On Time! On Track! On Target!: Managing Your Projects Successfully with Microsoft Project

Overview

So you’ve been asked to lead a project—congratulations! Whether you’re new to project management, or just need to brush up, this easy-to-read guide teaches you the essential skills you need to succeed at this critically important task. Expert project manager Bonnie Biafore shares her real-world experience, lessons learned, and best practices to help you manage any project. You’ll learn project management methodology and the secrets for using Microsoft Project and other Microsoft Office programs to keep your ...

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Overview

So you’ve been asked to lead a project—congratulations! Whether you’re new to project management, or just need to brush up, this easy-to-read guide teaches you the essential skills you need to succeed at this critically important task. Expert project manager Bonnie Biafore shares her real-world experience, lessons learned, and best practices to help you manage any project. You’ll learn project management methodology and the secrets for using Microsoft Project and other Microsoft Office programs to keep your projects on time, on track, and on target!

Successfully manage your projects as you discover how to:

  • Work effectively with project stakeholders, management, and team members
  • Define scope, objectives, and deliverables
  • Estimate work, choose resources, build project schedules, and track progress
  • Accurately estimate project costs and work with a budget
  • Identify and manage project changes and risks
  • Balance project variables without sacrificing quality
  • Document project history and lessons-learned to help improve future projects—and even more great results

CD Features:

  • Sample project templates and documents
  • Fully searchable eBook

A Note Regarding the CD or DVD

The print version of this book ships with a CD or DVD. For those customers purchasing one of the digital formats in which this book is available, we are pleased to offer the CD/DVD content as a free download via O'Reilly Media's Digital Distribution services. To download this content, please visit O'Reilly's web site, search for the title of this book to find its catalog page, and click on the link below the cover image (Examples, Companion Content, or Practice Files). Note that while we provide as much of the media content as we are able via free download, we are sometimes limited by licensing restrictions. Please direct any questions or concerns to booktech@oreilly.com.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
You’ve just been made a project manager. And, if that’s not enough, they’ve handed you a copy of Microsoft Project to help. Now you’ve got two gigantic new areas of knowledge to master: running projects, and running Project. Thankfully, there’s a friendly, realistic guide to both: On Time! On Track! On Target!

Author Bonnie Biafore has organized this book around real-world project lifecycles: selecting, prioritizing, and launching projects; planning and organizing them; executing your plans; maximizing your resources; tracking your performance; managing project change; mitigating risks; and successfully closing out projects.

Wherever Microsoft Project can help, she walks you through using it. So, for example, you’ll learn how to quickly identify costs, tasks, or people that are running over budget. You’ll walk through filtering your task lists for critical path tasks (perhaps to find tasks that can be eliminated or combined if you’re running behind.) Here and there, you’ll find handy tips and techniques for using Excel, too.

But, at its heart, this isn’t a book about technology: It’s about delivering projects successfully. It’s packed with best practices, diagrams, templates, sample documents: stuff you can use (especially since much of it’s provided on CD-ROM, too).

Biafore provides sample “work package documents” that give team members the details they need to accomplish what you want. There’s a sample communication plan for keeping executive sponsors, stakeholders, and team members informed. There are risk assessment worksheets and “lessons learned” meeting agendas. There’s even a project management glossary.

With this book, you’ll look like you know what you’re doing. Heck, you will know what you’re doing. Bill Camarda, from the April 2006 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735622562
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press
  • Publication date: 3/22/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.22 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie Biafore is a Project Management Professional (PMP) with more than 20 year's experience helping clients, large and small, make project management excellence part of their business strategies. She is the author of 20 books about project management, investing, personal finance, Microsoft Project, QuickBooks, and other software programs.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments;
Introduction;
About the CD;
What’s on the CD;
Using the CD;
System Requirements;
Support;
Part One: Getting a Project Started;
Chapter One: Meet Project Management;
What Is a Project?;
What Is Project Management?;
The Benefits of Project Management;
In Summary;
Chapter Two: Selecting and Prioritizing Projects;
Project Selection and the Project Manager;
Criteria for Selecting Projects;
Prioritizing Projects;
How a Project Review Board Works;
In Summary;
Chapter Three: Obtaining Commitment for a Project;
The Project Charter: Publicizing a Project;
Working with Project Stakeholders;
Obtaining and Maintaining Commitment;
In Summary;
Part Two: Planning a Project;
Chapter Four: Planning to Achieve Success;
What Is Project Planning?;
Plans Change;
An Overview of Project Planning;
In Summary;
Chapter Five: What’s the Problem?;
The Problem Statement;
The Project Mission Statement;
Project Strategy;
In Summary;
Chapter Six: Visualizing Success: Scope, Objectives, and Deliverables;
The Scope Statement;
Project Objectives;
Project Deliverables;
In Summary;
Chapter Seven: Building a Work Breakdown Structure;
What’s a Work Breakdown Structure?;
The Benefits of a WBS;
Building a WBS from the Top Down;
Recording a WBS;
Detailing Work Packages;
In Summary;
Chapter Eight: Project Resources;
The Responsibility Matrix;
The Project Organization Chart;
Putting a Project Team Together;
Creating Resources in Project;
In Summary;
Chapter Nine: Building a Project Schedule;
Estimating Effort;
Defining the Sequence of Work;
Adding Schedule Milestones;
Refining Task Names;
Assigning Resources to Tasks;
Building Reality into a Schedule;
Shortening a Project Schedule;
In Summary;
Chapter Ten: Working with a Budget;
Understanding Capital Budgets;
Calculating Costs in a Project Schedule;
Exporting Costs from a Project Schedule;
In Summary;
Part Three: Carrying Out a Project;
Chapter Eleven: Executing the Project Plan;
A Quick Checklist;
A Day in the Life of a Project Manager;
In Summary;
Chapter Twelve: Evaluating Project Performance;
Gathering Data;
Tracking Schedule Progress;
Reviewing Cost and Cost Variance;
Earned Value Analysis: Schedule and Cost Performance;
In Summary;
Chapter Thirteen: Managing Project Resources;
Motivating Project Resources;
Developing a Team;
Evaluating People’s Performance;
In Summary;
Chapter Fourteen: Communicating Information;
Knowledge Is Power;
The Communication Plan;
Guidelines for Good Communication;
Meetings That Work;
Project Status Reports;
Taming E-Mail;
In Summary;
Part Four: Controlling Projects;
Chapter Fifteen: Managing Project Changes;
An Overview of the Change Management Process;
Tracking Changes;
In Summary;
Chapter Sixteen: Modifying the Project Schedule;
Simplifying Solution Hunting;
Fast-Tracking a Project;
Splitting Long Tasks into Short Ones;
Scheduling Around Other Tasks;
Shortening Lag Time;
Adjusting Resource Allocation;
Assigning Overtime;
Substituting Resources;
Adding Resources to Tasks to Shorten Duration;
Modifying Baselines;
In Summary;
Chapter Seventeen: Balancing the Budget and Other Project Variables;
Cost, Scope, Quality, and Schedule;
Balancing Acts;
In Summary;
Chapter Eighteen: Managing Risk;
The Benefits of Managing Risk;
The Risk-Management Plan;
Tracking Risks;
In Summary;
Part Five: Closing Projects;
Chapter Nineteen: Learning Lessons;
The Importance of Lessons Learned;
Collecting Lessons Learned;
Documenting Lessons Learned;
In Summary;
Chapter Twenty: Managing Project Completion;
Project Closeout Reports;
Obtaining Customer Acceptance;
Project Transitions;
Closing Out Contracts;
In Summary;
Chapter Twenty-One: Archiving Historical Information;
Why Chronicle Project History?;
Information to Store about Projects;
Ways to Build a Project Archive;
Microsoft Enterprise Project Management Software;
In Summary;
Glossary;
Appendix : About the Author;

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 17, 2010

    On Time! On Track! On Target! Using Project Manager software

    I had only a slight introduction to the Project Manager software during a management training I attended. We were shown how to use the section we needed for the one part of our group project and I was so excited about using this for future projects back at the job. I soon realized that I had been trained to use a middle piece of Project Manager and felt frustrated that I could not use the software to help me manage projects on the computer. Like many trainings you attend, this found its place on my shelf and gathered dust. My mother board crashed and I had to have the tech guy reset my saved data and reinstall systems. When he asked if this was one I wanted reinstalled I said yes and went looking for a book to help me put this to good use. I have worked my way through several small projects and it is impressive to show a board a visual of the project and what is on track and what is impacting progress. It is helpful to identify the to do lists and who is responsible for what and when. Even if your other staff are not hooked up and trained on this system, it helps to hand out assignments, track progress reports and due dates. I can't imagine what it will be like when I get through the sections for integrating this further into my supervision and reports to the CEO.

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