There are differing ways to define critical activities in Primavera P6 Professional, which may make identifying them a tedious process. Read on for a quick tip on how to quickly note critical activities in your schedule.
It’s important to identify critical activities in your schedule; critical activities are those that cannot delay without increasing the length of the entire project schedule. Primavera P6 Professional provides two options for defining critical activities.
In order to properly spot critical activities in your schedule it is important to know which definition of critical activities is set for your schedule. Sometimes though you do not want to have to inspect the minutiae of the schedule to spot critical activities. It is possible to have Primavera P6 Professional inspect each activity and list which activity is critical.
This article demonstrates how to analyze the schedule and create a list of critical activities to quickly identify and/or isolate critical activities in the schedule.
Our demonstration project is displayed in Figure 1.
Yes, the Gantt chart shows critical activities as red Gantt chart bars, but we want to also list critical activities in the activity table for quick reference. This is possible in a two-step process. Step one is to create a user defined field (UDF). To enter a UDF select Enterprise | User Defined Fields… In Figure 2 we associate activities with a new UDF called Critical Indicator.
Select the Indicator data type, Figure 2.
Now that we have our Critical Indicator UDF in step two we create a global change routine to analyze each activity and specify whether it is critical (red) or non-critical (green). Select Tools | Global change. From the Global Change dialog click + New. In the Modify Global Change dialog, Figure 3, select activities for the subject area.
Input ‘Set Critical Indicator’ for the Global Change Name, Figure 3. The equivalency is when critical equals yes. Primavera P6 will analyze each activity and based upon the critical activity definition settings it determines if the respective activity is critical or not. Depending on this analysis Primavera P6 sets the critical indicator UDF to red or green.
Finally, we insert our Critical Indicator UDF as a column in our activities table, and then run the Set Critical Indicator global change routine. The resulting schedule including a Critical Indicator list is displayed in Figure 4.
Again, there are differing ways to define critical activities in Primavera P6 Professional. One definition says activities that have total float of 2-days or less are critical. Another says activities that have total float of 0-days or less are critical. Still another says all longest path activities are critical. With the help of a UDF and global change routine it is possible to generate a list of critical (red) and non-critical (green) activities for quick reference.