You can show this information visually by switching your view to the Detail Gantt.
Do the following:
- On the View menu, click More Views.
- In the Views list, click Detail Gantt, and then click Apply.
Assuming that the three tasks are the only tasks in your project, you should see your 5d task in red (indicating that it is on the critical path and any delay to this task will push out the completion date of your project) and your two .5d tasks in blue with a line extending out to the right. This indicates that they have some free slack.
You should also change the table from the entry table to one that shows fields such as Late Start (the latest this task can start), Late Finish (the latest it can finish) free slack (the amount of time this task can be delayed without delaying successor tasks), and total slack (the amount of time this task can be delayed without delaying the finish date of the project. To quickly view this information, do this:
- On the View menu, point to Table, and then click Schedule.
Finally, to show when a task must be completed, set a deadline date on each of the tasks:
Double-click on a task, then click the Advanced tab and enter a date in the Deadline box. A green arrow will appear on your Gantt chart that marks the deadline date.
Things get more complicated when you start adding resources. (You will notice that you have allocation warnings on these tasks, because Project hasn't leveled them yet, and you have more than 8 hours of work scheduled in a single day. You can save yourself some headaches later by thinking in terms of work instead of duration. My guess is that Implement Database doesn't require five days of work, but you want to finish that task within five days of starting it. Always enter true work estimates. Use the deadline field to communicate when you want to have something completed. (There is also the "Must finish by" constraint date -- use this to prevent Project from ever moving a task past a certain date. In most cases, deadlines are best, but there are some instances when you need to constrain Project more forcefully.)