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Linking Summary Tasks

4 replies [Last post]
Russ Hart
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I know that it is not good practice to link summary tasks however I’m trying to explain it but can’t get reasoning right...

Can anyone help?


Rafael Davila
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Primavera SureTrak, MS Project and P3 can link summary tasks. If you can do the same using regular links I do not see the difference other than making it difficult for the novice. It is time consuming and perhaps error prone to the regular user.

I hope some day the software will make it easier for the user and instead of depending on the little circles and arrows of the original CPM the software will provide for the user to model the true logic in his planning and not the logic of others. Meanwhile we will be stuck in the 1960's under fear that if the car runs faster everyone will be crashing each other. Software good for the Commodore 64 but not for todays computer.

I do not buy the idea that schedulers are to be professionals that know about typing on a computer and nothing about what is being planned but the real planners, the people that really know about what is planned. The engineer that plans for the construction of a complex structure he worked on the estimate for every tile to be placed, every bullnose, the engineer that plans the next generation of space traveling, the doctor that plans complex procedures, the floor foreman that plans the everyday at his shop. Not a foreigner to what is happening on your job.

If instead of using resource production to model an activity to start when a certain number of activities within a group finishes or creating multiple milestones to model the group behavior you make it a clear rule everyone will understand you will make your model transparent. Do you believe hundreds of such links and resource modeling will be understood by someone other than the CMP nerd that created such monster?

Still thinking in little balls and arrows!!!

Best Regards, Rafael.

With options comes freedom.

Philip Rawlings
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PRA asllows you to link summary tasks in the way that MSP does. It might however confuse the critical path calculations but otherwise there is nothing wrong. Dont forget, though, that if you reorganise PRA creates a new set of summary tasks to show your structure so existing summary tasks (and their links) will be deleted.


Hi Russ,
Spider Project users can create any number of parallel Work Breakdown Structure for the same project. If to link project phases (summary tasks) in one structure the link will not exist at all in another WBS.
Dependencies shall not depend on the approach to task grouping.
Mike Testro
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Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4398
Hi Russ

In Powerproject linking summary tasks overrides the critical path on the sub tasks.

For instance if you have a summary bar of Plastering and this is linked to a summary bar of 2nd fix Joinery and there are sub tasks for 8 floors under each summary bar there will be no critical link between Plastering to 2nd Fix Joinery on each floor.

Also the last task has no outgoing link.

The only time I use summary bar links is when I have a trade hammock and I need to link sedign and procurement to it.

You cannot link to a hammock so I put a summary bar over it and link to that.

Best regards

Mike Testro