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Project 2013 Absolute Beginner's Guide

Overview

Make the most of Project 2013—without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to take control of Project 2013, and use it to efficiently manage every phase of your project, from up-front planning through project completion and post-mortems. Even if you’ve never used Microsoft Project before, this book will show you how to do what you want, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Project 2013 has never, ever been this ...

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Project 2013 Absolute Beginner's Guide

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Overview

Make the most of Project 2013—without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to take control of Project 2013, and use it to efficiently manage every phase of your project, from up-front planning through project completion and post-mortems. Even if you’ve never used Microsoft Project before, this book will show you how to do what you want, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Project 2013 has never, ever been this simple!

Who knew how simple Project® 2013 could be?

This is the easiest, most practical beginner’s guide to running real projects with Project 2013… simple, reliable instructions for doing everything you really want to do! Here’s a small sample
of what you’ll learn:

• Master today’s best project management techniques

• Use Project 2013 to solve many key project management problems

• Master Project’s revamped interface, from Start screen to Backstage

• Leverage Project 2013’s best new features in your day-to-day work

• Get comfortable with the Project Window and its powerful views

• Set up realistic project schedules and calendars

• Add new tasks, dependencies, and resources

• Create budgets, track costs, and quickly resolve cost overruns

• Smoothly reflect changes in your project

• Report on progress, from completed work to anticipated finish dates

• Strengthen decision-making with dashboards, plans, and timelines

• Streamline processes by integrating Project with SharePoint and Office

• Securely share project data with team participants and stakeholders

• Improve efficiency by customizing Project’s interface to your needs

• Coherently manage complex project portfolios

• Extend project management to smartphones, tablets, and the cloud

Brian Kennemer, Microsoft MVP for Project and Project Server, has worked with Project since 1997. He served on the Microsoft Consulting Services Global Enterprise Project Management team for five years, and has helped several Microsoft Partners design and deploy Project Server-based systems. Sonia Atchison has worked with Microsoft Project since 1999. In 2006, she joined Microsoft’s writing team, producing extensive help content, videos, and content for Office.com and TechNet.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789750556
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 8/16/2013
  • Series: Absolute Beginner's Guide Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 254
  • Sales rank: 428,839
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Kennemer has been working with Project since 1997 and is a part of the Microsoft MVP program for Project and Project Server. He was on the Microsoft Consulting Services Global Enterprise Project Management team for five years and has also worked for several different Microsoft Partners, specializing in the design and deployment of Project Server-based project management systems. He was recognized in 2012 as a Microsoft MVP for Project and Project Server. He lives in Washington state with his amazing wife and three incredible kids.

Sonia Atchison has been working with Microsoft Project since 1999. In 2006, she joined the writing team at Microsoft that produces Help content and videos for Project and Project Server, planning and writing Office.com and TechNet content for the 2007, 2010, and 2013 releases.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ..................................1

How This Book Is Organized ................. 2

Using This Book ..................... 3

1 Introduction to Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 .......5

What Microsoft Project 2013 Can Do for You ........ 6

Laying a Foundation........................... 7

Project ................................. 7

Task ............................. 7

Resource ................................ 8

Assignment ................................... 8

The Project 2013 Version You Need .................... 8

What’s New in Project 2013? .......................... 9

Updated User Interface ......................... 9

Manually Scheduled Tasks (Professional and Standard) ........... 9

Team Planner View (Professional Only) ................10

Timeline (Professional and Standard) .....................10

Task Path (Professional and Standard) .....................11

Reporting (Professional and Standard) ......................12

Inactive Tasks (Professional Only) .................................12

SharePoint Collaboration (Professional Only) ......................13

2 Navigating Project 2013 ...................15

Using the Ribbon ............................................16

Understanding Project Views ..............................17

Working with Project Views ................................22

Grouping Data in a View ..............................22

Sorting Data in a View ................................23

Filtering Data in a View ...............................24

Highlighting Data in a View ...............................25

Displaying Two Views at Once ........................26

Using the Timeline .......................................27

3 Starting a Project ........................31

Setting Up a Project .....................................32

Creating a New Project ............................32

Saving a Project ..........................................33

Setting Project Properties and Options ....................37

Setting Project Properties.................................37

Setting Project Options ................................37

Choosing a Project Start or Finish Date ..................39

Setting Up Your Project’s Calendars ......................40

Modifying an Existing Base Calendar ..........................41

Creating a New Base Calendar ...................................45

Setting Up Your Project’s Calendar .....................46

4 Working with Tasks ...................................49

How Does Project 2013 Schedule Tasks? ...................50

Scheduling Methods in Project 2013 .....................50

Factors the Project Scheduling Engine Considers ..................50

Which Scheduling Method You Should Use .....................51

The Project Scheduling Formula .......................52

Understanding Task Types ...........................54

Fixed Units ...........................55

Fixed Work ......................................56

Fixed Duration ......................................56

Adding Tasks to Your Project................................56

Adding a New Task ..................................57

Setting a Task Calendar ..............................59

Indenting and Outdenting Tasks .......................60

Setting Up Task Dependencies ..................................61

Adding Dependencies Between Tasks .................................63

Creating a Work Breakdown Structure .................................64

Setting Your Project’s WBS Code Structure ..................66

5 Working with Resources ...........................69

Understanding Resource Types and Other Factors ............70

Adding Resources to Your Project ........................71

Adjusting Resource Calendars ................................73

Assigning Resources to Tasks ..................................73

Assigning a Resource Using the Task Information Dialog Box ......74

Assigning a Work Resource Using the Team Planner View .............75

Editing an Existing Resource Assignment .................76

Splitting a Task to Create a Gap in Work ......................77

Fine-Tuning a Resource’s Work Schedule for a Task ................77

Assigning Remaining Work on a Task to Another Resource ...........78

6 Accounting for Project Costs .......81

Understanding Types of Costs ..................82

Creating a Budget for Your Project ...............82

Creating and Assigning Budget Resources ...............83

Adding Values to Budget Resources ......................85

Pairing Resources with Budgets ...................85

Comparing Actual Cost and Work Values with the Project Budget ........87

Accounting for Overtime Spent on Project Tasks............88

Planning for Overtime Work and Costs ...........................89

Recording Actual Overtime Work and Costs .......................90

7 Capturing Project Progress ..........93

Baselining Your Project ....................................94

Gathering Status Updates from Resources ..............................96

Actual Start, Percent Work Complete, Remaining Work .........................96

Actual Start, Actual Work, Remaining Work, Expected Finish Date ..100

Actual Work Per Day, Remaining Work, Expected Finish Date ..............102

Assessing the Impacts of Updates ....................................105

8 Sharing Your Project with Others ........................ 107

Reporting on Your Project ..................................108

Generating and Customizing a Visual Report .....................109

Generating and Customizing a Basic Report ......................113

Sharing Data with Others ...................................116

Copying the Timeline .....................................116

Exporting Data to Excel ...........................................117

Taking a Picture of Your Project Data .....................117

Saving the Project as a PDF or XPS File .............................118

Collaborating with Others on Your Project .....................119

9 Customizing Project 2013 .............. 121

Creating Custom Fields .............................122

Adding and Removing Columns in a View ................124

Adding a Column to a View ..........................125

Hiding a Column in a View ...........................126

Saving a Set of Columns as a Table ...........126

Creating and Editing Views ......................128

10 Understanding Project Options ......... 133

General Project Options ...........................135

User Interface Options .............................135

Project View ................................137

Personalize Your Copy of Microsoft Office .........137

Startup Options .................................138

Display Options ......................................138

Calendar ............................................139

Currency Options for This Project .....................139

Show Indicators and Options Buttons For ...................141

Show These Elements ............................141

Schedule Options ..........................142

Calendar Options for This Project .....................143

Schedule .....................................145

Scheduling Options for This Project ..................145

Schedule Alerts Options ............................148

Calculation ...............................148

Calculation Options for This Project ...................149

Proofing Options ...............................150

AutoCorrect Options ..............................151

When Correcting Spelling in Microsoft Office Programs..........151

When Correcting Spelling in Project ................151

Save Options ..................................152

Save Projects ............................................153

Save Templates ..................154

Cache ....................................154

Language Options .............................155

Advanced Options .....................................156

General ...............................................156

Project Web App ......................................158

Planning Wizard .........................................159

General Options for This Project .........................159

Edit .................................................160

Display ...................................................161

Display Options for This Project .............................163

Cross Project Linking Options for This Project ...................164

Earned Value Options for This Project ..................165

Calculation Options for This Project .....................166

Customize Ribbon Options ...........................167

Customize the Ribbon ................................168

Quick Access Toolbar Options .........................170

Customize the Quick Access Toolbar .....................171

Add-Ins Options ..................................172

Trust Center Options .................................172

11 Dealing with Problems .............. 175

Problem: One of My Resources Is Overallocated ...................176

Problem: My Schedule Goes Longer Than My Deadline ..............180

Problem: My Costs Are Exceeding My Budget ........................182

Assigning Work to Fewer People ...............................183

Cutting Back on What Needs to Get Done .......................183

Trimming Budget Amounts ......................184

Appendix Guide to Project Fields ............ 185

Index ...................... 249

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