Why do my MSProject external dependencies become hidden tasks?


C

crschmidts

I have the show external predecessors and sucessors boxes checked on the
tools/options/view/cross project linking section.
Neither task is a milestone.

I have used external predecessors before and they always came out as tasks
in gray font that I could indent/outdent. Now, I enter an external
predecessor and the row that it goes in becomes hidden.

I am on MSProject Profession 2003 (11.1.2004.1707.15) SP1. We have not gone
to MSProject Server yet at my company.
 
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J

JulieS

Hi crschmidts,

A couple of questions for clarification:

Is this occurring just in one file or all files?

Do you have a filter applied which hides the display of external tasks?

How are you "entering the external predecessor"?

Is the external predecessor already an external predecessor to another
task in the project? For example, are you copying and pasting the
information from the predecessor field of one task to the predecessor
field of another task in the same project? If so, the "ghost" task will
not repeat, it will just simply show the link to the new task.

--
I hope this helps. Let us know how you get along.

Julie

Visit http://project.mvps.org/ for FAQs and more information about
Microsoft Project.
 
C

crschmidts

Hi Julie and Joe! Thank you for getting back to me. Here are answers to your
questions and another bit of info.

I have set up an external dependency in another project plan and it shows up
since the time I tried to enter an external dependency in the 'problem
project'.

I am entering the external dependency via the Task Info - Predessors dialog
box by typing in the project name\task (all the projects are on the same
server, so the path auto generates without me typing it).

The external predessor is not an external predecessor to another task but it
is a summary task if that matters (I have used summary tasks as external
preds in the past with success.)

All column filters are set to all and I have No Group showing in the Group
By drop down menu.

Additional info about the 'problem project'. This project is a collection of
linked projects with a section at the top to summarize the current working
view % work complete. What I am trying to do is link to the design,
development, and test summary tasks in the linked projects to get a summary
view of % work complete. Earlier - like within the last 2 weeks - I had set
up a task Design-CWV with a
subtask of Design_Complete. Then I set up external predessors of the summary
tasks to the Design Complete task. Then I indented the external predessors
and the Design Complete task under the Design-CWV task which resulted in
seeing the %work complete, the planned, actual, remaining work, and the
planned and actual start and finish dates on the Design-CWV task. It made my
status reporting a snap. But I can't do that anymore because I can't see the
external dependency tasks.

Any more ideas?

Thank you, Connie
 
J

JulieS

Hi Connie,



Thanks for the additional information.



I'm still not sure I follow (no fault of yours, just a hard time getting
my brain around your setup). What I think I understand is that you have
created a master project with inserted subprojects. The inserted
subprojects are embedded (linked) to the original project files. Then
what I think you are trying to do is to add some additional tasks to the
master project and then create information in the master which
summarizes the duration and work of different phases (Design, etc.) in
the subprojects. Good so far?



In quick testing I was able to recreate what I *think* you are seeing.
I created a new project file and inserted (through Insert > Project) 3
projects: Project A, Project B, and Project C. Each project contains
Design tasks and a summary Design task. So I have three summary tasks,
Project A Design, Project B Design, and Project C Design.



In the master project, I created a task (Master Design) and a milestone
Master Design complete. The Master Design task is task ID 1, the Master
Design complete milestone is task ID 2.



When I link Project A Design summary task as the predecessor to Master
Design milestone, a link line is drawn from Project A Design summary
task already in the project to the Master Design complete milestone.
The Master Design complete milestone is now task ID 3, but the "ghost"
task Project A Design summary does not appear above the Master Design
complete milestone.



I then link Project B Design summary as the predecessor to the Master
Design milestone. Again, a link line is drawn from Project B Design
summary to the milestone Master Design complete. Master Design complete
is now task ID 4.



I repeat the process, linking Project C Design summary as the
predecessor to the Master Design milestone. Again, link line is drawn,
the Master design milestone is now task ID 5, but the "ghost" task does
not appear.



If I remove Project A from the master project by selecting the inserted
project summary task and deleting, the Project A Design summary task now
appears as the "ghost" external predecessor.

I them remove Project B from the master project and Project B Design
summary task appears as the "ghost" external predecessor.

I remove Project C from the master and Project C Design summary tasks
appears.



I am now able to indent the three external predecessor tasks and the
Master Design complete milestone under the Master Design task. My task
list in the master is now:

ID 1 - Master Design summary task

ID 2 - Project A Design (external predecessor)

ID 3 - Project B Design (external predecessor)

ID 4 - Project C Design (external predecessor)

ID 5 - Master Design complete milestone



So, it is not until the inserted subprojects are removed that the
external predecessors appear as expected.



I hope this helps. Let us know how you get along.



Julie



Visit http://project.mvps.org/ for FAQs and more information about
Microsoft Project.
 
C

crschmidts

Julie - You've recreated the problem. I am going to try a workaround. I
really need to see that current working view summary in the master plan, so;
I'm going to create a new CWV project, link to the design, etc, summary
tasks in the other projects, then insert the cwv project into the master
plan. I will let you know how that goes! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Connie
 
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J

JulieS

Hi Connie,

You are most welcome and thanks for the feedback. As long as the Design
tasks do not exist in the project, you should see the "ghost" tasks.

--
I hope this helps. Let us know how you get along.

Julie

Visit http://project.mvps.org/ for FAQs and more information about
Microsoft Project.
 
C

crschmidts

Julie, I'm getting closer to the result that I want. I set up a new project
plan just for the current working view summaries and sucessfully set up the
external dependencies to the various projects and they show up just fine.
However, when I indent the external dependencies under the cwv summary task,
the % work complete, remaining work, etc doesn't roll up, although the
planned finish date does show on the summary task.

Here is what I have set up:
CWV Design summary task
Design 1 external dependency
Design 2 external dependency
etc
CWV Design task

Results: Neither the CWV Design Task (to which the external dependencies are
linked), nor the CWV Design summary task (under which the external
dependencies and the CWV Design Task are indented) roll up the % completes
for the 2 external dependencies. So I still don't have a summary level task
of the external dependencies to get my CWV across projects.

Then, when I insert the CWV project into the Master Plan which includes
links to the projects in which I am setting up external dependencies, the
external dependencies become ghost tasks. Which would be ok if the detail
would roll up the the CWV Design (etc) Summary Tasks.

Any ideas about why the external dependencies aren't rolling up to the
summary tasks?

I think we are getting closer.

Thank you, Connie
 
J

JulieS

Hi Connie,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Again, I have been testing
what I think is your scenario, and I have been able to get the same
result: the % complete, etc. from the external predecessor tasks do not
roll up to the summary tasks in the master project. As to why, I'm not
completely sure, but I assume it is because the inserted summary task
(CWV Design in your case) can only summarize task truly belonging to the
master project.

In testing, the only answer that I can come up with which does summarize
the % complete, etc in a master project is to use grouping. What I did
was to create the master project with each of the 3 projects (A, B, and
C) inserted. In the master project, I inserted a text field (Text1) and
used that to code each major phase (Analysis, Design, Build) from each
inserted subproject.

I then created a custom group that grouped on Text1. This grouped all
of the Analysis, Design, and Build tasks from each subproject together
and at the Group summary line gave me the rolled up Duration and % Work
complete.

I know this is not the path we were pursuing initially but I hope it may
work for what you need to see.

--
I hope this helps. Let us know how you get along.

Julie

Visit http://project.mvps.org/ for FAQs and more information about
Microsoft Project.
 
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