One efficient way in Microsoft Project to insert external dependencies is through a temporary master schedule. Let’s say you have two individual projects you want to link with an external dependency. Previously we explained a way to connect two projects together using an external dependency, and not a temporary master schedule. Refer to the blog Microsoft Project and External Dependencies for a description.
But the approach described in this blog required some keyboard entry, which some may consider prohibitive. And, there is an easier way to connect two projects in Microsoft Project.
This article describes how to use a temporary master schedule in Microsoft Project to connect two project schedules together with an external dependency.
We begin with two open projects we would like to connect with an external dependency. With our two projects open we select the view tab, window ribbon group, and new window icon, Figure 1.
We select our two target projects in the new window dialog, Figure 2.
This creates a temporary master schedule of the two projects, Figure 3.
We want to link End Pipe Installation and Start Backfill. In Figure 4 we connect these two milestones in the usual way.
In Figure 5 our two projects are linked together.
Now we simply close the temporary master schedule, Figure 6.
Figure 7 displays our Underground Pipe Installation project and external dependency.
The Backfill & Paving project schedule, including external dependency, is in Figure 8.
Creating a temporary master schedule for two projects you want to link with an external dependency is definitely a fast and easy way to define the connection. The trick is knowing that this schedule is generated by making a new window that includes the two open projects. Then it becomes a simple matter of making the connection in the way that two tasks are commonly linked together in Microsoft Project. And the final step is to close and not save the temporary master schedule.