MS Project 2013 has brought a nice bunch of new formatting features. Something that needs at least 10 clicks or writing formulas now takes only a click.
|Figure 1: task path menu in the "format" tab of the ribbon|
Among the new formatting features of 2013 version (critical path, slack, late tasks), we’ll go in this article through the task path formatting options. Those new formatting options allow the user displaying in one click the predecessors and successors of a given task. Meaning that it is now pretty straight forward to anticipate impacts on tasks.
Let’s take an example creating a simple project plan with a milestone that you need to look at more in detail.
|Figure 2: sample project plan|
- Predecessors : the predecessors of the selected task will be highlighted. In our example, the milestone has tasks A, B and C as predecessors. Note that it is not only direct predecessors, but also predecessors of predecessors.
- Driving predecessors : task B has not a direct impact on the milestone thus it is not highlighted as a driving predecessors. Indeed it has a shorter duration that anothers direct predecessors (task A and C). In other words, task B's slack for the milestone is greater than 0 thus it is not a driving predecessor. Note that you can multi-select formatting options, adding driving predecessors to predecessors formatting.
|Figure 4: milestone's driving predecessors|
- Successors : tasks D, E and F are successors of the selected milesone.
- Driving successors : task F is not directly impacted by the milestone since its direct successors are tasks D and E, thus it is not highlighted.
|Figure 6: milestone's driving successors|
|Figure 7: dymanic update of the task path on task change|