Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating summary tasks to outline the plan
TIP You will work with summary tasks with both manual and automatically calculated
durations in Chapter 10, “Fine-tuning task details.”
The highest level of a plan’s outline structure is called the project summary task . Project
automatically generates the project summary task but does not display it by default.
Because the project summary task is at the highest level of the plan’s outline structure, it
includes rolled-up details from all subtasks. It also represents the full duration of the plan so
it’s a handy way of seeing some essential details, such as the plan’s overall duration.
Project management focus: Top-down and
Two common approaches to developing tasks and phases are top-down and
▪ Top-down planning identifies major phases or components of the project’s plan
before filling in all the details required to complete those phases, represented as
summary tasks. Complex plans can have several layers of nested summary tasks.
This approach works from general to specific.
▪ Bottom-up planning identifies as many of the bottom-level detailed tasks as
possible before outlining them into logical groups called phases or summary tasks .
This approach works from specific to general.
Creating accurate tasks and phases for most complex plans requires a combination
of top-down and bottom-up planning. Typically, a project manager begins with
established, broad phases for a plan (top-down planning), and the resources who
will execute the plan provide the detailed tasks that ill out each phase (bottom-up
The scenario: At Lucerne Publishing, the new book launch plan is put together enough to
now organize the plan into two sequential phases.
In this exercise, you outline your task list by creating summary tasks:
Select the names of tasks 5 through 7.
These are the tasks you want to make subtasks of the public launch phase.