As projects become longer and more complex—and with tasks having multiple predecessors—tracking down the causes of slipping tasks can become problematic.  Trying to determine which predecessor relationship is pushing the scheduled start date out can be difficult with linked tasks residing multiple screens away.  Microsoft Project 2010 introduced the Task Inspector function to give project managers everywhere another tool in the toolbox to be more in control of their projects.  Microsoft Project 2013’s addition of the Task Path feature just made it that much easier.  Read on to find out how.

Using Task Inspector to determine task drivers

Click the Task tab


On the Task ribbon, click the Inspect button


Select the task for which you wish to determine task drivers

Use Task Inspector to determine the task driver for the task in question


Using the Task Path tool

Perhaps you would like to see the task paths of all the predecessor tasks of a given task.  Or maybe, again, the task driver is your concern.  Whereas the Task Inspector allowed us to track down task drivers in table format, Task Path will help us see the task drivers by highlighting them in the Gantt chart.

Click the Task tab


If not already displayed, on the Task ribbon—and from the Gantt chart dropdown—select the Gantt chart view


Click the Format tab


Select the task you wish to explore


Scroll to the task


To see predecessor paths,

On the Format ribbon—and from the Task Path dropdown—select Predecessors


Gantt bars for predecessor tasks are highlighted in light orange.


To see task drivers,

On the Format ribbon—and from the Task Path dropdown—select Driving Predecessors


Gantt bars for task drivers are highlighted in dark orange.


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