One of the many discussions I have with customers is how to factor in time that is spent on project management in their schedule.
Most of those discussions land on the following:
* Project management is a significant effort on a project and should be tracked.
* Project managers are not working full-time on one project and their work effort should be adjusted.
* One long task that represents project management screws up the critical path because it may assume that it is the true critical path when instead the rest of the project contains the information you need to see for the critical path.
After exploring numerous techniques to address this and working with solutions I have created myself or received from others, I have discovered an approach that can work.
Solution: Describe Project Management as a Summary Task
In general the concept is to create a summary task for project management and within that summary create two milestone tasks that link to the start and end of the project. Assign the project manager to the summary task at the desired percent allocation for the project.
Details in the Solution
Review the highlighted sections in the schedule below.
Notice my use of **Start to Start** link, **Finish to Finish** link, and **milestones**.
Notice the **Start** and **End** dates of the project and the Project Management summary task.
* The total project management phase _auto adjusts_ as the project adjusts.
* The project management hours for the PM assigned to the task _auto adjusts_.
* The _critical path_ is still properly displayed in the schedule.
The clients I have shown this solution to find it very useful and many have adapted it based on variations in how they run projects.
I would love feedback from the project management community on this approach and how you have modified it to fit your needs.