You may have a Primavera P6 schedule with a proper allocation of resources (no over allocated resources), but if your schedule has many near critical activities then your project risks not meeting the contract completion date. Here we look at how to monitor near critical activities in the activities table.
The critical path and longest path determine the length of your schedule. Naturally schedulers want to monitor the progress of critical activities along the critical path to keep the schedule on target for the contract completion date.
Schedulers should also note near critical activities. Schedules with many near critical activities have a high probability that one or more of these near critical activities delay and become critical. Near critical activities therefore increase the risk that the schedule will not meet its deadline. Project managers conducting a project risk assessment will definitely want to note and mark near critical activities.
This article describes how to mark near critical activities in the activities table to support schedule risk analysis and/or monitoring of all near critical activities.
It is possible in Primavera P6 Professional to color code near critical activities on the Gantt chart. Steps for color-coding near critical Gantt chart bars are described in the ‘Monitoring Near Critical Activities in Primavera P6’ blog.
A near critical activity risk analysis might be easier if you simply mark all near critical activities in the activities table. This saves you from having to extend the near critical Gantt chart bar to the respective activity in the activities table. Let’s step through the procedures for listing near critical activities in the activities table.
We begin with our demonstration schedule, Figure 1.
The demonstration Gantt chart is currently displaying non-critical activities in green, near critical activities in magenta, and critical activities in red. We want to list all the near critical activities in the activities table.
The first step is to create a near critical user defined field (UDF). Select Enterprise | User Defined Fields…. In the UDF dialog, Figure 2, select Activities from the drop down menu, then click + Add to create a new UDF.
Name the UDF ‘TF 0.1-10’, Figure 2, and choose ‘Indicator’ for the data type. Display your new ‘TF 0.1-10’ UDF in the activities table, Figure 3.
Now we create a new global change routine. Select Tools | Global Change…. Choose + New to add a new global change routine. Make Activities the subject area from the drop down menu in the ‘modify global change’ dialogue, Figure 4.
In the If section the parameter is ‘total float’, the equivalency is ‘=’, the value ‘0.1d, and the high value ’10.0d’. In the Then section the parameter is ‘TF 0.1-10’, the equivalency is ‘=’, and the parameter/value is ‘green’. Save the near critical activities global change routine, and apply change. This generates a global change report, Figure 5.
The old values are blank and the new values are green for activities meeting the near critical activities global change tool criteria. The final schedule with an activity table column displaying near critical activity indicators is displayed in Figure 6.
It is possible in Primavera P6 to monitor critical, and, additionally, near critical activities. It is convenient to have a near critical total float indicator column in the activities table. This is possible by implementing UDFs and the global change tool, which makes spotting near critical activities in the activities table an efficient process.
One may go a step further and filter all critical and near critical activities for display. But a near critical UDF and global change tool routine make focusing in on near critical activities in an unfiltered activities table quick and easy.