Microsoft Project 2010 Feature Rally: Inactive Tasks

Like many project managers out there we often have tasks or sections of our project schedules that we want to hide or “remove” for what-if scenarios or to show our executive teams different scenarios. The new Inactive Task feature in Project Professional 2010 allows you to do this easily. And the best part is that it carries throughout the project schedule, meaning that if you have tasks (with or without actual hours), you can inactivate those tasks and see the result on the entire project (in the Gantt chart, in Resource Usage, and at the Project Summary level).

How might you use this?

First, consider scenario-based planning. Phases one through three and an optional phase four could all be contained in one project schedule. With Inactive tasks you can easily see the project totals for phases one through three and one through four. No need to create two separate project schedule (files) with this information.

Second, you could cancel or remove work that was scheduled and now is out of scope (You’ll also see that the summary task or task is inactive.)

Microsoft Project 2010 Feature Rally: Inactive Tasks

You’ll see that the inactive tasks retain their task information (although inactive), including all estimates, task dependencies, and resource assignments. Note that the dates for the inactive tasks are in gray.

Microsoft Project 2010 Feature Rally: Inactive Tasks

So how do you think it will handle baseline information Inactive tasks won’t change the baseline/variance information that was saved. This is good.

Microsoft Project 2010 Feature Rally: Inactive Tasks

To do this, add in the Active Column and right-click on task (or summary task). Select Inactive.

Microsoft Project 2010 Feature Rally: Inactive Tasks


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Written by Jacques Goupil

Jacques Goupil, PMP, MCP, MCTS, is the Business Development Managing  Director at PPM Works, Inc.,  a consultancy focused on delivering project, portfolio, and business management solutions. He has been implementing Microsoft Project solutions since 1998 and has over 15 years of professional experience in project management software design, implementation, and development.  Coming from a Program Management background, Jacques has successfully implemented PMOs at many Top 50 firms and he shares his experience and knowledge as a guest speaker and panelist at several industry conferences (including the Microsoft Project Conference, PMI Conferences, and the Project Summit).  He was selected by Microsoft as the Lead SME for the Microsoft Certification Exam, Managing Projects and is a Certification Instructor Microsoft Project Users Group.  He is currently on the Board of Directors at the Boston YMCA and two Microsoft Project Users Group Chapters.  Jacques motto is ‘Health and Family first’ and he shares his passion as a community volunteer and family advocate.  He is currently training for the 2014 Boston Marathon (his 14th Boston).  Most recently Jacques delivered a full credit Professional Development Day for PMI and presented at Project Summit 2013 on topics including Project Server 2013, Project Online, as well as PMO Development.  Connect to his professional network or send him an e-mail at:

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