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Question

In a GM Upgrade Project, the build order depends heavily on the “initial” list of projects in the *.gmproj file for that project.

We’d like to influence the ordering a bit to create various "migration sets" for the project.

Is it possible to find somehow the “shortest” build order for a target project (or small set of target projects).

We would like that for certain important projects, only its true dependencies appear before those “target” projects in the build order.

Answer

You may order the projects manually in the excel representation of the *.gmproj file -- File/Edit in Excel, modify and save, then File/Load in gmStudio 

Once you have a manually ordered gmProj, you will want to avoid re-running the build order tool as it will reorder things again.   To avoid this, you may use the settings form to make a project specific version of the build order template (rpt.vbp_ord.xml) and modify it to not generate the report.  Then, if you accidentally run the build order tool, it will not re-order the gmProj file.  I have not done this myself, but it should work.  For example, try commenting out the <BuildOrder/> command.
You may also put an alternate order in the UsrCmnt or UsrDesc field so that you can filter and re-sort things if you need to.  
The Iceberg Report will tell you the set of VBP inter-dependencies relating for given VBP.
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