starts off with the idea that it's all very well finding the tasks that have no float, but then how can you find out which of those are the best ones to get off the critical path.

    Saturday, February 17, 2018 5:55 AM