According to Microsoft support: Removing activities in project 2010 will mess up project schedule RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been in contact with microsoft support in regards to issues I've been having with Microsoft Project 2010. And the response I got was that I should never remove activities or even remove empty rows.

    Is this for real? I really want a second opinion on this.

    Why would microsoft even give the option to the user of removing rows if it messes up the project plan?

    I have been having issues in Project 2010 when removing non-connected activities: without lenght, with zero duration or even empty rows. Doing this makes other activities change duration or move in time several days.

    Best regards

    Pär Gustavsson

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 2:00 PM

All replies

  • PrGus --

    I have never heard of this suggestion, nor would I recommend it myself.  I have never personally seen issues of any kind with deleting tasks.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 2:18 PM
  • I'm with Dale on this.  I've never found issues with deleting tasks.  I guess it does beg the question of what "messing up the project plan means."  Certainly deleting tasks may change durations of summary tasks (for example) - but I wouldn't call that "messing up."

    Do you have SP-2 installed to Project 2010?  Is it summary task durations that are changing?

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 2:41 PM
  • Hello Pär,

    Pity Microsoft has incompetent personnel.

    First and foremost, DO REMOVE EMPTY ROWS. When you will go into Project deeper, they may cause trouble (VBA macros or add-ins)

    Second, removing rows don't cause a stability problem. Messing up? It depends what you mean by that. If a task has a predecessor that defines its start date, and you remove the predecessor, obviously the start date will change. This is not messing up, it is recalculating the project in its new state.

    So you can remove tasks if you like but the project will be recalculated. So know whet you are doing.


    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 7:15 PM
  • If you want good answers to questions, or about 20 good second opinions, about Microsoft Project, you should always come here first, not ask MS support.

    MS Project is a software tool with a long history, and it existed  and worked well before most of the people who work in MS support were born, and few of them, including the ones who write the current documentation for the current versions, don't know their own product or its uses very well, and of course they don't have hands-on, real world, in- the-trenches experience of using the tool every day on real life projects.

    You have not really described the "issues" but I suspect that your tasks have been linked to other tasks.

    Deleting empty rows has no (bad) effect on anything, except it is generally good practice to have no empty rows for a variety of reasons.

    Thursday, November 7, 2013 7:52 AM
  • Hi Pär

    I'm with the rest of these folks on this one.

    You should not have any issues removing blank lines from your schedule.  In fact I would recommend removing them.

    For removing existing tasks, nothing will break but you should consider:

    • Has this task been baselined?  Deleting the task also deletes the baseline record. If you have any aggregate reports based on baseline task or assignment data (ie analysis services or SQL reports) this will effect the totals after the deletion.
    • Does the task have any predecessors/successors.  Deleting the task will also remove any logic attached to the task (ie if it part of the critical path you may need to reset dependencies to other tasks).

    If you are experiencing any other changes you may have some corruption in the project plan, you can search this forum to find some ways to test and resolve corruption in plans.

    Hope this helps


    Thursday, November 7, 2013 2:23 PM