MS Project 2016

MS Project Tips

Why you should avoid linking summary tasks.
Linking summary tasks in MS Project has some negative consequences for project planning. Though MS Project allows summary tasks to be linked as a predecessor or successor, you may want to avoid this altogether for some of the reasons listed below.

  • can produce errors in logic
  • can artificially extend the project plan
  • can cause circular logic warning messages
  • when you link a summary task and detail task you are defining a dependency between the deliverable and tasks required to produce that deliverable, which does not make sense. This alone is reason enough to deter one from inserting summary tasks dependencies.
  • makes the effort to check if the network of dependencies is complete more difficult
  • the critical path is also more difficult to map out
  • not recommended by the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK

Links between summaries are also not advisable according to MS best practice guidelines.