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Microsoft Project Professional has a nice feature that allows project managers to delegate the responsibility for reporting task progress and/or approving task progress by changing the Assignment Owner and/or Status Manager on any task. Changing assignment owners is particularly useful if a resource won’t be able to enter his or her own progress for any number of reasons. Changing status manager is useful in many situations, one of which is when different functional managers or resource managers need to approve progress for their subordinates within the same schedule.

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However, Project has an annoying limitation that (if nothing else is done) prevents a schedule owner from setting a task’s status manager to anyone except themselves! Anyone who has tried to assign alternate status managers can verify this frustrating feature.

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Assigning multiple status managers to this schedule would require a highly cumbersome process in which each potential status manager opens the project in sequence, and assigns themselves as status manager to one or more tasks. Not a pretty sight.

Well, what if you only had to do that once?

Many thanks to one of our customers for this great idea. First, create a simple schedule that contains one milestone task for each potential status manager in your organization. Then pass this schedule around to all status managers to “claim” their own task. Publish this schedule to a security category that is readable by all status managers. Then each project manager can insert the appropriate milestone tasks into their own schedules. Once a status manager name is included in a schedule one time, then it can be used on any other tasks and assigned by anyone with update permission.

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So in the future, after you save, close and reopen the schedule, the entire list will appear whenever needed.

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