Create and manage inter-project dependencies

Inter-project dependencies provide a way for you to show that a project is dependent on the completion of another project's deliverables (deliverable: A tangible and measurable result, outcome, or item that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project. Typically, the project team and project stakeholders agree on project deliverables before the project begins.) in order to be successful. By setting up inter-project dependencies, you can document and track projects without causing scheduling (schedule: The timing and sequence of tasks within a project. A schedule consists mainly of tasks, task dependencies, durations, constraints, and time-oriented project information.) shifts.

Setting up inter-project dependencies is a two-part process. First, you need to identify the project's deliverables. After the deliverables are defined, you can set up dependencies on those deliverables in other projects.

In this article


About inter-project dependencies

Creating inter-project dependencies is different from linking tasks across projects. With inter-project dependencies:

  • You can set up your project, or specific tasks in your project, to be dependent on another project's deliverables, rather than its tasks.
  • Your project and task start and finish dates are not affected by changes to the dates in the project you are dependent upon.

When should I use inter-project dependencies, instead of cross-project links?     If your project is dependent on some aspect of another project, and the dependency is not necessarily tied to a specific task, use inter-project dependencies to identify exactly what each project brings to the relationship. If your project has a specific task that depends on a specific task in another project, use cross-project links to tie the task dates to one another. This way, if the task you are dependent upon slips, the new dates are reflected in your own task.

 Notes 

  • In order to set up inter-project dependencies, your project must be saved, and it must have a workspace site provisioned on Microsoft Office Project Server 2007.
  • The Deliverable Type field for a task will contain a 1 if the task has an associated deliverable, a 2 if the task has an associated inter-project dependency, or a 0 if the task has no associated deliverables or inter-project dependencies.

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Identify the project deliverables

  1. On the Collaborate menu, click Manage Deliverables.
  2. In the Deliverables pane, click Add new deliverable.
  3. To indicate that the deliverable is the product of a specific task, click a task in your project, and then select the Link to selected task check box, under Link to Project Task in the Add Deliverable pane.

 Note   When you link a deliverable to a specific task, a Gantt bar is displayed that uses the Start and Finish dates for the deliverable.

If the deliverable is not connected with a specific task, clear the Link to selected task check box.

  1. Under Deliverable Details, type a title for the deliverable in the Title box.
  2. Enter a date when the deliverable will be available in the Start box.
  3. Enter a date when the deliverable will be complete in the Finish box.

     Note   If the deliverable will be complete and available on the same day, enter the same date in the Start and Finish boxes to indicate that the deliverable is a milestone.

  4. Click Done.

After you have initially identified your project deliverables, you may find that you need to change or delete a deliverable.

  • To change a deliverable, in the Deliverables pane, click the deliverable that you are editing, and then click Edit deliverable. Modify the deliverable and then click Done to save your changes.

 Tip   You can also click Edit in browser to edit the deliverable by using Microsoft Office Project Web Access.

  • To delete a deliverable, in the Deliverables pane, click the deliverable that you are deleting, and then click Delete deliverable.

ShowWhat is the red exclamation point to the left of my deliverable name in the Deliverables pane?

When a deliverable in your project plan becomes out-of-sync with the server, a red exclamation point is displayed to the left of the deliverable name in the Deliverables pane.

In a variety of circumstances, the deliverables in a local copy of a project plan can become out-of-sync with the server.

For example, a deliverable may become out-of-sync when:

  • Any of the properties of a deliverable are modified directly on the server.
  • A property of the deliverable is modified while the connection to the server is unavailable.

To synchronize your local copy of the project plan with the server, do the following:

  1. On the Collaborate menu, click Manage Deliverables.

 Tip   If the Deliverables pane is already open, click Get updates to retrieve the most current data from the server.

  1. In the Deliverables pane, click the deliverable that is out-of-sync with the server, indicated by a red exclamation point.
  2. Click Accept changes from server.

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Set up dependencies on deliverables in other projects

  1. On the Collaborate menu, click Manage Dependencies on Deliverables.
  2. In the Dependency pane, click Add new dependency.
  3. In the Add Dependency pane, under Dependent Project, select a project from the drop-down list.
  4. Under Select Deliverable, click the deliverable that you want your project to be dependent upon.

 Tip   With a deliverable selected, click View selected deliverable in browser in the Add Dependency pane to view the deliverable's properties before you create the dependency.

  1. To indicate that you want a specific task in your project to be dependent on the selected deliverable, click a task in your project, and then select the Link to selected task check box, under Link to Project Task in the Add Dependency pane.

 Note   When you link a dependency to a specific task, a Gantt bar is displayed that uses the Start and Finish dates for the dependency.

If the dependency is not connected with a specific task, clear the Link to selected task check box.

  1. Click Done.

After you have initially identified your inter-project dependencies, you may find that you need to change or delete a dependency.

  • To change an inter-project dependency, in the Dependency pane, click the dependency that you are editing, and then click Edit dependency. Modify the dependency and then click Done to save your changes.

 Tip   To view the deliverables that are associated with your project's dependencies, in the Dependency pane, click the dependency for which you are viewing a deliverable, and then click View deliverable in browser. After viewing the deliverables that are associated with your project's dependencies, you may also want to view the deliverables identified in your own project. Click Open deliverables in browser in the Dependency pane, or click Manage Deliverables on the Collaborate menu.

  • To delete an inter-project dependency, in the Dependency pane, click the dependency that you are deleting, and then click Delete dependency.

ShowWhat is the red exclamation point to the left of my deliverable name in the Deliverables pane?

In a variety of circumstances, the inter-project dependencies in a local copy of a project plan can become out-of-sync with the server.

For example, an inter-project dependency may become out-of-sync when:

  • Any of the properties of an inter-project dependency are modified directly on the server.
  • A property of the inter-project dependency is modified while the connection to the server is unavailable.
  • The deliverable that the inter-project dependency is linked to is deleted.

When an inter-project dependency in your project plan becomes out-of-sync with the server, a red exclamation point is displayed to the left of the dependency name in the Dependency pane.

To synchronize your local copy of the project plan with the server, do the following:

  1. On the Collaborate menu, click Manage Dependencies on Deliverables.

 Tip   If the Dependency pane is already open, click Get updates to retrieve the most current data from the server.

  1. In the Dependency pane, click the dependency that is out-of-sync with the server, indicated by a red exclamation point.
  2. Click Accept changes from server.

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Applies to:
Project 2007