A commonly used scheduling practice is to identify activities that are within a certain number of days from joining the critical path. In other words, the activity’s total float value is less than or equal to something like 10 days.
This article looks at some easy ways to identify near critical activities within the Primavera P6 project schedule using filters.
Primavera P6 Filters
Using the Primavera P6 Filter dialog you can create a Near Critical filter using the “is within range of” option in the ‘Is’ column alongside the Total Float parameter. This allows you to look for activities that have a total float that falls within the generally accepted total float value of 10 days or less for near critical activities. Notice how the lower end of the range is set to 0.1 days. This differentiates the results from existing critical activities that are at zero total float.
Creating a Near Critical Activity Bar
Once you have a filter that can identify near critical activities, you can use it to create a new design of activity Bar in the Gantt chart. Take a look at the following screen shot. The Add button has been used to create a new bar. The bar has been named Near Critical and it is using the Normal AND Near Critical filters to create a bar whenever a Normal activity (An activity that is of type Task Dependent, Resource Dependent or WBS Summary) is within 10 days of becoming critical. This will show up as an orange bar in the schedule as defined in the Bar Style tab of the Bars dialog.
You can download, unzip and restore a copy of this Layout by clicking the link below.
Unzip the download file and then use the Import option of the Open Layout dialog in Primavera P6 Professional to load the Near Critical Activities.PLF file.
Knowing how to identify activities that are within a certain number of days from joining the critical path is an incredibly useful tool to have in our schedulers tool box. I hope you find this tip useful and the sample layout helpful.