Why use the Critical Path & Slack Time?

  • Determine the chain of tasks crucial to a project’s completion.

  • Quickly see which tasks can be rescheduled without affecting larger deadlines.

How to Calculate the Critical Path

Gif showcasing how to turn on or display Critical Path and Slack Time
  1. Click the View button in the view menu

  2. Select Gantt

  3. Enter a name for this view

  4. Check the Personal view box if you don't want anyone else to access it

  5. Check the Pin view box if you want it to always display in the view menu

  6. Click Add View

How the Critical Path is Determined

The critical path checks all tasks on the chart and determines the set that would affect the overall project deadline if adjusted. 

It then looks back from the last task to see which dependent task is blocking the deadline from being completed. 

If the last task in the critical path is dependent on another task, and there is no time gap in between them, each of the tasks will be added to the path (shown in red). 

Slack Time 

Slack time helps you visualize all the wiggle room in your project. Under the calculation options, you will see an option to turn on Slack Time. This will show a dashed bar indicating how much room a task has before it starts affecting the overall project timeline.


Why is only the last task in my group (Space, Folder, or List) highlighted? 

  • This is likely because there is a gap in time between this task and the rest of the tasks in your group.

  • The other reason this may occur is no dependency chain has been attached to that last task in the group.

Note: Because the last task in the group is responsible for the entire group's completion date, it will always be highlighted.

Why is the Critical path shorter than expected?

  • If Hide Weekends is enabled, then hidden weekends might break a critical path. 

  • The chain of tasks in the critical path may include time gaps or be missing dependency links. 

Note: Add tasks with no time gaps in between the start and end dates to the sequence that leads to the end of the entire group to be included in the critical path.

Why is the critical path used?

  • Prioritize which tasks must be completed within their estimated window to avoid delays in your project.

  • Quickly see which tasks can be rescheduled without affecting larger deadlines.

  • Visually identify where a hiccup would prevent your team from reaching its goals.

Note: Workspaces on our Business Plan and above have full access to path calculations, which includes slack time and critical path. Free Forever Plan and Unlimited Plan Workspaces are limited to 100 uses of path calculations.


Let us know what else you'd like to see by creating a feature request on our feedback boards here!

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