How do I build master list of tasks for different sub-projects? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm look for some guidance in setting up a project using Project 2010.  The project consists of a master set of tasks that will be executed against multiple markets. In a sense, each market could be considered a sub-project, but I have a couple special requirements that make things more complicated:
    1. Sometimes tasks change. I'd like to be able to move/remove a task in one location and have that change reflected in all markets. There can be up to 80 markets so having to make a change in 80 locations isn't feasible. 
    2. I need to be able to report status at the market level and at the master project level. 
    3. The number of tasks per market is significant - say like 70+. 
    So the hierarchy would be something like this.


    ·         Project A

        o    Master Task List

        §  Task 1

        §  Task 2

        o    Market 1  (sub-project)

        §  Task 1

        §  Task 2

        o    Market 2   (sub-project)

        §  Task 1

        §  Task 2


    So any recommendations for building out the file(s) in MS Project? I'm open to using multiple files given the large number of tasks, but I just couldn't figure out how to maintain a master set of tasks that all sub-projects could reference. 

    • Edited by jciecko Tuesday, September 20, 2011 11:01 PM
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 11:00 PM


All replies

  • jciecko,

    Your first requirement is the most challenging. I know of only two ways to make a change in one task and have the change reflected in multiple projects. The first way is to create a template file. That in effect becomes your master. You will basically have to save that template 80 times each time you make a change to create your market files. Not real convenient but it is easier than changing a task in 80 different files and the save process can be automated.

    The second approach is to use VBA. Make a change in one file and then run a macro to open each of the 80 market files and make the same change there. This approach would require a little development effort but once it's up and running it will be very convenient.

    The dual level reporting is pretty easy if you create a dynamic master and insert each of the 80 market files as subprojects.

    A third possibility exists but I do not recommend it. That is to use paste links to tie the "master" task to each of the market file tasks. It may seem like a good idea but it is fraught with potential problems, like file corruption.


    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 2:50 AM
  • Hi jciecko,

    Do you need all markets in one big project?  The easiest way to achieve what you’re after is to invert the problem and make the master tasks the sub-project that you add into each market project.

    This is not so good if you then want to create a project with all markets in as the master tasks will be added several times but worth considering.



    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 7:27 AM
  • Whichever way you go, Project cannot update task names, or add or delete tasks automatically. You have to either do so manually or use VBA to automate the manual task.

    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book Rod Gill Project Management
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 2:41 AM