Oct 28 2022 04:30 PM
Oct 28 2022 04:30 PM
I am trying to set up a series of subprojects overseen by a master project. I'd like to have some "reminder guidelines" for when I (or more importantly someone else) open the master project, such as settings to check/define when creating a new subproject.
In Excel, I'd simply set this up as notes in the first rows, and I'm trying to find a similar approach in Project. My thought was to assign a few "tasks" containing these guidelines, but then how to make it readily visible? Is there a way to dynamically assign the date of the task to start "today" every time I open the project? That would put the first tasks visible at the right, correct?
Am I overlooking a simpler approach?
Oct 28 2022 07:08 PM
First of all if you haven't used master/subproject constructs in Project before, I'll warn you that they are prone to corruption if not created and maintained with utmost care. Never rename, move, overwrite or "save off" to another location any of the files in the structure. Ideally, all files should reside in a single directory on a local drive and not be operated over a network. The structure will not work with SharePoint.
Given that, Excel has a lot more flexibility than Project when it comes to notes. Any cell in Excel can have a very large amount of text (I don't know the actual limit). In Project the Notes field can also contain a very large amount of text, but, when viewed anywhere other than the Notes tab of the Task Information window, is limited to 255 character or the first line feed, whichever comes first. So, if your "guidelines" are short single statements of less than that number of characters and no line feeds, you can put that info into the task Name field or the Task Notes field or even one of the 30 extra Text fields.
You mention wanting to see the guidelines each time someone opens the master. For that you could set up an Event driven macro that runs everytime the master is opened although that may become a bit of a pain if the master is accessed frequently. Another option might be to put the guidelines in a Word or Excel file and then set up a Hyperlink to that file in the first task line of the master (note: I haven't tried that).
The last part of your post mentions something about having the date of a task start "today" every time the project is opened. Sorry, I don't understand what you mean. Please clarify.
Finally when you ask if there is a "simpler approach", approach to what? Maybe a little background on exactly what you are trying to do would help.
Oct 29 2022 08:01 AM
Thanks for responding! This particular question is a part of a larger story, so I'll go through the whole of it (apologies for the length)
I work at a prototyping shop where a lax scheduling and project management structure is causing problems in my department. Since I can't fix the outside world, I'm working on organizing my internal one.
Each project has a lead engineer, and often secondary ones, depending on the scope. That effort may be focused on a singular complex projects where several engineers are tasked in a collaborative sense, or there might be many simple projects each handled by a single engineer under the lead (or the lead themselves). There are handoffs to other departments with internal deadlines. When slips happen at any level, I need to understand the impacts better so that I can communicate to project management how those impact the overall schedule. I am trying to work out a process to resource leveling and scheduling to ensure that a) everyone is equally loaded, b) the deadlines get hit on time or before, and c) the lead engineers can grow to take on some of the scheduling responsibilities as they become familiar with the system.
So, back to the present...
Since I'm considering different people with different experience, my gut wants to put a reminder of basic practices (what settings to confirm, do you work in the subproject or master, etc). As a first thought, I was considering putting in a series of tasks at the very top (Row 1/2/3/etc) with these instructions. However, I saw the possibility that as time rolls on, those tasks (and the cautions they provided) would roll off to the left and so effectively vanish from the user's attention. To fix that, I wanted a way of Project to automatically update the start date of those tasks to the day it happened to be when the project was opened. That would push the tasks into visibility, which would make it (slightly) harder to overlook.
I'm still trying to decide if that's the best approach. It may be that this all gets recorded in an SOP, but that's a separate sheet of paper that may or may not be referenced. It may be easier to set up a warning as a VBA/macro popup window when a particular event is attempted.
Other questions on my mind relating to this:
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading and again, thanks for your advice!
Oct 29 2022 01:57 PM
Oct 29 2022 06:57 PM
Oct 30 2022 09:20 AM
I am not "worn out" and don't worry whether your issue is a "new problem". I'd estimate that at least 10-20% of the issues brought up by users are subject matter that I, and others, have addressed more than once. The whole point of this forum is to help users, so that's what we try to do.
Project's leveling algorithm is complex so it does take some time to learn how it works, what it will do and what it won't do. Personally I've never used it as I prefer to have a more hands on approach to managing schedules and resources, mainly because there are so many variables involved (e.g. undefined task details, resource ability, etc.). But if you want to use leveling, I suggest you click the Help button on the Resource Leveling window if you haven't already. The help file gives a nice overall explanation of how leveling works and what the various options do.
I also do not use SharePoint but I found out long ago for colleagues that SharePoint does not support the linking structure used by Project. As far as I know that is the only Project issue with SharePoint. Understand that if you do not need a dynamic master, (i.e. decide that a static master will work fine for your needs), then you can host Project files, including the static master, on SharePoint.