Managing a big-scale, cross-organizational project with MS Project

Copper Contributor

Hello everyone,

I'm a consultant assisting our customer as Project Management Office (PMO). Our customer is facing a strategic project with over 800 tasks and milestones and 11 project co-leads from different divisions involved. Me as well as the customers' involved managers all have a MS Project Plan 3 licence.


We set up a project plan in the MS Project desktop app which is stored on our customer's OneDrive. This worked quite well as long as only me - even from a different organization - worked in the file, but as soon as other people got involved, the changes made by the different people we not properly saved. New files named "ProjectPlan_Desktop-XYZ" were created as soon as a single change in the file was made and saved and in some cases, the changes were not saved at all. After going through hours of explanation videos, still not finding a solution remotely close to what we need, I hope I can be saved by some of the MS Office masterminds in here.


My specific question is the following: in what exact setting, with which licenses and applications will I be able to manage a project that consists of more than 800 tasks and milestones as well as more than twelve people wanting to edit tasks, statuses and dependancies? Ideally, we would be working cross-organizational (my company and our customer). What do I need to do, what steps have to be taken?


I hope to have described the situation as clear as possible; if any further explanations or information is needed, please tell me so.

Thank you so so much for your help, it will be greatly appreciated!



5 Replies
Thank you for a very good explanation of your issue, you presented your case well.

I'm strictly a Project desktop user with very limited knowledge about enterprise versions of Project so I'll let Paul and/or Dale provide their expert input. However, I will make one comment and that is having multiple users with direct access to editing Project plans is like trying to herd cats. Unless there is a common (corporate) structure for the dos and don'ts of using Project you will be facing an uphill battle all project long. Even then, not everybody will follow the guidelines. I suggest you have a single project manager to take inputs from stakeholders, update the plan, and produce reports as necessary for each organization and the customer.

My two cents.
John --

Good question about a perplexing problem. Based on my use of OneDrive, I suspect your problem is with OneDrive and NOT with Microsoft Project. After a PM edits a project, saves it to OneDrive, and then closes the project, OneDrive needs to "sync" these changes to everyone who has access to this project. I have actually seen duplicate projects myself in projects saved to OneDrive.

Because you have so many people who need to open and edit your project, I would recommend that you save this project to a shared network drive rather than to OneDrive. I believe that would totally resolve your problems. If you do not have a shared network drive available for use, you are stuck with the OneDrive application and all of its quirkiness. Hope this helps.

@Dale Howard 

Hello guys, 

thank you very much for your quick and thorough reply. And sorry for the late response on my behalf! 

Your feedback was very valuable and helped us decide on what to do with our plan. We made the decision to continue with the plan under my administration with the other team members being able to view the plan and give me feedback in case any changes are necessary. This seems to be the easiest and safest option.

Thanks again for your valuable input, best regards from Germany.



John --

Thank you for the kind comments. You are more than welcome for the help, my friend!


You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.