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Reduce the lines in a project plan

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  • This topic has 6 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Dan Schaeffer.
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  • #478472 Reply

    Hello, I have to reduce the lines in a project from 5000 to 2000. How can I eficently do this, without affecting the POC?

    #478480 Reply
    bobc455
    Member

    In this case I think it would help to know why you have to reduce the number of lines.

    Since each line represents a task, do you mean that you need to reduce the number of tasks? Or track activities with less granularity?

    I assume you aren’t talking about the lines on the Gantt chart (or network diagram etc.), you are talking about the quantity of tasks in the project plan.

    -Bob C.

    #478483 Reply
    Daryl DefflerDaryl Deffler
    Guest

    Adriana
    Not knowing your level of experience… Too much task detail is one of the most common mistakes I see in project schedules. Summarize/combine tasks when it makes sense, to your project reporting intervals. Meaning, if you report progress every two weeks, try to keep tasks around the 80 hour range. (when it makes sense) Some tasks could be smaller, some could be larger. For example, if your project is developing code, you could have individual tasks to review specs, design program, write code, and test code. But if all that occurs in 40 total hours, make it one task with a scope of all 4 sub-tasks. However, if its a very large, complicated program, maybe specs and design will take 40 hours, coding and testing may take 60 hours. In this case, separating them may make sense. But they could still be combined. There are no specific rules on how to do this. The bottom line is to provide enough project task details to allow you the PM to track and report progress, easily and with sufficient detail to know when there is an issue.
    There are other factors as well. For example if the team has never done the needed work, maybe you break the tasks a bit more finitely to provide more detailed tracking. However, if the team has done it 50 times, they’re proficient at it, and they have a checklist to manage their process, maybe one task covering the whole scope is fine.
    I hope that helps

    #478484 Reply

    I need to reduce the number of tasks and track activities with less granularity

    #478485 Reply

    I need to reduce the tasks ( lines) and i was wondering if there is a function which does this whitout erasing each line manually. More to this, I wand that the POC is kept somehow.

    #478499 Reply
    bobc455
    Member

    Nothing automatic, but I would do a lot of work with Summary Tasks and just hide a lot of the underlying activities which might not be important for your audience.

    Another possibility is to use some kind of filter (“Flag1” etc.) that says whether a task is important or not for your audience.

    -Bob C.

    #478699 Reply
    Dan Schaeffer
    Guest

    I do what bobc455 does. I have a flags column tagged ‘Hi-level’ and a filter that removes everything for which that field = no. Personally, I like lots of detail. I log every action item from every email or meeting in my .mpp (even pasting fragments of emails into comments). My .mpp file is my single source of truth for everything going on in the project (my current one’s over 100 mb). For a single document I might have separate tasks for 1) drafting 2) prelim review 3) update 4) upload/submit for review in PLM system 5) approval. Certainly some people think I’m balmy but I can’t deal with tracking 20 different documents crawling their way to maturity any other way. An added benefit is I can list all of the approvers as resources on the approval task and if someone’s going on leave or extended PTO I’ll be able to spot that potential delay the minute they tell me about their PTO. I’ve come to rely on summary tasks less and less and favor filters and reports with flag columns. Stuff is just too damn complex to try and impose a top-down hierarchical ordering. In my experience people who have really large-grained tasks don’t really know what they’re working with. Case in point: one of the 3 PMs I’m working with sent me his schedule with a 2 week estimate for a ‘debugging’ task. We’re now in our 12th week and climbing. El Diablo really lives in those details.

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