Project for the web - Date Constraints, Critical Path, Gantt by Slack

Occasional Visitor

I'm sure this is wishful thinking, but I am hoping to see Project for the Web advance in the area of critical path analysis. Yes, I can do this in Microsoft Project for the desktop, but I have been on the hunt for a web-based PM tool that can do this and my hope is that Microsoft will eventually support this.

 

I need to build fully networked plans, where every task, except for Start and End, has a predecessor and successor. The Start task will have at least one successor and End will have at least one predecessor. End would have a constraint date equal to the project deadline Finish No Later Thank (FNLT). If the planned durations and sequencing calculate that the End or milestone task will be complete after an FNLT date, the plan will contain tasks with negative slack. In fact, there could be different levels of negative slack and the most negative path of tasks will be the critical path. Technically, you could have multiple paths with the same negative slack too. Having constraints, such as FNLT and the ability to view and report (group on) slack, allows for thorough critical path analysis and compression.

 

Is there any support for this level of analysis using Project for the Web? We have a mix of Windows/Mac users, so getting to something on the web would be best.

1 Reply
Robert --

Wishful thinking? Probably. But then again, I don't work for Microsoft, so I don't have any insider knowledge about future plans for this application.

Regarding your questions, Microsoft HAS recently added the Critical Path functionality to the took, although it is a bit difficult to find. Open your project in Project for the Web and then apply the Timeline view. In the upper right corner of the page, click the Filters pick list. In the Filter Tasks side pane, enable the Show Critical Path feature. Be aware that the Filters side pane for all three views includes a Critical Path filter.

Regarding constraints, there is no formal constraint feature in Project for the Web. And for Critical Path analysis, there is no Total Slack column available in Project for the Web.

Keep in mind that Project for the Web is still low-end project management tool to which Microsoft is continually adding new functionality. But Project for the Web cannot even come close to matching the features and functionality of the Microsoft Project desktop application, especially when used in conjunction with Project Server or Project Online.

If you can live with the limitations of Project for the Web, I would encourage you to continue using it. Hope this helps.