I have a number of summary tasks consisting of 4 or 5 subtasks (max 4 days each). These subtasks have dependencies, but the different summary tasks are not dependent on each other. The subtasks are performed by different persons.

When I scedule this in Project, the summary tasks scedule themselves on a long stretch taking up to 100 days per summary task, because some persons are available way sooner than others. Without wanting to set a 'start no earlier than' dependency, how can I set the summary tasks at a maximum of 20 days each? When I enter 20 days at the summary task it has allocation problems. As it does not rescedule the subtasks.

  • Incidentally, whilst you are asking some great questions here, the etiquette is that if someone's answer helps you, you can 'upvote' their answer or even mark it as the answer. That gives the people who provide you with answers an incentive to continue helping you out. Just sayin'
    – Marv Mills
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 14:00
  • 1
    True, sorry about that, didn't know. Also, don't have enough 'reputation' to upvote your answers. Marked them as the answer that solved my problem instead.
    – Jes
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


The Summary tasks are only representations of the durations of their subtasks taking the available resource into account. You cannot limit Summary tasks in this way, it would make no sense. If you have one resource that has to do many tasks then MS-Project works out the durations of all the tasks they work on, on the basis that they can only do one thing at a time- therefore the tasks themselves have to stretch out in time to match how long it will take them to do things. When you have dependencies on other resources the same effect is amplified.

What you need to do is arrange the tasks and the resources in such a way that you are maximising parallel working- make it so that people are not tripping up over each other and artificially elongating their tasks.

Investigate setting tasks to 'Fixed Duration' and also setting task Priorities to ensure that some tasks are done before others.

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