Critical path and Total Slack



How to get critical path & slack in coda. If “Build manually” => MANY formulas => Slow coda even by splitting in many docs.
If “Use zapier” => I have MANY docs + Two (four) Zaps x doc => Not sustainable

I’m looking for a way to implement a Project management system in Coda.
My problem is that the concept of Critical Path and Slack for me are crucial in order to plan and execute correctly my projects.
(I come from Microsoft Project. I shifted because I badly need a system that could account for other variables, a well integrated system, hence Coda and its beautiful relational databases)

Possible solutions:

  1. Use a Project Management template:
    I could not find one that included Critical path & Total Slack

  2. Build one from scratch:
    I’m already planning on splitting my projects into many document in order to keep then snappy and fast, enough, because I use A LOT of columns and rows.
    My problem with building manually this system is that I’m afraid the many formulas needed would slow down the docs, forcing to split the project into even more documents, going beyond reasonable number

  3. Use zapier + clickup
    That was my initial plan until when I found out that every zap is associated to one single document. Creating multiple zaps (create row, receive from clickup slack & critical path data) for every single document would be unsustainable , since I plan to use dozens of docs if not even more

  4. Pack:
    Still haven’t planned how but a Clickup pack would definitely allow me to find a reasonable workaround, but unfortunately it has not been built yet

  5. Use MS Project + Coda via CSV import
    After trying for a bit I quickly realized that this method was slowing my workflow in an unacceptable way

Has any one found a system / method / trick to get critical path & total slack time in Coda?

Thank you to anyone that will take the time to respond!

Hey @Ford ,
Coda has many build in ways to cache formula results behind the scenes, so having many formulas doesn’t automatically mean that you doc is slowing down in a noticable way. Due to the caching, there are even many scenarios where more formulas in more columns make the doc faster instead of slower. While Zapier can help bringing data in and out it also generates delay in some processes, so I‘d try to avoid it here.

Depending on your overall workflow, I‘d recommend trying it first manually in one doc. And in case your workflow requires multiple docs, than you could make yourself a template and then use it in every doc you need it.

I‘m just making myself familiar with Critical Path and Total Slack, so I can’t give a solution right away and have no template. But i can look into it if you need help building.

Would it be possible to share your workflow outside Coda that you now want to have inside Coda (eg a short video from ms project), so I get a picture of what the doc(s) needs to do and what the user needs to be able to do?


Hi @Daniel_Stieber,
thank you for answering,
I did not know about the caching behaviour of Coda, it actually makes a lot of sense, and it sounds pretty awesome.
Maybe if I can manage to also use filters in a smart way in order not to show too many rows at once (so that rending doesnt freeze the doc)
I can make it work in one doc.

The workflow:
the Critical path is a filtered list of tasks, from the master project, that has the value TRUE in the column “CRITICAL”

-A task is CRITICAL if its TOTAL SLACK = 0

-TOTAL SLACK is the amount of days a task can be postponed before it pushes forward a SUCCESSOR with a deadline, creating a delay in the deadline

-this video explains the formula that allows to get the TOTAL SLACK, starting from the PREDECESSOR DATE, duration and another values I haven’t memorized

(Critical Path Method-CPM-with Excel | Dr. Harper’s Classroom - YouTube
Critical Path Method-CPM-with Excel | Dr. Harper's Classroom - YouTube)

(How to Use Critical Paths in Project 2016 - YouTube
How to Use Critical Paths in Project 2016 - YouTube)

I think I can manage to make it my self, Its just a bit time consuming and I was hoping to find a quicker way lol (and of course a sustainable one but we’ve already clarified that)

but thank very much!

1 Like

Hey @Ford
sounds good! Thanks for the resources, I will check it out if this could be something used in my own teams workflow as well.

Let me know if you get stuck somewhere or have questions.

Maybe you can share your result or let the community know how it worked out, in case some else is looking for the same topic some day :slight_smile:

Sure, I’ll post a template as soon as I finish building it :wink: One last thing: How do I post here an “embedded” template
that other users can copy (like the ones I find under other questions) ?

1 Like

To this I can answer @Ford :blush:

Just follow the steps in the (not so pretty) doc, below :wink:.
(It looks a bit better when open in its own tab/window :innocent: )

Note that, since I’ve created it a while ago, it is a tiny bit outdated (but not much :wink: ) : to allow people to copy your doc (I think it’s allowed by default though), when you’re in Step 3, check out the Advanced Settings, you’ll find the option there :blush: .

Hope this helps :innocent: !

1 Like

Awesome :grin: thanks @Pch !

1 Like