Project Tasks in the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Tasks identify the work that is required to complete a project. Tasks have a start date, an end date, and a period in between when the work is performed. Generally speaking, project managers assign resources to tasks and set milestones to measure their progress.
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Tasks identify the work that is required to complete a project. Tasks have a start date, an end date, and a period in between when the work is performed. Generally speaking, project managers assign resources to tasks and set milestones to measure their progress.
  • You can create and manage project tasks and assign resources to them. 
  • You can define the tasks for a project to start and complete within the start and finish dates of a project.
Assign labor resources to tasks so that they can perform the work and can record the work time in their timesheets. You can also assign expense, material, and equipment resources to tasks. These types of resources can also be tracked using timesheets, and can have actuals that are logged through transactions.
You cannot assign resources to milestone or summary tasks.
The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
The work breakdown structure (WBS) is a hierarchical list of tasks showing relationships between the tasks. The WBS displays in the Gantt view with the Gantt chart. Use the WBS to create and organize tasks and to view resource utilization by task assignment. The Gantt view displays summary tasks, milestone tasks, and detail tasks.
  • All tasks that you create are added at the same level in the WBS. 
  • You can then group the detail tasks under summary tasks. 
  • You can create an unlimited number of hierarchical levels in a WBS. 
  • You can filter the list to find specific tasks that are based on simple or complex filter criteria.
The tasks are displayed in the Gantt view in the order you create them. The order and level indicate their relationship with each other. The task above a detail task can be a summary task, or a second-, third-, or fourth-level task relative to the task above it.
Example: Building a WBS
You create a summary task named Build the Training Collateral that contains two detail tasks: Develop the Online Training and Develop the Training Quiz. You create the three tasks, and indent the detail tasks one level under the summary task.
This illustration shows a simple work breakdown structure.
Effort Task
Sometimes, you do not need to track the resources that are working on tasks at a detailed task assignment level. For example, your organization wants to track time on a project but does not need the detailed time entries for each task. However, you can still track resource allocation and provide a way for your team to log time. 
A system setting allows you to staff a project without needing to define detailed task assignments. Your administrator can select the project management setting
Allow Effort Task Creation
. When this option is selected, the product automatically creates an effort task in the following situations:
  • You staff a project before creating any tasks.
  • You staff a team for an idea and convert the idea to a project.
  • All of the project tasks are flagged as key tasks.
The product automatically assigns the newly added staff team members to the effort task with ETC hours based on their team allocation. The team members can log time against the effort task on their timesheets.
To prevent the automatic creation of the effort task, create one non-key task before adding any team members to the project.
Summary Task
A summary task is a task that has one or more subtasks nested beneath it. You can indent tasks to be included as subtasks to the summary task. A subtask is any task that is nested under a task. Subtasks can be detail tasks or summary tasks. You can nest summary tasks under other summary tasks. You can indent and outdent summary tasks, in which case, their nested subtasks move with them.
When creating a summary task, give it a name that implies a logical, organizational grouping. For example, use Phase I, Phase 2, Planning Phase, and Build Phase.
Level 1 tasks are the top-level tasks in a work breakdown structure (WBS). You cannot outdent Level 1 tasks because they are already at the top-most level. A detail task is a task that has assignments tracked for effort. A detail task can be a Level 1 task, but it can also be a subtask to a summary task.
Detail task dates determine summary task dates. The earliest start date of one or more of its detail tasks determines the summary task start date. The latest end date of one or more of its detail tasks determines the summary task finish date. The summary task dates change as you edit the detail task dates. Total Effort and cost for a summary task are calculated based on the detail task information.
Organize Tasks Using the WBS
Use the Gantt View Toolbar icons (Outdent tasks, Indent tasks, and Move tasks) to organize your tasks.
Move Tasks Within the WBS
Moving tasks moves all of the subtasks. You cannot move tasks across or between projects. If the task has a dependency, moving the task does not remove the dependency.
Follow these steps:
  1. Select the task.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Use the Move icon to move up tasks.
    • Use a drag-and-drop operation.
Expand and Collapse the WBS
You can expand the work breakdown structure (WBS) to see the summary tasks. Subtasks are nested one level under the nearest higher-level task. A plus (+) sign appears in front of the higher-level task.
You can also expand and collapse all tasks using the Expand All and Collapse All icons on the Gantt view toolbar.
The collapsed view is useful to view a small group of items (a parent and descendants) alone. For example, you can expand the summary task to view all the nested subtasks. Collapse it back up to the summary level when finished. Use the Plus (+) or Minus (-) icon next to expand or collapse the summary tasks.
The expand and collapse states of the WBS of a
Clarity PPM
 session are retained when you next open the page.