Project - Resources not clashing on Master Project

New Contributor



I am new to project and having to self teach to set up Ms Projects for our team to use.  Currently using MS Project Professional.  I work for a manufacturing company who also use trained installers to fit our product. We use sub contractors in busy periods.


The main goal is for each PM to create individual projects which are then added to a master project for efficient progress meetings. We also want to make sure there are no clashes with our install diary and when to bring in subcontractors etc.


I have been using the sub-project button to bring existing projects into the master sheet. As far as I can see there are no issues here, the master sheet updates when I edit the linked file.


I am however having issues with the resource management on the master spreadsheet. I have assigned the same resources to install on the same date on two different projects. I have then brought them in to the master project and there are no clashes showing. I believe this is a red person in the (I) column. In the team planner view I can see the same installers installing on the same day on two different projects.


Have I missed something when bringing the two projects into the master project?


Thank you!!



3 Replies
best response confirmed by Dale Howard (MVP)
Good luck on learning Project on your own. Project is neither user friendly nor intuitive so the learning curve is steep.

But to answer your question, I assume you have resources in each individual subproject. That means that Project does not recognize that "Joe" in subproject 1 is the same as "Joe" in subproject 2. There is no automatic resource "link" between projects unless you use a common resource pool file. The resource pool file is often a separate Project file with resources only (no tasks) but the master file could also serve as a resource pool (i.e. put all the resources into the master and then share those resources with each subproject).

Since you are new to Project and attempting the self-taught approach I feel I must caution you about using linked structures (i.e. master/subproject or resource pool/sharer). Linked structures are prone to corruption if not set up and maintained with utmost discipline. None of the files in the structure should ever by renamed, moved, overwritten or "saved off" to another location. Ideally all files should reside in a single directory on a local drive and not be operated over a network. Linked structures do not work on SharePoint.

Hope this helps.



Hi John,


Thank you for the response, I can confirm you are correct about the intuitiveness of the software haha.


I will work on setting up the master spreadsheet to serve as the resource pool file and see if I can link it this way. I've read up on this so should be able to figure this out.


Fortunately one benefit of being self taught is learning very quickly about how to corrupt a project so I am aware of how easy for this, appreciate the heads up though.  One scenario i am not sure of is; We have an active job folder and a completed folder, If we were to move a job (which would have the "sub-project" in) from the active folder to the completed folder, would it corrupt the whole project or just the sub-project which has moved? If its the latter that wouldn't be the worst issue issue as we would remove it from the master project anyway.


Thanks again for your advice



Just for reference the master is now a "spreadsheet", this is Project, not Excel. There are similarities but also a lot of important differences. We get a fair number of new Project users who are familiar with Excel and they want/expect Project to work much the same way.

The issue of moving files in the linked structure is that link information can get "lost". If de-link is not done in a controlled fashion you end up with link fragments and that's where the corruption comes in. Let's say you have directory with two folders, one is for active jobs and the other is for completed jobs. Initially the master and all subprojects are in the active folder. When one of the subprojects is completed and you want to remove it from the master and move it to the completed jobs folder, follow this process.
1. In the master double click the summary line insertion point of the subproject
2. Select the Advanced tab in the Inserted Project Information window
3. Un-check the "Link to Project" option and hit "OK"
4. Close the master and select "Save" and then "Save all"
5. Move the unlinked subproject to the completed folder.

Hope this helps.