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Resources on Summary tasks

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  • #5287 Reply
    CommunityCommunity
    Keymaster

    Out of curiosity, can anyone explain when you would want to put resources on summary tasks? I never do it, but wonder if it’s just a feature that Project doesn’t need even though you can do it.

    #7028 Reply
    CommunityCommunity
    Keymaster

    Jack, generally speaking you shouldn’t assign resources to summary tasks. Microsoft has always allowed you to but it isn’t best practice.

    #7030 Reply
    CommunityCommunity
    Keymaster

    I expect it’s a feature hangover from days of old, and MS can’t / won’t remove it.  Some customers use the Resource column to indicate Ownership of a task, and hence ownership of a Summary Task indicates ownership of the phase/workstream etc as indicated by the summary task. If you are don’t care about monitoring or tracking Work, the it is *okay* to place resources on Summary Tasks.  The alternative is to use a custom text field called Owner which is my preferred method.

    #7039 Reply
    CommunityCommunity
    Keymaster

    Interesting question as I come across this often when troubleshooting why someone’s “hours were off” in their schedule. I definitely wouldn’t want to put a resource on a summary task as summary task fields (work, cost, etc.) are calculated roll-ups of sub level tasks. This can cause some real problems such as hours being assigned to resources on sub level tasks and rolled-up hours assigned again to the resource at the summary level task, effectively doubling hours in that WBS.

    It’s always best to assign resources at the work task level. That being said, the one possible scenario where it might work is if all the lower level tasks were being done by the same resource, in which case the assignment could be done at the summary task level and NOT on each sublevel task. However, this kind of defeats the purpose of knowing what was done when on the sub level tasks and begs the question as to why a single task with detailed notes was not created rather than multiple sub level tasks without resource assignments and a resource at the summary level. Seems like more trouble than what it would be worth. Just a thought…

    #9677 Reply
    CommunityCommunity
    Keymaster

    I’ve assigned (non-human) shared work resources at the summary level to communicate when these resources were required, as opposed to tracking hours against them.

    I then filtered for the specific resource, printed the Gantt chart and provided that to the “owner” of those resources so I could get what I needed when. (or as close to that as possible)

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