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Critical Path for a selected tasks in MS Project

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  • #358616 Reply
    Michael Wellhousen
    Participant

    Hello —

    I know how to derive the critical path for an entire MS Project schedule, but what I would like to do is just determine the critical path for a select set of tasks within an MS Project schedule. For example, to isolate and identify the critical path for the tasks within an SDLC Phase only.

    I realize I could just extract the specific tasks and setup a separate schedule to accomplish this, but frankly, I was hoping there is a way to accomplish this critical path analysis within a single MS Project schedule.

    Sooooooooooooooo

    I am requesting the assistance of the erudite, venerated and intrepid members of MPUG.

    Please know I am most grateful for any help you provide.

    Have a blessed day —

    Michael

    #358619 Reply
    Larry ChristofaroLarry Christofaro
    Participant

    Michael,

    I can understand where you are coming from but questions still remain. What about any predecessors that are connected to the development tasks? You “just want the critical path for a particular phase”, but if you don’t consider predecessors from other phases I might question the value of the result.

    So, if this is what you want then the only out of box solution I can think of is to do what you are doing. That is to pull the phase out by itself. That or remove predecessors or other constraints. You can’t determine critical path to part of a project when tasks are still dependent to other phases.

    If you just want to find the critical path tasks of a phase within the current WBS, you can highlight or filter tasks with the Critical field set to Yes.

    I’m guessing you were hoping for a better answer but I hope that helps…

    #358655 Reply
    Michael Wellhousen
    Participant

    Thank you Mr. Christofaro

    Perhaps it is a feature that Seattle will release in the next version…

    God’s blessings to you and your family —

    Michael

    #359857 Reply
    Thomas Boyle
    Guest

    Hi Michael,
    MSP 2013 provides the Path functionality that may help you to identify the driving path for any particular task in your schedule. That may suit your need quite well.

    If you are on MSP 2010, then you might be interested in BPC Logic Filter (http://boyleprojectconsulting.com/Software.html). We originally developed it for internal use and then converted it to a Project Add-In to share with our clients. In general, our tool views the Critical Path as just another (special) case of the Driving Path for any selected task in the schedule. It also handles Path Relative Float (i.e. days away from driving), Driving Path Drag, Bounded Network Analysis, and Cross-Project Links (within a master/subproject hierarchy).

    Have a look at the references on our site, then send us an email if you want to join the closed beta.

    Good luck, tom

    #359861 Reply
    Thomas Boyle
    Guest

    My earlier comment aside, I do agree with Larry’s concern about external predecessors. Attempting to determine the “critical path” of Phase 3 without reference to the driving tasks from Phase 1 and Phase 2 seems kind of pointless. That is not what I thought Michael was looking for on my initial reading….

    #359964 Reply
    Michael Wellhousen
    Participant

    Mr. Boyle —

    Thank you so much for your assistance — pardon my ignorance, but where is MS Project 2013 is the Path Functionality you referenced?

    I understand the logic of your and Mr. Christofaro’s concern about predecessors, but I’m working on a SDLC waterfall based project, and would like to investigate the critical path solely for that section of the MS Project Schedule at the onset of each phase — i.e. the predecessors leading to the start of the phase, are from the prior phase, which if completed, do not pose a schedule network constraint.

    Thank you again for your assistance

    God’s blessings to you and your family —

    Michael

    #359974 Reply
    Larry ChristofaroLarry Christofaro
    Participant

    Task path options are under the Format menu in the Gantt chart view. It shows all predecessors/successors and driving pred/succ depending on what you want highlighted. Hope that helps…

    #359977 Reply
    Thomas Boyle
    Guest

    Hi Michael,

    Re. the Path Functionality, I couldn’t give you complete directions myself (I’ve shied away from MSP 2013 and have never tested it), but the office blog gives instructions here: https://blogs.office.com/2012/09/26/introducing-task-path/ . The driving path for your phase completion task is what you want.

    The task path tool seems pretty rudimentary, but still much better than anything available out of the box in prior releases. It’s one reason why we held off porting our own logic filter tool to 2013 for the longest time.

    The way I understand the SDLC waterfall, you would model a decision gate (a merge point in the schedule network) between each phase – with no other inter-phase links. Then of course the previous concerns go away. I sense your issue may be a little more complicated….

    Please confirm whether or not the task path works for you.

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