How To Find Slack In Ms Project

Managing projects can pose a demanding undertaking, particularly when handling various tasks, a diverse team, and strict timelines. A powerful solution that can greatly improve your project management abilities is Microsoft Project. One of its most valuable assets is its capability to compute and exhibit slack time, also called float.

What is Slack?

Slack or float is the amount of time that you can delay a task without delaying the project. More slack time means more flexibility in the schedule. On the other hand, tasks with zero slack time are called critical tasks, because any delay in these tasks will directly impact the project deadline.

Finding Slack in MS Project

Finding the slack time in MS Project is a relatively straightforward process if you follow the steps outlined below.

Step 1: Open Your MS Project

First things first, open your Microsoft Project and bring up the project for which you want to calculate slack.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Gantt Chart View’

Next, switch to the Gantt Chart View by going to the View tab and selecting Gantt Chart. This chart provides a visual representation of your project schedule, making it easier to understand the relationships between different tasks.

Step 3: Add the ‘Total Slack’ Column

By default, MS Project may not display the Total Slack column. To add this, right-click on the column header where you want to insert the Total Slack column, and then select Insert Column. From the drop-down list, select Total Slack.

Step 4: Analyze the Slack

Finally, you can see the total slack for each task in the Total Slack column. Tasks with zero slack are critical tasks, as they directly impact the project deadline.


Knowing how to find slack in MS Project is a critical skill for effective project management. It allows you to identify which tasks have wiggle room and which ones need to be closely monitored to ensure they don’t derail your project. So, harness the power of MS Project and manage your projects more effectively.