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An Overview of MS Project 2000

INTRODUCTION
Microsoft Projectisaprojectmanagementsoftware program,developedandsoldbyMICROSOFT,whichis designedtoassistaprojectmanagerindevelopingaplan, assigningresourcestotasks,trackingprogress,managing thebudget,andanalyzingworkloads. ThebasisofMicrosoftProject2000istoprovideworkers managementsoftwarethatiseasytouseandflexibleto planandtracktheevolutionoftheircollaborativeprojects.

FEATURES
Personal Gantt Chart:ThisrendersGanttviewslike thoseinMicrosoftProjecttooutlineeachteammembers owntasksacrossmultipleprojects. New Task:Teammemberscancreatetasks;theproject managercanapprovethosenewtasksbeforeadding themtotheprojectplan. Task Delegation:Onceassignedbytheprojectmanger, tasksmaybedelegatedfromleadstoteammembersor frompeertopeer.Delegationcanbedisabled. Show Microsoft Outlook Tasks:Teammemberscan showentriesfromtheirtasklistintheOutlookmessaging andcollaborationclientsotheycanseealltheirproject andnon-projecttasksinasinglelocation.

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View Nonworking Time:Teammemberscanreport nonworkingtimetotheprojectmanagerorcanreportnonprojecttime,suchasvacationorsickleave. Auto-Accept Rules: Managerscanreducetimespentin administrativeactivitiesbyestablishingrulesto automaticallyacceptactualhours,percentcompleteor anyinformationinacustomfield. Status Reports:Userscancreatecustomreportformats andrequestandreceiveteammemberstatusupdates thatMicrosoftProjectCentralautomaticallyrollsintoa groupreport.

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Administration Module:Thisprovidesproject administratorswithmorecontroloverdefinitionsofnonprojecttime,views,formattingstylesandsecurityto ensureconsistencyinproject-managementapproaches andorganizationstructure. Views:Seniorexecutives,managersandteammembers canaccessdifferentviewsofprojects,suchasViewYour Portfolio,ViewYourProjectandViewAssignments. Offline Capabilities:Teammemberscantaketheir timesheetsandstatusreportsofflineandcontinueworking onthemfromwherevertheyare. Grouping:Userscanquicklycategorizeandviewrolleduptaskandresourceinformationinanywaytheyneed.

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Outline Codes:Userscandefinetheirownoutlinecodes insteadofhavingtotiethemtotheoutlinestructureof theirproject.Theycanusetheircustomoutlinecodesto createalternatehierarchicalstructuresfortasksor resources(e.g.withoutlinecodesbasedoncostorjob codes). Graphical Indicators:Userscanassociategraphical indicatorswiththedatainacustomfield,soaparticular imagecanbedisplayedinplaceoftheactualdatato easilyspotpotentialproblems. Task Calendars: Task-specificcalendarsletuserscreate schedulesthataffectonlyselectedtasks.

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Deadline Dates:Userscanremindtheteamofdeadlines andalertthemvisuallyifdeadlinescannotbemet. Custom Fields: ValueListsUserscanemployuserdefinedpick-liststorestrictthevaluesthatcanbeentered intoacustomfieldandsimplifydataentrywithjusta mouseclick. Custom Fields:FormulasUserscanaddcustom formulasforarithmeticcalculations,conditionaltesting andfunctionstobeappliedtocustomfielddata. OLE DB:WithOLEDB(readonly),otherapplicationscan accessMicrosoftProjectdata,makingitmucheasierto integrateprojectdataacrosstheenterprise.

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Clear Baseline:Thisclearsthebaselineorinterimplan dataforselectedtasksoranentireproject. Templates:MicrosoftProjectTemplatesareeasyto createandaccess. Variable Row Height: Userscandragtherowline betweentaskstosetindividualrowstodifferingrow heights. In-Cell Editing:Userscanviewthecontextofatask whileeditingit. Windows Terminal Server SupportMicrosoftProjectcan runonTerminalServer. Andmanymore.

TERMS
TASKS: Theyareadivisionofalltheworkthatneedsto becompletedinordertoaccomplishtheprojectgoals. SCOPE: ofanyprojectisacombinationofallindividual tasksandtheirgoals. RESOURCES: canbepeople,equipment,materialsor servicesthatareneededtocompletevarioustasks.The amountofresourcesaffectsthescopeandtimeofany project.

POINTS TO BE NOTED
Beforeembarkingontheprojectyouneedtoputdownafew keypointsveryclearly-: Conceptualizeandidentifythepurposeoftheproject Defineitsobjectives Finalizeitsscope Identifyitsactivities Assignresourcestoactivities Createanestimateoftimeandcosts Makehonestassumptionsaboutvariousrelevantfactors thatcanaffectthedurationofaprojectanditscosts Discussalternativescenariosandbuildcontingencyplans.

TASKS
Tostartanewprojectfile. Torecordproperties. Views. EnteringTasksandassigningtask duration Outliningtasks

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TO START A NEW PROJECT FILE YoucancreateaProjectfromaTemplateFilebychoosing File>Newfromthemenu.IntheNewFiledialogboxthat opens,selecttheProjectTemplatestabandselectthe templatethatsuitsyourprojectbestandclickOK. OnceanewProjectpageisopened,theProjectInformation dialogboxopens.

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Enterthestartdateorselect anappropriatedatebyscrolling downthelist. ClickOK.Projectautomatically entersadefaultstarttimeand storesitaspartofthedates entered. ClickonSaveandtypeinthe nameofyourfileinthedialog boxthatopens.

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TO RECORD PROPERTIES: ChooseFile,Propertiesfromthemenutodisplaythe Propertiesdialogbox. SelectSummarytabandfillininformationinrequiredfields. (projecttitle,projectmanager,companyname,projectgoals) ClickOK. YoucansetdefaultvaluesforStartTime,Hoursper day/weekbyselectingOptionsfromtheToolsmenu.

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VIEWS: Viewsallowyoutoexamineyourprojectfromdifferent anglesbasedonwhatinformationyouwantdisplayedatany giventime.Youcanuseacombinationofviewsinthesame windowatthesametime. Therearefourmajortypesoftasks:
Summary tasks -containsubtasksandtheirrelatedproperties. Subtasks -aresmallertasksthatareapartofasummarytask. Recurring tasks -aretasksthatoccuratregularintervals. Milestones -aretasksthataresettozerodurationandarelike interimgoalsintheproject.

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ENTERING TASKS AND ASSIGNING TASK DURATION:

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Clickinthefirstcellandtypethetaskname.Pressenterto movetothenextrow.Bydefault,estimateddurationofeach taskisaday.But,thereareveryfewtasksthatcanbe completedinaday'stime.Youcanenterthetaskdurationas andwhenyoudecideuponasuitableestimate. Double-clickingataskorclickingontheTaskInformation buttononthestandardtoolbaropenstheTaskInformationbox. Youcanfillinmoredetaileddescriptionsoftasksandattach documentsrelatedtothetaskintheoptionsavailableinthis box. Toenteramilestone,enterthenameandsetitsdurationto zero.Projectrepresentsitasadiamondshapeinsteadofabar intheGanttChart. Tocopytasksandtheircontents,clickonthetaskIDnumber attheleftofthetaskandcopyandpasteasusual.

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OUTLINING TASKS: Oncethesummarytaskshavebeenenteredinatasktable, youwillneedtoinsertsubtasksintheblankrowsandindent themunderthesummarytask.Thisisaccomplishedwiththe helpoftheoutliningtool. Outliningisalreadyactivewhenyoulaunchaprojectandits toolsarefoundattheleftendoftheFormattingbar.Toenter asubtask,enterthetaskinablankcellintheTaskName columnandclicktheIndentbuttonontheOutliningtoolbar. TheShowfeatureinthistoolbarisdropdowntoolthatgives youanoptionof differentOutlinelevels.

LINKS
Tasksareusuallyscheduledtostartassoonaspossible i.e.thefirstworkingdayaftertheprojectstartdate. Theremainingschedulecanbedefinedinabase calendartowhichProjectislinked.Projectsuppliesthree calendarsandanyoneofthemcanbeused.The Standardcalendar,24HourscalendarandtheNightShift calendarscheduletasksondifferentworkingdaysand hours.TheStandardcalendarisusuallyusedasabase calendar. Thedurationofanytaskcanbeseenintheformofgray barsofvaryinglengthontheGanttChartinthetimeline section.

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Taskscanbelinkedinfourways:

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TO LINK TASKS IN FS DEPENDENCY: Selectthetasksyouwanttolink.TaskswithalowerID numberaretakenaspredecessors,butifyouwanttosetthe orderoftasksyourself,selecttasksbyholdingControlwhile youclickthetasksinorder. ClickLinkTasksbuttononStandardToolbarorchoose Edit>LinktasksorControl+F2. Summarytaskscanbelinkedtoothersummarytasksorto subtasksbetweensummarygroups.Subtaskscanbelinked toeachothertoo. Tounlinktasks,selecttasksandclicktheUnlinkTaskinthe StandardToolbar.

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DELAYED AND OVERLAPPED LINKS: Sometimestasksmaybedependentonotherfactors causingadelaytimeoranoverlaptime,necessitatingalag orlead-timetobeincorporatedinalink.Lagandlead-time canbeenteredasunitsoftimeorasapercentageofthe durationofthepredecessor. Double-clickataskandopentheTaskInformationdialog box. Clickthepredecessortab. Selectthelag/leadfield. Enteranumberorapercentageinthecell. ClickOK.

CONSTRAINTS
Certaintasksneedtobecompletedwithinacertaindate. Intermediatedeadlinesmayneedtobespecified.By assigningconstraintstoataskyoucanaccountfor schedulingproblems.Thereareabout8typesofconstraints andtheycomeundertheflexibleorinflexiblecategory. TO APPLY A CONSTRAINT: OpentheTaskInformationdialogbox. ClicktheAdvancedtabandopentheConstrainttypelistby clickingonthedrop-downarrowandselectit. SelectadatefortheConstraintandclickOK.

CONTINUED
Flexible constraints (demarcatedbyareddotin MicrosoftProject2000)restrictschedulingtoagreat extentwhereasflexibleconstraints(bluedot)allowProject tocalculatethescheduleandmakeappropriate adjustmentsbasedontheconstraintapplied. Inflexible constraints cancauseconflictsbetween successiveandprecedingtasksattimesandyoumay needtoremovesuchaconstraint.

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TO REMOVE A CONSTRAINT AND APPLY AN ASAP/ ALAP CONSTRAINT: SelectthetasksbyholdingControlandclickingontheminthe orderyouwant. ClickTaskInformationbuttonontheStandardToolbarandthe Multipletaskdialogboxopens. ClicktheAdvancedtabandclickthedropdownarrowtoopen theconstrainttypelist. ChooseASAPiftheprojecthasbeenscheduledfromtheStart dateandALAP(Aslateaspossible)ifithasbeenscheduledfrom theFinishdate. ClickOK.

RESOURCES
Onceyoudeterminethatyouneedtoincluderesourcesinto yourprojectyouwillneedtoanswerthefollowingquestions: Whatkindofresourcesdoyouneed? Howmanyofeachresourcedoyouneed? Wherewillyougettheseresources? Howdoyoudeterminewhatyourprojectisgoingtocost?

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Resourcesareoftwotypes-work resources and material resources. ENTERING RESOURCE INFORMATION IN PROJECT: TheAssignResourcesdialogboxisusedtocreatelistofnames intheresourcepool.

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TO ENTER RESOURCE LISTS: ClicktheAssignResourcesbuttonontheStandardToolbar orTools>Resources>Assignresources. Selectacellinthenamecolumnandtypearesponse name.PressEnter.(YoucanalsoclickAddressesandadd addressesfromMicrosoftOutlookExpress) Repeatstep2untilyouenteralltheresourcenames. ClickOK. Resourcenamescannotcontainslash(/),brackets[]and commas(,).

CONTINUED
Anotherwayofdefiningyourresourcelististhroughthe ResourceSheetView. DisplayResourceSheetViewbychoosingView> ResourceSheetorclicktheResourceSheeticononthe Viewbar. Enteryourinformation.(Toentermaterialresourceusethe MaterialLabelfield).

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TheMaxUnit'scolumncontainsthemaximumcapacity forwhichaworkresourceisavailabletoaccomplishany tasksinacertaintimeperiod.Thedefaultformatisthe percentageformat.Forexample,iftheassignedunitsare 100%thiswillimplythatthisresourcewillworkforallthe eighthoursinanormalworkingday.Iftheassignedunits are50%,thenthisresourcewillworkforfourhoursaday. Inthecaseofaresourcepoolconsistingof5workers, theirmaximumunitswillbe500%oradecimalvalueof5.

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RESOURCE INFORMATION DIALOG BOX: ClickingonaresourcenameintheResourceSheetwill displayit'sResourceInformationdialogboxthatgives informationaboutaresource,theWorkgroup,resourcetype, materiallabels,workingtime,costsandresourcespecific notes.Alltheaboveinformationcanbecustomizedtosuit yourneeds. WiththeWorkingTimetabinthisbox,youcanassigna differentbasecalendartoeachresourceandchangethe workingtimesofthatresourceasandwhenrequired.

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CONTINUED
To assign a base calendar other than the project calendar to the resource: IntheResourceInformationdialogboxswitchtoresource viewanddouble-clickresourceandclickontheWorking Timetabtomakeyourchanges. TO EDIT A RESOURCE CALENDAR: Tools>ChangeWorkingTimes>Selectthecalendaryou wanttoedit. Workgroupdefineshowyouintendtocommunicatewiththe resourcesintheproject.YoucanuseMicrosoftProject CentraltocommunicateusingtheWeb.

ASSIGNMENTS
TO ASSIGN A RESOURCE TO A TASK: OpentheGanttChartViewandtheAssignResources Dialogbox. IntheEntryTableselectthetasksforwhichyouwantto assignresources. IntheAssignResourcesDialogbox,selecttheresource (resources)youwanttoassign. ClicktheAssignbutton. Youcanchangeorassignmoreresourcestotasksusingthe AssignResourcesDialogbox.

How does Project 2000 help us with this?


Whenyouassignresourcestotasks,Projecttakesthetask's durationandmultipliesitbythespecificpercentageor numberofunitsoftheresourcetoarriveatthehoursofwork thatwillbedoneinthetask. Workisamountoftimeoreffortthataworkresource expendsonataski.e.16hoursofshipping,5daysof training,andsoon. Durationistheamountofclocktimebetweenthebeginning andendingofatask. So,Work=Duration*Units(W = D * U)

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TASK TYPE Projectdefinesthreetasktypesthathelpitrecalculatevariables whenresourcesareassignedtoit: FixedUnits FixedWork FixedDuration FortheFixedUnitstasktype,Projectwillrecalculateworkor durationaswhenevernecessary,butworkunitswillremainfixed. Similarly,inFixedDurationtasks,iftheunitsarechanged,work willberecalculatedaccordingly.ThedefaulttasktypeistheFixed Unitstask. WhenusingProject2000tomanageaproject,aprojectmanager willneedtoanalyzeeachtaskandthenchoosethesuitabletask type.

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TO CHANGE THE DEFAULT TASK TYPE: Tools>Options> OptionsDialogbox. Scheduletab>Fixed DurationorFixedWork fromtheDefaultTask Typedrop-downlist. ClickOK.

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ASSIGNING WORK RESOURCES TO TASKS: TheTaskFormcandisplayresourceassignmentdetailslike Unitsandwork.TodisplaytheTaskFormalongwiththe GanttChartclickView>GanttChart>Splittheviewby choosingWindows>Split.TheTaskFormisautomatically displayedinthelowerhalfpane.Right-clickingtherewill displaytheshort-cutmenu.

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TO ASSIGN WORK RESOURCES IN THE TASK FORM: SelectthetaskintheGanttChartView. IntheTaskForm,selectaresourcefromtheResource namedrop-downlist. IntheUnitsandworkcolumns,usespinboxcontrolsto enterunits,workorboth. Repeatsteps2and3untilalltheresourcesarechosenfor theselectedtaskandclickOKintheTaskFormtoassign theresource.

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ASSIGNING MATERIAL RESOURCES TO TASKS: Whenyouassignamaterialresource,youspecifytheway thematerialisconsumed.Choosing'variablematerial consumption'changedthetaskduration.(Forexample,6 gallons/houror4pk/h)Fixedmaterialconsumptionwillnot changetaskduration.

CONTINUED
TO ASSIGN MATERIAL RESOURCES TO A TASK IN GANTT CHART VIEW: SelectthetasksintheGanttChartpane. SelecttheResourceNamefieldinthetaskform. Selecttheresourcenamefromthedrop-downlist. Selecttheunitsfieldandentertheunitsyouwanttoassign.Ifyou leavethisfieldblank,Projectwillsetdefaultof1. ProjectwillappendtheMaterialLabeltoyourdecimalentry. WorkFieldEntries:Forfixedconsumptionrates,thevalueinthe WorkFieldandUnitsFieldwillbethesame,whereasforvariable consumptionrates,theWorkFieldvaluewillbetheUnitsField valuemultipliedbythetaskduration. Afteralltheresourceassignmentsaremadeforthetask,Click OK.