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.