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MS Project task sorting - best practices? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Any "best practice" recommendation out there for sorting tasks within MS Project?   Start Date?   Finish Date?   It seems to work a little strangely when summary tasks are thrown in, which I have several of.

    Thanks,
    Andy Novak, PMP, MBA
    University of North Texas

    Thursday, September 8, 2011 4:21 PM

Answers

  • Andy,

    Task sorting is really a matter of personal preference and stakeholder informational needs.  Most PMs I speak with (and what I have used most) is sorting by start date, no summary tasks, removing the task links and resource information to get a "clean" Gantt Chart.  To remove the summary task info (MSP 2007) TOOLS - OPTIONS - VIEW tab - deselect the show summary tasks check box.  In MSP 2010, click the FORMAT tas, and in the Show/Hide command group, deselect Summary Tasks.

    You can also group tasks together in the Task Sheet or Gantt Chart view based upon someone's area of responsibility, duration or any other default or custom task field.

    I hope this has helped...Happy sorting!


    Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 5:08 PM
  • Hi Andy,

    Welcome to this Microsoft Project forum:)

    Sort order should be based on what is needed.  In my view, when you are developing the project, you need to see the summaries to keep your head around the structure.  You will also sort on specific parameters when  fault tracing or problem solving.  When you receive a request to see how it's going or for a special request from on high, it is best to tailor to  their needs - from a complete listing without summaries sorted by start date,  to just a simplification showing the appropriate level summaries.  There's  no best practice.

    FAQs, companion products and other useful Project information can be  seen at this web address:  http://project.mvps.org/faqs.htm

    Hope this helps - please let us know how you get on :)

    Mike Glen
    MS Project MVP
    See http://tinyurl.com/2xbhc for my free Project Tutorials

    Thursday, September 8, 2011 6:14 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Andy,

    Task sorting is really a matter of personal preference and stakeholder informational needs.  Most PMs I speak with (and what I have used most) is sorting by start date, no summary tasks, removing the task links and resource information to get a "clean" Gantt Chart.  To remove the summary task info (MSP 2007) TOOLS - OPTIONS - VIEW tab - deselect the show summary tasks check box.  In MSP 2010, click the FORMAT tas, and in the Show/Hide command group, deselect Summary Tasks.

    You can also group tasks together in the Task Sheet or Gantt Chart view based upon someone's area of responsibility, duration or any other default or custom task field.

    I hope this has helped...Happy sorting!


    Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 5:08 PM
  • Hi Andy,

    Welcome to this Microsoft Project forum:)

    Sort order should be based on what is needed.  In my view, when you are developing the project, you need to see the summaries to keep your head around the structure.  You will also sort on specific parameters when  fault tracing or problem solving.  When you receive a request to see how it's going or for a special request from on high, it is best to tailor to  their needs - from a complete listing without summaries sorted by start date,  to just a simplification showing the appropriate level summaries.  There's  no best practice.

    FAQs, companion products and other useful Project information can be  seen at this web address:  http://project.mvps.org/faqs.htm

    Hope this helps - please let us know how you get on :)

    Mike Glen
    MS Project MVP
    See http://tinyurl.com/2xbhc for my free Project Tutorials

    Thursday, September 8, 2011 6:14 PM
    Moderator