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MS Project 2010 summary task formula and roll-up tricks

Posted on 2014-04-15
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Last Modified: 2014-04-17
We're using MSP 2010 to track some work that is not exactly a traditional project plan. We use a lot of custom text fields, a few custom numbers, and flag here and there. There are a couple of things I'd like to do when updating my plan and I think part of it might be possible with custom field features that I'm just not familiar enough with and some may require VBA macros.

1. A set of tasks under a summary constitute steps in a test set. I have a custom text field which has various status codes including hold, in progress, pass, retest, cancel. What I would like to see is the summary task custom field be set to "Pass" when all of the subtasks are "Pass". Is there a formulaic way to do this or do I need a macro that I run to check subtasks and set this value semi-automatically?

2. As I add or modify a summary task, I would like to accomplish a "fill down" of the values in the subtasks for a custom field when I populate or change the summary task custom field. Again - formula, macro, wishful thinking?

3. Finally, can I set a flag field for a summary when all subtasks are flagged the same? Kind of like when the actual finish date for all subtasks is entered, then the actual finish for the summary fills in.
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Question by:Shannon Mollenhauer
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Dr. Thomas Henkelmann earned 2000 total points
ID: 40003458
Hi,

this sounds tricky, but let's see.

1) you can define a custom NUMBER field and set the calculation for summary rows to "Minimum". Then enter 1 for "hold", 2 for "in progress",..., 5 for "Pass". Add another custom TEXT field that checks for the number field with a formula: Switch([number field]=1,"hold",[number field]=2,"in progress",...,[number field]=5,"Pass"). Set the summary calculation to "use formula". Now, if you enter the numbers 1-5 at sub task Level, the summary task will always show the lowest number from all tests below. Only if ALL sub tasks have been set to "5" the summary task will also show "5" and "Pass" in the text field with the formula.

2) this only works via macro. But what is the purpose of this? You can always e.g. filter on the value of a field at summary level and tell the filter to also show the subtasks

3)depends on the field. For your example with actual start this is calculated automatically anyway! Be sure to set the "task mode" to automatic to see this working

Regards

Thomas
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Author Closing Comment

by:Shannon Mollenhauer
ID: 40007510
I like the simplicity of your design in answer to part 1. The other parts I can understand that generally, these situations are not good practice, so I was kind of fishing for a process/solution I might have overlooked. Reality is, we're trying to do something with MSP that is better suited for another tool or a slightly different design. We had to make it up on the fly, and the kludges just kept coming.
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