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I've created a project with two resources (well, two that are relevant here). The first is available to work to the project normal work week, but the second is only available on specific dates.

I've set up a work schedule for the second resource making them available only on the known dates.

I've then allocated tasks to the resources, and set up dependancies, so that resource one must complete their task before resource two can start their first one, on the first three days they are available, their second task on the next available day (and dependant of completion of their first task), and their third on the final 3 days they are available (dependant on task two).

However, the critical path is not displaying correctly, taking no account of the fact that if any of the tasks listed above moves, so will the end date, because even though there are days between each task, there are NOT available days between them for the resources involved:



I'm thinking maybe this is because I set start and end dates and times manually for each task, but those times match the work schedules, and so the critical path is still the same.

OK, so "Penetrate roof and mount coolers" could have completed two days later without affecting "Electrical and plumbing phase 1", but a) the fact it's completed maybe should bring it into the critical path (?), and even if not, surely the critical path should at least extend back to "Electrical and plumbing phase 1"?

Any ideas?

Last edited by MacBerry; 2007-11-30 at 03:34 AM.. Reason: realisation!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
I've created a project with two resources (well, two that are relevant here). The first is available to work to the project normal work week, but the second is only available on specific dates.

I've set up a work schedule for the second resource making them available only on the known dates.

I've then allocated tasks to the resources, and set up dependancies, so that resource one must complete their task before resource two can start their first one, on the first three days they are available, their second task on the next available day (and dependant of completion of their first task), and their third on the final 3 days they are available (dependant on task two).

However, the critical path is not displaying correctly, taking no account of the fact that if any of the tasks listed above moves, so will the end date, because even though there are days between each task, there are NOT available days between them for the resources involved:



I'm thinking maybe this is because I set start and end dates and times manually for each task, but those times match the work schedules, and so the critical path is still the same.

OK, so "Penetrate roof and mount coolers" could have completed two days later without affecting "Electrical and plumbing phase 1", but a) the fact it's completed maybe should bring it into the critical path (?), and even if not, surely the critical path should at least extend back to "Electrical and plumbing phase 1"?

Any ideas?
Hi MacBerry,

Are you still having problems with the critical path on this project? If so, could you send it in to omniplan@omnigroup.com for us to check it our directly?
 
It is still a problem, although that particular file has been edited since, and now has a different critical path that's working correctly. When I have time I'll try to re-create the issue.

Mark
 
I just started using OmniPlan and I can't get the critical path to highlight. Only the final milestone highlights. I've only set up a very basic plan to use as a template. I don't know if I've made a simple error or not; either way, I haven't been able to figure it out.

I'd like to add my vote to the request to be able to view multiple projects in one file. I'd like to be able to show how the projects relate to each other.
 
ivy3303: Select the milestone. Look in the task info inspector. If it says "on specified date", that's the problem. The critical path is the sequence of tasks where if any one of them slips, the chain of dependencies and other constraints causes the end date of the project to be delayed.
If the last task ends a week before the milestone, then it isn't on the critical path, because it can be delayed by a couple days and you'll still meet the milestone on time.
If this is the case, I recommend you reset the scheduling for the milestone. If there are dependencies pointing to it, then it will move as early as possible without violating those dependencies. This will show your critical path, but your milestone is now free-floating, so you'll want to add an end constraint to the milestone if you've got a deadline to meet.

I fear I may not be explaining this clearly enough. If you need more help, I recommend you email us (Send Feedback from the Help menu will attach a version of your file with task names and other info removed) so we can see exactly what's going on.
 
What you wrote makes sense and I understand what's going on now. I do have the last task (which I've designated as a milestone) set to a specified date. What I was trying to do was assign a date to last task and have the previous dependencies backdate because my deadlines are not negotiable. I did manage to accomplish this to some degree.

What I'm ultimately trying to do is schedule an approx 10wk project with a completion date one week prior to the actual completion date. I don't have the constraints figured out yet. I think using those might help. . .
 
Select the last milestone. Open the task information inspector. Enter your deadline in the End constraint box. Then click 'Reset' up by "On specified date". Now your milestone should move earlier in the project, but with a horizontal line sticking out the right to the deadline.

Then if you do something (move tasks, add more tasks) that would push your milestone past the end constraint (your deadline), you will get a violation (a red stop sign with a hand) on the milestone, explaining that you've hit that constraint and offering some ways to fix it.
 
That did it. Thanks for your help!
 
Bit of a newbie so please pardon the stupid question(s)

If I have a project that has multiple routes to an end, and I want to display that there are 3 of the near-term milestones that all impact the final end, how would I do it? The "critical path" shows THE ONE path - not too sure how it decides to use a certain path rather than another.

Easy way to see what I mean is if you have a task with multiple parents/prerequisites spread over multiple task groups, and some of these in turn also have multiple prerequisites.

I'd be OK with being able to select the "routemaps" and then asking the system to show these with a specific set/format of connectors. Is that possible?
 
I guess I don't understand the question, or perhaps how you are trying to use the tool.

The critical path is just the set of all the tasks which if changed in duration will change the date of the completion of the project.



If any of the tasks in either Group 1 or Group 2 take longer than planned, the date of the final milestone will be pushed out, so they are all colored as being on the critical path. If I shorten Task 4a or 4b, Group 2 will no longer be part of the critical path. I would expect that in most real life situations, having multiple branches scheduled out to exactly the same duration would be unlikely in the absence of artificial measures to make them that way, so there would only be one true critical path. OmniFocus will show multiple critical paths if they are truly critical paths, as seen in my example. If you have a situation with multiple paths of not quite equal duration (say different in duration by an amount likely to be less than or equal to any likely schedule slippage) yet want to show them all as critical, you could add a fudge action in the paths not labeled critical that you can adjust to make the duration equal and thus get all of the paths shown as critical.

Maybe you can give us a more concrete example, if this doesn't answer your question....
 
 


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