Drawing on PMI best practice this guide explains why Project Managers should avoid linking summary tasks in Microsoft Project.We explain what summary tasks are and clarify the problems with linking summary activities.
You have probably already spotted that when summary tasks were used to link the modules in the example above, Developer's 1 and 2 had periods of down time.
The Resource Usage view below clearly shows the down time.
This article gives a step by step guide to creating custom filters including a filter to find linked summary tasks.
Practice Standard for Scheduling – Second Edition, 2011, Project Management Institute, Pennsylvania, pg 38.
When the links are removed from the summary tasks the developers can move from one build to the next with minimal downtime.
Here is the Resource Usage view from the more efficient plan.
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You can find linked summary tasks in MS Project by creating a custom filter that finds summary tasks which also have predecessors.
Task A’s successor is Task B and Task B’s successor is Task C.
Task C cannot link back to Task A as a successor task.
A summary task or summary activity is made up of subtasks and summarises those subtasks.