Can’t find your Critical Path in Primavera P6? Don’t worry, it might be hiding. Here are 4 easy ways you can laser-in on your project’s Critical Path in P6.
4 Easy Ways to Show the Critical Path in P6
1. Check the Gantt Chart
By default, the P6 Gantt chart will show your project’s Critical Path activities in bright red. This makes it easy to have a quick glance at the Gantt Chart et voila!, your Critical Path stands-out like a safety vest.
Hey! It’s not working! I don’t see any red Critical Path activities on my project. What gives?
Glad you asked. 😉 Maybe your Gantt chart looks like this instead.
Primavera P6, by default, uses Total Float to decide if an Activity is Critical or not. Activities with a Total Float value of 0 (or less) usually show red on the Gantt. If you have no red Activities, you may have a Must Finish By date set on your project. If your project is finishing earlier than the Must Finish By deadline, then you may not have any activities with 0 or less Float values which means there are no Critical activities.
If that’s the case, tell P6 to show Critical Path by the Longest Path rather than by Total Float.
- Press F9, and then click the Options button.
- Find the setting “Define Critical Activities as”. Choose Longest Path.
- Reschedule your Project.
- Notice the Gantt chart now. You should see a red Critical Path now.
You can always read more about the Critical Path vs Longest Path.
2. Use the Critical Path / Longest Path Columns
Edit your columns and go digging for one called “Critcal” and another called “Longest Path”. Add one or both of these nifty columns to your Activity Layout to show clearly which activities are Critical.
3. Turn On a Filter
Using a Filter can also be a quick and effective way to manifest your Critical Path. Click the Filters button to turn on the Critical Path filter. This will show only the Critical Activities. There’s also a filter for the Longest Path.
4. Check the Schedule Log
Lastly, you can always check the P6 Schedule Log. The Schedule Log is a log file that gets updated every time your project is scheduled. Press F9 and make sure the box labeled “Log to File” is checked on. Then, click the “View Log” button to open the Schedule Log.
Once you have the log file open in Notepad, you’ll have to scroll down to the section labeled “Exceptions”. But you should see in the log a list of your project’s Critical Activities.
What Do You Think?
Which method works best for you in Primavera P6? Do you have your own method for finding your project’s Critical Path? Drop us a line in the comments.