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Managing Multiple Projects w/ Sub Projects RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    First a little background. We we several project managers (around 4) that manage multiple digital projects each. Each project has different components that are delivered by third-party resources. What this means is that to us each third-party is a resource as we do not know (and don't really care) who the actual workers are. In all projects, resources come from the same 3rd parties.

    Currently, each PM creates and manages their projects in their own separate project file. However, this does not give us a complete view of the resource available (third parties) or the projects as some projects may have dependencies with other projects.

    I am thinking of creating a master project and link individual files as sub projects in this file.

    My questions are: 

    1. Is this the right approach?

    2. I need a timeline showing all of the for various 3rd parties. For example, if Provider 1 has tasks listed in two different projects, I would like to have a way to see a timeline showing all of those tasks.

    3. My task duration is usually set by number of days. However, there are days when one task finished and another one starts by the same 3td party. Project shows that as over-allocation. How do you deal with this?

    Thank you in advance. 

    Wednesday, December 11, 2019 12:46 PM

Answers

  • DJ-DJ --

    1.  Yes, this is the right approach.  However, if you are not using Project Server or Project Online with Microsoft Project, then you will need to create a shared resource pool file.  This file is a Microsoft Project MPP file that contains only the names of the resources used by your organization.  It will not contain any tasks.  Your PMs will then need to connect each of their projects to this shared resource pool file.  Connecting a project to the shared resource pool file will then "share" those resources with the project.  You will need to standardize the naming convention for EVERY resource used in every project to make this process work.  For the third-party resources, I would recommend you simply use the name of the company who provides the resources for your organization.

    2.  Yes, in the master project, you can filter by resource name and see what that resource is doing across all projects. Use the Gantt Chart view and apply the Using Resource... filter.

    3.  In the shared resource pool file, you will need to set the Max. Units value to a very large number for each of your third-party resources, such as 2000% for example.  For the people who work for y our company, you will set their Max. Units value to 100% or less.

    Also, a warning:  Shared resource pool files are an artifact of Microsoft Project that goes back to the early days of the software.  Because of this, they are prone to corruption.  To minimize the possibilities of corruption, make sure that all project files, including the shared resource pool file, are stored in the same network folder.

    Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    • Marked as answer by DJ-DJ Wednesday, December 11, 2019 4:25 PM
    Wednesday, December 11, 2019 2:34 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • DJ-DJ --

    1.  Yes, this is the right approach.  However, if you are not using Project Server or Project Online with Microsoft Project, then you will need to create a shared resource pool file.  This file is a Microsoft Project MPP file that contains only the names of the resources used by your organization.  It will not contain any tasks.  Your PMs will then need to connect each of their projects to this shared resource pool file.  Connecting a project to the shared resource pool file will then "share" those resources with the project.  You will need to standardize the naming convention for EVERY resource used in every project to make this process work.  For the third-party resources, I would recommend you simply use the name of the company who provides the resources for your organization.

    2.  Yes, in the master project, you can filter by resource name and see what that resource is doing across all projects. Use the Gantt Chart view and apply the Using Resource... filter.

    3.  In the shared resource pool file, you will need to set the Max. Units value to a very large number for each of your third-party resources, such as 2000% for example.  For the people who work for y our company, you will set their Max. Units value to 100% or less.

    Also, a warning:  Shared resource pool files are an artifact of Microsoft Project that goes back to the early days of the software.  Because of this, they are prone to corruption.  To minimize the possibilities of corruption, make sure that all project files, including the shared resource pool file, are stored in the same network folder.

    Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    • Marked as answer by DJ-DJ Wednesday, December 11, 2019 4:25 PM
    Wednesday, December 11, 2019 2:34 PM
    Moderator
  • DJ-DJ --

    1.  Yes, this is the right approach.  However, if you are not using Project Server or Project Online with Microsoft Project, then you will need to create a shared resource pool file.  This file is a Microsoft Project MPP file that contains only the names of the resources used by your organization.  It will not contain any tasks.  Your PMs will then need to connect each of their projects to this shared resource pool file.  Connecting a project to the shared resource pool file will then "share" those resources with the project.  You will need to standardize the naming convention for EVERY resource used in every project to make this process work.  For the third-party resources, I would recommend you simply use the name of the company who provides the resources for your organization.

    2.  Yes, in the master project, you can filter by resource name and see what that resource is doing across all projects. Use the Gantt Chart view and apply the Using Resource... filter.

    3.  In the shared resource pool file, you will need to set the Max. Units value to a very large number for each of your third-party resources, such as 2000% for example.  For the people who work for y our company, you will set their Max. Units value to 100% or less.

    Also, a warning:  Shared resource pool files are an artifact of Microsoft Project that goes back to the early days of the software.  Because of this, they are prone to corruption.  To minimize the possibilities of corruption, make sure that all project files, including the shared resource pool file, are stored in the same network folder.

    Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Dale, YOU, my friend, are a STAR! Thank you very much for a very detailed and informative answer. Much appreciated. 
    Wednesday, December 11, 2019 4:27 PM
  • Thank you for the kind words! You are more than welcome for the help, my friend.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Wednesday, December 11, 2019 6:03 PM
    Moderator