Merge subtask resources RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I have one project that was exported from a program to Microsoft Project. 

    My project have 3 levels. I only need first 2 for my prediction of work. I can not export them otherwise sadly.

    Level 2 has 200 entries, while level 3 has thousands.

    Problem is that all my resources are stuck in my level 3 articles. Is there a way to merge them all in summary task(level 2)?

    I have to make a prediction of all my project, and to extract manpower and all machinery month by month.

    I dont have the time to work with thousands of entries, so I have to bring all resources one level up.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 4:59 PM

All replies

  • ady_ro,

    Well, all resources SHOULD be "stuck" at level 3 because those are the performance tasks (i.e. were the work is actually done). Attempting to move resources up to summary level will cause nothing but headaches (see:

    If you want to look at total manpower loading, try the Resource Usage view and show the timescale by months. Or if you want to summarize by task level, try the Task Usage.


    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 9:04 PM
  • You can also go View, Outline, Level 2 to only show level 2 tasks.

    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 10:37 PM
  • I am sure I know what you are trying to do, and I am sure it can be done, but I think your idea of "merging" to summary level is not the right approach. I think it would be counter-productive, ie going backwards.

    You already have resources, and therefore also work and costs, assigned at the task level and that's where they should be. A lot of work has already gone into breaking the scope into tasks and making task-by-task resources assignments.

    John is spot on to warn about the headaches you are in for if you start linking to/from and/or assigning anything to summaries. Definitely, you should heed the warning.

    The problem is how to aggregate all of this in various ways to summary level.

    You already have the duration, work and cost rolling up to summary level, because that's just what MSP does.
    The task usage view and resource usage view are both really useful.
    The resource graph, in its various flavours, is useful, especially if displayed in the lower pane. view, detalis, resource graph in the dropdown menu.

    The problem with this last one is that the resource graph only shows the graph for one resource at a time for any selected task in the upper pane Gantt chart.

    However, I know a trick for aggregating and it is this. In a new row under the summary make a dummy task with the same duration as the summary, make it a fixed duration task, and assign a single dummy work type resource to it at  100% assignment. To make it have the same work and the same work distribution as the summary, use the task usage view to copy/paste the summary work into the the dummy task work in the grid.

    Now when you select that dummy task in the Gantt chart, you see in the lower pane the resource graph for the dummy resource which is basically an aggregate of all of the work of the work type resources assignments to all of the tasks under that summary.

    Of course, this makes the total work rolled up to the summary look like twice what it really is, but this can be reset after you have squeezed out the report.

    This is easy to try out as a test. Is it sort of what you want?

    You can also do similar for the cost, by assigning a dummy cost type resource to the same dummy task.

    Any help?
    Thursday, February 25, 2016 2:01 AM
  • Thanks for all the replies.

    I forgot to mention one important thing. I don`t have any duration or relationship between task. 

    I am the one who need to put duration in tasks, and my final goal is to have as less as posible manpower and machinery at one specific time in site. So I need a maximum for all resources to give them to my colleague who works in auction.

    Unfortunally as I said before its to much work with thousand of task. I only have 1 or 2 days for project to make this.

    Here is a screenshot of my project:
    • Edited by ady_ro Thursday, February 25, 2016 6:24 AM
    Thursday, February 25, 2016 6:18 AM
  • It sounds like you are using Project as a spreadsheet in that as there are no task durations or task predecessor/successor relationships, it probably (?) is all manually scheduled tasks with start and end dates entered manually?  

    Given your time pressures and the volume of data ... what if you just punt (technical term), export all this static data Level 2 summary data to a spreadsheet and do your predictive work there.

    I sense that Project is just getting in the way (but had the project model been setup differently from the beginning, it might have made it pretty simple to do the predictive work you are planning to do).


    Thursday, February 25, 2016 8:11 AM
  • Yes I can do this but after how can I extract all my resources month by month?

    My level 2 summary contain 0 resource.

    Thursday, February 25, 2016 8:27 AM
  • I think by "resources month by month" you actually mean the Assignments for each resource?  

    When you "export" to an Excel Spreadsheet, look at the map options provided for the export. Once the data is out into Excel, you might have to munge it around to suit your purposes.


    • Edited by Rob Schneider Thursday, February 25, 2016 8:47 AM typo
    Thursday, February 25, 2016 8:46 AM
  • ady_ro,

    From your screenshot, all your tasks are auto-scheduled, and that is good. What isn't apparent from the screenshot is whether any of the tasks in the schedule are interrelated (i.e. one task must be performed before another task and so forth). It is very unlikely that all the tasks are totally independent of one another. If they are all totally independent, then I don't understand why you are using Project, Excel would probably be a better choice.

    To "extract" resource month by month, do what I suggested in my first response, look at either the built-in Task Usage or Resource Usage view and set the timescale to "months". That will summarize all your resource data by month at each task or resource level.


    Thursday, February 25, 2016 3:58 PM
  • John, thanks for reply.

    Indeed all sumary task that I have at level 2 must be link together.

    After that I have to keep all of them inside 36 months, and to "play with duration" of some task for achieving my goal: To keep my machinery and man in site at minimum as possible.

    In project is very simple, after every intervention in duration of a task to see how numbers change in resource graph.

    Friday, February 26, 2016 7:10 AM
  • ady_ro,

    If you read the Wiki article I noted in my original response, you should know that linking summary lines is NOT a good idea. However, it sounds like you have figured out how to get the data you need since I don't see a question in your latest post.


    Friday, February 26, 2016 3:01 PM
  • I  didnt intend to link summary task.

    I wanted to find a solution to move all my resources from subtask to summary task, and after to delete all subtask (all my summary task will change to subtask).

    Or another solution is to move all resource alocation from multiple subtask to one single subtask.

    All I wanted was to be able to link all of them in time. One thing is to link 200-300 task, and another is thousand of entries. (all of them in 1-2 days/project)

    I`m still loking for best solution. 

    Saturday, February 27, 2016 2:52 PM
  • What you are trying to do inside of Project is just not practical without thought and care. . It is not the way it works. If you have too many tasks to manage then the "best" solution if using Project is to redo the project model in Project, doing at the level you want. Keep all the resource assignments and logics at lowest level (not in Summary tasks). Will take time until you see patterns that you might be able to automate with VBA. Otherwise, get the data out of Project--Excel, paper, whatever--and transform the data Into what you want there.


    Saturday, February 27, 2016 3:14 PM
  • ady_ro,

    I'm sorry but we seem to going around in circles. Several of us have told you that you do NOT want to do what you think you want to do, and that is to re-structure the plan into something that is not representative of the original plan, in an attempt to extract data that is already available, or can be through the use of filters or grouping. That's unfortunate because it is making this way harder than it needs to be.

    As you have described it and shown partially in a link to a screenshot, the plan sounds like it was more-or-less created properly, that is, resources are assigned at the working level tasks (outline level 4). Project already has built-in features that allow the user to see resource loading as rolled up to higher levels and/or resource loading as a function of time (days, months, etc.).

    Going back to your original post, you say you want to look at resource loading for labor and machinery month by month. We have asked you to look at the built-in Resource Usage and/or Task Usage views which will give that information directly. I have yet to hear if you have done that and if so, what information do you need that is not provided by either of those views? If we could understand that, we could better help you customize the view to get the data you need.


    Saturday, February 27, 2016 3:51 PM