How to create a Custom View to Inspect a Task / Activity Predecessor & Successors? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, I have a 500+ line MS Project plan. There are some activities that have more than 10 Predecessor & Successors. Is there a view available in MS Project 2016 Standard where when I click on the activity it displays me all the associated Predecessors and Successors ALONG WITH the Start / End date of the them and % complete status.

    I know there is a view under Tasks -> Details (shows split view) and I can customize it to see the Predecessor & Successor but it does show the start / end dates and whether the activities are marked completed or still in progress.

    Any help / guidance is much appreciated.



    Friday, May 10, 2019 6:48 AM

All replies

  • When you have the split screen with details on the bottom, and displaying predecessors and successors, you can double click on each predecessor and it brings up the task information for that predecessor, and the task information dialog has the dates and % that you are looking for.

    BTW, 500 lines of tasks is not very many.

    Friday, May 10, 2019 7:08 AM
  • Abhishek --

    Try this:

    1. Apply the Gantt Chart view with the Entry table applied.
    2. Temporarily insert the % Complete column to the left of the Duration column and then drag the split bar to the right edge of the Finish column.
    3. Click the Format tab to display the Format ribbon.
    4. In the Bar Styles section of the Format ribbon, click the Task Path pick list button and select the Predecessors item on the pick list.
    5. Click the Task Path pick list button again and also select the Successors item.

    After doing this setup, click any task in your schedule.  Microsoft Project will format the Gantt bars of all Predecessors with a light yellow color, and will format the Gantt bars of all Successors with a light purple color.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Friday, May 10, 2019 1:38 PM
  • Abhishek,

    Trevor and Dale have correctly indicated about the best you can get from Project alone.  Unfortunately, for your single task with 10 predecessors:

    • The drill-in approach outlined by Trevor requires 30 mouse clicks (10 double-clicks and 10 single-clicks) to display the dates, durations, and %complete of all ten predecessors.  Depending on exactly what you are looking for, you may need additional clicks, plus an extra hand with pen and paper to make notes of what you  find.
    • The task-paths bar styles mentioned by Dale apply equal formatting to the bars of ALL the logically connected tasks, not just the immediate predecessors/successors.  It is then left to the user to scroll up and down through the project, visually following logic link lines to find and examine the tabular data for the immediate predecessors/successors while ignoring the more distant ones.

    Both approaches involve more time, effort, and opportunity for human error than lazy old me can tolerate, especially for complex projects. 

    I developed a similar tool for internal use, which I wrote about here:
    Task Inspector Blog Entry
    It’s no longer free, but there is an unrestricted 14-day Trial version available.

    Friday, May 10, 2019 2:29 PM
  • Thanks for the tip Trevor, however I am looking for a better way of doing this. I have several such tasks with too many dependencies and clicking throughout is not the best user friendly way :-) 
    Saturday, May 11, 2019 10:45 AM
  • Thank you for the tip Dale ! I was not aware of this feature. However, the Gantt chart is just to messy to follow through the linkages.
    Saturday, May 11, 2019 10:49 AM
  • You read my mind & know my pain Tom. Thank you for pointing me to the Blog Entry.

    This is exactly what I am looking for. Where can I download the trial version from to play with? I'll have to install it on my personal laptop. Unfortunately, we have restrictions to install plugins or third party s/w on my work laptop :-(

    Saturday, May 11, 2019 10:50 AM
  • Abhishek,

    You should be able to follow links from the blog entry.  Otherwise Google and Bing are your friends....  

    Good luck, tom

    Saturday, May 11, 2019 3:04 PM
  • Hi,

    Just another idea. I wrote a macro in the past, to set a flag field to true in combination of "Task Path" as described by Dale.

    Sub SetFlagForPath()
    Dim T As Task
    Dim Ts As Tasks
    Dim v_Path As String
    v_Path = InputBox( _
                "0 - Cancel" & vbCrLf & _
                "1 - Predecessors" & vbCrLf & _
                "2 - DrivingPredecessors" & vbCrLf & _
                "3 - Successors" & vbCrLf & _
                "4 - DrivenSuccessors", "Enter all require numbers")
    'If nothing or 0 is entered, macro will end
    If v_Path = "" Or v_Path = "0" Then
        Exit Sub
    End If
    'If selection are tasks, macro will end
    On Error Resume Next
    Set Ts = ActiveSelection.Tasks
    If Err.Number <> 0 Then
        MsgBox "No task selected"
        Exit Sub
    End If
    On Error GoTo 0
    'if more than one task or an empty task is selected, macro will end
    If Ts.Count > 1 Or Ts Is Nothing Then
        MsgBox "Please select only one task"
        Exit Sub
    End If
    'reset path view
    HighlightPredecessors Set:=False
    HighlightDrivingPredecessors Set:=False
    HighlightSuccessors Set:=False
    Application.HighlightDrivenSuccessors Set:=False
    'For each entered number, higlight will be activated
    If InStr(v_Path, "1") > 0 Then
        HighlightPredecessors Set:=True
    End If
    If InStr(v_Path, "2") > 0 Then
        HighlightDrivingPredecessors Set:=True
    End If
    If InStr(v_Path, "3") > 0 Then
       HighlightSuccessors Set:=True
    End If
    If InStr(v_Path, "4") > 0 Then
        Application.HighlightDrivenSuccessors Set:=True
    End If
    For Each T In ActiveProject.Tasks
        If Not T Is Nothing Then
            'reset Flag20 for all tasks
            T.Flag20 = False
            'Flag20 will be set to true for each selected highlight option
            If InStr(v_Path, "1") > 0 Then
                T.Flag20 = T.Flag20 Or T.PathPredecessor
            End If
            If InStr(v_Path, "2") > 0 Then
                T.Flag20 = T.Flag20 Or T.PathDrivingPredecessor
            End If
            If InStr(v_Path, "3") > 0 Then
                T.Flag20 = T.Flag20 Or T.PathSuccessor
            End If
            If InStr(v_Path, "4") > 0 Then
                T.Flag20 = T.Flag20 Or T.PathDrivenSuccessor
            End If
        End If
        'set Flag20 to true for selected task
        If T.ID = Ts(1).ID Then
            T.Flag20 = True
        End If
    Next T
    End Sub

    Here a sample. Select successors and predecessors:

    The result:

    Now auto filter on Flag20 can be used to show only dependent tasks.


    Saturday, May 11, 2019 5:34 PM