Macro for Filtering based on “Task Path” in Microsoft Project

Here in the TaskPathFilters module, I provide five simple macros for applying a filter (or table highlighting) that corresponds to Task Path bar highlighting output.

For users of Microsoft Project 2013+, including the desktop versions of Project for Office 365, the Task Path bar styles provide a useful method for highlighting logical connections between tasks.  Four different sets of bar styles can be created, corresponding to the Predecessors, Driving Predecessors, Successors, and Driven Successors of the selected task.  Unfortunately, the “show for…” criteria used to apply the bar styles are not available for creating a filtered display of tasks – say the driving path to a key milestone – while hiding the non-driving tasks.

[The “driving” and “driven” Task Paths are defined (by MSP) using the task StartDriver object, the same as in the Task Inspector.  As shown here, StartDriver has proven unreliable in identifying driving logic in the presence of non-FS relationships, actual progress, splits, and resource leveling.

In another blog entry here, you can find a set of macros for duplicating the results of the Task Path bars, with the added benefit of being able to re-sort tasks according to logic flow, so concurrent logic paths are easily separated.  Those macros use the same underlying data as Task Paths, so their results should be identical to these.  Unlike these, they can be used in versions of MSP prior to 2013.]

Here’s the code (requires MSP 2013+).

Note, for real logic analysis, have a look at BPC Logic Filter.

'TaskPathFilters Module
'This module includes four procedures to mark tasks according to their TaskPath
'characteristics.  A fifth procedure applies a filter to display only the marked tasks.
'The module is intended only for users of Microsoft Project 2013+, which incorporates TaskPath
'formatting of task bars.  If the applicable TaskPath formatting has not been applied,
'then no filter will be created.  VBA code developed by TMBoyle, 14Sep'18
'   1. Install all code into a new module, with "TaskPathFilters Module" above as the top line.
'   2. Assign buttons or hotkeys to the first four procedures only (the other one is called by these):
        'a. AllTaskPathFilter() - Filters all the marked task paths.
        'b. TaskPathPredecessorFilter() - Filters the marked "predecessors" of the selected task.
        'c. TaskPathDrivingPredecessorFilter() - Filters the marked "driving predecessors" of the selected task.
        'd. TaskPathSuccessorFilter() - Filters the marked "successors" of the selected task.
        'e. TaskPathDrivenSuccessorFilter() - Filters the marked "driven successors" of the selected task.
'
Public MsgBase As String, Tsel As Task
Sub AllTaskPathFilter()
    Dim t As Task
    Dim Apply As Boolean
    
    Set Tsel = ActiveCell.Task
    For Each t In ActiveProject.Tasks
        If Not t Is Nothing Then
            If (t.PathPredecessor = True) Or (t.PathDrivingPredecessor = True) Or _
                (t.PathSuccessor = True) Or (t.PathDrivenSuccessor = True) Then
                t.Marked = True
                Apply = True
            Else
                t.Marked = False
            End If
        End If
    Next t
    Tsel.Marked = "Yes"
    If Apply Then
        MarkedFilter
        MsgBox (MsgBase & "All Selected for task " & vbCrLf & _
            Tsel.ID & " - " & Tsel.Name)
    Else
        MsgBox "No Filter Applied."
    End If
End Sub
Sub TaskPathPredecessorFilter()
    Dim t As Task
    Dim Apply As Boolean
    
    Set Tsel = ActiveCell.Task
    For Each t In ActiveProject.Tasks
        If Not t Is Nothing Then
            If t.PathPredecessor = True Then
                t.Marked = True
                Apply = True
            Else
                t.Marked = False
            End If
        End If
    Next t
    Tsel.Marked = "Yes"
    If Apply Then
        MarkedFilter
        MsgBox (MsgBase & "Predecessors of task " & vbCrLf & _
            Tsel.ID & " - " & Tsel.Name)
    Else
        MsgBox "No Filter Applied."
    End If
End Sub

Sub TaskPathDrivingPredecessorFilter()
    Dim t As Task
    Dim Apply As Boolean
    
    Set Tsel = ActiveCell.Task
    For Each t In ActiveProject.Tasks
        If Not t Is Nothing Then
            If t.PathDrivingPredecessor = True Then
                t.Marked = True
                Apply = True
            Else
                t.Marked = False
            End If
        End If
    Next t
    Tsel.Marked = "Yes"
    If Apply Then
        MarkedFilter
        MsgBox (MsgBase & "Driving Predecessors of task " & vbCrLf & _
            Tsel.ID & " - " & Tsel.Name)
    Else
        MsgBox "No Filter Applied."
    End If
End Sub

Sub TaskPathSuccessorFilter()
    Dim t As Task
    Dim Apply As Boolean
    
    Set Tsel = ActiveCell.Task
    For Each t In ActiveProject.Tasks
        If Not t Is Nothing Then
            If t.PathSuccessor = True Then
                t.Marked = True
                Apply = True
            Else
                t.Marked = False
            End If
        End If
    Next t
    Tsel.Marked = "Yes"
    If Apply Then
        MarkedFilter
        MsgBox (MsgBase & "Successors of task " & vbCrLf & _
            Tsel.ID & " - " & Tsel.Name)
    Else
        MsgBox "No Filter Applied."
    End If
End Sub

Sub TaskPathDrivenSuccessorFilter()
    Dim t As Task
    Dim Apply As Boolean
    
    Set Tsel = ActiveCell.Task
    For Each t In ActiveProject.Tasks
        If Not t Is Nothing Then
            If t.PathDrivenSuccessor = True Then
                t.Marked = True
                Apply = True
            Else
                t.Marked = False
            End If
        End If
    Next t
    Tsel.Marked = "Yes"
    If Apply Then
        MarkedFilter
        MsgBox (MsgBase & "Driven Successors of task " & vbCrLf & _
            Tsel.ID & " - " & Tsel.Name)
    Else
        MsgBox "No Filter Applied."
    End If
End Sub

Sub MarkedFilter()
Dim HL As Boolean

    If MsgBox("Apply Highlighting Only?", vbYesNo) = vbYes Then
        HL = True
        MsgBase = "Highlighting TaskPath "
    Else
        MsgBase = "Filtered for TaskPath "
    End If
    On Error Resume Next
    FilterApply Name:="Marked Tasks", Highlight:=HL
    If Err.Number <> 0 Then
        FilterEdit Name:="Marked Tasks", TaskFilter:=True, Create:=True, OverwriteExisting:=True, _
           FieldName:="Marked", Test:="equals", Value:="Yes", ShowInMenu:=True, ShowSummaryTasks:=True
        FilterApply Name:="Marked Tasks", Highlight:=HL
    End If
    EditGoTo ID:=Tsel.ID
End Sub


Why I Left LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are dead to me.  Today I removed my membership in all 22 Groups that I had joined since creating my LinkedIn account nearly 13 years ago.  For a long while during those 13 years, Groups seemed to provide the main forums for interesting discussions on project management topics, and a few web boards that had previously hosted those discussions became comparatively barren as a result.  Over the last several years, however, Groups have transformed from discussion forums into bazaars crowded with hawkers.  They’ve now become too noisy to stay and listen.

Here is a list of Groups’ problems that I’ve been compiling over the last 12 months or so:

  1. Barrage Marketing. I.e. >90% of thread initiators in some groups are links to external content, and there are few good discussions.  (One notable exception is the FIDIC Contracts group, which has a lot of active participants and seems to be extraordinarily well curated.  I’ll miss that one.)
  2. No retention of information. (Short memory and no search).  If you stumble upon or participate in a particularly edifying Group discussion – one that you may want to refer to later – don’t expect LinkedIn to archive it for you.  If it’s worth saving, copy and save it yourself.
  3. Classic Silos / Fragmentation of Discussion on common topics.  Whether asking a new and interesting question, sharing a Pulse article, or looking to drive traffic to an external website, thread-starters routinely cross-post the same entry to multiple groups.  (One day I encountered the same entry in eight or nine different groups.)  The scattered and disjointed comments that result can hardly be called discussions.
  4. Sloppy/repetitive discourse.  This is on the users.  E.g. ignoring all previous comments while simply repeating them.  Failure to “listen” before speaking. (There is no rational motivation for this.)
  5. Comments hierarchy.  The organization (i.e. grouping and sorting) of LinkedIn comments seems to vary depending on the client platform (e.g. mobile or desktop) and LinkedIn source (e.g. Group discussion, Pulse article, or Share).  Most of my interactions have been in Group discussions on a computer, where comments have been arranged (until recently) in flat chronological order.
  6. It’s difficult or impossible to filter views to see only “new” comments (i.e. since my last visit) or even “recent” comments (i.e. within the last day).  The “New conversations” control is not valid.
  7. Outright deletion of valid content by LI – e.g. truncation of discussions (while still leaving them open for further comments).  Deja vu!
  8. The last straw: it seems the September 2018 update to Groups has simply amplified all the negatives above.  Clicking a “Group” today reveals a simple stream of graphics-heavy linked content and ads for my consumption, hardly distinguishable from a Facebook or Twitter feed.  LinkedIn Groups is no longer a place to converse.  I’m done.