Project with several phases of completion dates

7 replies [Last post]
Lo Gary
User offline. Last seen 9 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Feb 2010
Posts: 47
Groups: None

Dear,

 

I have a project with 6 phases each has different contractual completion dates and liquidated damages. But all phases are inter-related. I consider they should have their own critical path.

It means the programme should have 6 critical paths. 

What should I do?

I use subprojects to link them together in a separate project then it will show 6 critical paths?

 

 

Regards,

 

Gary Lo

Replies

Tom Boyle
User offline. Last seen 13 hours 46 min ago. Offline
Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 153
Groups: None

Mike, Asta Power Project can definitely do some things that MSP cannot, and forcing the buffers critical seems intriguing. Still,a few inter-phase relationships can cause a single task to participate in the driving/critical paths for several phases.

If your only intention is to identify critical tasks - not paths - then using simultaneous trailing buffers or late constraints/deadlines on all the phase completion milestones is straightforward. Identifying which tasks are critical for which phase seems not so simple, however, when your Gantt chart is a sea of red.

Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 18 hours 45 min ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4288

Hi Lo - Tom

In Asta Powerproject it is easy to show all the sections with their individual paths.

Link each sections end date to the final end date with a "Buffer" task and ensure that the Buffer is showing critical.

Best regards

Mike T.

Tom Boyle
User offline. Last seen 13 hours 46 min ago. Offline
Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 153
Groups: None

Gary,

Yes you may have 6 critical/driving paths.  You need to identify and mark each one.  You do this by temporarily constraining (or deadlining) one phase at a time.  Then you have to mark them using custom flags.

Microsoft Project will not do this dynamically.  Total Slack and the red bars will not tell you everything you want at the same time.

I wrote up a blog entry with some charts: http://wp.me/p6CCB4-cA

Lo Gary
User offline. Last seen 9 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Feb 2010
Posts: 47
Groups: None

Dear,

 

I want to have each phase with its own critical paths i.e. 6 critical paths, but at the same time each phase are linked becasuse they have some contractual or technical constraint linling them.

Do you mean use  milestone constraint to set the completion date of each phase, then it will create 6 critical paths?

 

 

Regards,

 

Gary Lo

Tom Boyle
User offline. Last seen 13 hours 46 min ago. Offline
Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 153
Groups: None

Gary,

Repeating myself (in writing) is kind of pointless, don't you think.  Please read it again and ask again. What specifically don't you understand?

(I'm sorry if English is not your first language.  I do not write well in another.) 

Lo Gary
User offline. Last seen 9 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Feb 2010
Posts: 47
Groups: None

Dear,

 

I didn't really understand your answer. could you explain more detail.

 

Thank

 

 

Gary 

Tom Boyle
User offline. Last seen 13 hours 46 min ago. Offline
Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 153
Groups: None

Hi Gary,

1. As long as the schedules of all six phases are being managed by a single person, then there is no need for linked subprojects (and lots of arguments against.)

2. MSP does not have a built-in routine (like multiple float path analysis in P6) to give you the driving path and near-driving paths to each of your 6 completion milestones.  You may use a traditional approaches like this:

  • Remove all late constraints and deadlines, then one at a time add a super-aggressive Deadline to each completion milestone - say one month before the scheduled/early finish date.  After re-scheduling, the "critical path" for that milestone will be the group of tasks with the lowest (negative) total slack.  You may mark it with a flag field.

3. If you use different calendars or resource leveling, total slack will become unreliable as an indicator of driving logic.  Then the constraint method above won't work well.  I use BPC Logic Filter (an add-in for logic tracing and other things) instead. Here's a link to a blog entry called "Video - Find the Driving Path for Key Milestones in Microsoft Project using BPC Logic Filter": http://wp.me/p6CCB4-6R.

Remember, logical driving/critical paths can change from update to update as the project progresses.  You'll need to update these as you go.

Good luck, tom