Tasks splitting each time I update the project... RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi guys

    The issue: whenever I status my programmes, any task that is incomplete and has a remaining duration breaks / splits when using the update programme function (I tend to status all tasks 1-2 times a month, then use update function and tell MSP to run the balance of remaining task durations from the day after my status). As a result I get a task bar in the gant chart that is split into 'chunks'.

    I really dislike the tasks displaying like there any way to stop this?

    Generally speaking, I would much rather tasks show as an unbroken block from Actual Start to Actual a Finish (or if incomplete, then actual start to today + remaining duration).

    I have been told that this problem does not exist in P6, but we don't use Pirmavera products.

    Can anyone help?

    Thanks, Robert

    Sunday, December 14, 2014 9:35 PM

All replies

  • Hi Robert,

    There could be many reasons, and I would need to see the actual project and check the options to troubleshoot this to tell you why this is happening.  Can you share the plan?

    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | P2O

    Sunday, December 14, 2014 9:46 PM
  • Hi Ben

    I trust that this can be shared in confidence - please see attached file (view unfiltered). 

    My question is really one of a general nature, so hoping that the issue can be addressed globally and I can apply to all projects. 

    Attached programme : as an example, review tasks wtih Act. ID BE:145, BE:150, BE:190, BE:195, BE:200. However, you really can see it everywhere in the programme. Residence 1 and Residence 2 tasks also show the same sort of example. 

    What I want (and I hope it makes sense?) for all the tasks to show as a solid bar (unbroken) from actual start to actual finish (and if not finished, from actual start to today + remaining duration). I'm not sure if the issue is driven by the Duration field not being enough to span the full actual duration? In any case, I really need MS Project to always show a full unbroken bar.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance. 


    Monday, December 15, 2014 12:10 AM
  • Hi Robert,

    Okay, I see what you are doing and what is happening here (and some of this you will already know, but for the benefit of others I will include it here).  I don’t know what version of MSProject you are using, the below answer assumes 2013, but the theory applies to 2003/2007/2010 also.

    When you reschedule unfinished work to complete after the status date, the task is split into two or more portions (this is expected, and is controlled by the check-box “Split In-progress Tasks”).  Project then displays the split, as the work (and progress) is now non-contiguous.  The split is represented by  “………….” In the Gantt Chart views.  In order to show a complete duration then all you really need to do is change the dotted line into a solid bar, and colour it accordingly. 

    1. In the Gantt Chart, select the Format Tab.
    2. Click Format, Bar Styles
    3. Change the Split row and Critical Split so that the bar style is exactly the same as the Task and Critical rows respectively.  Note you may choose to do this for Inactive Splits and Manual Splits too.  Note that on my system, the colour of the Task bar is set to 138, 187, 237, and critical tasks are coloured 247, 138,136.

    I've also uploaded a video of how to do this here... click on the Format Split Tasks.mp4 video.

    Robert - I've also amended your file - if you drop me your email I will get it back to you.

    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | P2O

    Monday, December 15, 2014 8:32 AM
  • Hi Ben Amazing stuff....thank you! I'll give it a try as soon as I get into work today. Just a quick question, would it not be easier to just turn off the option that splits tasks in progress? Or is it not that simple? Robert
    Monday, December 15, 2014 7:16 PM
  • You could turn off the setting (File menu / options / schedule / Split in-progress tasks) but then remaining work does not get automatically rescheduled.

    Depending on how you want to update your schedule, you can avoid this. For example if you use the resource usage view you could conceivably "fill in the gaps" by putting some work on that day.

    Personally I think that creating a view which does not show the splits as Ben described is best. It allows the use of the schedule as a forecasting tool and still allows you to view tasks without the intervening splits 

    Jack Dahlgren blogs at:
    Project and Retrovention
    and rarely Twitter

    Monday, December 15, 2014 8:34 PM
  • Jack sums up the situation nicely with split tasks - I would keep it turned on to maintain historical info of when you actually did the work.

    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | P2O

    Monday, December 15, 2014 8:36 PM
  • Hi Jack & Ben

    Ok, this system seems to work well. 

    Only problem is that I have three different types of bar styles for tasks:

    1. Green for normal tasks
    2. Blue for Progress
    3. Red for critical

    As a result of using your solution, I have multicoloured task bars dependign upon their progress/status. See attached screen shot example. 

    Is there a way for me to customise the break fill colour to match?


    Monday, December 15, 2014 8:49 PM
  • Hi Robert,

    Yes, but I have changed the progress to be a think black line - this has the advantage of showing when work was done.  The SPLIT, CRITICAL is red, and the SPLIT just green.  Your green RGB value is 83, 129, 53. The following shows the bars styles configuration changes I have implemented in your plan.

    Below are the highlight changes to the bar styles...

    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | P2O

    Monday, December 15, 2014 9:12 PM
  • Thanks Ben

    That makes sense. 

    My email to return file -

    Thanks, Robert

    Monday, December 15, 2014 9:49 PM