Microsoft Project 2019 For Dummies

Microsoft Project 2019 For Dummies

by Cynthia Snyder Dionisio


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Keep projects on track

Microsoft Project 2019 is a powerhouse project management, portfolio management, and resource management tool. Whether you’re a full-time project manager or manage projects as part of a larger set of duties, Microsoft Project 2019 For Dummies will get you thinking and operating at the level of a project management guru.

Written by a noted project management pro, this book covers the ins and outs of Microsoft Project. Throughout the book, you’ll find project management best practices and tips for keeping any project on schedule and under budget.

  • Reference the full set of Microsoft Project 2019 features
  • Learn to think like a project management professional
  • Get into the nuts and bolts of Project for better productivity
  • Create a task schedule that keeps a project moving
  • Identify the golden rules that keep projects on track

With Microsoft Project 2019 For Dummies, you’ll soon get a grip on all the powerful features of this popular project management software. No matter your level of training or experience, this book will show you how improve your project management with Microsoft Project 2019.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119565123
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/20/2019
Series: For Dummies Books
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 132,878
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Cynthia Snyder Dionisio is a project management consultant, trainer, and author. She also leads the team that creates the PMBOK Guide, the standard for project management that is published by the Project Management Institute. She has written more than a dozen books, including A Project Manager's Book of Forms and A Project Manager's Book of Tools and Techniques.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Getting Started with Project 2019 5

Chapter 1: Project Management, Project 2019, and You 7

Introducing Project Management 7

Defining project manager 8

Identifying what a project manager does 9

Introducing Project 2019 10

Getting to Know You 11

Navigating Ribbon tabs and the Ribbon 13

Displaying more tools 17

Tell Me What You Want to Do 18

Chapter 2: Starting the Project 19

Creating the Project Charter 20

Introducing the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) 22

Organizing the Work 23

Starting the Project 24

Entering project information 25

Weighing manual scheduling versus automatic scheduling 27

Entering the WBS 29

Entering tasks 30

Importing tasks from Outlook 32

Inserting hyperlinks 34

Inserting one project into another 35

Promoting and demoting: The outdent-and-indent shuffle 36

Saving the Project 37

Chapter 3: Becoming a Task Master 39

Creating Summary Tasks and Subtasks 39

How many levels can you go? 41

The project summary task 41

Moving Tasks Up, Down, and All Around 43

Moving tasks with the drag-and-drop method 43

Moving tasks with the cut-and-paste method 44

Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Collapsing and Expanding the Task Outline 44

Showing Up Again and Again: Recurring Tasks 47

Setting Milestones 48

Deleting Tasks and Using Inactive Tasks 49

Making a Task Note 50

Chapter 4: The Codependent Nature of Tasks 53

How Tasks Become Dependent 54

Dependent tasks: Which comes first? 54

Dependency types 55

Allowing for Murphy’s Law: Lag and lead time 58

Setting the Dependency Connection 59

Adding the dependency link 59

Words to the wise 61

Understanding that things change: Deleting dependencies 62

Chapter 5: Estimating Task Time 65

You’re in It for the Duration 66

Tasks come in all flavors: Identifying task types 66

Effort-driven tasks: 1 + 1 = ½ 69

Estimating Effort and Duration 70

Estimating techniques 71

Setting the task duration 72

Controlling Timing with Constraints 74

Understanding how constraints work 74

Establishing constraints 75

Setting a deadline 76

Starting and Pausing Tasks 77

Entering the task’s start date 77

Taking a break: Splitting tasks 78

Chapter 6: Check Out This View! 81

A Project with a View 81

Navigating tabs and views 82

Scrolling around 84

Reaching a specific spot in your plan 85

More Detail about Views 86

Home base: Gantt Chart view 86

Resourceful views: Resource Sheet and Team Planner 87

Getting your timing down with the Timeline 88

Going with the flow: Network Diagram view 89

Calling up Calendar view 90

Customizing Views 91

Working with view panes 91

Modifying Network Diagram view 96

Resetting the view 100

Part 2: Managing Resources 101

Chapter 7: Creating Resources 103

Resources: People, Places, and Things 103

Becoming Resource-Full 104

Understanding resources 104

Resource types: Work, material, and cost 105

How resources affect task timing 105

Estimating resource requirements 107

The Birth of a Resource 107

Creating one resource at a time 108

Identifying resources before you know their names 109

Many hands make light work 110

Managing Resource Availability 111

Estimating and setting availability 112

When a resource comes and goes 113

Sharing Resources 114

Skimming from resource pools 114

Importing resources from Outlook 116

Chapter 8: Working with Calendars 119

Mastering Base, Project, Resource, and Task Calendars 120

Setting the base calendar for a project 120

Understanding the four calendar types 120

How calendars work 121

How one calendar relates to another 121

Scheduling with Calendar Options and Working Times 122

Setting calendar options 123

Setting exceptions to working times 124

Working with Task Calendars and Resource Calendars 126

Setting resource calendars 127

Making the change to a resource’s calendar 128

Creating a Custom Calendar Template 130

Sharing Copies of Calendars 132

Chapter 9: Assigning Resources 135

Finding the Right Resource 135

Needed: One good resource willing to work 136

Custom fields: It’s a skill 137

Making a Useful Assignation 138

Determining material and cost-resource units 138

Making assignments 139

Shaping the contour that’s right for you 142

Benefitting from a Helpful Planner 144

Chapter 10: Determining a Project’s Cost 147

How Do Costs Accrue? 148

Adding up the costs 148

When will this hit the bottom line? 149

Specifying Cost Information in the Project 150

You can’t avoid fixed costs 150

Entering hourly, overtime, and cost-per-use rates 152

Assigning material resources 153

How Your Settings Affect Your Costs 155

Part 3: Before You Baseline 157

Chapter 11: Fine-Tuning Your Plan 159

Everything Filters to the Bottom Line 159

Setting predesigned filters 160

Putting AutoFilter to work 161

Creating do-it-yourself filters 163

Gathering Information in Groups 165

Applying predefined groups 166

Devising your own groups 166

Figuring Out What’s Driving the Project 169

Inspecting tasks 169

Handling task warnings and suggestions 170

Chapter 12: Negotiating Project Constraints 173

It’s about Time 174

Applying contingency reserve 174

Completing a task in less time 175

Getting What You Want for Less 178

The Resource Recourse 179

Checking resource availability 179

Deleting or modifying a resource assignment 180

Beating overallocations with quick-and-dirty rescheduling 181

Finding help 182

Leveling resources 182

Rescheduling the Project 186

Chapter 13: Making the Project Look Good 187

Looking Good! 188

Formatting the Gantt Chart 188

Formatting taskbars 188

Zeroing in on critical issues 191

Restyling the Gantt chart 192

Formatting Task Boxes 193

Adjusting the Layout 195

Modifying Gridlines 197

Recognizing When a Picture Can Say It All 199

Creating a Custom Text Field 200

Chapter 14: It All Begins with a Baseline 205

All about Baselines 205

Saving a baseline 206

Saving more than one baseline 207

Clearing and resetting a baseline 209

In the Interim 210

Saving an interim plan 211

Clearing and resetting an interim plan 212

Part 4: Staying on Track 213

Chapter 15: On the Right Track 215

Developing a Communications Management Plan 216

Gathering data 216

Applying a tracking method 217

Using the tracking tools 218

For everything, there’s a view 219

Tracking Work for the Record 220

Specifying the status date 221

Remaining on track 222

Determining the percent complete 222

Recording start and finish information 223

Knowing what to do when John works three hours and Mary works ten 224

Uh-oh — we’re in overtime 226

Specifying remaining durations for auto-scheduled tasks 227

Entering fixed-cost updates 228

Moving a Task 229

Update Project: Sweeping Changes 230

Tracking Materials 232

Tracking More Than One: Consolidated Projects 233

Consolidating projects 233

Updating consolidated projects 235

Chapter 16: Project Views: Observing Progress 237

Seeing Where Tasks Stand 238

Baseline versus actual progress 238

Lines of progress 238

Delving into the Detail 241

Tracking Progress Using Earned Value Management 244

Calculating Behind the Scenes 246

Earned-value options 246

An abundance of critical paths 247

Chapter 17: You’re Behind — Now What? 249

Using Project with Risk and Issue Logs 250

Printing interim plans and baselines 250

Printing task notes 251

What-If Scenarios 253

Sorting tasks 253

Filtering 254

Examining the critical path 255

Using resource leveling (again) 257

Determining which factors are driving the timing of a task 258

How Adding People or Time Affects the Project 259

Hurrying up and making modifications 259

Throwing resources at the problem 259

Shifting dependencies and task timing 261

When All Else Fails 262

Taking the time you need 263

Finding ways to cut corners 263

Chapter 18: Spreading the News: Reporting 265

Generating Standard Reports 266

What’s available 266

Overviewing the dashboard reports 267

Creating New Reports 268

Gaining a new perspective on data with visual reports 270

Creating a visual report 270

Fine-Tuning a Report 271

Dragging, dropping, and sizing 272

Looking good! 273

Spiffing Things Up 274

Call the Printer! 277

Working with Page Setup 277

Getting a preview 282

Printing, at last! 283

Working on the Timeline 283

Adding tasks to the Timeline 284

Customizing the Timeline 285

Copying the Timeline 286

Chapter 19: Getting Better All the Time 287

Reviewing the Project 288

Learning from your mistakes 288

Debriefing the team 290

Comparing Versions of a Project 291

Building on Success 293

Creating a template 293

Mastering the Organizer 294

Part 5: The Part of Tens 297

Chapter 20: Ten Golden Rules of Project Management 299

Roll with It 299

Put Your Ducks in a Row 300

Expect the Unexpected 301

Don’t Put Off until Tomorrow 302

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate 302

Document It 303

Keep the Team in the Loop 303

Measure Success 304

Maintain a Flexible Strategy 305

Learn from Your Mistakes 305

Chapter 21: Ten Cool Shortcuts in Project 2019 307

Task Information 307

Resource Information 308

Frequently Used Functions 309

Subtasks 310

Quick Selections 310

Fill Down 310

Navigation 310

Hours to Years 311

Timeline Shortcuts 311

Quick Undo and Repeat 312

Appendix: glossary 313

Index 321

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