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Microsoft Project 2010 : Work Breakdown Structure Numbering (part 2) - Editing Custom WBS Codes, Renumbering the Custom WBS Codes

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4/25/2014 4:46:00 AM

Inserting, Deleting, and Moving Tasks with Custom WBS Codes

You should stabilize your WBS and your schedule before adding the custom WBS codes so that you do not have to spend too much time making changes to them. On occasion, however, you will find that you need to add or delete tasks and perhaps move entire work packages to different areas of your WBS. Project makes some automatic numbering changes, and you need to be aware of how these changes work if you use custom WBS codes.

When you insert a new task into a work package (summary task group), Project automatically gives it the next highest codes for the level. If you delete a task, Project renumbers the tasks that follow. If these are not the behaviors that you want, you will need to manage the addition and deletion carefully.

If you move a task to another row within a work package, it keeps its original code even though it will no longer be in sequence. If you move a task from one work package to another (not a recommended practice), it acquires the correct prefix code for the new work package. The final part of the code may change if it would be a duplicate of an existing task within the package.

Editing Custom WBS Codes

Editing custom codes after the code mask is created is straightforward. Select a summary task by double-clicking any field in the row except the row number. The Summary Task Information window appears. Because you have created a WBS code mask, under the Custom Fields tab, a custom field called WBS should be visible. Select the value field for WBS. Make your change in the entry bar immediately above the custom field name list box.

Figure 3. You can use the Custom Fields tab of the Summary Task Information dialog box to edit the WBS code.

You will be editing only the last segment of any of the custom codes; all the higher-level segments are derived from the higher levels (summary task levels). You can change the segment codes at the summary task level if the assignment made by Project does not fit with what your organization would like to see.

For instance, in Figure 4, the major phases have been edited as abbreviations or acronyms for the name of the phase. AA was the default WBS code for the Planning the Move phase, but it has been changed to PLAN. It makes it easier to realize a task’s place within the WBS code.

Figure 4. Editing the default letters assigned by Project in the custom WBS codes lets you describe how a task fits into the task list.

If you want to show the tasks in their WBS code order, select the View tab, Sort, Sort By and then select the WBS field in the Sort By box.

You lose your edited codes if you edit custom codes for summary tasks and then tell Project to renumber the tasks. Use the following steps to prevent that from happening:

Using the Gantt view, select the Format tab.

Clear the Show Summary Tasks check box. Only the normal and milestone tasks should be displayed.

Choose one of the column headings to select all displayed tasks.

Select the Project tab, WBS, Renumber to bring up the WBS Renumbering dialog box (if Renumber is grayed out, a custom WBS code mask has not been created).

Click the Selected Tasks button instead of the Entire Project button.

Click OK to begin renumbering.

You can then restore the display of summary tasks by selecting the Format tab, Show Summary check box. Click any cell to unselect all tasks.

Your entire task list will be displayed again. Your summary tasks have not lost their edited codes, but all of your other tasks have been renumbered to the current order of the outline.

Renumbering the Custom WBS Codes

As you are planning your project, you are likely to revise the task list somewhere along the line. If you have already defined the custom WBS codes by this time, they might not be in sequence after the editing. Microsoft Project will recalculate the WBS codes for the whole project, putting them into sequence for you. Follow these steps to renumber the WBS codes:

If you are only renumbering a small, selected set of tasks, choose those tasks first (they must be adjacent to one other). The first selected task will not be renumbered, but will be the starting point for renumbering the rest of the selection.

Go to the Project tab, WBS, Renumber to pull up the WBS Renumbering dialog box, shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. You can renumber the entire project, or just a small select set of tasks, using the WBS Renumbering dialog box.

Pick either Selected tasks or Entire project.

Click OK to begin renumbering.

If you decide to renumber the whole task list, Project will ask you to confirm your decision. Click Yes or No as necessary.

If, even with a warning to confirm your decision, you still end up realizing that you did not want to renumber, you can go back and use the Undo feature to restore your original codes.

- Microsoft Project 2010 : Work Breakdown Structure Numbering (part 1) - Creating Custom WBS Codes
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Work Breakdown Structure (part 2) - WBS and Scheduling
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Work Breakdown Structure (part 1) - Work Breakdown Structure Concepts
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Getting Started After the Business Initiative Is Approved - Organizing for Success
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