Monday, 5 September 2011

Managing Master and Sub Projects, Project Server 2010 (PWA)

This is the second part to managing Master and Sub Projects (You can find the first part he here). In this part we will look at things we could do in PWA and default PWA options as far as Master and Sub Projects are concerned.

So firstly we will navigate to the Project Center and have a look at the options there. The important things to notice here is that by default "Sub Projects" are NOT visible. There are however a new icon showing in the indicators column that shows that the only the Master Schedule is visible.

Note the Indicator

By Clicking on the Programme name it will display more detailed information of  the master project. The Image below shows the 2 Sub Projects already expanded as well as the Gannt Chart chart showing both Critical and Non Critical tasks. It will almost seem like a "Normal" Schedule with Summery Tasks. The distinguishing factor here is the ID column. Have a look and you will see it "Restarts" the numbering once the 2nd Sub Project starts.

If you would like to see the Sub Projects in Project Center there is new Tick Box that "Un-hides" all Sub Projects, thus making them visible to the user in the Project Center. The Tick Box is located in the far right hand corner, of the Projects tab in Project Server.

Show Sub Projects

Once that has been enabled the user will see the Master Project and then the sub projects below the Master with in Project Center.

Now we will be looking at some other options, but take note these options includes custom fields and Views. What i have done as per part 1 , is i have created a "Programme Manager" custom field that uses a look up table that shows all the "Programme Managers" for my organisation as well as a "Programme Name" field that contains the names of all the Programmes currently registered.
I have then Built a Project Center View that shows all Projects Grouped by "Programme Name" but take note that the "Sub Projects" tick box must be enabled for this to work.

You might ask what the difference between the above and just using the Show Sub Projects tick Box? Not much, it is just displayed in a more distinguishing way, with a proper divide between the Programmes.

Another option would be to Group / Filter by Programme Manager Name. That is once again a way to "Show" Items in a nice and organised way.

Also not in above image the Show Sub Project tick box has not been ticked hence only Seeing the Master project, the second item there is only a Project and not a Programme yet and that's why it is displaying.

There are also other thing that could be done with Master and Sub Projects and more specifically with the custom fields like "BI Center Reports " That enables us to have reports with charts etc and group / show / build them based on our custom fields for Programme Management.

I hope that this will help someone out there to better manage Programmes using MS Project Server 2010.


Sunday, 4 September 2011

Project Server 2010: Master and Subprojects (Programmes)

I am currently at a client where their key Requirement is a Critical Path across multiple Projects within a Programme. I have found a few posts on how to do this for Project 2007 but there are some minor differences between how its done on 2007 and 2010.

Step 1:
Create your Master Project File. To do this just enable the Project Summery Task from the Format menu (But i am Sure you knew that already!). Select a name for your Project and complete all the relevant Custom Fields.
If there is a requirement for custom PWA views containing (or needing to show) the Programmes and Sub-Projects i would suggest creating an Enterprise Custom Outline called something like "Programme Name" and populate it with the name(s) of the Programmes currently running in your organisation. After this save your project to the server. Check screenshot Below :

Save Master Project
Step 2

Change to the "Project" tab within MSP. The very left icon allows one to insert a Project and its called "Sub project" (Please confirm the active cell - as it will insert the Sub Project in the active Cell) also note that it would be beneficial if the Sub projects have not been published yet. Then we could make them part of the Master Projects Workspace (If Needed though)

It will open the Insert Project Dialog Box. Take note of the "Group By" Drop down List, my Enterprise Project Custom field "Programme" is listed in there and when selecting it, it will group all projects on the server by "Programme" which makes it easy for you to see which projects are related to a certain Programme.

Select the First Project From the List and click on "Insert" it will then insert the project and look like below.

Also take note:  "At this point in time there are no dependencies between the inserted Sub projects"
For the sake of this blog i will be linking the last task of "Sub Project 1" to the first task in "Sub Project 2"  with the default Finish - Start dependency. At this point it should also be noted that excessive linking between different Projects might cause a "Link Loop". This is not a major issue, it can be resolved but take care, as it could also make the Programme allot more complex than it needs be.

In the image above i have linked and also displayed the critical path on the Gannt Chart. (I changed some dependencies in each of the Projects to show at least 1 non critical task.

The Master Project's start and end dates are now controlled by the inserted sub projects. and slippages will affect other projects if no slack is on the tasks.

Step 3

At this point its important to note that the following is new in Project Server 2010. There is a column called "Sub Project Read Only" that can be inserted. This field controls whether tasks in a sub project can or cannot be changed when opened. For more info on that field look here.

Also look at the indicator column of above image, the one that is "Read Only" has a red Exclamation Mark next to it.

Step 4

Now we will publish the Projects. I start of by Publishing the Master Project and Creating a workspace for said project.

The next steps (If the workspace have not been created already) is to publish and create the workspace for the Sub Projects. In The "Publish Dialog Box" select the "Provision the site as a Sub site for another Project" from the "Select a Project" drop down list, select the relevant Master Project. in my Case "Programme 1 - Master Project" and then click on publish.

Project server will then provision the Sub Project Site as a Sub site of the Master Project's Project Workspace.

When navigating to the Master Projects Workspace, you will have to open "View all Site Content" and then under the sites and workspace setting you will find all the workspace for the relevant Sub Projects.

That's it for now. In another topic i will show and discuss the PWA options available to you when managing Master and Sub Projects using Project Server 2010.

I hope this posting has helped, and also feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.


Saturday, 3 September 2011

Arrival in Abu Dhabi for some work at the Cleveland Clinic - Day 1

So last night at 23:30 i arrived at Abu Dhabi Int Airport, without any incedent. But, my Taxi Taxi driver is a budding F1 driver with polished "Drifting" skills. Not aware a standard taxi could drift !!

Checked into the hotel, after said driver overcharged (or Under changed) me with about $8. Then came the shock, a Cheese burger, fries and a 200ml coke for a Whopping $35. Anyhow the room i really nice, some great views.

I will do more updates as i go along ...