Skill Level Intermediate
- [Bonnie] Hi, I'm Bonnie Biafore. In this project tip, I'll show you how to easily create dependencies between tasks in different projects. We're gonna start by opening both project files. As it turns out, I already have them both open in this project session. What we need to do to create a cross-project task dependency is we have to be able to see both of the projects in the same window. Well here's how you do that.
Let's go to the View tab and then and the right end, in the Window section, click the New Window button. When the New Window dialog box opens up, you can see the one project is selected, the Product Development project. That's the one I can see on the screen. To select the other, I hold the Control key down and click my other project, the Kickoff project.
Then in the View box, I can click the down arrow and choose the view that I want to open. In this case, I'm gonna use the Gant Chart. Now, when I click OK, project automatically opens up a new temporary master project file that has both of those selected projects as sub-projects within it. So here we have one window that contains both of the projects.
So now we can create our cross-project task dependency. Just like any other link, you wanna click the predecessor and then the successor. So let's start in the product development project. I'm gonna select task 10, which Design phase complete. It's a milestone. That's my predecessor. Then I hold the Control key down and I'm gonna click task three in my Kickoff project, that's create publicity materials.
I have my predecessor selected followed by my successor. Now I can go to the Task tab and in the Schedule section click on the icon to link the tasks. It looks like links of chain. Let's point at this vertical divider and when you see the two headed arrow, I'm gonna drag that to the right because I wanna see my predecessor's column. I'll do the same thing here. I point at the right side of the predecessor's column heading and drag to the right so I can see more of the values.
There are two predecessors. The one predecessor says number two. That's just task two in the same project. But in the other one, you can see the path to the project and also the task. So if I click in that cell, I can actually see the path, the file name, and the task ID. At this point, I have my cross-project dependency in place and that means I can throw away my master project file.
I'm gonna go to the File tab and click Close. When the message box comes up and it asks, do you wanna save your changes to this project, I don't because I don't need the master file anymore, so I'm gonna click No. Now I'm back into my two separate project files. Here I'm looking at the product development project and notice that I've got this task here and the task name is shown in gray.
That means it's a task from another file and sure enough, it's Create publicity materials. Let's go ahead and look at the Kickoff project. I'm gonna go down to the task bar, click my project icon, and then select my other project file. Once again, there's a task in here. The task name is in gray. It's Design phase complete. Well that's the milestone from the Product Development project.
And sure enough, when you look at the predecessor cell, you can see that I've got a predecessor that points to a folder location. It's got its project file name and the task ID. I'm just gonna drag this divider over so I can see this entire file name. And there you have an easy way to create a link between tasks in different projects.