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Multi-Project Scheduling

Watch a video demonstration of these concepts here: Scheduling Multiple Projects

In order to establish priorities across multiple projects, you need to be familiar with the principles of priority-based scheduling. Here’s a quick review:

In priority-based scheduling, you don’t set fixed start and finish dates for each task. 

Simply assign tasks, estimate effort, and arrange tasks in priority order. The scheduling engine then automatically calculates a range of realistic start and finish dates for each task.

Each person’s tasks will be scheduled in the order in which they are listed on the Projects tab.  

Your top task is treated as your first priority, and is thus scheduled first, starting with today’s date.  The start dates of your subsequent tasks are determined by the amount of work preceding them. The range of likely finish dates is determined based on your ranged estimates.  The scheduler also takes things like dependencies, delay until dates and events into account.

Packages allow you to schedule multiple concurrent projects.

If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to read our Packages help article before proceeding further in this article.  As noted in that article, packages can be used to   facilitate prioritization of tasks from different projects or to add organizational structure into your plan.  This article is focused on cross-project prioritization only.


Using Packages for Cross-Project Prioritization

If you own tasks in more than one project, your tasks in the top priority project are scheduled before your tasks in the next project, and so on.  If you only work on one project at a time, the project priority order is sufficient to produce an accurate schedule. However, most of us are juggling multiple projects at the same time. We might work a task from project A, then one from project C, then one from project B, etc.

Multi-Project Scheduling - packaging upTo schedule this in LiquidPlanner, we use a designated priority package.  In the example to the left, individual tasks are being dragged from three different projects and dropped into a high priority package called ASAP TASKS.


Dragging a task out of a project folder and into a higher priority package creates a priority override for the task so it will schedule sooner.


After the tasks are pulled up to the ASAP TASKS priority package, they can be rearranged to reflect the actual order this member plans to complete their work.


Now this member can begin to chip away at all three projects concurrently, rather than being scheduled to complete all tasks from the first project before beginning work on the second project, and so on.

You can override the default priority for a task by dragging and dropping it to a high priority package, as shown above, by choosing the package in the task’s edit panel in the Package field, or via the right-click menu.


Viewing Priority Overrides in Your Plan

A task that has been pulled up from a project to a high priority package is represented twice in your plan. The same task is shown in two locations:

  • The task’s priority position (its override position) drives the schedule date.  That’s the prioritized copy of the task that sits in the high priority package.  Clicking on the breadcrumb next to the task will take you to the project that the task lives in.
  • The task’s placeholder position (the original task) continues to represent the task within the project structure. The breadcrumb for this task shows you the package that the task was prioritized into. The placeholder task will also have chevron arrow to the left of the task name indicating the task has a priority override.
Multi-Project Scheduling - task placeholder position
Prioritizing a multiple owner task into a priority package will affect all assignments on the task.

Now that you know how to prioritize tasks from multiple projects, it’s time to think about how you want to structure priority packages along with organizational packages in your own workspace. The help article below will help you do just that!

Take a look at Setting Up the Workspace to see different ways of modeling your workflow.



Related Articles

Priority-Based Scheduling

Multi-Project Scheduling was last modified: November 15th, 2017 by Team Liquidplanner

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