Thursday, 14 April 2011

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part10 – inserting/ embedding Sub-Projects into Master Projects

In this post, we will review how we bring everything together i.e. inserting/embedding Sub-Projects into Master Projects.

Once all the projects are published, return to the master project.

  • In the master project, click Insert > Project.
  • Next, select the projects to insert, one at a time. Ensure that each Project being selected is Checked-in and also the option 'Link to Project' is selected. See below for further details. Remember to insert the Projects in the order you want them to appear on the Program schedule.

Note: If you don't want to update the subproject with changes from the original project, or if you don't want to show changes from the subproject in the original project, clear the 'Link to Project' check box.

The Master Project/Program structure will start taking shape as you add/insert the Sub-projects. See example below.

If an inserted Sub-project needs to be moved/relocated to another part of the overall WBS, this can be done just as easily as you would move a task/summary task.


Critical Note: After the sub-projects are inserted, it is important to expand them so that their data is refreshed.

Configuring Cross-Project Dependencies

Once the sub-projects are inserted in the Master Project/Program, it is important to review and set up (as necessary) the dependencies on the various components that make up the overall Program.

Create dependency links between tasks and milestone across projects as necessary. See example below.


Important Note:

  • It is recommended that cross-project dependencies are not created at summary task level.
  • It is recommended that users add associated notes to cross-project linked tasks and milestones for ease of reference.

The procedure for creating dependencies on tasks and milestones across inserted sub-project projects is very much similar to that within the same project. For example, select the tasks/millstones to link and then click the 'Link Tasks' button on the toolbar. Refer to example below.

Linked tasked and milestones can be viewed easily by adding the 'External Tasks' column to your view and then setting auto filter to quickly filter in and out these links.


Once the dependencies are created, external dependent tasks and milestones will show up as 'ghost' tasks within the sub-projects. See example below:



Important Note:

It is recommended that for ease of reference, appropriate task notes are added when external project dependencies are created.

Saving & Publishing Master Project with Sub-Projects

Once all the sub-projects have been inserted and the required dependencies created, it is time to save the projects.

· Expand all sub-projects that have not been expanded since inserting into the Master Project/Program.


· Select File > Save

· Ensure that you select 'Yes to All' in the save dialogue to save changes on all inserted sub-projects and the Master Project/Program.


· Close the Master Project/Program including associated Sub-project.

Note: If there are some changes pending, the above save dialog box will appear.


· Ensure that the Master Project/Program and all the associated Sub-projects are properly checked in prior to exiting the application.

You can review the cache status via the File > Open Dialog box.


Setting Baselines (Optional if required)

Open individual sub-projects and baseline as required by your Business Processes.

· Open each sub-project via File > Open


· From the toolbar select Tools > Tracking and then select 'Set Baseline'.

Note: User may choose either to baseline the entire project or selected tasks.



· Save, Close and Check-in the Sub-project.

· Repeat the above steps for each Sub-project.

That’s all for now folks. In the next post, we will review process for updating sub-projects.

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