Setting up to use consolidation

Consolidation can help you achieve the following objectives:

♦ Tasks in projects that are managed by different people may be interdependent. Through consolidation, you can create the correct dependencies to accurately display the project's schedule and necessary resources.

♦ A project may be so large that breaking it into smaller pieces can help you to organize it. You can use consolidation to combine the smaller pieces and then view the big picture.

♦ You may be pooling the resources of several projects and find that you need to level the resources. Consolidating enables you to link the projects sharing the resources so that you can level the resources.

Note |f you're using Project Standard, you can't take advantage of the Enterprise

Resource Pool that's available in Project Server; therefore, the resource pooling techniques that I describe in this chapter apply to you. If you're using Project Professional, you may want to consider using the Enterprise Resource Pool instead of using resource pooling as described in this chapter. To do so, see Chapter 19.

When should you decide to use consolidation? It doesn't really matter. You may realize right away that the project is too large to handle in a traditional way, or you may discover that the project is bigger than you originally thought. Suppose, for example, that the Marketing department of a software company decides midway through the development cycle to bundle various products under development. This introduces dependencies where none originally existed — and provides an interesting opportunity for using consolidation.

If you decide to use consolidation before you start your project, simply create separate Microsoft Project files for various portions of the project. These files act as subprojects when you consolidate. You need to set up each subproject file so that it is independently complete, and you need to create links within each subproject file, as necessary. This chapter explains techniques for consolidating the subprojects and linking them.

If you start a project and then decide that you want to use consolidation, you can create subprojects by following these steps:

1. Save your large project file.

2. Select all the tasks that you want to save in your first subproject file, and click the Copy button.

3. Click the New button to start a new project, and use the Project Information dialog box that appears, as shown in Figure 15-1, to set basic project information, such as the project's start date and scheduling method.

4. Click the Paste button.

5. Save the subproject, and close it.

Figure 15-1: Use the Project Information dialog box to set basic project information.

6. Select all the tasks that you want to save in your second subproject file, and click the Copy button.

7. Repeat Steps 3 through 7 until you have saved several separate files that contain portions of your larger project.

Edit each subproject file that you create to make it an independently complete project. Then, you can use the techniques that are explained in the following section to consolidate the subprojects and link them.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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