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Topics: Schedule Management, Scheduling
How to handle multiple projects with a high-level of dependencies?
Network:54



Question: Does anyone have a favorite method of dealing with dependencies between multiple projects? (MS Project or Not)

Current Method: MS Project - Using 3 separate schedules and a master schedule with sub projects.

Issue: Showing how the tasks are connected between the different projects.

I am also considering combining the projects into one and using flags to show which project the task belongs to.


I would appreciate any advice!

Thanks,

Rachel
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Network:356



There are 2 main ways I see this done. The first is to have a tier 0 program schedule showing the major milestones for each project and the dependencies in a Gantt or milestone format. The 2nd is a high level network diagram showing the same thing. It is of course possible to link all the detail level schedules, but that creates its own set of problems when things move and constraints generate errors (e.g. finish now occurs before start due to schedule logic.)

The other reason the views are often kept separate is it is easier to see the information you need (dependencies) without all the other stuff to clutter up the view.
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1 reply by Rachel Atencio
Oct 10, 2019 2:56 PM
Rachel Atencio
...
Thank you, Keith!

I appreciate the help! That is a great idea. It is way easier to manage at the milestones level.

Thanks again!

-Rachel
Network:54



Oct 10, 2019 2:12 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
There are 2 main ways I see this done. The first is to have a tier 0 program schedule showing the major milestones for each project and the dependencies in a Gantt or milestone format. The 2nd is a high level network diagram showing the same thing. It is of course possible to link all the detail level schedules, but that creates its own set of problems when things move and constraints generate errors (e.g. finish now occurs before start due to schedule logic.)

The other reason the views are often kept separate is it is easier to see the information you need (dependencies) without all the other stuff to clutter up the view.
Thank you, Keith!

I appreciate the help! That is a great idea. It is way easier to manage at the milestones level.

Thanks again!

-Rachel
Network:1673



Rachel -

The common approach is if the schedules are all hosted in a shared location, you'd use a master schedule to keep an eye on shifting dependencies and dates as the Program Manager and have the individual PMs manage their own schedules. You'd insert their schedules into yours and every time you open your master schedule, it would update based on the changes made to the individual project schedules.

This scales up to a certain point, but file-based MPP files do suffer from corruption issues so at some point moving to Microsoft's cloud solution might make more sense.

Kiron
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1 reply by Rachel Atencio
Oct 10, 2019 3:43 PM
Rachel Atencio
...
Kiron,

Thanks for all of the help! I think I will do a master schedule that shows just the milestones.

Thanks again,

Rachel
Network:54



Oct 10, 2019 3:28 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Rachel -

The common approach is if the schedules are all hosted in a shared location, you'd use a master schedule to keep an eye on shifting dependencies and dates as the Program Manager and have the individual PMs manage their own schedules. You'd insert their schedules into yours and every time you open your master schedule, it would update based on the changes made to the individual project schedules.

This scales up to a certain point, but file-based MPP files do suffer from corruption issues so at some point moving to Microsoft's cloud solution might make more sense.

Kiron
Kiron,

Thanks for all of the help! I think I will do a master schedule that shows just the milestones.

Thanks again,

Rachel
Network:382



@Rachel

Using Microsoft Project, you can set dependencies between tasks of sub-projects and you still view links between tasks on Gantt Chart. This type of link is an external link. Follow steps below to do that:

- Open master project with all sub-projects
- Open Task Information dialog of the task that you want to set dependence
- Select "Predecessor tab"
- Input "ProjectName\TaskID" in the ID cell where ProjectName is the name of the sub-project and TaskID is the ID of the Task belong to sub-project that you want this task depends on.
- Click OK

Does this approach answer your question?
...
1 reply by Rachel Atencio
Oct 11, 2019 2:17 PM
Rachel Atencio
...
Nguyen,

Thank you for the instructions! I was trying this, but I must have been doing something wrong. I appreciate your help!

Thanks again,

-Rachel
Network:30199



Microsoft Project is a good tool for this. however, managing the project requires your PM expertise and generally has nothing to do with your software.
Network:54



Oct 10, 2019 10:09 PM
Replying to Nguyen Khai
...
@Rachel

Using Microsoft Project, you can set dependencies between tasks of sub-projects and you still view links between tasks on Gantt Chart. This type of link is an external link. Follow steps below to do that:

- Open master project with all sub-projects
- Open Task Information dialog of the task that you want to set dependence
- Select "Predecessor tab"
- Input "ProjectName\TaskID" in the ID cell where ProjectName is the name of the sub-project and TaskID is the ID of the Task belong to sub-project that you want this task depends on.
- Click OK

Does this approach answer your question?
Nguyen,

Thank you for the instructions! I was trying this, but I must have been doing something wrong. I appreciate your help!

Thanks again,

-Rachel
...
1 reply by Nguyen Khai
Oct 12, 2019 1:04 AM
Nguyen Khai
...
@Rachel

Maybe you type the wrong value in the ID cell. For more detail, I will show you a quick way to do that.

Assuming that you have a Master project with two sub-projects "Project 1" and "Project 2". When you open Master project you will see the table as bellow (You may need to add ID column to show ID of task):

ID TaskName Predecessors
1 Project 1
1 Project 1 Task 1
2 Project 1 Task 2
2 Project 2
1 Project 2 Task 1
2 Project 2 Task 2

In the Predecessor cell of the task "Project 2 Task 1" you can type "Project 1\1" without quotation marks to link "Project 2 Task 1" and "Project 1 Task 1"
Network:382



Oct 11, 2019 2:17 PM
Replying to Rachel Atencio
...
Nguyen,

Thank you for the instructions! I was trying this, but I must have been doing something wrong. I appreciate your help!

Thanks again,

-Rachel
@Rachel

Maybe you type the wrong value in the ID cell. For more detail, I will show you a quick way to do that.

Assuming that you have a Master project with two sub-projects "Project 1" and "Project 2". When you open Master project you will see the table as bellow (You may need to add ID column to show ID of task):

ID TaskName Predecessors
1 Project 1
1 Project 1 Task 1
2 Project 1 Task 2
2 Project 2
1 Project 2 Task 1
2 Project 2 Task 2

In the Predecessor cell of the task "Project 2 Task 1" you can type "Project 1\1" without quotation marks to link "Project 2 Task 1" and "Project 1 Task 1"
...
1 reply by Rachel Atencio
Oct 17, 2019 5:20 PM
Rachel Atencio
...
Thanks, Nguyen,

I appreciate the help! I was typing the id in wrong. The following was also a helpful shortcut.

Click the Predecessor task in one project, press and hold the CTRL key and select the successor task in the second project. Release the CTRL key and click the Link tasks button. Repeat for other cross project dependencies.

https://www.mpug.com/topic/create-task-dep...oss-projects-2/
Network:2530



Rachel,

regardless of the tool used, I think it requires a teaming approach too.

A program setup with roles of a program manager and multiple project leads is required. It should include rules about how to handle interdependencies, which might include technicalities but also capacities, schedule, budget, opportunity for synergies (e.g. using the same quality management approach for all projects) etc.

In one of my engagements, a weekly all-project-manager meeting working on a matrix pinned to a big wall monitored all interdependencies. It took 15 minutes to 2 hours. Longterm dependencies were monitored/refined and short term needs exchanged.
...
1 reply by Rachel Atencio
Oct 14, 2019 10:25 AM
Rachel Atencio
...
Thank you, Thomas,

That is a great idea. I am going to encourage the team leads to have more interaction to identify the technicalities you mentioned.

Thanks again for the advice!

-Rachel
Network:54



Oct 12, 2019 4:15 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Rachel,

regardless of the tool used, I think it requires a teaming approach too.

A program setup with roles of a program manager and multiple project leads is required. It should include rules about how to handle interdependencies, which might include technicalities but also capacities, schedule, budget, opportunity for synergies (e.g. using the same quality management approach for all projects) etc.

In one of my engagements, a weekly all-project-manager meeting working on a matrix pinned to a big wall monitored all interdependencies. It took 15 minutes to 2 hours. Longterm dependencies were monitored/refined and short term needs exchanged.
Thank you, Thomas,

That is a great idea. I am going to encourage the team leads to have more interaction to identify the technicalities you mentioned.

Thanks again for the advice!

-Rachel
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