Multiple Project Status Report using MS Project 2013

When managing multiple projects one of the common challenges is to be able to report on multiple projects. Using Microsoft Project Reports and Master Project Plan you can not only manage multiple projects  but also generate very useful reports.

Report on Multiple Projects
Project Portfolio Report
I understand that there are several tools available for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) which can do this task. But the focus of this article will be to enable someone using Microsoft Project to report on multiple projects.

Note : If you are not familiar with reports in Microsoft Project 2013 it is highly recommend that you read the article on Custom Reports with Microsoft Project before you proceed with the below steps. You should understand the use of Field List which is a Pivot of the tasks and resources fields.

You should use this technique only if you or your team is managing up to 6 - 7 projects at any given time. If you are looking at more than 6 -7 projects then you should consider using a PPM product instead.

The Project Portfolio Dashboard will have 4 sections : Project Progress CardProject Work LoadBudget Overview and Upcoming Milestones.

Setting up the Master Project Plan

This technique is based on the assumption that you have a Master Project Plan for all your projects. If you need to know how to setup a Master Project plan please read my article on How to create a Master Project plan in Microsoft Project.

I would also recommend that you setup a resource pool with Master Project so that you can report on all your resource as well. Please see my article How to Create a Resource Pool with Microsoft Project to understand how you can create a resource pool. 

I am using a Master Project Plan with 3 projects - New Business, Project Template and New Product Launch.

Creating the Reports

Microsoft Project allows customization of reports which you can use to suit your needs. Create a new custom report by going to the Reports Tab in Microsoft Project and click on New Report and then select a blank report. You will be asked a Report Name please enter a suitable report name.

Project Progress Report

Report on Multiple Projects
Project Progress
  • Please click on the chart(Add Chart)  from the ribbon and select a column chart. 
  • The project progress report will show the % complete.
  • In the fields section please select only % Complete under Numbers. 
  • Please delete all the other fields. 
  • In the filter drop down select All Tasks, select Level 2 in Outline Level 2. 
  • Check the Show Hierarchy option. 
  • Please move this to the right side of the report.

Project Workload Report

Report on Multiple Projects
Project Workload
  • Please click on the chart(Add Chart)  from the ribbon and select a column chart.  
  • After the graph is created you should be able to see all the projects names present in the master project plan
  • You can remove all the fields except Work and Remaining Work. 
  • Please move this graph to the right side of the report.

Budget Overview

Report on Multiple Projects
Budget Overview
  • The budget overview will give everyone an idea of the the project budgets
  • Please click on the Chart(Add Chart)  from the ribbon and select a column chart. 
  • The graph will have the budget total cost (cost) and remaining cost.
  • I have used the column chart. 
  • You can select the report format under design tab.
  • Select the Cost and Remaining Cost under the Cost option. 
  • Delete the other fields from the fields list.
Upcoming Milestones

Report on Multiple Projects
  • The milestones table will display the milestones in all the projects within the master project plan. 
  • To add a table click on Table in the design tab.  
  • The key step is to select Milestones in the Filter drop down so that the table shows only the Milestone tasks. 
  • By default a few columns will be added. Please remove all the columns except Name and Finish Date. 
  • For Filter drop down select Milestones, Group should be No Group, Outline Level should be All Subtasks. 
  • You can select the table format under Design Tab which appears under Table Design.

Generating the Report

Generating the report is the easiest task. After adding all the above graphs and tables please save the report. The report will be available under the Custom Reports in the Reports tab. 

Whenever you need to generate the report you need click on the report name under Custom Reports and the report will be generated in a click.Using the Copy Report option under the Design Tab you can copy your report to your presentation/dashboards and any other document.

I have used only a handful set of reports and options. You can play around to see what kind of information you need. The key here is to understand how MS Project allows you design the reports using the pivot for fields. If you are looking for an excel template then please visit - Multiple Project Status Report using Excel.

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