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Notify team members that prereqs for their tasks are complete?

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  • #413564 Reply
    Scott Milner

    Hello MPUG!

    I’m a relatively new Project user, and manage IT projects in a large corporate environment. We use Project Server and Project 2016 clients for our project managers, and our development teams utilize PWA licenses to receive and update their project tasks.

    Most of our projects consist of 1000-2000 tasks and utilize 20 – 40 developers from various departments. Our standard process is to release (via a publish tag) tasks to the project teams a week in advance, and the teams try to update the task status as they work through them to keep the project status current.

    One bit of frustration that our teams have is that we really don’t have a process for notification that the predecessor (prerequisite task) task for their work has been completed. We rely on phone calls, emails, chat window, etc. for this back-channel communication, which can be cumbersome.

    The question that comes up is, “Isn’t there a way for Project to notify the owner of a task that the predecessor for that task is complete, and that they can begin work?” The concept that they are looking for comes from Atlassian’s Jira, which we use for issue tracking and maintenance/change request items. I’m told a Jira item can be created and ‘passed’ from one developer to another, and Jira notifies the next resource via email that they can begin their work.

    One way that I can think of (with our existing setup) is to only release tasks that can be worked on immediately (rather than the 1 week increments that we use today). I could then manually release the next tasks as the predecessor task for it is complete. However, this is incredibly ‘hands on’ from a PM perspective, and would require all project team members update PWA immediately upon completing their work. I would also have to be accepting project updates from PWA on a very regular basis (it’s a manual process at this point)… in short, it would be pretty cumbersome.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how we might be able to notify our team members via project that a prerequisite task has been closed?



    #413565 Reply
    Scott Milner

    Sorry… we release tasks PWA via a publish flag not tag… I didn’t catch the typo until after I submitted!


    #413577 Reply
    Larry Christofaro

    Sorry, nothing out of the box. Maybe someone can think of a work-around.

    #413579 Reply
    Sai Prasad
    • Community Leader
    • Forum Pro

    I agree with Larry, but you have close to solution using Manage My Resources’ Alerts and Reminders in PWA. Check this article https://support.office.com/en-us/article/get-email-reminders-about-your-work-in-project-web-app-2372c181-1c98-416a-9306-ac28f027334b#bkmk_managerteam. It describes how a project manager can decide which notifications your team needs.

    #413614 Reply

    I’ve written a VB script that tags each task based on whether the task is “ready to start” or “is underway”. You should be able to update this and send an email based on the “ready to start” tag. I execute the script weekly as I update my projects. I use MSP 2016 desktop Professional. No on-line and no server. I’d be happy to share…


    #413615 Reply

    Option Explicit

    Sub CheckPreds()

    ‘ This application cycles through a project and:
    ‘ Places data in the tasks Text15 to indicate the status of the task as done, underway or ready to start
    ‘ changes the font for the row to gray if the task is complete or if the task is inactive
    ‘ changes the font for the row to red if the task is on the critical path and is not complete or inactive

    ‘ Written by Mark Darby
    ‘ Updated on 8 May 2018

    Dim proj As Project
    Dim ts As Tasks ‘Active task selection
    Dim tsk As Task
    Dim tPred As Task

    Dim tskCtr, ctr As Integer

    Dim tskCount As Integer ‘ Count of the number of tasks in the project
    Dim pCount As Integer ‘ Counts the number of predecessor tasks for any given task
    Dim perComp As Double ‘ Percentage Complete for any given task
    Dim pCompl As Integer ‘ Counts the number of complete tasks for any given task

    Dim Ready As Boolean ‘ Flags the task as being ready to execute

    Set proj = ActiveProject


    FilterApply “All Tasks”

    tskCount = ActiveProject.Tasks.Count

    Debug.Print “Beginning Formatting Loop”

    For tskCtr = 1 To tskCount

    Set tsk = proj.Tasks(tskCtr)
    SelectRow Row:=tskCtr, RowRelative:=False, Height:=0, Add:=False
    Font Color:=pjBlack, Bold:=False
    Font32Ex StrikeThrough:=False

    If Not tsk.Active Then
    Font Color:=pjGray, Bold:=False
    Font32Ex StrikeThrough:=True
    If tsk.PercentComplete = “100” Then
    Font Color:=pjGray, Bold:=False
    Font32Ex StrikeThrough:=False
    ‘ If tsk.Critical Then
    ‘ Font Color:=pjRed, Bold:=True
    ‘ Font32Ex StrikeThrough:=False
    ‘ End If ‘tsk.Cricital
    End If ‘tsk.PercentageComplete = “100”
    If tsk.Summary Then
    Font Bold:=True
    End If
    End If ‘Not tsk.Active

    Next tskCtr

    Debug.Print “Beginning Task Statusing Loop”

    For tskCtr = 1 To tskCount

    Set tsk = proj.Tasks(tskCtr)
    tsk.Text15 = “–”

    If tsk Is Nothing Then
    ‘ do nothing on blank lines
    If tsk.Active Then
    If Not tsk.PercentComplete = “100” Then
    If Not tsk.Summary Then
    If tsk.ActualStart <> “NA” Then
    tsk.Text15 = “Underway”
    pCount = 0 ‘ total count
    pCompl = 0 ‘ complete countFor Each tPred In tsk.PredecessorTasks
    For Each tPred In tsk.PredecessorTasks
    pCount = pCount + 1
    If tPred.PercentComplete = “100” Then
    pCompl = pCompl + 1
    End If
    Next tPred
    If pCount = pCompl Then
    tsk.Text15 = “Ready”
    End If ‘PCount = pCompl
    End If ‘tsk.ActualStart <> “NA”
    End If ‘Not tsk.summary
    End If ‘Not tsk.PercentComplete = “100”
    tsk.Text15 = “–”
    End If ‘not tsk.active
    End If ‘T is nothing

    Next tskCtr

    SelectTaskField Row:=1, Column:=”Name”, RowRelative:=False


    End Sub

    BTW — I welcome any feedback on this….

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