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Try This Status Manager Trick



Microsoft Project Professional has a nice feature that allows project managers to delegate the responsibility for reporting task progress and/or approving task progress by changing the Assignment Owner and/or Status Manager on any task. Changing assignment owners is particularly useful if a resource won’t be able to enter his or her own progress for any number of reasons. Changing status manager is useful in many situations, one of which is when different functional managers or resource managers need to approve progress for their subordinates within the same schedule.


However, Project has an annoying limitation that (if nothing else is done) prevents a schedule owner from setting a task’s status manager to anyone except themselves! Anyone who has tried to assign alternate status managers can verify this frustrating feature.


Assigning multiple status managers to this schedule would require a highly cumbersome process in which each potential status manager opens the project in sequence, and assigns themselves as status manager to one or more tasks. Not a pretty sight.

Well, what if you only had to do that once?

Many thanks to one of our customers for this great idea. First, create a simple schedule that contains one milestone task for each potential status manager in your organization. Then pass this schedule around to all status managers to “claim” their own task. Publish this schedule to a security category that is readable by all status managers. Then each project manager can insert the appropriate milestone tasks into their own schedules. Once a status manager name is included in a schedule one time, then it can be used on any other tasks and assigned by anyone with update permission.


So in the future, after you save, close and reopen the schedule, the entire list will appear whenever needed.



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Written by Michael Steinberg

Michael Steinberg, PMP, MCP, is a Managing Consultant at international business consultancy Campana & Schott. He has over 30 years of IT consulting and training experience, including 20 years in project management. In his current position, he manages and conducts enterprise project management process and technology implementations and deployments, including solution installation of SharePoint and Project Server, process design, user training, custom development integration with enterprise business systems and server administration. Contact Michael at Michael.Steinberg@campana-schott.com.

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  1. Michael, great trick! Thank you for sharing it with us! The Status Manager field has always bothered me, but I am going to give it another try now.


  2. I like the trick overall, but the “pass the schedule around…” requires permission and edit rights to the schedule does it not? I think you can have them open it (rights given first) and change their tasks to them as status manager just as quickly.

  3. Excellent Tricks!
    Thousands Thanks.

  4. Hi,
    We are using this approach but it’s quite time-consuming when our client has over 1000 projects and each project is required to have multiple status managers for approving tasks.
    Has anyone used /developed any PSI? Do you know if there any other automated way of updating status managers?

  5. Further enhancement – use the Delegation feature, and avoid having to ask all the status managers to modify the schedule themselves.

  6. Well, for me it didn’t work. I created a small project with milestones as described above, and had a test user “claim” his task as Status-Manager. However, I was not able then to transfer that additional Status-Manager to the real projects. Neither by including the small project as subproject nor by creating cross-project link. I might be misunderstanding what “Then each project manager can insert the appropriate milestone tasks into their own schedules.” means. If “Once a status manager name is included in a schedule one time, then it can be used on any other tasks and assigned by anyone with update permission.” pertains only the the small project itself, then this would only be useful at the beginning of a planning process.
    In the end I used the delegation feature in PWA to open the projects where I needed additional Status-Managers to impersonate the colleague and create a new dummy task with her as Status-Manager.

    (This is for Project Professional and Project Server 2016 with all current updates as of April 2019)

  7. We’ve been searching for a solution to this problem for some time, BRILLIANT, thankyou.

    A follow-up, however, is there a way to set the field to null/blank ? The only solution we’ve come up with, so far, is to set it to someone who has left, then all the approval requests sit in their queue, never to be seen again.


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