In order to ensure your success in this course, you need to be able to create a new project plan; manage time, tasks and resources in a project plan; and share a project plan. These topics are covered in the Microsoft Project Introduction course.
What You Will Learn
In particular you will be able to:
Manage the project environment
Manage task structures
Generate project views to manage a project
Produce project reports to share a project’s status
About This Course: This course is designed to familiarize you with the advanced features and functions of Microsoft Project Professional in order that you can use it effectively and efficiently in the real-world. This course will enable you to manage the project so that it is completed on time, within budget, and according to scope. Each lesson in this course is created around the executing, monitoring, and controlling tasks that can be done using the advanced commands.
Managing the Project Environment
Hopefully you have been able to successfully apply of what you learned in Project Introduction to real-world work situations. Since then you might have used the knowledge and skills to: * Create a new project plan either by starting a blank project file or starting a project file from a template. * Manage time in a project plan by changing the project time frame and calendar. * Manage tasks in a project plan which includes adding tasks and linking them together into paths. * Manage resources in a project plan by adding people, equipment, and materials to a project and assigning them to tasks. * Share a project plan like saving, printing, emailing, and exporting project files. In Microsoft® Project Part 2, you will learn about the advanced features of Microsoft Project which will enable you to become a “power user” and take the advantage of the full potential of this application. This course will concentrate on the commands found on a particular tab of the ribbon. This lesson focuses on several commands on the PROJECT tab of the ribbon that were not mentioned in Microsoft® Project Part 1 on how to manage the project environment.
You might remember how to link tasks within a project file. It is also possible to link separate project files, and to link tasks that are in separate project files. Linking projects, and tasks in different projects, establishes a relationship between the project files. Sometimes your project might be completely independent from any other projects that may be occurring in the organization. Often, however, a project is connected to others. In this topic, you’ll explore how projects link to one another and how to manage those connections of linked projects.
Baseline a Project
When you are moving from project planning to project execution, it’s a good idea to set a a snapshot of the planned scope, time, and cost of a project so that you can measure how well your project is performing. This is a project baseline – an approved plan for a project by the person in an organization who authorizes, supports, and approves a project. A baseline is a measurement, calculation, or location used as a basis for comparison.In this topic, you’ll discuss baselines and how to set them.
Work with Custom Fields
Even though Microsoft Project comes packed with hundreds of fields for capturing information about project tasks and resources, there may be situations in which you need additional or different data fields than those provided. Custom fields are data fields that you can configure for your unique project needs.Dozens of these customize fields already exist as placeholders in Project, just waiting for you to make them your own. There are several ways to use custom fields and in this topic you’ll see how to add custom fields to a project:- * by inserting data that is important to your organization * by writing formulas that will perform calculations * by adding lookup tables to make data entry more accurate * by building graphical indicators to call attention to important items * by creating hierarchical coding structures
Managing Task Structures
In this lesson you will learn how to manage task structures. You have knowledge of creating and managing tasks in a new project from previous Project Introduction training. Here you will also see several other task-related features of Microsoft® Project that were not covered before.
Change a Task List
In Microsoft Project Introduction, you learned how add tasks to a project and link them together. In this topic, you’ll discover how to change the tasks and task links in an existing task list.
Create a Network Diagram
Up to now, you have mainly used the Gantt Chart—which is the most well-known way to illustrate project information. However, every project manager should be familiar with another important method for illustrating project information — the network diagram. Network diagramming (also called Precedence Diagramming Method or PDM) is a method for illustrating project information that emphasizes task sequencing and dependencies among tasks. In this methodology, tasks are depicted as boxes, and dependencies are depicted as arrows connecting the nodes.
Manage the Critical Path
You know that in your project every task is important, but those tasks that directly determine the total duration of the project are especially critical. The critical path is the longest path in a project, calculated by summing the durations of the individual tasks in the path, that determines the duration of the project. In other words, the project duration cannot be shorter than the total duration of the tasks in the critical chain. It is important to pay attention to the critical path and to manage it properly. If one or more tasks on the critical path falls behind schedule, then the entire project will take longer than planned. That could mean missing important deadlines or spending more money than budgeted. Here you will learn the importance of a project’s critical path.
Use Lag and Lead
In this topic, you will discover the concepts of lag and lead. As you may recall from Microsoft Project Introduction, whenever two tasks are linked, the default is to create a Finish-to-Start (FS) dependency as Project assumes that as soon as the first task finishes, the second task starts immediately. However, there may be situations when you need there to be a delay or overlap between two linked tasks.This is where knowledege of lag and lead comes in handy.
Analyze Earned Value
As your project is being carried out, it is vital that you monitor scope, time, and cost to make sure that your project will be completed according to specifications, on time, and within budget. In order to keep things under control you need to understand the concept of earned value and how to use it. Earned value is a powerful tool for monitoring scope, time, and cost. It asks the question, “Given the amount of work done so far on the project, how much money should we have spent?” The earned value is then compared to the budgeted cost of work scheduled and the actual cost of work performed to determine the project’s status.
Generating Project Views
You are only familiar with a few of the views that are available in Microsoft® Project Introduction. There is so much more project information you can see with views, and the good news is that they can be customized to meet your needs. This lesson discusses the many views accessible through the View Bar, and several commands on the VIEW tab of the ribbon as the addition to those covered in Microsoft® ProjectIntroduction. Many project managers find the Calendar, Gantt Chart, and Network Diagram views to be the most useful for seeing project tasks in different ways.The new Team Planner view is also very useful for seeing resource allocations and overallocations. In order to find out which one of them would be most useful for your needs, you will need to learn how to generate them first.
Use View Commands
You will use a set of controls that enable you to change how project data is presented in views of your project.They can all be found on the VIEW tab of the ribbon, in the Data command group. If you want to sort views, you can use the Sort button to arrange the tasks or resources in a different order than they currently appear. When you select this button, a drop-down menu will be displayed and you can choose one of the pre-defined sort criteria (by Start Date, Finish Date, Cost, Priority, or ID), or you can specify your own sort criteria.
Use Existing Views
So far your knowledge about in Microsoft® Project have increased and you have learned and used about some views such as Gantt Chart, Resource Sheet, Team Planner, and Network Diagram. In this topic, you’ll see all the views that are built into Project. They are called Default Views – by default, the View Bar displays the views that are the most commonly used. Hopefully, in this topic you will discover some views that will help you manage your projects more effectively.
Create Custom Views
Even though Project provides you with many built-in views, you may need to build your own to show the information you want about your project. Sometimes a selected view does not display the project information you want to see, the way you want it to see it. Project allows you to change what a view shows, and how the view shows it,using view format controls. They are especially useful when you want to share a view as a printed document or as a PDF/XPS file. Whenever you are in a view, its formatting controls will be displayed in a FORMAT contextual tab.Every view has its own set of formatting controls. In this topic, you will create custom views.
Format and Share the Timeline View
The Timeline view allows you see your project’s “big picture” and easily share it.It also allows you to take a snapshot of key tasks and milestone, which you can then paste into other Microsoft® Office programs. By default, whenever you create a new Project file, the Timeline view will be visible as a secondary, horizontal pane below the ribbon. You can make the Timeline smaller or larger by sliding the divider bar at the bottom of the Timeline pane up or down. You can even completely hide the Timeline by sliding the divider bar all the way up.
Producing Project Reports
You have seen how to use commands on many ribbon tabs. This lesson focuses on several new commands on the REPORT tab of the ribbon that were not discussed before. You may recall that earlier in this course, you encountered the earned value report. In this lesson, you will use other reports in Microsoft Project which will enable you to see and share project information clearly.
Use Existing Reports
As before, Project has many built-in reports, all of which you can access from the REPORT tab on the ribbon. These built-in reports are grouped into four types: Dashboards, Resources, Costs, and In Progress. In this topic, you will explore each group individually.
Create Custom Reports
You may find that Project’s built-in reports cannot meet the needs of your project and that you need to customize new reports. By investing time in learning how to generate and customize new reports, you will be able to create your own report that fit your needs.
Export Visual Reports
If you use Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Visio® extensively, you will be glad to know that you can export your project data from Project to Excel and Visio. In this topic, you will export project information using visual reports. You will use them to export your project’s data to a PivotChart in Microsoft Excel and to a PivotDiagram in Microsoft Visio. These views provide a way for you to choose what fields and custom fields, to display in a report while viewing it, and quickly modify how the report is displayed without having to regenerate it from within Project. With this flexibility, Visual Reports provide a better reporting solution than basic reports.
And again…Congratulations! You have completed the Microsoft Project Advanced course. You are now able to use many of the advanced features and functions of Microsoft Project so that you can use it effectively and efficiently in a real-world environment. The ability to complete projects on time, within budget, and according to specifications is crucial for all professionals!
Microsoft Project Advanced was last modified: August 15th, 2016 by darrell