Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Figure 5-1:
A project
outline is a
collection of
You can build several of these little families of tasks to represent project phases
in your outline. Think of a project outline as a set of little wooden nesting dolls,
with each successively smaller doll representing a deeper level of detail. The
highest-level task is the outer doll, which is the biggest of the bunch. The next
doll in the group is a little smaller, just as the next level of tasks in an outline
reflects a little narrower level of detail, and so on, right down to the littlest baby
doll. The largest task in a project might be Build New Plant, and the smallest
detailed task might be Empty Dumpster, with a whole lot of tasks in between.
Project phases
All information about a family of tasks (that is, a phase of your project) is
rolled up into its highest-level summary task. Therefore, any task with
subtasks has no timing or cost information of its own: It gets its total duration
and cost from the sum of its parts.
You can, though, assign resources and costs to a summary task; for example,
you might assign a project manager for an entire phase of tasks. However, a
summary task also includes the total of the costs of any tasks below it.
This roll-up functionality is cumulative: The lowest-level task rolls up to its
parent, which might roll up into another summary task, which rolls up (for
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