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.



Peter said...

Hi Andre, thanks for your blog. Is it possible to create a master and a sub project when you only use the web client?

We would also use this scenario for a programme and projects.

We also do not work with resources, do you know if it's possible to disable this feature so we see a lot less options within project server?

Andre Venter (UMTSA) said...


Sorry for the Belated reply. I am not aware if one could create Master / Sub projects from the web.

From a Resource Point of view im not entirely sure what you are asking. But you could disable Built team From Enterprise and Assign Resources Permissions from the relevant groups?


Rena said...


Once the Master Schedule and Sub-project schedules have been entered how do you show a Summary View of all the sub-projects in one view?

How can I show in a view the Critical Path of the program and then each sub-project critical path?

Anonymous said...


Is there a way to view project level custom fields in the project view of the master schedule. We use a field project_id to denote an alphanumeric code for the project and use the name field for a descriptive name of the project. The name field ends up in the task name view on the pwa view of the amster schedule. I am able to add the project_id field to the master schedule in project professional. How do I add it to the pwa view of the master schedule project view?



Chicago Project trainer said...

Just had one of my students ask me about this - appreciate you posting this resource.