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Week Numbers in Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project does not have a generic way of displaying week numbers, but some project managers may need to display what week in the year or week of the project a task date corresponds to.  What you have to do is create a custom text field then set it to display a formula. I’ve shown before you how to create a custom field but I’ll do this again here.

Displaying Week Numbers using a formula

Creating a Custom Text Field

To create a custom field, right-click on any of the existing column titles in the Gantt Chart grid and choose Custom Fields from the pop-up menu.

Custom Field dialog for week numbersIn the top-right drop-down selector choose Text.

Now click on the first available field in the list – here Text1 is selected – and then click on the Rename… button. Give the field a suitable name. here I’ve called it Week Number.

Next you need to select the Custom attribute of Formula  by clicking on the Formula button.Formula for week numbers

Here is a suggested formula to show the week number relative to the project’s start date:

"Week " & CStr(1+datediff("w",[Project Start],[Start]))

 

Here is an alternative formula to show the week number in relation to the calendar year of the year the project started:

"Week " & CStr(1+datediff("w",DateSerial(Year([Project Start]),1,1),[Start]))

 

Of course if you only want the week number and no text before it omit the    “Week ” &    in the formula.

Having now created the custom field, right-click on the column title where you want to display your new field and select Insert Field from the pop-up menu. Scroll down the list of field names and select your new field. As you renamed a Text field it will still appear with all the other default text fields in the listing so my example above would appear as Text1 (Week Number) in the list.

Project Calendars Renaming and Copying

How to Rename and Copy Project Calendars

The secret to renaming and copying project calendars between Microsoft Project files is to use the Organizer. This article explains how.

The Organizer is found by clicking on the File tab, then in the Info backstage area clicking on the Organizer button.

Once in the Organizer you need to click on the Calendars tab.

Listed in the left pane will be the calendars in the Global template (Global.MPT). In the right-hand pane will be the calendars in the current project file.Project calendars organizer

To rename a calendar

  1. rename project calendarsClick on the current calendar name in the respective pane.
  2. Click on the Rename button.
  3. In the displayed Rename dialog, type in the new name then click on OK.

To copy a calendar to another project.

  1. Open up both project files.
  2. Open the Organizer.
  3. In the calendars tab of the Organizer, use the two Calendars available in drop-down selectors at the bottom of the dialog to select the project file that has your calendar in one pane, and the project that you want to copy the calendar over to in the other drop-down selector.
  4. Click on the calendar name that you want to copy, then click on the Copy button. Your calendar will be copied to the other Project file. (If you copy your calendar to the Global.MPT template file it will be available for all new blank projects.)

Working with Master Projects

Master Projects

Projects can get of hand quickly. Before you know it, a simple building project becomes loads of smaller projects, such as design, excavation, foundation work, and marketing. You can have more control over your project by creating smaller projects in Microsoft Project and then linking them into a single Project file to show where they fit in your master project.

What is a Master Project?

Think of a master project as a collection of consolidated projects that show a hierarchy among multiple related projects. Projects inserted into a master project are called subprojects.  When you insert a subproject, a small Project icon distinguishes it from summary tasks that are part of the master project. In the master project, subprojects appear as summary tasks that you can easily arrange in an outline.  To expand that subproject’s tasks for viewing, click on the plus sign next to a subproject . Effectively, each subproject represents a different phase or other functional group in the main project.

When you insert a subproject into the master project, the two projects are linked and you can view all the information in the subproject from the master project. When you update a subproject from the master project, it is updated in its source file as well. If you just must combine files to create a report or print a view of combined-project information, you can also consolidate them temporarily in a view.

Creating a master project and subprojects lets you break down a large project and delegate its parts to the necessary people. In project-management terms, assigning subprojects in this manner gives responsibility to those who do the work and matches authority with accountability. In Project terms, creating subprojects in a master project helps project managers gain access to, and control over, their parts of the schedule.

To insert a project into a master project

By consolidating related projects into a master project, you can organize and manage complex projects or multiple related projects more effectively.

  1. Open the project that you want to become a master project.
  2. In the Ribbon on the the View tab, in the Task Views group, click on Gantt Chart.
  3. In the table pane on the left, select the row below where you want to insert the project.
    Note:   You can insert a project at any level of the master project’s outline.
  4. In the Ribbon on the the Project tab, in the Insert group, click on Subproject.
  5. Navigate to the folder that contains the project that you want to insert.
  6. Select the project that you want to insert. To insert multiple projects, hold down CTRL and select the projects in the order that you want to insert them.
  7. Click on the Insert button.To insert a project in read-only format, click on the drop-down selector on the Insert button, and then select Insert Read-Only.

How resources are affected when you combine files

After you consolidate files into a master project file, the resources for both files remain separate, just as the tasks in a subproject remain in the subproject. You can change resource information in the master project and the changes will be replicated in the subproject’s source file. You can view all resources in the master project and subprojects together in the Resource Sheet view, but you can’t assign a resource to any project other than the subproject it came from.

Note:  If the same resources are used in multiple subprojects, you see duplicate resource names because the resources are not combined. However, if you want to assign the resources in different subprojects and resolve duplicate resource names, you can combine them in a resource pool and make them available to the other files.

Project Context Sensitive Task Bar Colours

Is it possible to have task bars in Microsoft Project that change colour depending upon the value in a custom field? An interesting question I thought when this was posed to me. I am going to show you how to create a custom field and then how to have tasks bars change colour automatically depending upon the value in the field.

Creating a Custom Text Field

To create a custom field, right-click on any of the existing column titles in the Gantt Chart grid and choose Custom Fields from the pop-up menu.

CustomFieldIn the top-right drop-down selector choose Text if you want the field to store multiple values.

Now click on the first available field in the list – here Text1 is selected – and then click on the Rename… button. Give the field a suitable name.

Having now created the custom field, right-click on the column title where you want to display your new field and select Insert Field from the pop-up menu. Scroll down the list of field names and select your new field (as you renamed a Text field it will still appear with all the other default text fields in the listing – not an alphabetical listing).

The field can now be used to enter whatever text you wish.

Creating Custom Flag Fields

We can set up Task Bar Styles that will change colour automatically; however, this only works when the field that the style reacts to is a Flag field (which represents Yes/No values). Therefore, to get this to work with Text fields we need to introduce some Flag fields that interact with the Text fields. Follow this example.

Create a custom Text field and rename it DemoState. Insert it into your project columns somewhere. In the DemoState column enter random values using A or B or C.  Because Task Bar Styles will only change colour automatically on Yes/No flag fields, we need to create additional custom Flag fields. The rule is for each possible value in your custom Text field you want to highlight with a different task bak colour you need to create an additional custom Flag field. So let’s say that whenever I have B in my DemoState field I want it to show Red in the task bar, and whenever I have C in my DemoState field I want it to show as a green task bar; A in the field can stay the default blue colour.  As I want two special colours I need two additional custom Flag fields. CustomFlag

So follow the instructions above to create a custom field but this time in the displayed dialog, select Flag in the top-right drop-down selector. The first custom Flag field I will rename as IsItB. The additional selection in the same dialog for this Flag field is to select the Custom attribute of Formula (click on the Formula button).

We now use the IIF function to determine if the value of B is set in my DemoState field. The IIF function uses the following syntax

IIF(Condition Test, Value if True, Value if False)

IsIt_BTherefore, our formula will be:

IIF([Text1]="B", Yes, No)

It is important to note that the formula refers to the original Text1 field name not our renamed DemoState.

Having created this custom field, I will repeat this with another custom Flag field and call it IsItC and the formula in this one will be :

IIF([Text1]="C", Yes, No)

Now I have created the two custom flag fields, I do not need to display them in the Gantt chart columns.

Creating Custom Bar Styles

The final step is to create the different Task Bar colour styles. In BarStylesthe Ribbon’s Gantt Chart tools Format tab, in the Bar Styles group, click on the Format button and choose Bar Styles in the drop-down menu. Scroll to the bottom of the list and add a new entry. I will name my entry as B Colour (in the first column Name). As soon as you have typed the new name and moved to the next column a default pattern and colour is set. Using the Bars tab in the bottom-half of this dialog, select a solid Pattern in the Middle section and then change the Color setting in the Middle section to Red. Back in the top half, in the third column (Show for …Tasks) for the this new style select the Flag1 field (as before we are using the default field name not our renamed IsItB.)

Repeat the style creation but this time calling it C Colour using Green as the colour and Showing for Flag 2.

Conclusion

In summary, we need to create our custom text field to hold our different values. For each value that you want to have a different task bar colour, then create a custom Flag field that uses the IIF function to display Yes if the text field holds the value you want to change the task bar colour for. Finally, create a Bar Style for each colour you want and assign it to show for your Flag field.

A somewhat convoluted process but it does work.