Project owners can investigate alternatives for managing project risk by viewing the Critical Path layers. As noted, Critical Path represents the longest chain of dependent SmartTasks within a project represented in black at the top of the Critical Path view. The Critical Path’s PERT attributes are progressively disclosed to the project owner through layers, streamlining the evaluation process.

  1. From the Critical Path Engine screen, click the mceclip0.png icon on the left side of the Critical Path Engine’s header. A menu appears.
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  2. Mark any or all of the following (see subsequent steps for guidance on when to select each):
    a.  Start/Finish Dates: The earliest possible start and finish dates based on dependent SmartTask constraints. When this checkbox is marked (default), each SmartTask updates to reflect the earliest possible time it can begin (based on the definition of their dependency) and finish (based on their duration). The resulting dates appear in the bottom of the SmartTask tile in purple.
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    If an at-risk SmartTask is available to be started earlier, the project owner may opt to pin this start date and preserve the project timeline. By definition, Early Start/Finish dates for SmartTasks on the Critical Path will be the same as the currently scheduled dates, and are the most common used to manage a project schedule.

    b. Late Start/Finish: The latest possible start and finish dates that will not extend the project timeline. When this checkbox is marked, each SmartTask updates to reflect the latest possible time it can begin (based on the definition of their dependency) and finish (based on their duration). The resulting dates appear at the bottom of the SmartTask tile in grey.
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    The project owner may review late start/finish dates for succeeding SmartTasks to determine if a preceding at-risk SmartTask can be extended while reserving the project timeline. By definition, Late Start/Finish dates for SmartTasks on the Critical Path will be the same as the currently scheduled dates.
    c. Total Float: The sum of all excess time remaining to complete a string of dependent SmartTasks without extending the project timeline. When this checkbox is marked, each SmartTask will update to reflect the sum of excess time remaining to complete all dependent downstream SmartTasks without impacting the overall project timeline. These dates appear as a purple shadow following the SmartTask.
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    The project owner may review total float to determine which combination of succeeding SmartTasks can be shortened to provide additional time for at-risk SmartTasks while preserving the project timeline.
    d. Total Float: The sum of all excess time remaining to complete a string of dependent SmartTasks without extending the project timeline. When this checkbox is marked, each SmartTask will update to reflect the sum of excess time remaining to complete all dependent downstream SmartTasks without impacting the overall project timeline. These dates appear as a faint purple shadow following the SmartTask.
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    The project owner may review total float to determine which combination of succeeding SmartTasks can be shortened to provide additional time for at-risk SmartTasks while preserving the project timeline.
    e. Free Float: The excess time available to complete a SmartTask. When this checkbox is marked, each SmartTask will update to reflect the excess time remaining to complete without impacting downstream SmartTasks and, therefore, the entire project timeline. These dates appear as a purple shadow following the SmartTask.
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    The project owner may review free float for an at-risk to determine whether the duration can be extended while preserving the project timeline.
    e.  Owner Avatar: By default the SmartTask owner’s image will appear in the upper right corner of the SmartTask tile. Turn this setting off to remove that image.
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    f. Priority: Displays the priority setting for any SmartTask whose priority is not “normal” in the SmartTask tile’s upper left corner.
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    g. Pending Acceptance Flag: Indicates which SmartTasks have not yet been accepted by their owner with a purple “Pending” flag.
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    h. Completed Late Stats: Displays the statistics related to completed SmartTasks—the date it was completed and the number of days late.
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    i. Workstream Stats: Shows at-a-glance statistics around workstreams within a project including due date, estimated completion date, delay/early finish and length of that workstream.
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  3. When all options have been evaluated and changes have been made that result in changes to dependent SmartTask dates, a Timeline Alert box appears.
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  4. To agree to the proposed dates that Moovila has calculated, click the Update Timeline button.  The Update Timeline window opens.
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    a.  Toggle Settings to:
    Update Tasks with Proposed Dates: This will make the purple dates that Moovila has provided above the original red dates the official dates for those SmartTasks. The timeline will update accordingly.
    NOTE: Ensure that all changes are approved before updating task with proposed dates, as these updates are final and cannot be reverted.
    Send Change Notifications: If the SmartTasks are updated with the proposed dates, it will be possible to notify members of the team of the changes via this setting.
    b. Click Save to continue. If the SmartTasks’ dates have been updated, they will be reflected in the Critical Path after saving. Note that if SmartTasks are cancelled in the future their details will no longer be factored into the Critical Path.
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