Getting Started Guide

Critical Path

Critical path is crucial for project management. Critical path shows the longest stretch of dependent activities in a project. These activities or tasks cannot be delayed without delaying the overall project. Identifying critical path lets you effectively devote time and resources to such tasks.

  • Feature Availability: Enterprise plan

Advantages of Critical Path

  1. Identify activities that require more focus. Delay in these activities can throw projects off-track.
  2. Determine activities that can be completed in a shorter time (crashing) and reduce project duration. 
  3. Use the critical path timeline as a benchmark and measure the actual progress against it. 
  4. Track multiple critical paths if available. 
  5. Identify non-critical activities and manage resources economically.

All you need to do is create tasks, set duration, and establish task dependencies. Zoho Projects gives a visual representation of the critical path on a Gantt chart. You can also view non-critical activities and their slack time be hovering over the activity.

Critical Path in Zoho Projects

Constructing a house involves numerous tasks which are dependent on each other. Considering a broad level list of tasks, let's see how critical path can be viewed on the Gantt chart.

The critical path in the project is highlighted in red.

View Critical Path on Gantt Chart

  1. Navigate to a project.
  2. Select Gantt & Reports and select Gantt Chart.
  3. Click  in the upper right corner.

  1. Toggle Critical Path and Slack to view them on the Gantt Chart.
    • Critical tasks will be highlighted in the task details page even if Critical Path is toggled off.

Slack in Tasks

Slack is the acceptable delay in a task without delaying the project. Tasks which have slack are not part of critical path and are considered as non-critical activities. Slack is represented by a dotted line.

Slack in dependent tasks

  • If there a multiple successor tasks, the slack line will be shown from predecessor task to the nearest successor task.
  • SS dependency: Slack line will be shown from predecessors start date to successors start date.
  • SF dependency: Slack line will be shown from predecessors start date to successors end date.
  • FS dependency: Slack line will be shown from predecessors end date to successors start date.
  • FF dependency: Slack line will be shown from predecessors end date to successors end date.

Holidays will not be considered for charting critical path.

 Related Topics

Types of Task Dependency | Gantt Chart

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