Create a Near Critical Filter in Microsoft Project to Monitor Tasks.
Non-critical tasks can be as important as critical tasks in a schedule. This is because if a non-critical task slips then it can quickly appear on the critical path. This could negatively affect your project finish date and jeopardize the entire project.
If an activity has zero floats (slack) and there is a minor delay in your schedule, near-critical tasks can easily become critical. So how do you monitor near critical tasks in Microsoft Project?
In Microsoft Project, you can create a near critical filter to use to view and monitor your near-critical tasks. So, how’s this done? Let’s take a closer look.
In Figure 1 we have a demonstration schedule that we are going to create a near critical filter for.
By selecting the ‘View’ tab from the ribbons group we click on ‘Filter’ and scroll down to ‘New Filter’, as in Figure 2.
In the ‘Filter’ Definition box we enter ‘Name’ and type ‘Near Critical Filter’. By using the drop-down menus we enter ‘Total Slack’ in the ‘Field Name’, ‘is greater than’ in the ‘Test’ and ‘0.1d’ in the ‘Value(s)’ as in Figure 3.
We move down a row and select ‘And’ from the ‘And/Or’ Column. By using the drop-down menus we enter ‘Total Slack’ in the ‘Field Name’, ‘is less than’ in the ‘Test’ and ‘15d’ in the ‘Value(s)’ When we click save we have created our ‘Near Critical Filter’ as in Figure 4.
Our ‘Near Critical Filter’ will highlight all tasks in the activities table, which have total slack between 0.1d (one-tenth of a day) and 15 days.
To view these activities we select our ‘Near Critical Filter’ by accessing the ‘View’ tab and selecting ‘Filters’, as shown in Figure 5.
We can see the five non-critical tasks that are in danger of becoming critical if there are project delays.
If you are working in Microsoft Project 2019, the highlight feature isn’t available and only the activities which meet the criteria of your Near Critical Filter will be displayed as in Figure 6 below.
Creating a Near Critical Filter in Microsoft Project is a fairly simple process that can be valuable in monitoring near critical tasks. Microsoft Project can display the near-critical tasks when you access your newly created Near Critical filter. This is a great help in tracking these tasks.