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Multiple Projects with Shared Activities Setup with MS Project 2012

Posted on 2012-03-27
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Last Modified: 2012-03-29
I have a master project that has fundamentally two projects, but they share resources and more importantly, many of the same activities with many having the same duration and people.  What is the best way to set this up.  management wants to be able to see critical paths for both.  Basically I would start with 2 sub projects, but the shared activities, people and durations is what throws me.
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Question by:avalonwgi
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Expert Comment

by:Dr. Thomas Henkelmann
ID: 37776642
Hi,

wouldn't it help if you create 3 and not only 2 subprojects? One for the common activities where you only have to maintain the activities and their duration once and also assign the resources only once with the COMBINED workload, and then 2 additonal projects with only the tasks relevant to these projects. If you link the tasks across the projects in the master project you will also get the overall critical path.

Regards

Thomas
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Author Comment

by:avalonwgi
ID: 37776658
Yes, I gave that some thought.  Is it better to have a 3rd or just put the shared activities into the master project?  Also, because I haven't done this before, but if i link tasks in the master project do you lose the individual critical paths or does it just add the master critical path and still leaves the individuals still there?  Dave
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Accepted Solution

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xtermie earned 2000 total points
ID: 37782642
Having the 3rd project with the common activities may create peculiar dependencies and may throw off the critical path of the two main sub projects.
Why dont you simply have the MASTER project, the TWO Subprojects and WITHIN the master project have the common tasks as Activities to which some of the other two sub projects tasks are linked and/or dependent upon them.

That way you won't lose the critical paths as well.  For the later part, just ensure that in Tools > Options, Calculation, you enable (check) "Calculate multiple critical paths" options.  This will allow Project to calculate the critical path for each chain (subproject) of tasks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:avalonwgi
ID: 37784106
Thank you.
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