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Can't see critical tasks in Project 2010 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am trying to find the critical path in Project 2010.  However, when I view critical tasks (View->Filter->Critical), all I get are summary tasks - I don't see the specific tasks within the summary tasks that are on the critical path.  If I run the tracking Gantt or a Network Diagram, again I just see summary tasks.  Does anyone have an idea of why this is happening?

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 12:17 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    You "smply" have to find out which tak defines your "way out" finish date - could be a milestone or not... but ther is one, project finish reflects the finish of a task. One way may be:

    Format ribbn, uncheck " Summary tasks"

    View ribbon, Sort, Sort by.. Uncheck "keep outline structure", sort by Finish

    The final task in this list should show the project finish. Find out why, correct (make it unconstrained)

    This will make your critical path reappear - unlss there are more constrained tasks at the bottom of the list.

    Greetings,

    Sunday, July 29, 2012 8:10 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • My idea, perhaps you won't like it, is that it is probably because you have made one or more of a number of common mistakes.

    Did you have all tasks not rolled up under their summaries when you ran the filter?

    Does every task have at least one FS0 predecessor and at least one FS0 successor?

    Have you linked the summaries as predecessors or successors, either to/from other summaries or to/from tasks?

    What happens if you show critical tasks in red by ticking the check box on the ribbon, Format > Critical?

    What do you see for Free Slack and Total Slack in the Schedule Table?

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 12:27 AM
  • Hi,

    Thanks for the quick reply.  Yes, I expect something is wrong.

    Did you have all tasks not rolled up under their summaries when you ran the filter? - No tasks were were in summary mode, all tasks were shown.

    Does every task have at least one FS0 predecessor and at least one FS0 successor? - No, some tasks had no predecessor - they were milestone starts, zero duration.  They are rolled up into a summary task.  Also, some tasks were have a SS only as a successor (also zero duration milestones).

    Have you linked the summaries as predecessors or successors, either to/from other summaries or to/from tasks? - see answer above.

    What happens if you show critical tasks in red by ticking the check box on the ribbon, Format > Critical? - Nothing seems to change.  I've never used this feature.

    What do you see for Free Slack and Total Slack in the Schedule Table? - where is this?  I'm also not familiar with this.

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 12:36 AM
  • Hi,

    This sounds as if you added a task with a constrained date (start no earlier than of finish no earlier than or Must start on...) beyond your final task. Then no tasks are still "critical" since they can be delayed without modifying the project finish (this is Project's definition of Critical). To see by how much they cn be delayed insert the column "Total Slack". It will be zero or negative for critical tasks - if all tasks give a positive slack indeed no tasks are critical.

    Greetings,

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 8:16 AM
    Moderator
  • View, Table, Schedule.

    Errr... if you don't use the format check box to show critical tasks and if you don't examine the schedule table which includes the total slack column (which tasks have zero total slack?), how do you see, or expect to see, the critical path?

    Are there any date constraints?

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 4:33 PM
  • When I do use the "Total Slack" column, I see zero for the same summary tasks as I see when I use view-filter-critical.

    Your answer sparked my interest to see what Project feels is my project finish date.  It turns out that the date shown is much later than my last task listed.  How can that be?

    A little more explanation about the schedule.  It is quite complex, with several tasks being the final tasks (each line is a milestone).  They are individual releases culminating from the activities before.  These final tasks are have very simple predecessors, straight FS tasks.  I do have several other tasks that end with no successors that are intermediate releases.  These tasks are well before the final tasks.

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 10:00 PM
  • It turns out I was doing what you were saying about viewing the critical path.  That's what I was saying in my initial post.

    There are no tasks with date constraints (must finish no later than (specific date), must start no earlier than (specific date)).  As I mentioned above, there are milestone tasks that simply have no precedessors, but then have successors following.  If I have to go and link these to project start and create a duration to the finish dates of these milestone tasks (thus not making them zero duration milestone tasks), I will... if I have to.

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 10:06 PM
  • I suggest that you don't "use the total slack column" by simply inserting it into the entry table.
    I know that it is common practice to simply insert a column here and there in the entry table as required, and I even do it myself sometimes (temporarily only) and I know that others (Jan) advise it from time to time ("insert this column or that column...") but it is sloppy housekeeping and if the entry table is too messed up with the extra columns shown and some hidden, it just gets a bit messy, and since some reports reference the entry table it ruins the reports too. The column you want to see is usually in an appropriate table somewhere.
    So, instead, switch to the schedule table, which has the earliest and latest start and finish dates and the two slack fields.

    If you want to see a critical path clearly you must follow some general rules of thumb such as I have already mentioned.
    It may seem to be a small thing and it may make no difference in some cases, but having a project start milestone as the only task which does not have a predecessor, and a project finish milestone as the only task which does not have a successor, means that you can always ensure that every task has a predecessor and a successor. Any of these tasks which you say "simply have no predecessors" should have predecessors, and if nothing else fits the bill then the project start milestone is that predecessor. If a task seems to have no other successor, then the project finish milestone must be that successor. This ensures that every task is on a continuous path from the start milestone to the finish milestone. It ensures a "closed network", and it gives the best chance of identifying a clear critical path.

    It is getting hard to diagnose the problem without seeing the patient. You can send me the file at trevorATperfectproject.com.au

    Sunday, July 29, 2012 3:31 AM
  • Hi,

    You "smply" have to find out which tak defines your "way out" finish date - could be a milestone or not... but ther is one, project finish reflects the finish of a task. One way may be:

    Format ribbn, uncheck " Summary tasks"

    View ribbon, Sort, Sort by.. Uncheck "keep outline structure", sort by Finish

    The final task in this list should show the project finish. Find out why, correct (make it unconstrained)

    This will make your critical path reappear - unlss there are more constrained tasks at the bottom of the list.

    Greetings,

    Sunday, July 29, 2012 8:10 AM
    Moderator
  • So I went through my project and did find one summary task that had a finish date later than my intended project finish date (last task).  But none of the sub-tasks below that had a later finish date.  I struggled with that for a while, but in the end I deleted the entire summary task, then re-entered it manually with the same exact data.  And then the summary task showed the correct finish date.  The project finish date then became the same as my actual last task finish date.  And then when I ran the tracking Gantt or filtered for "Critical", my critical path finally showed up...  Yes, I just re-entered the same data, and it worked.

    Weird.  Honestly, I simply cursed and groaned, "That's Microsoft".  I figure likely with all the saving (the file was on SharePoint) and all the updates, something corrupted.  I have no idea exactly how, but if anyone actually can tell me what happened, I'd like to know.

    But thanks.  The part about examining the Project Finish date put me on the right track to fix this.


    But I have a follow on question.  Some of the lines of the critical path don't seem to go anywhere.  These are the vertical lines moving downwards.  They end up at a task, but that task is a blue bar.  What does that mean?
    • Edited by kakojima Monday, July 30, 2012 2:28 AM there was more to add
    Monday, July 30, 2012 2:07 AM
  • HI,

    Your original "faulty" summary task was manually scheduled. Your new one is automatically scheduled and reacted properly.

    Manually scheduled summary tasks... a horror story.

    Greetings,

    Monday, July 30, 2012 7:29 AM
    Moderator
  • First, I appreciate your replies.  Thanks.

    I agree that manually scheduled tasks in general are problematic.  Some subtasks were manual and when I changed them to auto (and fiddling with durations), some issues cleared up.

    However, I did not schedule any summary tasks manually.  Anyway, I will close this string and perhaps work off the other.

    Monday, July 30, 2012 4:40 PM
  • Thanks Jan De,

    This reply is really help full

    Thursday, July 20, 2017 3:47 AM
  • Hello I have a question are you there ?

    elmira forums

    Monday, August 21, 2017 3:24 PM
  • elmira,

    Yes, we are here. If you have a question, please start a new thread, including what version of Project you are using and a good description of your question.

    John

    Monday, August 21, 2017 5:21 PM