Create the Critical Path
After you manually link tasks with the predecessor column, you should display the successor column. If any tasks do not have a link in the predecessor or successor columns, you should investigate why this is. Remember, you do not need to link the first task that starts the project, but all other tasks should have a link. When all tasks have predecessor and successor links, you will be able to create a critical path.
The project summary task (task zero) or any other summary task (which shows as bold in the Gantt chart view), should never be linked.
One helpful tool to help you link tasks is the network diagram. By using the network diagram, you can visually see how all the tasks link together. You can drag-and-drop one task to another to form new links.
As mentioned in previous lessons, some tasks start at the beginning of the project. Any of these tasks can start without a predecessor link. The last task in a project will never have a successor because there are no more tasks to complete after it.
To use the network diagram, follow these steps:
- Click the tasks tab.
- Click the Gant chart picklist.
- Select the Network diagram option.
- Locate any task(s) that do not have a link and drag-and-drop a link from one task to another.
Important: Never link summary tasks. Summary tasks are in the shape of a parallelogram (crooked rectangle).
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