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MS Project - using if statements RRS feed

  • Question

  • I would like to use some boolean logic in my project schedule, such as

    Determine if training is required

    if no - no action required (go to the end of tasks for this grouping)

    if yes - then go to MS Project training grouping

    Can this be set up and if yes how do I do it.

    Thanks,


    Mel

    Thursday, April 28, 2011 1:52 PM

Answers

  • Mel --

    As others have already told you, there is no default method for addressing the boolean logic situation you describe.  If it were me, I would simply do the following:

    1.  Create all of the tasks needed if the answer is yes, training is required.
    2.  Baseline the project.
    3.  At a later stage, if training is NOT required, cancel the unnecessary tasks using the Inactivate feature in Microsoft Project Professional 2010.

    Hope this additional opinion helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Thursday, April 28, 2011 3:44 PM
    Moderator
  • Or treat it like contingency. So, if estimate is 50% of teams only will need this training, add a training task with 50% of typical time for each team. Then, if a team needs training double duration. If a team doesn't, then set duration to zero and mark as complete.

    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book Rod Gill Project Management
    Sunday, May 1, 2011 8:23 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hello Mel60,

    How will you determine if training is required during a specific period or not ? And does in that case only a set of the tasks will be done. I m sorry but I think you are looking for some loop structure based on condition testing while MSP is all togthere a scheduling engine.

    Still if you want to write any macro you can post the query on the MS Project Customization Forum.


    Sapna S
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 1:59 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, as I am structuring my schedule there are times when a decision needs to be made on a specific course of action, if you choose one route possibly no further action is required and that series of tasks are complete; however if you choose the other route there are still a number of tasks which need to be completed.

    I am currently at a loss on how to structure this type of decision making within MS Project; do you know of a simple way to achieve what I am trying to do.

     

    Mel


    Thursday, April 28, 2011 2:16 PM
  • Just for sake of clarity I m asking this : Can't you have 2 plans in that case ? If 'no' then who decides which set of tasks to be formed and at what point, and say as you said in that case a set of task that doesn't fulfill the condition would be marked as 100% or would be deleted. Please provide more information.
    Sapna S
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 2:19 PM
    Moderator
  • As Sapna says, Project is "just" a big schedule calculator. I suppose you could write your own code in VBA which generates a schedule in schedule based logic but I can imagine that such an effort would quickly get out of hand. 

    I have seen this sort of thing demoed with the 3rd Party add-in from Palisade called @Risk for Project -- if I understand both what you are asking for and what it is that the add-in product does. Allows to to simulate schedules and you can put decision logic into the setup.


    --rms www.rmschneider.com
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 2:40 PM
  • I was thinking the same thing - but then if I had more than 1 decision to be made I would need a number of plans and would be difficult to manage.

    The business sponsor would make the decision but the business wants to see a complete schedule prior to project starting and milestones need to be created.  Which are affected by the decisions.  So updates would happen as project moves forward.

    The more I think about this the more I dig myself a hole because then I would need a way to determine best case vs worse case scenerios based on the results.

    For instance, I beleive the schedule would look something like below:

    5 - Determine if additional training is required - 1d (april 18)  predecessor

    6 - If no - then go to task complete                                          5

    7 - if yes - then add 3 days                                                       5

    8 - Task complete                                            (April 21)          6,7

    I do like the idea of making the other tasks at 100% and deal with actuals versus plan.

    Hopefully the above helps in determining the best approach to this situation. 

    Mel

     

     

    Thursday, April 28, 2011 2:50 PM
  • aah, sounds interesting.

    You confirmed my fears, I will discuss with the business sponsor how she would like to see the schedule - seems the best route before I go mad - lol

    Thanks so much, I was worried I missed something.

    Thursday, April 28, 2011 3:24 PM
  • Mel --

    As others have already told you, there is no default method for addressing the boolean logic situation you describe.  If it were me, I would simply do the following:

    1.  Create all of the tasks needed if the answer is yes, training is required.
    2.  Baseline the project.
    3.  At a later stage, if training is NOT required, cancel the unnecessary tasks using the Inactivate feature in Microsoft Project Professional 2010.

    Hope this additional opinion helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Thursday, April 28, 2011 3:44 PM
    Moderator
  • that's the best idea!
    --rms www.rmschneider.com
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 3:48 PM
  • ok talk to your sponsor and get back to us may be then we can work on better approach, but the thing that you are asked for is not manageable using MS Project.
    Sapna S
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 3:54 PM
    Moderator
  • Or treat it like contingency. So, if estimate is 50% of teams only will need this training, add a training task with 50% of typical time for each team. Then, if a team needs training double duration. If a team doesn't, then set duration to zero and mark as complete.

    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book Rod Gill Project Management
    Sunday, May 1, 2011 8:23 PM
    Moderator