How to Find Slack in Your Project Schedule
Sr. Project Controls Specialist
Conconity Project Services
In this training video, Devin Deen demonstrates the activity-on-the-node diagramming technique to calculate slack in a project schedule.
Devin explained the “Activity on the Node” diagramming technique to help highlight risk, refine time estimates and find slack (or float) on your project schedule. This approach provides a visual representation of the project and is a helpful way to detect float or slack.
In this technique, activities are designated as nodes and then broken down into various sectors. You begin by defining the earliest time an activity could begin on a project, the expected time that activity will take, and the earliest time it could finish. Accomplishing this math for all activities, you can detect the earliest possible date the project will finish.
You then repeat this process for the latest date an activity can start as well as the latest date an activity can finish. What you are left with is clear slack in the schedule when you compare those dates, as Devin displays in the chart and diagram of the whiteboard.
Pro-Tip: Only once you’ve determined with the slack is in your project can you then effectively focus the team to get those tasks done, as well as know when to rest a little because you have wiggle room in your schedule.