I know that one could manage multiple projects using the standalone version of MS Project. I have used it with some level of success so far, but not sure if I am doing the right thing. Could someone share some insights into the most efficient of managing multiple projects? Is there an optimum number of projects that the Standalone version is good at? What are the pitfalls? Your inputs would be greatly appreciated.
You haven’t divulged how you have set up the multiple projects. There are 2 basic methods: static and dynamic. The static method copies files into a master one by one. Static because subsequent changes to the individual projects do not change the master, and thus is best used for reporting, or creating a one-off timeslice for historical purposes, or creating cross links between projects.
The dynamic type is best done by creating a resource pool, sharing each project with that pool and then using the Insert project method to create the master. Thus any project changes are reflected in the master. Project, I suspect, could probably handle as may projects that you have memory for, though the more you have the more difficult you will find it to keep control of what’s going on! Remember, with dynamic masters, resource levelling after a change in one project may well affect the schedule in other projects using the same resource – it can quickly get mind-boggling!
Always use a resource pool. Keep cross-project links to a minimum, and have all the project files in the same folder – failure to do these is one of the prime causes of corruption.
You might like to have a look at my free series for beginners on Microsoft Project in the TechTrax ezine, particularly #17 & 18 et seq, at this site: http://tinyurl.com/2xbhc or this: http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/Pub0009/LPMFrame.asp?CMD=ArticleSearch&AUTH=23
(Perhaps you’d care to rate the articles before leaving the site, 🙂 Thanks.)
FAQs, companion products and other useful Project information can be seen at this web address: <http://www.mvps.org/project/>
Hope this helps – please let us know how you get on 🙂
MS Project MVP