We’ve been using MSP Server since May, and we’ve found two ways to create a temporary master project. Generally speaking, when you open an MSP schedule (MPP file), it opens the schedule into it’s own window. Much like Word, if you open several MPP files, they will each open in their own window. In order to get consolidated views, we need to get these schedules into the same window. WIth this said, here’s the two approachs.
1) this first option, I’ve done in Server, but not with standalone MPP files. When opening the MPP files, ctrl click on each MPP file to select all the files to open. Then right click and select open. Select many files, then do one open. We do something similar to this in Server and the result is that all the selected files will be opened into one window, all stacked on top of each other.
2) If option one doesn’t work, you can open each MPP file independently. Each will now be in it’s own window. Then, in the ribbon, select the open new window option. When you do this, it will ask you which, if any, of the currently open schedules to include in this new window. Check all the currently open schedules and the result will be what we desire, a new window with all the schedule stacked on top of each other.
So Option 1 and 2 are two different ways of creating a temporary master file that shows many schedules in one window.
Once you have that,, working in the window with the stacked projects, you can use a view such as the Resource Usage view to see a consolidated view of planned work across all schedules. Any views used in that window will show consolidated data.
One problem you might encounter….If you are not using a common resource pool such as that provided by Server, you have an exposure that one resource may be referred to as different names in different schedules. One file uses John S, another John Smith, another JSmith, and so on. Project will not know these are the same resources. Additionally, since these are not Enterprise level resources such as those defined in the enterprise resource pool in Server, all your resources may be considered as local resources and project may treat each as a unique resource, even though the name is spelled the same. You’ll need to experiment with this aspect.
Hope this helps.