Interconnected Projects for Multi-level Management

We recently got the following question on multi-level project management in an Aras Community forum:

Idea: I’d like to have each sub-system/part have it’s own project so the individual project managers can easily see what they care about. But, since all the Projects are heavily inter related, I’d also like someway of easily keeping track of the entire car design process without having to jump between different Projects.

The scenario described by the forum user is similar to a proof of concept we implemented last year. This post outlines the context of the POC, and the solution that we implemented.

The Context

There are two types of projects: Product and Toolings. Every Product project has a few milestones that are shared with a Tooling manager. The Product manager and the Tooling manager do not want to have the same view. There are too many activities in each project that are not useful for the other.

The Solution

For step 1, I did the following :

  • I created two project templates.
  • The Tool project acts as a child project for Product. It has a property “parentProject” to make the link.
  • Before updating any project, the connected project will be updated.
  • This is a two-way synchronization but not on the same date properties.
  • The link between parent-child activities is done on fixed activity name matching.

Here are the two project templates:

A Tool project has a Parent Project with which it will be synced:

In the Tool window there is a custom table to show all the constraining dates, coming either from the Tool project or the Product project.

In the Product project we have a custom table reporting all the dates on specific shared dates.

Here is the code for synchronizing from one project to another.

The code was made for a quick POC, so there are few comments for explanation. I invite you to contact us if you have any questions or if this is a use case you have in your project.

The Step 2 that we planned (but our customer was convinced after step 1) included adding an interface for mapping activities from both projects instead of setting the link on an activity name comparison. If anyone from the community wants to do it ! have fun and share it !


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