The idea is to create a master template with all tasks that potentially will need to be performed when a real project based on this template is set up. Task dependencies will need to be set up around the tasks that may be deleted and a precise step-by-step will need to be followed.
Here is an example with a sample template project containing 6 tasks, 2 of which (tasks #2 and #5) may or may not be deleted in a real project created from the template.
- Create a static template and do not specify any dates on the template.
- Create 6 tasks as follows. Notice that the template task dates are set in the past. Also note that a dependency has been set between tasks 2 and 3 as well as between tasks 1 and 3. In this example, task number 2 might not be performed in a real project and that is why a dependency between tasks 1 and 3 is necessary. The same idea applies to task number 5.
- Now, let’s create a project based on that master template. When creating that new project, make sure:
- You copy the tasks.
- NOT to adjust task dates based on project start date.
- NOT to specify an estimated start date for the project.
- Open the project and delete the extraneous tasks. In this example, we will delete both task number 2 and task number 5. As a result, there will be gaps between tasks 1 and 3 as well as between tasks 4 and 6, as illustrated below.
- Now, open task number 1 and change its estimated start and end dates to their real values. Not only will task 3, 4 and 6 dates be adjusted but the gaps between tasks 1 and 3 as well as between 4 and 6 will be eliminated.