Microsoft Project 2000 Bible

Microsoft Project 2000 Bible

by Elaine Marmel
     
 

You know it takes more than a just "do it" attitude to pull off the projects your department faces. The powerful tools packed into Microsoft Project 2000 help you meet your deadlines, build a focused team, head off problems — and get the results you want.

Tools like wizards that automatically create charts, customize views, and link projects help you have

Overview

You know it takes more than a just "do it" attitude to pull off the projects your department faces. The powerful tools packed into Microsoft Project 2000 help you meet your deadlines, build a focused team, head off problems — and get the results you want.

Tools like wizards that automatically create charts, customize views, and link projects help you have your way with Microsoft Project 2000. Try importing files or creating macros to save yourself even more time. With this bible by your side, you'll be synchronizing tasks and making your projects flow, making you the team leader you were meant to be.

The CD-ROM features Project-related software, such as Timesheet Professional and Project Kickstart, as well as relevant templates and shareware.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780764533198
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
03/28/2000
Series:
Bible Series , #90
Edition description:
BK&CD ROM
Pages:
696
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt


Chapter 1: The Nature of Projects

Everybody does projects. Building a tree house is a project; so is putting a man on the moon. From the simplest home improvement to the most complex business or scientific venture, projects are a part of most of our lives. But exactly what is a project, and what can you do to manage all of its facets?

Some projects are defined by their randomness. Missed deadlines, unpleasant surprises, and unexpected problems seem to be as unavoidable as the weekly staff meeting. Other projects have few problems. Nevertheless, the project that goes smoothly from beginning to end is rare. Good planning and communication can go a long way toward avoiding disaster. And although no amount of planning can prevent all possible problems, good project management enables you to deal with those inevitable twists and turns in the most efficient manner possible.

In this chapter you begin exploring tools and acquiring skills that can help you become a more efficient and productive project manager. The goal here is to provide a survey of what a project is, what project management is, and how Microsoft Project 2000 fits into the picture.

Understanding Projects

When you look up the word "project" in the dictionary, you see definitions such as "plan" and "concerted effort." A project in the truest sense, then, isn't a simple one-person effort to perform a task. By this definition, getting yourself dressed, difficult though that task may seem on a Monday morning, isn't a project.
A project is a series of steps, often performed by more than one person. In addition:

  • A project has a specific and measurable goal. You know you have finished the project when you have successfully met your project goal.
  • Projects have a specific time frame. The success of a project is often measured by how successfully the project has been completed within the amount of time allotted to it.
  • Projects use resources. Resources aren't just people; resources can include money, machinery, materials, and more. How well these resources are allocated and orchestrated is another key measure of a project's success or failure.
  • All projects consist of interdependent, yet individual, steps called tasks. No piece of a project exists in a vacuum. If one task runs late or overbudget, it typically affects other tasks, the overall schedule, and the total cost.
By their nature, projects are dynamic. They can last for months or even years. In addition, projects tend to grow, change, and behave in ways that you can't always predict. Consequently, you, as a project manager, have to remain alert to the progress and vagaries of your projects, or you will never reach your goals. Documentation and communication are your two key tools for staying on top of a project throughout its life.

Exploring project management

Project management is a discipline that looks at the nature of projects and offers ways to control their progress. Project management attempts to organize and systematize the procedures in a project to minimize the number of surprises you encounter.

Project management and project managers concern themselves with certain key areas:

  • Scheduling
  • Budgeting
  • Managing resources
  • Tracking and reporting progress
To manage these aspects of projects, certain tools have evolved over the years. Some of these are conceptual, such as the critical path; others involve specific formats for charting progress, such as a Gantt chart. The following sections introduce some key project management concepts and tools...

Meet the Author

About the Author Elaine Marmel is president of Marmel Enterprises, Inc., an organization that specializes in technical writing and software training. She routinely employs project management software and skills to manage critical business projects, and otherwise spends most of her time writing. Elaine has authored or coauthored more than 20 books about software, including Word for Windows, Word for the Mac, Quicken for Windows, Quicken for DOS, 1-2-3 for Windows, Lotus Notes, and Excel. Elaine is a contributing editor to the monthly magazines Inside Peachtree for Windows, Inside Timeslips for Windows, and Inside QuickBooks for Windows. Elaine left her native Chicago for the warmer climes of Florida (by way of Cincinnati, Ohio; Jerusalem, Israel; Ithaca, New York; and Washington, D.C.) where she basks in the sun with her PC and her cats, Cato and Watson. Elaine also sings in the Toast of Tampa, an International Champion Sweet Adeline barbershop chorus.

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