Critical Chain in MS project RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    project plan will only realistic when it all tasks are schedules with proper resources. As availability of resources may vary during project and it may impact project delivery date as well identifying critical tasks.

    while measuring critical path, we generally focus on tasks only without assignment of resources but in reality it does not happen when resources are limited and shared. after assigning resources on each task (where resources are shared), critical path of MS project 2010 will only consider those task as critical which has 0 slack. that does not represent real critical path with resources.

    Please suggest how to make critical patch with shared resources in MS project 2010.


    Sunday, October 4, 2015 12:51 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    MS Project doesn't provide a critical path based on the resource constraints, only Schedule constraints.

    Matan Group has a product for Project to include resource constraints in the critical path (critical chain). 

    Hope this helps,

    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, MCC |

    Sunday, October 4, 2015 8:59 PM
  • As usual for a problem like this, the solution is made from people, process and the tools.

    You need a resource Manager role that decides in advance, what resources in hours per day or week will be available for what projects. Note that one project at a time where possible is 30%+ more efficient than multi-tasking.
    Feed the availability into project and assign resources based on availability. So a task with 40h or work and a resource with only 10h/week availability should show a duration of 4w.

    This is the resource manager role of deciding what resources are needed, deciding what sequence projects should be done in (fewer the better as much more efficient) and managing teh programs and portfolios of projects.

    Assign resources based on availability.

    However, if your project is of low priority (or not top priority) then you are likely to lose resources to higher priority projects that get into trouble. So for all risks (including likelihood of losing resources) estimate a % chance and the number of days delay if the risk happens. Calculate contingency time for each risk as % * number of days.
    Insert contingency tasks into Project to match teh calculated contingency. You now have a more realistic time frame. If that looks like finishing too late, negotiate more priority so you get more resource or delay or cancel the project.

    Good luck!

    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book

    Monday, October 5, 2015 4:58 AM
  • Thanks for reply, after defining resource constrained schedule, how does MS project show critical path with resource constraints. By default, MS project only identifies those task as critical which has 0 slack. but in resource constrained project schedule, there is a major possibility of having slack in tasks based resource availability. In my project where 3 resources are working. their availability are variable. task dependency along with resources puts some slack. initial 3 tasks are not even there in critical path which are starting points of project.

    How to get resource constraint critical path in MS project? 

    regards, Utk

    Monday, October 5, 2015 12:53 PM
  • Hi,

    Have you seen my reply above? The critical path in Project is only based on the task's slack, so not resource constrained. You could have a look to the Matan Group product:!critical-chain/c1hot

    Hope this helps,

    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, MCC |

    Monday, October 5, 2015 1:04 PM
  • A schedule with accurate resource assignments (as in my example above) is not a resource constrained schedule. It is a realistic schedule and Project does show the critical path.

    Are you not seeing a critical path or disagree with it? What's the specific problem at the moment?

    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book

    Monday, October 5, 2015 7:07 PM
  • thanks Guillaume.

    I have MS project Standard 2010. is it compatible with MS project Standard?


    Tuesday, October 6, 2015 2:52 AM
  • MS Project Standard 2010 is the same as Project Standard. Project 2010 standard happily shares files with other versions of Project, provided both versions have the latest updates applied.

    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book

    Saturday, October 17, 2015 12:12 AM
  • Hi 

    I can suggest this add-on that can highlight or filter critical chains.

    You can try and download a trial version.

    Let me know if i understood your need well and if it can suite your needs.

    Ofir Marco , MCTS P.Z. Projects

    Sunday, October 18, 2015 12:46 PM