When we use Primavera P6 to manage project schedules, we find ourselves wondering which activities are critical and if there is only one critical path. We will show you how to show in your monthly reports the critical path and subcritical paths with Primavera P6. Are you ready?
Locate the critical path and subcritical paths with Primavera P6
As we saw in our post about the Critical Path Method, the Critical Path of a project is called to the longest path to the achievement of that project. Imagine now how radar works, and find out its analogy within Project Management. The image of a radar and a functioning sonar inside a submarine is familiar to us all. These devices are able to locate and represent on a screen elements close to the location of the submarine itself.
Imagine for a moment that our timeline is that radar. Thanks to the inputs that we are adding, we obtain an image of the current status and the forecast of work to be done until the project scope is completed. The analogy of radar and sonar with the management of the schedule of a project would be the following.
First, our project would be the submarine itself. The central point shown on the radar would no longer be the representation of our submarine, but all those activities part of the Critical Route of the project, the most critical route of all possible where the Total Float of the activities was the least possible. Instead of ships, the work packages of our project would be represented on the radar. These work packages (boats) would be more or less close to the central point depending on the total float they have. Therefore, we are interested in having the “boats” as far away from our “submarine” in order to reduce to the maximum the risk of being “reached”, that is, reducing the risk of our project being delayed.
Regular reports on the critical paths and subcritical paths with Primavera P6
From Project 2080 we are going to give you a hand as far as periodic reports are concerned. We have created 2 types of reports that will help you in your planning and project controls tasks and more specifically in the analysis of the critical path and subcritical paths of your project through the use of the Primavera P6 project controls tool. These are:
- RE20 Overall Critical Path: with this report, your team will have an overview of the critical path of the project. It will reflect all those activities that meet the condition of critical activity. This will be previously defined in the calculation options of the planning and project controls tool called Primavera P6. To better understand these calculation options, we advise you to take a look at our post about the Critical Path Method. Critical activities will be represented by the WBS to which they belong. Download an example report RE20 Overall Critical Path.
- RE21 Multiple Paths: this report is very useful when analyzing intermediate milestones of our project and the different subcritical paths until reaching them. With this report, we will be able to analyze in isolation a particular milestone of our project. We will base the decision making according to the order of priority of each one of the activities. We will base this priority on the criticality level of said activities. The critical activities, in this case, will be represented in Primavera P6 through the so-called ‘Float Path’. Download an example report RE21 Multiple Paths.
IN PROJECT 2080 WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO REMEMBER
One of the most important issues in any project is to correctly identify the critical path. This helps us identify those work packages and the most critical activities for the achievement of a project. The critical path analysis also includes the analysis of subcritical paths. These are part of our radar within project planning and controls. There are many ways to get the critical path and subcritical paths with Primavera P6. However, for us, there are two key reports that should be part of your library of layouts in Primavera P6. These are RE20 Overall Critical Path and RE21 Multiple Paths.