I want to create a Master Plan for Executives that Populates Task and milestone information i.e. start date, end date, duration and %complete. from other projects. Has anyone done, it or can anyone give me some ideas on how to do it.
Yes, very easy. I call it a program project. Create a project to act as your program project (this is not a master project and you will not be inserting other projects). Set your major program milestones on that program project plan (without set dates). Use the tasks that you want to see on the other projects leading into that task as external predecessors to the task. From there you can filter out the tasks you don’t want to see or format the Gantt chart as you want. The external predecessors will be updated every time you open the project. If that doesn’t make sense you or need additional information please let me know.
Larry Thanks a Bunch. I am using MS Project 2010, and I tried to create external links using the followng steps
I created a folder called Prototype:
I created 2 MPP files in that folder.
One was called a “Program File”.
The second file was called a “release plan”
In order to create an external link I did the following:
In the “program file” I created a Task called “Tollgate Review” (The same name task as the predecessor)
Then I clicked on the “information” icon,
Clicked in Predecessor
in the ID: I Typed ” release plan<ID no of the task>
In the predecessor it does show “External Link” but when I clicked “ok” nothing happens.
Do I need to do something else? or am I missing a step?
1. Open both files
2. Go to View / New Window and select both projects. This is something like a temporary master project.
3. Set your predecessor relationships between projects as you want.
4. Close the new window. Save the two projects but don’t save the new window.
This is the easiest way to set and save external predecessor relationships. Note that all other master project caviotts exist, like making sure that you don’t rename, save as, or move projects around. Good luck and let me know if you are still having issues.
This was great I got it work, but last question. When I link the tasks, an identical task is created in both the linked files. One of the tasks is greyed out (the one that is updated) and the other task shown as tasks shows up in both the files, one is greyed out and the other task has the predecessor link, but the start and end date is the default date. My question is:
How do you just have one task i.e. updated task in the Master Plan & the Actual Task (task linked) in the predecessor Plan shown in the plan.
I want to baseline the Master plan so that I can track them. Can that be done with only the “Greyed Tasks” in the Master Plan.
The grey’d tasks are your external links. Easiest way to remove tasks is to filter the tasks. You can filter the view by the column External Task equal to or not equal to Yes. Ther is also a Cross Project Linking” section in the Advanced tab of the options dialog box to show external tasks/predecessors.
You can format the external tasks (change it from grey to black for instance) by changing the Text Styles (format/text styles) and bar styles (Format/Format/Bar Styles).
I honestly didn’t know the answer to your baseline question (it’s been a while) so I did some testing and it appears that the external tasks are baselined (I didn’t think that would happen so good news). Hope all this helps.
Once you’ve linked the proejcts, be very, very careful not to move, rename or over-write any of them. Each time you do, the file corruption dice roll and sooenr or later you will get a file corruption. (could be 5 days or 5 years).
I prefer to start with a blank project, then insert each project into it, but with teh Link option in the Insert Proejct dialog deselected. This copies all information so no corruption risk.
In each project set Flag1 custom field to yes for each task you want to view in the management report. In teh consolidated file filter for Flag1=Yes and there is your report.
Record a macro of you creating the consolidation and now all you need to do is run the macro to create your report! make sure File, New is first recorded instruction!