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Multiple project schedules

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  • 1.  Multiple project schedules

    Posted 12-10-2010 02:01 PM
    Here is a question I would like to pose the the community and would like to see how creative the answers are.

    Situation:
    A single project has been created that is quite large. The project schedule has 800+ tasks. This is a single project. The sponsor would like the project schedule broken down into 4 phases, each with its own project schedule. The limitiing factor is that there can only be one project defined in Clarity.

    So...
    How would you set up the project in Clarity so that a single project would be able to incorporate the 4 project schedules. No program, just a single project, with a single project manager, just a large schedule.

    Enjoy.


  • 2.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 12-13-2010 09:51 AM
    Given the requirement that it has to be a single project manager and a single project, I think your only option is to load the WBS of each "subproject" underneath a phase for each project.

    If using OWB, you could define a new WBS level called Subproject or something and then just load the tasks for each underneath each one - which is probably how I would do it based on the limited requirements you've posted.

    The larger question is though - if its 1 project and 1 PM, can you really classify it as 4 separate projects - to me its really just 4 separate phases.


  • 3.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 12-13-2010 01:55 PM
    Try creating Master Projects and Subprojects. This will allow you to create separate schedules.

    Master Projects and Subprojects
    Use subprojects to group related projects together under one master project. You can associate any number of projects to a master project by adding the subprojects to the master project. For example, the "Database Reconstruction" project might contain subprojects entitled "Oracle", "Sybase", and "Foxpro". Data is not shared between the subprojects and the master project, or between the subprojects themselves.
    The ability to establish subproject links means you can create plans and track and analyze an individual project in detail while viewing, summarizing, and analyzing the progress of several projects at the master project level. You can use master projects with subprojects to perform top-down planning and to share resource availability across projects.
    Subprojects are allocated at 100% to the master project, and participate in the master project's baseline and earned value metrics. You cannot change the allocation percentages.
    When you add or remove subprojects to and from your master project, the subproject is also added to your project's hierarchy as a child investment. You can view a list of your child investments, services, and ideas on the Project: Hierarchy: Financial Rollup page.


  • 4.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 12-13-2010 03:43 PM
    Thanks for the cut and paste from the Clarity manual. :)

    As per the original requirements "The limitiing factor is that there can only be one project defined in Clarity." If you create a sub-project it will still be classed as a project. And show up as a project. In the environment each project requires a project charter. Since they want to track seperate schedules, for one project, sub-projects cannot work.

    Thanks anyway!


  • 5.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 12-14-2010 05:00 AM
    One of my pet hobby-horses is "what is a project?"

    I think this discussion falls into that conversation!

    "each project requires a project charter" - absolutely; totally agree with that sort of governance rule.... however "what is a project" :tongue

    If you define "a project" as being a "Clarity project" - then you are in trouble... if you define "a project" as being something that is meaningful to the business e.g. "2011 server upgrades" then you can happily define your project charter at master (Clarity) project level (the "2011 server upgrades" project) and have a whole host of Clarity (sub) projects to deliver various "phases" of work (which are not discrete "projects" in business terms and so don't have the requirement for individual charters).

    Of course if your implementation and/or the client just doesn't see it that way then you are "stuck" with having "one big Clarity plan" that you manage in phases - but I'd argue that is not a very clever way of 'planning' (ignoring any 'governance' issues)?

    So maybe the problem is just 'semantics' - its a shame Clarity calls things "projects" really its such an emotive word!

    (Create a custom boolean attribute against the project-object, call it "Requires a Charter?" and set up the system like that then?)

    B)


  • 6.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 12-14-2010 10:23 AM
    Exactly. unfortunately, far too often an organizations project management is not at a decent level of maturity. When they try to mature, it is not a corporate wide initiative involving senior management who "projects" are reported to. This leads to inconsistent project management, report, and governance. While Clarity is a very customizable system, I personally believe that a business process should be analyzed and/or developed before a technical solution is created.

    For my example of multiple project schedules for one project, My solution would be to recommend that each individual schedule be a phase in the larger schedule. Or if they really wanted seperate schedules because each phase must be tracked as a seperate schedule, then I would say that they define a master project with each phase as a sub-project. The issue with the second solution is that there are so many people that believe that a 'Clarity project' is the same as a 'project'. So when they see a sub-project on the 'Projects' menu, they think it is a seperate stand-alone project.

    It would be nice if there were 'Is Sub-project' Master 'Master project' attributes in the project list portlet built into the tool. This would help. Pretty simple development effort.


    Still, I wanted to see what others would recommend.


  • 7.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 12-14-2010 10:30 AM
    Yep! :sad

    In my "create a custom boolean attribute against the project-object, call it "Requires a Charter?" and set up the system like that then?" solution you can amend the default project list view to only report by default on "requires a charter = yes" projects - i.e. its pretty easy to implement your "'Is Sub-project' Master 'Master project' attributes" in studio for ourselves.... but the BUSINESS has to recognise that this is how the system works.

    If you can't get away from the 'Clarity project' is the same as a 'project' mindset, you are just stuffed. :wacko:

    Phases are the only way - but you then need to adhere to good planning governance / practices as well!


  • 8.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 12-14-2010 10:35 AM
    :(

    Yup, part of the issue is getting the business to understand. Often those in managment positons do not care about how or why something works, just that they get their information. Often they do not to spend teh time in training to learn how to get information out of Clarity. Dashboards are good and so are custom portlets. But when they start to try to get info out without training, then they get information in the wrong context, make decisions, then blame the tool. Ahhh life.


  • 9.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 02-21-2012 09:18 AM
    The problem that I am having seems to fit along these lines. For some reason Clarity won't let me link a subproject to a task above. I would like to have subproject "A" be contingent on a task from the master project. I get an error that says "PRJ-07601: Cannot create a dependency between select tasks". The autoschedule button would then need to adjust the schedule of the subproject as well.


  • 10.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 02-21-2012 09:28 AM
    @nick - can you not just create a starting milestone (i.e. a task) in your subproject and make that dependant upon the task in your master project?

    (subprojects might well appear in the Clarity task list, but they ARE projects and not really tasks - you seem to be getting a (admittedly not very helpful) error message trying to create a dependency between a project and a task, I'm suggesting it just needs to be between two tasks (milestones perhaps))


  • 11.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 02-28-2012 09:19 AM
    It appears that:
    1) Tasks of a subproject cannot be linked to the tasks of the master project.
    2) Subprojects cannot be linked to tasks of a master project.

    I'm wondering what the point of a subproject is if they are still independent of the master project.

    Thanks


  • 12.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 02-28-2012 09:34 AM
    I'm a bit confused by your statements;

    nickkime wrote:

    1) Tasks of a subproject cannot be linked to the tasks of the master project.
    Tasks in one project can be "linked" (as a dependency) on tasks of any other project (aka external dependencies) - this is all "normal" Clarity behaviour.

    nickkime wrote:

    2) Subprojects cannot be linked to tasks of a master project.
    This was your original point wasn't it? Subprojects (since they are PROJECTS not TASKS) do not link (dependency) to another task, but a TASK inside the subproject can have that dependency.

    nickkime wrote:

    I'm wondering what the point of a subproject is if they are still independent of the master project.
    Many uses ; Roll-up of various data in Clarity, simple associations of related projects, extracting multiple (related) projects to OWB etc, inposing structure on your corporate goivernance....etc etc etc

    ?


  • 13.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 04-11-2012 01:55 PM
      |   view attached

    Dave wrote:

    I'm a bit confused by your statements;

    nickkime wrote:

    1) Tasks of a subproject cannot be linked to the tasks of the master project.
    Tasks in one project can be "linked" (as a dependency) on tasks of any other project (aka external dependencies) - this is all "normal" Clarity behaviour.

    nickkime wrote:

    2) Subprojects cannot be linked to tasks of a master project.
    This was your original point wasn't it? Subprojects (since they are PROJECTS not TASKS) do not link (dependency) to another task, but a TASK inside the subproject can have that dependency.

    nickkime wrote:

    I'm wondering what the point of a subproject is if they are still independent of the master project.
    Many uses ; Roll-up of various data in Clarity, simple associations of related projects, extracting multiple (related) projects to OWB etc, inposing structure on your corporate goivernance....etc etc etc

    ?
    Consider the follow set up:
    Project One: "Test" has:
    One standalone task: "Task 1" and
    Two summary tasks: "Summary 1" and "Summary 2".
    Summary 1 has a single subtask: "Sub 1"
    Summary 2 has a single subtask: "Sub 2"

    The "Test" project has a single subproject: "Sub Project 1"
    Sub Project 1 has a single stand alone tasks "Task 2".

    Attempted Actions from the Tasks/Work Breakdown Structure link and results:
    Checkbox: Task 1
    Checkbox: Summary 1
    Click: Link
    Result: Cannont create a dependency between selected tasks

    Checkbox: Summary 1
    Checkbox: Summary 2
    Click: Link
    Result: Cannot create a dependency between selected tasks

    Checkbox: Task 1
    Checkbox: Task 2
    Click: Link
    Result: Action cannont be performed against subproject tasks.


  • 14.  RE: Multiple project schedules
    Best Answer

    Posted 04-12-2012 04:53 AM
      |   view attached

    nickkime wrote:

    Consider the follow set up:
    Project One: "Test" has:
    One standalone task: "Task 1" and
    Two summary tasks: "Summary 1" and "Summary 2".
    Summary 1 has a single subtask: "Sub 1"
    Summary 2 has a single subtask: "Sub 2"

    The "Test" project has a single subproject: "Sub Project 1"
    Sub Project 1 has a single stand alone tasks "Task 2".
    I've watched your WMV and I agree with your statements.

    I have reproduced exactly your above data and experience in an old DEV system (v8.1).

    --

    But, let me take your use-cases one at a time;

    nickkime wrote:

    Attempted Actions from the Tasks/Work Breakdown Structure link and results:
    Checkbox: Task 1
    Checkbox: Summary 1
    Click: Link
    Result: Cannont create a dependency between selected tasks
    This is trying to create a dependency between a "Task" and a "Summary" task - and you can't do that; either in thw WBS screen (like in your WMV), nor in OWB, nor by editting the task itself and setting up the dependency.

    nickkime wrote:

    Checkbox: Summary 1
    Checkbox: Summary 2
    Click: Link
    Result: Cannot create a dependency between selected tasks
    This is trying to create a dependency between a "Summary task" and a "Summary" task - and you can't do that either, summary tasks just dont let us have dependencies (same as above case).

    nickkime wrote:

    Checkbox: Task 1
    Checkbox: Task 2
    Click: Link
    Result: Action cannont be performed against subproject tasks.
    OK, I get the same "Action cannont be performed against subproject tasks" when I try this in the WBS layout screen.

    However if I set up the dependency in either OWB or in the task itself then it lets me do this fine (see below).

    So there probably is a problem in that WBS screen (which has been depreciated in v13 in favour of the Gantt editor), but you could always create the dependency between the two normal tasks by OWB or in teh task edit screens.

    Hope that helps!


  • 15.  RE: Multiple project schedules

    Posted 09-24-2012 04:09 AM
    Yep.. totally agree with " 'Clarity Project' is not the actual 'Project' "

    In-fact, people came to know about 'Clarity Project' template feature and asked for 'Project' template... Unfortunately, the sub-project thing doesn't work with templates..:sad

    Now, I'll have to manage this somehow(process to add these sub-projects after creation of projects)..

    Regards,
    Ritesh