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At my organization there is a process that goes in to preparing for our Board of Director's Meetings that begins 6 weeks beforehand and involves about 9 different steps. We have a template document that reads:

Date -> Action

6 weeks ahead -> do X
5-6 weeks ahead -> do Y

etc

What I want to do is create this template in SharePoint, so when the person creates the meeting event item on the Board's SharePoint calendar, it also creates a task list of these events leading up to it, and then plots them on a page using video.

What I am wondering is this:

1) I assume I am to use a tasks list for the items leading up to the event, but how does that go down? Do I, a)create a template tasks list where all the due dates are calucalted fields for (DATE - 6 weeks) or something? b) use a workflow to open up a form where they set all the dates and then create the tasks and add the event based on that. c) how do I store this information, as part of meeting workspace?

I have a vague idea of having a template list that stores the task names and descriptions, and the lead-in times in advance of the meeting, and it would serve to provide the parameters for when creating the specific meetings. When you create a new meeting the process woudl reference that master list to build out the tasks leading up to it. If that were the case, would that mean that if I updated that master list by, say, changing the description of a task , all the lists that were created using it for parameters would then change too to reflect that? Or would they be independant? If the answer is, it depends on how you implement the solution, could you please describe the two ways of implemention that would produce those different results.

What I am trying to achieve is to take that tasks list, build a visio timeline from it, and add that timeline to the DispForm.aspx in a visio services web part so when you view an event you can see where in the process things are leading up to it. I think that would be hypercool.

I am looking for any kind of input on anything related to this topic, I'm trying to collect some food for thought about how you guys would approach this. Analyze my approach, or jot down your instinct, its all good

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Just to be clear, you want a separate task list to be created for each list item in the event calendar? Can you not have a single task list instead, and map the task items in this list to the event calendar items through a lookup column? If that is ok, you should be able to achieve the rest of your functionality using event receivers. –  ashwnacharya Jan 15 '12 at 16:35

2 Answers 2

This is a broad question, and certainly the answer will depend on the tools available (starting with the version of SharePoint you're working with) and your detailed requirements.

You'll need a hierarchy, the first level being the meeting and the sub-items being your steps. Out of the box, you can do it with a Project Tasks list, or with two lists linked by a lookup column.

In your case - Board of Directors meeting - I would expect the dates to be very stable. It means that you can use workflows to duplicate the information, and do calculations. I usually work in situations where dates change often, and doing the synchronization between the main event and the steps is trickier.

As you want a visual display, I would try the Project Tasks (SP 2010) first. Instead of Visio, you could use the out of the box Gantt view.

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I would create a web template for the site and then add a feature that includes a feature receiver within the web template. That feature receiver can make any final configuration changes to pages, and add in the tasks with the specified time frames. You could either hard code the time frames into the feature receiver, not a great idea, or you could store the timing information in the property bag or a centralized list.

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