Friday, 4 March 2011

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part5 - Best Practises, Configuration/Design

The following configuration/design considerations need to be taken into account prior to using Master Projects within Microsoft EPM;


The working instructions should clearly identify when to create Master Projects and define what would constitute sub-projects.

Project Naming convention

It is highly recommended that the naming convention for Master Project/Program and sub-projects be agreed in advance so that users can easily identify individual components of the Master Project/Program. In addition, the naming convention should easily help collate the various components when opening within Project Professional and viewing within PWA > PC.

For example, use a common prefix for all components, say Project number or Keyword, e.g. P001 Sat Rem Program, P002 Sat upgrade Design Project etc.

Resource assignments

Procedures should be set up so that assignment of the resources to activities is only done on sub-projects.

Process for managing cross-project dependencies (Tasks and Milestones)

Procedures should be set up such that only Milestones (and Tasks) are linked across projects. It is recommended that these Milestones are appropriately labelled and also notes against the Milestones appropriately define the external dependencies.

Linking of summary tasks across projects is not recommended.

Project Attributes

Appropriate project level Enterprise custom fields should be set up with either Long term program names or values to indicate type of entity. The following attributes are recommended;

- Project_Type (Program, subproject)

- Team Plan (EPS PMO, AS etc).


Procedure should be set up such that only the sub-projects are baselined only after appropriate cross-sub-project dependencies are setup by the PMO.

Process for Managing Master Projects/Programs and sub-projects.

The following Post (part 6) with provide further details.

Maintaining WBS and Project Reporting

Procedures are setup such that sub-projects are inserted at the correct outline levels only within the Master Project/Program, otherwise this may affect any existing custom reporting.

Note: Treat sub-projects as if they were Summary Tasks on your standard project. Whatever outline level the summary task would be, insert the sub-project at the same outline level, say for example 'Plan' Phase was originally part of very large project that was split up as a smaller sub-project. In this case, it is recommended that you insert this sub- project in the master schedule/plan at the same outline level as the original schedule.

Updating Views and Reports

The PWA > PC views should be reviewed and updated such that there are Master Projects/Programs and sub- projects mixed in the same views. Certain project attributes such as Cost, Work and Duration are rolled up in PWA view. Consider a scenario where you have Program with projects P1 (cost £100) and P2 (£200). If there is view that shows all three of them together, then you will see £300+£100+£200 = £600.


There is an option to show or hide the inserted projects from within the project centre view.


Other recommended new views are;

- External Milestone Dependency views in Project Professional and PWA > PC > Project Detail

- Team Plans view in PWA > PC. This will group sub-projects by Project Attribute 'Team Plan'. See above.

Security/Access Rights

The access rights for Team Managers (for example, S&A) would need to be set up such that they can only view consolidated schedules of their Team Plans.

Enterprise Project Templates

It is recommended that custom Enterprise Project Templates are created for the overall Master Project/Program.

Additional Enterprise Templates should be created for Phases or Team Activities, i.e. representing constituents of a typical Master Project/Program.

Hope this helps!!

In part6, we will review best practise for Creating and Maintaining Master Projects/Programs.

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