Microsoft Project 2013 allows you to sort and organize your tasks by various specific fields to help you better track various aspects of your schedule. Perhaps, you want to organize your schedule into groups by resource type. Maybe, you want to display your schedule in brackets by total slack. You may want to further divide your schedule by duration, so you organize your schedule first by total slack and second by duration.
In this article, we utilize Microsoft Project 2013’s Group By feature to sort the schedule activities by total slack and duration.
Organizing Schedule Tasks
The first step to organizing a schedule, is to select the View tab > Data ribbon group > Group By drop down menu | New Group By, Figure 1.
In the resulting Group Definition dialog, Figure 2, type in Total Slack in the Name field. Next, select ‘Total Slack’ from the Field Name drop down menu.
The Field Type will automatically set to ‘Task’ and the Order will default to ‘Ascending’, but you can change the Order to ‘Descending’ if you prefer. Click Apply in the Group Definition dialog and Microsoft Project 2013 will sort your schedule tasks into groups by similar Total Slack, Figure 3.
Now to change your group sort to include the additional duration sort feature select the View tab > Data ribbon group > Group By drop down menu | More Groups option, Figure 4.
In the resulting More Groups dialog make certain the Groups toggle is set to Task, and select the Total Slack group and click the Edit button, Figure 5.
When the Group Definition dialog appears change the Name field to ‘Total Slack and Duration’, Figure 6. On the second row, the ‘Then By’ row, select Duration from the Field Name drop down menu.
Again, the Field Type and Order will automatically set to ‘Task’ and ‘Ascending’, accordingly. Click Save and then in the More Groups dialog with the Group toggle set to Task, select the ‘Total Slack and Duration’ group and click Apply, Figure 7.
Your schedule will now be sorted into groups first by Total Slack and second by Duration, Figure 8.
Organizing your project schedule into groups is a straight forward process in Microsoft Project 2013. Also, you are provided a plethora of Field Name types to group your schedule by. Schedules can also be organized by multiple Field Name types. The group major and minor Field Name headers are displayed along with each task meeting the group’s specific criteria. Grouping is one of the many features available in Microsoft Project 2013 to help you analyze your project schedule.