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Tracking Resources to multiple Projects

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  • #371210 Reply
    Marci Helton

    I have seen similar post but not sure they are trying to do the same thing as I am. I am a Resource Planner and trying to keep up with 40 plus resources that are allocated to multiple projects, week by week. Right now its being managed on an excel spreadsheet. I know there has got to be a better way of doing this. I am able to go in Project Server view the gant charts and update my percentage by resource. It works well but thought it would be more efficient if there was a report or something I could pull. Looking for suggestions. Thanks.

    #371215 Reply
    Larry Christofaro

    I could use some additional information on your situation. You do have Project Server, what version? You say you can go into Project Server to view Gantt charts and update %, do you mean Microsoft Project? A report can’t be more efficient because it is only displaying information, not updating. I would like to help if you can provide a clearer picture of your situation. Thanks…

    #371577 Reply
    Marci Helton

    ok, sorry for the confusion. I do not have Project Server basically I just have MS Project that is linked to a Sharepoint Site. Within MS Project I would like to be able to pull one massive report where I can combine all the projects and be able to see what project each of my resources are allocated to and for how many hours etc.

    #371876 Reply
    Larry Christofaro

    Marci, that helps a bit. My assumption is that each project is linked to it’s own separate SharePoint site. Are you on SharePoint 2013? If you are using SharePoint and Project 2013, you can use a master project if all projects are stored in the same SharePoint site. That I believe is new with 2013. Otherwise you will need to keep the separate project schedules in a file storage (network share or local machine) in order to combine then all.

    Then there is the concept of a Resource pool to share resource across projects. Something out of the box in any version of Microsoft Project. Either way, 40+ resources and I don’t know how many projects might be a lot to manage using Microsoft Project as a standalone. I’m not saying it can’t by any means, but can get a bit complex and there are some key best practices to keep the files in tact.

    Let me know what you are thinking or if you have any other questions. I’m happy to help.

    #372301 Reply
    Marci Helton

    Yes, I am using SP and Project 2013! I have seen the Resource Pool option as well and would like to utilize it. Can you guide me on how I create a master project? Do I create it thru the SP or thru MS Project?

    Thanks so much!

    #372375 Reply

    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.

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