Monday, January 05, 2009

Working with Master & Sub Projects

More than a few customers have let us know the importance of supporting Microsoft Project's Master Project / Sub Project configuration. It certainly makes sense because it gives you a nice rollup view and, more importantly, a convenient way to create and manage shared resource pools.

We're happy to introduce support for a Master Project / Sub Project scenario and, because the suggestions came from customers, we think folks will be pleased by the results.

As a brief overview, what we did was focus more on the sub projects and less on the master projects. By this I mean master projects really aren't 'updatable'. Rather, they are deriving their value from the collection of sub projects grouped in to the master view.

So what we did was make the behavior similar to if you were working on the sub project in its own window. That is, IntelliGantt recognizes when you have selected a sub project, or a task within a sub project, and adjusts its menus accordingly.

This lends itself to a very flexible way to share the pieces. That is, you could share all your sub projects in one SharePoint site. Or, if you really want to take advantage of IntelliGantt architecture, you could share every project to distinct SharePoint sites-- or even distinct SharePoint servers.

For example, one of the common use cases was a project manager with a master plan with two sub projects of completely different constituents. The first sub project might be for an in-house group whereas the second sub project might be with contractors who really don't need to know about everything (the life of a contractor :).

With IntelliGantt, you can share the first sub project to an internal server AND the second sub project to a distinct external host-- maybe even on the contractors own SharePoint server. Updates are scoped to the sub projects so the team members only see what they need. The project manager, on the other hand, can see everything together.

We think this matches the evolving needs of project managers to parcel out work for diverse teams.

But enough reading, check out the screencast and see IntelliGantt master the sub project landscape.

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