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One task's duration as a calculation of other task durations, but NOT as a parent

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Level 10

So I had a request from a planner who is helping streamline our project templates. Take this example:

Artwork Round 1

Artist works on it - R1

Designer works on it - R1

Proofreader works on it - R1

Manager reviews it - R1

Artwork Round 2

Artist works on it - R2

Designer works on it - R2

Proofreader works on it - R2

Manager reviews it - R2

So for any given role, for two rounds, there are two tasks to manage. More roles, more assignments, more tasks to track. Add this to other tasks for perhaps the same designer and it can really be a timesheet mess.

The proposal is to do this:

Timesheet Tasks

Artist

Designer

Proofreader

Manager

Artwork Round 1

Artist works on it - R1

Designer works on it - R1

Proofreader works on it - R1

Manager reviews it - R1

Artwork Round 2

Artist works on it - R2

Designer works on it - R2

Proofreader works on it - R2

Manager reviews it - R2

The idea is the workers will only put time on the "Timesheets task" area. The other tasks on each round would go unassigned, or maybe assigned but no hours against them.

However, if we use predecessors then this starts adding extra work that doesn't really make things any easier. That's because the durations of the umbrella Timesheet Tasks have no relationship in terms of duration, or start/due times, to the tasks they encompass. And predecessors don't really function properly either.

We kicked around things like using predecessors on parent tasks, but that didn't really work either. Couldn't come-up with a method that didn't have manual dates involved at some level that made it the same or more complex than have lots of little tasks vs. umbrella tasks.

Does this make sense? Tough to articulate in a forum like this.

Any ideas?

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