Being new to MS Project, I am wondering if I can create a project based on a defined template modified by some variables.

I am dealing with several (20+) projects I have to manage parallel. The projects themselves are almost identical in structure, i.e. they all have six sequential work packages that have a defined ratio of effort (e.g package 1 is 45% of the total project effort, package 2 is 5% and so on). They basically only differ in the following variables:

  • Start date
  • End date
  • Total hours available
  • Assignment of the six fixed, sequential work packages to authors (aka resources)

Is it possible in MS Project to define a project template and generate a project plan just from entering the variables listed above and have the rest (like start/end dates and hours for the individual work packages) be filled in automatically? If so, how?

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's easy to save a project as a template in MS Project. You can find this feature at File > Export > File Types > Save Project as File.
Choose Project Template and save. This will lead you to a dialog where you can remove non-generic data from your project (costs, etc.) and save the template.
To load a template, click File > New, select your template and click Create.

To fill in data automatically, I'd recommend importing via Excel (File > New > New from Excel workbook).

  • 1
    To clarify there are two separate methods above: 1) With the template method, you'll just need to set a project start date (which will ripple through all tasks if they are linked property and are not otherwise constrained) and set resource availability and assign as necessary. 2) Creating a schedule from Excel data works wonderfully but can be tricky if you don't have much experience with MS Project. – Rachel Hettinger May 4 at 16:19

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