Master Projects, Subprojects, Resource Pool RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have reviewed the previous threads and have not found a good match with my issue.  Here goes.

    I have a project plan (Plan1) stored on OneDrive.  I have a second plan that is my resource pool stored in the same location.  I open both plans by clicking on them in OneDrive.  When I go into Plan1, I go to Resource Pool -> Share Resources.  The pop-up box comes up with the 'Use Own Resources' selected.  The other option of 'Use Resources (requires at least one open resource pool)' is greyed out.  How do I get it such that I can select the second option and enter the name of my resource pool. 

    The resource pool is a .mpp file that has no tasks and it has about 70 resources defined.  Is there something I must toggle to show that it is a resource pool file? 

    I am using MS Project 2013 Professional.  I am not using Project Server or PWA. 

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and assistance!


    Clarification:  I have both plans (which are both on OneDrive) opened at the same time - and the Plan1 file does not recognize the the other file (pool) as a potential candidate for a resource pool.

    Clarification #2:  When I copy the resource pool to my desktop, and then open it, Plan1 (on OneDrive) is able to see the resource pool and share it...

    • Edited by HRDavidson Friday, October 31, 2014 5:25 PM
    Friday, October 31, 2014 3:50 PM

All replies

  • HRDavidson --

    If it is any consolation to you, I was able to duplicate this exact behavior by saving a shared resource pool file and a test project in OneDrive.  It did not matter whether I opened the two projects OneDrive or from Microsoft Project 2013.  Either way, the "Use resources" option is disabled, so I cannot connect the test project to the shared resource pool file.  Apparently this has something to do with the projects being saved in OneDrive, because I am easily able to connect the files if they are stored on my laptop or in a network folder.  I cannot see any way to work around this.  Could you keep them in OneDrive as a backup, but save them on your PC for regular use?  Just a thought about how to work around the problem.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Friday, October 31, 2014 5:20 PM
  • Dale,

    Not sure it's a good idea to keep a backup. As you know linked structures in Project are prone to corruption. Renaming, moving, overwriting or saving off any of the files will sow the seeds for corruption. Plus I note that the poster mentions a master file in the post title. That will only add to the "corruption dice roll" as Rod likes to say.

    My two cents.


    Friday, October 31, 2014 6:30 PM
  • If you want to link files, you should only ever link between files that are on your C: drive or network disks in the same building as you and then only with copious backups. If a link to OneDrive, Dropbox etc did work I would expect file corruption very quickly.

    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book

    Friday, October 31, 2014 11:00 PM
  • Thanks for the various responses to this thread.  What am i really trying to do?  Here goes. 

    We have about 6 project managers all working on the same, big project - each with their own project schedule.  The resources used by each overlap, so a shared Resource Pool is in order.  I would like each project schedule to share a common resource pool, and then I hope to have a master project plan that pulls in each of the 6 sub-projects.  This way, the individual PMs can update their own respective plans and the master will reflect the overall state of the big project and the shared resources. 

    Now, it makes sense that the resource pool, individual plans, and master plan all need to be available on a network so that all can see them.  Of course we will have to come up with some protocols for opening the master plan, but that is down the road. 

    SO, I have been able to create a master plan and reference two sub-project plans - all three of these documents stored on our internal SharePoint site.  I have had NO luck with referencing the resource pool (stored on SharePoint site) in a single, independent plan.  The minute I open a resource pool (copy of) that exists on my desktop, the independent plans sees it just fine. 

    So, this scenario may sound convoluted...but how else can I make this work?  Our other option is to put everything in one mega file (3,000+ tasks)...

    Thanks for your thoughts!!!

    Monday, November 3, 2014 3:48 PM
  • HRDavidson,

    Convolved it is and you are also setting yourself up for corruption as I've indicated in my initial response. This is what I suggest. Since each element of the overall structure (i.e. resource pool, sharer files, master file, network, multi-user environment) contributes to the probability of corruption, your best chance for minimizing corruption is to eliminate and/or control each element.

    The ideal configuration is for all files to be resident on a local drive with one person in control but that probably isn't going to work in your scenario. However, there are some things you can do. First, I would not maintain a dynamic master file. You can still see the whole plan with all 6 individual projects whenever you need by creating a static master (i.e. uncheck the "link to project" option in the lower right corner of the Insert Project window). That will produce a new single file that is a snapshot in time of all the individual projects. The main advantage is that it does not create an additional link structure. Second, develop a set of groundrules on file maintenance and make sure all users are trained. The basic groundrules are: never move, rename, replace, or save off any files in the structure. You may wish to add other rules concerning what users can and cannot change with regard to data.

    Using the above approach you will still have a resource pool/sharer file linked structure on a network and it will still be prone to corruption but your chances for success will be increased. If you want to totally eliminate, (although nothing is really "total"), the chance of corruption, combine the whole structure into a single file with either one person in charge or a defined set of access rules (e.g. time) for each user. Filtering, grouping or other techniques can facilitate easier maintenance by each user.

    The other option of course is to move to Project Server.

    Those are my thoughts. Perhaps Dale and Rod will drop in with their comments.


    Monday, November 3, 2014 4:40 PM
  • I agree with John.  It simply appears that you cannot use a shared resource pool file if you are saving your MPP files in OneDrive.  I would recommend you get them all out of OneDrive and do like John says:  store them on a PC or in a network folder.  OneDrive is the problem and it appears that OneDrive and Microsoft Project do not get along well with each other!

    Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014 4:31 AM
  • I have a similar requirement to HRDavidson and am tryiing to find a solution.  Here are the specifics in my case:

    1. Four project files that are maintained locally by me.

    2. The only connection between the projects is shared resources; no links between tasks.

    3. I need to add an additional project to the shared resource pool that will be maintained at an offsite location without access to a shared drive/workspace.

    4. I need to receive bi-weekly updates of the new project schedule for actual status and incorporate the impacts to resourcing into the shared resource pool.

    5.  I am hoping that I can create a new shared resource pool and email it to the new project manager so that he can duplicate the shared resources exactly as my pool reflects them and add his own.  Then I was hoping he could disconnect from the shared resource pool, email the file back to me, and I would connect my projects to the updated shared resource file.

    6. He would update his project using own resources and email it back to me for bi-weekly updates, at which point I would replace the old file on my desktop (using the same name) to update the resource pool.

    Is this possible or can you suggest how I would best accomplish these goals?

    I am anticipating that this will be a short-term solution to the problem as we are working on getting MS Project Server, but at this point, there is no definitive date for making the switch.


    Wednesday, June 3, 2015 7:59 PM
  • Pamela --

    Hmmm, sounds like a tough situation.  I will not guarantee anything, but if you are willing to try your process, please let us know the results.  I just might work.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Wednesday, June 3, 2015 9:54 PM
  • Linked files invite trouble. You may get away with it for a few weeks but maybe not. The local files are okay but the remote one you will need to remove from the pool and any linked master then send away (save the file and the pool and master if asked).

    When the file comes back, you can link it again.

    In this scenario I create a new unlinked master each week instead. This copies all task and resource data into the new file and consolidates resource info. It also creates a great weekly snapshot of what happened each week.

    Do not send a resource pool to the remote site because if they forget to unlink and link each week you are very likely to get immediate file corruption.

    What do you need the to do with the pool? If they need a resource report, send them a copy of an unlinked master or a spreadsheet.

    Good Luck!

    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book

    Wednesday, June 3, 2015 10:13 PM