On a current project, we have a long, detailed process for publishing training offerings. An analysis of the steps involved (which happened before I joined the project) identified approximately 500 very detailed steps that go into the process. These are grouped into approximately 15 "phases". Each step has a pre-defined duration and when a new publication is started, we'd like to calculate the overall timeline for the project based on those durations. (Also, when a new project is kicked off, a new sub-site is created to hold deliverables and facilitate collaboration).
If I build out the entire timeline as a "workflow" with tasks being generated in series as they are completed, then I won't get the "whole timeline" showing future tasks. So currently, I'm thinking that we could have a "master task list" which might exist in the template for the project site. Then after the site is created, the workflow could take the "project start date" and go through each task and set/update the start and end dates based on the durations in the task list.
A related question is whether there's a good way to recalc and update later tasks if an earlier task's (predecessor) due date is changed by a user. Maybe a second workflow on the task list itself?
I'm very interested to hear if you think this is a good approach or if there's a better one. If I've left something out of the problem description, please let me know. Thanks for any input.
also if you make your master task list a content type you could create your workflow as a site collection reusable workflow and it will automatically add every time you use that content type (for each of your project subsites)