Microsoft Project can help you manage your project’s schedule, costs, and scope in a way that you’ve never dreamed of. Too often, Project users never use this powerful tool to its fullest potential. In this lesson, you’ll discover how to improve your project by adopting a formal management approach. You’ll get a quick overview of Project Management, and then you’ll learn the basics of Microsoft Project, including a summary of the Gantt Chart view and ways to create and enter project tasks.
If you’re looking for ways to keep organized, you’ll see just how to do that in this lesson! You’ll go through the steps to create a project schedule in no time flat. Once you create and enter tasks in Project’s Gantt Chart view, you’ll set a schedule by using a calendar and assigning lead times. Then, you’ll need to create task dependencies, sometimes known as links. You’ll see how to perform these activities and, in the process, you’ll become comfortable using Project’s many dialog boxes. Before you know it, you’ll be creating schedules for all your projects with little effort.
You won’t get too far with your project without adding resources. While tasks create the backbone of your project, you’ll also need people, equipment, and materials to bring your project to life. In this lesson, you’ll find out how to apply two types of Project resources—work resources, and material resources. You’ll look at two more dialog boxes—Resource Information and Assign Resources—and you’ll learn how to analyze resources by using the Resource Sheet and Resource Usage views.
No matter what project you work on, the bottom line is always important. So, get ready to add the final piece to your basic project schedule—costs. You’ll start things off by looking through a brief overview of cost accounting, exploring fixed, variable, relevant, and accrued costs. After this review, you’ll learn how to assign costs by using the Resource Sheet. You’ll even discover how to assign different costs for the same resource and analyze the overall costs for your project by using the Cost Table.
Successful project managers are known for their efficiency and for safeguarding private information. Microsoft Project provides two excellent methods to help you in these areas: project templates and project security. You’ll find out how to use some of the many templates Project has to offer, including the Residential Construction template and the New Product template. You’ll also learn how to protect your project information with backups, passwords, and write protection. Then you’ll discover how to put Project’s task constraints to good use.
In this lesson, you’ll discover how easy it is to modify your basic schedules and work with project data. You’ll look at the various Project views, such as the Calendar, Leveling Gantt, and the Network Diagram. If you don’t like the default colors or fonts in your schedule or table, you’ll be well-prepared to make changes. You’ll even learn how and why you might want to create a combination view; add notes to your project; or sort, filter, and group data.
Many projects experience schedule compression when management or clients ask that the project be completed sooner and for less. In this lesson, you’ll discover how to improve your schedule’s performance. You’ll explore the Project Statistics dialog box, and you’ll learn how to determine the ideal starting point in terms of planned costs and completion dates. You’ll see how to change task dependencies to speed up your project and also find out how to split tasks to add more lead time. You’ll also learn how to create recurring tasks and attach notes to your project’s taskbars.
Before you implement your project, you need to create a baseline. This will help you track actual results against what you originally set out to accomplish. Microsoft Project makes it possible to set up a baseline with a few mouse clicks. You’ll learn how to create a baseline and then see a variety of ways, including using the Tracking toolbar, to record your actual project results.
Here’s where things really start to come together! You’ll learn how to compare actual results to your baseline by using the Gantt Chart and reviewing a table. You’ll discover how useful status identifiers and progress lines can be to quickly gain information about your project’s position. You’ll also begin using the Tracking Gantt and filters to automatically identify slipping tasks. You’ll also take a stroll through the basics of variance analysis by discussing the Start and Finish Date, Resources, and Work Variance Tables.
No project is complete until it’s officially closed. In this final lesson, you’ll find out how to close your project and use the Organizer to help you customize and copy views for future projects.
Now that you’re using reports to share project information, you’ll occasionally need to print various views and tables. In this lesson, you’ll delve into printing Microsoft Project documents. You’ll be a master at creating different views of your project with the Page Setup dialog box, and you’ll clearly understand the mechanics of the Print dialog box and the Print Preview.
Once your project gets rolling, outsiders will probably want to know how things are going. It can be a real time drain answering each request individually. When others request information from you, Microsoft Project offers the perfect solution: Reports. You’ll go over a representative sample of the standard reports as well as discuss how to modify and create new reports in this lesson. By the time you finish, you’ll be well acquainted with Project’s reporting capabilities and also know how to create Visual Reports as Project automatically exports data to Microsoft Excel and Visio.