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You cannot delete or modify a project summary task RRS feed

  • Question

  •   I use MS Project 2010 standalone version. When I open my file, which consists of a number of subprojects, I get a warning message "You cannot delete or modify a project summary task. A project summary task summarizes your entire project. You can change its wording, attach a note to it, and hide or show it; but you cannot delete it, link it to a task, assign non-budget resources to it, or perform any other actions that you can only perform on summary tasks and subtasks. To hid the project summary task, click on Summary Task on the Format tab".

    Any ideas what it means?

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:12 AM

Answers

  • Just wanted to check, are the sub-projects linked to Summary Tasks (within themselves), try removing any Summary Task linkings and also make sure there are no circular refrences; it seems any linkage is pointing to a Summry Task/Project Summary task either of sub projects or master project which is causing some schedule conflict indirectly leading to modification scenraio; But since Summary/Project Summary are non-editable hence you are getting this error.

    Sapna S

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 8:23 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • It is simply giving you intimation that what you can and can not do with the summary tasks in your schedule.

    If you want to juggle with these warnings, in Project Professional 2010:

    Go to File>Options

    In the project options window, click on Schedule

    While you have clicked on schedule, scroll a little and reach up to "Schedule Alert Options"

    Here you can change the warnings for this project or wall new projects.

    Remove the check boxes, close the project and re-open it again.



    Abhijeet M. Mohite

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:48 AM
  • So you get that message every time you open your master schedule? How irritating.

    I don't know why it would display that message if you weren't trying to do one of the prohibited actions it describes. This isn't behaviour I've seen before.

    I'd be tempted to try rebuilding the master - i.e. start with a blank file, then reinsert the subprojects - and see if that clears it up. It could be some sort of corruption on the master. Assuming you don't have hundreds of sub-projects it shouldn't be too onerous a task.

    Abhijeet's good suggestion should certainly work to suppress this warning, but may also suppress other useful warnings, so it may be worth persevering to find the root cause.

    Hope this helps,

    Andrew 

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:31 AM
  • Thanks for the answer. I am reluctant to 'switch off' the warning message as I may have to act on it. My question is: what prompts this warning message?

    In my case, I have used the same file for over six months, with mostly the same subprojects in it. It never gave the warning message until yesterday. Could it have something to do with the filesize of the subprojects?

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 11:48 AM
  • Yes you are correct that it is a bit irritating.

    I thought that the master file may be corrupt and did a file "save as .....". This reduced the file size considerably but the message didn't go away.

    Your suggestion is valid and I'll give it a bash. I'll post my findings to the group.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 2:51 PM
  • Can you post a screen shot of the error message?

    Brian Kennemer – DeltaBahn Senior Architect
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    Tuesday, March 27, 2012 3:27 PM
    Moderator
  • Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:42 AM
  • I  found that the problem was caused by one of the subprojects. In other words, the error has nothing to do with the fact that there are subprojects in a file.

    I did a 'select all' and copied and pasted all the data into a new MS Project file and it now works fine.

    I am still faced with the problem: what caused the error in the first place?

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 12:39 PM
  • HFProject,

    My guess is that your master/subproject structure was corrupt. What you did to clear that corruption is essentially equivalent to method 4 of FAQ 43 - Handling project file corruption and/or bloat, found on the MVP website at, http://project.mvps.org/faqs.htm.

    Two of the original responders mentioned the sensitive nature of a master/subproject file structure (i.e. prone to corruption is not created and maintained with the utmost discipline).

    John

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:18 PM
  • As I said earlier, the problem was not caused by a master/subproject file. The error message is in a small MS Project file that has hardly been updated or used.

    As of now, I still don't know what causes the error to be displayed.

    Monday, April 2, 2012 6:41 AM
  • As I said earlier, the problem was not caused by a master/subproject file. The error message is in a small MS Project file that has hardly been updated or used.

    As of now, I still don't know what causes the error to be displayed.

    If you can send me the file at projectuser@fastmail.fm, I'll check it. Thanks & Regards.

    Update 03APR12 - I've received no response so far.

    • Edited by Ismet Kocaman Tuesday, April 3, 2012 8:57 AM Update info
    Monday, April 2, 2012 7:03 AM
  • Just wanted to check, are the sub-projects linked to Summary Tasks (within themselves), try removing any Summary Task linkings and also make sure there are no circular refrences; it seems any linkage is pointing to a Summry Task/Project Summary task either of sub projects or master project which is causing some schedule conflict indirectly leading to modification scenraio; But since Summary/Project Summary are non-editable hence you are getting this error.

    Sapna S

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 8:23 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the offer. The trouble is that I fixed the file by taking out the first summary task and creating a new one. 

    The problem then went away and I therefore can't send you the file with the problem.

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 2:05 PM
  • Thanks for the answer.

    As I said earlier, the problem was isolated to a particular file and therefore had nothing to do with the fact that there were subprojects.

    Having said that, I think that your suggestion makes sense. The only thing is that I don't know if it is possible to create a circular reference in a single file?

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 2:09 PM
  • Yes it is possible to create Circular Refrences even in a single project plan. Sometimes a project plan with hundereds of task and linking done by PM, may lead to manual errors hence circular links. In that case some dependencies may try to write non-editable Sumaary Tasks to satisfy the linkings. Regular Indenting and Outdenting can also lead to this.

    Sapna S

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 2:22 PM
    Moderator
  • Then I think that must have been the problem.

    The project plan was set up by someone with very little experience with MS Project and it is possible that he could have put in a couple of links that were not needed.

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012 6:08 AM
  • True that could be a reason. Please close the thread by marking an appropriate solution.


    Sapna S

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012 6:16 AM
    Moderator
  • We can close this thread but I have to say that I still don't know what caused the error or how to recreate it. 
    Wednesday, April 4, 2012 9:30 AM
  • We can close this thread but I have to say that I still don't know what caused the error or how to recreate it. 
    In certain issues, it is very difficult to narrow down the list of possible causes unless you know the history of the changes that have been made to the schedule and the history of the operations that have been performed on it. Project never performs random operations. You need to repeat the exact same sequence of steps as before to reproduce the issue.




    Wednesday, April 4, 2012 10:09 AM