Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Examining the critical path
One of the most useful filters is the one called Critical. This displays or
highlights all tasks that are on the critical path. If you’re running late, knowing
which tasks can’t slip helps you identify where there is no room for delay —
and, conversely, where you can delay noncritical tasks and still meet your
deadline. You might use the Critical filter to help you determine how to free
up overallocated resources or get a task that’s running late back on track.
You can look at the critical path in any Gantt Chart or Network Diagram view.
Figure 15-3 shows Gantt Chart view of a project with the critical path
highlighted. Figure 15-4 shows Network Diagram view with the same filter applied.
If you need a closer look at task timing, consider modifying the timescale
display to use smaller increments of time, such as days or hours. To do so,
rightclick the timescale itself and then choose Timescale.
Use resource leveling one more time
If you performed manual resource leveling earlier in your project to solve
resource conflicts, consider trying it again. With changes to tasks and tracked
activity, resource leveling may give you some new options to solve conflicts.
If resource leveling is set to Automatic, Project automatically performs this
calculation every time you modify your schedule. To see whether this is set
to automatic or manual, choose Tools
Level Resources to bring up the
Resource Leveling dialog box, as shown in Figure 15-5. If the Manual radio
button is selected, click the Level Now button to run resource leveling.
What’s driving the timing of this task?
The Task Drivers feature, new to Project 2007, allows you to review what is
causing tasks to fall in a certain timeframe, such as dependencies or task
constraints. You simply select a task and then click the Task Drivers button,
which displays a pane listing all factors that affect the timing of that task.
By using this feature, which you can read more about in Chapter 10, you can
determine whether a task that you’d like to happen earlier could do so if you
remove some dependency or constraint affecting it. For example, early in
your planning, you may have thought that the training task couldn’t start
until all the equipment was delivered, but now that half the equipment is
here, you realize you could start the training now and complete it later. By
understanding what is driving the timing of the task, you can better search
for a solution if that timing is causing problems.