Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Tracking More Than One:
Consolidated Projects
Often you’ll have either projects that are related in some fashion (such as
sharing resources or having timing dependencies between them) or a series
of smaller projects that make up a larger project. In that case, you can
consolidate those separate projects into one file, either as a series of summary
tasks or with all summary and subtasks included.
When you consolidate projects, you can choose to link to the source file.
When you do, any changes to the source file are represented in the
consolidated file.
If it’s your job to keep track of the big picture, you have to understand how
consolidated projects get updated.
Consolidating projects
Creating a consolidated project is sort of like going to a Chinese restaurant —
one from Column A, one from Column B, and so on, until you build yourself a
tasty meal. In Project, you open a blank file and then insert existing projects
to build a satisfying master project plan.
The neat thing about consolidated projects is that you have some choices
about how the consolidated project and the source files you insert in it
interact. For example, you can link to a source file so that changes made in the
source file will be reflected in the consolidated project. This is a great tool for
somebody who has to keep his or her eye on multiple phases or many
smaller projects.
You can also create dependencies between inserted projects in the
consolidated file. If you have (for example) one project that can’t start until another
one finishes, you can clearly see in the consolidated file how various
separate projects in your organization have an impact on each other.
The other thing you can do to relate consolidated projects to their source
files is to make your consolidated project a two-way street, allowing changes
in it to be reflected in the source files. You can also make the choice to have
the source files be read-only so your changes won’t go mucking around with
other people’s files — whichever suits your purposes.
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