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Comparing master plans RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

     

    I’m using MS Project Pro 2010, and I need to consolidate multiple project files into one masterplan. I use subproject functionality for this, which works perfectly.  I’m getting sub-project files from different teams frequently, and I consolidate them monthly. I don’t need to update their files, so I create masterplan without any linkages.

     

    I’d like to compare these masterplan copies to each other. Problem is, when I create a new copy of the masterplan, the tasks are given a new unique ID number and comparison isn’t working properly anymore. For example, if there is different amount of tasks in plans, same tasks have different unique ID numbers in different files, so comparison can’t connect them to each other. When new task is added, comparison report thinks all tasks below that are new.

     

    Comparison works perfectly as long as there are same tasks in plans. But they tend to change lot every time.  It also works if I compare two versions of a same file. But I need to make new masterplan file each month, and this way I can’t really connect them to each other.

     

    How should I run the comparison properly here? 

    Thursday, February 25, 2016 7:07 PM

Answers

  • Ned9,

    As you found out, to use the built-in Compare Projects utility both projects must be "genetically" related (i.e. from the same source), since that utility uses the Unique ID as the reference.

    As I see it you have a couple of choices. One is to export the Project data from both plans to Excel, and then compare the differences there. A second choice would be to create a custom field with your own unique IDs and then write a macro to base the comparison on your custom ID. Granted, not a small undertaking but it can be done.

    Personally I'd take the second approach (macro) because I've done it before, but unless you are adept with Project VBA, the export to Excel is probably the best approach.

    John

    • Marked as answer by Ned9 Friday, February 26, 2016 6:32 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Ned9 Friday, February 26, 2016 6:44 AM
    • Marked as answer by Ned9 Friday, February 26, 2016 6:44 AM
    Thursday, February 25, 2016 9:07 PM

All replies

  • Ned9,

    As you found out, to use the built-in Compare Projects utility both projects must be "genetically" related (i.e. from the same source), since that utility uses the Unique ID as the reference.

    As I see it you have a couple of choices. One is to export the Project data from both plans to Excel, and then compare the differences there. A second choice would be to create a custom field with your own unique IDs and then write a macro to base the comparison on your custom ID. Granted, not a small undertaking but it can be done.

    Personally I'd take the second approach (macro) because I've done it before, but unless you are adept with Project VBA, the export to Excel is probably the best approach.

    John

    • Marked as answer by Ned9 Friday, February 26, 2016 6:32 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Ned9 Friday, February 26, 2016 6:44 AM
    • Marked as answer by Ned9 Friday, February 26, 2016 6:44 AM
    Thursday, February 25, 2016 9:07 PM
  • If you specify a table in the Compare window that doesn't have Unique Id or Id in it, does that help? Comparison would then be by Task name I think, but haven't tried it.

    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book
    www.project-systems.co.nz

    Friday, February 26, 2016 2:19 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi John, 

    Thanks for your help. That was my hoping, that you could do comparison based on selected column, instead of unique ID. But if that needs to be built from scratch, I'll probably use Excel instead.

    Seems like this is a Project feature that can't be easily modified. Would be quite useful though! 

    Friday, February 26, 2016 6:31 AM
  • Hi Rod,

    Unfortunately it's not enough, comparison is apparently based on unique ID whether it's included in the table or not.

    Friday, February 26, 2016 6:34 AM
  • Ned9,

    You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.

    After I posted my response yesterday I went back and dug up the macro I wrote several years ago which compares two Project files. I wrote it before Microsoft created the Compare Project utility that is now part of the basic application. As originally written I used the Unique ID as the reference but I  started to develop a more generic version that could use another field such that the macro could be used with master files. I never finished that generic version. I wrote the original version in 1999 but haven't played with it since 2006. There hasn't been much call for such a macro, (yours is the first I've seen in years), but at some point I may finish it and create a Wiki article.

    John

    Friday, February 26, 2016 3:12 PM