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Critical Path not displaying

edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2017 Posts


I have read various other posts about CP not showing. My last task did have a red border but I have since altered this. There is not CP showing. Any advise will be welcome.

Thanks in advance



  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭


    I has been a long time since I checked the critical path (as Smartsheet has not announced any changes)

    However, critical path will not show properly if:

    1) paths are in parallel 

    2) path has "reverse" predecessor, (start-to-finish or finish-to-finish)

    3) something breaks the chain.

    The last one is valid, the others are bugs.


  • Glenn Riese
    Glenn Riese ✭✭✭


    rolled up tasks do not show on the critical path even if they are.  I also consider this a bug.



  • MattB

    Thanks Craig - sounds like too many bugs to make it useful.

    Please expand on no. 3

    Many thanks


  • MattB

    Thanks Glen. I thought all must be collapsed to display CP? but have not got this right yet and this is my first Smartsheet project




  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    expansion of (3):

    Because Smartsheet does not handle constraints in the same way as some other PM tools, you can not have a task that has a duration based on constraints to its start and end dates.

    To get around this in Smartsheet, you must force the schedule to obey your own (as opposed to the software's) rules. Once you cut the predecessor, the chain of tasks is broken and the critical path algorithm does not account for this.

    A valid schedule can be built but the critical path can not be determined.

    I hope that helps explain it.


  • Robin Sherwood

    Responding to the entire thread. Thanks fore the feedback, hopefully I can shed some light on the confusion. 

    For starters, we only support one constraint type, two if you are clever. We support "as soon as possible". If you need to create a "start no earlier than" constraint you can add an unlinked milestone as a predecessor to your task to force the date to move out. If you remove dependencies from you schedule to get the task to start on a specific date, you no longer have a fully networked schedule and no project tool will calculate critical path properly without a fully networked schedule. We do not support "start no earlier than, must start on, must finish on, start no later than, finish no earlier than, finish no later than or as late as possible." It is unlikely we will add these anytime soon.

    Parallel paths that are equal and both on the critical path should both be highlighted. Would love to see an example if they are not. 

    Finish to start dependency types will not properly calculate critical path because we don't support the "ALAP" constraint type. So you cannot really calculate a critical path on a work-back schedule as a result. 

    Summary Tasks are not part of the critical path, and to get an accurate indication of what the critical path is there shouldn't be predecessor relationships between summary tasks, only child tasks. This is pretty much true for every tool as well. We don't currently highlight summary rows where all children are critical, but I suppose we could at that, it is currently behaving properly. 

    TL;DR Critical path requires a fully networked schedule, and the unexpected behavior you are seeing is probably due to not supporting more constraint types. 


    Hope that helps!


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