I’m also coming round to the idea that assigning resources to a summary task is not always a bad thing.
If i may give my example.
We work in a staged project process with gates at the end of each stage. THe schedule is mostly constrained by the technical tasks performed by the technical team and third parties. These tasks are scheduled in detail and resources assigned at the task level.
However, the project manager and project support will typically be assigned to a small number of projects and the effort of each project estimated at the stage level, ie stage 1 concept may only require 20% of a project support but stage 9 delivery may need 100%. Similar levelling for a PM.
These resources (especially project support) will not have their activities scheduled in detail as this needlessly complicates the schedule. Instead, why not assign these resources at the stage summary task?
From reading around the subject i have seen no good reason given.
Heather, you mentioned that if you are only resourcing at this level, you should not plan any in any further detail. I think this is not applicable in the example i give. There is definite need to schedule the technical tasks and their interdependencies in detail and i would not recommend assinging the resources at summary level there, but there is little need to schedule in detail the administration activities of project support. The other points you mention regards statusing is also not relevant to the example i give regards admin and management activities – if you are not scheduling these tasks in detail (and i argue there is little need in the projects in support)
Josh – you mention having to calculate by hand the amount of work, many organisations estimate a level of effort for project support without calculating their individual tasks.
Daryl – good point regarding timesheets, but only a small percentage of Microsoft Project implementations use timesheets. Still good to know