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Copy Task with Duration / Dependencies RRS feed

  • Question

  • I was wondering if someone could help me understand what I'm doing wrong when copying task within Project.

    I'm managing an IT project which has several test iterations that contain repetitive tasks for each successive iteration. After our first iteration I attempted to copy and past the entire phase so I wouldn't need to recreate each of the tasks and dependencies, however when I try to make adjustments to the dates to reflect the future planned events, it retains the original dates and does not calculate correctly. I do have auto calculate turned on, and if I just copy the tasks without  the dates, auto-scheduling works as expected. 

    Am I missing a step?

    Thanks,

    Marc


    Marc Rosario

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 1:52 PM

Answers

  • Hi again Marc,

    Unless I'm misunderstanding you, when you copy-paste a group of tasks with predecessors, the predecessors are automatically updated with respect to the sequencing.

    Here is an example:

    And after the copy-paste, the predecessor have been updating with the new tasks. You just have to update the predecessor of the first task of the sequencing.

    To do that, you have to select the entire rows, exactly what I just advice not to do due to the risk of corrupting the file :-(. But you have to choose your fight and decide which solution is the best for you.


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 3:42 PM
    Moderator
  • Marc,

    Pardon me for bumping in.  Is copying by row number and pasting not working?  If the tasks are arranged under a summary task, collapse the summary task and select the Task ID (row number).  Paste in the new location and the relationships (predecessor and successor) should be maintained.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 3:42 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Marc,

    How do you copy your tasks? Do you copy the entire rows by selecting the group of tasks from the first greyed column (ID)? This is often a cause of strange behavior and can introduce project corruption. I'd suggest to make a selection delimited vertically by the tasks to copy and horizontaly by the column to copy.

    Also check that while copy-pasting, Project is not add constraints to the start dates.


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 1:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Guillaume,

    Thanks for the reply. So here's what I did and results:

    • Copy Task Column & Duration Column
    • Past Task Column & Duration Column

    The results are as expected with:

    • Correct duration's being placed for each task
    • Since it's auto scheduled, the start date for each task is the Project Start Date, however therein lies the problem. 

    Since I can't add the Predecessor Column to the copy activity, I lose all my dependencies and each task is starting on the same date. So I need to re-create all the dependencies, which is a waste of time since I've already established them.


    Marc Rosario

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 3:23 PM
  • Hi again Marc,

    Unless I'm misunderstanding you, when you copy-paste a group of tasks with predecessors, the predecessors are automatically updated with respect to the sequencing.

    Here is an example:

    And after the copy-paste, the predecessor have been updating with the new tasks. You just have to update the predecessor of the first task of the sequencing.

    To do that, you have to select the entire rows, exactly what I just advice not to do due to the risk of corrupting the file :-(. But you have to choose your fight and decide which solution is the best for you.


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 3:42 PM
    Moderator
  • Marc,

    Pardon me for bumping in.  Is copying by row number and pasting not working?  If the tasks are arranged under a summary task, collapse the summary task and select the Task ID (row number).  Paste in the new location and the relationships (predecessor and successor) should be maintained.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 3:42 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Guillaume,

    I'm interested in your concern that copy/paste tasks causes trouble.  I've personally never seen this issue.  Can you explain further?

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 3:54 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Julie,

    I've indeed seen some complications when copy-pasting a large number of tasks with a lot dependencies and calculated fields. It freezed Project and after that the project was corrupted (need to export in XML format to recover).

    That was with Project 2010 but I never had the opportunity to do further tests with 2013. I guess it might be that the projects were already not in a good shape before the copy-paste and the operation make them explod...


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 4:02 PM
    Moderator
  • In addition to this, I knew I read a post with a warning from Dale (I always pay attention to Dale's warning..). I finally found it:

    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/projectserver/en-US/9e53b5ea-1247-43d7-8067-e446cd40c106/copy-paste-issue-project-2010-professional?forum=projectprofessional2010general


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |


    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 4:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Ah, interesting, thanks.  I don't work with server so I guess I never ran into a problem with Enterprise Projects.  Thanks for the enlightenment. :-)
    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 4:10 PM
    Moderator
  • It has been a pleasure Julie!


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 4:21 PM
    Moderator
  • Julie,

    Thanks for bumping in.

    I think I've found what was causing my issue. After seeing Guillaume's example I went back and tried another copy past, and the dependencies did come over. Which solves part of the problem I was running into. The other issue still remained, that being the dates not calculating properly to reflect the dates for the new phase. What I found is that the copy/paste does note change the status (% complete) of the task. So since some of the activities were 100% complete, those dates didn't change and of course didn't propagate the changes to the dependent tasks. This is probably common knowledge in the MSP community, but I'm new to it and the previous software I used didn't carry the % complete. I made an assumption that the paste would recognize these are not the same activities but rather they are new similar task. This appears to be false.

    So to get the desired result, since these tasks were completed (100%) I had to:

    • Copy the rows
    • Paste the rows
    • Change the percent complete to 0%
    • The apply the correct schedule date to the Phase Summary Task (manually scheduled)
    • Auto-schedule changed the dates correctly through the correctly maintained dependencies

    Thank you both for your replies and assistance to help me work through this problem!


    Marc Rosario

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 5:03 PM
  • Hi Marc,

    If the tasks were marked as having progress (0% other than zero) the tasks had Actual Start and potentially Actual Finish data.  You are spot on - once a task has any progress and therefore an Actual Start or Finish - they no longer respond to link relationships.

    Good catch to re-set % complete.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015 9:31 PM
    Moderator