Best practice Masterprojects RRS feed

  • Question

  • Dear all, 

    I am quite new to MS Project and i was wondering if there is a maximum of loading subprojects into a master project. 

    We have in our company different projects running at the same time and for reporting/ reviewing the general planning i want to use a master project. 

    In short is there a maximum of subprojects to load in a master project? 

    Is ms project stable enough to load online projects. 

    Is it recommended to load the online project files in the masterproject? Is the performance still recommended?

    Is there a best practice for handeling a lot of projects? ( Portfoliomanagement.) 

    Hope to hear from you all  

    Monday, January 6, 2020 2:26 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    The short answer: master project is a standard feature of MS Project/Project Online. So it is definitely designed to handle a consequent number of subprojects. That being said, we would need to know more about your number and complexity of subprojects. Of course, if you have 5 subprojects you'll almost see no performance difference than with a single projects. With 50 subprojects, you might wait a few seconds for MS Project to open the master project. 

    A couple of considerations: 

    • As soon as you don't open the subproject clicking on the '+' sign in front of the line, MS Project won't access the subproject itself.
    • If the subprojects are very large projects with a lot of assignments and many resources, of course it will impact the loading and publishing time.

    MS Project is stable enough, the question as said before is :"how many subprojects? how complex are they? how many depth level?".

    No matter if you are in standalone mode with MS Project or connected to Project Online, the master projects work the same way. The only difference is that it will pick up the subprojects in Project Online DB instead of on your local drive.

    We advice that you only keep active projects in your master project, removing closed projects. Depending on the complexity, 5 subprojects is ok, 10 still ok, 20 might start to impact the loading time, 50 is too many. But if you have subprojects with 5'000 tasks, 2 might be already to many.

    Also ask the question of how relevant the master project is? What is the purpose? In many organizations, the objective is to consolidate data at program or portfolio level. If you're using Project Online, this can be achieved with reporting with is much more dynamic, user friendly, fast, customizable...

    Hope this helps,

    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller

    Monday, January 6, 2020 2:51 PM
  • Hello Guillaume, 

    Thank you very much for your detailed answer. 

    Yes we work with complex projects with 4-6 dept level around 160 task per project, with 60 current projects executed by more projectleaders. The thing is we want an overview of all the projects which are active at our company.

    I could make an external project with the dates and cost in an another project file with no linking to these projects, but the power of a planningssoftware is to link all these project in one master project.. Does it matter when you are loading these projects from the server or from a local file station? Is making a master project the way to review my companies overall portfolio? How can i prevent crashing of projects in a master file? 

    In advance thank you verry much!!! 

    Kind regards, 


    Monday, January 6, 2020 4:21 PM
  • Tonvdheidden --

    Are you simply looking for an overview of all projects in your organization's portfolio of projects?  If so,  your application administrator could probably create a custom Project Center view with grouping by department.  Or perhaps your organization's report author could create some custom reports for you in Power BI.  That would be far simpler than trying to use master projects for high leveling reporting.  Just a thought.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Monday, January 6, 2020 6:07 PM