Loading MS Project files into EPS without rate information

Posted on 2006-03-29
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
Is there a way to have the MS Project at the desktop calculate the EV metrics and cost information per taks for a project and then load the project into EPS without resources/rate information but containing the EV numbers and the total cost information per task ?
Question by:techsigmapm
    LVL 35

    Expert Comment

    Depends, which costs you mean.

    In planning status, costs are calculated by

    work x cost rate (assigned resource). If you loose your resource, you loose your costs.

    In tracking status, costs are also calculated, but may be overwritten, so the costs are persistant.

    A better idea is, to work with projects offline. You can create a project on the server and then save the Project in offline mode. You can work with the project offline and as far as you connected again, the content can be synchronisized. In that way, your project is handled as it would be online, you can do most of the things you can do online, and you do not run into trouble with local / central resources.

    As an project server admin, I would never allow, that people are working with server projects and locl file at the same time. This produces only trouble. To handle such working, MS has implemented the offline mode.

    Author Comment

    I talking about all of the costs both in the plan/baseline and in the actual.

    The problem here is that we want to receive information on the costing and performance of the tasks, but there is a issue of viewing resources/rates information, because of contracting issues.  The persons who support the PMO (and manage the Project server) are from a different company than the ones (Several) who is doing the work for a large portion of our scope.

    We want to content to be sync, but without rate/resources info but still keeping the cost and performance info.
    LVL 35

    Expert Comment

    I think I understand your problem. I would say, there is no direct solution for what you may intend to do, but let me add some considerations, how you can handle this.

    Out of your description, I assume, that you what to publish / take over project task and performance data from / to a customer / contractor without publishing the base of calculation? (more general description).

    So, let me think about this.
    If you get a cost value and the work value, you can calculate back the calculation base. That means, if you publish these information, don't worry about the rates for resources, they are already included within the other values. As project has general rules, how to calculates values (usually a simple rule of three), it's quite easy the recalculate missing values. Only if you publish one of the three values, you can be sure, that recalculation is not possible.

    If you sync / exchange the project files themselfes, you publish a lot of additional information, you can not see on the screen, also a source of information for experienced people, who are able to calculate hours out of minutes, as all information is mainly stored in one single table. So, also not a goof idea to send any project databases around.

    To restrict the information you want to publish to somebody else, you have the possibility to work with project server. You can create there web based reports without publishing any unwanted data. With rights management, you are able to restrict views to users and the content of the views. This is the MS Project solution to publish information to the public world without publishing internal calculation values.

    If you want to transfer the information to a second project file, you can either copy the information to this second file and replace resources by dummy resources, which contains a cost rate per assignment instead of a per hour rate. In this way, the recipient of the plan can only see the (dummy-)resource itself and the costs for the task. But this means also in practise, that you have to create one resource for every single task. If you want, you can make this assignment more general by assigning such resources only to summary task. Or you can create a material resource with the smallest common unit and assign such a lot of this material until your costs are covered.
    i.e. you create a material resource with costs of 1 UDS per unit. For a task with cost of 1000 USD, you assign 1000 units of the material resource. In this case, you use one single resource.

    Of couse, the recipient of the plan can not really continue working with this plan, as base planning information are missing, thats the reason why I would suggest to use Project Server instead of a file. Also Project Server can create the reports automatically, where you have to do all changes in the files by hand (or by writing a macro for this).

    These are my ideas at the moment, hope I had hit the point...
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment


    You can provide access to EV only and not to metrics for EV in MS Project Server only and not in the MS Project desktop file (mpp file). On the project server you will have a role that would have access to the EV views only.

    On the desktop file you may want to distribute only the EV report in HTML or other format so that the metrics are not shared.



    Author Comment

    It is not a matter of what information is presented from the Project Server.  But what information gets into the project server.  The administrators and oversight staff of the project (which have total control of the EPS) because contracting issues can not view the rate informaiton of the projects.  They can see everything except that data.  I know that I can filter the information so only certain users of the EPS can see certain information, but that is not the issue.  
    LVL 35

    Accepted Solution

    So, usually the information in project server are organized different, but calculated in the same way. That means, if you simply upload a project to project server, all the base information is uploaded. But note the following. Project server hosts its own resources, and you can update the resourcepool by editing the enterprise resource pool. If you use a project, which was connected to project server before, so that you have these resources within the local file, or (second option), you define the resources localy with the same user information than on the server itself, you may be able to upload this project to the server again without uploading the resources.
    In that case, it may be possible to upload a project, with assigned resources, where the resource rates in project server are different than within the local file.

    I never tried that, but maybe a possibility to work with different rates on server and on the client. But this will not preserve the calculated cost values.

    Of course, another possibility may be to transfer the data with a macro, which manipulates project server fields by replacing calculated values by fixed values. With a macro, you have more control about the values, you upload to project server.

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