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

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On the Task ribbon, click the Inspect button

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Select the task for which you wish to determine task drivers

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

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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

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

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Click the Format tab

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Select the task you wish to explore

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Scroll to the task

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To see predecessor paths,

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

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Gantt bars for predecessor tasks are highlighted in light orange.

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To see task drivers,

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

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Gantt bars for task drivers are highlighted in dark orange.

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