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Highlighting changes in master project file (Project Pro 2010) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,<o:p></o:p>

    How can one highlight changes in a Master project caused by the subproject?  I have a Project A, in which I inserted a subproject (Project B) - working in MS Project Professional 2010.  Project A has a predecessor in Project B.  When I make changes to Project B, save and then open Project A, I get the window to ask if I accept the changes or not.  When I click "accept", the changes are made, but they are not highlighted.  Even when I go under the format tab, and choose a color for changed cells, no cells are highlighted after the schedule is updated.  If I change tasks within Project A or Project B, the changes are highlighted within that specific project, but not if the changes happen across projects.<o:p></o:p>

    I also tried creating a Master Project, with both Project A and Project B as subprojects.  When I make a change to a cross-project linked task, the Master Project does not highlight the changes, and also does not ask me to Accept the changes.  Is that normal?<o:p></o:p>

    Monday, January 21, 2013 9:01 PM

All replies

  • ladp_1,

    Yes that is normal. Let me give you a little background on master/subproject structures that should help you understand what is going on.

    The subprojects in a dynamic master is not actually part of the master, rather, the master only contains pointers to the actual subproject files. Therefore formatting applied to any view at master level, (including highlighting), only applies to elements that are actually in the master so you won't see highlighted changes in the subprojects.

    You could try various things, the easiest of which is to simply open the subproject and see the changes highlighted there. If you want to carry that a bit further, you could designate a flag field in the subproject and then set the flag for all highlighted tasks. Use a highlight filter at master level to show tasks with the flag set. Unfortunately this will highlight the whole task but it will at least give you a trail

    If you only need to see which dates changed. You could use set of extra date fields (e.g. Start1 and Finish1) to snapshot all task start and finish dates before any editing. You can then use VBA or formulas to detect differences in the dates and apply formatting to emulate the highlighting at master level.

    So, you can get there but it will require a little work.

    John

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013 2:23 AM
  • As John describes, you can use a field to store the 'before changes' status of a project. A process like this can have many uses - not just for identifying changes due to updates to sub-projects. The sequence works like this:

    1. Define a process that will be used consistently. Specify which baseline or interim plan will be used for capturing 'before change' status. Which one you use doesn't matter too much, provided you're consistent. For the sake of our description, let's say we use interim plan (start/finish) 10. Write this up as a procedure so that all project managers can use the same approach - and specify which baseline or interim dates should be used;
    2. Define a custom task level duration field with a formula to calculate the variance between the scheduled start date and the snapped interim Start 10 date. Specify indicators to identify the Project A tasks where this variance is other than 0. You can set indicator values that will distinguish + or - variances, those over 10 days, etc.
    3. At a point where you are happy you understand the current state of master and sub projects, snap the current state of your project (for you, this would be project A). Use the Project:Schedule -> Set Baseline function. Save your project.
    4. Next time you open Project A and there are any changes (including any to Project B) that would impact it, you will see the custom field indicators.

    Graham

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013 3:58 PM