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

Occasional Visitor

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!



2 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.