Many new Microsoft Project users find it difficult to distinguish between Gantt bar tasks rolled up at the summary level. If this is something that you’re experiencing, then you may want to color-code the rolled up tasks.
It is a simple process to roll-up tasks at the summary level in Microsoft Project. The challenge occurs when you want to clearly identify one rolled-up task from another. The best way to differentiate between rolled up tasks is to use color codes. This is a more involved process that may become tedious for large projects. It is, however, doable.
Figure 1 displays our demonstration project in Microsoft Project.
To roll-up tasks right click on the Gantt chart and select layout from the popup menu, Figure 2.
In the layout dialog, Figure 3, toggle ‘always roll up Gantt bars’.
Now your tasks roll-up, see Figure 4.
The problem is all our rolled up tasks are all the same color, so we cannot discriminate between them.
Let’s color-code the rolled up tasks to better identify among them. In Figure 5, bar styles dialog, we insert four additional “rolled-up task” bar definitions.
Each new definition replicates the original, but has a unique color and flag filter. Now insert four flag columns in the task table, Figure 6.
In Figure 7 we set drain piping system flag1 to yes, and note the rolled up task updated color.
Now comes the tedious part; update the flag for each activity to offset the task colors, Figure 8.
Note that insulate piping has no flag; color-coding works best when insulate piping is left light blue and other respective task colors are overlaid on top.
It is possible to roll-up tasks in Microsoft Project at the summary level and differentiate between tasks using color-coding. The color-coding is doable by creating additional rolled up task bar style definitions, including flags to support distributing the colors among the numerous schedule tasks. Adjusting the flag settings to color code the rolled-up tasks is tedious, but this method may be sufficient for high level reporting of small projects.