Tip #2: Using Inactivate Task to Evaluate the Impact of Choosing Between Multiple Outcomes
When you identify an area of your project schedule that could result in one of multiple paths being taken you can evaluate the impact of choosing each path using the inactivate task feature in Microsoft® Project 2010.
When you come to the proverbial "fork in the road," identify each of the branches by typing an identifier in front of each task description. For example, ALT 1: Move troops to town road. ALT 1: Line both sides of the road with troops. ALT2: Move troops to harbor. ALT 2: Sail out to meet the fleet. Be sure that, at some point in your schedule, these alternatives resolve into a single task (if nothing else...the project end milestone.) Highlight one of the paths and click on the Inactivate Task icon on the Task tab. This will strike out the one alternative and act as if it is not there. Next, Highlight both alternatives and click on Inactivate Task again. Repeating this last step will flip-flop the alternatives and you will be able to see the impact on the schedule that each alternative has.
Ed Lively (PMP, APMC, MCTS, MCITP, MCSE) is a highly skilled IIL trainer and consultant with extensive project management experience across several industries. His broad level of experience includes operations, information technology, corporate finance, and process improvement.