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MS Project: How to make a task appear under multiple summary tasks?

Posted on 2011-09-05
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I have some tasks (some of which are summaries themselves) that are in support of multiple summary tasks. For example, the last few tasks in each project workstream are specifically in support of preparing for going live with a process, and ideally I would have a structure with several "process x workstream" summary tasks and a "get ready for live" summary task that would pull together all the tasks within the "process x workstream" summary takss that are related to getting ready for live, so I can display all the getting-ready-for-live tasks in one fell swoop. I'm using 2010 and 2007 (having to save down because my client is still on 2007).

I could make a copy of each task with a start-to-start dependency on the "master" task from the process workstream but then I run the risk of not inheriting changes like duration or resource assignments, so I'd much rather have a way of rolling up the "get ready for live" tasks that automatically knows about the specific tasks under the process workstreams.

Thanks,
Barry
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Question by:bnchester
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by:leopolde
ID: 36485073
Do you need to see both summary tasks at the same time?

If yes, you might use milestones subtasks under the "get ready to live" summary task.  And then you link (Start to Start / Finish to Start) the actual tasks under "process x workstream" with the milestones.  This method won't give you the cost or work totals for the "get ready to live" summary, but only start / finish / duration.

If you don't need both types of summaries at the same time, you can use grouping and filtering instead.  You can create a group using text custom fields, and then use it to filter/group your schedule, and then only see the "get reay to live" tasks, with a totals row, including duration, work, and cost.

Hope this helps.  Let me know if you need more details.
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Author Comment

by:bnchester
ID: 36485125
Thanks!

Yes, I need to see them at the same time. Not sure I completely followed the milestones subtasks solution you suggested. I want to see actual copies of the component tasks. What I did after reading this was to create a milestone task under "get ready for live," linked it SS to the first task in the process workstream, and a miletone for the last task in the process workstream and linked it FF. Is that what you meant? This doesn't seem to capture changes to task-by-task updates. I might be able to live with the resources not being copied there automatically.

After posting the question I played around some more and copied the original tasks as links under the "get ready for live" summary task, which seems to do it, but has some unintended (and unwanted) effects, such as copying all the predecessor relationships and creating spaghetti on my Gantt chart. I suppose I could turn off the link lines for that purpose.

I thought about custom fields and filtering, and may try that as well.
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leopolde earned 125 total points
ID: 36485210
The problem I see with duplicating tasks (or copying links) is that you end up duplicating information (work, cost, etc.)

The idea of using milestones is that you only replicate the start and finish dates of the original tasks, with no side effects on work, costs, assignments, etc.

So, under your "get ready to live" summary task you can have a pair of milestones for each relevant task under "process x workstreams", one milestone linked to the task start (SS), and the other linked to the task finish (FF).  You can even have a sub-summary task joining each pair of milestones, in order to have a visual representation of the linked task.  If any date (start/finish) changes in the original tasks, it will be instantly reflected on the mirror milestones.

You'd end up with something like this:

* Get Ready to Live Summary
  - Process X Workstream (summary)
    - Start Milestone (linked SS to the task)
    - Finish Milestone (linked FF to the task)

  - Proxess Y Workstream (summary)
    - Start Milestone (linked SS to the task)
    - Finisth Milestone (linked FF to the task)
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Author Comment

by:bnchester
ID: 36485219
Thanks. I think this gets me where I need to go, and is very helpful!

Barry
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Author Closing Comment

by:bnchester
ID: 36485221
Thanks again!
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