Microsoft Project 2013 Tutorial – Splitting a Project into Sub-Projects

Microsoft Project 2013 Tutorial – Splitting a Project into Sub-Projects


Hello again and welcome back to our course
on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we created a project
containing just this little summary task, requirements, from our original project for
the proposed implementation of a new website for Northern Farm Foods. And what we’re basically going to do is
to split the whole of this proposed implementation project into separate subprojects. Now before we continue with this exercise
I want to take a look at that requirements project again and point out something very
important about what’s happened. So here is the requirements subproject and
what I want to do is to look at the resource sheet. So I’m just going to switch to the resource
sheet and take a look at it. And what you discover is that the resource
sheet has a single resource on it. You may remember from the previous section
that the overall implementation project had about seven or eight resources on it. One of them was Northern Farm Foods. The new project only has that one resource. Now the reason it’s only got that one resource
is that with the tasks that we pasted in when we created the project, the only resource
specified was Northern Farm Foods. Now, at the moment, I’ve got both of these
project open and as far as Microsoft Project’s concerned not only are they two completely
separate projects but they are two completely separate sets of resources. So although this project has a resource called
Northern Farm Foods, the other project has a resource called Northern Farm Foods, as
far as Microsoft Project’s concerned those two are completely unrelated resources. And as we’re going to see later on in the
course one of the most important things we do when we start to look at a consolidated
project is making sure that the resources that we’re looking at are common where they
need to be common. Having created this project not only have
we created what is a separate project but we’ve also created a separate set of resources
at the moment with just Northern Farm Foods. Note that when we created this requirements
project, it didn’t use the whole set of resources from the original project. It only created a set of resources containing
the resource or resources that were actually in use in the tasks that are included in this
requirements project. That is only the resource Northern Farm Foods. Okay, file that useful piece of information
away somewhere for a moment and now we’re going to return to the original project. So what I want to do now is to replace the
requirement summary task in the original project with the new project which is totally devoted
to the requirements work. So what I’m going to do, I select a task
ID 3 there, click on Task, and then on the Insert Task dropdown here one of the options
is Blank Row. I’m just going to select the Blank Row. Then I’m going to the Project Tab and the
left most command there, Insert Subproject. Now Insert Subproject gives me the Insert
Project dialog and this allows me to browse to a file, in this case NFF Requirements.mpp. Either double click or click and press Insert,
and that project is now inserted into my main project. Now I can tell that it is a separate project
because in the information column here I have the little Project icon there. Now it does appear a bit like a summary task. In fact, if you look at the marking on the
right, although it’s partly grayed out, it looks a bit like a summary task and if
you click on the little wedge there, you can see the individual tasks within that project. But not as expected although we have a dependency
between requirements definition here and requirement sign off within the individual inserted project,
we don’t have any dependencies with the tendering process and we don’t have any
dependencies from here to either the analysis and design summary task or its subtasks or
to the development summary task and its subtasks. So in order to fully make this inserted project
replace the requirement summary task, we need to re-establish those links but now to the
inserted project rather than to the original summary task. So let’s put those links, those dependencies
in step by step. Let’s start at the beginning. We’ve got tendering process contract, ID
2, and we have a link from that, a dependency to ID 6, requirements. Notice that six is itself a summary task. If I double click on ID 6, open up the task
information, click on the predecessors then I can see that it has a predecessor of two
tendering process contract. So that’s fine. What I really need is exactly the same dependency
from this project, NFF Requirements, to that tendering process task. So if I double click on NFF Requirements,
I get inserted project information. Note that the Predecessors Tab there is empty
so I have no predecessors but I need a predecessor of ID 2 so I just type in there two, click
on OK, and I now have a dependency and you can see how that little arrow appeared there. So I now have two tasks, both in their own
way summary task for requirements and they both have finish to start relationships with
the tendering process contract which has ID 2 in the original project. Now I want to point out something else. You probably noticed this already anyway but
very important to realize that when you insert a project like this if you look at the ID’s
on the left, there you can see an important change in the way that the ID’s work because
the ID’s are still numbered from the beginning for the project we’re looking at here which
is NFF Proposed Implementation. We get down to number four and number four
is an inserted project. When we get an inserted project, we then get
a numbering sequence within that project. So within NFF Requirements we get numbers
1, 2, 3. That’s the last task in the inserted project,
ID 3, and then we get back to the ID’s for the overall project again. Now that’s very important because very often
when we’re dealing with dependencies, we refer to the other tasks by their ID numbers
and it’s very easy to get confused if you’re not careful when you’re looking at these
ID’s maybe to not realize that you’re looking at an ID of an inserted project or
indeed that you’re not looking at an inserted project. So just be wary of that when you’re using
ID’s to setup these types of dependency. So let’s look at this task ID 11 here, analysis
and design. If I double click on that and look at a predecessor,
predecessor is requirements definition ID 7. That’s the original one within the summary
task. It’s a start to start relationship with
a lag of 30 days. So what I really want to do now is to setup
the same relationship but with the requirements definition in the inserted project. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to
select requirements definition in the inserted project, select analysis and design, and I’m
going to click on Task, setup a link, and having established that link, and there it
is, I’m now going to double click and change it from the default finish to start with a
lag of zero days into a start to start with a lag of 30 days and click on OK. And I have now added an exactly equivalent
dependency to the original one. Okay, let’s take a look now at that analysis
and design task again. Double click. Note the dependencies. You have two predecessors. One predecessor has an ID of seven. The other predecessor has an ID that includes
the file name for the inserted project followed by the ID number of two. So it works in just the same way but you qualify
the ID in this case by putting in the file name. So its file name, back slash, and then the
ID within that project file. And that’s basically how dependencies between
projects work. All of the other details of the dependency,
so the type start to start, lag 30 days, they’re the same. We just have a project file name in there
effectively to qualify that dependency and that’s because the task on which this one
is dependent is in another project. And it really is as straightforward as that. So let me now select the task ID 7 and press
the Delete key to remove that dependency, click on OK, and now the dependency on the
original requirements task to analysis and design has gone. I’m now going to do effectively, exactly
the same thing with graphical resources and branding here. So I’ll do that. I’ll be with you in just a moment. That’s done that one and now I’ve just
one more thing to do and that is that I still have the dependency of requirements, the original
requirement summary task having a predecessor of the tendering process. So let’s just select Delete and get rid
of that and now that requirement summary task has no predecessors, dependencies outside
at all. It’s all on its own and, of course, it’s
sunk back to starting as soon as it can because it’s not dependent on anything else. So what I really need to do now is to just
delete that summary task. It’s no longer serving any useful purpose. It’s been replaced by the NFF Requirements
insert project or subproject. But I am going to use it to just show you
one more thing that I’d really like to emphasize because this thing is probably the thing that
causes people most problems when it comes to project consolidation. Let’s go into a different view. Let’s go to Resource Usage View. If I go to Resource Usage View, I’ve got
unassigned and you’ll notice a second half of Resource Usage View. I’ve actually got two resources called Northern
Farm Foods. Northern Farm Foods is used in requirements
definition, analysis and design, test script, and testing, and then this Northern Farm Foods
is used in requirements definition. I can’t emphasize this enough. At the moment, we have two projects. We have the overarching NFF Proposed Implementation
and then we’ve inserted a project called NFF Requirements into that project as a subproject. At the moment, the resources the two projects
we are using are separate. So that Northern Farm Foods and that Northern
Farm Foods as far as Project 2013 is concerned are completely different resources. They’re used in different tasks. They’re different things. And until we actually share those resources,
they’ll continue to be so. So if I click back on Gantt Chart now, remove
the original summary task. So I’ve selected those four and I’m going
to click on Delete Task. Let me now go back into Resource Usage View
again. In Resource Usage View, let’s just go down
there again and, of course, the first Northern Farm Foods, the one in the overarching NFF
Proposed Implementation project is only used in three tasks now and the other one, Northern
Farm Foods; the second one, is the one that’s used in the inserted project. So I’ve taken a significant step away from
the original project. I still have the original project, NFF Proposed
Implementation.mpp. I’m going to keep that one safe. The new project which now has most of the
original tasks but where one chunk of the original task has been replaced by an inserted
project, a subproject, this new project, the master project, I’m going to call NFF Master. So I’m going to do File, Save As. I’m going to choose my scratch folder and
I’m going to call this project NFF Master.mpp. Note that while I’ve been working on that,
Project has been making changes to the open NFF Requirements project as well. So it’s also been recording some of the
changes that I made. We’ll take a look at those in a moment. So do I want to save the changes to that as
well? Yes. And I’ve now got my NFF Master project which
I’m going to carry on working on in the next section. Now finally I want to show you something that’s
both interesting and important in the requirements project. Let’s just click into requirements and note
that with that project which only really has that one big task, requirements definition,
followed by the little milestone. You can also see a sort of ghostly presences. These are the two tasks within the master
project that are dependent on tasks within the requirements project. Now they’re only shown here as sort of placeholders. If I look at the information, bring up the
task information for that, almost everything is grayed out. You can’t actually change it in here because
this is a task that’s in a completely different project. But what you can change is anything to do
with the relationship. So if I wanted to change here the relationship
between requirements definition which is in this requirements project and the graphical
resource related task which is in the master project, I could change the relationship here
but I couldn’t change anything about the graphical resources related task itself. I’d have to go into the master project to
change any of that type of information. So what Project 2013 does here is to give
me information about the dependent task or tasks although I can’t actually change it
here. I could only change information about that
dependency. So that’s it for this section. In the next section we’re going to carry
on here. We’re going to really basically replace
virtually everything else in our master project with another couple of subprojects, and then
we’re going to turn our attention to how to work with a number of projects at once. I’ll see you in the next section.