Creating and Managing Virtual Summary Tasks for Version 5.3
About Creating and Managing Virtual Summary Tasks
A virtual summary task (VST) is a summary task created by OnePager that does not exist in Microsoft Project. It represents the start date and end date of two or more constituent tasks or milestones. In this respect the VST is a OnePager summary task.
OnePager computes the start and end dates of a VST as its constituent tasks dates change from snapshot to snapshot. It also constructs baselines, percent complete bars, and critical path segments (One Pager Pro (OPP) only) for tasks being summarized.
Creating and Undoing Virtual Summary Tasks
To create a Virtual Summary Task (VST), follow these steps:
1) Select the first task or milestone.
2) Hold down the CTL key and select the second (and third, fourth, etc.) constituent tasks and milestones. Or lasso them with the selection rectangle.
3) Right-click on any of the selected tasks/milestones to bring up the context menu shown below.
4) Click the Make into virtual summary task command as shown below:
5) The screen will now look like this:
6) If there are Event Links associated with the selected tasks their Event Links are not shown in the resulting VST.
7) To unmake the VST, right-click on the VST, and click the Unmake virtual summary task command.
8) When a VST is unmade, any Event Links associated with the participating selected tasks are restored.
Setting Percent Complete for Virtual Summary Tasks
1) Because a VST is really a collection of several other tasks, it is not always clear how to define its percent complete value.
2) By default, the percent complete for a VST is computed so that the progress bar touches the time now line, as shown below:
3) This value may not always be appropriate because of the positions of the selected tasks with respect to the time now vertical line (usually the snapshot date). In some cases there won’t be a percent complete calculated or in other cases the percent complete will be illogical.
4) You can override this default and set the percent complete value manually by using the following steps:
- (1) Right-click the VST and then click the Set % complete of virtual summary task command shown in the context menu below:
- (2) Enter the new percent complete value and click OK.
Critical Path Segments in Virtual Summary Tasks
OPP will consolidate critical path segments into the VST from the constituent individual task bars and milestones.
1) In the project view below there are four tasks that are selected to become part of a VST:
2) When the VST is created, the VST itself will look like this with consolidated critical path segments.
3) The above description only applies to OPP.
Displaying Milestones on Virtual Summary Tasks
Many users often represent their project views entirely with milestone symbols normally to focus attention to start dates and finish dates.
1) We have enhanced OnePager so that any VST configured under circumstances where a VST is created from milestones only will display the VST bar with the collected milestone symbols shown on top of the bar as illustrated below:
2) To control the use of this feature, a checkbox was added to the Project-View Properties (PVP) form’s Advanced tab, Display options group called Overlay VST element to turn this feature on and off as shown below:
3) The same checkbox is also available in the Template Properties form’s Advanced tab in the same options group to set the feature on for all project views and snapshots created under that template.
4) As an example, take the portion of the BlueGrass... project view shown below where the seven (7) original tasks are now represented as milestones at the start date and the task labels hidden to better illustrate the result:
5) With the Overlay VST elements checkbox checked, we created a VST as described in the previous section. The resulting VST looks like this:
6) If you want to move the VST to another row or swimlane, we have two suggestions on how to do this efficiently:
- (1) If the VST and milestone configuration is the only thing in the row or swimlane, it is recommended that the move be done by making the move as a row or swimlane move versus trying to select the VST as a task and move the task. The reason is that the overlays of milestones are separate graphics from the VST task bar and will not move with the VST task bar.
- (2) If the VST and milestone configuration occupy a row or swimlane with other items, we recommend that you lasso the entire configuration which will select all elements and with the selection lasso active, make the move up or down.