Long Project Time Duration RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    We are in the planning stage for a project who main execution activities will start in Oct 2016. I need to include all the tasks performed by the technical and financial departments during 20 months of planning in the schedule. My main concerns are that management has set some task durations to more than 20 days and I am not sure whether to include all tasks (planning, execution, ... close) in one schedule or split it into multiple schedules ? If I split then by what criteria (dept or proj stage)?


    Monday, February 9, 2015 5:34 AM

All replies

  • Keep it simple.  Keep all in one schedule file, in my view.  Break up into multiple schedules when:

    : different people will be working on the different files.  Separate for reasons of governance, security, and enable simultaneous work.  You've hinted at that by asking "by what criteria (dept or project stage)". 

    : individual schedule file gets huge and unmanageable.  "Huge" is a fuzzy term but say > many thousands of lines. Many thousands.

    Also, don't put in more detail than you are willing to then live with.  Keep it simple.  Task duration is probably not the key driver to make the decision about being in the file or incorporated in some higher level collated task, but clearly important to you.  

    For me, bottom line: keep in one file unless there are clear reasons you recognise that drive you to split up.


    • Proposed as answer by John - Project Monday, February 9, 2015 4:06 PM
    Monday, February 9, 2015 6:14 AM
  • In addition to Rob's excellent answer, I'd like to talk about task duration.  If a task is fixed duration, then it's easy to estimate accurately what %complete you are.  However, if it could be variable, then asking me after 1 week what my %complete is is going to give a much less accurate answer.  As you are planning tasks, think about how you will track them, and (IMHO) track actual start and ETC at least.  A 20 day duration task may be okay for you, or you may split it down so that the tracking is more accurate.  Some organisations have a rule, no task < 1/2 day, no task > 5 days....

    In terms of a large number of tasks, learn to use the custom fields, filtering and grouping, and set up specific views that allow you to focus on the key areas you need.  If you are new to Project, invest in a book or two, watch some videos, join MPUG....

    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | P2O

    Monday, February 9, 2015 8:13 AM