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I am trying to put together a programme plan, collaborating all of the individual project plans into one programme plan.

Every time I copy and paste one of the project plans into my new programme plan (even if there is nothing else in the plan) all of the dates change.

Without going through each task a rectifying the date change, there is not much that I can think to do.

Removing automatic scheduling allows me to copy and paste the dates, but I need the format of the plan to stay the same, so automatic scheduling needs to be on.

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3 Answers 3

Here is one approach you might want to try. Go ahead and paste the tasks of one project into the programme plan. Let the dates change. Then select only the start and end date fields from that project plan and then do a "Paste Special -> Text Data" into the start and end date fields of the programme plan. If you see a dialog, select "Continue. Move the task to start before the project start date."

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Hard coding your dates kills one the biggest reasons you are tracking your schedule--to monitor your finish variances. Hard coded dates are used as constraints in the schedule logic so that your finish variances read zero all the time, but your resource utilization increases to absorb schedule slips. Instead, the dates should be derived based on your schedule dependencies and sequencing and work package durations. As such, if you transfer the schedule into a new version, you only need to adjust the first milestone "start" date; then everything else will automatically adjust and sequence based on the logic.

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If it's acceptable to you (or whoever the programme plan is aimed at) it might make more sense to manage the projects separately and create dependencies between them. That would allow the auto scheduling to remain in place on each project but effectively link them together as part of a wider program. Personally, I think having multiple projects in a single project plan is a bit unmanageable. If the intention of the single program plan is to share resources more effectively then it is also possible to share resources between individual projects.

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