Why do projects disappear from the Project Center when added to a Master Schedule?

Copper Contributor

We have a requirement to perform reporting both at the program / portfolio and individual project levels. We wanted to use the Project Center (PWA) for portfolio reports while also pulling those projects (as sub-projects) into a master schedule within MS Project Professional in order to create inter-dependencies and calculate cross-program metrics such as program critical path.


Could someone please explain why projects are hidden from the Project Center after they have been added to a master schedule (read-only)? They are literally invisible and the only way to see them is by going into the master plan, however --- then we lose all the project-level metrics we need. In other words, creating a master schedule eliminates portfolio level reporting by hiding individual projects.


I understand that Microsoft likely built this function into the latest design of PWA in order to avoid redundant data on the backend, but surely, there must be a way to perform reporting both at the portfolio and project level when using master schedules. It's an extremely common practice in Program Management Offices these days.


We have made a requisition for Project Server 2019 and expect an upgrade in the next month or so, but we are trying to get traction with our 2013 version server. Is this a problem that goes away with later versions, or should we be looking at other portfolio reporting tools? It seems like a rather large oversight, from my point of view.


Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

5 Replies
I want to add one more very disturbing discovery. It would appear that once you have added projects stored on Project Server to a master schedule in read-only mode, they are gone forever. Even if you force delete the master schedule (via Delete Enterprise Objects), the projects will never show again in PWA. They are present on the server and can be opened in MS Project Professional, but they will be inaccessible outside of the desktop tool.

I am very surprised no-one has run into this before. I have searched for hours on master schedule publishing with MOPS / MOSS, and not once has this feature been mentioned. It is quite fortunate we are still running a POC, or else MS products would be permanently off the table. We nearly processed a requisition for a 100 CAL 2019 upgrade. I feel fortunate to have run into this issue before that order went through.

I presume this feature is present in newer versions as well. Hopefully, someone will be able to confirm.
best response confirmed by JLGregoryIBM (Copper Contributor)
JL Gregory --

What you are describing is a new feature that was added to the Project Center page in PWA some years ago. To my regret, I believe the new feature has caused people a bit too much confusion and heartache. By default, the Project Center is now configured to display only single projects and master projects, but NOT to display subprojects in a master project. To display the subprojects of a master project in the Project Center page, first expand the Projects ribbon. Then all you need to do is to click the Subprojects checkbox in the Show/Hide section of the Project ribbon. Voila! The subprojects will magically appear. Hope this helps.
Such a simple solution! We were not aware of this feature change, and it most certainly resolves the issue. A somewhat unrelated but relevant question: now that subprojects are showing up in the Project Center, is there any way to roll-up milestones in that view similar to Project Professional. We would like to be able to generate a milestone report without having to open the master schedule in MSP Pro, which takes 15-20 minutes to load and update.
JL --

I think your best bet for milestone reporting would be to create a Power BI report for milestones in each of the subprojects. Hope this helps.

@Dale Howard, we followed through with your suggestion and looked into Power BI for Project Server reporting, however paying $50k / user per year is untenable, even for larger organizations --- if you have encountered any BI tools that are reasonably priced that are compatible with Project Server / SharePoint, please let me know. None of the out-of-the-box reports that come with Project Server are relevant to modern PM practices.

As you are probably aware, Project Server was designed without the input of industry leaders or program management SMEs, and even with the UMT acquisition, external reporting solutions are still mandatory. Clearly, Power BI Premium is not that solution for the majority of companies, from what I have heard at the conferences (due to the large function / price gap).

I'll be interested from hearing from other power EPM users regarding their experience with advanced portfolio reporting using Project Server. Hopefully, we will be able to find a viable solution with Excel Reporting Services, though I am doubtful it will be viable without extensive custom dev.