Project tasks

Project tasks are the units of work that make up a project.

The size and number of tasks that comprise a project depends on the level of detail you want. For example, if part of a task requires a specific skill that is not required by the other activities in the task, it is a good idea to break down that task further.

Bottom-up Tasking

Bottom-up (tactical) tasking means that you plan small, individual units of work that need to be done, then build a project up to include larger phases. Take this approach when you know what individual tasks need to be accomplished and you are more flexible about overall project duration and estimated cost. Use this approach to see how much a project will cost and how long it will take if you include every possible task. Project management supports tactical tasking by using rollup calculations on several project fields, such as project duration, so that the project adjusts to the tasks it contains. This is the recommended approach for the Project application.

Top-down Tasking

Top-down (strategic) tasking means that you plan high-level tasks first, then break down the work into smaller units. Take this approach when you want to build a project with fixed or inflexible time and budgetary constraints and well-defined phases. Establish well-defined milestones and dependencies between tasks that you should take into consideration from the beginning. Gradually add smaller tasks to the project at a later time. The main idea here is to avoid including all possible tasks in a project and stay flexible with what tasks should be included.
Note: When you use this method, the Project application still rolls up several values, such as task duration. Therefore, if you create a task that has a longer duration than the project, the project expands to cover the entire duration of the task, which might defeat the purpose of this approach. Values are not rolled down from parent tasks, nor are there any restrictions on creating child tasks that are longer than specified duration of the parent.