: Microsoft projects tutorial
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|Microsoft projects tutorial|
Microsoft projects tutorial -
Microsoft Project 2007
Microsoft Project is the leading project management software application designed to assist project managers in developing projects, assigning resources to tasks, tracking progress, producing project reports, managing budgets, and analyzing workloads. It’s simple enough to use for small projects and deep enough to manage multi-billion dollar projects. With this mix of features, Project can seem overwhelming for first time users and those learning Project by trying to use it intuitively often discover problems as projects become more complex and the software isn’t being used properly.
Microsoft Project creates critical path schedules which can be resourced leveled and connected to other project plans and project managers using Microsoft Project Server. Microsoft has created a deep featureset for Microsoft Project 2007, allowing project managers to be as detailed as they want in their projects. This free Microsoft Project tutorial explores Project 2007 Professional, though most of the features we learn are common between Project 2007 Standard and Project 2007 Professional.
In this free tutorial, you will learn:
- The Microsoft Project Interface
- Setting Project Properties
- Creating New Project Plans
- Managing Tasks in Your Project Plan
- Managing Resources in a Project Plan
- Completing Your Project Plan
We will explore Microsoft Project through screenshots and step by step instructions for you to best experience the project. Throughout this tutorial, you will find sample project plans and examples of how to best perform tasks in Microsoft Project. We’ve created a free Microsoft Project Reference section here on Learnthat.com for you to learn additional Project functions, find a specific tutorial for a task you want to learn, and watch video tutorials on specific Microsoft Project topics.
In the next section of our free Microsoft Project 2007 tutorial, you will learn about the Microsoft Project interface, Project views, reports, setting non-working days, and project properties.
Tags:Microsoft Office, microsoft project, pmo, project, project 2007, Project Management, project managers, projects
Figure A shows two sets of summary tasks, each with three subtasks. Summary tasks provide a great way to group tasks together. For fields such as Work or Cost, the summary task field will show the sum of the subtasks. For dates, the summary task dates will be the earliest start date and the latest finish date of its subtasks. Use summary tasks to gather your tasks into logical groups. Doing so will make your plan easier to read.
The next step is to create work estimates for your tasks. These estimates will drive much of your work on the project.
You should make these estimates without thinking about how many resources you have. This will be hard at first, because it’s natural to think in terms of how many people you can assign to a certain task.
Instead, think in terms of work hours. How many work hours will each task take? This number should be the same regardless of whether you have one person or 100 people working on the task. Later, when you assign resources, you’ll determine how many people the job requires. But what’s important now is entering the most accurate work-hours estimate you can into the Work field of each task.
You should note that, by default, this field is not displayed. To display it, right-click on the Duration field in the Gantt Chart view and click on the Insert Column menu item as shown in Figure B.
|Gantt Chart context menu|
This will bring up the Column Definition dialog box, shown in Figure C.
|Column Definition dialog box|
In the Field Name drop-down box, select Work. You can also use this dialog box to edit the column’s title, set the alignment of the title and data, and specify the column width. Click OK, and you’ll see the Work column displayed between the Name field and the Duration field.
Deciding on task type
As discussed before (see “Microsoft Project tutorial: Duration and task types”), Task type will play an important role in how MS Project reacts to changes you make to your plan.
First, determine what factor drives your tasks. In other words, what is the key element in the equation “Duration = Work/Units”?
If the duration must remain constant—for example, if your primary consideration is meeting a deadline—then Fixed Duration would be the right choice.
But perhaps your task, or even your whole project, is a bid depending on a certain number of hours. In this case, Fixed Work might be the best choice, so that changes in units (resource availability to work on your tasks) or duration will not affect the work values.
You might choose Fixed Units if, for example, you’re borrowing resources from a different department and this loan is available only half-time. In this case, you would want Project to adjust Work or Duration to keep the Units values (in this case 50 percent) constant.
You can enter this information in the Task Details form as mentioned above and shown in Figure A, or you can double-click on any task and see the Task Information dialog box. Click on the Advanced Tab of this dialog box, shown in Figure D, and choose the task type from the drop-down menu in the lower section.
|Advanced Tab of the Task Information dialog box|
Creating dependencies between tasks
All but the simplest projects are driven by the relationships, or dependencies, between the component tasks. These dependencies determine when certain tasks can begin.
Figure Edemonstrates this. The sample Gantt chart shows that the task called Butter Bread depends on the task called Toast Bread. The butter task cannot start until the toast task is complete.
|View of dependencies|
Your project will most likely contain many relationships like this one. Microsoft Project can help ensure that these dependencies and their effects on your schedule are correctly updated and displayed.
Microsoft Project calls these Predecessor and Successor links. These terms refer to the fact that the first task in a link (the predecessor) drives the second task (the successor). In other words, the successor depends on the predecessor.
The most common link is a Finish-to-Start link, in which the finish of the predecessor drives the start of the successor task. (There are other link types, but they are much less common, and we won’t cover them here. You can find more information on these links in Project’s online help.)
The easiest way to create links is to use Project’s drag-and-drop functionality. Simply hover over the predecessor task until you see the cursor, shown in Figure F.
|Creating a link: Cursor|
Then drag the cursor onto the Gantt bar of the successor task and release the mouse button. While dragging, you’ll see the image shown in Figure G.
|Creating a link: Drag and drop|
When applying these links, remember that they almost always make a project duration longer. Use them onlywhen a task absolutely cannot start until another finishes. Unnecessary links will make your project longer than it needs to be. Use links with care.
Next: Assigning resources
At this point, you’re ready to build the foundation for your project’s plans. In the next article in this series, I’ll discuss assigning resources.
Tracking your accomplishments?
How do you keep track and quantify your accomplishments during the year? We’d like to hear your tips and tricks for documenting what you do before evaluation time. E-mail us with your suggestions.
Learn Microsoft Project with this comprehensive course from TeachUcomp, Inc. Mastering Project Made Easy features 101 video lessons with over 6 hours of introductory through advanced instruction. Watch, listen and learn as your expert instructor guides you through each lesson step-by-step. During this media-rich learning experience, you will see each function performed just as if your instructor were there with you. Reinforce your learning with the text of our two printable classroom instruction manuals (Introductory and Advanced), additional images and practice exercises. You will learn introductory through advanced concepts including assigning and managing tasks and resources, tracking project tasks, developing dynamic reports and much more.
Whether you are completely new to Project or upgrading from an older version, this course will empower you with the knowledge and skills necessary to be a proficient user. We have incorporated years of classroom training experience and teaching techniques to develop an easy-to-use course that you can customize to meet your personal learning needs. Simply launch the easy-to-use interface, click to start a video lesson or open one of the manuals and you’re on your way to mastering Project.
Course Syllabus & Sample Lessons
Select any of the video lessons markedto view them in a new window.
To view samples of the instruction manuals in PDF, click here:Introductory Project Advanced Project
Microsoft Project Training Course Overview
Microsoft Project is a powerful project management software program used to assist project managers in developing plans, assigning resources, tracking progress and managing budgets. During this 6 hour Project video training course, our expert instructor will show you how to assign and manage tasks and resources, track project tasks, develop dynamic reports and much more. This course covers the same material as our two-day classroom training and was designed to provide a solid foundation in Microsoft Project.
Course includes video lessons, printable instruction manuals, a practice exam with evaluative feedback (find out why your answers are right or wrong), your final exam submission, and a course certificate of completion.
At TeachUcomp, Inc., you choose how you want your Project training delivered.
Online subscriptions offer the most flexibility and value. With online training, you can access your courses anytime and anywhere you have an internet connection (including all new releases and updates). Your subscription grants you instant access to ALL of our courses for one low price. There are no contracts and you can cancel at any time. You may choose between a monthly or annual plan.
Courses are also available individually via digital download and online for a one-time charge.