Projects can be started in LYNX from "scratch", but also be imported from other tools, like MS Project or Primavera. This article describes the import process of an MS Project file example.
Example MS Project File
The sample project below contains a set with tasks and summary tasks and a simple network structure.
In this example there are also two "Skills" assigned to tasks:
- Skill A (already known in LYNX)
- Skill B (not yet known in LYNX)
The LYNX Import process will take over the network, task types and also handles the mapping of Skills and resources, considering Skill(s) and Resource(s) that already exist in the LYNX SKill or Resource Table.
NOTE: the sample file used in this article is available as an attachment to this article (see below)
Data-mapping and "Protection" during import process
The import file may contain data that is not recognized or cannot be mapped automatically to data-entities or fields in LYNX.
The following measures and checks have been implemented:
XML format import prefered over MPP format
Ensure you save and import your MS Project file as an XML file. This minimizes the chance on any unexpected deviations, when importing your project.
Handling import conflicts - Space owner responsibility
To ensure that data in the skill, resource and calendar table do not receive unwanted data as a result of the import, LYNX will check on "Import conflicts".
Also the resolution of import conflicts can only be done by a user with the role of "Space owner".
Importing MS Project file - Video tutorial
LYNX Import process
The import process has the following steps:
- Select the Project Portfolio view
- Press “Add” to open the “Add a new project" dialog
- Go to “Template”
- Select “Create new project from file”
- Select the file to be imported
- The "Import status tab" is added
- Go to the "Import status tab" for data-mapping between MS Project and LYNX:
- Resolve Import conflicts
- Update project properties:
- Set a Project ID
- Set a (tentative) end-date or due-date
- Confirm scheduling settings (e.g. CCPM)
Add a new project
The picture below shows the steps for creating a new project via the "Add" button:
Once you have selected and opened the MS Project file, LYNX reviews the calendars, skills and resources that are part of the MS Project file. The "Import status tab" is added, which allows you to control the data-mapping and import conflicts between MS Project and LYNX.
Handling import conflicts
The Import status tab will highlight any import conflicts that between data in import project file (MS Project) and LYNX concerning:
Handling of Calendar conflicts (Space owner)
The "Import status" tab is showing two messages initially, because the calendars linked to skills/resources in MS Project and LYNX are not matching. LYNX proposes by default replace non-existing calendars by the default standard calendar.
It is recommended to just adopt this calendar setting, and ignore these messages.
Handling of Skill conflicts (Space owner only)
The sample project has the following two skills assigned to tasks:
- Skill A - already in LYNX
- Skill B - no in LYNX yet
If the box "Import resources as skills" is selected, LYNX will check the resource assignments in the import file against the Skill table in LYNX. As a result, only 1 message remains, concerning Skill B.
The following conflict resolution options are available:
- Create a new Skill
- Do not assign a Skill
- Replace with an already existing Skill
In this example we have selected to replace Skill B with the existing Skill of System Tester.
Handling of Resource conflicts (Space owner)
Conflicts at resource level occur when the import file also contain resource assignments, as shown in the example below:
Update project properties
Before saving the project into LYNX, it is required (and recommended) to add a Project ID, update the project end-date and confirm the scheduling settings. These 3 steps are shown in the pictures below.
Open the imported project in LYNX
Projects that have been imported can be found via the Portfolio view in the "Not started" bucket:
After opening the imported project in LYNX, you will see that Skill B has been replaced by the Skill System Tester.
Reviewing and cleaning your project
External projects imported into LYNX often included so-called "Must" constraints, and also task-dependencies that are to be avoided when the CCPM method is used for planning and scheduling projects.
See these articles addressing these topics: