Project 2010 For Dummies

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Overview

A friendly reference guide to Microsoft Project, the leading enterprise project management software

As project management software, Microsoft Project allows you to oversee your business activities effectively. You can manage resources, share project info, perform modeling and scenario analysis, and standardize reporting processes. This easy-to-understand guide is completely updated to cover the latest changes and newest enhancements to Project ...

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Overview

A friendly reference guide to Microsoft Project, the leading enterprise project management software

As project management software, Microsoft Project allows you to oversee your business activities effectively. You can manage resources, share project info, perform modeling and scenario analysis, and standardize reporting processes. This easy-to-understand guide is completely updated to cover the latest changes and newest enhancements to Project 2010 and shows you how to get Project 2010 to work for you.

After an introduction to basic project management concepts, you’ll discover the mechanics of using Project software to create and manage projects. Other topics covered include working with calendars, using and sharing resources, budgeting, formatting taskbars, gathering and tracking data, working with reports, and creating templates.

  • Microsoft Project allows you to manage resources, share project information, perform scenario analysis, and standardize reporting processes
  • Offers completely updated coverage of the new Project 2010, which is expected to implement the Office Ribbon
  • Reviews formatting taskbars, gathering and tracking data, and working with reports
  • Addresses using and sharing resources, creating templates, and managing projects

Let the friendly For Dummies writing style guide you through maximizing the new features of Project 2010.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470501320
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/10/2010
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 128,110
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy C. Muir has written more than 50 books on technology and business topics including Windows, Office applications, PCs, laptops, and Internet safety. She has presented workshops to Fortune 500 companies on project management and related software. Her credits include more than a dozen For Dummies books.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 1

Conventions Used in This Book 2

How This Book Is Organized 2

Part I: Setting the Stage for Project 2

Part II: People Who Need People 3

Part III: Well, It Looks Good on Paper 3

Part IV: Avoiding Disaster: Staying on Track 3

Part V: Working with Enterprise Projects 3

Part VI: The Part of Tens 4

What You're Not to Read 4

Icons Used in This Book 4

Where to Go from Here 5

Part I: Setting the Stage for Project 7

Chapter 1: Project Management: What It Is, and Why You Should Care 9

The ABCs of Project Management 10

The three Ts: Tasks, timing, and dependencies (well, two Ts and a D) 10

Lining up your resources 14

Spreading the news 16

Planning to keep things on track 17

The Role of the Project Manager 18

What exactly does a project manager do? 18

Understanding the dreaded triple constraint 19

Applying tried-and-true methodologies 19

From To-Do List to Hard Drive 22

Getting up to speed with Project 22

Collaborating with your project team online 23

Getting Started 24

Starting from scratch 24

Starting with templates 28

Saving a Project for Posterity 30

Getting Help from Project 31

Chapter 2: The Best-Laid Plans 33

Project 2010's New Interface 33

Using the Ribbon 34

The Backstage view 35

Finding commonly used commands 36

Navigating Project 36

Changing views 36

Scrolling around 38

Getting to a specific spot in your plan 40

A Project with a view 41

Home base: Gantt Chart view 42

The resourceful views: Resource Sheet and Team Planner 43

Getting your timing down with the Timeline 44

Going with the flow: Network Diagram view 44

Calling up Calendar view 46

Customizing Views 47

Working with view panes 48

Modifying the contents of the Network Diagram boxes 52

Resetting the view 54

Chapter 3: Mark It on Your Calendar 55

Mastering Base, Project, Resource, and Task Calendars 55

How calendars work 56

How one calendar relates to another 58

Calendar Options and Working Times 58

Setting calendar options 59

Setting exceptions to working times 60

Setting the Project Calendar and Other Essential Project Information 62

Modifying Task Calendars 64

Making Resource Calendar Settings 65

Which resources get calendars? 65

Making the change to a resource's calendar 65

Do It Yourself: Creating a Custom Calendar Template 68

Sharing Copies of Calendars 69

Chapter 4: A Tisket, a Task Kit 71

User-Controlled Scheduling: Manual versus Automatic 72

Tackling Your First Task 74

Identifying what makes up a task 74

Creating a task 75

You're in It for the Duration 82

Tasks come in all flavors: Identifying task types 83

Setting task duration 84

Setting tasks with no duration: Milestones 85

Showing up again and again: Recurring tasks 86

Starting and Pausing Tasks 87

Entering the task start date 88

Taking a break: Splitting tasks 89

1 + 1 = 1/2: Effort-Driven Tasks 90

Controlling Timing with Constraints 91

Understanding how constraints work 91

Establishing constraints 92

Setting a deadline 93

Deleting Tasks and Using Inactive Tasks 93

Making a Task Note 95

Saving Your Project---and Your Tasks 96

Task Information in Action: Planning Your Next Space Launch 97

Chapter 5: Getting Your Outline in Line 99

Summary Tasks and Subtasks 99

Project phases 100

How many levels can you go? 101

The One-and-Only Project Summary Task 101

Structuring the Project's Outline 103

Everything but the kitchen sink: What to include 105

Building the outline 107

Moving Tasks All around Your Outline 107

The outdent-and-indent shuffle 107

Moving Tasks up and down 109

Using a Manually Scheduled Summary Task to Plan from the Top Down 111

Now You See It, Now You Don't: Collapsing and Expanding Tasks 113

Cracking the WBS Code 115

Displaying a WBS code 117

Customizing the code 117

Chapter 6: Timing Is Everything 121

How Tasks Become Codependent 122

Dependent tasks: Which comes first? 122

Dependency types 123

Allowing for Murphy's Law: Lag and lead time 126

Making the Dependency Connection 127

Adding the missing (dependency) link 127

Extending your reach with external dependencies 130

Understanding that things change: Deleting dependencies 132

Taking a Look at the Task Dependencies 133

Part II: People Who Need People 137

Chapter 7: Optimizing Your Resources 139

Resources: People, Places, and Things 139

Becoming Resource-Full 140

Understanding resources 140

Resource types: Work, material, and cost 142

How resources affect task timing 144

Estimating resource requirements 145

Committed versus proposed resources 146

The Birth of a Resource 146

Creating one it a time 146

Identifying resources before you know their names 148

Throwing more warm bodies at a task 149

Sharing Resources 149

In the swim: Drawing on resource pools 150

Importing resources from Outlook 152

Say, When Do These Guys Work? 153

Now That I've Got 'Em, How Do I Manage 'Em? 156

Acquiring the right resources 156

Balancing workload 157

Managing conflict gracefully 157

Chapter 8: What's All This Gonna Cost? 159

Mary, Mary, How Do Your Costs Accrue? 160

It all adds up 160

When will this hit the bottom line? 161

It All Adds Up: Specifying Cost Info in Your Project 161

You can't avoid fixed costs 162

When resources get paid per hour and tack on fees 163

If you use ten gallons at $2 per gallon 165

Making allowances for overtime 165

It's an Availability Thing 166

Setting availability 166

When a resource comes and goes 167

Adding It Up: How Your Setting Affect Your Budget 168

Creating a Custom Text Field 170

Working with Budgets 173

Chapter 9: Assigning Resources to Get Things Done 175

You'd Be Surprised What Assignments Can Do to Your Timing 176

Pinning down your type 176

When effort is in the driverrs seat 177

Suppose Task calendars prevail? 179

Finding the Right Resource 179

Needed: One good resource willing to work 180

Custom fields: It's a skill 182

A Useful Assignation 182

Determining work material and cost-resource assignment units 183

Making your assignments 183

Getting the Ro tour that's right for you 186

A Helpful Planner 188

Communicating an Assignment to Your Team 189

It's in the e-mail 190

Report your findings 191

Part III: Weell, It Looks Good on Paper 195

Chapter 10: Fine-Tuning Your Plan 197

Everything Filters to the Bottom Line 198

Predesigned filters 198

Putting AutoFilter to work 199

Do-it-yourself filters 201

Gathering Info in Groups 203

Applying predefined groups 203

Devising your own groups 204

Figuring Out a at s Driving Your Project 206

Inspecting tasks 207

Handling task warnings and suggestions 208

Undo, undo, undo 209

Highlighting changes 211

It's About Time 212

Giving yourself some slack 213

Doing it in less time 215

Getting It for Less 217

Your Resource Recourse 218

Checking Resource 218

Deleting or modifying a resource assignment 220

Quick and dirty rescheduling to beat overallocations 221

Getting some help 221

Getting your resources level 223

Rescheduling the Project 226

Mixing Solutions Up 226

Chapter 11: Making Your Project Look Good 227

Putting Your Best Foot Forward 228

Getting to the Critical Stuff 228

Formatting Task Bars 229

Restyling Your Gantt Chart 232

Formatting Task Boxes 233

Adjusting the Layout 234

Modifying Gridlines 237

When a Picture Can Say It All 238

Part IV: Avoiding Disaster: Staying on Track 241

Chapter 12: It All Begins with a Baseline 243

All about Baselines 243

What does a baseline look like? 244

How do I save a baseline? 246

What if I want more than one baseline? 247

How do I clear and reset a baseline? 248

In the Interim 249

Saving an interim plan 250

Clearing and resetting a plan 251

Chapter 13: On the Right Track 253

Gathering Your Data 253

A method to your tracking madness 254

Going door to door 255

Where Does All This Information Go? 256

Doing things with the tracking tools 256

For everything there is a view 257

Tracking Your Work for the Record 257

Progress as of when? 259

It's totally on track 261

Percentage complete: How to tell? 261

When did you start? When did you finish? 262

John worked three hours; Maisie worked ten 263

Uh-oh, we're into overtime 265

Specifying remaining durations for autoscheduled tasks 266

Entering fixed-cost updates 267

Moving a Task 268

Update Project: Sweeping Changes for Dummies 269

Tracking Materials Usage 271

Tracking More Than One: Consolidated Projects 272

Consolidating projects 272

Updating Consolidated projects 274

Changing linking settings 274

Chapter 14: A Project with a View: Observing Progress 277

Seeing Where Tasks Stand 277

Getting an indication 278

Lines of progress 279

When worlds collide: Baseline versus actual 282

Studying by the Numbers 283

Acronym Soup: BCWP, ACWP, EAC, and CV 286

Calculations behind the Scenes 287

Going automatic or manual 287

Earned-value options 288

How many critical paths are enough? 290

Chapter 15: Yourre Behind: Now What? 291

Justifying Yourself: Notes, Baselines, and Interim Plans 291

What If? 293

Sorting things out 293

Filtering 295

Terining Examining the critical path 296

Use resource leveling one more time 297

What's driving the timing of this task? 298

How Adding People or Time Affects Your Project 298

Hurry up! 299

Throwing People at the problem 299

Shifting dependencies and task timing 301

When All Else Fails 302

All the time in the world 303

And now for something completely different 303

What Does Project Have to Say about This? 305

Chapter 16: Spreading the News: Reporting 307

Off the Rack: Standard Reports 308

What's available 308

Going with the standard 309

A standard report, with a twist 310

Crosstabs: A different animal 313

A Custom Job 313

Get a New Perspective on Data with Visual Reports 315

Getting an overview of what's available 315

Creating a Visual Report 315

Spiffing Things Up 317

Using graphics in Project 318

Formatting reports 321

Call the Printer! 323

Working with Page Setup 323

Get a preview 328

So Let's Printr! 329

A Project Overview: The Timeline 330

Hiding and redisplaying the Timeline 330

Adding tasks 330

Copying the Timeline 331

Dressing Up Your Input and Output with Enhanced Copy and Paste 333

Chapter 17: Getting Better All the Time 335

Learning from Your Mistakes 335

It was only an estimate 336

Debrief your team 337

Comparing Versions of a Project 338

Building on Your Success 340

Create a template 340

Master the Organizer 342

Handy little timesavers: Macros 344

Part V: Working with Enterprise Projects 351

Chapter 18: Project Web App for the Project Manager 353

Figuring Out Whether Project Server Is for You 354

Getting a Handle on What You Can Do with Project Server and Project Web App 356

Planning to Use Project Server and Project Web App 358

Get a team together 358

Gather information 358

Standardize processes 359

Coordinate with IT 359

Planning for problems 360

Looking Over the Project Web App Tools 360

Getting set up 360

Make assignments 361

Track your progress 362

Figure out what's going on with status reports 363

Working with the Gang Online 364

Check resource availability and assignments and add resources 364

Request a status report 367

Share documents 367

Chapter 19: Project Web App for the Team Member 371

Seeing Project Web App from the User's Perspective 371

Viewing Your Assignments 373

Reporting Work Completed 374

Viewing Project Information 376

Sending Task Work Updates 377

Sending Status Reports 377

Part VI: The Part of Tens 381

Chapter 20: Ten Golden Rules of Project Management 383

Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Manage 384

Get Your Ducks in a Row 384

Plan for Murphy 385

Don't Put Off until Tomorrow 386

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate! 386

CYA (Document!) 387

Keep Your Team in the Loop 388

Measure Success 388

Have a Flexible Strategy 389

Learn from Your Mistakes 390

Chapter 21: Ten Project Management Software Products to Explore 391

DecisionEdge Chart and Report Products Enhance Project's Own Tools 392

Cobra Squeezes the Most from Cost/Earned Value 392

MindManuals Helps You Visualize Project Information 393

Innate Integrates Projects Large and Small 393

PlanView Models Your Workforce Capacity 394

Tenrox Streamlines Business Processes 394

Project KickStart Gives Your Project a Head Start 395

Project Manager's Assistant Organizes Drawings for Construction Projects 395

TeamTrack Solves Mission-Critical Issues 396

EPK-Suite Eases Portfolio Mangement Chores 396

Index 397

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