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How to visualize Multiple Critical Paths. Wait. What?


Level 10

Yeah, that's what I said at first, too, a couple of years ago.

At that time, my simple definition of Critical Path was "the longest tent pole", and any task which -- were it to be extended by any amount would affect the completion date of the project -- was by definition, a Critical Task. One of my more well travelled and seasoned clients then broadened my perspective, pointing out that at varying points over time (particularly for long range projects where "later" phases might be present, but really not yet fully baked), "The" Critical Task can change; and depending on from whose vantage point you're observing, There Can Be More Than One (sorry, Highlander).

And thus began my exciting, vexing, complicated, fascinating journey into the mysterious land of Multiple Critical Paths (MCP). A year later, with my graduation complete, we had it all up and running. I was SO excited to share it with this community, I even announced it was coming...annnnd then forgot to release it. Time flies when you're immersed inventing cool tech.

So! Tonight, just slightly ahead of the one year anniversary of my premature and far overdue announcement, I invite you to learn about our new(ish) Timeline solution, which lets you choose one or more Critical Tasks, set their Path Colors, then view Timeline to trace the resulting multiple Critical Paths through all predecessors and feeder projects.

In particular, I created this 5 minute video to explain the theory and shows how it works, including the concept of Minimum Task Float In Days, which is a technique by which you can gain early warning of Tasks that are not currently on a Critical Task's Critical Path...but could be, if they slipped by that much (or more). For a quick peek, I've also attached our one page glossy below.

Recognizing this is a VERY advanced area, I expect many of you reading might file this one on the save-until-needed pile, which is probably for the best. But for those who'd like to come climb with me, I think you'll enjoy the view, and I'd appreciate the company, either by posting here, or emailing me at

See you at the top!





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1 Reply


Level 10

Since the resolution of the video makes it a bit tough to see the details, I’ve added a couple of zoom-ins within the video, and uploaded several sample files so youcan inspect them more clearly.

Thanks again for taking a look!