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Activity Critical Path Toolbar Icons

In the P6 toolbars choices, an Activity Critical Path toolbar is now available. Let’s have a quick look at the icons.

Contents of the default toolbar:

The Resource-Critical Path is helpful to find why the end date of a resource-constrained, workload leveled project is displaying its current value. The Resource-Critical Path differs from the Critical Path technique; the Resource-Critical Path incorporates the logical dependencies and the resource dependencies. You may be wondering what a resource dependency is. When an activity in your schedule (activity X) with an over allocated resource assigned is delayed to start after another higher priority activity (activity Y) requiring the same over allocated resource (to resolve the over allocation), activity X is resource dependent on activity Y. Keep in mind there may not be any logic relationship between the two tasks other than the resource requirement.

By definition: The Resource-Critical Path is the sequence of activities that are related through logical dependencies or resource-dependencies that determines the fastest completion of all the work in the project (or across prioritized, workload-leveled projects in a portfolio).

A sample project critical path is below. This schedule file has over allocated resources and has been scheduled and leveled.

With the activity ‘Vent & Clean Vessel’ selected, we selected ‘Show Resource Critical Paths’ and left the number of critical paths to display at 1.

Now the number of critical paths has been updated to display 2. (Max display is 30)

The ‘Show Forward Activity Critical Paths’ icon is selected. The number of paths remains at 2.

'Show Forward Activity Critical Paths' displays the most critical path forward of the selected activity. (Screen shot setting is 2 paths.)

‘Show Backward Activity Critical Paths’ icon selected. (Below)

'Show Backward Activity Critical Paths' displays the most critical path behind the selected activity. (Screen shot setting is 2 paths.)

'Show Activity Critical Paths' shows the entirety of the 2 critical paths of the selected activity.

Enable Group and Sort is selected with the critical filter in the activities tab removed.

The Activity Critical Path Toolbar gives you quick access to display Activity and Resource Critical Paths. Keep in mind which activity you have selected when you make selections on forward/backward elements.

The example is meant as food for thought. A quick look at options in the Resource-Critical Path toolbar; the icons are available to assist with projects that are constrained by limited resources. It is always helpful to keep in mind the functionality you have available for tasks you need to carry out.
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About the Author

Mary Lynn Backstrom, PMP, PMI-SP, PMI-BA – Implementation Specialist

Mary Lynn spent many years filling a variety of project controls duties such as planning, scheduling, analyzing, training and continuous improvement in the Aerospace Industry. Since joining Emerald in 2008 she has been a tremendous asset to the Emerald team.

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