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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
This is the definitive guide to both versions of Microsoft Project -- both Microsoft Project Standard 2002 and Microsoft’s high-end “Microsoft Solution for Enterprise Project Management.” The latter, comprising Microsoft Project Professional 2002 and Microsoft Project Server 2002, is the first version of Microsoft Project that centralizes resource management for entire organizations, permits sophisticated modeling and scenario analysis, and has the potential to standardize project reporting enterprise-wide.
The authors begin with an overview of each product, then offer a detailed introduction to the art of project management itself: creating project plans and controlling your projects using your plan as a roadmap. You’ll also learn exactly how Microsoft Project fits into the process. Even if you’re an experienced project manager, you’ll appreciate the coverage of integrating Project into your project management workflow, and of how each project stakeholder can interact with Project or utilize its outputs.
This 1,200-page book has room for systematic coverage of every aspect of using Project 2002: entering and organizing tasks and resources; viewing your project’s status; incorporating costs and reviewing budgets; and refining your project to adjust critical paths, resource workloads, and key dates.
Speaking of dates, the authors provide detailed coverage of scheduling: setting task durations (and making sure they’re realistic); establishing task dependencies; working with flexible and inflexible constraints; adding lead time; setting milestones; and so forth.
Once you’ve done all that, you’ll learn how to track your project’s progress with Project 2002 -- and how to adjust your finely-honed plan for the realities of Planet Earth.
Throughout Microsoft Project 2002 Inside Out, you’ll find extensive discussions of all of Project 2002’s significant new features, beginning with the Project Guide wizards that streamline and simplify the creation of individual projects.
Much of what’s new reflects Microsoft’s determination to integrate Project ever more thoroughly with the rest of Microsoft Office. For example, you’ll discover how to import tasks from an Excel worksheet (more projects are first launched in Excel than have ever been launched in Project); how to add resources from your Outlook or Windows address book, import Outlook tasks into Project, even -- if you’re really a Microsoft shop through and through -- utilize “Web Parts” from your customized Outlook/SharePoint “Digital Dashboard.”
There’s a full chapter on managing teams using Microsoft Project Web Access, the new Microsoft Project Server web interface that provides powerful portfolio and resource management tools, real-time reporting, and scenario analysis designed to give executives an up-to-the-minute window on the status of all their projects. Users of this web interface do need a Microsoft Project Server Client Access License (CAL), but they don’t need a full version of Project, just a recent copy of Internet Explorer -- making this solution viable for a far wider range of companies and project teams.
You’ll walk through setting up Microsoft Project Web Access and configuring its diverse options; then using its web-based capabilities to assign tasks and send assignments; update task information and incorporate task updates into your project plan; track issues, and more.
You’ll also find detailed coverage of other enterprise features built into the high-end version of Microsoft Project 2002, "Enterprise Edition." Most important, you’ll learn how to import resource information for use by Project’s enterprise features; and how to build a cross-functional project team that draws upon the entire organization, querying your enterprise resource database for folks with the appropriate skills and availability. If you’re at a rarefied level of management, of course, you need a high-level view of many projects at the same time. Microsoft Project 2002 Inside Out shows how to get that information using the new Project Portfolio feature.
If you haven’t used Microsoft Project, or haven’t upgraded to Project 2002, you’ll appreciate the complete 60-day trial version of Microsoft Project Standard Edition on CD-ROM. You’ll also appreciate the CD’s extensive collection of Microsoft and third-party tools and add-ins; and the complete eBook that allows you to take Microsoft Project 2002 Inside Out anywhere your notebook PC can go -- all the way up to the executive suite. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.