Concurrent tasks scheduled-Can it be done? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have Project 2013.  I want to schedule 2 concurrent tasks performed by 2 separate people.  Can it be done?  Can I have also have separate critical paths?

    For an example, if I want to use Project to manage in project oriented environment, not for 1 major project.

    Here would be a simple task list:

    Person 1

    • Task 1
    • Task 2
    • Task 3

    Person 2

    • Task 1
    • Task 2
    • Task 3

    Person 3

    • Task 1
    • Task 2
    • Task 3

    I want all 3 task 1's to run concurrently.  Can my critical path show 3 parallel lines, that join at one point?  

    I can't attach an image until my identity is verified.


    Patty D.

    Thursday, August 11, 2016 11:48 PM

All replies

  • Patty,

    Well yes, no and maybe.

    You can certainly have concurrent tasks performed by separate resources. You can even have concurrent tasks performed by the same resource. Depending on how the work is distributed that resource may or may not be overallocated.

    With regard to critical paths, it all depends on how the tasks play into the Total Slack. For example, if all three task 1's are the same duration and they are predecessors to another follow-on task, then yes, the display will show three separate critical paths. However if the durations are different such that one has less total slack than the other two, then that one will appear on the critical path, the other two won't (see screenshot).

    We need to understand better what you are trying to do.


    Friday, August 12, 2016 1:54 AM
  • Patty,

    This took me less than a minute, using the information you have provided.

    However, you have not provided enough information to finish it off.

    What are the durations of the tasks?

    What are the predecessors? Is task 1 the predecessor of task 2, and task 2 the predecessor of task 3, in each group?

    Friday, August 12, 2016 2:04 AM

  • Still can't post an image of what I want my critical path to look like with concurrent tasks.  This is what I want in description, though.

    When person 1 who performs task 1 finishes early I want to have them start another task of another project.  I'll have a master file of numerous projects I want done during the year, that I plug away on, project piece by project piece depending on the slack time available as each person finishes each task.  The above drawn critical path image (roughly drawn in Word) will be not be on my master project file that lists desired projects as a project phase.  The image above will appear in a shorter project file that starts and finishes in 1 month or 1 quarter of a year.  

    My problem is that I will be starting work in 1 department within a larger non-profit, government funded program. The department has less than 10 employees.  The manager has a basic knowledge of project management, saw that I had a BA in Project Management with no job experience in Project Management, and that I'm starting an MBA in Project Management!  He wants me to give him project management ideas that will make his department operate in a manner that all his undone projects sitting on a mental shelf get done.  If there is such a thing, I need to show him how to manage by an informal project orientation. It's really not practical, even fiscally with such a small department to do formal project management.

    So I need to create a Project file that has a master project file that lists all the projects desired to be done.  The master project file will look like a normal project file.  My monthly or quarterly file will have employees listed with tasks listed underneath them.   Task 1 for person 1 might be undone project 1, piece 1; task 2 person 1 might be undone project 9, piece 6; etc.  And on and on for each person.  In this file, I need to have a person as a "project phase" where I'm managing people with different skill sets that have to do 10 different things each day.  No day, week, month is the same.  

    This sounds really inefficient, perhaps from a project management perspective, but with such a small department, this is what I think will work for my new boss, to work undone project piece by piece until projects he's had sitting a mental shelf as only an idea will be put into a Microsoft Project file.  I think if the undone projects can be put into a Microsoft Project file and worked piece by piece, they are a lot closer to becoming complete than just an idea in his and his assistant manager's head.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Patty D.

    Friday, August 12, 2016 8:10 AM
  • Patty D,

    It's still not real clear what you are trying to accomplish but I don't see where critical path is relevant to what you have described. It sounds like you have multiple resources (10) and multiple projects with multiple tasks that aren't necessarily related (i.e. quasi-random independent tasks).

    Trying to envision what you want is guesswork on our part. We need more clarity. See the following Wiki article about getting your account verified.


    Friday, August 12, 2016 8:41 PM
  • I can totally relate to you Patty D as this is very similar to the one I posted, see below

    I don't really have an answer but just to let you know that you are not alone in having multiple projects that are quasi-related.

    We don't actually use critical path method at all as the reports provided by MS Project is borderline useless. We use remaining work and based on that information compare with another table (excel) showing projects in one big program to track progress.

    Actually, at this point, leveling as provided by MS Project is not really helpful (more work than it is worth). But I am hoping to learn more... it might be that there are features in Project that we are not using yet or process we have to follow to make our lives easier.

    • Edited by Ikyo Monday, August 15, 2016 11:35 PM
    Monday, August 15, 2016 11:30 PM