Lesson 2: Create new tasks

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Once you decided on the work needed to accomplish your project and the necessary stages to achieve intermediate goals of your project, you are ready to create the task list from your project. The task list is an important aspect of your project, an incomplete or badly designed task list can seriously affect your project's progress. Introducing milestones in your project and defining summary tasks helps you to better structure your project and to better evaluate the progress of your project.

The first step in project planning is to create the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). A typical project consists of a series of related tasks, the building blocks of your schedule. Therefore the work required in a project is usually divided into several activities. This approach allows for better estimating the duration and the costs of the project and for better tracking its execution.

Therefore a first step in project planning is entering the task list that will be part of your project and they are required in order to reach to the desired goals in a specified period of time. So you will have to define the project tasks, such that the project can be seen as a set of tasks, where each task reflects a piece of work that must be done in order to contribute to the project completion.


 How many activities should a project have? In a first step a few general phases are delimited, each one having a corresponding working package and some deliverables. i.e., for building a machine, the following phases are necessary: developing the product specs, designing, developing and testing. To estimate the work/duration of each phase it is necessary to subdivide each phase in several smaller tasks. Successive subdivisions may be necessary until the components obtained are manageable in terms of duration, and responsibility. These activities can be conducted in parallel or may depend on one another.

In Project Plan 365 you introduce a new task by simply entering a task name on an empty row. Select the task row where you want to insert a new task and in the Task Name column, type a task name. Press Enter key or press arrow down.​

Each new task you create will have as Start Date the Project Start Date and a duration of one day. You can change the duration as you add each task or after you finish entering all of them. You can assign durations to tasks using minutes (mins), hours (hrs), days, weeks (wks) or months (mons) as duration unit. In the Duration column you should be able to specify the time taken for the task to complete. So, for instance enter the number of days followed by "days" unit or in case of shorter tasks enter the number of hours followed by "hrs" duration unit.

After task creation, you may change the Start Date of the task, its name, its duration, assign resources, and impose some time constraints depending on the start/finish time of other tasks in the project by creating links between tasks.

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To insert a new task between two existing tasks, you need to select the second task, go to TASK menu, click on the top part of the Insert option and type the name of the new task. Another possibility is to press the Insert key on your keyboard or to right click on a task id in the grid and select New Task from the contextual menu that appears.   
2_Create_new_tasks3.png

A new task will be inserted having the title "<New Task >" and duration 1 day?

You can insert multiple tasks at a time by selecting multiple consecutive rows using either CTRL or SHIFT keys on your keyboard and then clicking on Insert option from the Task menu, or pressing on Insert key or using the New Task option from the contextual menu. These tasks will be positioned above the selected rows in the tasks list. The number of newly inserted tasks will be equal to the number of selected rows.

While entering task durations, you may use the up-down arrows to increase, respectively decrease task duration by 1 unit.

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image003.gifPractice ​

   1. Introduce the WBS (task list) corresponding to a project plan, describing the tasks needed for the construction of an office building.

T​ask Name

Duration

Three-story Office Building (76,000 square feet)

1 day

General Conditions

1 day

Receive notice to proceed and sign contract

3 days

Submit bond and insurance documents

2 days

Prepare and submit project schedule

2 days

Prepare and submit schedule of values

2 days

Obtain building permits

4 days

Submit preliminary shop drawings

2 wks

Submit monthly requests for payment

6 hrs

Long Lead Procurement

1 day

Submit shop drawings and order long lead items - steel

2 wks

Submit shop drawings and order long lead items - roofing

2 wks

Submit shop drawings and order long lead items - elevator

2 wks

Submit shop drawings and order long lead items - plumbing

2 wks

Submit shop drawings and order long lead items - electric

2 wks

Submit shop drawings and order long lead items - HVAC

2 wks

Detail, fabricate and deliver steel

4 wks

Mobilize on Site

1 day

Install temporary power

2.5 days

Install temporary water service

2 days

Set up site office

3 days

Set line and grade benchmarks

3 days

Prepare site - lay down yard and temporary fencing

2 days

Site Grading and Utilities

1 day

Clear and grub site

3 days

Stone site access and temporary parking area

2 days

Rough grade site (cut and fill)

1 wk

Install storm drainage

2 wks

Install exterior fire line and building fire riser

2 wks

Perform final site grading

2 wks

Erect building batter boards and layout building

1 wk

Foundations

1 day

Excavate foundations

2 wks

Excavate elevator pit

2 days

Form column piers and spread foundations

4 days

Rough-in electric and plumbing in elevator

4 days

Form elevator pit walls

4 days

Set reinforcing and anchor bolts

4 days

Pour column piers and foundations

5 days

Pour concrete elevator walls

1.5 days

Cure elevator wall concrete

1 day

Cure piers and foundations

1 wk

Strip wall forms

1 day

Strip column piers and foundation forms

3 days

Install pneumatic tube in elevator pit

3 days

Prepare and pour concrete floor in elevator pit

1 day

Building Finishes

1 day

Install millwork and wood trim

3 wks

Paint walls and woodwork

1 mon

Install conduit at ceiling plenum space

3 wks

Install duct in ceiling plenum space

3 wks

Install ceiling grid

2 wks

Install ceiling tile

2 wks

Hang wallpaper

2 wks

Install building carpet

1.5 mons

Install hardware and accessories

3 wks

Complete interior and exterior sod and plantings

2 wks

Heating and Ventilating - AC

1 day

Set equipment in mechanical room

2 wks

Rough-in mechanical in masonry walls

4 wks

Rough-in mechanical in drywall walls

2 wks

Install duct in building chase

3 wks

Set HVAC trim and test and balance system

4 wks

Final Clean-up and Occupancy

1 day

Install hard tile flooring in common areas

1 wk

Clean hard tile floors

4 days

Remove debris from building and do final clean-up

4 days

Substantial completion date

1 day

Complete Final Inspections

1 day

Complete elevator inspection and certification

0.5 days

Perform architect's inspection

1 day

Perform local building agency inspection

1 day

Perform Fire Marshal's inspection

10 hrs

Complete punch list items from all inspections

2 wks

Obtain certificate of occupancy

2 days

Issue final completion documents including warranties

1 day

Issue final request for payment

1 day


 

    You should obtain a task list like below:

2_Create_new_tasks1.png
2. Visualize the project summary task by checking the Show Project Summary Task option, available under File → Options → Settings tab.

    You should obtain the following:

2_Create_new_tasks2.png
 

  Uncheck the Show Project Summary Task option to hide the project summary task. ​