Is it the right scheduling practice to link summary tasks together
With Best Regards,
Short answer: NO; logic on summary tasks is generally considered poor practice.
(If you are an expert and will not be communicating your schedule to others, then it is possible to link summary tasks together without ill effects, though disciplined adherence to a rigid set of scheduling protocols is required. Overall, the limited benefits of such an approach is not worth the potential hazards, which generally involve non-transparent – sometimes circular – logic flow.)
Just because Project allows you to do this, it’s not generally a good habit to get into. In addition to Thomas’ point, linking summary tasks will also lead to ineffective resource scheduling. For example, consider this scenario. Bob and Joe each work on the project. Summary Task A contains tasks 1 & 2. Summary Task B contains tasks 3 and 4. Bob is assigned to Tasks 1 & 3, each with a 1 day duration. Joe is assigned to Tasks 2 and 4, each with a 5 day duration. When you link Summary Tasks A and B together (Finish Start), that means that NO work in Summary Task B’s group can start until ALL of the work in summary Task A group is done. While this works fine for Joe who is driving the duration, Bob is scheduled for 1 days work on Task 1, followed by a 4 day gap waiting for Joe to finish his Task 2 work. Finally, when Joe finishes his Task 2 work, Bob’s Task 3 is scheduled.
It’s a simple example, but expand that scenario into a schedule with hundreds of tasks, complex dependencies, and dozens of resources. The result will be a schedule;
* with ineffective resource utilization
* that unrealistically extends overall duration
* that is hard to debug and manage because the root cause of schedule problems, like Bob’s unscheduled work gaps or dependency loops, are the result of dependency links in unrelated or indirectly related parts of the schedule
hope that helps
Yes, sir. Thanks a lot. Both the replies perfectly helps a lot. I now have complete clarity that linking summary tasks will lead to unrealistic schedules, besides giving ineffective resource utilization and make resources idle as per schedule even when they are actually available. Cheers