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Duplicate and synchronise tasks in parallel RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a task (Task 2 in orange below) in one summary task group (Summary Task B) that I would like to duplicate and synchronise in another summary task group (Summary Task A). How can I duplicate a task like that, such that when I make modifications to the task in one summary task group it will be automatically reflected in the other(s)?

    [MS doesn't allow me to attach images until my account is verified. In the meantime the image is at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/getfile/230659.]

    Of course, I could just change the predecessors for ID 2 and 8, but that would be very dynamic.

    [MS doesn't allow me to attach miages until my account is verified. In the meantime the image is at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/getfile/230663.]

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013 5:36 AM

All replies

  • You can use the standard Windows feature to "copy" the source, and then use a "paste-link" that content into the target. 

    This technique is used to make so-called "Hammock" tasks where the computed start/finish dates is of one task is thus linked to the start/finish of the target.

    You don't say what you are trying to accomplish or what you have tried that didn't work, and I don't understand your comment "Of course, I could ...".  So the suggestion above may not work. 


    --rms www.rmschneider.com

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013 5:58 AM
  • Thanks, Rob.

    I have a couple of products that I'm working on. A number of these will have an API developed. I want to track the API development and the products in separate summary tasks.

    Where the API development hooks into the product development I want have a task there that shows certain API development tasks.

    The number of tasks within each product development is quite long. So linking between summary tasks makes the plan difficult to use.

    Hope that describes my situation adequately.

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013 7:08 AM
  • Are you linking summary tasks?  Normally making any changes to schedule data in summary tasks is not a good idea since Project computes that for you.  Some of the fields are designed for manual entry; but beware.

    --rms www.rmschneider.com

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013 7:48 AM
  • No, I'm linking tasks from within different summary tasks.

    My API development task "Build API", upon which my product development tasks depend upon, is in its own "API development" summary task, while I'm trying to reflect that task in my product development summary tasks.

    I have simplified my scenario in a new image:

    [MS doesn't allow me to attach images until my account is verified. In the meantime the image is at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/getfile/231272.]

    Right now I have created a 'dummy task' for that in each product development (and actually named it "Build API [dummy task, refer to below group]"), but my setup makes it hard to track these tasks in multiple places. E.g. if the task duration changes, I'll have to change it in several places.

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 4:50 AM
  • I've looked at your image. It appears you are taking one task ID14 (which consumes hours and money), and then wanting to show it inside of Dev I and Dev I summaries.  I think you are subverting how Project works. You've tripled up on the hours/cost of that one task into doing the "Build API" ID14 three times instead of once.  

    If your execution plan is to build on API and use it for both Dev I and Dev II, then show it once.  The predecessor of ID10 and ID4 should be ID14.  Thus I'm urging you to not do what you are trying to.  

    I suspect you're trying to use Project to show a Gantt chart which for both Dev I and Dev II you have this Build API dependancy in both.  Doing what's suggest above--show it as one task--does this.  You can find other views using different groups or perhaps the network view to demonstrate this dependancy.  I recommend you not use the idea of so-called "dummy" tasks like this.

    I also notice that there are no successor tasks for IDs 2, 5, 8, 14. Can't see the end of 11. In a well-formed project model in Project, every task (except the last one) should have successor.  Or, thinking of it the other way around, every tasks (except the first one) should have a predecessor.


    --rms www.rmschneider.com

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 5:36 AM
  • Thanks, Rob. You're understanding my setup as I imagined I could run it. I see where what I want to show duplicates in tasks and isn't proper.

    I guess I could set the cost for these dummy tasks to $0, but I'm not using Project to that detail. I'm probably rather using Project more as a task and resource tracker than anything else. I'm aware it's not the full potential (and intent) of Project, but the best I can use it for.

    The network view is unfortunately too unwieldy for me. I haven't experimented with views a lot to see if it can do what I'm trying to achieve.

    "Product Dev I", "Product Dev II" and "API Development" are three separate projects. So I can't have only one end task. I could break each project out and add them into a project portfolio as subproject, but that has caused file corruptions in the past. Even now I'm saving an XML backup everytime, because Project had corrupted my files before.

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 6:23 AM
  • Jorg,

    My honest view is that you are making this all too complicated by trying to bend Project to your will.  

    I'd suggest using PowerPoint (or pen and paper) to make the Gantt, and keep track of tasks and resources in a text list or spreadsheet.  This way you can achieve exactly what you want to achieve without getting fancy giving you more time to work on the project.  Just a thought.


    --rms www.rmschneider.com

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 6:32 AM