In GPM (and CPM), the critical path is the longest continuous path to the project completion (or an interim contractual milestone), when anticipating on-time or early completion. If anticipating late completion, the critical path is any continuous path that extends beyond the contract date for a completion milestone.
In NetPoint, criticality (if based on total float) is a signal of whether an activity’s total float is at or below a threshold (often zero, except in the case of early or late completion). For special circumstances where criticality is to be based on drift or float (rather than total float), that option is allowed within NetPoint, and the threshold can be changed to any number, positive or negative.
For example, if a project were already significantly behind schedule, a large number of activities might already be critical. To reduce the noise and identify only the most critical, the threshold could be changed to -5 instead of 0. Conversely, if a project were ahead of schedule, there might not be any critical activities. In this case, the threshold could be set to positive 5 so that even activities with total float were signaled out. By default, critical activities and hammocks are automatically turned red, but they may be outlined instead to preserve their original color.
When using outlines, actualized activities will only have their nodes outlined in red to preserve the blue outline on the bar. In-progess activities will have their progressed portion outlined in blue and their remaining portion outlined in red. Actualized milestones and benchmarks will not be outlined in red, despite the setting.
Changing the Criticality Thresholds
- Click in the menu bar.
- Increase or decrease the number next to Criticality Threshold or Near-criticality Threshold.
- If desired, click the dropdown next to Criticality Factor and choose accordingly.
- When finished, click OK.
Using Outlines for Criticality
- Click from the menu bar.