Float Project Management – What and How to Use It?

Float project management is just one of the many frameworks you can use to organize your project for your remote team. It’s not as popular as Kanban, Scrum, or Agile project management frameworks. However, the float method can greatly improve your project schedules and drive up your team’s productivity.

Today, we’ll talk about the concepts central to float project management. We will tackle what float is and how the float method is done in the most basic way. We’ll also discover how to integrate the float method to other well-known project management styles by using powerful project management tools such as HomeSquad.

Float Project Management Defined

The float method is a project management framework that allows you to validate project schedules and identify deadline leeway for individual tasks. In this project management method, you do the following:

  • Identify individual tasks throughout your entire project
  • Assess and calculate how much leeway time you have for each task before it reaches the deadline
  • Single out tasks that could already be on a critical path
  • Decide if your current project and task schedules are viable
  • Make any changes to the project schedule if possible

It’ll be easier for you to ascertain if your project can be completed on time if you determine the possible leeway times for the tasks in your project. As such, you can efficiently assign tight tasks that immediately need attention and completion. Tasks which impact the project in a non-immediate manner can then be scheduled for later, with respect to the overall project deadline.

Float project management can be used even when you have ongoing management methods in place. The method can even enhance other management tools such as Kanban or Agile. Increase your management’s efficiency by pairing the float method with a robust tool for remote project management like HomeSquad.

Central Concepts Surrounding Float Project Management

Float project management is just one of the many frameworks you can use to organize your project for your remote team. It’s not as popular as Kanban, Scrum, or Agile project management frameworks
Let’s delve deeper into the float method by understanding its key concepts. They’re needed to create a network diagram for critical path analysis, ultimately delivering a complete picture of your project scheduling.


Float refers to the amount of time a project or task can be delayed from the beginning, considering the project’s deadlines. It is the leeway time you can have without changing the completion date set for the project. Slack is another term for float.

Total Float

Total float refers to the difference between the finish date of your last critical project activity to the project’s final delivery date. It’s all about the time flexibility you can have on the project level.

Free Float

Free float is the time difference between the finish date of your last critical project activity to the deadline of a subsequent individual task. Free float refers to the time flexibility you can have per individual task.

Critical Path

Critical path encompasses tasks that should not be delayed or moved around. That’s because critical path tasks do not have any free floats or slacks. Delaying a single task under the critical path will result in your team missing the entire project deadline. Therefore, each task on the critical path needs to be completed exactly on time to avoid going over the project deadline.

Forward Pass

Forward Pass is a method of project scheduling where you move forward to determine critical paths, any free floats, and the entire project duration.

Backward Pass

Backward Pass finds out any late starts and slacks in your tasks and activities. It is a backward method of combing through project schedules starting from the project’s final result.

Early Start

This refers to the earliest date a particular task can begin.

Late Start

This refers to the latest date a task can start without causing undue delay to the project’s deadline.

Early Finish

This term refers to the earliest time a particular task can be finished.

Late Finish

This term pertains to the latest time an individual task can be completed, again without delaying the project deadline.

Calculating Your Float Time

Calculating Your Float Time​

Float time is the extra leeway time your tasks could have without affecting your entire project’s set deadline. You can calculate your float time in two ways using the following formulas:

Late Start – Early Start = Total Float

Late Finish – Early Finish = Total Float

Here’s a simple example to help you understand the calculations further:

You have a project scheduled to finish in 20 days. You determined that tasks can be completed in 12 days. Hence;

20 days (Late Finish) – 12 days (Early Finish) = 8 days (Total Float)

This means you have 8 days leeway in completing the project tasks.

Now, it’s also possible to have zero float time for your project. It means the time you’ve allotted to complete the task equals the time it takes to actually complete the task. This leaves no leeway time; you must follow your schedule and complete your tasks within the time frame so your team won’t miss the deadline.

More complex projects will entail complex calculations as well. Hence, it’s a sound idea to use project management software solutions that can help automatically calculate these numbers. You can then allocate project tasks and schedules depending on the available float time your project has.

Why Is Float Project Management Great for You?

Calculating Your Float Time​
The float management method can benefit your remote team in several ways. Let’s enumerate them here:

1. Lets you identify tasks that shouldn’t be delayed.

Sometimes, there are tasks you’d never consider as significant but are crucial to completing your project in time. Using the float method allows you to identify these tasks and schedule them accordingly to ensure that they’ll be completed quickly.

2. Allows you to be flexible in project scheduling.

The float management method gives you the flexibility to amend your schedule or reassign important tasks that may not be completed due to unforeseen situations such as an unavailable team member or a sudden change in project requirements. By knowing the leeway time you have (or the lack of one), you can efficiently manage your project while complying within the deadlines.

3. Leverages your productivity through integrations with project management programs.

You can combine the float management method with a solid project management solution to run your projects more smoothly. For instance, HomeSquad has plenty of powerful features that let you:

  • Allocate tasks seamlessly to the right team members
  • Monitor projects in real-time through time trackers and similar tools
  • Communicate with your team for any updates, project changes, and announcements

All of these features work together with your float management to drive your remote team to productivity. Together, you can then finish your project with satisfactory results.

What’s more, project management solutions can help your remote team maximise your float time. Your entire team can work efficiently to accomplish your goals, whether your tasks are on a critical path or not.

4. Can be combined with existing project management methods.

Are you currently using Kanban or Agile management methods? You don’t have to completely switch to the Float method to experience its benefits. Simply integrate your existing method with Float – you’ll even experience better productivity and management by utilising a combination of these methods!

But how do you integrate Float with your current management methods? A simple way to do this is to use project management solutions. You can determine your project’s slack time and devise ways to improve workflow without amending your current daily management activities. You can then integrate and implement workflow changes to meet your project’s time requirements.

Float project management is a unique and flexible way to construct effective work schedules. With this method, you can allocate the most pressing tasks first to ensure that your project runs smoothly. The method also focuses on determining any leeway time (or lack thereof) to ensure that you can flexibly and efficiently complete your project within given deadlines.

This project management method enhances all other existing ones such as Kanban, Scrum, and Agile methods. Even better, the Float management method can also be integrated with affordable yet robust tools for remote project management. The result? Efficient work is done by your team, even while working remotely!

HomeSquad solutions empowers companies to manage the compliance and performance of their staff while working from home, in the office or from a remote location.

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