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Automatic Notification of Impact to Critical Path?

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    Is there a way to be automatically notified if you adjust a task and the critical path of the project (or specific deliverable deadlines) are affected, or must you inspect visually after the tweaking to dates?

    Avatar photoLarry Christofaro

    Technically speaking within Microsoft Project there is certainly a way to assign a task type to those deliverables and a view that shows what’s changed after a series of changed, but without a lot of work…no. There are also macros but off the top of my head I can’t think of an easy way with that either, at least not “automatic”. Maybe someone else has an idea…

    Tom Boyle

    Hi Daniel (and Larry),
    I’ve got two ideas:
    1. Monitor Total Slack for the task you are changing. I know this is obvious, but as long as your deliverables and completion milestones are suitably constrained, you can be assured that a positive value for Total Slack (after your change) implies no impact on the critical path.
    2. If you are trying to shorten the project by attacking the critical path (or paths) directly, then parallel (near critical) paths can limit the impact of your changes. It’s difficult to predict in advance where the “critical path” will jump to without visual inspection, but you can anticipate these by computing and displaying Drag. Drag is the maximum amount of time that may be shaved from the project schedule by shortening the duration of a specific task. There is a macro to compute it . The default calculation is based on the overall project completion, but you can tailor it to specific deliverables if needed.

    Tom Boyle

    Here’s the short address to the blog entry containing the macro.


    Perhaps not quite what you are looking for, but might help

    Avatar photoPrakash K P

    I think you can set up the graphical indicators using custom fields settings.

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