Join Bonnie Biafore for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a recurring task, part of Microsoft Project 2016 Essential Training.
- A recurring task is work that occurs on a regular schedule. In Project, you can set up a recurring task by giving Project the basic info about the frequency and other settings. The program then creates the individual occurrences and a summary task to hold them all. In this case, we're going to add a recurring task right before the design space task. So I scroll down, select the design space task and then on the task tab I click the bottom half of the task button in the Insert section.
On the drop down menu, choose recurring task. The recurring task information dialogue box opens and the first things you do is name the task. So let's say it's a project review. You can see the duration is set by default to one day. That's the duration of a single occurrence. So in this case it's a review meeting so I'll change that to two hours. The next section, recurrence pattern, basically tells Project when this task is going to reoccur.
Now one thing to keep in mind is that you want to keep recurring tasks to a minimum. And one of the reasons is it makes it really hard for Project to level resource assignments when you have recurring tasks. So if you have something that recurs really frequently, like on a daily basis, instead of doing a recurring task, you might actually be better off just including that time in your regular work tasks. Just add the time for those daily reviews into the tasks for the work you do every day.
But in this case, we're going to do a monthly project review, so it'll be fine. Well, if you do do a daily recurrence pattern, you can tell it how many days you want to do, every say four days. Or if you do weekly you can tell it which days of the week, maybe a Monday and a Wednesday. And we'll do it every two weeks. Or for our monthly project review, choose the monthly option. In that case, you can tell it which day of the month, such as the 10th or you can set it to be something like 2nd Wednesday.
If you're going to do a quarterly meeting, you could actually change this to every three months. But we're going to do this monthly so we'll leave it at one. Yearly is very similar to monthly. Now, the next section, range of occurrence, that's when it starts and when it finishes. You can see it starts here at the project start date, which is perfect. And it actually ends by the project end date. So, in this case I'll leave it just the way it is. But the other option is you can choose a different date if you want, or you can tell Project that you want a certain number of occurrences.
In that case you select the end after option and tell it how many times you want it to happen. So then I click ok. And Project adds all the individual occurrences as well as a summary task to hold them. So you can see the individual occurrences have date constraints because they're set for specific days. You can also see that the summary task has this indicator, two arrows pointing at each other and that means that it's a recurring task. And if you point at that indicator it tells you how many times it occurs and the start and finish.
Well, if you don't want to see rows for all the subtasks you can click this black triangle and collapse the summary task. And over in the time scale, you can see little, tiny task bars for each of the project review occurrences. If I click the white triangle to expand the summary task, now I can see all the individual occurrences. And over in the time scale you can see them in the summary task and you can also see the ones for the individual occurrences. One thing to keep in mind is that the dates don't change automatically if your project gets longer.
Well, let's say that the project was delayed. Project's not going to automatically extend this recurring task to include additional occurrences, so you'd have to create a new task for the additional occurrences. Creating a recurring task is an easy way to set up several individual tasks that recur on a regular schedule.
NOTE: This course updates our Microsoft Project 2013 Essential Training course for Project 2016, and most videos will work with both versions of the software. For Microsoft Project 2010 compatibility, see Project 2010 Essential Training.
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- Choosing the right Project edition
- Creating and saving projects
- Setting up calendars
- Creating individual and recurring tasks
- Linking and timing tasks
- Assigning tasks to resources
- Viewing your data differently with sorting, grouping, and filtering
- Fine-tuning the project schedule
- Understanding baseline, schedule, and actual values
- Reporting on the project status
- Sharing projects