Project 2016 for Beginners Part 10: How to Use Tasks and Subtasks in Microsoft Project 2016

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During this Microsoft Project 2016 training tutorial video, we will break down summary tasks into subtasks. Some of the points being discussed here are inserting tasks, indenting tasks, outdenting tasks, hiding subtasks, and showing outline in different levels.

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Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2016. In this section we’re going to look at summary tasks and outlining and I’m going to use the wedding project and demonstrate how we can build up the level of detail and the structure of this project. Now I mentioned a couple of times already that the tasks that I currently have in the project, planning, attire, guests, etcetera, are actually high level tasks.

They really represent groups of tasks. And what we’re going to start to do now is to break each of those high level tasks, what we’re going to call summary tasks, down into individual tasks or subtasks. By the end of this section we’ll have a much more detailed project. But to get us started I want to look at one particular summary task.

Before I really get started I want to point out two things. First of all, if you were doing a breakdown of the tasks involved in a wedding project, particularly if you’re doing it from scratch, you would almost certainly come up with a different breakdown to me. And in fact just about everybody who tries to do this comes out with a different breakdown. So there isn’t a sort of right answer here. It’s important that all of the necessary tasks in the project are represented ultimately in the project plan. But the way you do this breakdown will be a very subjective way indeed.

And the second thing to point out is although I’m going to add quite a bit of detail to this wedding project plan I could add a lot more. We’re going to finish up with something of the order of somewhere between say 50 and 100 tasks in total. But if you really were doing this very, very thoroughly there would probably be hundreds and hundreds of tasks. So the task I’m going to breakdown is the Guests task.

Now if I select the task underneath it, Venue, and right click on Venue and click on Insert Task I get a new task above Venue and that is actually going to be one of my guests subtasks. It gets a default name. Note new task there between chevron markers. And then default values for duration, etcetera. Now what I’m going to put as the name of that task, I just click in the Entry Bar and type the name in, is Make guest list. So that is my first guest related task.

Now the important thing here is that this is actually a subtask of my Guests task. And in order to indicate that it’s a subtask I’m going to demote it in my task hierarchy. There is a button in the Schedule Group on the Task Tab. Let me hover over it and it says Indent Task. And indenting that task automatically demotes it within the hierarchy. Watch what happens when I do that. Now not only does Make guest list get indented and that clearly indicates that it is a subtask of Guests but a number of other things happen as well. One of them is that Guests becomes bold, indicating that it is a summary task. And it also gets a tiny little wedge next to it.

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