A useful report to produce in Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) Web and often asked for, is one displaying only critical activities and/or near critical activities.
Once you have entered all your activities and activity relationships, Primavera P6 EPPM can calculate your critical path. In the Gantt chart you can view all critical activities in red and all non-critical activities in green. An often request is that management wants a report showing only critical activities. If so, you need to know how to produce a report displaying only critical activities? Or what about near critical activities?
Can you produce a report displaying only near critical activities? Primavera P6 EPPM has a filter feature with several predefined filters, including a critical activity filter. The filter feature also has the ability to create specific user defined filters, such as a near critical filter.
This article describes how to implement critical filters and how to create near critical filters to produce critical and/or near critical reports in Primavera EPPM.
Producing a Critical Activity Report
Figure 1 displays our sample project that has both several non-critical and several critical activities.
As mentioned above, Primavera P6 EPPM has a predefined critical filter that we simply need to understand how to use. To implement the critical activity filter select the filter icon, Figure 2, and from the corresponding drop down menu select Filters.
In the Customize Filters dialog you can see that Primavera P6 has several predefined Standard Filters and several predefined Global filters. Highlight the Critical Activities filter and select the modify filters icon, Figure 3.
Here we see in Figure 4 that the Critical Activities filter is “Critical equals Yes”.
Thus, all activities that are considered critical will be displayed.
The obvious question to ask then is what defines a critical activity? For that answer we will have to go to schedule shown in Figure 5,
and then schedule options as seen in Figure .
In the scheduling options dialog, Figure 7, select the General tab and review the “Define critical activities as:” option.
Set the toggle to “Total Float less than or equal to”, and the corresponding value to 0.00h, which stands for zero hours. Now your critical activities are defined as any activity with zero total float. This includes all activities with zero total float whether they are on the longest path or not. If you selected the Longest Path toggle than only those activities on the longest path would be displayed. The way we have it set though is to display all zero total float activities, regardless of whether or not they are on the longest path. So our critical activities are simply any activity that has a zero total float. Note for a more detailed discussion on the difference between the critical path and longest path read the Ten Six blog at https://tensix.com/2014/04/the-longest-path/.
Now back in the Customize Filters dialog, highlight the Critical Activities filter and toggle Apply to View for the Critical Activities filter, Figure 8.
Select OK, and the Activities view and Gantt chart will display only those activities that have zero total float, Figure 9.
Note the milestones in this schedule all have zero total float.
Creating a Near Critical Filter
Let’s now use the filter feature to create a near critical activity filter. Select the filter icon, and Add New Filter from the drop down menu. In the name block type in Near Critical for the filter name. Then in the Definition tab select the Total Float parameter from the drop down menu, Figure 10.
Set the mathematical inequality to “is greater than” from the drop down menu, and set the value to 0.1d, which stands for 0.1 days, Figure 11.
Use the + icon to add another line to our Near Critical activity definition. Again, set the parameter to Total Float. This time set the mathematical inequality to “is less than”, and the value to 10.0d, Figure 12.
Select OK, and then toggle Apply to View on for the Near Critical filter. Select OK, and the report will be as displayed in Figure 13.
Add the Total Float column, so you can see how much float each of these near critical activities have. Also, select “Hide if empty” from the Customize Groupings dialog, Figure 14.
Your near critical report will then be as displayed in Figure 15.
Creating a critical activity report is a simple process in Primavera P6 EPPM, because the filter is predefined. Make sure to note the definition of critical activities in the Scheduling Options dialog.
Primavera P6 EPPM has the features to create complex filters. However, the filter for Near Critical activities is not that involved. Add Total Float to the list of column headings in the activities view, so you can view the value of each near critical activities’ total float. Also, use Hide if empty feature in Customize Groupings to focus in on only those Work Breakdown Structure elements associated with the near critical report.