When and why assign Resources to Summary Tasks and Milestones in MS PROJECT 2013!


I got a question from one of my Blog Readers: “Hi, would you be so kind and explain when to assign Resource to Summary Task or Milestone!”

I will explain how to do it (which is very easy), and when and why (which is my point of view). Of course, I will  use MS PROJECT PRO 2013!

First I am going to create brand new PROJECT:


and one Resource:


Now suppose that John is Project Manager, and by default, he is responsible for whole Project. What will you get if you assign him to Summary Task, like that?:image

Notice, that I added Cost and Work columns in Gantt Chart View. First of all you might think (wrong), that since John is assigned to the Summary Task, his work (in hours) will be spread among all Subtasks. No! MS PROJECT will calculate all work from subtasks, and it will assign those hours to the Summary Task, without assigning hours to the Subtasks. Now I will add one new Task but I will not put any Predecessor to it:


Notice that nothing changed, since New Task is shorter in Duration than whole Summary Task Duration. But now I’m going to put 10 days in New Task Duration, and I will get:


You can see that Total Cost for Summary Task is $12.000 (10 days * 8 hours per day * $ 150 per hours), and total Work is 80 hours (10 days * 8 hours). TIP TIME! Do not assign any Resource to Summary Task! If you want to get real work in hours and real Cost, assign john to all Tasks, instead of Summary Task like that:


Here you can see “real” work, “real” costs, and – John is overallocated! HURAAAA!

If John is responsible person for Summary Task, but he will not spend any time during execution, you can assign him to the Milestone:


With that you do not have any Costs or work Hours, but you can still filter all Milestones and John as Resources and see when something should be finished, and for which milestones is he responsible!



About Nenad Trajkovski

Location: Zagreb, Croatia Occupation: Project Manager Interests: Project Management and MS PROJECT He was born in Zagreb, Croatia at 1963. After completing his college he started working on projects in different business areas (banking, manufacturing, automotive industry, distribution, oil companies, etc.) developing and implementing ERP systems into different companies. He has got a lot of experience working with people in different business processes and also possesses great knowledge in information technologies and financial services. Today he works as a business consultant, adn Project Manager in PERPETUUM MOBILE d.o.o. Zagreb. He is a regular lecturer for Project Management in MS Innovation Center in Varaždin, Logosoft Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and SEAVUS GROUP in Skopje Macedonia. He was named the best lecturer of WINDAYS 2008 while his lecture was also voted as the best. In addition, he was in TOP 10 lecturers at the MS SINERGY 2009 and MS VISIA 2009, 2010. Shares first place as the best lecturer of KulenDays 2009 and 2010 and PMI Conference 2009 in Zagreb. He is also a regular lecturer in the MS Community. He is a Certified Accountant and a PMP (Project Manager Professional) and a PMI-RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP, MCT, and Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist - Microsoft Project 2010. From 01.01.2012 awarded with MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Proffesional - Microsoft Project)!
This entry was posted in Microsoft PRoject 2010, Microsoft Project 2013, PMI, PRoject Management and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to When and why assign Resources to Summary Tasks and Milestones in MS PROJECT 2013!

  1. Pradip says:

    I have a question:

    I have a scenario where 2 tasks are overlapping. The summary task shows the duration of 5 days however, the individual tasks when calculated shows 7 days. If for these days i am booking a hall and i am adding that hall as a work resource. Then individually adding them to each tasks will make me pay more but if i add it to the summary task i will only have to pay for 5 days.

    Am i doing it right?

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