Many times stakeholders want to view high level summary reports that display outlines of the underlying tasks. Good news…Microsoft Project 2013 has this capability.
In Microsoft Project, it is possible to rollup tasks so that a projection of the respective task’s Gantt chart bar is displayed at the summary level. This provides high level reports that are still fixed down to the task level. Your ability to decipher the tasks on the summary level is limited but may be sufficient for high level reporting.
This article demonstrates how to rollup tasks in Microsoft Project for high level reporting.
Our demonstration schedule is displayed in Figure 1.
Highlight ‘Final Quality Assurance Inspection’, and select the task tab, properties ribbon group, and Information, which brings up the information dialog, Figure 2.
Toggle rollup and click OK. Repeat this procedure for ‘Write Quality Assurance Report’ task and ‘Quality Assurance’ summary task, Figure 3.
Note that tasks ‘Write Quality Assurance Report’ and ‘Final Quality Assurance Inspection’ rollup to the summary task. Next, in the summary task information dialog, Figure 4, toggle hide bar.
The rolled up tasks now appear without the summary task bar, Figure 5.
Now, again, for the purpose of demonstration we return to our original schedule, Figure 1. Right click on the Gantt chart and select Layout from the popup menu, Figure 6.
In the layout dialog, Figure 7, toggle ‘always roll up Gantt bars’.
The resulting schedule with rolled up Gantt bars is displayed in Figure 8.
In Figure 9, we return to the layout dialog and toggle ‘hide rollup bars when summary expanded’.
Note in Figure 10 that all rolled up summary bars are hidden, except for ‘Quality Assurance’, which is collapsed.
In Figure 11, the entire schedule is collapsed, and displaying the rolled up summary bars for the entire schedule.
It is possible to select each individual task and set it to rollup. Make sure the summary task is rolled up and an outline of the underlying tasks appear in the summary task bar. Hide the summary task bar to simply display the underlying tasks in the summary bar.
Setting each individual task to rollup may quickly become tedious for large projects. If this is your situation then use the layout dialog to set the schedule to ‘always roll up Gantt bars’. All tasks and milestones in the schedule will then rollup automatically.