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Create Summary Views RRS feed

  • Question

  • First, thank you all for your kind help as I wade further into MSP. My schedule (about 2,000 lines...) is coming together now, and I can say it's starting to make overall sense. Now, I need to have some summary views to watch and present to others....

    In that other scheduling software, I can create a "hidden section" of tasks that summarize the schedule -- I would designate a task to start at the start of task 1235 (or whatever), and span to the end of task 3277 (or whatever), where 1235 is a milestone showing the starting point of, say plumbing, and 3277 is the end of plumbing. Of course, this can be done with "rollups" "summary tasks", but then the rest of the presentations are bound by that heirarchy. The next summary bar may start in the middle of plumbing, and end at the end of commissioning, for example, effectively spanning two heirarchies.

    Is there a way to do this in MSP? My thought was to create a separate schedule, referencing milestones in the main schedule. That make sense? Or is there some more sane way to do it that I can't seem to discern. I read MSDN's articles on views, but did not come away with any better ideas....

    Again, thanks for all your help....


    Jim

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 6:09 AM

Answers

  • I have two solutions:

    1) See http://project.mvps.org/faqs.htm and FAQ 19 on Hammock tasks

    2) Insert a Flag field and set to yes each task you want reported. I move my summary tasks up or down so the tasks are roughly in date order.There are other ways again that might be useful based on what you want to communicate.


    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book

    Rod Gill Project Management

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012 2:01 AM
    Moderator
  • I create summary schedules all the time.  There are a couple of different ways of attacking the problem, depending upon how sophisticated you want to be.  If you are still relatively a beginner, my suggestion would be to declare one of your flags as "presentation".  You should rename the flag, and that will help to find it or reference it in filters.  For the purpose of this discussion, let's propose that you chose flag1.

    Next, create a completely separate view called "presentation".  Go and create a copy of one of the views via view==>More_Views.  Once you have done that, go to Format==>Bar_Styles and modify the summary and rollup items so that they are only triggered by flag1 (add flag1 as a condition to seeing those items). 

    Create a filter called "presentation".  This filter will only show items that have flag1=yes.  Make sure that you uncheck "show related summary rows" (this is because you are going to control which summaries you show via flag1).

    Add the flag1 column to your table.  Check as "yes" in flag1 those summaries and those milestones and tasks that you want to show in your presentation.  Also add columns "hide" and "rollup".  Make sure that the rollup flag is set to yes for all the items that you tagged as flag1.  If the summary bar is annoying, and all you are interested in are a bunch of milestones, you can "hide" the summary by triggering the hide flag to "yes" for that summary.  Enabling the view is done by running the filter titled "presentation" that you created.

    Once you master this view, you can create other views in a similar fashion with other flags.  For example, I have one schedule that I show a presentation view which fits nicely on one page (when screenshot to Powerpoint), then I have a "long" version that shows additional rows and a different timescale. 

    Good luck!


    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 10:25 AM

All replies

  • Hi Jim,

    I'm sorry but I couldn't understand the description given in the question, could you provide more details or add snapshots. When you say you want summary views are these not getting done using Filters or Groups or custom table or views?


    Sapna S

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 8:45 AM
    Moderator
  • Sapna, 

      Thank you for your response, I had to think about it. I think I can do it with groups (which is similar to the way the other software does it, but they have a task type called "level of effort", which creates an independent task you can code any way you want, and will NEVER drive another task, only just mirror the "work" that is "under" it.)

    Given the following simple project, I can reflect the three trades' activities with the three summary bars (Plumbing, Electrical, and Walls....) What I can't do is show a single summary bar that reflects the length of "Plumbing Rough-in" (tasks 3-4), "Electrical Rough-in" (7-8), "Rough Walls" (12), then "Finish Plumbing" (5), etc. To show "Plumbing as a summary bar that encompasses 3-5 ignores the effect 13-14 have on "Plumbing", and loses information. I could, of course, subdivide Plumbing, or make it two hierarchies (and the second is the better solution for me...) but the former adds tremendous unnecessary complexity to the schedule, and the later confuses the plumber.

    Since MSP has lots of user-defined fields, and allows "grouping", I can probably figure it out. I need to show management gross measurements (I'm not resource-loading the project -- at least for now -- so that's not one I need to show) like baseline slippage and remaining slack/float. So, we're upfitting two buildings and I'd like to show progress for each floor against a baseline, procurement progress against baseline, etc. I don't want to show we're early installing the toilets....but I would like to show we're early installing procured equipment in general (against baseline....)

    The management summary would show maybe one page -- maybe 35 lines out of the schedule's 2,000 or so. I need to look up "custom tables".... I hadn't seen that before....


    Jim


    • Edited by JimS-Indy Tuesday, May 8, 2012 11:07 AM Add the attachment
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 11:06 AM
  • You can do a lot with rollups and summary tasks.  In fact, here're a couple
    blog posts on that topic:
     
     
    That being said, whenever I run into this issue, I tend to recommend a third
    party reporting product called OnePagerPro (Chronicle Graphics).  It lets
    you do pretty much what you're talking about - and it's a lot easier than
    trying to get a summary view "just right" in MSP....  I'd recommend downloading
    the trial to see if that helps.
     
     

    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP] Blog: http://azlav.umtblog.com Twitter: @alavinsky
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 11:45 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello Jim,

    I had a similar requirement last year.

    The neatest solution we came up with was to:

    1. create a new section in the plan called "Level Zero Schedule"
    2. add in a new task for each of the summary bars you want to represent
    3. underneath each summary task, create (then indent) 2 milestones:
      A - a start milestone, driven FS by the same predecessor as the first task you want within this bar
      B - an end milestone, driven FS by the last task within that summary.

    Once you've done this for each of the summaries you want to represent, you can then either:

    • filter out the milestones on that view to give a more legible view
    • Or add the summary tasks to the Timeline view to give you a nice plan-on-a-page, cartoon-style gantt which you can paste into presentations and other documents.

    Hope this helps,

    Andrew


    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 2:01 PM
  • Andrew S,

      As I pondered this late last night (here in Beijing...) I actually developed your idea myself (though it's much nicer to see others have done it....) Thank you for your response.

    Andrew L,

      I loaded up the link you provided and found out that your blog site must be subversive. I couldn't see the images (probably slow internet connection...) I'm headed back the US next week, so I'll try again then. Thanks for your response.

    Thanks again, Andrews and Sapna!

    Jim


    Jim

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012 1:22 AM
  • It's definitely subversive.

    Beijing's my old stomping grounds. I've spent many an hour stuck in traffic jams there.  :-)


    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP] Blog: http://azlav.umtblog.com Twitter: @alavinsky

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012 1:49 AM
    Moderator
  • I have two solutions:

    1) See http://project.mvps.org/faqs.htm and FAQ 19 on Hammock tasks

    2) Insert a Flag field and set to yes each task you want reported. I move my summary tasks up or down so the tasks are roughly in date order.There are other ways again that might be useful based on what you want to communicate.


    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book

    Rod Gill Project Management

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012 2:01 AM
    Moderator
  • I create summary schedules all the time.  There are a couple of different ways of attacking the problem, depending upon how sophisticated you want to be.  If you are still relatively a beginner, my suggestion would be to declare one of your flags as "presentation".  You should rename the flag, and that will help to find it or reference it in filters.  For the purpose of this discussion, let's propose that you chose flag1.

    Next, create a completely separate view called "presentation".  Go and create a copy of one of the views via view==>More_Views.  Once you have done that, go to Format==>Bar_Styles and modify the summary and rollup items so that they are only triggered by flag1 (add flag1 as a condition to seeing those items). 

    Create a filter called "presentation".  This filter will only show items that have flag1=yes.  Make sure that you uncheck "show related summary rows" (this is because you are going to control which summaries you show via flag1).

    Add the flag1 column to your table.  Check as "yes" in flag1 those summaries and those milestones and tasks that you want to show in your presentation.  Also add columns "hide" and "rollup".  Make sure that the rollup flag is set to yes for all the items that you tagged as flag1.  If the summary bar is annoying, and all you are interested in are a bunch of milestones, you can "hide" the summary by triggering the hide flag to "yes" for that summary.  Enabling the view is done by running the filter titled "presentation" that you created.

    Once you master this view, you can create other views in a similar fashion with other flags.  For example, I have one schedule that I show a presentation view which fits nicely on one page (when screenshot to Powerpoint), then I have a "long" version that shows additional rows and a different timescale. 

    Good luck!


    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 10:25 AM