Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Working with Master Projects

We just posted a new video showing the IntelliGantt Add In for MS Project 2010 working not only with individual projects but with a master project as well. Basically a single MPP file is connected to a SharePoint task list. Then a second MPP file is connected to a second SharePoint task list. Finally, the two MPP files are added as subprojects to a master project. The master is then sent to a third SharePoint task list. Better yet, the IntelliGantt Web Part is used to display both projects, their hierarchy and task dependencies in a single view.

The cool thing about this video that doesn't come across (because I didn't want it to take tooooo long) is that all the connection information is self-contained. Each MPP file will remember its connection information, and the master project will remember it's SharePoint connection information. Why is this so great? Because it means the project managers can focus on their mpp plans, someone else can create a master using the two (or three, or four... there is no limit) and no data will be overwritten-- everyone can carry one oblivous to how many times an mpp file may be shared and where it goes.

This has immediate ramifications for projects that have 'backup' project managers that take over when a primary project manager goes on vacation. They simply check the mpp file out from SharePoint and continue on as normal. The IntelliGantt Add In will remember the connection information and they just need to click 'Refresh' once in a while. Or, better yet, they can turn on the auto-synchronization feature.

The key is the IntelliGantt Add In can adjust which text field it is using to store this SharePoint connection data. By default it's set to use Text11, however you can use any of the 30 available custom text fields. When you choose a custom text field to use, the settings files defined for the new Active Data Field are loaded into you dropdown list. Each active data field can have its own list of settings files-- basically whole new silos of sharing information and possibilities.

Just remember to be a bit parsimonius with who gets to update a tasks hyperlinks property. After all, there's only one of those!

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