Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
If you aren’t sure about the timing of a particular task and want to alert
people to your lack of certainty or if you need a way to find such tasks and
enter more solid timing when you have better information, select the
Estimated check box (on the General tab) when you enter the duration. Then
apply a filter for tasks with estimated durations (see Chapter 15 for more
about using filters).
Setting tasks with no duration: Milestones
I mention in the preceding section that almost all tasks have durations; the
exception is a milestone — a task with no duration. (Now, that’s the type I like
to be assigned to.) In fact, milestones are less like tasks than they are like
signposts that mark moments in time. Examples of milestones are the
approval of a prototype (although the deliberations to make that decision
might have taken months) or the completion of a phase of tests.
Some people include tasks such as Design Complete or Testing Complete at
the end of each phase of their project. They can then create timing
relationships to the moment of completion — for example, allowing production of a
drug to proceed after the testing and approval is complete. Such milestones
also alert you and your team members to a moment of progress in your
project that can help to keep the team motivated.
Note that new tasks are created with an estimated duration of one day unless
you enter a duration. To create a milestone, you indicate that the task has
zero duration. The quickest way to do that is to simply type 0 in the Duration
column in Gantt Chart view. Or, you can click the Advanced tab of the Task
Information dialog box (refer to Figure 4-6) and select the Mark Task as
Milestone check box. When you do, the milestone is designated in Gantt
Chart view with a black diamond shape rather than a task bar.
Showing up again and again:
Some tasks occur again and again in projects. For example, attending a monthly
project debriefing or generating a quarterly project report is considered a
No one wants to create all the tasks for the monthly debriefing in a project
that will take a year to complete. Instead, you can designate the recurrence,
and Project automatically creates the 12 tasks for you.