Projects come in all sizes, from the simplest project with a few tasks to the most complex with thousands of tasks and resources working to complete it. Regardless of the size of the overall project, you may find it useful to work with the project in small digestible portions. With Project, you can divide a large project into small subprojects, and then link them together through one master project. This provides you with the ultimate flexibility of working with a project in its logical divisions while still maintaining a view of the project in its entirety. When considering how to structure your projects, you may
want to consider the following:
• Projects that involve multiple budgets, cost centers, or discrete billing can be kept as separate projects and then rolled up into a master project to get total project costs.
• A project that involves more than one physical location can be divided into subprojects that keep all the tasks related to a site in one project for better onsite management and control.
You may find many other reasons to divide projects into logical components. Whatever your reasons, here’s how you do it. We’ll start by assuming you have one large project you’d like to break up into smaller components and then we’ll build it back up again into a master project.
Dividing a Project into Smaller Pieces
Project has no magic wizard or built-in command to divide a project into components so it’s up to you to use old-fashioned cut and paste to make it work. Follow these steps to create the subproject projects:
1. Open the large project you want to subdivide.
2. Create a view that puts all the tasks you want to move in consecutive order (see Chapter 17, “Using Views to Evaluate Data,” if you need help to do this).
3. Select the tasks you want to move and click the Cut button.
4. Click the New button to create a new project.
5. Click in the first cell of the Gantt Chart and click the Paste button.
6. Save the new project.
7. Repeat Steps 2-6 for additional tasks groups you want to pull out.
Creating a New Master Project from Open Projects
A master project is a project that contains other projects. You can consolidate a number of projects into a master project that can be linked to or unlinked from the subprojects. Project gives you three methods of creating master projects:
• You can consolidate multiple projects into a new project file.
• You can insert projects into an existing project file.
• You can open a resource pool and add it and all its sharer files to a master project (see “Creating a Master Project from a Resource Pool and Sharer Files,” later in this chapter).
1. Open or create all the projects you want to consolidate.
2. Choose Window> New Window and hold Ctrl to select each of files you wato be incorporated int? the master project from the New Window dialog box, shown in Figure 14.6.
3. Choose the default view you want all the subprojects to use.
4. Click OK to have Project create a new file and insert the subprojects .
Each project appears in the task list with a project indicator in the Indicator column. If you point to the indicator, a screen tip appears that describes the location of the embedded project (see Figure 14.7).
To get a handle on all the projects within an organization or department, you can create a master project that houses every project you currently have underway.Thismaster project can contain subprojects that serve as master projects for each project manger. These can be further divided into the subprojects that each project manger is responsible for. Figure 14.8 shows an example of a department organized this way.The master project is called [CompanyName]Master.The master project consists of subprojects saved with the project manager’s name. Those subprojects each contain the active projects the roll up under that project manager
1. Open all the active projects that one project manager is responsible for.
2. Choose Window >- New Window and select all the listed files.
3. Choose the default view you’d like all the subprojects to use.
5. Save the new master project using the project manager’s name as the file name.
6. Close each of the subprojects but leave the new master project open.
7. Repeat Steps 1-6 for eac~ project manager in your qrganization.
8. Atthis point, the only open files should be the master projects named for the project managers. Repeat Steps 2-4 to create the organization-wide master.
9. Save the new organization-wide master, clearly identifying it as the organizationwide master
You can now create reports, apply views, and analyze data across projects and across project managers. To see the project that a particular task is from, add the Project field to the Gantt Chart. When a project is completed, you can delete it from the master and insert its replacement. Use the Insert ::> Project command from the menu to insert a project into the master.
Inserting Projects into an Existing Project File
The second method of consolidating a number of projects into a master project is to insert projects into an existing project file. With this method, you can convert an existing project to a master project. The master project may already contain some t~sks of its own, and the sub project you insert becomes one of the tasks. Let’s say, for example, that your project includes a group of tasks, such as the tasks involved in preparing a large mailing or installing a network-these tasks are repeated in a number of projects throughout the organization.
Rather than re-create them each time you need them, you can set up a project that contains just those tasks. You can then insert the subproject into the la-rgerproject and have all the tasks, linking, and task durations already identified. Youcan also use this method to insert a project that is not linked to the original project. Use this option if you want to adapt an existing project for your own use without impacting the original project
1. Open the project you want to become the master project.
2. In Gantt Chart view, click in the row below where you want the project inserted.
3. Choose Insert :> Project to open the Insert Project dialog box, shown in Figure 14.9.
4. Select the project file you want to insert.
5. If you do not want the inserted project linked to the original file, clear the Link to Project checkbox
Why Does the Inserted Project Appear as a Sub task in the Task List?
When you insert a project into a task list in Gantt Chart view, it assumes the outline level of the row above it If the task above the newly inserted project, is an Outline Level 2 task, then the inserted project will start at Outline Level 2. To force the inserted project to Outline Level 1, select a row directly below an Outline Level 1 task in.which to insert the project, or collapse the outline to Level ‘1 before you insert the new project. In either scenario, the newly inserted project becomes an Outline Level 1 task.