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Microsoft project - paste link problems RRS feed

  • Question

  • I want to use Microsoft Project to link individual tasks between a master file, and 4 sub project files. I believe I can do this by copying individual tasks from the sub projects and doing a 'paste special, paste link' to the master file. However, I get the following error message when I do this: "The OLE paste operation cannot be completed. The data that you are trying to paste is not valid for Project." Can anyone help?

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 12:23 PM

Answers

  • No you don't need to save the master project. To achieve what you need:

    You already have all the individual projects of the 4 members.

    Create a new schedule - your overall team schedule - (or open the existing one). In this schedule, create one task (or milestone) for each milestone in the 4 team member projects you want to follow up.

    Now, open a new project file (which you will NOT save) and insert both your project and the 4 subprojects. For each milestone in the 4 subprojects, select the miestone and link it to the task in your overall project. By doing so, you create links from the important milestones into your overall schedule.

    When you are finished, close the temporary project, which will also close all subprojects. Save all 5 inserted projects (4 team projects and your overall schedule). Do NOT save the temporary master project.

    You now have created cross project dependencies for which you will get a popup when you open your project.

    Regards,
    Hans


    My EPM blog: Projectopolis
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:44 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Claire_S,

    Paste special - paste link is not the correct solution for linking tasks in Microsoft Project.
    To link tasks in Microsoft Project, you should select both tasks and click the 'link Tasks' button on the toolbar/ribbon (it's the button with the chain icon). Doing so will link the tasks correctly, which is also shown in Gantt Chart as a link line.
    Keep in mind that the master project and the subprojects must be open (and must be saved afterwards).

    When linking tasks in different projects, you create cross-project dependencies. Pay special attention when doing so to avoid circular references. This also introduces extra complexity in the different projects, so try to limit cross project dependencies to the strict minimum.

    I hope this helps,
    Hans


    My EPM blog: Projectopolis
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 12:46 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for your reply Hans. I am linking tasks across projects, can you explain how to create cross-project dependencies?
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:06 PM
  • Hi Claire_S,

    You create cross project dependencies using the method I described in my post above.

    • You open the master project (including all subprojects)
    • You expand the sub projects between which you want to create a link
    • You select the first task of the link (the From task)
    • Press the Ctrl key and select the second task (the To task)
    • Click the 'Link Tasks' button (the one with the chain icon) on the toolbar/ribbon to link the tasks
    • Make sure to save the master project and all subprojects to persist the cross project dependency

    Regards,
    Hans


    My EPM blog: Projectopolis
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:09 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Claire,

    As Hans mentioned above you need to click the Tasks from both Project (Say subproject 1 and subproject 2) and click on Link task button, this will link them.

    Refer to the link : http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/project-help/watch-this-create-a-cross-project-link-HA010269424.aspx it explains cross project linkage process. 


    Sapna S
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:16 PM
    Moderator
  • The tasks that I wish to link are in separate project files. I did not want to create a master / sub-project file as I only want to link a few tasks, not the whole project.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:21 PM
  • In hat case the procedure is slightly different.

    Create a new project. (Temporary) insert the two projects. Select and link the tasks (as explained above).

    Now you only need to save the two subprojects, not the new master project.

    Regards,
    Hans


    My EPM blog: Projectopolis
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:23 PM
    Moderator
  • But I still need to retain the new master project presumably? This seems quite messy. Maybe I should explain exactly what I'm trying to do. I have 4 members of my team who all have their own schedules in separate ms project files. I am trying to create an overall team schedule which takes the important milestones from each of the 4 individual plans and can be automatically updated when any of the individual plans are updated. I am trying to do this as cleanly and efficiently as possible, so that once in place it requires minimal effort from me to keep up to date. Thanks for your help so far.
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:30 PM
  • Then follow the second post suggested by Hans. It will meet your requirement.
    Sapna S
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:39 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm not sure that does the job,as my sub projects are in separate files - not linked into the master file?
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:40 PM
  • No you don't need to save the master project. To achieve what you need:

    You already have all the individual projects of the 4 members.

    Create a new schedule - your overall team schedule - (or open the existing one). In this schedule, create one task (or milestone) for each milestone in the 4 team member projects you want to follow up.

    Now, open a new project file (which you will NOT save) and insert both your project and the 4 subprojects. For each milestone in the 4 subprojects, select the miestone and link it to the task in your overall project. By doing so, you create links from the important milestones into your overall schedule.

    When you are finished, close the temporary project, which will also close all subprojects. Save all 5 inserted projects (4 team projects and your overall schedule). Do NOT save the temporary master project.

    You now have created cross project dependencies for which you will get a popup when you open your project.

    Regards,
    Hans


    My EPM blog: Projectopolis
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:44 PM
    Moderator
  • That seems to do what I want Hans - thanks. It does seem to be a rather cumbersome method though, creating this temporary file, you'd think there would be a cleaner way.
    Thursday, July 21, 2011 10:22 AM
  • Another slight annoyance with this method is that it creates an additional greyed out task in both the master project and the sub project, which makes the project files rather messy and difficult to read.
    Thursday, July 21, 2011 12:04 PM
  • Hans

    Does this method not just link the tasks the same as if you were using the predecessor/successor function. so that the tasks flow rather than occur on the same date unless you add a FF dependency? 

    I am trying to link 9 projecgts into a master schedule and using this method as weeks to the project as the master schedule task occurs after all the other tasks have finsihed.

    Can you tell me why dynamic linking in MSP 2010 is so volitile, ie work one minute and not the next.  I was qable to dynamically link 20 or 30 task then for no reason that I can see a milestone was replcated as a task with a 131 day duration that is more than the activity block combined.  Now it is doing that all the time.

    Can you offer assistance with this as well please

    Krys

    Thursday, June 7, 2012 1:29 AM