A Tip For Project Managers - How to Create an Auto-Extending MS Project task

Recently, I was asked if it was possible to create a task which would last the entire duration of a project (e.g. Project Management task, or weekly meeting) and set it to auto-extend should the project be delayed. Here is the solution:

Recently, I was asked if it was possible to create a task which would last the entire duration of a project (e.g. Project Management task, or weekly meeting) and set it to auto-extend should the project be delayed. Here is the solution:

Our simple project:

 

We first create a new task #1 for Project Management.

We then copy the start date cell of the project summary task (Task #0), right click on the cell and select Copy Cell.

 

 

Then we paste this cell as a link on the Project Management task start date. Right click on the cell and click Paste Special.

 

 

On the paste special window, select Paste Link and Text Data, and then click on OK.

 

 

Note that the bottom right corner of the cell contains this grey triangle which indicates that the cell is linked to something.

 

 

Repeat this for the End Date.

If we now open the Task Inspector for this task, we see that there is a ‘Finish No Earlier Than’ constraint type.

 

 

Let’s modify another task, for example let’s put 5 days for Task 1’s duration.

 

 

Note that the Project Management task has been extended until the new project end date.

 

 

And there you have it - task that will auto-extend should the project be delayed!

 

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About the author

Jeremy Cottino
Jeremy Cottino

Experienced in project management of IS/IT projects for multinational companies. Jeremy is the reference profile within the company with regards project management methodology and tools. Confirmed client-server and web development engineer, Microsoft Certified Professional (.net platform, SQL Server and SharePoint)