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Critical Path tied only to incomplete tasks? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello, 

    I am working in project and noticing that complete tasks seem to fall off the critical path, which is making it difficult to present 'progress down the critical path' along the lines of 'we have completed 6 of the 10 critical path tasks on time according to the baseline schedule'. Has anyone run into this and come up with a solution?

    Thank you,


    Jamie 

    Friday, January 27, 2017 2:41 PM

Answers

  • Jamie,

    As usual, John's given the best advice quickest.

    For your particular question, the solution is to simply use a custom flag field, call it "Baseline Critical," then manually tag all of the Baseline CP tasks with the new custom flag.  You can then filter or apply a bar style based on the flag.

    Project doesn't store baseline logic, so this is really the only way to memorialize the baseline critical path in the schedule file.

    Friday, January 27, 2017 3:58 PM

All replies

  • Jamie,

    If a task is complete, how can it still be critical? Whether it was completed on time or not, the simple fact is that it is done and therefore can have no further impact on the critical path.

    A metric as you describe (i.e. complete x number of y critical path tasks), may sound good but it tells you very little about how the project is progressing. Perhaps those 6 completed tasks were one-day "gimmies" and the real "meat" of the effort is in the critical tasks that did not get completed. It is much better to evaluate progress based on valid metrics. For example, how much work effort was performed compared to how much work effort there was and did it move the project toward the end goal in a timely manner.

    I'm not a big fan of earned value but it is a classical method for measuring how well the project is being executed. In the absence of earned value, the variance fields provide useful information on how well the plan is progressing compared to the original concept (i.e. baseline).

    That being said, many years ago I was involved in a simple plan whose progress for management purposes was measured by how many items were completed compared to how many items were in the plan. I used customs fields and simple formulas to create a count type of metric.

    John

    Friday, January 27, 2017 3:45 PM
  • Jamie,

    As usual, John's given the best advice quickest.

    For your particular question, the solution is to simply use a custom flag field, call it "Baseline Critical," then manually tag all of the Baseline CP tasks with the new custom flag.  You can then filter or apply a bar style based on the flag.

    Project doesn't store baseline logic, so this is really the only way to memorialize the baseline critical path in the schedule file.

    Friday, January 27, 2017 3:58 PM
  • John and Tom,

    Thank you both for your responses. 

    John, conceptually i get what you are saying, unfortunately the client wants to see where we came from to arrive at where we are today (e.g. what have we completed?). 

    Tom, thank you for that workaround - the custom text field should do the trick for me in the interim.


    Thanks to you both!


    Friday, January 27, 2017 4:21 PM
  • Jamie,

    You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.

    John

    Friday, January 27, 2017 5:17 PM