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Learn Project 2013

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction
Acquiring Project 2013; Exercise Files ...................................................................7
Whats New in Project 2013 ..................................................................................13
Chapter 2 Help
Online, Offline and Contextual Help .....................................................................15
Chapter 3 Project 2013 Workspace
Start Screen, Project Workspace and Backstage View ..........................................19
Chapter4 Using Touch
Overview of Principles and Touch Gestures .........................................................25
Chapter 5 The Ribbon and Toolbars
The Ribbon.............................................................................................................28
Quick Access Toolbar ............................................................................................33
Mini Toolbar ..........................................................................................................35
Contextual Menu....................................................................................................37
Status Bar ...............................................................................................................39
Chapter 6 Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard Shortcuts and Key Tips .........................................................................41
Chapter 7 Project Options
Customize Settings and the Use of Project 2013 ...................................................44
Chapter 8 Tasks Basics

Setting Up Tasks ....................................................................................................50


Project Information ................................................................................................55
Project Options, Entry Bar, Timeline, Properties ..................................................58
Chapter 9 Dependency Basics
Link/Unlink Tasks; Setting Up Dependencies between Tasks ..............................62
Chapter 10 Resource Basics
Resource Sheet View .............................................................................................66
Resource Assignment.............................................................................................70
Chapter 11 Opening, Closing and Saving
Opening and Closing Projects; Switching Windows; Pinning to Recent List .......73
Saving Projects; File Formats; AutoSave ..............................................................76
Chapter 12 Calendars
Creating New Calendar; Setting Up Working Time; Recurrence .........................80
Standard Calendar; Schedule Public Holidays; Adding Exceptions......................85
Chapter 13 Views and Tables
Task Views; Zoom; Timescale ..............................................................................88
Resource Views and Split View ............................................................................92
Tables, Columns and Fields ...................................................................................97
Timeline View .....................................................................................................102
Chapter 14 Summary Tasks
Inserting Tasks; Subtasks .....................................................................................105

Chapter 15 Scheduling
Scheduling............................................................................................................110
Chapter 16 Leveling
Basics of Leveling................................................................................................115
Leveling Order; Resolving Resource Overallocations ........................................119
Chapter 17 Critical Path and Milestones
Critical Tasks; Slack; Critical Filter ....................................................................123
Milestones; Milestone Filter ................................................................................127
Chapter 18 Notes
Adding Notes to a Task and Resource .................................................................129
Chapter 19 Tasks Types and Effort Driven
Fixed Task, Duration and Units ...........................................................................132
Chapter 20 More about Resources
Resource Types ....................................................................................................138
More about Resource Assignments .....................................................................141
Chapter 21 Constrains and Deadlines
Constraints and Deadlines....................................................................................146
Chapter 22 More about Dependencies
Types of Dependencies; Lag and Lead ................................................................151
Chapter 23 Resolving Scheduling Issues
Respect Links; Task Inspector; Resource Overallocations ..................................156

Chapter 24 Costs
Assigning Costs to Resources ..............................................................................161
Project Costs ........................................................................................................165
Chapter 25 Project Outline
Showing, Hiding and Moving Subtasks...............................................................169
Chapter 26 Baselines and Interim Plans
Purpose of Interim Plan; Setting, Saving and Clearing a Baseline ......................172
Chapter 27 Tracking
Progress Update ...................................................................................................177
Tools for Tracking Progress.................................................................................182
Project Options that Affect Progress Tracking ....................................................185
Tracing Task Paths ...............................................................................................191
Chapter 28 Reporting
Customizing Reports ............................................................................................193
Types of Report; Creating a New Report ............................................................198
Earned Value Reporting .......................................................................................203
Chapter 29 Printing
Print Properties and Settings; Header and Footer ................................................208
Chapter 30 Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart Wizard; Formatting a Gantt Chart....................................................213
Chapter 31 Import and Export, Organizer, and SkyDrive

Import/Export to/from an Excel Workbook.........................................................217


Organize Global Template ...................................................................................222
Storing Project Files on SkyDrive .......................................................................224
Chapter 32 Security
Password Protect; Read-only; Trust Center .........................................................227
Chapter 33 Conclusion
Recent Development of Project; Close ................................................................230

Project 2013

Chapter 1 Introduction
Video: Acquiring Project 2013; Exercise Files
Toby: Hello and welcome to our course on Microsoft Project 2013, the award winning project
management software for your desktop. My name is Toby and Im going to be your instructor
on this course.
Let me talk first about who this course is for. I hope that anybody who wants to learn how to use
Microsoft Project 2013 will get a lot out of this course. But when I was planning the course, I
had three particular groups of people in mind. First of all, those people whove never used
project management software before. One word of warning for everybody including that first
group though, I am going to assume that youre familiar with the basic language of projects and
basic principles like a schedule. You may even be familiar with terms such as critical path,
resources and overallocation. Now even if you are familiar with these terms, Ill need to explain
them with particular reference to Microsoft Project as we work through the course. But if you
know nothing about project management at all, you may find some aspects of this course a bit of
a struggle and it would be a good idea to get some background reading in first on project
management in general.
The second group of people are people whove used a very old version of Microsoft Project, a
version before the Ribbon was introduced. Microsoft Project has changed a lot in the two or
three versions. Although some of the fundamental principles are exactly the same as they were
15 years ago, some principles have changed a bit and there are many, many new editions to what
you can do and the tools that are available in Microsoft Project.
The third group of people are the people who have used one of the more recent versions of
Project and for them Ill be focusing on the specific changes in this version. Not only are there
some changes to the aspects of the interface such as the Ribbon, but there are some functional
changes as well.
Now let me talk about the structure of the course. Ive arranged the course into a number of
units which are in turn grouped into chapters, and I believe that this forms a logical sequence for
learning Project pretty much from scratch. If youve used Microsoft Project before, particularly

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
a recent version, you may feel that you can skip some of these sections or go through them
quickly. Thats entirely your choice. I would warn you that even things that you may think
youre familiar with; fairly basic things like using online Help or using the Ribbon have changed
in this version. However if youre happy that you can cope with minor changes or you can check
the online Help yourself for these kinds of change, then its entirely your choice whether you
want to skip forward so that you get into the nitty-gritty of scheduling projects and using
Microsoft Project more quickly. If youre starting from scratch I suggest that you dont skip the
early sections even if they appear to be on topics that youre quite familiar with because the way
that Microsoft Project works is subtly different in many cases from other desktop products, and
its worth knowing some of the tools and tricks of the trade which will help you much later on
when we get into the more advanced use of Microsoft Project.
Another important point to bear in mind with this course is that we do not cover the Server
products associated with Microsoft Project. I will mention one or two features of them from
time to time but theyre not covered in any level of detail on this course, and also that were not
covering the programming of Microsoft Project on this course, the use of Project VBA. We are
primarily only looking at the desktop project management product itself and there is plenty to
learn in a course like this one on that basic desktop Project to get you really started and to build
you up to a really good level of skill in Microsoft Project.
And talking about those desktop Project products, there are basically two of them. There is a
Project Standard and a Project Professional. Now there are quite a lot of differences in them
when you look at the Server side of things. But fundamentally, virtually everything on this
course can be done using Project Standard. Im actually going to be using Project Professional
on the course and I will point out the one or two things you can do in Project Professional that
you cant do in Project Standard, but there really are only one or two of them that affect this
course. If you have Project Standard thats absolutely not a problem, youre going to be able to
do this course absolutely fine with Project Standard.
Now as part of this course you should have a whole set of exercise files. The file names will be
similar to these. There will be about this many with about these names. The actual list may
vary. It does change a little over time. But make sure you know where those files are. They
should be available on your device. And from time to time I will be referring to these and Ill be
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
asking you to make your own versions of these or to use the versions youre provided with. So
make sure you know where that set of files is kept.
Now in Project 2013, Microsoft has tried to make the product usable with a touch screen. Now
to be fair, there were certain things were able to do in the previous version associated with
Project 2010 where you could use a touch screen for certain things. But to have general usage of
a product like this with touch really, Project 2013 is the first version. Im going to incorporate
coverage of some of the gestures and techniques to use with a touch screen while Im going
through the course but it would be an extremely tedious job if I did everything on the course
twice, once with keyboard and mouse and once with touch screen. So Im really going to use
touch screen from time to time, explain what Ive done, go through the main gestures, and try to
use touch in a number of places as an example. But there really isnt time to do everything twice
and I think both people that are using touch and those who dont use touch would be equally
frustrated if I did do everything twice. Having said that, the PC that I am recording this course
on is a touch screen PC. Im also using hand gestures in front of the screen, but for a course that
youre going to follow on screen, me using hand gestures in front of the screen isnt really going
to work. So I am only going to cover mouse mode as Ill call it as one option and touch mode as
the other during the course. But if youve got a touch screen device, I think that youre going to
find that you can do just about everything in Microsoft Project that you need to. Although I
would warn you that in some cases the accuracy of touch can be an issue and to some extent if
youve got nice thin fingers youre better off than somebody like me who has rather fat fingers
Im afraid.
The next thing to mention is that I am running Project 2013 here on Windows 8. If youre using
Windows 7, there will be some differences; not an awful lot, but you will notice one or two
differences in places. Ill try to point those out as we go along because I am also testing what Im
doing on Windows 7 as well. And something thats equally important is that the resolution on
which Im recording this is a 4:3 aspect ratio resolution. Its not widescreen. You may well
have one of the widescreen resolutions on your device. Also depending on the resolution of your
device, you may see different amounts of things on the screen. This can be extreme as things
like seeing different content on the Ribbon.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Im currently looking at the start screen for Project Professional 2013. If you are able to see that
start screen, and Ill talk about that in just a moment, you may look at yours and you may look at
mine and you may think, well, they look completely different. Well, there can be substantial
difference partly because of the screen resolution and partly because of themes, windows,
backgrounds, and so on. Some of which were going to talk about during the course. But as long
as you can see something on the left that says Project and list that says Recent and an Open other
projects thing there, and then these boxes in the middle or some variant on these boxes in the
middle then Im sure youll be fine. And the ways in which these things are different I will
explain as we go through the early stages of the course.
Now I mentioned just now that Id talk about seeing this start screen. If you already have
Microsoft Project 2013 installed, either the Standard version of the Professional version and you
can start it up either from one of the tiles on the start screen or Windows 8 or from the start menu
on Windows 7 and you can actually see this screen, then you can actually finish following this
section because the rest of this section is going to be devoted to those people who havent got
Project 2013 installed. Im not actually going to show you how to install it, but I am going to
talk about how to get hold of a copy of it and point you in the right direction in terms of where to
get the instructions to install it. But if its already installed and running on your machine, you
can move on to the next section now; if not, read on.
So for the rest of this section Im talking to those of you who maybe dont have yet Project
installed. And the first place Im going to direct you is to part of microsoft.com, to this
particular page. Now given that I may well have recorded this course some time before you
watch it, the page itself may have changed. But one things for certain, Microsoft will still have
an equivalent page there. Youre looking for the requirements for Project Professional 2013.
You may well need to do a search, either a Google or a search within microsoft.com to find it but
youll find a page that gives you those system requirements. Now the system requirements from
point of view of Project come into approximately two categories. One of them is the hardware
requirements. You need a device that satisfies this minimum hardware specification. You can
sometimes make Project work on lower specked devices but it almost invariably leads to a
headache and this isnt a particularly high specification for modern devices anyway. So make
sure youve got a device that satisfies that hardware requirement.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
And then the other key requirement is the operating system requirement. And as far as desktop
operating systems are concerned, you need Windows 7 or Windows 8. If you have XP, if you
have Vista, then Im afraid thats no good. Youre going to have to upgrade your desktop
operating system in order to run Microsoft Project on your desktop.
Now there are some other requirements here. There are requirements for graphics including a
minimum screen resolution. There are list of supported browsers and also some details of the
touch requirements if you intend to use touch with Project 2013. So you need to take note of
those as well.
So once youve established that the device youre planning to use will be able to run Project, the
next question is how to get yourself a copy of Project. Now, of course, you can buy a copy. You
could buy it from Microsoft. You could use your favorite online store; maybe your local
computer store will have Project Professional or Project Standard in stock. But the good news is
at the time of recording this it is possible to get a trial version of Microsoft Project Professional
from Microsoft. Now the particular offer and the terms of the offer do tend to vary but at the
time of recording, you could get a 60-day free trial from Microsoft and that includes a guided
element where it will actually give you some supporting help and information throughout the 60day trial which I think you might find very useful. And depending on how much time you have
available, you may well find that a 60 trial is plenty of time to work your way through this course
and to make sure that youre comfortable about buying Project, if indeed thats what you intend
to do. Theres a page there which gives you access today to the Project Professional 2013 60day trial. You may, well, need to do another Google or you may need to do a search within
microsoft.com at some future date if this actual page isnt here. But if there is a Project trial
version available, you should be able to find it without too much trouble.
One other thing to be aware of is that there are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft
Project available. Now you would generally be best advised to install the 64-bit version if youre
device will support it, but one or two things to warn you about. One of them is that if you have
Microsoft Office 2013 32-bit installed, I believe youll have trouble installing Microsoft Project
64-bit. And also if you do try to install the 64-bit version, there are one or two other scenarios
where you can run into trouble. Having said that, Im not going to try and list what will and
wont work here. Thats somewhat outside the scope of what I do. Ill leave that between you
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
and Microsoft. But if you download a trial version, youre given the option of either 32 or 64. If
you download the 64-bit version, try to install that and if it doesnt work, Im afraid youll have
to download the 32-bit. If you have a bought version and normally with bought versions they
include both.

So if you try 64 and if it doesnt work, then try the 32.

In terms of the

functionality what you can do with them theyre the same. The only real significant difference is
in the performance.

This course is actually being run with a 32-bit version of Project

Professional 2013 running on Windows 8.


So when you have acquired your copy of Project 2013, you have installed it and preferably you
have activated it as well, you will finish up able to start it from the start screen in Windows 8 or
the start menu in Windows 7 and you will get to the point that we saw earlier on where you have
the start screen. And this is our starting point for using Microsoft Project 2013. But just before
we open it up and start to use it, Id like to just spend a little bit of time talking whats new in
Project 2013, particularly for the benefit of those whove used Project before, and thats what
were going to cover in the next section so please join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Whats New in Project 2013


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, Im going to do a quick run
through of whats new in Project 2013. Even if you havent used Project before, I think youre
going to find this section useful because it will introduce you to some of the key points that well
be covering in the course.
The best source of information for whats new in Project 2013 from a fairly non-technical point
of view is within the Office section on microsoft.com and theres a page there called Whats
New in Project 2013 and I want to go through the main points on that page in this section.
One of the sections on that page is headed Get Started Quickly and this really describes the main
features of the start screen in Project 2013, the screen we saw earlier. And from this screen you
get links not only to creating a new blank project but you can get links to Project templates that
were going to look at later on and then various other links to facilities to import information
from Microsoft Excel or from SharePoint. Well be looking at the start screen in more detail
later on.
One of the main areas of extension and improvement in Project 2013 is in the range of reports
that are available. There are some new and greatly improved graphical reports and there are also
new types of reports such as burn down reports. You can also use Link 2010 or later to
communicate with members of your team by instant message, video chat, email, or even a phone
call. If you were dealing with a complex project and youre having trouble sorting out some
issues with a specific task or around the area of a specific task, you can look at the task path for
the selected task which shows all of the predecessor tasks and all of the successor tasks
conveniently colored to help to identify them.
And then there are some other new or improved features here. The first of these, Take projects
into the far future, means that we can now schedule projects with project dates up to the middle
of the 22nd century which is probably far enough ahead for most of us. And then other new
features include the sharing of meetings if you export your project reports, timelines, or other
project data into other Office programs you can share those online on any supported device. You
can save and share project files in the Cloud as with the other components of Office 2013. And

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Project 2013
if you use Project online, you have access to a full version of Project from almost anywhere and
you can run it even on PCs that dont have Project 2013 installed.
Well be looking at most of these new features during the course. But in the mean time, I
suggest that you look at this page, Whats New in Project 2013 and maybe follow some of the
links on that page to describe some of the features in more detail.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 2 Help
Video: Online, Offline and Contextual Help
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, were
going to look at Help.
As with most major new software products nowadays, there is very limited help actually
provided with Project and the bulk of the help is provided online. Therefore in order to take
advantage of the full Help facilities of Project 2013, you will need an internet connection. I do
have a live internet connection.
And one of the great advantages of Project 2013 in terms of Help is that access to Help is
provided in a very consistent way. Generally speaking, in the top right hand corner of any
window, you will see a little question mark and if I hover over the question mark on the start
screen window, here youll see that the word Help is shown. Thats called a screen tip. And
then after Help in brackets it says F1 and that is the keyboard shortcut for Help. Basically, there
are the two standard ways of getting help in Project. Either click on this question mark or use the
keyboard shortcut F1. If you click on the question mark or use the keyboard shortcut, you open
browser based Help.
Now unfortunately at the time of recording this course there was alignment problems with this
Help Home page. It wont actually stop me covering the material on the page but it does look a
little bit strange. But I think when I explain it to you it wont really cause you a problem.
The Help home page really contains four main sections. Up here you have a set of buttons which
Ill talk about in a moment and then a search box that you can use to search the online Help for a
particular feature. You then have three other sections. You have a Popular searches section
which basically gives you the terms that are the most popular for people to search on in Help.
Ill come back to the Search and those popular searches a little bit later on.
The third section is a Getting Started section and that gives links to three main getting started
sections within the Project 2013 Help. Theres Whats new with Project 2013. Note that as I
hover the mouse over that term, its underlined and becomes a live hyperlink. Then it has
Project keyboard shortcuts. Were going to be talking about the keyboard shortcuts a little bit

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
later on. And then it says, Make the switch to Project 2013. If I click on that one, Make the
switch to Project 2013, it gives access to a page within microsoft.com where you can download a
number of relatively short videos that give you some information which is particularly useful if
youre switching from another version of Project. So apart from giving a summary of the new
features, it explains things like a tour of the Ribbon and where all your favorite buttons and menu
items are in Project 2013. So if youre new to Project or youve used an older version and youd
like a different view on the changes, there are some good videos here for you to download and
take a look at.
And when youve finished looking at those, then you just close this browser and youll be back
to the Project Help home page again.
Now the fourth section on the Project Help home page is also a set of links, Basic tasks in
Project, Change working days for the Project calendar, and so on. If I followed one of those, say
Set a baseline, that takes you through to the relevant page within the Help system.
If you find that the text is a little bit too small to read, then one of the buttons in the group up
here to the left of the Search box, that one, says Use large text. If you click on that button, it
increases the size of the text and makes it much easier to read. You can then decrease it again by
clicking on the button and its back to its standard size. While were looking at these buttons,
another point to make here is that to the left of that button there is a Print button which will
enable you to print a particular page or a section of some pages on Help.
Now sometimes when youre looking at some help, there will be a further link within the help
such as this one here. As I hover over it, youll see that it becomes highlighted, usually with an
underline. Click on that and that will take me through to another page and from there, there may
be further links.
This is browser based so at any stage if I want to go back to the previous page, I use the Back
button amongst the group of buttons in the top left there. And if I want to go forward again to a
page Ive just left, I can use the Forward button. And then the middle button in that group at any
time if I want to go home back to Help Home, I just click on the picture of the home there and
that takes me back to the Help home page.

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Project 2013
And then just one other thing on this page and thats the Search box itself. I mentioned the
popular searches before but in fact you can search on pretty much any term that you might have a
question or an issue about in relation to Project 2013. Click in the Search box and type in a term.
So for instance, if I wanted to find out about leveling type it in and then the magnifying glass on
the right is the button, the command button that says Search online Help, click on that. Now the
links that I can see here are a bit of a mix really. Some of them just help me to find things say on
the Ribbon, but others actually link through to articles. The very first link there is to an article,
Level resource assignment. So if I click on that itll take me through to an article that tells me
quite a lot about how to level the resources on a project. If youve got no idea what leveling is,
you will find out what it is a little bit later on in the course. And again, I can follow through
links and at any time I can jump back to the home page and get some more help.
When youve finished using Help, you can either minimize it down on to your task bar if you
anticipate using it again or if you look at the top right hand corner of the window there, there is
an X for the Close button.
I mentioned before that if you dont have a live internet connection, then you wont be able to
get online help. If you dont have an internet connection and you click on Help, you get the
offline help. Let me just show you what you get with offline help. Ill click on the question
mark there again. I get a cant connect message here. Were having trouble connecting to
office.com in my case. You may or may not get that message. You may or may not be asked to
try again. Im not going to try again because I want to show you what happens with offline help.
And basically with offline help, all you get is help about where things are on the Ribbon. So if I
type in here Leveling and then ask for help on leveling, what I get is information about leveling
commands and where they appear on the Ribbon, and thats just about the extent of offline help.
So its not really going to be able to help you very much. But in summary if you need the full
help that comes with Project 2013, youre going to need a live internet connection.
The last thing Id like to talk to you about in relation to Help now is whats called contextual
help. Ive actually leapt into Project 2013 here just for a moment and Ive opened one of the
dialogs. It doesnt really matter what this dialog is about, what it does. Youll find out about it
later on. But youll quite often see in some of the dialogs that we come across a Help button and
in theory what happens if its got a Help button like this in a dialog is it will take you into the
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
same Help system that weve just seen but it will take you to a particular topic related to this
dialog. So if we were formatting bar styles for a Gantt Chart in Project 2013 and clicked on
Help, we would normally expect to get into the Help system with some help about bar styles.
Now in my experience of Project 2013 so far, a lot of the time when you click these Help buttons
all it does is take you to the Help home page. So if I click Help here, it actually just takes me to
the regular home page and of course I can then do a search. I could search in there for bar styles
and get some help. So in theory, there is what we call contextual help, which is help that directly
relates to the context in which we asked for the help. In practice, Im not sure at this stage with
Project 2013 that much of the contextual help is actually very contextual. But having said that, if
you get into the Help system, you can search for the particular topic you want help for and if
there is help on it, you will be able to find it.
So thats almost it on Help. Let me just close this down again. For the benefit of those of you
who are using touch, of course wherever Ive clicked for these things, you tap. So if I tap on that
Help button in that dialog, it does exactly the same thing.
Thats it on Help in Project 2013. Ill see you in the next section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 3 Project 2013 Workspace


Video: Start Screen, Project Workspace and Backstage View
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, were
going to take a quick tour of the Project Workspace. Now many of the aspects of this will be
covered in a lot of detail as we go through the course but I just want to familiarize you with some
of the terminology and some of the parts of the screen that are going to be very important in the
early stages of the course.
Now the first thing to say is that Ive already mentioned this start screen and there is an option as
well see a little bit later on to suppress the showing of this start screen and for example to go
straight into the last project that you were working on. Now I normally have the start screen
enabled. Its a pretty useful way of starting up Project in my opinion. But that may not suit you
and as well see later when we look at Project Options, theres a lot of customization thats
possible with the Project workspace. When youve been using Project for a little while, then its
worth taking a little bit of time just to make sure that youve got it customized to your particular
preferences and requirements.
Now on this start screen, weve got an area on the left that lists the recent projects that weve
worked on. We havent worked on any projects yet so that area is empty. Theres an area below
that that says Open other projects which gives us access to a pretty standard Windows browser to
open other projects either on this device or available from this device. You may for example
open a project on a network or on an attached device, maybe a memory stick or a DVD or
something like that.
Now in the top right hand corner of the start screen, you have a pretty standard set of buttons.
Theres the Help button that weve already talked about and then the normal Windows buttons.
So theres a minimize there. And because Im in normal view, theres a maximize button and, of
course, a close button. And with each of these theres an available screen tip just to remind me
what each of the buttons does.
Now bear in mind that different people will have acquired their copy of Project 2013 in different
ways, maybe registered for a trial version, purchased a version. There will be a Microsoft

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Project 2013
account that you are currently running Project 2013 under, and the account that Im currently
running it under is shown there. You can switch account. You can run your copy of Project
2013 under different accounts and one of the reasons for doing that would be that you may run it
under a different account that gives you access to additional or different services from Microsoft.
Now looking at the possibilities here is outside the scope of this course. So for the purposes of
this course, Ill assume that you have a Microsoft account that you are running this under and
that its shown there and you can see mine in the top right hand corner of the start screen.
Now lets look at these big buttons on the start screen. The one thats highlighted at the moment
is blank project and youll use that a lot when you start a new project from scratch. So youre
really just going to start typing the details of a project into Project 2013 from a blank starting
point; a bit like starting a new document in Word. To the right of that, the next option there is
New from existing project. Now if the sort of projects that you manage tend to be a little bit
repetitive, you may find that theres a pattern in your projects and you like to take say the last job
that you did, the last project you managed and use that as a starting point for the next one. Well,
thats where this particular option comes in handy because if you click that, you can choose an
existing project and use that as your starting point for another one. Now thats the basic idea
behind templates that Im going to talk about in a moment as well.
Below that is another option, New from Excel workbook, and this enables you to import task
type information for example that you have in an Excel workbook and use that as the basis for a
Microsoft Project project. Now thats somewhat outside the scope of this course but Im going
to give you a straightforward example of that later on.
To the right of that is a quite similar option but this relates to SharePoint task lists. Now if
youve used Microsoft SharePoint, youll be familiar with the concept of a SharePoint task list.
And like an Excel workbook, you can use a SharePoint task list as a starting point for a
Microsoft Project. Now that is definitely outside the scope of this course.
The next option just says Welcome to Project and this is a little sort of Wizard demonstration of
creating a very basic project and just a description of the main steps in creating a project. Im
not going to go through that now. Its a good one for you to try, particularly if youve never used
Project before. But it is very basic and everything thats in it were going to be covering during

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Project 2013
the course anyway. So if you are an absolute beginner, give that a little run through and it might
give you a nice introduction to some of the basic concepts of using Project.
Beyond that what we have is a list of templates and templates are basically what in older
terminology would be called boiler plates. Theyre sort of model projects. They dont have any
specifics in them. They dont have specific dates and times, specific costs, or anything like that,
but they give you a model that you can work from. Now the ones that are shown on the start
screen, the first one there is a software development plan. Then theres a new product launch.
Thats a bit more of a sort of marketing related project.

Create a budget, commercial

construction, residential construction, a market research schedule, and so on. Now there are
quite a few of those there. But in addition, if you look at the top of the start screen, there is a box
here where you can search for an online template. So if you have a particular topic in mind, a
particular need for a Project template, you can type a certain term in here and then click on the
Search button and Project 2013 will search microsoft.com to find supporting materials, including
Project templates. Now theres some suggested searches here, business, construction, marketing
products, but youre certainly not restricted to those. The main example were going to use on
this course is a construction project so Im going to type in here Construction. I could in fact just
click on that link if I wanted to but Im going to type in here Construction, and then click on the
Search button and see what it comes up with. And what it comes up with is a list of, well, there
are two templates; the ones that we saw on the start screen. One for a residential construction
and one for a commercial construction, and I could use either of those as the starting point for
my project. But it also gives me links through to documents related to other Office applications.
So there are six links to Excel documents, seven to PowerPoint, two to Outlook, and four to
Word. Lets just click on the Excel ones. Notice we get a list of six Excel workbooks and any of
these may help as well. These are not Microsoft Project projects. These are Excel workbooks.
So for instance, theres a construction proposal. There is a home construction budget. Thatll be
useful to see the sort of costs associated with home construction. And there are various other
things, construction bid form, inventory list, etc. So thats a pretty useful facility whereby you
can search microsoft.com that way to help you with your particular requirement for creating a
project. Now youve finished looking at these you use the Back button, the top left there. This is
a browser based system as well. Click on Back and that takes us back to the start screen again.

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Project 2013
Now I should just point out to those of you who are using touch that we havent done anything
unusual here. Im going to come to touch in more detail in a couple of sections time. But all
were doing so far is tapping on controls such as this Search button and then typing into boxes so
exactly the same there with touch. You would just type in the term that you wanted to search for
and then tap on the Search button.
So to complete our look at the Project workspace, lets create a blank project. Either click on
Blank project or tap if youre using touch, and look at the bottom left hand corner of the screen
just after we do this. A message appears there, New tasks are created in manually scheduled
mode. Youre going to see that quite a bit and well come back to that in a lot of detail later on.
But for now I want you to just ignore that message each time it appears. And what we have now
is the Project workspace in front of us. Now the one that you see may have differences to mine
for all sorts of reasons. So Im not going to be very specific at this stage about exactly what you
can see but I will point out the main areas and then well look at the details as we go through the
course.
So lets start right at the top of the workspace here and in the top left we have something called
the Quick Access Toolbar and Im going to look at that in detail a little bit later on, but basically
its a customizable set of buttons that give you one click access to specific functions such as
saving the current project. At the top on the right, you have the buttons weve talked about
already, Help, Minimize, Maximize, Close, and then you also have a set of buttons immediately
below that are related to the current project. You can have more than one project open at a time
in Microsoft Project. And also identification for the current account, thats me Toby Arnott
there.
Now this whole area excluding the button with File written on it, the green one, is basically the
Ribbon. Basically the Ribbon contains the commands that you execute to do particular things
like delete a task or remake your schedule or update the status of a task in your project. Below
the Ribbon, we have the timeline. Now the timeline can be switched on and off and this is one of
the areas where what you see may be different from what I see. Currently, the timeline is
switched on but this is a completely empty project. There are no tasks in it so theres nothing
shown in the timeline. There is a start date which is today. Im doing this on Monday, March

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Project 2013
the 18th and theres a finish date which is the same day because, again, I havent put any tasks in
so I have a project with no duration at the moment.
Below that is the main window area where most of the project information is shown. And on the
left on its side you can see it says Gantt Chart. Youll probably use Gantt Charts quite a bit with
Microsoft Project. And as youll see in a short while what the Gantt Chart normally consists of
is two parts. On the left you have whats called a table and this is the list of information about
the tasks in your project. And on the right, you have the Gantt Chart itself which will basically
be a pictorial representation of your project. Now were going to look at a sample project shortly
and then when we do Ill explain in more detail about the table and about the chart itself.
Right at the bottom of the window, there you can see the status bar and the status bar contains on
the left assorted information about the current project. Now the current project is empty so there
isnt an awful lot of interesting information to show so theres not a lot shown there. But well
look at the status bar in quite a bit of detail a bit later on. And then on the right hand end, there
are various buttons and a slider to control what you actually see in that main window. Again,
well be coming back to that a little bit later on as well.
So weve got the Ribbon, weve got the timeline, weve got the main window which will often
show the Gantt Chart but it can often show other things as well, and then at the bottom the status
bar.
Now theres one other very important aspect of the Project workspace to mention here and that is
Backstage View. If you click on that green button towards the top left hand corner of the
window that says File, click on that, it takes you into Backstage View. Now from Backstage
View, you basically do the management, the administration of Project. Loosely speaking, this is
where you do the things related to projects that arent actually in the individual projects
themselves. So its the sort of things you do here are open a project, one you worked on earlier
on or save a project or print some of the details of a project or share a project with somebody
else. You also very importantly, as well see in a couple of sections time, can set your Project
Options which basically enables you to customize Project. And you also have an Account button
here where you can change the account that youre running Project under. I mentioned that
earlier on in the course. Now Backstage View were going to look at piece by piece as we go

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Project 2013
through the course, but getting access to Backstage View is via that File button, the green button
with the word File on it. And to get back from Backstage View into the project were working
on, we click this Back button up here, the one with the left arrow on it. It takes us back into an
individual project.
So thats it on the Project workspace for now. There are quite a few more things but well cover
those as we go through the course. Thats the end of this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 4 Using Touch


Video: Overview of Principles and Touch Gestures
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. Im going to look at touch in this short
section. If youre not intending to use touch and maybe not even interested in using touch or
how people use it, then you can pretty much skip this section. If you are going to use touch or if
youre considering using touch, then its quite a short section and I think its very useful to go
through it with me.
The first thing Id like to point out to you is this blog post on office.com, Using the new Office
with touch. You can find that by Googling it or by going to microsoft.com and searching. But it
is an extremely good post which basically gives the background to how Microsoft went about
addressing touch in Office 2013 in general. From the point of view of touch, Project is part of
Office 2013. So virtually everything that you see in this blog post is relevant to Project.
Now Im not going to go through all the detail here. Its a really interesting document to read. It
not only gives the background as to why they did things the way that they did but it also goes
into some detail of the particular requirements of different aspects of using a fairly advanced
piece of software with a touch device. They recognized in particular that one of the key issues
with using a touch device, as well see during this course, is the accuracy of touching part of the
screen. Particularly, if youve got fairly fat fingers like mine in comparison with accessing
maybe just a single point on a screen using a mouse.
Now if you go through this article, it gives background to the vision for touch by Microsoft, the
sort of guidelines they followed and then some particular issues like targeting which is really the
targeting a specific point on the screen. And then things like the changes they made to the
Ribbon. Now were going to look at the use of the Ribbon with touch in the next section so I
wont go into that here. And then further down they talk about other user interface elements. A
good example is the color picker. Thats not particularly relevant to Project, although you do use
it in a couple of situations in Project. But again the general principle is to take the conventional
color picker and just make everything bigger to be easier to operate with your fingers. Anyway
its an extremely interesting and informative article and I do recommend that you go through,
take the time to just read through it. I will be referring to it from time to time and many of the

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
points that it makes later on in the course and in many ways it forms the background to many
aspects of touch in Project 2013.
And the other important article which is also on microsoft.com is the Office Touch Guide. Now
you may have seen this in an earlier version where it was basically a text document. The version
thats available as Im recording this course has got some little video demonstrations of some
aspects of using touch. Now again, Im not going to go through all of these now because the
ones that are particularly relevant Im going to go through at the various points in the course.
But lets just take the first example, Zoom in and out. If I click on zoom in and out, you get a
little demonstration of using stretch and pinch. Watch again. The idea is if you want to zoom
into something, you stretch. If you want to zoom out you pinch. So zooming in by stretching
your fingers apart gets you closer to the subject, and then zooming out by pinching gets you
farther away. Now for each of the different kind of gesture with touch, theres a little video
demonstration in this article, Office Touch Guide. So scroll. So, theres a demonstration there of
how to scroll through a document on screen. Ill just play that again. Notice how the user is
basically touching the screen, you see a little sort of flash as they touch the screen, and then they
hold it as they scroll through the document.
Now if you are intending to use touch I suggest you locate this document and work through all of
the different gestures; basic gestures, gestures with shapes and objects. Again, not particularly
relevant to Project 2013 many of these, but some of them are.

And then further down

particularly text, selecting text and formatting text, we will be looking at using touch later on.
And then there are some specifics related to Excel and PowerPoint. There are none specifically
in relation to Project but many of the earlier ones are relevant.
Now I am going to be demonstrating touch at various points on the course and as I introduce
each new gesture, Ill go through an example. Unfortunately, its not practical on a course like
this to do everything using both touch and the mouse and keyboard. It would mean doing
everything twice which would get a little bit tedious for everybody, including me. So Im
primarily going to use mouse and keyboard on the course, and Ill introduce touch as various
points. Ill use examples with touch, but primarily itll be mouse and keyboard. And if you are
using a touch device, I suggest that you practice using that right from the outset and you will find
that virtually everything in Project is perfectly possible using touch. And in my experience so
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
far, if youre using touch with Project 2013, really the only area where I still have a little bit of
difficulty is when I need to target something very precisely. In some situations, that is still quite
difficult but maybe with a bit more practice Ill get over that as well.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 5 The Ribbon and Toolbars


Video: The Ribbon
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, were going to look at the
Ribbon. So were going to start with Blank Project and the Ribbon is this rectangular area that
you can see towards the top of the window. The Ribbon replaces the old menu system and in
most of the components of Office. The replacement started in Office 2007 and although theyve
progressed at different paces within the different components in Office 2013, the Ribbon is
pretty much universally now at the same stage of development. So if youve used the Ribbon in
something like Word or Excel, then in Project there wont be any great surprises. The Ribbon
actually is a rectangle with a number of symbols on it and the symbols represent different kinds
of commands, options, buttons, settings, and so on. And in the case of Project, were going to be
looking at an awful lot of those during this course.
Now you can see one set of these buttons here and the buttons on the Ribbon are divided into
groups, and in turn each of the sets of groups occupy one tab. Now the tabs are along the top
here. Theres a Task tab, a Resource tab, a Report tab, Project tab and View tab, and they are
pretty much always there when youre using Project 2013. Currently, I have the Task tab
selected. You can see that sort of rectangle around it that tells me its selected. And on the Task
tab, you have groups. Theres a View Group, a Clipboard Group, a Font Group, a Schedule
Group, and so on. And each group has a number of buttons, a number of commands in it. The
View Group here has just one thats called Gantt Chart. The Clipboard has four; the Font has
about seven or eight. Now depending on the resolution of your screen, you may see more or less
commands in these groups. You may indeed see more or less groups because what Project 2013
does is to fit as much in as it can and it will vary to some extent depending on the size of your
screen, the resolution, etc. and one or two other things that were going to look at in just a
moment. So thats the Task tab. Lets look at the Resource tab.
Click on Resource. You can see the Resource tab that has its own set of groups: View,
Assignments, Insert, Properties, Level. Report tab, Project tab, View tab, well be looking at all
of these during the course.

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Project 2013
Now in addition, at the moment there is another tab, a Format tab. And you notice its got this
sort of light lilac-y colored background, Gantt Chart Tools. Some of the tabs on the Ribbon only
appear in certain circumstances and theyre called contextual tabs. Now at the moment, were
looking at a Gantt Chart. Now its actually not much of a Gantt Chart because it hasnt got
anything in it at the moment, but you can tell its supposed to be a Gantt Chart because it says
Gantt Chart down at the side here. And when were showing a Gantt Chart, we will get the
Gantt Chart Tools Format tab which again has got a different set of commands on it arranged
into groups.
Now let me just go back to the Task tab at the moment. On the left here where it says View and
it says Gantt Chart, let me just click on there and Im going to choose a different view. Im
going to choose a view called Network Diagram. Now what happens with the network diagram
selected is that I get a different view. The view wont tell me much at the moment because as I
say Ive got no tasks. But with the network diagram, I get Network Diagram Tools Format tab
that has a different set of groups and commands on it. So we have these contextual tabs and
which contextual tabs you can see at any time depend on what youre actually looking at, and to
some extent on what youre doing at the time. Now the contextual tabs well look at as we go
through the course and as I introduce different views, different types of objects and so on, I will
introduce many of these contextual tabs.
Now were back at the Task tab here and the next thing I want to point out to you is that
depending on what youre looking at and what youre doing, some of the commands on the
Ribbon may be enabled and some may not. So if you look at the Task tab at the moment, you
notice there that weve got a row of buttons there with percentages written on them that are
actually enabled. If you clicked on those, they would do something. The button right on the left,
this one that says Gantt Chart, the one we used just now to switch to a different view, Network
Diagram View and back here to Gantt Chart View, thats enabled. We can use that. But the
Paste button is not enabled. Its grayed out. You can click on it, it wont do anything. At any
one time, you would expect that some buttons are enabled and some are disabled, and as is the
convention in a Windows interface commands that are disabled are grayed out. So be aware of
the fact that the buttons that are not grayed out you can use at any time and the ones that are
grayed out you cant.

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Project 2013
Now if youre using touch, then you would switch between these tabs by tapping on the names of
the tabs: Task, Resource, Report, Project, etc. And then to execute a command, you tap on the
command, maybe choose from options if there are options, but theres a very important aspect of
using touch with a Ribbon and its universal across the components of Office 2013 and that is
that there are two modes of operation. There is mouse mode which is what Im using at the
moment and there is touch mode which I want to show you next.
Now to switch into touch mode for those of you who are using touch, youre going to use this
little button here. The screen tip that pops up, Touch, stroke, Mouse Mode. You can see it there.
That is the tip that tells you this button which is actually on the Quick Access Toolbar is the one
you use to switch between the two modes. Now if you click or tap on the little arrow there to the
right of the pointing finger, you get a choice: mouse, which is the current selection, or touch.
Im going to tap on touch and I am now in touch mode. Now the important thing to note here is
that you have the same tabs and basically the same groups, although depending on the tab, the
situation and the screen resolution, etc., you may not be able to see all of the groups at every time
and the number of commands in some of the group may be reduced in touch mode because
basically what happens in touch mode is that everything is spaced out more to enable you to
operate it with your fingers. I pointed out to you just now that little sequence of buttons with
percentages marked on them. They would be incredibly difficult to use with your fingers as they
were just now, all sort of scrunched up tightly next to each other. If you look at that same row of
buttons here, you can see that in touch mode theyre spaced out widely enough that you can use
them with the tips of your fingers.
So if youre working in touch mode, you can switch to touch mode and if you want to, you can
just stay there. Im going to switch back to mouse mode now. Im actually going to switch back
using my finger tips. But Im going to switch back to mouse mode and from now on, Im going
to use mouse mode in this section. But be aware of that setting for touch.
So tap on that button again, tap on mouse, and Im back into mouse mode again.
One of the problems with using the Ribbon is that it does use up rather a lot of space on the
screen and sometimes when youre dealing with a large complex project, you may say I wish the
Ribbon was a bit smaller or I could just get it out of the way to give myself a bit more space to

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
work with. Well, there is a way of doing that. You may not want to use this approach early on
in your use of Project 2013 but when youve been using it for a while, this will very probably be
something that you like to do. If you look towards the right hand end of the Ribbon, theres a
little up pointing arrow there and the screen tip that comes up is Collapse the Ribbon. And if you
want to collapse the Ribbon, basically you click that and the Ribbon is now out of your way and
youve got a lot more space to work in. Now you may see that the most obvious disadvantage of
doing that is you no longer have access to the commands that you need to execute in order to
work on your project. But the assumption here is that you know pretty much where all the
commands are at this point and all you really need to be able to see are the tabs. And if I say
wanted to switch from say Gantt Chart View into Network Diagram View, I know thats on the
Task tab; its the left hand command. All you then have to do is to click on Task, go to that
command as we did just now, click there, change to Network Diagram View, select Network
Diagram, Project 2013 switches into Network Diagram View and minimizes the Ribbon again.
So not only does it execute the command, but it also puts the Ribbon out of the way again as
well. Now when youre confident enough in your use of Project 2013, you may want to choose
that approach to give yourself some more space to work in.
Now if you take that approach to collapsing the Ribbon, there may, of course, come a point in
time where you decide maybe youre doing something different you havent done before and you
need to be able to see the Ribbon all of the time so that you can find the right commands or
indeed youre using one of the contextual tabs that youre maybe not so familiar with, then if you
right click, say, on one of the tabs so youre sure that youre using the Ribbon. One of the
options there Collapse the Ribbon, the bottom one, just uncheck that and the Ribbon is expanded
and you can see it all of the time again.
Now theres just one other thing Id like to look at in relation to the Ribbon here. If you right
click somewhere on the Ribbon, you see a number of options here and one of them, Customize
the Ribbon, second from the bottom. Click on Customize the Ribbon. That actually takes you
into the Project Options that were going to look at later on in the course in detail. But one of the
pages on the Project Options is Customize Ribbon. Now this is outside the scope of this course.
Im not going to go into this at all in detail now but it may be something you want to find out for
later on and that is that you can customize the Ribbon. You can add your own tab. You can

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
create a Ribbon tab of your own. You can create your own groups to put on it and you can
choose from the available commands in Project 2013 to make up that group or those groups on
your own tab. There is a limit to what you can do to rearrange the standard tabs and groups but
you can certainly create your own. I pointed out the main tabs here: Task, Resource, Report,
Project, View. There are some other standard tabs: Add-ins, Developer, Compare Projects. And
apart from the main tabs there are tool tabs, a couple of which weve already seen, but actually
theyre quite a lot of tool tabs in Project 2013 and well see a few of those as we go as well. So
as I say this is outside the scope of this course but if you find you are doing a job where it would
be really helpful to, say, have a particular set of commands all in one place to save switching
around on the Ribbon all the time, then I suggest you look into customizing the Ribbon.
So thats it for the Ribbon. In the next section, were going to look at the Quick Access Toolbar.
Ill see you then.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Quick Access Toolbar


Toby: Hello and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, were going to
take a look at the Quick Access Toolbar which sits in the top left hand corner of the window.
The purpose of the Quick Access Toolbar, as its name implies, is to give us quick access to a
selected small number of commands that we use frequently and really want at our fingertips so
that we can execute them quickly and easily whenever we need them.
Now at any one time on the Quick Access Toolbar, youll be able to see a selection of
commands. On mine at the moment, there are actually four shown. There is Save, there is Undo
and there is Redo and there is the command that we used, the button that we used to switch
between touch and mouse mode. Now noticeably, the Redo command is currently grayed out.
The reason its grayed out is because redo means redo something Ive just undone. Ive not
undone anything so theres nothing to redo so that commands grayed out. But in general terms,
if I click on the drop down to the right hand end here, the one that has the screen tip of
Customize Quick Access Toolbar, Ill see that there are about a dozen commands that I can show
and I show or hide them just by checking them. So if I wanted the Quick Print command here on
the Quick Access Toolbar, if I just check it by clicking it, Quick Print now appears up there as
well. Now its not a good idea to have loads and loads of these commands spreading across the
top of the window because youre going to clash into other things, but if you choose the ones that
you think are most useful to you to have always on hand, thats the process of customizing the
Quick Access Toolbar.
Now in addition to switching commands on and off, you can actually customize it in a more
extensive way and you can add commands to the Quick Access Toolbar. So lets take a look at
how to do that.
So to customize the Quick Access Toolbar, click on the drop down there and then one of the
commands down at the bottom says More Commands, click on that, and that takes us into
another page of the Project Options, the page thats called Quick Access Toolbar. Now on that
page there is a list initially of the popular commands within Project 2013. There may be about
50 of those commands. But if I use the drop down at the top here, youll see that if I looked at
All Commands, so select that instead, you will see that in Project 2013 overall there are literally
hundreds of commands and I could add any of those to the Quick Access Toolbar. Now Im not
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
going to add some sort of vaguely esoteric command. Lets go back to the popular ones. Lets
choose say the Copy command. If I select Copy there and click on Add, the button in the
middle, the Copy command will be added to the Quick Access Toolbar. If I then click on OK,
you can now see up there, there is a Copy command on the Quick Access Toolbar.
So its as easy as that to customize whats shown. What sometimes happens if youre doing a
particular job in Project 2013 is that you find you have something repetitive to do. I mentioned
earlier on that you might create your own tab and your own group and put your own commands
in it. Well, another good option is being able to add one or two commands to the Quick Access
Toolbar while youre doing perhaps a particular job and then you can remove them again.
To remove a command from the Quick Access Toolbar, click on the drop down again, go into
More Commands again, choose the one you want to remove, in this case Copy. So I select Copy
on the right, and then the other button in the middle is Remove. Click on OK and that Copy
command is no longer included in the Quick Access Toolbar.
Now theres one other thing you can do with the Quick Access Toolbar and that is if youre
doing a repetitive, perhaps complicated or perhaps even slightly boring job, then you can actually
show the Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon. Click on the drop down again, choose the
very bottom command, Show below the Ribbon, it appears down there. The reason sometimes
that people like that is that when youre working within the main area, say youre working on a
Gantt Chart here, you dont have to stretch across the Ribbon to find the command that you
want, possibly hit something on the Ribbon on the way. Youve got the Quick Access Toolbar
right next to the area youre working in.

To put that back where it was, its pretty

straightforward; just click on Show above the Ribbon again. So Im going to show this back
above the Ribbon and thats really it on the Quick Access Toolbar, pretty straightforward.
In the next section, were going to look at mini toolbars. So please join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Mini Toolbar


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, were going to look at mini
toolbars. These can be used both in mouse mode and in touch mode, and they give us a very
quick way of accessing important commands.
Now in order to demonstrate mini toolbars, what Ive done here is to just type some text into the
table part of a Gantt Chart. This is a new project and Ive just put in a task name of Task 1.
Now how and why I did that isnt really important. All I want you to see is that weve now got
an entry in the task name. If I now right click with the mouse in that particular cell in the table,
what I see is a little menu flying out and above that menu there is a little toolbar and thats what
we refer to as the Mini Toolbar.
Now what you actually see in that mini toolbar depends on the circumstances, depends on what
youre looking at, what youre doing, and so on. But normally what it will contain is the
commands that youre most likely to need depending on what youre doing at that exact point in
time. Now in this case, Ive typed in the name of a task. Ive just called it Task 1. And amongst
the things that you can see on the mini toolbar is a command to let me change the font. The font
there at the moment is Calibri. If I wanted to change it to a different font, theres a drop down
there that I could use to change the font. So let me just use the mini toolbar to change the font.
So I could go say from Calibri to Broadway, and then theres a command to change the font size.
And then other commands including commands to do things like make the text bold, italic, to
color it, or using this little drop down here with the bar on it to indicate how complete that
particular task is. So theres quite a range of things that I can do using that mini toolbar.
Now having made that change to the font, let me just point out one of the commands on the
Quick Access Toolbar that we looked at earlier on. So click back up there, undo, and Im back
to the original font again.
Now lets try the equivalent using touch.

Weve already used tap in touch which is the

equivalent to click with the mouse. And obviously when youre using an Office program like
Project, youre going to do an awful lot of clicking, so a lot of tapping. You also tend to use
right click quite a bit and right click is how we brought up the mini toolbar and that little menu
just now. Pretty much the same with touch except that with touch the equivalent is tap and hold.

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Project 2013
So what Im going to do is tap and hold on Task 1 and that will bring up the touch version of the
Mini Toolbar. So tap and hold. Notice how the cursor shape changes to a square, release it, and
up comes the mini toolbar for touch. Now the mini toolbars tend to be about the same. They
tend to have a lot of commands in common but there are usually some differences between the
ones you get with mouse and the ones you get with touch. You can see there that the core of the
toolbars are the same but also with this touch one, youve got these Paste, Cut, and Copy
commands on it as well. And there will usually be some differences and thats a fairly typical
type of difference.
Now while were looking at that mini toolbar and note how much bigger it is than the other one,
the usual reason so that you can operate it with your fingers. But at the right hand end, theres a
drop down and thats what were going to talk about in the next section. If you click on the drop
down, that gives you access to the equivalent right click menu.
So thats it. Thats how you access the mini toolbars. Many people prefer using those to using
the Ribbon a lot and particularly if you collapse the Ribbon, you may find the mini toolbar mean
that you rarely need to go near the Ribbon, but that will depend on what you do and your own
preference in terms of operating Project 2013.
Okay, in the next section were going to have a very quick look at those right click menus. What
we call those are contextual menus. So please join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Contextual Menu


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this short section, Id just like to look at
the contextual menus that you can see in Project 2013. Im going to demonstrate this with a
couple of examples using the mouse and then one using touch.
As we saw in the previous section, depending on what youre doing, you will be able to see a
little sort of fly out menu if you right click. If I right click within a cell in the table here for the
Gantt Chart in this project, the menu that flies out has cut cell, copy cell, scroll to task, insert
task, delete task, a whole range of commands that are relevant to what Im looking at, the view
Im in, and what I can possibly do at that point in time. Notice that many of the commands are
grayed out so I cant actually use those at the moment. And also notice with some of them, for
instance this one, Assign resources dot, dot, dot. That indicates to me that if I click that, there
will be more for me to do. In this case and in fact in many cases, that means if I click that option
Ill get a dialog box to work with where Ill need to make some selections, maybe take some
further actions. So let me just click on that one and that brings up the Assign Resources dialog
that well be looking at later on.
Now exactly what you see on that menu depends on where you are and what youre doing. So if
I were to right click on what is the graphical part of the Gantt Chart over here, then the menu I
get is a very different menu. It lets me change my settings for grid lines, enables me to format
bar styles, work on layout, but virtually all of the commands there are completely different to the
ones on the left. Similarly, if I go into a different view, so if I went from Gantt Chart View into
Network Diagram View and right click there, again I get a completely different set of
commands.
Now as I demonstrated in the previous section, if you want to do right click and look at the menu
you get with touch, then if you tap and hold, so tap, hold till you get the square, release your
finger, up comes a contextual menu. Now in some cases, you wont directly get that menu as
you do here. You may get a mini toolbar and then there will be a drop down arrow on the mini
toolbar to give you access to the menu and thats what we saw in the previous section. So if I
now just switch back to Gantt Chart View using touch, so tap on that command, go back to Gantt
Chart, again tap somewhere, hold, bring up the mini toolbar, tap on the drop down arrow on the
right, and thats how I get my menu. Now, youll see the menu flying off the edge of the screen
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Project 2013
there. Unfortunately because of the way I have to record this course, you wont necessarily
always see all of every menu that I use but Ill try to make sure that anything on the menu that
were actually going to use you can always see. But I hope from that you get the general idea of
how these contextual menus work using either mouse or touch.
Now theres one other thing I need to look at before we move on and Im going to cover that in
the next section, and thats the status bar. Please join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Status Bar


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, were going to look at the
status bar right at the bottom of the window there and Im going to concentrate to begin with on
whats on the left hand part of the status bar.
So let me just explain how the status bar works. If I right click on it, it brings up a sort of menu.
Its really a list of properties. And with each of the properties, cell mode, calculation, macro
recording, filter, AutoFilter, you can decide whether theyre shown or not on the status bar. Now
the bottom two properties, view shortcuts and zoom slider, relate to the right hand end of the
status bar and Ill come back to those in a moment. But all of the others would be shown on the
left hand side. Now almost all of them are ticked which means that their values are shown, but
for many of them such as filter which is ticked so its value is shown, its value is nothing. So the
filter is shown but its empty. AutoFilter is shown, but its blank, its empty. Roll up is shown
but its blank, its empty. So these values are all being shown but theyre all blank, theyre all
nothing. The exceptions are new tasks down there; current value is manually schedule. Well be
looking at that later on. If I un-tick that, then it wont be shown. Watch what happens on the
status bar if I un-tick that. There we are. Its no longer shown and now its shown again.
Similarly, if I go up to the top and look at cell mode which is shown and its current value is
Ready. If I uncheck it by clicking, I now find it no longer says Ready. Check it again, Im now
showing the cell mode again. Calculation is off. This is a bit of an exception really because with
calculation off it doesnt actually say Off anywhere and well come back to that again later as
well. And then macro recording, not recording. If I click on showing that value and Im not
recording a macro, then the little icon that just appeared on the status bar there indicates that Im
not recording a macro. Now later on many of these other things will make sense to you and
youll decide which ones you want to show on the status bar and which ones you dont want to
show on the status bar.
So now lets take a look at the right hand end of the status bar, and what we have at the right
hand end of the status bar are a set of buttons that we can use to switch between views of the
current project. And we also have a slider on the right that generally determines how far zoomed
in we are on timescales. Now the different views of the project that are available include the first
one which is the Gantt Chart View, then we have a Task Usage View, a Team Planner View, a

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Project 2013
Resource Sheet View, and then we have a Report View. Later on when weve looked at each of
these types of view, youll find in different situations that one or other of those views will be the
most suitable for the particular thing youre doing at that time. There are in fact many other
views available as well see later, but these are the ones that are most commonly used and
probably the ones that youll want to switch between the most.
Now were in Gantt Chart View at the moment and the slider basically lets you zoom in and out
in terms of timescale. So at the moment, were roughly in the middle. The sliders roughly
centrally placed. If I moved it right over to the right, so thats zooming into the timescale,
getting much closer, much more detailed in time. If you look at the times slots along the top
there, youll see that on the right were now working at the level of not just a day in view but the
hours of the day. So we can zoom right in to a very fine level of detail. Back in the middle.
Each time slot is a few days or a couple of weeks or a few weeks. And then as we move to the
left, we start getting a whole month in a time slot. Further still were looking at quarters.
Further still, half years and then you can go right over you can go to the whole years. So the
timescale zooming out and zooming in with the slider enable you to take a broad view of your
project or a very close up view of your project depending on what you need at the time.
So thats it. Thats the status bar. Were going to be using that at various points during the
course and, of course, well be looking at those other views in a lot more detail later as well.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 6 Keyboard Shortcuts


Video: Keyboard Shortcuts and Key Tips
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. Weve already looked at the use of touch
in Project 2013 and well be using touch at various points during the course. Weve also seen
how to switch between mouse mode and touch mode. Now for many people they either prefer to
use the keyboard or in some cases they have to use the keyboard. Some people suffer from
things like repetitive strain injury, RSI, from using a mouse too much and they find it much less
troublesome to use the keyboard. For other people, the keyboard may be the only options
available to them. So being able to operate Project using the keyboard or using the keyboard as
much as possible is either a preference or necessary for many people. So in this section, Im
going to take a quick look at the facilities for using the keyboard in Project 2013.
Now the first thing to point out is that when we looked at Help earlier on in the course and we
found that this question mark icon is the one to use, if you hover over it you get a screen tip. The
screen tips says Help and then in brackets F1. F1, the F1 function key on your keyboard is the
keyboard shortcut for Help. And in fact many of the commands on the Project 2013 Ribbon and
many other aspects of using Project 2013 can be driven by keyboard shortcuts. Now we are
going to come across various keyboard shortcuts during the course and I will mention the key
ones as we go along, but I must also confess that I am not a great user of keyboard shortcuts
myself mainly because I use very many different pieces of software and if I tried to remember all
the keyboard shortcuts there would just be hundreds and hundreds and Id get hopelessly
confused. Having said that many of the keyboard shortcuts associated with common operations
such as copy and paste type operations, I do remember and I do use them all the time.
If you look at the Ribbon here for Project 2013, if I hover over a particular command, lets
choose that one, Team Planner, you get a screen tip. It says Team Planner. But note that there is
no sign of a keyboard shortcut. Lets hover over another one, Resource Usage, Resource Sheet,
you see how with these there is no keyboard shortcut. But if I go to another command such as
that one, I get a screen tip and note I get a keyboard shortcut as well. So if you want to just
check the keyboard shortcuts, hovering over a command on the Ribbon will tell you whether it
has a keyboard shortcut or not. And if youre good at remembering keyboard shortcuts once

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Project 2013
youve identified that, then maybe thats a good basis for you using that keyboard shortcut again
in the future.
Now if you want or need to use keyboard shortcuts, theres something that will really help you
and that is if you go into the Project Help, the online version, under Getting Started one of the
entries there is Project keyboard shortcuts. And if you click on that link, it takes you to a
document that lists the Project keyboard shortcuts. Now theres an explanation of the what and
why of keyboard shortcuts, and then theres a categorized list of the Microsoft Office basic
keyboard shortcuts; thats the ones that are pretty much common across all of Microsoft Office.
And then there are the ones specifically related to Microsoft Project. Now I know that some
people print these lists out and stick them on the wall if they use keyboard shortcuts quite a lot.
Maybe youre very good at remembering keyboard shortcuts and, of course, how many of these
keyboard shortcuts you need to know depends on what you do with Microsoft Project so you
may not need all of them anyway. But if you want or need to use keyboard shortcuts, thats a
pretty comprehensive list available there via Help.
So now theres one other aspect of keyboard shortcuts which is very important and that is that
knowing those keyboard shortcuts doesnt necessarily help you to find your way around the
Ribbon. Given that the Ribbon is so pivotal in terms of your use of Project 2013, what you need
is a facility to help you use the Ribbon using the keyboard. Now the facility thats provided is a
facility thats usually referred to as key tips and basically with the Ribbon as it is in front of you
now, if I press the Alt key, what happens is that you get a load of little symbols that appear and
these symbols are effectively the keyboard shortcuts to operate various commands on the Quick
Access Toolbar and on the Ribbon.
Now if we start with the Quick Access Toolbar, if you look at the top there theyre numbered
one to five. Two and three are grayed out. You cant undo or redo because we havent done
anything and we havent undone anything to redo. But save is enabled. The button to switch
between touch and mouse is enabled, and the Quick Print button is enabled. And to do a save I
would just hit one on the keyboard. To enable the facility to switch between touch and mouse
thats four, Quick Print thats five.

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Project 2013
As far as the Ribbon itself goes, then the letters there, F, H, U, S, R, W, they let me choose
which tab I want to operate. So if I wanted to go to the Project tab, I would press the R key.
Press R and once Im on the Project tab, I then get a single or double letter keyboard shortcut to
operate any of the enabled commands. So P would operate that subproject command, AP apps
for Office, I project information, and so on. So I could basically operate the tabs on the Ribbon
and every individual command on the Ribbon using keyboard shortcuts. When I finish using
keyboard shortcuts press the Alt key again and they disappear.
So thats keyboard shortcuts and key tips in Project 2013. Ill see you in the next section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 7 Project Options


Video: Customize Settings and the Use of Project 2013
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. Were now going to take a
look at Project Options which are normally accessed via Backstage View.
So, click on the File tab for Backstage View and then right at the bottom click on Options. The
Options are arranged into pages and weve looked at one or two of the pages already. We looked
at Customize Ribbon and we looked at Quick Access Toolbar. And most of the other pages
were going to be looking at throughout the course. But I just want to point out, first of all, how
the options work in general and secondly some of the options that you should set correctly before
you create even your first project with Project 2013. So lets get started.
So lets start with that option right at the top of the General page, User interface options screen
tip style. Show feature descriptions in screen tips. Thats the current setting. Let me just cancel
the options again and lets look at a button on the View tab here on the right, Macros, and hover
over that. Now note the screen tip is View Macros. You can also see the keyboard shortcut
there of Alt plus F8. Then there is a description, See a list of macros you can work with. Thats
to help you understand what that particular command will do. Now lets go back into Options
again and lets change the screen tip style from Show feature descriptions in screen tips to Dont
show feature descriptions in screen tips. Click on OK. You need to click on OK to save any
changes that you make. And then lets hover over that same button again and now it just says
View Macros. It doesnt give a description of what the function does. Back into Options again,
again on the General tab, top option there. Now note Dont show screen tips. Well, I dont think
I really need to demonstrate to you what happens if I select Dont show screen tips. It means you
wont get any screen tips at all. Now you might say well why would somebody not want screen
tips? Well, the answer to that is that for some people whove been using Project for a while they
pretty much know what all the commands do. And if youre working particularly on a complex
project and youve got some close up type work to do, having things like screen tips and even
having things like the mini toolbar appearing can be quite distracting and some people actually
get quite annoyed by all those little boxes popping up all over the screen. Its actually a
particular problem when Im recording this course because youll notice at various times that as I

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Project 2013
move the mouse around on the screen, all sorts of things pop up and you may look at it and think
thats really annoying the way those things pop up. Well, sometimes I will turn those off and
sometimes I wont.

I often leave them there because were going to use them again and

switching them on and off can be even more annoying than having them on all the time or off all
the time. But youll see as we work through the course how those screens tips popping up
everywhere could become annoying. Now Im going to leave this set at the original setting,
Show feature descriptions in screen tips. Im afraid if it does get a bit annoying I apologize for
that in advance.
Now I pointed out just now that when you make a change, even changing something back as Im
doing here, you click on OK to save the changes. There are certain Project Options where you
may even need to close down Project 2013 and restart it for the option to take effect. When
thats the case, then Project Options tells you that. It says you need to stop and restart Project for
that to take effect. And there are also some options which will only apply on a project from new.
So if youve got the option set at the beginning of working on a project and you changed the
option, it may not have effect until you start another new project. So again thats one to beware
of. But with most options, all you need to do as with this one is to select the choice you want or
enter the number you want or enter the directory name or whatever you need to set and then click
on OK. And as with this case, if I now hover over that button again I get the screen tip with the
description as well.
So theyre some of the general principles of these Project Options. Lets look at a couple of the
other options on this General page because you should get those set now. One of them is your
name and your initials to identify you. Now if youre using Project purely on your own. Youre
never going to share a Project schedule with anybody else then this doesnt really matter. But if
you are working with other people, you should make sure youve got your user name in there and
your appropriate initials as well. This is particularly useful when it comes to sharing work on
projects with other people as well see later on in the course. You can also choose here your
Office background and Office theme. Ive got no background set and my Office theme is the
white theme. These are both drop downs so you can choose from the available options. And the
bottom option here is actually quite an important one because its the one that determines
whether the start screen is shown when you start Project 2013. Weve had the start screen shown

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Project 2013
so far and if you dont want to see that, if you want to go straight into the main working area for
Project 2013, then all you need to do is uncheck that box, click OK, and then next time you start
Project 2013, you wont see the start screen.
Now I want to look at couple of options on the Schedule page and in particular I want to look
first at this one within Scheduling options for this project, New task created. I mentioned this
earlier. The value here is Manually scheduled. Now this is a little bit more difficult to explain to
those of you who havent used Project scheduling software before, but you will understand this a
little bit later on in the course when we go into this in more detail. Ill just give you a fairly brief
explanation here. One of the key strengths of Microsoft Project is its ability to take information
about the work that needs to be done and to come up with a schedule that satisfies all of the
constraints that you put on it. The constraints will include things like how long each task is, how
much works involved, what resources youve got available, people, rooms, machinery, and then
also dependency such as one particular task such as painting a window. You cant do that until
youve actually put the window into the wall and things like that. Now it can take thousands and
thousands of pieces of information like that and come up with a schedule that works. This is
auto scheduling, but there is an alternative approach and that is manual scheduling. And this is
basically where you do all the scheduling work. You work out when each task starts and ends.
Now you may think it sounds a bit bizarre to do manual scheduling yourself when youve got
Microsoft Project to do it for you, but there are some situations where manual scheduling is your
preferred approach. For example, if youre working on a very long project, say something thats
going to last five years, and at the moment, say, for the next six months you can schedule
automatically according to a set of constraints, estimates, costing, resource availability figures,
and so on. But beyond that youre not really sure what sort of budget youre going to have
available. You dont know what resources youll have available and so on. What you may want
to do in that longer term is to just manually schedule some big blocks of activity, say Phase 2 of
the project as a big block, say, for the third quarter of next year. And you dont want Microsoft
Project to try to reschedule that for you, you just want to show it in the schedule as a big block
that Project wont move around.
And there are some other situations where you might not want Project to manually schedule
something. Now to be fair, many of the tasks that you might want to manually schedule you can

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
auto schedule but fix them in time using other approaches but more of that later. For most
people, for most types of project, the best setting for this is not manually schedule which is the
default but auto scheduled because you will find Im sure that most of the time auto scheduled is
going to be the way that you want to work. Now for some of you, Im sure youll find over time
that this is not the best setting for you, but for most of you it will be the best setting. In addition
to that, if you look at the header on this section on the Schedule page, Scheduling Options for
this project, theres a drop down here and the current value of the drop down is All new projects.
So by setting that like that, Im setting that value for all new projects. If I wanted to do it for one
specific project, click on the drop down, theres no other projects there at the moment because I
havent got a project open. But if I did have a project open, it would appear here and I could
even have a different setting for how new tasks are created for a specific project. Now I should
point out that the setting were making here is only the default for how tasks are created. If you
create a task that is auto scheduled, you can manually change it to being manually scheduled and,
of course, you can change manually scheduled tasks to being auto scheduled as well. So as you
would expect, theres plenty of flexibility there in Project. So one thing I do want you to do now
is to make sure youve got that set at auto scheduled for all new projects as your default and then
when weve just checked one other setting, youre going to click OK to save that.
Okay, the one other setting we need to check is a little bit further down the same page. Its the
one in the Calculation section. Calculate project after each edit on or off. Now its very
important that you have that set to on. On is the default. Im pretty sure youll find it set to on.
Let me just briefly explain what that means. When you have particularly a very big project,
every time you change a piece of information in the project, if this is set to on, Project
recalculates the whole schedule. It takes every piece of information into account again and
whatever change youve just made, even if its just to change one task from being three days
long to being four days long, it will recalculate the whole project. Now on a modern computer
with reasonably good power, a reasonable amount of memory, and so on that is virtually
instantaneous even with a very big project. Having said that, if you have an enormous project, a
very complex project, or you have quite an old computer or you dont have enough resources on
the computer for it to run Project 2013 very quickly, then you may notice that the performance of
Project starts to drag. Every time you make a small change, you have to wait a few seconds
before you can do anything else while it recalculates the project. One option you have is to
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Project 2013
switch calculation off. And if you switch it off, what that means is that when you make a change
like changing a duration from four days to five days, it doesnt recalculate the project. You
make the change, it knows youve changed the duration but it wont recalculate the project until
you manually recalculate it. So what you would do is youd push a button on one of the tabs of
the Ribbon that says calculate and it recalculates the whole project at that point in time. Now to
be fair, some people prefer not to have calculation on anyway. They quite like manually
recalculating a project. But I would say that for most people, having it on is a better option
because for one thing, depending on some other settings, you immediately become aware of
whether a change you have just made has caused a problem with your schedule. So making a
task a bit longer doesnt mean that the project can no longer finish on time. You may want to
know about that straightaway rather than waiting until the next time you manually recalculate the
project. So for now and unless you have a pressing reason to do otherwise , Id like you to make
sure youve got that switched on and then well talk about the consequences of switching it off
later on in the project.
So with both of those settings click on OK and those changes will be saved.
What Id like to look at next is down on the Language page of Project Options, and here its very
important to make sure that you have your language setup. I have two languages setup. I have
English United States and English United Kingdom. My default is English United States but I
do switch between both of them because I do work in both languages and they are sufficiently
different for me to treat them as different languages. If you want to add additional languages or
replace the language that youve got in your current installation with a different one you have, if
you select a language here, its easy to remove it or to set it as the default using the buttons on
the right. And if you want to add an additional editing language, click on the drop down and
theres a very long, long list of languages available there. Choose your language and then you
can set it as the default if you want to or you can have it set as an additional language. Very
important that you have the right language set and well talk about language a little bit more later
on.
So they are the main options that you need to have set before we start. Well be setting various
other ones as we go along. Trust Center is very important from the point of view of security.
Well be coming back to that right near the end of the course. Add-ins thats pretty much outside
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Project 2013
the scope so I almost certainly wont need to mention add-ins again. But on the Advance tab
there are several options were going to need and similarly for some of the other pages, Display,
Proofing, Save. Well be coming back to those later in the course.
So thats it on Project Options for now. Ill see you in the next section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 8 Tasks Basics


Video: Setting Up Tasks
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. Were now going to get started on putting
together a project and were going to use as our example the building of a house. Now, you may
not be very familiar with house building but dont let that worry you too much because even if
you dont live in a house youve probably seen houses and you must have some idea of how they
are built. For instance, youd understand that you need to build the floor before you build the
walls and youd need to build the walls before you put the roof on. Were going to start with a
very, very simple model of how to build a house and then were going to develop that throughout
the course.
In this section and the next couple of short sections, Im going to introduce you to the most
important basic features of Microsoft Project and then throughout the rest of the course were
going to add a lot of detail to all of those things. Now I must admit that in the early stages this is
going to seem like an incredibly simple house and in fact its going to seem as though its a
pretty cheap house to build. But as we develop our project further on, youll realize that things
arent quite as simple or quite as inexpensive as they appear early on. The other thing to bear in
mind is that as were working away, particularly through these earlier sections, Im going to
show you one or two ways of doing things and later on Ill show the alternative ways or many of
the alternative ways. So you may find that if I do something in a particular way early on here
you may prefer one of the ways that I show you later on. But I dont want to get too bogged
down in showing you all of the alternatives all of the time so Im going to go for pretty
straightforward options to begin with. And the first straightforward option were going to go for
is Im not going to be tempted to search for a template for building a house. Im going to start
with a blank project. So, on the start screen, Project 2013, just click on Blank project.
Now I said I was going to use a very simple model for building this house, so the first thing
were going to do is to prepare the site. Now when youre entering the sequence of steps that
have to be followed to do something, the sequence of steps that constitute your project, you can
actually put them into Microsoft Project in any order you like. Even though I know that Im not
going to put the roof on first, I could put Put roof on as my first task, and then I could sort out the

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
sequence later. But it does make a lot of sense to do things pretty much in the order that you
intend to do them in the project. And the first task in this project is Prepare site so Im going to
enter that task into the project first.
A very simple way of entering a task into a project is to click in where it says Task name in the
table part of the Gantt Chart View there. You can see it now highlighted and just type in Prepare
site as normal just using the keyboard and thats my first task.
Now when Ive finished entering the name of that task, all I really need to do is to click in, say,
the Task name cell below that one ready to put in the second task and then a couple of things
happen. The first thing you notice is that a duration is added by Microsoft Project. It says One
day, question mark, and also a start date appears. So let me explain whats going on there.
Now as well see later its possible to tell Microsoft Project 2013 quite a bit about what youre
defaults are when youre entering a new project. The way that my current installation is setup
and probably the way that yours is setup is that by default, durations are assigned with this little
question mark at the end, and what a question mark indicates is that this is an estimated duration.
Now by default here every task that I entered will have an estimated duration of one day. And
what I need to do if I want a duration to be something different from that is to click in there and
change that duration. Now, Im going to use for all of these tasks in the initial version of this
project a duration of 10 days. Now, thats not correct and were going to see how to change that
later on, but were going to start with 10 days.
So Im going to allow 10 days to prepare this site. All I need to do is to click in where it says
Duration, and then I have these little roller controls on the right that I can use to step up or to step
down the duration. And in fact, I can click in there and just type if I wanted. So I could click to
the right of five, hit the Backspace key to delete, and then just type 10 days. That now means
that that task has a 10-day duration.
Now before I click away to actually change that to 10 days note that on the right Ive already got
a bit of Gantt Chart bar there that shows a one day duration. The M indicates M for Monday,
thats today, Monday, March the 25th and when I change that to 10 days watch what happens to
that bar. Im going to actually click back down where I clicked before. Now watch what
happens. That particular task now shows a duration of 10 days in the Gantt Chart.
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Now the next thing I need to do is to correct the fact that Im actually a little bit late setting this
project up and I should have had it in place three weeks ago. So where as Ive entered this first
task, its defaulted to todays date for its start. Thats Monday, March 25 th. It should be three
weeks ago.
Now to change the start date, its pretty straightforward and all I need to do is click into the start
cell here where it currently says Monday, March 25th. But as you can see, the positioning of this
vertical line here, this separator between the table part and the chart part is not quite in a good
place. Thats going to happen a lot. All you need to do is to hover over that with the mouse until
it becomes that double vertical line with the little arrow sticking out of the side, click with the
mouse assuming youre using the mouse, do it with your fingers if youre using touch, and I can
just drag that line to the right just to make it a little bit easier to read that date. I then note that
the table itself, this column in the table is not quite wide enough. So, again if I hover over the
top, get a vertical line with a couple of arrows, again just drag it a little bit to the right. And
generally speaking, when youre dealing with all of these types of view in Microsoft Project
youre going to need to adjust the widths of columns and this separator between the two halves
of the view in this case in order to be able to see everything. Now, your display is probably
showing a different amount of a project to mine because it will depend on the resolution of your
screen, whether youre widescreen, and so on. So if you cant see what I can see, if something is
missing, if something is running off the screen, just get used to adjusting the settings, the widths
of the columns in the way that Ive just done.
So now back to what we were just doing. Lets go back into that start cell here. Click on the cell
and theres a little drop down at the right of the cell and that takes us into a date picker. Now
notice that with the date picker, I can move by months using those two little arrows here and then
click on a date that I want. I said Im three weeks late with setting this project up so Im going to
change that 25 there back three weeks. It should have been Monday, March 4th. Click on that,
thats changed my start date.

Now, note when I created this project Microsoft Project

automatically assumes a start date for the whole project. And in this case, its saying you moved
task one of the project to start Monday, March the 4th. This is before the project start date of
Monday, March 25th. You can continue and move the task to start before the project start date or
you can cancel and do not move the task. Now Im going to click on OK continue because I

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
want this project to start on that date and in a little while well look at how to change the project
start date. So having put in the first task, the project start date has been set and now Im going to
need to change it later on, but well come back to that a little bit later on. Well just click on OK
and Microsoft Project is happy again.
Now note that because of the time display here, I can now no longer see that task. If I go down
to the scroll bar, the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the Gantt Chart and just click a little bit
off to the left, I can go back to see the bar for the first task in the project and there it is.
Now before we put in the second task in the project, there are a couple of things I want to point
out. One of them is that there are various other pieces of information that are automatically
entered by Project as youre setting up the tasks in your project. One of them is task mode as
you can see here. Weve talked about manually scheduled versus automatically scheduled
before. By default my system is setup to do automatically scheduled. So if I click in there, click
on the drop down, note that it says Auto Schedule not manually scheduled. If I wanted to change
it to manually scheduled, thats one of the places that I could do it.
Another very important point here is that when you enter a task its given an ID number. This is
ID number one. Now Im going to talk about task IDs later on, but as well see task IDs are very
important.
And now the thing we have to do and I would normally do this before Id even put my first task
into a project, we need to save this project. We need to make sure we keep it safe. And on this
course, Im basically going to be using two folders for projects. One of them Ive shown you
already. Thats the one with the example files for this project and ultimately this project will go
in there. But I also have a sort of scratch folder, the one that Im going to use just for
intermediate working on one or two special cases that Ill be looking at. Now you can save your
copy of this project assuming youre working along with me anyway you like, of course. I
suggest that you dont overwrite the files that came with the course. So I suggest you also have
some sort of scratch folder, something you can use temporarily whilst youre working your way
through the course. So, pretty simple to save a project. File. Click on Save As and then youll
have a number of options. Yours may not be quite the same as mine, but one of them will be
Computer and then youll need to browse to a folder where youre going to be able to save your

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
scratch files, your working files. So Im going to click on Browse and then on my computer Im
going to double click on this folder and this folder which is currently empty is the one that Im
going to keep my working files in. Now the default file type a Microsoft Project file is MPP.
There are some others that are relevant and well come back to those later. Im going to call this
particular project, Im going to call it House build and then Im just going to call it House build
01. Click on Save and my project is safely saved on my computer. And then also if you look at
the top of the screen, the title of the project has changed to House build 01.mpp which is the file
name for this particular project. So thats one task setup in this project.
Now before we move on to add some of the other tasks and look at some of the other aspects of
setting this project up, I want to just click on that row in the Gantt Chart again so that its
selected. You can see the ID highlighted on the left there. If I right click to get the contextual
menu, then three or four items from the bottom one of the options is Information. Click on
Information and it brings up a very important dialog which is the Task Information dialog which
contains all of the key information about any individual task in a project. Now there is a lot of
information here. The information is arranged into pages or tabs that are accessed using the tabs
here. So we have a General tab, a Predecessors tab, a Resources tab, an Advance tab, Notes.
You can even setup Custom fields. But lets go back to the General tab and look at the General
tab first. The task has a name that we can change. It has a duration that we can change. It has a
little checkbox on the right here, Estimated, that indicates whether the duration is estimated or
not. It has an indicator to show how complete the task is. Percent complete 0%. That means we
havent actually started it yet. Weve then got a pair of radio buttons; Schedule mode, manually
scheduled, auto scheduled. A priority and then we can also see the start date and a finish date.
Now these and the other properties of a task well be looking at in great detail later on. But for
the moment, for any task, if you bring up that Task Information dialog, it will contain pretty
much all the information youre likely to need about that task.
So there we are. The Task Information dialog is very important. Let me just cancel that.
Another way of bringing up the Task Information dialog is to just double click on the task and by
default you get the Task Information dialog. Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next
one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Project Information


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section, we started our
project for building a house. We just put one task in, Prepare site, and I talked a little bit about
duration, start date, etc. But before we go on to put the rest of the main tasks into this project, I
need to look at a couple of very important things that youre always going to need to consider
when youre using Microsoft Project, and the first of these is Project Information.
On the Project tab in the Properties Group there is a button, Project Information. Click on that
and it brings up a dialog, the Project Information dialog. Now right at the top we have a project
start date and as you saw in the previous section by default, and well come back to that in a
moment, our tasks are being scheduled to start on the project start date. Now effectively because
I decided that I want to set this project a little bit in the past that I need to change the start date
and you can always change the start date by going into Project Information and setting the start
date here. Now it might well be that you rarely want to set a start date in the past because
hopefully youre planning your projects for some time in the future. But whether its the past or
the future, its absolutely fundamentally important that you set the start date correctly. So lets
click on the drop down here, use the date picker, and were going to set the start date to March
4th which is where I scheduled that first task to begin. So click on that and my start date is now
changed.
So if we were building a house and we had a start date of March

4th

, the chances are that our

objective would be to finish building the house as soon as possible. And one of the things that
we would be using Microsoft Project for would be to help us to schedule the work on building
the house which would enable us to finish as quickly as possible, get the house on the market,
sell it, and get the money for it. However, thats not the only sort of project scheduling
requirement and if you just go down a couple of controls to there, you find one that says
Schedule from project start date. Youll use this a lot. Youre saying start on March the 4 th, do
the scheduling from the start date, and get it finished as quickly as possible. But there is another
option and if you click on this one, the other option is project finish date and there are some
projects where your objective is not to start now and finish as soon as possible but to start as late
as possible with the objective of finishing on or by a particular date. So for example, supposing
that you were planning a wedding or supposing that at work you were planning a big event,

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
maybe a company meeting, maybe an announcement to the press. Your objective would be to
finish by a certain date not to start on a certain date. In that case, the point I made about making
absolutely sure that youre start date is right would become equally important for your finish
date, and that is youd have a finish date and youd know I must be finished by that date and
rather than saying as with the start date scheduling that I want to finish as soon as possible, you
may say heres my end date but I want to start as late as possible. So I dont want to start getting
ready for this event now if I dont need to. Tell me how late I can leave my preparations.
Now theyre the two fundamental ways of working with Microsoft Project. Most of the time on
this course were going to be using scheduling from the project start date, but note that
scheduling to a project end date is equally valid. If I chose project finish date watch what
happens. I now enter the finish date not the start date and Project will tell me when I need to
start. As it is with my project start date of March the 4th, Project tells me that currently my
project will finish on March the 15th. Of course, it will finish then because at the moment all Im
doing is preparing the site which is 10 days work.
Now lets look at a couple of the other fields on this Project Information dialog. First of all, the
current date is in the top right. You can actually set that to a different date if you need to enter
information as though it were entered on a different date, and closely associated with that we
have the status state below that which were going to look at later when we look at progress
tracking on a project.
A project will have a calendar and by default it uses whats called the standard calendar. You
can have a number of calendars associated with a project. For example, some of the people
working on it may have their own working hours and may have their own calendars and some of
the resources you use may also have their own calendars as well. Well be looking at calendars
later on in the course.
Below that we have the project priority and this is used when different projects might be
competing for the resources that are available and a projects priority will determine what priority
it gets in claiming and using those resources.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
At the bottom of the dialog we have access to Help and we also have access to project statistics
that well look at a little bit later on in the course as well. You can also define custom fields for
a project in Project 2013. Were not going to be using custom fields on this course.
So thats the basic Project Information. Ive changed the start date to March 4th so click on OK
to save that.
So having updated the Project Information, we can now turn our attention back to entering the
rest of those tasks for this project. Were going to do that in the next section so please join me
for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Project Options, Entry Bar, Timeline, Properties


Toby: In the previous section we looked at Project Information and the importance of that in
terms of initially setting up a project like this one. Youll soon get used to the fact that its very,
very important that you always make sure youve got either your project start date or your
project finish date defined before you do any significant amount of work on a new project. Now
Im going to add some more tasks to this project but before I do we also need to look at a couple
of settings in Project Options. Now you should remember that we access Project Options from
Backstage View so click on File, Options, and then the page we want; in this case, its the
Schedule page.
So the section we need is this one, Scheduling options for this project. Note that there is a drop
down at the top there, House build 01.mpp it currently says. If I click on the drop down, I get a
choice between the options for all new projects or the options for this specific project. Now at
this stage, Im only going to work on the options for this specific project but it may well be that
you always do have the same options in this section for all of your projects in which case make
sure youve got them the same in the all new projects case. But lets just look at this specific
project now, so select that. Earlier on we setup new tasks are created auto scheduled. The
second item here is Auto scheduled tasks are scheduled on. This means when I enter a new task
into the schedule and its an auto scheduled task which is the default on, which date is the task
scheduled to begin? And the task is scheduled to begin on the project start date. Now there are
actually two options here. Project start date is one, the other one is current date. And Im going
to choose current date. That means that when I enter an auto scheduled task, it will be scheduled
to begin on todays date, the date that Im actually entering the task.
Now alongside that the duration will be entered in and you can choose units for duration. You
can choose minutes, hours, days, weeks, months. For this building type project days is a pretty
good option because you mostly manage those things in number of days. But obviously if you
were dealing with a very short term project, a very short term task, you might want to go for
minutes or hours. Maybe a much bigger more strategic type of project you may want task to be
in weeks or months. Days is the option were going to use here. Ill come back to this work as
entered in and default task type and new tasks are effort driven. Ill come back to all that when

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
we talk about work a little bit later on in the course. But there are a couple of other options here
that we need to look at now.
The pair of options we need to look at is this little pair on the right here. Show that scheduled
tasks have estimated durations and new scheduled tasks have estimated durations. And this pair
of options is whats caused the behavior weve seen so far whereby whenever we insert a new
task, it has an estimated duration. Its estimated at one day. I quite like this option because it
means that when a task is inserted, theres a question mark on the duration that just reminds me
that I need to put my own hopefully more accurate and realistic estimate in there. And until Ive
put my proper estimate in there, that question mark just acts as a bit of a sort of aide memoir that
I still need to put my estimate in. So I generally have both of those checked and basically having
checked that theyre set, Im now going to enter one or two more of the tasks for this project. So
click on OK and away we go.
So the next task is that one, just click away. Lay foundations. Im going to allow 15 days for
that. Okay. Now I can see a problem because I cant actually see that task. Im currently
looking at the first one, a 10-day task from early March. It doesnt actually show the end of
March so Im going to use that zoom control that we looked at earlier on. At the right hand end
of the status bar, if I click on the minus, it zooms out. Watch what happens when I click on the
minus. I zoom out of the time frame. Lets use the slider to just slide along. Lets zoom out one
more step and now I can see the beginnings of my building project. And note that the new task,
the Lay foundation task, has actually been added with its start date today because I set the option
of new tasks get a start date of current date. Now I dont necessarily need that gap that Ive got
now between my tasks so let me just click on that date picker again and say that can start a week
earlier.
Now, Im then given this option from whats called the Planning Wizard in Project 2013 and
what the Planning Wizard does is as I work, it tries to spot for me anything I may have missed.
Now what it thinks has happened now is its seen me put in a first task and a second task. The
second task is starting just after the first task and its saying maybe these should be linked.
Maybe you should be saying that that second task can start when the first ones finished. Now
when it suspects that there could be a linkage between these two tasks, it gives me a choice. It
says you can link them so that Lay foundation will always follow Prepare site or you can move
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Lay foundation without adding a link. Now for the moment, Im going to move them without
adding a link. Im just going to click on OK. Well come to links a little bit later on. And now
its just move that so that I havent got that big gap between the two tasks. There is a gap but it
actually corresponds to the weekend.
So let me put in the next task. Build walls, Im going to say 10 days. Now note in this case that
thats overlapping laying the foundations. Now were clearly going to have to fix that later on
because generally speaking, youre not going to be able to start on the walls until the foundations
are set but well worry about that little one a little bit later on.
So I could carry on now and add the other two main tasks that Im going to put in at this stage.
But first of all, Id like to show you one other thing. If you go back into Backstage View, down
into the options and on the Display page, one of the options right at the bottom there is Entry
Bar, check Entry Bar, click on OK, and you get an entry bar. Its a bar. Its a bit like the entry
bar in Excel if youre used to using Excel. And instead of typing into the task name or in fact
any other cell in this table, you can type in the entry bar instead. So if my next task is Fit
windows and doors, when Ive typed what I want to type, I can click on the tick to commit the
change or on the cross to cancel it. So Im going to click on the tick at this stage and thats an
alternative to clicking elsewhere within the Gantt Chart in general in order to commit a piece of
typing. Click in the next cell and again you note that the one day question mark is selected. I
can just click in the entry bar and change that, say, to 12 days, click on tick. Some people prefer
to use the entry bar than typing directly into the table here. I actually quite like using the entry
bar but I pretty much use either depending on the situation that Im in. If you dont want to use
the entry bar, it does take up a little bit of space on the screen, if you dont need it you just switch
it on and off in the Project Options as you saw just now.
And talking of saving some space, what Im going to do now is to switch off the timeline
because Im not going to be using it for the moment. Go to the View tab on the Ribbon and in
the Split View Group, uncheck Timeline and then Im going to put in the fifth of these tasks.
The fifth task is going to be Fit roof and thats going to be another 15 day task and in this case
Im just going to type in there 15 days. Note thats also scheduled starting today. A bit of work
to do on my schedule obviously but well come back to that a little bit later on.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Now in case youve had any trouble following this so far Im now going to save this project file
as the first of the example files that are available to you that came with the course. Just to show
you again, you can do a file Save As.

This time Im going to the folder that has the

accompanying files in it and that is the one. Its ssi-project2013-example_01.mpp, save there.
And then before I finish this section, just one other thing, if you go into Backstage View and the
Info tab on the right youll see Project Information. This gives summary information about the
project that Im working on. So in this case it says the start date is March 4th, the finish date is
now April 12th. So, according to my current building schedule thats when the last task will
finish. I know thats not right but that will be corrected as we go along. And then theres
information like schedule from, current date, start date, when it was last modified, today, the
project calendar priority. If I click on the arrow to the right of Project Information, I see that I
have Project Statistics that well look at later. But I also have Advanced Properties. Now with
the Advanced Properties, I can set some properties that are really more related to the file than
they are to the actual workings of Microsoft Project. So apart from showing me this file name, I
can put in a subject, the author, and I suggest that as you work on your projects you put your own
author name in there. Bear in mind that if you setup your Project Options with your author name
anyway, it will appear in there by default. So when youve entered or reviewed any of these
properties click on OK and then, of course, after you finished changing any of those properties
you need to go back and do another save. You can use the Save button on the Quick Access
Toolbar.
So thats the first of the sample files. If you open that now you should get a project thats
exactly where this one is.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 9 Dependence Basics


Video: Link/Unlink Tasks; Setting Up Dependencies between Tasks
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we looked at tasks
in Project 2013 and in this section were going to look at the basics of dependencies. I closed
down the last project that I was working on and when I restart Project now I find that Ive got
two projects in the recent list on the start screen. Im going to restart from example_01 which is
the first sample file in the list of files provided with the course. If youre working along with his
using perhaps your own project, then if you open that theres absolutely no reason why you
shouldnt carry on working on your own project. But Im going to use this one so all I have to
do is to click on the file name in the recent list and that project will reopen and thats exactly
how we left it at the end of the previous section.
Now when we talk about dependencies within a project, were talking about the need for one
thing to happen before another can happen. So for instance, Im not going to fit the roof until
Ive fitted the windows and doors to the walls or in fact is that true? Could I not fit the roof as
soon as I had the walls built? That would make sense. I dont actually need the windows and
doors to be in place before I fit the roof so maybe this sequence should be build walls, then fit
roof, then fit windows and doors. But on the other hand, couldnt I be fitting the windows and
doors at the same time that Im fitting the roof? They both need the walls but neither needs the
other. So we quite often find that when it comes to putting things in sequence, when we look at
these dependencies, they maybe not as straightforward as they might at first appear to be.
But lets start with one of the very simple dependencies and lets look at the dependency between
Prepare site and Lay foundation. Now at the moment, Prepare the site and Lay foundation
follow in sequence anyway purely because of the dates theyve been given to start on. But if I
want to force Project 2013 to insist that Lay foundation cannot happen until Prepare site has
happened, I can establish a link between the two tasks. Now you could do this in a number of
ways but the simplest way is this: Select the first task which means the row is highlighted in the
table, hold the Control key down, select the second task, and then on the Task tab on the Ribbon
in the Schedule Group, there is a pair of chain links and one of them is Link the selected tasks
and one of them is Unlink the tasks. On this occasion, I want to link the tasks so I click on Link

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
and what happens is a link is added between the two. And in the Gantt Chart, youll see its
represented as a little arrow and youll notice that that little arrow comes out the right hand end
of Prepare site and goes into the left hand end of Lay foundation. Now youll soon find when
youre reading Gantt Charts that you immediately see what the relationship between those two
tasks is, and that is that the second task cannot begin until the first task has finished.
Now lets do that again but this time were going to say that we cannot build the walls until
weve laid the foundation. So select Lay foundations first, hold the Control key down, select
Build walls, click on Link, and now you can see that Project has started to reschedule the work
on the build because its actually changed the start date for Building walls so that we dont start
building the walls until weve laid the foundations. So now we can see the dynamic nature of
Project as we add or change dependencies between the tasks.
Now Im assuming that the house were building here is a pretty straightforward house so Im
going to now put in the next link which I think is pretty straightforward and that is Build the
walls. The walls have to all be completely built before we can fit the roof. So Ive selected
Build walls, Control, select Fit roof. Note the selected tasks dont need to be next to each other.
Click on Link again and fitting the roof goes out to there.
Now this task, Fit windows and doors, offers a couple more really interesting questions in terms
of dependencies. So lets look at some things related to fitting the windows and doors. First of
all, do we have to have finished fitting the windows and doors before we fit the roof? The
answer to that is no. There are plenty of houses around where I live which have got the roof on,
the walls are all built, but maybe half of the windows still havent been fitted yet. So you
certainly havent got to finish fitting the windows and doors before you fit the roof. Must the
walls be completely built before you fit the windows and doors? Well, no they dont. You
might for instance in a two story house as soon as youve done the walls for the lower story, you
can certainly fit the windows and doors to the lower story. You may even be able to start fitting
windows and doors before youve finished the walls on the first story. So the dependency there
is a lot less absolute, a lot less clear, and well talk about those less clear dependencies later on.
Do you have to have laid the foundations before you fit the windows and doors? I think yes you
reasonably do. And you would certainly have had to start building the walls. So we come to a

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
conclusion in something like this that the dependency is a little bit more complicated. Something
along the lines of well I will have had to do some building of the walls before I can fit windows
and doors. But then once Ive done a certain amount of work on the walls, I can start fitting the
windows and doors, and thats the sort of dependency that were going to add a little bit later on.
However, what Im going to do for the moment just to make our project a little bit more realistic
is I am going to assume that were going to finish building the walls before we fit the windows
and doors. So Im going to put in the same type of dependency that weve had before. A simple
link there and now we can see that I will in effect be fitting the windows and doors and fitting the
roof at the same time. And the whole build will be finished what around about the end of April
by the look of it.
So as you can see Ive setup a few fairly straightforward dependencies there. If you point at one
of the dependencies, one of those little arrows and double click on it you open up a Task
Dependency dialog, and this gives you details of the kind of dependency that youve got. So the
dependency here is from Lay foundation to Build walls. There are four types of dependency.
This is a finish to start which means that Lay foundation must finish before Build walls starts.
We normally use a letter abbreviation here. So finish to start is FS. The four types in total are
finish to start, start to start, finish to finish, and start to finish, and then we can build in whats
called a lag. Im going to talk about lag later on and thats the one that well use to make all of
that a little bit more realistic, but well be looking at that later on. And if you want to delete a
dependency, youve got a Delete button there.
So thats one way of looking at a task dependency. Let me just cancel that and let me now click
on Fit windows and doors. Let me double click and bring up that Task Information dialog again.
In the Task Information dialog, you have one tab Predecessors and this tells you what the
predecessor tasks are. Now the predecessor task there is only one for Fit windows and doors is
Build walls. Its ID number three. I mentioned the ID numbers earlier on. This is how you
uniquely identify a task in Project 2013. So the only predecessor currently of Fit windows and
doors is Build walls ID 3. The type of dependency is FS with a zero day lag, and that in its very
basic form is how to setup a dependency between tasks.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Note that its not necessary for the first task to be physically above the second task in the
Microsoft Project list. These tasks can be in any sequence. So if I had chosen Build walls first
and Lay foundation second and created a link Lay foundation would have followed Build walls.
They dont have to be in the sequence that you can see there, although I always I find its much
easier to follow if they are more or less in that chronological sequence.
So thats it on dependencies for the moment. We need to look at those in quite a bit more detail
later on. Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 10 Resource Basics


Video: Resource Sheet View
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to take our first
look at resources, and by resources I mean things like that people that are going to work on our
projects, the materials that were going to use, and the equipment thats involved in building this
house. There are some other types of resource that well look at a little bit later on in the course.
But for the moment, for our house build project, were going to concentrate on the people and
the materials and the equipment.
Now when youre looking at a Gantt Chart, which is a view in Microsoft Project that most
people use an awful lot of the time, youre basically looking at the tasks involved in your project.
If you want to look at the resources, there are a number of views specifically related to resources.
Now if I click on the button below Gantt Chart there on the Task tab on the left, click on that, I
get a list of available views, and one of the available views is Resource Sheet. And we click on
Resource Sheet first and well see a list of the resources that we currently have on our project.
Note with the view that youve got a label on its side down the side just reminding you which
view youve got. Youve got the Resource Sheet View. And another thing to note is that down
at the bottom at the right hand end of the status bar, as I mentioned earlier on, youve got some
buttons to switch between the most commonly used views. Now the button on the left, the first
one of those, the one thats highlighted at the moment is Gantt Chart. So to switch back to Gantt
Chart, I can just click on that and the one three to the right of that is the Resource Sheet View.
So if I click on that, that switches me back to Resource Sheet. Theyre two of the views that
youre going to use the most while youre working with Microsoft Project.
Now let me set up some resources and one way of setting up resources is to set them up in the
Resource Sheet. Now the first thing Im going to do is to define a resource called Brick Layer.
Now a brick layer is a person who lays bricks. And whenever theres some brick laying to do,
Im probably going to assign a brick layer to a task. Now its very important to recognize here
that I am not talking about a named person. This isnt the brick layer called John Doe or Jane
Doe; this is a brick layer in general. And there are some situations, perhaps in longer termed
planning, where I may use a resource of brick layer knowing that I need a brick layer but I dont

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
know specifically which one yet.

And there are some situations where I may assign an

individual straightaway, but more of that later. For the moment, well just say brick layer.
The next thing we need to do is to click into the next field which is type and select a type. Now
in many ways this choice is the most important one of all. There are basically three resource
types, although there is a special case that well talk about later as well. But with those three
resource types, its very important that you assign the correct one. Now as soon as I put the
cursor into this type cell in the resource sheet, youll see that a number of other fields got values
on the right there. Many of these are related to cost and were going to talk about cost later on,
so Im really going to ignore the cost ones for the moment. But a couple of these fields are
important. One of the ones thats important is Max and the max field says whats the maximum
number of this thing that we have available. Now well talk about maximum amounts and
availability and so on later on as well, but at the moment 100% means weve got one of these
things. Weve got one brick layer. So when we come to schedule the building of the house,
having only one brick layer may well turn out to be a very important thing.
Now another one of these cells which is actually quite important is the initials cell because
initials although it doesnt really affect any of the calculations and so on that were going to be
doing, it does appear in a number of places particularly attached to the Gantt Chart. And its
useful here to have a good abbreviation for the resource that were talking about. So Im going
to put as my abbreviation here Brickie. Now thats a British abbreviation for brick layer but I
think its probably used fairly widely around the world as well. Let me just point out here that
Ive got the entry bar when Im working here on the resource sheet, so I can type in there the
abbreviation is going to be Brickie, tick it, OK. Now let me go back to type because type is
actually the most important cell and thats one we need to look at carefully now.
In Project 2013, there are basically three types of resource and I want to look at each of those
types now. There are some alternative approaches to costs and budgeting which sort of do lead
you to a fourth type of resource but it isnt really a different type of resource at all. Well talk
about that briefly later on.
The three types of resource are work, material, and cost.

And for the purposes of this

introduction, well think of work as the people that are working on our project, that are building

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
our house. So it will be people like the brick layers, the laborers, the plasterers, the painters, and
so on. Materials are the resources that get consumed in the building of the house. So this will be
things like bricks, window frames, concrete, cement, mortar, and so on. Cost, typically is other
costs. An example of a cost might be an account thats used for various expenses on the project.
So we might have a pool or what in the U.K. would be called a petty cash account where we
might put travel expenses in there. Now the way that these three different types are used within
Microsoft Project are actually quite different and particularly when we get to the area of working
out costs, the way that the three of them work is very different.
Lets just stick with work for the moment. Our brick layer as a person is a type of work
resource. And if you look over to those cost fields that I mentioned just now, you can see that
we have a standard rate, so a certain number of dollars per hour that we pay a brick layer. And
then we have an overtime rate, a certain number of dollars per hour that we pay on overtime,
extra time rate. We also have another cost figure which is cost per use which is usually an
additional cost we may have to pay one off to use this resource. Now when youre talking about
a brick layer, there may not be an additional cost per use but you might also use a work resource
type for something like a piece of digging equipment. So you may have to hire a piece of
digging equipment. Maybe its going to cost $50 an hour while youre doing the work on
preparing the site, and there may be a cost per use. For example, a cost for the supplier of the
digger equipment to deliver to your site and collect it again at the end which is a one off
additional cost. Now the whole area of cost were going to look at later on, but I just wanted to
point out to you there that when youre looking at work resources, the costs, generally speaking,
are based on the amount of time that something works on your project with the possible addition
of a cost per use figure as well.
Now lets set up a material type of resource and the material type of resource that Im going to
setup are bricks. So Ill type in Bricks. This is a material resource. Watch what happens when I
select material to the other fields that have been filled in there on the resource sheet. You notice
that what the default values are changed. The standard rate is no longer per hour. The standard
rate is the cost. Theres no overtime rate. There is a cost per use. Accrue. Ill talk about
accruals later. But Im going to put here as the initials Bricks and now Im going to talk about
this cell, this field here, Material. Now I tend to think that that field name there, Material, isnt a

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
particularly helpful field name because what that field actually represents is the units of measure
of the material. Now in the case of bricks, were going to talk about bricks in thousands. So my
unit of measure is going to be that, thousands. I could put the word Thousands. In fact, you can
put anything you like in that field as long as it makes clear what the units of measure are. So in a
typical house, I might use say around 10,000 to 15,000 bricks which means that this particular
material, bricks, if I wanted 12,000 bricks I would say 12 of this resource because this resource is
1,000 bricks.
Now Im not actually going to put any costs in there at the moment. Were going to come back
to cost a little bit later on. But let me just point out a couple of other things. If I say select the
bricks line and double click, I come up with a Resource Information dialog, a bit like the Task
Information dialog but this has got basically all of the information you need about a specific
resource. Different tabs: General, Costs, Notes, Custom Fields. Well look at many of these
later on in the course. One of the things to note here when youre dealing with say costs is that
you can show rate changes over time. So if over a particular period of time the cost of something
is going to go up or down or increase by a percentage, you can cover that within the resource
information here. So when it comes to things like costing, Microsoft Project is pretty powerful
in terms of what you can do. Now well come back to the Resource Information dialog in quite a
bit more detail later on.
Now in the next section were going to look at assigning these resources to the tasks within our
project. But now youve got your first exercise to do yourself. Im going to save this project as
it is now as example_03, 0-3 in the supplied files. And what I want you to do is to add some
additional resources using the resource sheet. Now the terminology you use may be different.
Its absolutely not a problem. Depending on your locale you may call a person that deals with
wood in a building a joiner or a carpenter, depending on where you are. And you may use an
abbreviation like a Chipee for a joiner. But Id like you to add as work type resources a
carpenter or a joiner and Id like you to add as material resources windows and doors. So, one
resource is a window; itll be a single unit, and one resource will be a door. Again, a door single
unit. Dont worry about putting in the cost, the prices in there. My answer to that question is in
example file 04 and thats going to be our starting point for the next section. So please join me
for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Resource Assignment


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we looked at
setting up the resources that were going to use in our building project. And I left you with an
exercise where I asked you to add a carpenter as a work resource and door and window as
material resources. And Im looking now at the resource sheet in example_04. Now I appreciate
that term carpenter normally implies a much more skilled resource than somebody who fits
windows and doors.

And in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and various other English

speaking countries, the term joiner would be used. But I believe that term is no longer in use in
the U.S.A. Similarly, theres a fairly common abbreviation for a carpenter or joiner working on
a building site of Chipee but you wouldnt use that expression in the U.S.A.
So well start with this list of resources and were now going to assign these resources to various
tasks in our building project. So Im going to switch back to the Gantt Chart using the button on
the status bar, left hand button takes me back to the Gantt Chart. Now Im going to right click on
the task Build walls, and when I right click, one of the items that I can see on the contextual
menu is Assign resources. Its just below the midway point. Click on Assign resources and I see
the Assign Resources dialog which is a dialog that youll use a lot when youre working with
Project 2013.
Now quite a lot of this Assign Resources dialog were going to look at later on. For instance, if I
click on the plus sign here where it says Resource list options there are facilities there, for
example, to filter. If I have a long list of resources and I want to find a suitable resource by
filtering I can use the filter facilities. I can also look at finding out which resources are actually
available for a task rather than being used elsewhere. But Im not going to go into any of that at
the moment. Were going to do some of those things later on in the course. For the moment, all
I want to do is to allocate the brick layer to the task of building walls. Now the very simplest
way of doing that is having selected the brick layer is to just click on the Assign button, and what
happens if I just click on Assign is that the brick layer is assigned 100%. That means one brick
layer. And depending on the cost figures, the cost of using the brick layer on that task is
indicated here. Now at the moment I havent put any cost in. Were going to come back to cost
later on. But if I had put a rate per hour and possibly even an additional cost per use, then the
total cost of using the brick layer on building those walls would be shown here.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
I could go through now and assign more resources to more tasks. The first thing Im going to do
though is to actually close this Assign Resources dialog and look at the impact of what Ive just
done on the Gantt Chart.
Now you may not quite see the same as me here but if youre still using a default installation of
Project 2013, you should see something pretty similar. And one of the things thats apparent is
that you can now see the word Brick Layer next to the task in the Gantt Chart. Now exactly
what you see in a Gantt Chart is something were going to look at in some detail later on. You
can customize and format a Gantt Chart but basically by default you would normally see the
names of the resources that are used in a particular task listed next to the Gantt Chart bar. Now
well be able to change that later on, but for the moment its actually quite useful because we can
see that weve got a brick layer resource allocated to the task of building walls.
So lets now use some bricks. Lets again right click on Build walls, click on Assign resources,
and this time Im going to assign bricks buut Im not going to assign one unit of bricks which of
course would be 1,000 bricks. Im going to assign 12 units because Im going to need 12,000
bricks for this house. Now if I use the little rollers here, I can go up in multiples. Im going to
say I want 12. Again, if Id entered a cost per thousand of bricks that cost would appear here.
But it does say in the units column there 12 and then my units, thousands. So its 12 thousands
of bricks.
Now you may be wondering what this RD column here is. The RD column is really outside the
scope of this course but basically R and D stand for Requested and Demanded.

And in

situations, particularly where resources are shared between different projects and possibly
different project managers, you can demand specific resources or you can request resources.
When youre doing that, then this column comes into play. But as I say thats pretty much
outside the scope of this course.
So Ive now allocated 12 thousands of bricks. You can see on the Gantt Chart there that that
resource is named and Im starting to build up a list of the resources that are needed on the Build
walls task within my house building project.
Okay, lets close this dialog again and now lets take a very quick look at the Resource tab on the
Ribbon. On the Resource tab on the Ribbon, one of the options there, the second group along the
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Assignments Group, is Assign Resources. And if I click on Assign Resources, I get that same
dialog again. So thats two ways into that dialog. In Project 2013 in general, you can get just
about everything from the Ribbon and a selection of things from the contextual menu at any
specific point.
So were now going to allocate the resources to the Fit windows and doors task. Note that while
this particular dialog is open, you can still select tasks in the Gantt Chart. You dont have to
close it. So having selected the fourth task, I can click on the Resource dialog again and Im
going to leave you now with this as your next exercise to do. For Fit windows and doors, what
Id like you to do is to use one carpenter; there are going to be 12 windows and, believe it or not,
nine doors. Now you may think most houses dont have nine doors but this is internal and
external doors; so 12 windows and nine doors and one carpenter assigned to that task. Im going
to start you off at example_05. So you open example_05 to do this and my answer to this is
example_06.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 11 Opening, Closing and Saving


Video: Opening and Closing Projects; Switching Windows; Pinning to Recent
List
Toby: Hello and welcome back to our course on Microsoft Project 2013. In this section were
going to look at opening and saving projects. So far weve opened a project by selecting it from
the recent list on the start screen. Now, of course, over time that recent list is going to tend to get
too long to all fit on the start screen and youre going to find that things drop off the bottom of
the list. Now there is a way to some extent of overcoming that and well look at that in just a
moment. But in general terms, if you want to open a project and it isnt on the recent list there,
you need to look at the option below the list where it says Open other projects. And if you click
on that, it takes you to the Open page in Backstage View. Now you then have a list of potential
locations for a project that you want to open. At the top of the list, you have the recent projects
list. You can open a project from your SkyDrive. Im going to tell you about SkyDrive later on
in the course. But think of it as what many people nowadays refer to as Cloud based storage. So
these are projects that youve got stored on Microsoft SkyDrive. Computer basically takes you
to the device that youre using and allows you to browse through the device to find a project that
you have stored locally. And at a place, as well see later on, gives us an option to add to this
list. Well come back to that later. For the moment, lets click on Computer.
Now when you click on Computer, youre given a list of folders you have recently accessed.
One of those is going to be the one with the example files that come with this course. So if I
click on that, it takes me through to that list of example files. Youll have a list, it may not look
exactly the same as this but generally speaking it will be very similar to this. And from this you
could take one of the files that weve already worked on, select it, and then having selected it you
can either click Open or you can just double click on it to open that particular project. So if I
wanted to open example_06, double click and the project opens.
Now lets suppose that I want to open another project as well. Id like to open Project 4. I dont
need to close Project 6 to do that. I can go into Backstage View, click on Open, and then if I go
for Computer again, instead of using the recent folders list, I can just use the Browse button
down here and that allows me to browse in pretty much the usual way through the content of my

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
device. So I can choose from the available disc drives, internal disc drive, memory sticks,
network drives, whatever Ive got attached to my device, choose an appropriate project and open
it up. Now one thing to notice when youre trying to open a project like this is that effectively
Project 2013 filters the files that youre looking at. So if I go into a particular folder such as this
one the files that its showing me are not every file thats in that folder. The filter in force by
default is a filter that shows me just the files with extension MPP and thats the default extension
for Microsoft Project files. If I click on the drop down on the right here then I can look instead
of Projects MPP files, I could look for MPT files which are Microsoft Project templates. And
there are various other possibilities such as Excel workbooks because I can import content for a
Microsoft Project file from a workbook, an Excel binary workbook, an Excel earlier version
workbook, and so on. There are a number of possibilities there, and one of the other options I
have is to specify all files. And if I select the option of All files, Ill see all of the files that are in
that particular folder. So let me choose example_04, click on Open, and now we have Project 4
open as well as Project 6; although you can only see Project 4 at the moment.
Now when you have more than one Project file open at once, its quite straightforward to switch
between them. One of the options you have is to use the switching facility within Windows. Im
using Windows 8 here but the switching facility with Windows 7 when youre in desktop mode
is pretty much the same. Hold the Alt key down and press the Tab key repeatedly and that will
let you step through all of the available open windows and each of the projects you have open
will have a window that you can switch to using this approach. From within Project itself, if you
click on the View tab one of the groups is Window and in the right hand top corner of the
Window Group theres a drop down here that says Switch Windows. Click on the drop down
and it lists the open projects. Now at the moment weve got a tick against example_04. If I
wanted to switch to example_06, Id select that instead and that takes me to the Project
example_06 that I also have open. So you can have more than one project open at once. Thats
not a problem.
And whenever youve finished working with a project, you have a couple of options. If you
click on Backstage View, File, one of the options there is Close and that will close the specific
project that you have selected in view at the moment. If you close Project itself, so if you use for
example the top right hand button here to close Project, then it will close all of the individual

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
projects you have open at that time. Lets just close this individual project here by clicking on
the Close button back there is Backstage View. That closes one project and were back to just
having Project number 4 open. The other way that you can close a single project is in a line with
the tabs above the Ribbon, theres this X at the right here and that Close window closes only the
current project window. So in this case that will close Project 4. So if I click on that Close
button, Project 4 is closed. In fact, Project 2013 is still running but I now have no projects open
so it waits for me to either open an existing project or create a new one.
Now let me just go back to that Open page again and again look at this list of recent projects. If
you hover over one of the recent projects, you can see on the right there that theres a little push
pin. And if you have a particular project, say, Project 6 that we dont want to fall off of the
bottom of the recent projects list. If you click on the push pin, it pins it to the list which means it
stays fixed there until you unpin it. If you click on the picture of the pin again, it will be
unpinned. Now exactly the same principle applies on the start screen where you have the list of
recent projects on the left. You can pin a project there and that way it wont fall off of the recent
projects list. And as I mentioned earlier thats one way of overcoming the problem when youve
been dealing with a large number of projects, of projects that you access often falling off of the
bottom of the recent projects list.
So thats enough on opening and closing projects for now. In the next section were going to
take a look at saving projects. So please join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Saving Projects; File Formats; AutoSave


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Microsoft Project 2013. In the previous section, we
looked at opening and closing projects, and one of the things we did was to pin example_06 to
the recent projects list and you can see that on the start screen now pinned to the list. But what
Id like to do in this section is to look at saving projects and Im going to start by opening one of
the first projects we worked on, House build 01 here just by selecting it from the recent projects
list.
Now when youre working on a project, from time to time its a good idea to save it, make sure
that your work doesnt get lost. There is a button normally enabled on the Quick Access
Toolbar, a picture of an old style diskette which is by default the standard image for Save. You
can also see from the screen tip there that there is a keyboard shortcut of Control and S to save
the project that youre currently working on.
We also saw earlier on the Save As option from Backstage View and when you do File, Save As
and lets again choose Computer and lets stick with the same folder that that file was stored in,
my scratch folder, then when you do a save, by default as with Open, the default save type is
Project MPP. But there are various other save types as well and I want to take a quick look at
those now.
Now of course, if I just did a save now with a type of MPP, Id effectively overwrite the file that
Im already working on. But if I click on the drop down on Save As Type, I can see the list of
other options that are available to me. Now first of all, we have a group of options that relate to
earlier versions of Microsoft Project. Theres Microsoft Project 2007, *.mpp, and Microsoft
Project 2000 to 2003, *.mpp. The file extension MPP has been common throughout but the
format has actually changed over many versions. The format thats used in the 2013 version is
the same as the 2010 version. Before that there was a 2007 format and then before that there was
a format that was used in 2000, 2002, and 2003 versions of Microsoft Project. Before that there
was a format that was used with the Project 98 version. But using Project 2013, you cannot save
a Project file in the Project 98 format, although you can read those older formats. So the file
extension hasnt changed but the formats have. Thats something to be careful of. Why might
you want one of these old formats? Well, if youre working with other people that have older
versions of Project, you may need to agree on one of the older formats so that you can all work
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
on the files. But the newer format is the one to use if you dont have that constraint because it
supports all of the new features of Microsoft Project.
You can save a Microsoft Project as a template. Well talk about templates a little bit later on or
in the old format of template. You can also save the project as a PDF which were going to do a
little example of in just a moment. And then you have an option of saving it as the Microsoft
version of PDF if you like which is XPS. And then you can also save it as an Excel workbook
and this is effectively exporting it into Excel so that you can do other work on the tasks in
Microsoft Excel. Im going to have a little brief look at that later on in the course as well.
You then have options to save the project in text format, comma separated values, CSV format,
and XML format. But as I say just by an example lets try saving this one in that folder but as a
PDF and see what it looks like. So select PDF and click on Save. I get a dialog box. I can
choose what range of dates I want to save. Im going to choose all dates. And then I can choose
whether to include nonprinting information, document properties, document showing markup,
and then the PDF options a bit of a technical option. Lets not worry too much about that, but
you dont need to bother to check that. Click on OK and now let me open up that PDF and well
take a look at that.
So now Ive opened that PDF file in Adobe Reader X and you can see the Gantt Chart; very
straightforward, of course, at the moment. Ive just go that one task in there. And then theres a
little summary at the bottom; a key, legend, etc. to explain what the various symbols mean.
Although, of course, most of those symbols dont yet appear as weve got such a simple schedule
at this stage. So that is saving a project as a PDF file.
Now we come to something very important in relation to save and that is to look at the Project
Options relating to save. So in Backstage View, if I look at Options, there is a page dedicated to
Save. And the first option on that page is to select the default save format. Now by default, its
at the current version of the MPP format, but you could save in an earlier format, the 2007
format or the 2000 to 2003 format. You might choose this as I said a little while ago if you were
working with other people and youd agreed on using one of the earlier formats by default, and
setting that as your default is probably a good idea.

It would reduce the chance of you

accidentally saving in the current format. You can also choose a default file location. Now

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Project 2013
when you start using Project 2013, this defaults to your User Documents Folder within Windows
but you can save it to do a different one. I could have set this to save in the folder that Im
saving the Project file in.
The next important option is AutoSave. Now I mentioned earlier in this section that you should
save your work regularly. Well, I would go one step farther and I should say that you should
have AutoSave set on to save your work regularly for you. In much older versions of Project and
particularly when people were using older PCs with lower performance, AutoSave could be a bit
of a pain actually because youd notice a degradation in performance while AutoSave was
happening. And even now if youve got a very big project and say its being saved over a
network or something like that, it can slow you down for a while. But generally speaking,
AutoSave on a modern device youll barely notice it happening if at all. And if you set the
AutoSave on and set the interval at say 10 minutes, which is the default, the worst thing that can
happen if your PC crashes or your power goes off or something awful happens is that youll lose
the last 10 minutes worth of work. You have an option when you set AutoSave on as you can
see here from saving the active project, thats the one that youre currently working on or all
open projects. As well see later if you have a very complex situation maybe with many projects
maybe sharing resources, you may have quite a few open projects open at once and saving them
all again on a modern PC with good performance youll barely notice it happening. But it does
increase the chance, particularly if youve got big projects and youre using an old device, of a
save having an impact. So although its pretty safe nowadays to have all this switched on, just
beware of the fact that it may cause a noticeable sort of slow down for a few moments while it
happens.
Now the other options within the Project Options Save page Ill let you experiment with. Some
of them for example are pretty straightforward. This one Save to computer by default, check
that, and then by default it will save to Computer rather than trying SkyDrive or somewhere else.
But Ill let you experiment with those, try them out, and see which ones suit you. When youve
made any changes, of course, click on OK and were back to working on Project as normal.
So thats pretty much it on saving but theres now an exercise for you to do. You saw earlier on
how to save the current project, this Build 01 as a PDF and then we looked at the PDF. What Id
like you to do is to do the same thing with Project 06. You can either use the version that came
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
with the course or the one that youve created. Id like you to save that in PDF format. Use all
of the default settings, include all of the dates. My answer to that example is in example_06.pdf.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 12 Calendars
Video: Creating New Calendar; Setting up Working Time; Recurrence
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to look at
calendars and in fact were going to look a little bit more broadly at some of the scheduling
parameters related to calendars within Project 2013.
So were going to start by looking at the calendar thats in force by default for our building
project and to do that well go straight into Backstage View, into the Project Options, and well
look at the Schedule page in Project Options.
Now the first thing to note is that when you look at the top section on this page, Calendar
Options for this project, once again you have a drop down. You have a drop down that lets you
choose this particular project or all new projects. Now you may well have a standard calendar
that you use on all your projects but you may have a particular one that gets a different calendar
to everything else. So what do I mean by a calendar for a project? Well, for a particular
situation, for a particular project that Im working on, lets take this building project as an
example. Lets suppose that the site is open for certain hours of the day, say from eight in the
morning till six in the evening. And at that time people can do work on this project. That
doesnt necessarily mean that everybody who does any work on the project works all of that
time. Individual people may have different calendars. They may have different availability.
You may have somebody who only works in the mornings or somebody who only works
Mondays and Tuesdays. But every project as a background needs a project calendar which is
the basic time that work is done or is possible to be done on that project. Now when you install
Project 2013, youre setup with a default calendar that well look at in a moment. Its normally
called the standard calendar or the base calendar. And unless you do otherwise thats the
calendar thats going to be used to schedule your projects.
Now theres an added complication in this which is a little bit baffling at first. But once you get
used to the idea, its not so bad and that is that whatever your calendar says when it comes to
actually doing some aspects of calculations Project also uses some other values that you setup in
the Options here. So not only do you really need to make sure that your calendar is correct

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Project 2013
which is something were going to look at a little bit later on but you also need to look at the
settings that weve got here in our Options to make sure that everything fits.
So first of all, I have a couple of straightforward options here. One of them is on what day of the
week does the week start? Its a Sunday. That doesnt necessarily mean you work on a Sunday
but it just means that when we look at the calendar the first day we see will be Sunday. And the
fiscal year start defaults to January. You can change that to one of the other months of the year
for your fiscal annual reporting. We then have a default start time and a default end time for
tasks. Now again this is not the same as the start time and end time as will appear on the
calendar. As it says in the note here, these times are assigned to tasks when you enter a start or
finish date without specifying a time. If you change this setting consider matching the project
calendar using the Change working time command. Its important to recognize that largely
speaking the settings here are independent of the calendar and you can rather badly mess things
up by having them out of step. If the projects youre working on tend to be projects where each
task is several days long, then start times and end times are less important. But if youre dealing
with projects where things may just take a couple of hours and its important to understand that
this finish time during the day of something is important, then these start times and end times can
be important as well.
Below those we have three very important numbers that are used particularly in the cost,
scheduling and financing side of a project as well see later on. How many working hours per
day, how many hours per week, this is based on a five day working week, and how many days
per month. Clearly, in reality the number of working days per month varies depending on which
month it is, and then allowing for things like Christmas, public vacations, Easter and that sort of
thing. But this is an average figure thats used for some of the calculations that are done within
Project 2013.
Now were going to take a look at the calendar next but just bear in mind that when we have
done, you need to carefully consider making sure that whats here agrees with whats in the
calendar. And if they get out of step, you can give yourself really quite a few problems.
So lets take a look at this calendar. Lets click on the Project tab and go to Change working
time in the Properties Group and that brings up the Change Working Time dialog which includes

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Project 2013
a view of the current standard project calendar. Now the standard project calendar is the default
that comes with Project 2013. If your default, your standard calendar for your projects does not
agree with this, then you can change the standard. If on the other hand, if it does basically agree
with this but sometimes you have a project that needs a different calendar, then its a much better
idea to take a copy of this and use a specific changed, modified copy of this as the calendar for
that specific project that needs a different one. Its not a good idea to keep changing the standard
on backwards and forwards. Its much better to have the standard one as your standard, your
default, and then making specific different ones if the need arises than to keep changing the
standard.
Now what Im going to do in this case is Im going to take a copy of this calendar and show you
how to change the copy, how to modify the copy, but the same techniques could be used on the
standard one if that was more appropriate in your case. So lets click on Create new calendar
and Im going to call it my building calendar. Maybe this is the one that I use for all of my
building projects.

I can create a new base calendar from scratch so that means I specify

everything or I can just make a copy of the standard calendar. Im going to use a copy of the
standard calendar as my starting point. So theres my building calendar. Its created, ready to
use. Now what Im going to do is to customize it to my specific requirements in this case.
Theres an area in the bottom of this dialog that deals with exceptions and work weeks. Lets
start with a standard week. Default, if I double click on Default it brings up a little dialog,
Details for default, and this lets me define my standard working week; my default working week.
So if I want to setup the working hours for my default working week what I can do is to go
through the days of the week, Sunday through Saturday, and for each day of the week I can
specify the working hours. If I step through the days now you can see what they are by default.
So Monday, for example, you can see grayed out there 8 to 12, 1 to 5 and then the same for the
other working days of the week and Saturday is a nonworking day.

I can achieve either

inheriting the values from the default, thats what the first radio button there does, Use Project
default times for these days.

So by default that means Sunday and Saturday have been

nonworking days, the others will be working days. Or I can specifically say Set the selected day
or days to nonworking time or I can say Set the selected day or days to these specific working
times. If I want to change the working times for Monday through to Friday, if I select all five of

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Project 2013
those days by holding down Monday, the Shift key, and then Friday, so all five days are selected,
I can click on Set days to these specific working times. Those areas are now editable and I can
enter my new working times for the five working days of the week. So let me just click in the
first one which currently says 8 a.m., if I click in there and change that to 9 a.m. Click in the
next one which currently says 12 p.m. Im going to change that to say 1 p.m. and then the From
for the afternoon currently starts at 1 p.m. Im going to change the, say, to 2 p.m., and then 5
p.m. change that to be 6 p.m. Now one important point to note there is that although Ive
changed those times, my working day is still eight working hours. So Im not going to need to
change the hours per day, working hours per day in my Project Options. But if Id say change
this from say 8 till 1 and 2 till 6 so there were nine working hours in the day, I would need to go
into my Project Options to change the working hours per day. So lets click on OK and I will
have changed the standard working day in the standard working week. And you can actually see
on the right here that on a standard working day like today, March 29th, my working hours are
now 9 till 1 and 2 till 6.
So lets just set that up in the Options. Theres a button at the bottom of the dialog here that
takes us straight into the Project Options on to the Schedule page. Calendar options for just this
project. Im treating this project as an exception. I havent changed any of these things but my
default start time is going to change to 9 a.m. and my default end time is now 6 p.m. in case that
becomes important. Hours per day is the same, hours per week is the same, days per month no
change there, click on OK.
Now one of the most important things to bear in mind when youre working on calendars is that
is there are significant differences to the standard calendar such as a different working week, a
standard day, and in particular also when you have to take into account public holidays, its very
important to get these in place before you start working on a project. If you introduce them later
on, not only can it change the pattern of the project and cause you scheduling problems that you
didnt know you had, but you also might find yourself repeating work. If youre going to use a
standard calendar as the basis for all of your projects, make sure that the hours are right before
you start scheduling projects but also make sure that public holidays are in place and try to get
them in place as far in advance as you can.

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Project 2013
Lets take an example of a public holiday. The next one, this is currently March 29 th when Im
recording this. Let me just use the arrows to the right of the calendar here to go down to the
month of April. Im going to choose Monday, April 1st and then Im going to type in the
exception box here, at the top of the exceptions tag, Easter Monday. Now this is a nonworking
day. But if I just click there, note it picks up the date that Ive selected, click on Details. By
default, it becomes a nonworking day. If this were a repeating event then I could set this up as a
recurrence. On this occasion, because Easter Monday doesnt always happen on the same day
then Im not going to setup a recurrence. Im going to say recurrence, daily, every one day,
range of recurrence at the bottom. It starts on Monday, April 1st and it ends after that one
occurrence. So its only a one off difference. Whereas on the other hand, if I went down to the
month of December, December 25th is always a public holiday so let me select that, click here,
Christmas, December 25th, go into the details, nonworking. This is a recurrence pattern. It
happens every year on December the 25th and I can say end by and I can choose some date
hugely in the future, say, go to the year 2020, click on OK, and now Ill have Christmas
scheduled as a nonworking day right through to the year 2020. So its very important that you
get your public holidays in place as well.
So having setup one or two of the public holidays there are now several others to setup, but we
also have to make this building calendar the calendar for this project and thats what were going
to do during the next section so please join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Standard Calendar; Schedule Public Holidays; Adding Exceptions


Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we
created a new calendar called building calendar and it had different hours of work from the ones
that come by default with Project 2013 in the standard calendar. Were now going to make that
the standard calendar for our current building project and then were going to look at some of the
consequences of that. We also still need to add the rest of the public holidays to that calendar.
So lets get started.
So first of all, lets go to the Project tab and then on the Project tab in the Properties Group click
on Project Information. Now when you click on Project Information, youll see that the calendar
in force is still the standard calendar. So Im going to change that now to be the building
calendar. Click on OK and the calendar that Ive selected there is now effectively the base
calendar for this project.
Now you may have noticed a slight change to the schedule there and the slight change to the
schedule there is because the resources that are currently scheduled to work on the project, thats
basically the brick layer and the carpenter, because their calendars are still based on the original
standard calendar will not be fully available to this project during the hours of work on this
project because they still have as their calendars the 8 to 5 hours, whereas the building calendar
is basically on the 9 to 6 hours. Now basically the majority of people working on this project
will be working to the same hours as the project itself. So lets go in and look at those individual
resources and make sure that weve got their calendars setup correctly.
So Im going to use the button on the status bar at the bottom to switch to the resource sheet, and
then on the resource sheet Im just going to double click on brick layer. Open up the Resource
Information for brick layer, and in terms of working time if I click on Change working time for
brick layer, Ill see that the resource calendar for brick layer is currently set at the standard
calendar. Now I want to change that to be the building calendar. Now I cant emphasize enough
that the only reason Im having to do that is because I didnt set that up before I started. If you
set your calendar correctly before you start scheduling tasks and resources, then you wont need
to go through all of this. Having said that, at least Im doing it early on in the process so Im
aligning everything before Ive entered too much information into my project.

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Project 2013
So for the brick layer the default working week is the one on the calendar building calendar. So
click on OK. That will have now corrected the working time for brick layer and then if I do the
same for the carpenter who is my other work resource, again click on Change working time and
his calendar is based on the building calendar as well.
Now again I should point out here that although the resource calendar for carpenter has as its
base calendar, the building calendar if I wanted to put some exceptions for the carpenter, I could
do them here. The exceptions for working time for carpenter, for instance, would be things like
the carpenters vacations. If the carpenter is going to take a couple of weeks off, I can actually
record that as an exception here. If the carpenter, for instance, has to go to the dentist one day, I
can actually put a two or three hour exception in here. So you can define exceptions for
individual resources. Click on OK, click on OK again, and now Ive corrected the calendars for
the two work resources, the brick layer and carpenter, and theyre the only ones Ill need to do.
And from now on any work resources that I add will have their calendars based on the new
building calendar and not on the original calendar. So I won have to go through this process
again.
So now Im going to go back into the Project tab, Change working time, and look again at the
building calendar which is now marked as project calendar. You can see the two exceptions Ive
got there, Easter Monday and Christmas. And what I now need to do is to add the rest of the
public holidays for this year. Now if you are actually following this course in a subsequent year
beyond 2013, then I hope you can adapt this accordingly. But the next thing for you to do is to
add the rest of those public holidays. Add them for the year that youre following this course in
which might be 2013, it might be 2014, 2015. And where you have a holiday that can be
repeated, probably on an annual basis, something like Christmas day or any other day thats a
fixed date in the year, then schedule it up to 2020. You could schedule it even farther if you
want to but schedule it to at least 2020. Now I appreciate that depending on your locale your
public holidays may be different. Ive actually put two U.K. public holidays there. Theres a
few more. If youre in the U.S.A. then you may have state public holidays as well. In any other
country, youll have your own public holidays. Id like you to schedule the public holidays for
your locale.

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Project 2013
I should also point out to you that since this project is the one that were going to be using from
now on, if you have different public holidays to mine, then you may find that dates subsequently
on the course may differ anyway. Thats absolutely not a problem but it does mean that when I
talk about dates later on, yours may be slightly different from mine because of public holidays.
Okay, so thats your next exercise. Ive save this project exactly as it is as example_07 and my
answer to this current exercise based on U.K. public holidays is example_08. If youd like to use
different public holidays, thats fine. If you want to follow the U.K. public holidays, then you
can pick up after this from example_08 which has the U.K. public holidays in it.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 13 Views and Tables


Video: Task Views; Zoom; Timescale
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, were going to start to look
at views. Weve already seen a couple of different views of the project that were working on.
In this section, were going to look at some more and were also going to start to look at how to
choose the best view to suit the particular task that youre performing at the time.
Now one thing thats a common feature of most but not all of the views in Project 2013 is this
vertical dividing line here. This currently separates the table on the left. Were going to look at
these tables in great detail later on in the course. From the Gantt Chart in this case on the right
and as weve seen, you can change the position of that dividing line either if youre using the
mouse hover over the line until you see the cursor change into a double vertical line with an
arrow sticking out either side, then just click and hold with the left mouse button and you can
move the line backwards and forwards. Or if youre using touch, all you need to do is to touch
on the line. Youll see a little round selector appear and then you can drag to the left or right
with your finger to change the position of the vertical line. So I just do that now. So you can see
its straightforward whether youre using the mouse or touch to change the position of that
vertical dividing line.
Now were looking at the View tab on the Ribbon now and weve currently got Gantt Chart
shown. In the group at the left hand end of the Ribbon, we have Task Views and this is really a
straightforward way of accessing all of the available task views. Some of those task views have
specific buttons. So for instance, the command button in the top right hand corner of the group if
I hover over it that gives us access to the network diagram. Below that the calendar and below
that a task form. Now Im going to come back to one or two of those later on. I want to
concentrate now though on not Gantt Chart but Task Usage. Lets click on task usage.
Now with task usage we have a list of the tasks. Weve just got five tasks in our building project
at the moment. And in the Task Usage View you can see that we have a list of the resources that
are used in each task. So if we look at the build walls task, we can see the resources are brick
layer and bricks. And one of the great things about the Task Usage View is that it will actually
show us over a period of time how we are using the resources that were using on a specific task.

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Project 2013
Now the brick layer we are using 80 hours of and the bricks we are using 12 thousands of. But
what we can see in the Task Usage View is when we are using them. This can be useful for
many reasons, not least of which we know when we need the brick layer to be available for
example and we need to know when we need the bricks for. We maybe dont want all of the
bricks delivered right at the start of the building project. They might be in the way when were
preparing the site. Itd be much better to get the bricks delivered just before we need them.
Now in the right hand half of the view, we actually have a display that shows us a break down of
when were using the resources. Now at the moment, we dont appear to be using them at any
time but thats because the timescale weve got is a day by day timescale. And as you can see in
the particular week, were looking at which is the week that Im recording this in were not
actually using any of these resources. If I scroll a little bit earlier in time, still no sign of using
those resources. Scroll a bit later in time and eventually we come to the point where were using
those resources. And as you can see the bricks on each day, starting roughly the middle of April,
were going to need 1.2 thousands of bricks each day to build the walls. And were going to
need eight hours of the brick layers time in order to build the walls. So this is a really useful
breakdown of what we need and when we need it, but as you can see the current view is not
really ideal because it was quite difficult to track what we wanted in this Task Usage View.
So lets look at a couple of ways that we can make a view like this more useful and so that we
can see more in view at any one time and one of the more obvious ways, of course, is to move
that divider. So we give ourselves a little bit more space on the right. But in the case of a
building project which is going to go on for many weeks getting a broad view using a day by day
display is maybe not the best option. There are a couple of ways of getting round this. One of
them is if you look at the Zoom Group on the View tab, the top right hand corner theres this
little magnifier, click on the drop down, and go into Zoom, Zoom dialog. With the Zoom dialog
you are given options of how much to show in view. Now what you can show in view, you can
have one week, two weeks, one month, three months, the duration of a selected task. So I could
actually choose a view which would setup on the right hand side there the timescale to cover just
the duration of a selected task. Or, and this is the option Im going to use here, I can say Show
me the entire project. Now if I click on Entire project and click on OK, I get the whole project in
view. Now, of course, in this particular case that doesnt really give me a good break down

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Project 2013
either because with this view, all I find is that in one period of time I need 9.6 thousands and in
another period of time I need 2.4 thousands, and the periods of time are a little bit strange
actually. If you look at the top, the timescale at the top there Ive got March 17th, April 14th,
May 12th, and Ive got Monday, Friday, presumably Tuesday, Sunday. It all seems a little bit
strange. What Project 2013 does when you select entire project is it sets up the timescale
literally to show the entire project.

And although sometimes thats really useful on other

occasions, it gives you a very strange timescale. But we can actually select the timescale on the
right there in a much more flexible and adaptable way and thats what were going to look at
next.
So lets go in and control this timescale a lot more accurately and conveniently. If you right
click where the timescale is there, so somewhere around those dates or the days of the week
markers there you will see timescale, dot, dot, dot. Click on Timescale, dot, dot, dot on the
contextual menu and you get the Timescale dialog. Now the Timescale dialog has a number of
tabs, including three tabs for the possible three tiers of the time table: top tier, middle tier,
bottom tier. And literally they are top tier, middle tier, bottom tier. At the moment, you can only
see two tiers. And if you look at Timescale Options within the dialog, you can see that it says
Show two tiers, only middle and bottom are in use. Theres a drop down here whereby you can
show one tier, two tiers, or three tiers. Were going to stick with two tiers.
So lets have a look at the middle tier. The middle tier currently says Middle tier formatting,
units weeks, count four. The interval on the middle tier is four weeks which is why youve got
those strange dates: March the 17th, April 14th. Thats actually a four week period rather than a
calendar month period. And four weeks after April 14th is May 12th, so that explains those rather
strange dates up there. The labeling of the time period is dictated by this field, Label, and you
have a choice of ways of labeling dates. Theres a whole long, long list of options there which
you can experiment with and you can decide here how you want those labels aligned with the
time periods. So in this case that label, so for instance March 17, 2013 is aligned in the left of
the time period that it covers. Now lets look at the bottom tier.
So, click on bottom tier and the bottom tier is arranged in multiples of 11 days. Now that really
is a rather strange interval to use but it is a result of deciding to show the whole project duration
in view. Lets change that to a period of say one week. So Im going to change that down to one
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
and Im going to make that weeks. You get a preview of what the intervals going to look like
here. So lets just click on OK and see how that looks in real life. And thats not actually so bad
now. Weve got a little bit more useful division of the use of the labor. So weve got brick
layer, 24 hours that week, 40 hours that week, 16 hours that week, and then weve got an idea of
how many bricks we need per week for the period of three weeks that spanned by this particular
task. Now, of course, theres absolutely nothing to stop me going back into that Timescale
dialog again, go into the bottom tier again, and I could if I wanted to change from one week to
one day, click on OK, and now I really do get a break down day by day of whats needed.
And then let me just go back into the timescale once more. There is also a button to the right of
the Show Option in Timescale Options that basically lets me rescale what Ive got there
anyway. Now at the moment, the figure of 104 is a percentage and Ive got this display set at
104%. If I wanted to reduce it, I could say put it down to 80%. You can actually type a value in
there. You dont have to use the little rollers. Lets suppose I said 80%. Id make each of the
columns in the display a little bit narrower and I get a little bit more in view.
Now I hope you can see from that that when it comes to formatting the timescale thats shown, in
fact in just about any view in Project 2013, theres a lot of power and flexibility in what you can
do. And you can usually get a timescale format set that enables you to see just what you want to
see in any given situation.
So Ive demonstrated here the formatting of the timescale using Task Usage View.

The

approach in Gantt Chart View is exactly the same. If I click back now and go back into the
Gantt Chart, then I could customize the Gantt Chart timescale in exactly the same way and to
achieve exactly what affect that I want at any given time.
So weve looked at a couple of the main Task Views here. In the next section were going to
look at some of the Resource Views and were also going to look at Split View so please join me
for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Resource View and Split View


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we looked at
views, in particular we looked at a couple of Task Views and at how to format the time scale in
any view that includes a time scale to make it suit the purposes of the view that you are using. In
this section were going to look at Resource Views, first of all, and then were going to look at
Split View.
So first of all lets look at the resource sheet that weve used already. In the Resource Views
Group on the View tab there is a button, Resource Sheet. Click on Resource Sheet and we see
the resource sheet itself where we can enter details of new resources or maintain the details of
the resources weve already got. And as you saw before, if we double click on one of these, we
bring up the Resource Information dialog.
Now the other very useful view here is Resource Usage, and if you bear in mind what task usage
showed us lets just take a look at resource usage.
Now note once again its a Split View vertically, but on the left this time instead of a list of tasks
and then for each task the resources that are used we have a list of resources, and for each
resource a list of the tasks that that resource works on or is used on. So for instance, the brick
layer works on the build walls task, the bricks are used in the build walls task and so on. Now as
before, we can customize the time scale on the right in order to see what our resource
requirements are. But as I say basically this is Task Usage View turned inside out if you like.
So its arranged by resource and then within resource, we can see how each resource is used, the
tasks that its used in as opposed to the other way around we had in Task Usage View. So thats
resource usage.
Now I should point out that pretty much on any of these drop downs, for instance here on the
resource usage drop down here, if I click on that drop down, I almost always see More Views at
the bottom. Click on More Views and you have a list of pretty much all of the available views
and there are quite a few of them. Also either starting from the drop down or from this More
Views dialog, you can make a copy of a particular view. You could, for instance, make a copy
of Gantt Chart View and then you could customize it to your specific requirements. Now
customization of these views is outside the scope of this course but if you find that you like a

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Project 2013
particular view and that you like a particular set of settings where you have a combination of
what you can see, the time scale, and so on, then you can setup a custom view with a name of
your choice. So thats a good thing to find out about if you think you have a need for creating
custom views later on.
So weve looked at the resource sheet and weve looked at Resource Usage View. Theres
another very useful resource view which will become more useful later on when we start looking
at overallocation of resources when we get to a situation where weve got a certain amount of
resource to use on a project and it just isnt enough. We get to a situation where we need more
people or more materials or we need another room or something like that, and there just isnt
enough to go round. Now the view that can be very helpful in that situation is Resource Graph
View.
Now Im just going to click on the resource sheet drop down here and one of the options at the
bottom there, More Views, lets choose resource graph, click on Apply. This is another view
with a time scale on the right but it doesnt have a table as such on the left. What it has is a
sequence of little panels and each panel corresponds to one of our resources. At the moment, the
first resource shown is brick layer and there is a graph showing the use of our one brick layer.
Dont forget 100%, thats one brick layer. And for a period, this is a period of roughly three
weeks, just under, then our brick layer is 100% allocated. So were going to keep that brick
layer solidly busy on our project for a period of time spanning three weeks. Now at the bottom
of that pane on the left theres a scroll bar, and if you click on the arrow at one end of the scroll
bar, it actually takes you through the resources in your project. So Im going to click right first,
bricks is the next resource, allocated, overallocated, only allocated. All the time youve blue
here you havent got an overallocation problem. Lets try the next one. Carpenter. Again, thats
fine.
Now if youre doing this on a project of yours and youve got the same problem, you normally
have which is fitting everything into view, dont forget you can always flip into view where you
see the entire project. And in fact in the Zoom Group on the View tab, the second button down
on the right there is a straightforward zoom entire project button. So if you click on that itll
always give you the entire project. Now, of course, you may get those strange time periods that
we saw earlier on. But if all you want to do is to try to spot any red overallocations using
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
resource graph, then this is certainly good enough because youll see any red that there is by
stepping through your resources in this view. So thats Resource Graph View and well be using
that a little bit more later on in the course.
So now Im going to go back to Gantt Chart View and Im going to talk about Split View. There
is a Split View Group on the View tab on the Ribbon and its got a couple of checkboxes. The
timeline checkbox weve already seen. You can use that to switch on and switch off the
timeline. Were going to come back and look at the timeline in little bit more detail later on. But
its really the second box that were interested in here. Thats the details box because thats the
one thats going to enable us to split the current view. Now notice at the moment in this Gantt
Chart Ive got row one, task one, Prepare site selected and Im going to click the details
checkbox in the Split View Group. And what you now see is a view that is split by a horizontal
line and in the top half youve still got the Gantt Chart View but in the bottom part youve now
got a task form. You can see the words Task Form on the left hand edge there just written on its
side. And if you go back up to Split View again next to the details checkbox theres a drop down
and you can choose what you can show in the bottom part of the Split View. Currently Ive got
task form but if I click on the drop down, you can see what the alternatives are. Im going to
come back to that in just a moment.
Lets stick with task form for now. Lets select the next task, task number two in our project.
And when we select another task its that task that is selected in the bottom part of the form as
well. So what Im effectively seeing here is a subset of the task information for the Lay
foundation task. So theres the name of the task, Lay foundation, the duration is there of 15
days, but I can also see various other pieces of information, the start date, the finish date, the task
type, Ill be talking about that later on, how complete it is. Whether its auto scheduled or
manually scheduled; well, its auto scheduled. Whether its effort driven or not; well, its not
effort driven at the moment. And I can also, using the bottom part of this Split View display,
step through the tasks using the Next and Previous buttons in the bottom part. So instead of
clicking on Build walls in the top half of the Split View, if I were to click on Next in the bottom
part, it would take me to Build walls anyway. And in Build Walls I can see start, finish, the
resource usage, and the predecessors. So I can also see which other task it depends on, in this
case, Lay foundation.

And I can see what the dependency type it.

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Its a finish to start

Project 2013
dependency with a zero day lag. So I can step through my project using either next and previous
in the lower part of the Split View or I can select a task in the top part of the Split View.
One thing thats worth bearing in mind when youre using Split View is that you can mix and
match these views. So although Ive got Gantt Chart selected at the top here and the task selected
here is Fit windows and doors, I could for the lower part choose in the Split View Group on the
Ribbon here instead of task form, I could choose resource form. Now if I choose resource form,
it shows me resource information. But it shows me resource information related to the resources
that are used on the selected task in the Gantt Chart. Now Fit windows and doors uses three
resources. It uses carpenter, it uses doors, and it uses windows. If you look at the lower part of
the Split View where I have resource form selected what the next and previous buttons do here is
not to take me through the tasks in the Gantt Chart but to take me through the resources that are
used by the selected task in the Gantt Chart. So the first resource is carpenter, click on Next, and
I get to the resource door and the next one is the resource window. And for each of those
resources I can see which tasks the resource is used in. In fact, you may just notice on the left
there, theres a column that says Project, I could be using resources that are available to more
than one project. So I might even find out what other project my resources are used in. This is
very useful if youre working in a situation where projects share resources.
So thats Split View. Its pretty easy to switch Split View off again. You can just uncheck the
details box there. You can also grab the center dividing line in much the same way that we
grabbed the vertical divider and you can just drag it off the bottom of the display and it goes and
the details box in the Split View Group is unchecked as well.
So that should get you started on views. I just want to show you a couple of other things. One of
them is particularly handy if youre dealing with quite a large project. If you want to adjust the
timescale to see, for instance, just a group of tasks; lets suppose that you have the Build walls
and Fit windows to doors task and you really want a timescale to suit looking at those. If you
select those two, in the Zoom Group there is a button bottom right hand one, theres Zoom
selected task. And what that does is to adjust the timescale to suit just the selected task. So if I
click on that, it basically expands the timescale or contracts or compresses the timescale so that
you can see those two tasks. That can be pretty useful.

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Project 2013
And another view altogether is Calendar View. If you go to the Task Views over here again, that
group. The middle one on the right there is Calendar View. If you click on Calendar View, what
you see is the various tasks involved in the project plotted on a Calendar View. And you can
either look at a month which is what weve got displayed there, a week, or you can setup a
custom view to suit a number of weeks of your choosing. Again, thats very useful in some
situations. If you want to know whats happening say in a particular week or a particular month
or even over a specified period you can setup Calendar View and it will show you just what
youve got selected according to the period and theres even a date picker arrangement on the
left.
So thats it on views. Thats the end of this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Tables, Columns and Fields


Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the last couple of
sections we looked at views and in this section were going to look at a subject thats closely
associated with views and that is the use of tables. Now so far in the course youve seen a
number of tables. I havent named them or talked about them in any great detail so in this
section Im going to put that right and explain to you the tables in Project 2013 and how you can
adjust and adapt the use of tables to suit your requirements.
So first of all, Im looking at the Gantt Chart for our project. What Im going to do is to drag the
vertical divider off to the right there and eventually when I dragged it far enough I find that I get
to the end of the table of data. Now the first thing I need to explain is that in Project 2013 there
are basically two types of entity. Now there are actually more than two in reality as Ill explain
in a moment but think of it as two for the moment. And the two types of entity are tasks and
resources. For a task, lets take this first task here, Prepare site. We can use some information
about it here. So weve got a task name. Thats the header we get at the top of the column there.
It has a duration; 10 days. It has a start of Monday, March 4th, a finish of Friday, March 15th, and
it has no predecessor, so the predecessors field is empty. There are no resources allocated to it at
the moment and then we have one other cell here under a column thats called Add new column.
Well come back to that in a moment.
So we have here four or five pieces of information about the task Prepare site. Project 2013
actually stores dozens of pieces of information about Prepare site. At the moment, many of them
will be blank but they could also be used and in a long complicated project, we may have
literally dozens of pieces of useful information about a task. Even if we get down to task three
here or task four, we can see that although weve got the same columns in terms of what sort of
information we have.

In the case of three and four, weve also got some resource name

information and in many of the tasks well also have predecessors. So well have information
about some tasks, different information about other tasks, but overall theres a lot more
information available about each task in the project than you can see at any one time.
So now let me look at Resource Sheet View again. In Resource Sheet View, I get a table of
resource information. Now once again this is only a subset of the information thats available to
me about resources. And as I said just now, we have basically information about tasks and
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
information about resources and those two things are really the foundation on which Microsoft
Project works. There are other entities. For instance, there is the relationship between a task and
a resource which is what we call a resource assignment. So we may have information about how
a particular resource is used on a particular task. We also have relationships between tasks and
tasks. So for instance, we can say that one task is a predecessor or successor of another. But for
the purposes of looking at tables in this section, were fundamentally looking at tasks and
resources. So let me just switch back to Gantt Chart View again and once again look at this
table.
Now in this view what I want to do is to look at the View tab again, but I want to click on the
drop down here on the Tables button in the Data Group and it lists a number of built in tables.
By default the table that is shown in Gantt Chart View is whats called the entry table. The entry
table contains specific fields, the fields Ive already discussed earlier in this section. I could
choose a different table. I could show the cost table. Watch what happens if do that. What I get
is a different selection of fields that are shown for each of the tasks in my project. So I have a
fixed cost, I have a fixed cost accrual rule, and then I have things like total cost, baseline cost,
variance, actual, remaining. There are actually other cost fields as well but theyre not all shown
even in this table. Again, go back to that tables drop down again. I could actually look at the
work table and the work table shows me a different selection of fields. Now in the case of the
work table against build walls, for example, 80 hours is the total amount of work, and one of the
other fields is the remaining amount of work which is 80 hours. Therefore the percent complete
of this task is 0% because I started off with 80 hours work to do and Ive still got 80 hours of
work to do, so I havent done any work so my percent work complete is 0%.
So when youre working with Project 2013 depending on the type of information that youre
interested in at any one time, you can usually choose a particular table that enables you to work
with that particular type of information. Dont forget also that if you double click on a task as
we saw earlier you bring up the Task Information dialog and although that doesnt contain all of
the information about a task, it does show you most of the key fields and you can go in there
quite often and because of the way the fields are arranged its quite convenient for doing certain
things. For instance, if we go back to the General tab, it gives us a good summary on a task;
things like the start date and finish date, whether its manually or auto scheduled, its duration,

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
and so on. But sometimes you need to look at or maintain some information about a task and
there isnt a single table thats got all the information that you need and the Task Information
dialog maybe doesnt have everything. You may also choose to export information from a table,
for example into Microsoft Excel to do some external processing, a bit of number crunching
somewhere else. Thats where one of the main features of tables come into play that we need to
look, and thats the ability to customize what you can see in a table.
Now for the purposes of this exercise Im going to switch back to the entry table, but I want you
to remember that figure for work, the total amount of work involved in our basic tasks in our
house build. And what Im going to do is to introduce a work column into the entry table. Now
theres basically a couple of options. Within Project 2013, there is a new column always
available at the end and you can do what were going to do here in that right hand column if you
want to. But you can actually insert a new column anywhere you like in the display table. So
Im going to choose the start column there and Im going to right click and Im going to say
Insert column. Now what happens then is I can type a column name if I want to, one of my
choosing, or I can just select the field that I want. Now I mentioned a little while ago that there
are a lot of fields in Project 2013 and youre now going to see just how many pieces of
information there are. Were going to go right down to work and were going to find down here
a little field called Work. By default the header that we get there is Work, but I could rename
that column if I wanted to. But the first thing to note is that my work figures have now appeared
and you can see the 80 hours, 96 hours, and so on. Let me just right click on the header there
and one of the options that I have is to click on Field Settings, and in field settings theres the
field name, Work. Heres my opportunity to give that a different title. So I could say, lets say
Task Work, and I can choose the alignment for the title, the alignment for the data, the width of
the column, and so on. I can also click the Best Fit button which will make sure that this column
has its width adjusted to best fit the contained data. So lets do best fit and there we are. So Ive
now included a new column within this entry table.
Now, a couple of things to notice about that, one of them is if I go back to that tables drop down
in the Data Group on the View tab again right near the bottom there is second up from the
bottom, Save fields as a new table. If you get a particular combination of fields in a table and
you particularly like that combination, maybe its one you use to do your weekly progress

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Project 2013
updates on your projects. If you click on this option you can save this new table as a new table,
give it a name, and it will be available to you from that point onwards by its new name. Also if
youve made some changes but you want to set the entry table back to how it was to begin with,
you just click on Reset to default, and then right at the bottom you have an option, More Tables.
If you bring up that option, then as with views you have an option of making a copy of a table,
say, the entry table, giving it a name, editing that, putting it into the table organizer. Well have
a look at that a little bit later on. And you note also here with the tables that the tables in this
More Tables dialog are in two groups, the task tables and the resource tables. There are more
task tables than resource table, but there are a lot of resource fields and quite a few resource
tables as well.

So you can customize pretty much all of the tables.

You can save any

customizations that you want to keep. You can reset, etc.


Now while were looking at tables, just a couple of other important things. You can not only
insert a column, you can hide a particular column. So if I wanted to save a bit of space here, if I
select the predecessors column, right click, one of the options is Hide column. No datas deleted.
I havent actually gotten rid of those predecessors, theyre just hidden, and at any time I could
insert that column back in again.
Another point to note here is that when youre working on the Gantt Chart, there is a Gantt Chart
Tools Format tab and on that Format tab there are these column manipulation command button.
So theres an Insert column button, theres a column settings command with a drop down that
includes things like Hide column and Fields settings. Field settings takes us back into that same
dialog again that includes things like a Best Fit button. So with this resource names column
selected, if I click on Best Fit, of course, it changes the width of that column so that the text in it
doesnt need to wrap in order to show all of the information. So you can use not only the right
click contextual menu or the tap and hold contextual menu to work on the columns but youve
got a whole group of commands here available on the Gantt Chart Tools Format tab for working
on columns as well.
And then finally on tables what Im going to do is to use the button on the status bar to switch
back to Resource Sheet View and then in Resource Sheet View on the Resource Sheet Tools
Format tab let me select one of these columns, say, the group column here, click on Insert
column, and Im given a list of resource attributes and I could setup a new resource column
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
within that table as well. And everything on the resource sheet with the tables appropriate to
resources works in just the same way.
So thats pretty much it on tables for now. Were going to be using those from time to time
through the rest of the course. Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Timeline View


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to look at
Timeline View which was introduced in Project 2010 and which is a very good way of getting a
good summary of the overall timescales of a project. Now Im going to demonstrate it at this
early stage in our development of this project, but as we go along well see how increasingly it
can be useful particularly when we start to look at summary tasks which were going to look at in
the next section. So, Timeline View.
Now the first thing to note is that Timeline View can be shown with virtually any of the standard
views in Project 2013. So Im currently still in Gantt Chart View. Ive got my modified version
of the entry table shown there. Im just going to pull the divider back to show more of the chart
itself and then Im going to on the View tab in the Split View Group. Im going to check
timeline. What happens is the timeline appears up here. Now at the moment the timeline as such
is empty but there is some information. There is a start date for the project which is Monday,
March 4th. There is a finish date of the project which is Wednesday, May the 15th. And then
there are three other dates marked along the timeline for the whole project and today is marked
with a vertical line and a little today marker.
Now the principle behind Timeline View is that you choose what you want to show in Timeline
View. Now with the rather restricted project we have at the moment, we might choose from
these five tasks. Lets suppose that I wanted to show on there the period of time that Im actually
building the walls. If I right click on the Build walls task, one of the options is right near the
bottom there, Add to timeline. And once I do that, what happens is that the Build walls task is
shown as a block in Timeline View. So I can actually see how Build walls features in the overall
timeline of the project.
Now as I mentioned just now typically you would use Timeline View for what are called
summary tasks. So you would take the large subdivisions of a project and show those in
Timeline View to give you a good summary view of the breakdown of the overall time scale of a
project. Even if you have a project thats spread out over a long period of time and the time
scale youre using, for instance in the Gantt Chart View, it means that youre not seeing the
whole project at once. By using Timeline View, you can really get a good summary view.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Now lets do the same thing with touch. Supposing I wanted to show Fitting the roof as well. If
I tap on the Fit roof task to select it, tap and hold, up comes my Mini Toolbar, tap on the drop
down at the right, and one of the options there is Add to timeline and now I can see Fitting the
roof on the Timeline View as well.
So youve seen how easy it is to add a task to the timeline. Lets just add Prepare site and its
just as easy to remove something from the timeline as well. Lets suppose I wanted to remove
the Build walls task. If I right click on it, then theres an option there Remove from timeline, and
it really is as straightforward as that.
Now when you have the timeline selected you will see the Timeline Tools Format tab and that
has a number of very useful tools on it, some of which are closely associated with one of the
main purposes for which the timeline is used and that is to give you a way of putting a summary
of a schedule into another document. So lets look at a couple of examples. Lets suppose that
Id got say six or seven tasks in the timeline here. One of the things I can do if I say select
Prepare site is there is an option for the current selection of displaying it as a call out. So if I do
display as callout, what happens is that particular task moves outside the timeline and in effect
becomes sort of highlighted and the period of time it covers is now shown as an interval on the
timeline. And if I want to move that back inside the timeline bar again, I can just click on
display as bar.
With the tasks that are in the timeline, I can do various types of formatting to them. For instance,
if I selected that task I could change the font, font size, color of the font text. I could even
change the fill color. So let me change that to a sort of reddish color. Now in this way you can
pretty much make the timeline look any way that you want, highlight particular points. And
having made the timeline look just the way that you want it to, what you can then do is to copy it
ready to paste into another document. Now within the Timeline Tools Format tab, there is a
Copy Group with a Copy Timeline button. If you click on the bottom of that, you have three
options:

Copy timeline for email, for a presentation, or full size.

If you copy it for a

presentation, say, youre going to put it into a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. If you copy
and paste it into a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, youll then be able to do even more
extensive formatting of that timeline within PowerPoint itself. So the ability to add all sorts of
effects is there within PowerPoint once youve copied and pasted the timeline in.
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Now, a couple of things to note about the timeline before we move on. Let me add another task.
Let me add the task Fit windows and doors to the timeline. Notice how they finish up stacked.
You can sometimes finish up with quite a high, tall diagram, not just a long, thin one. And in
fact if you drag the horizontal dividing line below the timeline off the bottom of the screen, you
finish up with the timeline on its own. And when youre building up a more complex timeline
picture, it can be very useful to work with it in that way. And then again with that selected, with
the Timeline Tools Format tab selected, you can copy the timeline in either the small form for
email, the medium size for presentation, the large for full size, paste it say into an Outlook email
or a PowerPoint presentation as I mentioned just now or perhaps a Word document, and do
further formatting there.
So thats enough on Timeline View for the moment; particularly useful if you need to do a
presentation summarizing your project.
Thats the end of this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 14 Summary Tasks


Video: Inserting Tasks; Subtasks
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to take our first
look at summary tasks. And in the context of this building project, its a way of grouping a
whole related set of tasks together so that we can effectively see the wood for the trees. We can
look at a group of tasks as one particular part of our project and then in some situations look at
them as a group together and in other situations look at them as separated out into their
individual tasks again.
So the first thing Im going to do is to look at one of the tasks we already have which is Prepare
site, the first task in that schedule at the moment, and what were going to do is to break it down
into what might its constituent parts.
So what Im going to do first is to select the task after it, task number two, right click on task
number two, and click on Insert task. Im going to put a new task in there where it actually says
now New task, and the first task is going to be Demolition. Hit the Enter key and my new task is
in place. Now youll notice, of course, that weve got the one day estimate. Im not too worried
about that at the moment. But let me now select that task, the one thats just been inserted, and
then what Im going to do is to select the Task tab. And then on the Task tab in the Schedule
Group, one of the options just here, an arrow pointing right, is indent task. And if you look at the
screen tip for that, This task becomes a subtask. When I make Demolition a subtask of Prepare
site, several things happen.
First of all, although the duration of Demolition doesnt change, its still one day with a question
mark; it is indented. And Prepare site becomes a summary task. Now you notice that before we
did that, Prepare site task had a duration of 10 days. Once a task becomes a summary task, it no
longer has its own duration. Its duration is determined by the total duration, the total elapse time
of all of its constituent subtasks. So if Demolition is one day question mark, then Prepare site is
one day question mark.

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Project 2013
Lets suppose that I think the demolition is actually going to take five days. So let me just set
that at five days, tick on the entry bar, and as you can see the summary task, Prepare site, also
has a duration of five days. So we have our first summary task which is Prepare site.
Now at this point I always get a little bit concerned because I know therell be at least on builder
in one country following this and he will basically disagree with what happens next, but Im
really demonstrating here how to use Microsoft Project not how to build a house. So I apologize
for the obvious errors in what comes next. Im just going to put two or three other constituent
subtasks within the Prepare site task. So the first thing Im going to do is put in the next task
which is Set out site which basically means that having demolished whatever was there we are
going to basically mark out and measure out exactly which bits of the house are going to go
where on the site. So now I select Task 3 and this time Im going to put as my task Set out site
and I only need to allow one day for that so Im going to click on that. Notice that it inherits the
level of indent of the task above. So it assumes that this is also a subtask and all Im going to do
here is delete the question mark because Im happy with one day, click on tick, and Ive now got
a one day task. Now, of course, we know that Set out site wont happen until Demolition is
finished. So lets select two and three and in the way that we did earlier, lets make a link
between them. And now notice whats happened to Prepare site, our summary task. It now has a
duration of six days because its five days followed by one day.
The other thing you may already have noticed about Prepare site is that theres a little wedgy
thing there next to the word Prepare and if I click on that wedge what happens is the summary
task is collapsed and it just appears as a summary task. Now youre going to always know its a
summary task because its bold, its got that little wedge to indicate that its a summary task, and
in fact the shape that appears in the Gantt Chart is different. Now as well see later we can
certainly customize the way that summary tasks look in the Gant Chart but for the moment by
default theyre the tell-tell signs that tell me that Im dealing with a summary task here. Let me
just expand it out again because I want to put in another subtask within the Prepare site summary
task.
So Ive selected Lay foundation. In fact, Im going to put two more tasks in here. This time Im
going to use the command in the Insert Group on the Task tab. Im just going to click it twice to
insert two new tasks. The first new task is In ground plumbing, so this is basically all of the pipe
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
work thats going on underneath the house; thats the first part. And then for the second one Im
going to put the task Excavation. That just covers anything else that needs to be done underneath
the house before I start working on the foundations. Now the In ground plumbing, Im going to
allow just two days for and the Excavation two days for as well. Tick that and notice that
because I havent put the dependencies in yet, I still need to set those up. Link and my Prepare
site task now has its original duration of 10 days. But Ive now got all of the constituent tasks
that make it up.
Now what I want to do is to look at some of the dependencies that exist within this schedule
now.
If I select Task 6 which is Lay foundation, what I want to do now is to put it into Split View so
that I can look at some of the properties of Task 6. So on the View tab click on Details and that
shows me by default the task form. You probably noticed before that the task form can take
different forms. If I right click within that form while its displayed, I can choose which of the
tables or combinations of tables of data are shown. If I wanted to say see resources and
predecessors, if I select that on the contextual menu I see here the resources that are used. There
are none currently used in Lay foundation, and the only predecessor is Prepare site. Now the
important thing here is that prepare site is itself a summary task and since all of these other tasks,
subtasks, Demolition; Set out site; In ground plumbing; Excavation, are all subtasks of Prepare
site, there is no need for me to setup a dependency between those individual subtasks and the
task Lay foundation. Now I certainly wouldnt want to lay the foundations of my house before
Id done the in ground plumbing, so I put in all the waste pipes, water supply, etc. But I dont
need to worry about that because these subtasks are all within the Prepare site summary task and
the whole of the Prepare site summary task is a predecessor of Lay foundation.
Now I need to point out one or two other important things to you about summary tasks, but one
thing I want to point out now, although we will be coming back to it in more detail later on, is
that when youre dealing with a summary task like this one, Prepare site, you wouldnt normally
work out what resources you need for Prepare site itself. You would normally work out the
resources you need for each of the subtasks, and then effectively the resources for the summary
task are the sort of rolled up total of all of those resources; but more on resources later on. For
the moment, I want to concentrate on actually setting up the summary task and in particular
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Project 2013
looking at dependencies. So Im just going to get rid of that task form for the moment and Im
going to now turn my attention to one of the other tasks which is Fit windows and doors.
Now Im going to split that job up into two parts. Im going to have a Fit windows part and a Fit
doors part just to demonstrate something in particular. So Ill select Task 9 and then on the Task
tab, Ill click on Insert task twice and Im going to say Fit doors and Ill say Fit windows. Now
Im going to select Task 9 and Task 10, both of them, and then Im going to indent them to make
them subtasks. I can select as many of those I like and indent them. What Ive now got is that
Fit windows and doors is a summary task and it has two subtasks.
Now let me select the Fit windows task, right click, click on Insert task, and this time Im going
to say Ground floor doors, tick, indent, and now Fit doors is actually itself a summary task within
Fit windows and doors. Lets put another one of those summary tasks in there. You can
probably guess whats coming next, and this demonstrates that you can have summary tasks
operating at multiple levels. So in this case we could separate out the task of fitting the ground
floor doors and fitting the upper floor doors and, of course, those two tasks could be further
broken down into the individual doors if I wanted to. What you choose as the level to which
youre preparing this schedule is a very subjective thing and if I say now split out the ground
floor doors and I put in six separate subtasks there for Ground floor door 1, Ground floor door 2,
Ground floor door 3. Theres absolutely no reason I shouldnt do that but its going to start to
become quite an unwieldy project. Whether you need to do that or not will be very subjective. It
will very much depend on your approach and the requirements of your particular project. But
clearly you could do that and you can have summary tasks operating at multiple nested levels.
So having split Fit windows and doors into the subtasks of Fit doors and Fit windows, and then
further subdivided each of those, what Im now going to do is to put in the proper time estimates
for each of those jobs. So I reckon the ground floor doors to be four days work. I reckon the
upper floor doors to be two days work. The ground floor windows three days; the upper floor
windows three days, giving me a total of 12 days work for our carpenter. Now the number of
doors we set at nine so were now talking about five doors on the ground floor and four doors on
the upper floor. And the number of windows is 12; that should be six windows on the ground
floor and six windows on the upper floor, so an even split.

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Project 2013
Now the next thing that Id like you to do, this is your exercise. Im going to save this as
example_09. I would like you to allocate those resources to the subtasks. They wont be
allocated to the summary tasks at either level. Theyll be allocated at the subtasks. So the doors
are five on the ground floor, four on the upper floor. The windows are 12 in total and there are
six on the ground floor and six on the upper floor. And then in the next section what were going
to do is to look at the scheduling issues here because in theory, we could be fitting say the upper
floor doors while were fitting the upper floor windows; ground floor doors while were doing
the ground floor windows. But there is another factor. It isnt only down to dependencies. Its
also down to resources and if weve only got one carpenter on the job, were going to need to
make sure that we get the carpenter working on those jobs in the right sequence. And so were
going to look at scheduling next.
But just to summarize that task again. Im going to save this as example_09 and youre going to
allocate the windows and doors as I just said. Dont worry about putting the tasks in sequence
because thats what were going to do in the next section. My answer to this question is
example_10 in the supplied files.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 15 Scheduling
Video: Scheduling
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going
to start to look at scheduling which is probably the fundamental aspect of Microsoft Project 2013
for most people. And what we mean by scheduling is to take all of the information weve got
about our project and the tasks in it, and coming up with a sequence of events that satisfies all
sorts of criteria. Even if we dont have an end date in mind, lets take our building project for
example. If were not specifically aiming at an end date, when we start it will normally be the
case that well want to get the job finished as quickly as possible. If youre building houses, its
obviously a high priority to get those houses on the market, sold, and moving on to your next job
as quickly as you can. So what scheduling is about is taking a load of facts and producing a
working schedule that makes best use of the resources available and gets the job done in a timely
manner. So let me talk first about some of the key factors that come into play when were
scheduling, and lets start with resources.
Whatever sort of project youre working on there will be limitations on resources. If you look at
our house build example which is still pretty straightforward, if you look at this row here, the
Build walls task, we have a brick layer allocated. Now if I had two or three brick layers maybe I
could get the building of those walls done more quickly. But if I really have only one or Ive got
two, then it really is going to constrain you quickly I can do some parts of the job. Having said
that, putting just dozens and dozens of brick layers on wont necessarily reduce the time taken to
build walls proportionally. Theres a balance. Theres an ideal number. And sometimes other
factors will come in when it comes to the availability of resources. For instance, if I wanted to
get those walls built more quickly, I might put my brick layer on overtime pay, but then
obviously thats going to increase the cost of building the house. So resource availability itself is
quite a complex issue. If you look at the question of bricks for example, then assuming that
weve got a good supply for bricks, the number of bricks available isnt generally going to be a
constraint as such, but it is important that the bricks are available on site by the date that we need
to start using them.

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Project 2013
Another very important factor in scheduling is the presence of dependencies. So for example, at
the moment weve got a pretty straightforward dependency between building walls and fitting
windows and door, and that is that we cant start fitting the windows and doors until weve built
the walls. Thats actually a bit over simplistic and were going to review that dependency later
on. But its certainly true that you cant start fitting any windows and doors until youve done a
certain amount of brick work. You couldnt start fitting the windows and doors at the same
moment that you started building the walls because youd have no walls to fit the windows and
doors to. So dependencies can play an important part as well.
Another factor that we havent looked at, at all yet but which well come to in a later section is
what are generally referred to as constraints. Within a project you may, for example, have a
constraint whereby a certain task has to be finished by a certain date or some external factor
which occurs at or by a certain date will affect your project. When this happens, you may have
one or more tasks with constraints on them. So for instance, something cant start until the 1st of
May or something has to be finished by the 30th of June.
Perhaps the most important factor to bear in mind when you are looking at scheduling a project
though is that it is potentially a complex process. That doesnt necessarily mean that its difficult
to do but what it does mean is that you need to understand many of the factors involved in
scheduling in order to do it in a way that suits your project and your requirements. What Id like
to do in this section is to look at some of the important underlying factors, and then in the next
section were going to look at something called leveling. But lets begin with those important
factors.
And the first thing I want to look at is this copy of example_10 which is the building project
where weve got a couple of summary tasks, and within those summary tasks Ive correctly
allocated some of the physical resources that are needed. Now if I look in Fit windows and
doors and just expand that summary task notice something. I allocated carpenter to all four of
those tasks. Ive got the right numbers of doors and the right numbers of windows and in the left
hand column in the table with the Gantt Chart, the entry table in this case, notice the little red
person symbols. Now in that I column, this is basically indicators column that I havent
mentioned before, thats going to show us any issues, any problems that weve got and we can
see that we have a problem here. And the problem that we have thats indicated by the red
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Project 2013
person symbol is that we have a resource allocation issue. Now notice that actually in this
indicator column against one of the tasks, say, Task 14, Ive actually got two messages. The first
message says This task has a start note earlier than constraint on Tuesday, April 2nd. I talked
about constraints just now and were going to come back to constraints in a later section. For the
moment I dont really want to worry about constraints. This is basically there because of when
the task was added to the schedule and it doesnt really affect the scheduling as such that were
doing now. I want to concentrate on the resource aspects of scheduling in this section to begin
with.
The second message: This task has overallocated resources. Right click for options. Thats the
one that I particularly want to look at so lets right click and what we get is a contextual menu,
many things we can do there, but right at the top we have Fix in Task Inspector. Reschedule to
available date. Now if I were manually going to resolve any scheduling issues here I could do,
for instance, Reschedule to available date. Now I want you to watch very carefully what
happens if I choose that option. Notice that the carpenter, we can see that the carpenter is going
to be the person who is overallocated because thats the person thats working on all four of
those tasks. Watch what happens to that last of the carpenter tasks if I choose Reschedule to
available date. You can see that the carpenter moves out to the next available date when he or
she will not be overallocated. So basically the second, the upper floor windows task, is now
going to be later than the ground floor doors task. Now it may well be that that completely
solves your overallocation problem, it may not be. But one important aspect of what weve just
done is that we have manually resolved an issue.

Weve gone in and said Im going to

reschedule that particular task. Now on a small project that may be a perfectly good way of
doing it and in fact even with a big project it may be a perfectly good way of doing it. But if you
are dealing with a big project, the chances are that you dont want to manually intervene on
every one of the overallocation issues and were going to talk about a more general and
automated approach to solving these problems as we go along in the rest of the course. But if
you look at the other three tasks that the carpenter is involved in you can see weve still got
overallocation symbols on those three and we would have to go through now and do the same
thing on two more of those in order to completely resolve the overallocation issues with the
carpenters time.

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Project 2013
Okay, Ive put that task back to where it was. So Ive still got overallocation on all four of those
tasks. We shouldnt lose sight of another way of resolving this overallocation issue and if I
switch to Resource Sheet View and look at carpenter, one of the ways of resolving this is to
change that 100% to 400% and say that Ive actually got four carpenters. If I now go back into
Gantt View, of course, I have no overallocation because Ive got four carpenters. They can all
work on one task each and Ive got no further overallocation. That isnt always possible and it
isnt always economical but if you can do that, thats a very simple way of overcoming
scheduling problems.
So what Ive shown you there are a couple of simple ways of overcoming scheduling problems.
When your projects are quite large and complex, it might be the case that you very rarely get the
sort of scheduling problems that can be solved with those kinds of simple solution. But it is very
important always to bear the simple solutions in mind.

It may well be that manually

rescheduling one or two tasks or just getting some extra resource for a period of time can solve a
scheduling problem. And rather than make the scheduling extremely complex and trying to
make a schedule fit when its just destined not to, just getting a little bit of extra resource or
perhaps looking for the simple solution is very often the best way of solving scheduling issues.
So now Im back to this particular house build task at the way it was before, number 14 there. If
I again do what I did before, so right click on that and say Reschedule to available date, it moves
that task out and removes the overallocation as it did before. But now I want to open that task up
and look at the task information.
The important thing here is according to the task information on the General tab that is still an
auto scheduled task. So although Project 2013 has rescheduled it for me, in order to remove the
resource allocation that is not the same as manually scheduling the task. I may have gone
through and manually decided which task I want to resolve the overallocation on but it hasnt
made it into a manually scheduled task. The reason thats extremely important is that as I
progress with this project, I add other tasks. I record whats actually happened and so on. It may
be necessary for Project 2013 to reschedule that particular task again, and all the time that tasks
are auto scheduled, then Project 2013 can do a lot of the work for you in terms of resolving any
scheduling problems, including resource overallocation issues.

If I changed it to being a

manually scheduled task, so if I actually clicked on manually scheduled, said OK, and made it a
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
manually scheduled task, then having scheduled it for the dates its currently scheduled for
Project 2013 will not try to reschedule it for me whatever needs to be done. From that point
onwards this task is a manually scheduled task and its up to me to adjust it. If it finished up
with a resource overallocation because it was clashing with something else, Project 2013
wouldnt reschedule that task for me. I would have to resolve everything myself. Now this is a
situation that can be an advantage and it can be a disadvantage. It can be an advantage in that if
youve got certain tasks, certain things in your project that must happen on a certain day or in a
certain week or by a certain time and you really want to fix those make them manually
scheduled, then Project 2013 will not reschedule them for you.

On the other hand, once

something is manually scheduled, then it really does mean that Project 2013 will not try to solve
problems with it by moving it for you. So once something is manually scheduled its all up to
you. You can, of course, change something back from being manually scheduled to auto
scheduled but you need to be aware of which are which.
And one more thing to bear in mind, and this will also mean a little bit more to you later on in
the course, there is a way of fixing something in time even if its an auto scheduled task. Im
going to talk about constraints later on, but let me just open up that upper floor windows task
again, change it back to auto scheduled, and if I go to the Advanced tab one of the options on the
Advanced tab is Constraint type. If I really want to force an auto scheduled task to start on a
certain date, then I can just click in here, choose Must start on, and then specify the date that it
must start on and that will also fix the start date for that task without making it manually
scheduled, but more on the use of constraints for that type of purpose later on in the course. For
the moment, Im going to change that back to being an auto scheduled task with a constraint of
Start as soon as possible.
So as Im sure you can already see scheduling can be quite a complex process and there are no
absolute rules in terms of what is the best way to go about it for any particular type of project.
But one of the things that you can very often use to really substantially solve a lot of scheduling
issues is resource leveling and thats what were going to look at in the next section. So please
join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 16 Leveling
Video: Basics of Leveling
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In last section we looked
at some of the basic ideas behind scheduling. In this section were going to look at leveling
which is a process whereby we level the resources on a project or at least try to. We try to get to
a situation where none of the resources are overallocated. Now what Im going to do in this
section is to demonstrate leveling first and then to discuss exactly whats happened and how we
control it. So lets get started.
Were still looking at the same schedule and in this case weve got four resource overallocations
for the carpenter. In order to demonstrate leveling, what Im going to do though is to change the
view and were going to bring up a particular variant on the Gantt Chart. So click on Gantt
Chart, come to More Views, and one of the views there is Leveling Gantt. So apply the Leveling
Gantt View. Now when you look at the Leveling Gantt one of the columns you can see in the
table is this column, leveling delay, and the basic thing that happens when you level a project or
part of a project is that leveling delay is adding to some of the tasks. Now when you see a time
period like the time period, you can see here edays; you can also get things like eweeks, its
elapsed. So an eday is a 24-hour elapsed period. It doesnt relate to the number of working
hours in a day, for example. Its just an elapsed period. So if something has a leveling delay of
three edays, it means that task has been delayed by three elapsed days. Its moved later in our
schedule.
When you first look at a new project or one that hasnt been leveled before anyway, then all of
the leveling delays will normally be set to zero edays and when you perform leveling, then some
of the tasks will get a leveling delay added to them. So what Im going to do now is to level this
project and youll see what effect that has. Notice at the moment that weve still got these four
carpenter tasks over here. Weve still got the four red markers to indicate overallocation.
So let do some leveling. Lets go to the Resource tab an in the Level Group on the Resource tab
right in the middle theres a button that says Level All, and this will level the entire project.
Now generally speaking you wouldnt necessarily level an entire project. Youd probably level
part of it, maybe just over some time period or for one or two resources, but lets do a Level All

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
to see what happens. Now when weve done a level all here, what actually happens is that we
find that some of the tasks have leveling delays defined. Upper floor doors has got a 15 eday,
elapsed day leveling delay. Now what that means if you look at the relevant part of the Gantt
Chart on the right is that the little green block is where the task originally was and the blue block
is where it is now, and that represents a 15 elapsed day delay. Similarly, if you look at ground
floor windows thats got a seven elapsed day delay and upper floor windows has got a 12 elapsed
eday delay. Notice that all of the overallocation markers have gone. So Project 2013 has
successfully removed all of the overallocations on this project. Now I havent talked so far about
end dates and so on but Im sure you can realize from this that it will have effectively pushed
back the end date of our project because weve delayed some of the tasks within the project.
That wont always happen though, but very often it will.
Now notice that we were only getting overallocations for the carpenter, but because we said level
all, all of the project has been leveled. So, even some of the tasks like Lay foundation which
arent jobs that the carpenter was working on and didnt have an overallocation problem have
been leveled. Of course, the leveling delay is zero edays but you can still see the green and blue
blocks there just emphasizing the fact that there was no delay added to this task. To undo the
affects of leveling you could just use the Undo button. But within the Level Group there is also a
Clear Leveling button which basically clears all the leveling thats been done on a selected part
of the project. So lets just say clear leveling. Entire project or selected tasks? Well go for
entire project and basically thatll put things back to the way that they were.
Now lets look at another approach. Lets click this time on Level Resource and what that does
is to give us a list of resources for the project and we can choose a specific resource like in this
case Carpenter and click on Level Now and what happens is that just the task for which the
carpenter is a resource is subject to leveling. As before, the leveling has removed all of the
overallocations.
So what I want to look at next are the leveling options which are also accessible from the Level
Group on the Resource tab. So click on Leveling Options and you get the Resource Leveling
dialog and were going to go through this starting at the top. Some of these options take a little
bit of explanation. Right at the top the first one, Leveling calculations, you have a choice of
automatic or manual and I have this currently set at manual and, in fact, I pretty much always
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
have this set at manual. If you have it set at automatic, then while youre working on your
project, Project 2013 will be leveling the resources for you. I find that this can be incredibly
annoying really because until youve got the project in you may not have made final decisions
about who to allocate resources to and sometimes until you can see the whole picture, its
difficult to make specific decisions about individual tasks in terms of resource assignments. So
for example, if Ive got a general resource called Carpenter but maybe Ive got three named
carpenters, I may want to put carpenter on each of the tasks for which a carpenter is needed and
then decide who does which job later. Having allocated the resource carpenter to each of those
tasks, it will probably get pretty much overallocated straightaway. But, of course, thats only a
temporary measure until I assign the named carpenters. Now you may choose to work with
leveling calculation set to automatic, thats entirely up to you, but I generally have it set at
manual all of the time.
Now the next option says Look for overallocations on a, and then you have a drop down where
you can choose between minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by
month basis.

When you allocate resources to the various tasks in your project, you will

sometimes find that somebody appears to be overallocated and they arent really. Let me give
you an example. Lets suppose that you have a particular resource whos allocated for 50% of
their time in a particular week to do a particular task, so half of their time is being used
throughout the week to do a task. So theyre certainly not overallocated if they dont have any
other tasks. But lets suppose that that resource has to take a day off say to go to the doctors. So
the person is working four days and at the doctors on one day. Now during that four days, that
person can quite easily do the five half days of work, the two and a half days of work that youve
got allocated. But the problem is that according to the schedule on one day, they cant do that
half day. Now you and I know that they can spread the half they cant do because theyre at the
doctors over the rest of the week but Project 2013 doesnt necessarily know that. It cant make
those sorts of assumptions itself. Now if we look for overallocations on a day by day basis,
Project 2013 in that situation would find a problem because it would say that person whos
scheduled to work on that task for half of their time cant do any of it on that particular day
because theyre at the doctors. Their calendar says that theyre not available. But we know that
they can spread the work out over the week. Now in that situation if we looked for allocations
on a week by week basis, there wouldnt be a problem because Project would add up what
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Project 2013
theyve got allocated for the week, so theyve got two and a half days of actual work, thats 50%
of a five day week and a day at the doctor. So two and a half plus one, thats three and a half
days in a five day working week; there isnt an overallocation.
Now how you do this and which of these options you choose will very much depend on you,
your project, and your approach to resource leveling. I tend on this sort of project that takes a
period of weeks or months, I would tend to have overallocations looked for on a week by week
basis. But were going to run with day by day at the moment and then well look at one or two
of the problems that occur as we come across them later on.
Now lets look at the next option which is a checkbox, Clear leveling values before leveling.
Youve already seen that the way that leveling works is to add a leveling delay and what you can
do by having that checkbox checked is that each time that Project 2013 tries to level your project
or a selected part of your project, it begins by clearing the leveling that its done before and
effectively starting from scratch. Now the significance of that will become more apparent later
on but I generally work on the principle that I clear leveling values before leveling, so I ask it to
make a fresh start. It still has all the rules in place, the resource availability may have changed,
tasks may have changed, introduced, deleted, completed and so on, so I generally tend to find
that starting from scratch with that on any particular occasion gives better results. But again its
partly a matter of personal preference.
Now roughly in the middle of the Resource Leveling dialog there we have a couple of options
where we can decide whether to level the entire project or whether to level a selected date range.
Weve seen that before.

But below that we have options related to how to resolve

overallocations and the rules to follow when resolving overallocations. Now these rules related
to resolving overallocations you need to understand pretty well so were going to concentrate on
those in the next section.
Thats it for this one. Ill see you then.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Leveling Order; Resolving Resource Overallocations


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this previous section we started looking
at leveling, covered some of the basics of how to level all or part of a project, and we got to the
leveling options regarding how to resolve overallocations. In this section were going to
concentrate on the last batch of those options and were going to start by looking at leveling
order which is a very important option to understand.
Now in the Resource Leveling dialog in the Leveling Order control there are three options: ID
only, Standard, and Priority, comma, Standard which means priority followed by standard. By
default that is set at standard and standard is the setting that was used when I leveled this project
before. Now in standard what Project 2013 does is to look at a number of factors including
dependencies, dates, and priorities in order to determine which tasks to delay in order to resolve
resource overallocations. If you look at what actually happened here, let me just move that
dialog out of the way, we had four tasks to begin with: ground floor doors, upper floor doors,
ground floor windows, and upper floor windows. They were all starting on the same date. It
delayed three of them and the one that it delayed the most was upper floor doors. It delayed
ground floor windows by seven elapsed days and upper floor windows by 12 elapsed days.
Elapsed days will include weekends. Now why it did that, its a function of the calculation that it
does. But lets look at the impact of these other options on how they would have approached the
leveling here. Lets first of all look at ID only.
In the case of ID only, the way that resource leveling works is to base it purely on the IDs of the
tasks. The higher the ID the more likely a task is to be delayed. So the task near the beginning
of the project will tend to be the ones that keep their timescales and the ones later on will be the
ones that tend to be delayed. Now you may remember me mentioning right near the beginning
of the course that in effect the sequence of the tasks in terms of how they appear in the project
schedule isnt really important, but this is one of those aspects where it is in that by implication
here the tasks that have higher ID numbers, the ones that are lower down if you like in your
chart, are the ones that are generally going to be later and therefore the ones that generally youre
going to be more likely to be prepared to delay when you have resource overallocation issues.
So that is one situation in which there is some significance in the position of a task within the list

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Project 2013
of project tasks. And it also is another reason to, generally speaking, have the earlier tasks near
the beginning of the project.
So what Im going to do now is to make sure that Ive got that ID only selected and Im going to
clear the existing leveling for the entire project. And now when I level the entire project, I
should see the ID only option take effect. So click on Level All and what happens this time is
that the leveling delay thats added to the tasks which were overallocated is strictly in order of
ID. So the task with ID 10 is not delayed at all, 11 is delayed by seven elapsed days, 13 by nine
elapsed days, 14 by 14 elapsed days. And now my overallocations have gone and Ive used the
option of ID based leveling.
Now lets look at incorporating priority into leveling. So what Im going to do here is to clear
the existing leveling for the entire project, then Im going to choose one of the tasks. What about
ground floor windows? Double click to open up the task information and Im going to give that
task a priority of 520, so a slightly higher priority than all of the other tasks within my project.
Click on OK. Now go into Leveling Options and in the leveling order Im going to select the
third option which is Priority, comma, Standard, click on OK, and now let me do a level all. And
what youll now find is that the task with the higher priority which is ground floor windows,
Task 13, is now the one that doesnt get delayed. The other three tasks all have the same priority
as each other so the order in which they are leveled is the standard order which, in this case,
means that ground floor doors happens first, then upper floor windows, and then upper floor
doors. So thats the three options for leveling order.
Now lets look at the other options within the resolving overallocation section of the Resource
Leveling dialog.
First of all, we have level only within available slack. Now we havent talked about slack yet.
Were going to talk about that in a subsequent section when we talk about the critical path. But
basically if you have this checked, Level only within available slack, Project 2013 is constrained
to leveling in such a way that you dont delay the overall project. Some of the tasks which are
overallocated or which share overallocated resource it may be possible to delay without delaying
the overall project. And basically if you have this option checked, theyre the only ones that
Project 2013 is going to add a leveling delay to. So it will only level tasks where you dont

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Project 2013
affect the end date. Now at the moment I dont have that checked so that means that leveling in
the case of the project Im working on here could involve delaying the overall project. Well talk
about slack later on and then I think this option will mean a lot more to you.
Now to fully understand the next option youre going to need to know a little bit more about how
work is distributed in a task. Im going to come back to that later on. But basically what this
option here, Leveling can adjust individual assignments on a task, what that means is that
leveling is allowed to adjust one resources work schedule on a task independently of other
resources that are working on the same task. Now in some situations that may be reasonable and
in others it may not.
And the next one also may be reasonable in some circumstances and not in others. Leveling can
create splits in remaining work. Lets suppose that youre partway through a task, youve done
say half of a task and you have a resource overallocation issue. Generally speaking, because the
task is started, then Project 2013 wont be able to reschedule the start date of the task because its
already started. But if you allow Project 2013 to split a task what it can do is to spread it into
two. The work thats completed is completed, so its in the past. And the work that remains to
be done effectively forms a new task that can be leveled, so it can have a leveling delay added to
it and that work can be moved off into the future. Now given the type of work that you do, the
type of projects you manage and the type of task, it may or may not be reasonable for you to
allow that when youre working on your projects.
Now the last two options here Im going to deal with quite quickly. One of them, Level
resources with the proposed booking type, there are booking types and one of them is propose.
This is where youve got a request to use a resource but you havent actually got a committed
resource assignment yet. Were not going to be talking about propose booking types on this
course but if you do use propose booking types, then you can see here whether those proposed
bookings should be included in the resource leveling calculations. Bear in mind that with a
proposed booking you may not have confirmed it, you may not know whether youre actually
going to have that task or indeed the relevant resource working on that task.
The last option, Level manually scheduled tasks. Weve talked about manually scheduled task.
If you want to include manually scheduled tasks within resource leveling, then make sure this

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Project 2013
checkbox is checked and the resources used on manually scheduled tasks will be rolled into the
leveling process with the ones that are in the auto scheduled tasks as well.
So thats pretty much it on the Resource Leveling dialog and theres just one other thing I want
to show you in relation to leveling. Let me just clear this leveling again one more time, clear it
for the whole project, go back and select the first task again. One of the things that you can do is
to step through the leveling requirements for a project using the Next overallocation button in the
Level Group on the Resource tab. So if I click on Next overallocation, it takes me to the next
overallocation. Of course, in this project, which is quite a small, simple project, we only have
four and theyre all for the same resource. But if you just want to step from overallocation to
overallocation, look at each particular situation, and maybe resolve it manually or at least
consider whether its appropriate to resolve it in an automatic way the next overallocation can
help you with that.
And then also if you want to take a look at overallocations and what the shape of them is, dont
forget if we go back to View we can go to the Resource Usage View or Resource Graph. Lets
go to Resource Usage. In tabular form, you can identify whether resource overallocations are. If
you look at the list of resources here, you can see that carpenter has a nice yellow warning sign
there. This resource is overallocated. A list of the tasks that that resource is working on and
then if I step through I can find red wherever there is a resource overallocation. So in this case,
in that particular week we have 88 hours work scheduled for the carpenter against the
background working week of 40 hours. And of course, lets just have one quick look then at the
Resource Graph, apply the resource graph, lets find carpenter. We can see overallocated in red
there and again if we step through its easy to see where the overallocation occurs.
So thats it on resource leveling for now and thats it in this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 17 Critical Path and Milestones


Video: Critical Tasks; Critical Filter
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going
to look at the critical path for a project.
So, first of all, what is the critical path of a project and why is it important? The critical path is
the set of tasks that must be completed for the project to be completed on schedule. Even with a
project thats not particularly big, there are usually some tasks that could be delayed without
affecting the overall end date or duration of a project. But theres also a set of tasks that cant be
delayed and that set of tasks is the critical path and its normally a sequence of tasks that are
from the beginning of the project right through to the end of the project. With virtually every
project you deal with, itll be important to know what the critical path is. And the first thing
were going to do in this section is to see how to identify the critical path of a project.
Now what Ive done is to add a few more details to our building project. So Ive added some
subtasks under Lay foundation and some subtasks under Build walls and under Fit roof. So Ive
still got my five summary tasks but each of them now has a number of subtasks, and if I expand
each of those you see that the project is beginning to grow in size.
On the Gantt Chart Tools Format tab, one of the options is a checkbox in the Bar Styles Group
for critical tasks. And if you click on this checkbox, you will show the critical tasks of the
project in red. So click there are you can see that everything under Prepare site, everything
under Lay foundation, everything under Build walls, its all red which means they are all critical
tasks. If I go down to the bottom, everything under Fit roof is critical as well. In fact, the only
tasks that arent critical are the Fit windows and doors task. Now in words the reason for that is
that in effect Fit windows and doors happens in parallel according to this schedule with the task
of fitting the roof and because the fitting a roof task takes longer, the fitting doors and fitting
windows task could take a little longer than we intend without having the overall project delayed.
Now, of course, at this stage Im still looking at a version of this schedule where I have resource
overallocation issues. And if I now level the resource, lets see if my critical path changes. So
Im going to go to the Resource tab. Im going to say Level all. It levels the tasks for the
carpenter who was the only overallocated resource and those tasks are still blue. So the red

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Project 2013
tasks, the ones that were critical are still critical and the blue tasks, the ones that were noncritical
are still noncritical.
Now its very important to know at any time when youre working on a project which the critical
path and which the critical tasks are because theyre the ones that you must complete on schedule
in order for the project to finish on the currently planned finish date, whereas for the noncritical
tasks such as ground floor doors here, weve got what is called slack. We can actually have a
certain amount of delay on that task without delaying the overall project. And its slack that
were going to look at next.
Now again if I go to the Gantt Chart Tools Format tab and look in that Bar Styles Group, there is
a checkbox there which can show a line to represent slack in a task. Now lets enable slack in
this view. For each of the critical tasks, the red ones, there is no slack. But if you look at say
this blue ground floor doors task here, you can see a little line coming out of the bottom of it.
That line denotes the slack. And basically all four of those blue tasks have slack that takes them
up to a deadline; effectively its the deadline that would correspond to the point that the roof is
finished. So right up to the time that the finishing of the roof is done which on the current
schedule is the end of the building of the house, those could be delayed right up until then
without affecting the end date. So were basically working on the principle that, say, in the case
of ground floor doors, theres quite a lot of slack available there. And in the case of this one,
ground floor windows, quite a bit of slack as well, the others have less slack.
Now apart from showing slack like this on the Gantt Chart, dont forget you can always show in
the table that sort of property of a task. So let me just right click here on task work, do insert
column. Let me just scroll down here and one of the fields is Finish slack. And you can see
what the finish slack is for each of my noncritical tasks, how much the finish of that task could
be delayed by without delaying the overall finish of the project. So, again, a very useful way to
use the ability to customize the shown table to show the numbers that correspond to the bars in
the bar chart there, in the Gantt Chart, that show the available slack in each of those noncritical
tasks.
Now if you have a very big project, it can be quite difficult to see all of the critical path in view
at once and you may have odd critical tasks all over the project. Apart from the ability to flag

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Project 2013
the critical task by showing them red as we did here, another thing you can do is to use a filter in
the Gantt Chart. And in fact filtering in general in a Gantt Chart is a pretty useful thing to be
able to do. So what Im going to do here is just switch off the slack in the Gantt Chart for the
moment, and what Im going to do is to go to the View tab and in the View tab one of the groups
there is the Data Group. We already looked at tables in the Data Group, but we also have here
the ability to filter. Now at the moment, no filter is applied but if I want to just show specific
tasks in this Gantt Chart, I can apply one of the standard filters. Click on the drop down to the
right there for a standard filter and one of the standard filters is critical. Amongst the other filters
we have tasks that are active, ones that are in progress at the moment, tasks that are complete,
tasks that are not completed, ones that are currently running late, milestones, summary tasks, a
number of others, and you can actually create filters of your own. But at the moment, were just
going to look at critical and well be dealing with one or two of those other filters later on. So
lets just show the critical tasks.
Now what that then means is that we lose the noncritical tasks and we can identify just the
critical ones and you can see the sequence of those through the life of this project. So although I
only have some of the tasks for the house building project here, Ive got enough really to talk
about the fundamental work that were going to do over the next few sections of the course.
Typically in a situation with a project like this one, one of our objectives will be to shorten the
critical path.
We currently start work on a certain date. Lets bring up the timeline which will tell us that
currently we start on April 2nd and we finish on June 5th, and one of the requirements we may be
given is we want to finish that by the end of May. Now how can I shorten a critical path?
Shortening the critical path is something that a project manager will do quite a lot when theyre
using Microsoft Project. Now there are a few basic possibilities but if we start at the very
highest level of possibilities given the critical path as it is now, you can either shorten some of
these tasks, so a task like demolition five days. Could I do it in four days? A task like footings
and slabs three days. Could I do in two days? And so on. And by reducing the duration of the
tasks, I can reduce the length of the critical path or I can change the relationships between the
tasks. Generally speaking, at the moment none of these critical tasks overlap each other. But is
the process of building this house such that some of these could overlap each other? Could I

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
start building the upper floor walls before I finish the ground floor walls? Some of these
questions are sort of theoretical questions in a way and you might well say well, how can you
possibly start building the upper floor walls before you finish the ground floor walls? And some
of them may be a combination of theoretical and practical in that you might say well in fact, you
could but what if youve only got one brick layer? He cant do both. So maybe your resources
will constrain what you can do anyway, and its very difficult to generalize about what can and
what cannot be overlapped. But if we look at this particular building project which is what were
going to do a little bit later on, we can look at specific tasks within it and based on what needs to
be done and based on the resources that we have available, we can look at opportunities to
overlap some of the tasks. So weve got making the tasks shorter and weve got overlapping the
tasks.
Now when we talk about making tasks shorter, it isnt only about reducing the amount of work.
Its often more about reducing the elapsed time for tasks. So it might be five days work but
could we do five days work in three days? And then we look at options like what about working
overtime? So in each of these situations there are very practical considerations and theres
usually at least two or three different approaches to achieve a specific objective.
So having identified the critical path in our project, now lets start looking at some of the ways
that we can reduce this critical path. Before we do that though, we need to look at a very special
kind of task which is a milestone and thats what were going to look at in the next section so Ill
see you then.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Milestones; Milestone Filter


Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going
to take a quick look at milestones which represent significant points in the life of a project and
are often represented as zero duration tasks.
Milestones are used for various purposes. You might use a milestone in a project just to act as
staging points for yourself as reference points, perhaps at points which you want to get together
with the rest of your team to celebrate having got to that milestone, but also to focus attention on
the work to be done during the next period of the project. Milestones are often associated with a
payment schedule for a project. So when a certain milestone has been achieved, then one of the
payments needs to be made.
Its also a very good way of reporting progress at management level on any project. And what
Im going to do here is just introduce a couple of simple milestones into our building project, and
the first milestone Im going to put in is going to be when the building is complete. So in order
to do that, Im going to remove the critical filter on the Gantt Chart and go back to no filter so I
can see all of the tasks. And then what Im going to do is to say that Ill consider the building
complete when the roof has been fitted. So Im going to put in a milestone here which is
Building complete, click on the duration. Note that by default it gets the same indentation level
as the task above it which is finishing within the Fit roof summary task. You can outdent a task
as well as indent it. So with that one selected, if I click on the Task tab and use that Outdent task
button and change the duration from one day question mark to zero days and then click tick on
the entry bar, and I have a milestone. By default, milestones are shown in a Gantt Chart as
diamonds rather than bars. And as I said just now this particular milestone is going to be
achieved when fitting the roof is complete. So if I select the Fit roof task, hold the Control key
down and select Building complete, I can create a link between those two.

There is my

milestone. Its June 5th and that is the building complete milestones.
So Im going to add one more milestone. Im going to put a milestone in for when the site
preparation is complete. What I could do here is to just insert a task just below where all of the
subtasks of Prepare site appear. But just to make things easier, one thing you can do which
avoids the need to do insert task and so on, you can always type a task right at the end like this.
So if I put a task in there saying Site prepared. Im going to make it into a milestone so Im
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
going to set its duration at zero days, and then what you can do is to drag it into position. Now
you can do this with the mouse or with your fingers if youre using a touch device. Im going to
do it with the mouse here but it works equally well with touch. Select that task, note the
crosshair cursor when youre using the mouse, drag it up to the position you want it. Note that as
I drag it, you see that thick horizontal black line that shows where the task will appear if I release
it. If I release it there and then do the outdent on it so that it becomes a separate task, then select
Prepare site, hold the Control key down and select Site prepared, click on the Link command,
and I now have Site prepared as a milestone that happens after the Prepare site summary task is
complete. So Ive setup two milestones; one for April 15th, one for June the 5th.
And on the View tab, one of the options in the Data Group there under the filters is a milestone
filter which would just show the milestones in your project. So if you just want a summary in
terms of project milestones, thats pretty useful as well. And of course, we just have those two
milestones in our project at the moment.
Now theres just one other thing to mention here about milestones. I said right at the beginning
of this section that, generally speaking, a milestone is a task of zero duration and thats how most
people use milestones. But within Project 2013, you can actually mark any task as a milestone
task and in the various types of milestone report or when weve got a milestone filter applied as
we have here a task will appear as a milestone. Lets just take an example of that. Lets switch
off the milestone filter here. Just go back to all of the tasks. Choose a task like this one,
Footings and slabs. Its actually a three day task. If I double click to open up the Task
Information dialog on the Advanced tab one of the checkbox options, bottom left hand corner,
there is Mark task as milestone. And if you select a task like this one, a three day task and mark
it as a milestone, click on OK, it maintains its duration of three days but it appears now as a
milestone, as a diamond within the Gantt Chart. To some extent that depends on the formatting
of the Gantt Chart thats in force at the time. But you can pretty much mark any task as a
milestone in Project 2013.
So thats it on milestones for now. Ill see you in the next section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 18 Notes
Video: Adding Notes to a Task and Resource
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going
to take a look at notes, and notes can be applied to either a task or to a resource in Project 2013.
Notes attach to a task or a resource in Project 2013 can be useful in many ways. One of the ways
that I most often use notes is if Im working on a project with other people and we cant share
contact information, we dont have access to a common Microsoft Exchange, we dont use
Office 365 or some other way of sharing contact information; sometimes quite useful to put the
contact information in a note on a resource in Project 2013. Similarly, for a task if theres a
particular set of instructions, maybe just a little reminder that something has to be done in a
particular way, you can easily attach a note to a task for that purpose.
So lets suppose that Im going to add a note about the demolition task here and what Im going
to do is Im going to double click on the demolition task to bring up the task information, and
then one of the tabs in the task information is Notes. And basically, I can just type myself a note
within the text area there; so let me do that now. So there we are. Ive typed in my basic note,
just really a reminder that Im going to contact Acme Demolition about doing this job for us. I
can do some pretty straightforward formatting on this note. So for instance, I could select these
three items and apply that, the bulleted list formatting to them. And if I wanted to change the
formatting of some of the characters, say, I want to make that short notice note there bold, click
on the little Font button there so I could make that bold. Click on OK. So theres simple
formatting available there. Theres also a button that enables me to insert an object. So I could
put a picture in there or attach a document of some sort. So having typed my little note and my
notes, in fact, tend to be a little bit less tidy than that one but theyre still useful. Click on OK
and the note now appears as a little yellow note icon in the indicator column there to the left of
the table in Project 2013 right next to my Gantt Chart.
Now from the point of view of reading that note, clearly I could open up the task information, the
icon there. The note icon tells anybody else looking at this project schedule that there is a note.
But if I just hover over it, then what I can see is a summary of the note. So if its a very short
note I might get it all there. But if not I at least get the first couple of lines. So you can see

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
there, notes, Planning to contact Acme Demolition about this, and then you can see that the note
carries on and what you could do then is to open up the task information and look at the longer
detailed version of that note. Generally speaking, whatever you have in that indicators column
youll see a summary of what all of the points are if you hover over the content of the indicator
column for a particular task.
So you can see how straightforward it is to add a note to a task. Lets now add a note to a
resource. So Im going to do this with touch. So if I use my finger to switch to Resource Sheet
View using one of the buttons on the status bar at the bottom there, that takes me to Resource
Sheet View. Im going to add a note about the door and say that I havent identified a supplier
for the door yet. So if I just tap on Door, that selects it; tap and hold, that brings up the mini
toolbar. Click on the drop down and one of the options there is Notes, click on Notes and that
takes me into the Resource Information dialog with the Notes tab selected and I can just tap in
there and just start typing. Tap on OK and there we are. Ive got a note against that resource
now.
And its pretty straightforward to get rid of a note. Lets suppose that Ive now identified a
supplier for the doors, I can just go into the resource information and just clear the content of the
note. Select all of the text, press the Delete key, click on OK, and the note has gone.
Now theres one other thing to briefly mention about notes. We havent looked at printing yet.
Were going to look at printing later on in the course. But when you do come to print a schedule,
some version of a schedule or a resource sheet, when you go into Print from Backstage View
which is as I say well look at later on. When you actually look at the settings for printing a
project, lets suppose were going to print the entire project. This is one of the options well see
here. One of the options that you have available here as a selectable option is whether you want
to print the notes when you print your project or in this case when you print your resource sheet.
So you often have the option of including notes when youre printing. Well come back to that
later on but I just wanted to point that out to you now so that you know that when you come to
do printing in many instances, you have the option of printing the notes or not.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
So, back to the schedule. Well go back to the Gantt Chart. Weve still got my note there about
demolition and thats notes in Project 2013. Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next
one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 19 Task Types and Effort Driven


Video: Fixed Task, Duration and Units
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going
to look at task types and at the difference between fixed work, fixed unit, and fixed duration
tasks and about the concept of whether tasks are effort driven or not. Its really essential to
understand what each of these mean in order to be able to plan your project successfully with
Project 2013 and also to understand how project scheduling works. Now were going to go
through each of these types in turn and Im going to start with a fixed work task because in some
ways this is the simplest one to describe.
Now in order to demonstrate this Ive created a scratch project. Its just called Task type demo.
And in this project Ive just created this single task. The task name is Fixed work task and its
type is fixed work. If I look at the task information for that task and go to the task type there,
fixed work, thats one of the three. Note that when fixed work is selected you cannot check or
uncheck effort driven. With a fixed work task basically theres a certain amount of work and
effort driven means that the more people work on the task the less time it will take to complete.
So were going to stick with that task. Ive currently got a resource, somebody lab, thats short
for laborer whos working on this fixed work task for four days, eight hour days. So the amount
of work is 32 hours. Thats the important thing. Its 32 hours fixed work.
Now let me just bring up the Assign Resources dialog and Im just going to put it out there
slightly out of the way. You can see there in Assign Resources laborer 100%. Ive got one
laborer. If I increase the number of laborers from one to two working on this task watch what
happens. The amount of work remains the same, 32 hours. Because Ive now got two laborers
working on it the duration becomes two days. Now theres a little warning sign over here and
Im going to come back to that warning sign in a moment. Lets just persevere with this. What
about three laborers working on the task? Now what happens? Its going to be, youve got it,
1.3 to 3 days; one and a third days. What about four laborers? And so on. The amount of work
has stayed the same, the duration has reduced because the number of resources has increased,
and thats basically what is involved in a fixed work task.

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Project 2013
Now there arent actually in real life that many tasks that are as quite as simple as that. The
principle is very important but the practice tends to be a little bit more complicated. For
instance, if you had the brick laying for a house to do and you estimated that one person could do
it in ten man days, its quite possible that two people could do it in five man days; twice the
number of people could do it in half the time. It might even be possible that five people could do
it in two days. But once you start increasing the number of resources, you increasingly get the
change that its not actually possible for that number of people to work as efficiently as a single
person does. If you like, theyll start getting in each others way. One will start waiting for one
of their colleagues to finish a part of the brick laying before they can do their part of it. So you
tend to get to the point where its not a simple equation of dividing the amount of work by the
number of resources. But its the principle that were interested in here and that is the principle
of a fixed work task. And to be fair, many other project managers that I work with tend to work
on the principle that when theyre adding additional resources to a fixed work task they may
actually increase by some small amount the total amount of work anyway to allow for the
additional work thats needed for the resources basically to work together on the task as a team.
So thats the principle of fixed work tasks.
Now there is something else in all of this that does complicate things a little and its an effort by
Microsoft I think to be helpful in Project 2013. In fact, it was introduced in earlier versions.
And that is that even if youre clear about how you want to manage task types and the issue of
how to distribute work amongst resources, even if youre comfortable with it, you know how to
do it, Microsoft Project 2013 does rather insist on being helpful. And youll get this little
warning message here and what that says is Click to set how the current assignments are adjusted
to accommodate the change in units. Now by its very nature, a fixed work task, if you increase
the number of resources working on it should reduce the duration of the task. But youre
actually given an option here, if you click on there it shows you the options are Change the
duration but keep the amount of work the same. Well, thats basically what happens with a fixed
work task and that is the option thats selected here. So if you dont look at that warning
message basically youre going to get what I believe is the correct behavior for a fixed work task.
But you do get effectively the alternative here which is by way of a warning to say actually Im
putting more or less resources on here. What I really want to do is to change the amount of work

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Project 2013
but keep the duration the same. Now if you really wanted to change the amount of work but
keep the duration the same, you shouldnt be using a fixed work task Im afraid. If you keep to
what might loosely be called the rules of how all this works, then these messages will usually
just recommend the default behavior anyway. But if youre not sure and you want to just check
in each case I suppose these messages can be useful. So Im going to ignore that message here
because it recommended the correct course of action anyway and now were going to have a look
at fixed duration tasks.
Were now looking at a fixed duration task. I have no resources assigned to it at the moment.
Im going to assign one resource. Ive also set effort driven as yes. So lets bring up the Assign
Resources dialog. Ive got three different laborers, Laborers 1, 2, and 3. Ive got the first one
selected. Click on Assign. Now the view Ive got is actually the Task Usage View at the
moment. So I can see that Laborer 1 is going to do 32 hours work in total out of a total of 32
hours and you can see how the work is split over the four day duration of the task, or at least you
can see part of it there. Now its a fixed duration task but it is related to effort. It does depend
on effort. So if I put an extra resource on to this task and the duration remains the same whats
the conclusion? Well, if youve got more people doing work on it and the durations the same,
each person must be doing less work. So lets assign Laborer 2 to the task this time. Click on
Assign. Notice the total amount of work is still 32 hours but the two people working on it,
Laborer 1 and Laborer 2, are only doing 16 hours work each over the period of four days, the
fixed duration of the task. So what happens here is that on each day, Laborer 1 does four hours
work on the task and Laborer 2 does four hours work on the task. If I introduce a third person,
assign the third person, then again the work is evenly distributed between the three resources. So
as you can see with an effort driven fixed duration task the durations the same, the work remains
the same, but by putting more people on it they can do less work each. Now you may not
particularly see a reason for having people do less work than they have the capacity to do but
what this can sometimes mean is that you can get part of somebodys time, maybe you cant use
that person full time on a task but you could maybe use a half or a quarter of their time to share
some of the work on a task and that would help to bring your schedule in just that little bit earlier
as well.

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Project 2013
Now this is the point where youve got to try not to glaze over as you watch the next bit. Were
still dealing with a fixed duration task but Ive changed it to effort driven no. That means that
there is no relationship between the amount of work and the duration. So it basically means I
can add as many resources as I like to this, the duration is fixed, all thats going to happen is the
amount of work in total is going to go up. Im not going to share a fixed amount of work
between a number of people, theres just going to be more work done. So lets do assign
resources here. Lets assign that second laborer again. Click on Assign. You should know
whats going to happen in that work column. Thats right, the total becomes 64 hours. This is
not effort driven or if you like effort related. All Ive done is Ive put two resources on it full
time and theyre both going to do 32 hours work on that task. Assign a third resource and so the
amount of work goes up. Sometimes if you have a particular task youre trying to do in three or
four days and theres just more work to do than you thought there was, you brought extra
resource on there. It doesnt reduce the timescale. It doesnt reduce the amount of work. In
fact, it greatly increases the amount of work but maybe it means that the task which turns out to
be more work than you thought it was can now get done on time. So thats a fixed duration task
that is not effort driven.
Now for the next task type, Im just going to insert a task into the schedule. And by default in
Project 2013 what we get when we insert a task is a fixed units task that is not effort driven. So
Im going to change this name and Im going to change the duration to four days like the others
and then Im going to look at the impact of changing the number of resources. Lets add one
resource. So I can right click, assign resources, lets assign Laborer 1, and of course the amount
of work is 32 hours being done by Laborer 1. Now lets just have a look at the task information
and on the Advanced tab, we can see its fixed units not effort driven. Thats the default type of
task thats created in Project 2013. Well look at the setting for that default in just a moment.
Now if I add a resource to that task, so now Im going to right click on that task, go into Assign
Resources, and Im going to add a second resource to that task, and the duration does not change.
It stays at four days. But the amount of work increases. So with each work resource that I assign
I find that I have an extra 32 hours of work. So the total amount of work for a fixed unit not
effort driven task will vary according to my variations in the number of assigned work resources.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
So now I changed it back to being an effort driven task. Watch what happens now when I assign
a second resource. Because its fixed units it is effort driven and what will happen is that the
duration will be reduced. So when I click on Assign I finish up with a two day task in which the
fixed amount of work is 32 hours which is actually enough work for four resources, four units if
you like. And the two resources, Laborer 1 and Laborer 2, are going to do two days of work
each; 16 hours of work each. So the task duration is reduced in this case and the adding of the
resources has had the effect of shortening the overall duration and hopefully shortening the
duration of my whole project.
Now I hope that will help to explain the differences between these task types and the significance
of effort driven in task properties, but theres plenty more information on this in the Microsoft
Project Help. Its one area that theres quite a lot of explanation of, an alternative approach to
these. Theres a page, How Project schedules the task behind the scenes; quite a long and
detailed explanation of how all of the scheduling takes place. And one of the entries in there,
How do task types affect the schedule, give sort of matrix arrangements showing there the three
different types: fixed units, fixed works, fixed duration; the types of change you might want to
make if you revise the units, though thats really the number of work resources allocated; if you
revise the duration, so thats how long the task takes to do; if you revise the work, thats the
amount of work in the task. And it shows you what the differences are between those types and
then gives two or three really quite good examples of how each of the task types deals with a
given situation.
Now in subsequent parts of the course were going to be looking at examples of these different
types of task and one of the things Im going to be asking you to do is to think very carefully
about task type when youre setting tasks up.
But Ive just got one other thing to show you in this section. One of the schedule options down
here is the default task type fixed units and if you want to change that to one of the other types,
thats up to. If this was changed to fixed units I think in Project 2010, so if youre used to an
older version, you may want to just set this up to be the way that youre used to working. And
then just below that theres another checkbox, New tasks are effort driven. If you leave the
defaults as they are new tasks will be created as fixed unit tasks that are not effort driven, but
obviously you can change either of those.
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Project 2013
So thats it on some of the basics of task types and effort driven. Were going to be using that in
a couple of sections time but thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 20 More about Resources


Video: Resource Types
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to take a quick
look at a few other pieces of information about resources. Weve looked at quite a bit of it
already and some of the remaining items were not really going to look at in detail until we get to
costs a little bit later on. But there are a few other things that I think its useful to cover now so
lets take another look at resources.
Now so far weve primarily been dealing with two resource types and the two resource types are
work and material. Theyre not the only two but theyre the two weve been using so far. A
work resource is a person or a piece of equipment that consumes time when working on a task.
And work resources are the sort of resources that are involved in questions such as whether a
particular task is effort driven or not. And generally speaking when we assign a work resource to
a project there will be a cost based on per hour or per day or per week cost of using that resource.
On the other hand, material resources are the resources that are consumed in the process of
performing tasks. So this will be things like the bricks that are laid into the house, the doors and
windows that are used. This can also include things like cement, sand, and so on in relation to a
building. Some types of material resource may be dependent on the duration of tasks. Thats not
the same as them being work resources. But for example, you may need to run a generator and
to run the generator you will use a certain amount of gasoline or diesel oil or whatever during the
course of a task and the amount of that fuel that you use will be probably directly related to the
duration of the task or tasks that its used with. So it is possible to specify the amount of
material that you need based on duration.
Now there is a third type of resource, as I mentioned earlier on, and that is a cost resource.
Were going to look at cost resources when we deal with cost later on in the course. But
basically these tend to be fixed cost associated with a particular task. This might be an expense
like the rental of a storage unit or possibly a travel expense, something like that.
Now some people say that there is a fourth resource type which is generic but I dont really think
its a fourth resource type. But the concept of generic is a very useful one and you may or may

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Project 2013
not decide to use it. In the case of planning this particular house build, Ive defined brick layer
and carpenter without actually giving names to those people. And one of the approaches that I
personally prefer is that when Ive said I need a brick layer on a particular project but I havent
yet decided which brick layer to use, then I can actually define brick layer to be whats called a
Generic Resource. The use of generic resources actually comes from the much more complex
side of computer based project management and project scheduling but its now used quite a bit
in the desktop products such as Microsoft Project. And if I take my brick layer resource here
which is a work resource and open up the project information, youll see that there is a checkbox
there, Generic, and if I click on Generic I can say that I have a generic resource of brick layer
and I can schedule work for the brick layer resource but I havent yet worked out which brick
layer to use. So Im going to do that now and Im going to do the same with carpenter. Note the
little image that appears there, the little icon for generic resource; same for carpenter now. And
Ill show you how I use generic resource a little bit later on.
Now what Im going to do next is to add a couple more resources. Im going to add an actual
named brick layer and a named carpenter. So my named brick layer is Jim Stansfield, work
resource. And my named carpenter is Jade Patterson, another work resource. So weve got J.S.,
initials. And what Im going to do in order to identify that Jade is a carpenter and Jim is a brick
layer is Im going to use this very convenient group property here. And you can use the group
property to assign resources to groups where youve got some sort of common characteristic and
job function is very often the sort of characteristic that you would use. So if I said that the brick
layer group, lets call that group Brickie and I know that Jim is also a brickie. If I click there on
Jim, Im going to put Brickie in there as well. And then for carpenter Im going to put Carpenter
and then Jade is a carpenter as well. Youre going to see how I use that group feature in a little
while.
Now weve already seen that we can use the max property here to say how many of these.
Weve got one Jim, weve got one Jade, and so far Ive been scheduling on the basis of one brick
layer and one carpenter. Im going to look at all these things to do with rates later on and, of
course, as I mentioned earlier each new work resource inherits by default our standard building
calendar for this project.

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Project 2013
And basically with that weve covered virtually all of the things we need to cover about
resources at this stage. If I went into Jim Stansfield resource information, custom fields the last
tab is outside scope; notes weve talked about; cost were going to cover later on. And on the
General Tab, the front tab, resource name, we can put in details here about Jims email address if
we communicate by email. I mentioned earlier on booking types, committed and proposed
booking types. Now theyre outside the scope of this course but thats where you can control the
booking type for a specific resource. We can go into Jims calendar and perhaps put vacations,
holidays, trips to the dentist, any difference from the normal working week on Jims specific
calendar. But thats just about it really as far as basic resource information is concerned.
Theres one other thing Id like to briefly mention here and that is that in Project 2013 you can
operate it in a way whereby the resource sheet and the project tasks that youre dealing with are
kept in separate MPP files. You could actually setup this resource sheet as whats called a
resource pool. Its actually quite straightforward to do. I dont think well have time to cover it
on this course. We might just have time at the end to quickly go through the basics of it. But
one of the advantages of this is that if youve setup a resource pool, say, youre work in
something like a building company and you generally use these types of resources. You might
have hundreds of these resources that youll typically use when youre doing a building project.
You may want to just reuse this resource sheet in another project or you may have a few building
projects on the go at any one time that are sharing these resources. There are a lot of advantages
in being able to setup a resource sheet like this one as a resource pool that you can share between
active projects and that you can certainly use with projects in the future. As I say Ill try to have
a quick look at how to do that at the end of the course; but for now, thats it on resource
information. In the next section were going to take another look at resource assignment so
please join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: More about Resource Assignments


Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to look at some
additional features of resource assignment and were going to look first at the use of variable
consumption of materials.
So while Im working on the excavation Im going to need a ground pump so my resource for
that is a ground pump. Thats a piece of equipment that Im going to be using. Its not going to
be consumed as part of the build so Im going to make it a work resource. Im going to make its
initials GPump and then Im going to also need some fuel for it. So Im going to call it Ground
Pump Fuel. This is a material. Note when Im entering information on to the resource sheet I
can get contents of fields, wrapping text, making the rows in this spreadsheet arrangement taller.
Of course, I can adjust the heading widths, column widths, on the resource sheet so that doesnt
happen or indeed so that it does happen to make it easier for me to read all the information that I
need to read. This is a material. The material column here, the material label column is actually
the units as I explained earlier in the course, so Im going to put this in as Liters. And the initials
for the ground pump fuel are going to be GPump fuel and thatll do that for now as well. So
theres my two new resources associated with some of the excavation work. Now let me assign
those resources to the excavation task.
Now to assign resources, click on the task. Weve already seen the Assign Resources dialog a
few times before. You can assign many resources at once. You dont need to just do them one
at a time, and also the Assign Resources dialog is not modal. You dont have to close it before
you can do something behind it. So if you wanted to open it and then assign different resources
to different tasks you can leave it open. On this occasion, weve got the excavation task selected,
so into assign resources. Were going to assign the ground pump, so well assign that. As with
everything else itll have a cost of zero at the moment because I havent put any costs on
anything, but well come back to that later on as well. And then for ground pump fuel its a bit
of a different story because here in order to specify variable consumption of this particular
resource in the units column, what were going to do is to indicate a number of units per hour.
Now lets suppose, Im sure it wont be quite as bad as this but lets suppose that were going to
use one liter of fuel per hour. The way we would put that here in the units column is we would
put one, then a slash, then H for hour, and what that means is that we will use one liter per hour.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Let me just move that across. And when we come to look at the costing, we will find that for
every hour of this task well use a liter of fuel. For a two day task, thats a two working day task,
thats 16 hours, well use 16 liters of fuel. And well come back to the cost of that later on. But
thats how you specify variable material consumption; slash and then the time units on which its
based.
And one other little point to bear in mind there when youre looking at variable consumption is
that if we have variable material consumption on a task and we change the duration of that task.
Lets suppose that we decide that the excavation task is a noncritical task and we can take some
resources off it and let it take a little bit longer while we do something else. We will actually
increase the cost overall because we will need to be running this ground pump the whole time
that that task is in progress and the cost of that fuel is going to add a little bit to the cost of the
project. Now it may be an insignificant amount but very often changing durations of task can
have quite far reaching consequences.
Okay, lets now look at putting specific people resources on to a couple of tasks where
previously weve had what weve now defined as generic resources.
So Im now at the point in my project scheduling that I want to put specific resources on to some
of these tasks. Ive chosen ground floor doors. Ive looked at the resources for ground floor
doors and I can see that Ive currently a carpenter defined as a work resource and five doors.
Now if I wanted to put a specific named carpenter on to this task, if I click on Replace, I can
access a list of all my resources and if I know all the names of all my carpenters, then Ill be able
to find the person I want and replace them.
But what I want to do now is to show you something slightly different thats maybe going to help
you and that is if you want to find just somebody who is a carpenter, maybe you dont know all
of the carpenters that you have available to you, then this Filter by box here lets you choose a
filter. And the filters if I click on the drop down here, theres quite a few of them. One of them
is Group. So if I wanted to look for a particular group click here, specify the group name. Now
the group name I know is Carpenter. Click on OK and what I get is a list of carpenters. Here not
assigned to this task yet, just listed, the names there. And if I then say Ah! Jades the one I want,

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Project 2013
Im going to assign Jade to this task and then Im going to remove the generic carpenter. So now
Ive got Jade working on the job instead of the generic carpenter.
So you can see that with that couple of groups that I setup in the previous section, one for
carpenters, one for brick layers, you can see how I can use those groups in the Assign Resources
dialog by using filters to find those specific types of skill. Now, of course, on this project Ive
got 20 or 30 tasks.

Ive got half a dozen resources. Im hardly going to have trouble

remembering all of those resources. But in reality if youre dealing with a lot of buildings and
youve got maybe dozens or hundreds of staff and youve got many, many building projects on
at any one time, then being able to filter available resources like that is a really useful aid. Now
when I say available resources, I should also say that when I did that I didnt actually say I want
the carpenters that are available. There is another box just below the filter box there, Available
to work, and if Id checked that and specified how many hours I wanted a carpenter to be
available for during the duration of the selected task, then Project 2013 wouldve only offered
me a list of the members of the group Carpenter that had that level of availability over the time
period of specified.
So lets go back to that filter list again and see the other sorts of things we could do with that
filter. We can look for budget resources. We can look for non-budget resources. We can look
for just cost, material, or work resources. So theres quite a range there that can help. But I
generally find that when it comes to this type of project, Group is a really useful one to use.
So lets look at another couple of neat features of assigning resources. If I select the task Upper
floor doors, this one, I can see the same arrangement there whereby Ive got carpenter assigned
at the moment, my generic carpenter. Once Ive identified the carpenter Im actually intending
to use on this job which is Jade. With that carpenter selected, I can just say Replace and then just
go down to Jades name and click on OK. Now its Jade thats going to be the carpenter on this
particular job for the upper floor doors; in fact, for the ground floor doors as well, and the
carpenter I had before is no longer assigned to the task.
And another thing to bear in mind is if I select one of the other tasks here such as ground floor
windows. Note again Ive got the generic carpenter there, and upper floor windows generic
carpenter as well.

With the Assign Resources dialog in place you can do assignments,

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Project 2013
replacements, remove alls with as many tasks as like selected. So if I were to select both ground
floor windows and upper floor windows and did a replacement for carpenter with Jade, then that
replacement is done on both of those tasks. So selecting them individually I can see it in both of
them. Jade is now the assigned resource.
And I can take exactly the same approach when Im assigning resources. So ground floor walls
and upper floor walls, Im going to filter by group; so specify as my group of Brickie is the
group name that I used, click on OK. There are my available brickies. Ive got the generic brick
layer and then Ive Jim Stansfield. Its Jim Im going to use so Im going to assign Jim to both
of those tasks.
If at any time you want to remove a particular resource, then all youve got to do is select the
resource and click on the Remove button.
So thats some more about resource assignments. Ive now got a task for you to do. Im going
to save this house build project as example_11 and what I want you to do is to add two new
generic resources. I want you to add a generic laborer resource and a generic roofer resource.
Only the generic ones, you dont need to add any named individuals. And then I want you to add
a project manager and thats actually going to be you, so use your own name there and Ill use
my name. And I also want you to add a site foreman. You can use any name you like for the
site foreman. Not a generic resource but an actually named person. And having added those
resources, what I want you to do is to go through the site inspection task, so thats the recurring
two hours every Tuesday to inspect the progress, the project manager and the site foreman
should both be on that task. Any tasks that involves laying bricks I want you to put a generic
brickie on. Anything that only involved wood, although I dont think there is anything, I want
you to put a generic carpenter on. And for everything else I want you to put either a generic
laborer or a generic roofer. That sounds like quite a big job I know, but just quickly again.
Generic laborer, generic roofer, specific project manager with your name, specific site foreman,
and then I want you to allocate those resources to the tasks such that the site inspections are
down to the project manager and the site foreman, anything involving bricks has a brickie
generic resource, anything involving wood has a carpenter generic resource. And for the other
tasks I want you to use your own initiative to decide which of them should have a generic roof
for resource assigned and which of them should have a generic laborer resource assigned. So
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Project 2013
hopefully that exercise almost takes longer to describe than it does to do, not quite. My answer
to that will in example_12. Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 21 Constraints and Deadlines


Video: Constraints and Deadlines
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going
to look at constraints and deadlines and were going to look first at constraints.
Now the first thing that I want to do is to take you back into the Project Options, into the
Schedule, and much earlier on in the course we changed one of these options which was that new
auto scheduled tasks will be scheduled to start on the current date. So as Im inserting these
tasks Im inserting them to start on the current date. Of course, they can be rescheduled as I
work my way through the process of developing the project and indeed as the project progresses
itself. But the other option here, the one that I want to demonstrate now is the one where we say
that auto scheduled tasks are scheduled to start on the project start date. So Im going to set that
as project start date for now, click on OK, and then what Im going to do is to insert a new task.
Task as you know will be inserted above the currently selected task which is currently the
Summary Task 1, Prepare site. Im going to use the Insert task button in the Insert Group on the
Task Tab. Theres my new task. Note where it appears that the start of the project, project start
date; now let me just double click to see the task information. And on the Advanced tab, the
constraint thats put on this newly created task is to start as soon as possible. So as Im putting
these tasks in with that particular setting on the Project Options the constraint thats added is As
soon as possible. In situations where I am scheduling a project from the start date as I am here,
the general idea of this is to say I want you to get this done as soon as you can. And that will be
subject to all of the other factors that come into force, such as dependencies, availability of
resources, and so on.
Now lets look at the other constraint types that are available. As soon as possible you will
certainly come across a lot. As late as possible is the one that is effectively the default when
youre scheduling to an end date and you want to do everything as late as you can rather than as
soon as you can. Bear in mind that you can apply any of these constraint types in a given
project. So they dont stop you changing the constraint type and in many cases you will want to
do that.

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Project 2013
The other constraint types all pretty much explain what they are. Finish no earlier than, thats
where you want a task to not finish any earlier than a certain date or you dont want to finish any
later than a certain date. Must finish on and Must start on are the constraints that insist that a
task finishes or starts on a particular date. And then you have a start no earlier than and a start no
later than constraint.
Now were going to look at one or two examples of how we might use each of these constraints.
But just before we do, let me just go back and change that Project Option back again and show
you what difference that makes.
So Im now going to change this option back to Current date, click on OK. Now Im going to do
insert task again, put in another new task, and lets look at the task information for this one. And
with this one, the constraint we get is Start no earlier than and then todays date, Friday, April
5th. So depending on how you have that Project Option set, you will dramatically affect how
new auto scheduled tasks have their constraints set. Now in normal work, I actually have this set
to new task appearing on the project start date. It can be a little bit unnerving for some people
because as you create new tasks they always tend to be created in the past. But, of course, once
you apply the scheduling in Project 2013, those tasks are going to move into their right position
anyway. I generally find that a default constraint type of As soon as possible works best in the
projects that I manage. So I prefer that option. Note that As soon as possible doesnt have a date
associated with it, whereas the current selection, Start no earlier than, has got a date selected with
it. So what Im going to do is Im going to go back into the Options and change that to the one
that I use most of the time. So Im going to click on Project start date, click on OK. Let me just
delete those two tasks and now lets look at some examples of how we might use those other
types of constraint.
So lets look at an example of how we might set a constraint. And lets say that we are going to
have a couple of inspections by the local authorities at various stages during the building of the
house. They come around and just make sure that the work that weve done is up to spec. And
one of the things they do is they inspect the subfloor when its been finished. So Im going to
choose the subfloor task here, open it up, and Im going to change the constraint to say that the
inspection is actually going to be on Monday, April 29th. So I need to make sure that the
subfloor work is finished by the preceding Friday. So Im going to change this constraint from
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Project 2013
Start no earlier than to Finish no later than. And then the date Im going to set is going to be
Friday, April 26th. Now note if I go back to the General tab, the dates that this task is actually
running on actually go from Tuesday, April 23rd to Friday, April 26th. So at the moment its
absolutely spot on, but as I introduced more tasks or if I introduce more tasks, I change the
schedule. I need to be aware of the fact that if I start to push this date later, then Im going to
clash with that constraint that Ive just set there, Finish no later than. Now Ill come back to that
particular question in a moment when we talk about deadlines but thats the sort of situation in
which you can apply a constraint.
Now note when you do that you very often get a message from the Planning Wizard. Now what
the Planning Wizard is doing here is warning you about a potential conflict. Now whenever you
set a constraint youre quite likely to create potential scheduling problems. It explains here that
by setting a Finish no later than constraint this could result in a scheduling conflict either now or
later because this task has at least one other task linked to it. So we get the option of cancelling
and not setting that constraint. It will give us an alternative constraint by using a Finish no
earlier than constraint. Well, we certainly dont want a Finish no earlier than. The finish date
for this task is definitely a no later than so were going to continue. If you get these messages
from the Planning Wizard and you either understand what youre doing and you find that the
Planning Wizard messages arent helping, you can check the box here to, say, Dont tell me
about this again. Click on OK. That constraint has been set. Note that because of that constraint
being set note how we now have these two tasks, Base brick work and Subfloor, are now critical.
Theyve gone red. Now thats actually a very significant point because it means that Ive created
another little sort of critical path within my project in that I now have another set of red tasks
where I really need to keep on top of the schedule. I could remove the criticality of those tasks
by delaying that end date a little bit. I could contact the authorities; ask them to put the
inspection back. But that may not be in my best interest because it would delay the whole
project potentially and also if I do finish the subfloor on time, theyre not going to want to
inspect the subfloor when Ive already put a house on top of it so I might have to stop work for a
few days until their inspection time came round. So its quite often the case that these dates are
really quite critical and you really dont want to delay things just to make your project easier to
manage because that can have all sorts of unpleasant consequences. Even if in this situation, let
me just go back into the subfloor task again. If I change that Finish no later than date from
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Project 2013
Friday to the following Monday, so instead of April 26th I went April 29th for the finish date,
click on OK, then those tasks are no longer red. Theyre no longer critical.
Now lets take a look at a deadline and when you apply a deadline to a task, then although in
some ways its very similar to having Finish no later than, there are some very significant
differences.
I mentioned a few sections ago that our objective is to schedule the work on this build to finish
by the end of May. Currently its scheduled to finish on June the 5th, so were running a little
later according to the schedule and we are going to start to look at how were going to make up
this time. But what Im going to do is to choose the last task, the final milestone, Building
complete, and now Im going to put a deadline on that. So, Building complete. Im going to set
a deadline of the end of May. So Im going to choose from the date picker, go to May, May 31 st
which is a Friday, click on OK, and that is my deadline. I could set a constraint type of Finish no
later than but by using a deadline there are some significant differences as youll see. Click on
OK.
Now lets look at what the significant differences are. First of all, when you have a deadline set
on the Gantt Chart, youll actually see a little vertical arrow like that one showing you what the
deadline is. Its a good visual cue to tell you how past your deadline you are. That doesnt look
like very much does it? Its a few days. Its going to take a little bit of work to pull that June 5 th
back to hit the deadline. You also get this red warning in the indicators column and if I just
hover over that, you can see this task goes past its deadline on Friday, May 31st. The other
important thing about this is that although the constraints are used when scheduling a deadline
date does not affect the scheduling when it applies its scheduling algorithm. Whereas Project
looks at things like constraints of Finish no later than it doesnt use deadlines at all when its
scheduling. Now it does include deadline dates in certain calculations. So for instance, when it
calculates the total slack for a project, it will take into account deadlines. But deadlines are not
actually used when scheduling. Theyre more of a visual cue really. Theyre just a way of
pointing out to you that something is running late or youre not hitting some point.
Now whether to use deadlines in a particular situation or whether to set an appropriate constraint
will very often be a very subjective decision. I tend to use deadlines for things that are not

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Project 2013
commercial or contractual even though they may be quite important.

And I tend to use

constraints where they are commercial or contractual. So if its likely to cost us money, I tend to
use a constraint. I may, of course, use both. Theres no reason you shouldnt use both in a given
situation.
And heres another very straightforward example of using a constraint. It quite often happens on
building projects. A particular material isnt going to be available until a certain date. So lets
suppose that the timber of lumber that I need for building the trusses and frame for the roof
wont be available until May 13th. Let me just open that task up. Its currently scheduled to start
on May 16th so thats fine. But Im going to put in on the Advanced tab a constraint of Start no
earlier than, well thats fine. But Im going to say May 13th because thats when the timber is
going to be available. So if I do some rescheduling in order to pull back this time, then its not
going to be any good if it involves starting on the roof before May 13th because the timber wont
be available until then. And I might just put a little note in here to understand or to remind
myself why I put that constraint on there. Okay, so click on that. That constraint should be fine.
Thats it on constraints and deadlines for now. Ill see you in the next section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 22 More about Dependencies


Video: Types of Dependencies; Lag and Lead
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to look in more
detail at dependencies.
So first of all, Im going to demonstrate the different types of dependency that you can specify.
So far weve looked at finish to start dependencies and if I setup a finish to start dependency
between two tasks it means the first one must finish before the second one can start. Now what
Ive done is to create a little dummy project. Its just got two tasks in it and the first task is a five
day task, the second one is a three day task. And the first task is starting on the day that Im
recording this, Friday, April 5th. What Im going to do is select the first task, select the second
task, and then Im going to create a dependency by on the Task tab clicking on the Link the
selected tasks button. Note the keyboard shortcut for that is Control and F2. Its one of those
things you may do quite a bit and therefore knowing that keyboard shortcut may save you a little
bit of time. But let me just setup that dependency and theres our finish to start dependency
created.
Thats the type of dependency weve looked at so far. Lets look at the other types. If I double
click on the arrow connecting the two on the dependency itself, there are in fact four types.
Finish to start is the one that we use by default. Start to start basically means that when the first
task starts, the second one can start. Click on OK and you can see when the first one starts the
second one can start. Lets go into the dependency again. The third option is finish to finish.
Now what happens in this situation is that when the first task finishes, the second task can finish.
So what Project 2013 is going to do is to work out when the second task should start so that it
can finish when the first task finishes. You can probably work that out yourself but lets click on
OK and see what it does. And there you can see by starting on Tuesday its going to finish on
next Thursday, which is in fact when task ones going to finish. And then the fourth type of
dependency is start to finish. Now what this basically means is that when the first task starts, the
second one can finish. Now Project 2013 is going to have to say, When should task two start so
that as soon as task one starts it can finish, task two can finish? Click on OK and thats that one.
So theyre our four basic types of dependency.

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Project 2013
Now with each of those types of dependency I can introduce lead or lag. Now Im going to
explain what lead and lag are. And Im back to the default finish to start dependency. Bring up
the box again. Theres a little box on the right there, lag, zero days. So when task one finishes
task two can start with a lag of two days, just see what that does. What it basically means is that
task two can start two days after task one finishes. On the other hand, I can specify a negative
lag, something we usually refer to as a lead, and say in fact the lag is minus a day which really
means that task two can start one day before task one finishes. Click on OK and now you can
see that task two is starting one day before task one finishes. So thats lag and lead.
So thats really all you need in terms of the theory of dependencies at the moment. And weve
covered in the last two or three sections quite a bit of the tool set for dealing with a schedule, and
what were going to do now for the rest of this section with particular reference to dependencies
is now go back into our building project and start to look at a bit of remedial work. Its still
running late so how can we use dependencies to help us with that later running project?
I must emphasize again that this is not meant to be a real building project and what were going
to look at here is a very simple version of how to fit a roof. Weve put three tasks in there:
Trusses and frames. So thats building the roof, trusses, and fitting the frame on to the top of the
house. And then putting the tiles on and the roof lining and then when thats done, finishing off
the roof, flashing, edging, and so on. Now generally speaking, unless youre dealing with a large
and complicated roof youd probably need to have all of the trusses and framework done before
you started putting the tiles on to the roof. So the dependency weve got here which is finish to
start, its that one over there, generally speaking you wouldnt be able to change. But its quite
possible that when youre doing lining and tiles some time before you finish somebody could
start doing the finishing off work. So if you were say working from one end of the roof to the
other, when somebody is doing the tiles and the lining somebody else could actually be starting
to finish off the roof on the parts that have already been tiled and maybe lined. So what Im
going to do here is to say that the finishing of the roof can actually start one day before the lining
and tiles are complete. So Im going to go into the relationship between these two, double click
on that, currently finish to start. And Im going to change the relationship between lining and
tiles and finishing to have a lead of one day which is a lag of minus one day; change that to

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Project 2013
minus one day, click on OK, and if you watch, if you look at the end date for the project, when I
do that, of course I gain a day. Im back to June 4th.
Now there is a price to pay for this in this case and that is that weve already have the roofer
resource allocated to doing that roof work and since we only have one roofer resource, then the
problem weve got is that that roofer cant be working on two things full time at the same time.
And very often as youre going through working on a schedule solving one problem can create
another one. Now we will need to decide within the context of exactly the project youre
working on which of these two things will win out. Have we got to accept that we cant squash
this roofing work up because weve only got one person to work on the roof or do we get another
roofer in for a couple of days? Do we get a different roofer in to do all the finishing work, for
example? These are the sort of decisions, these sort of real decisions that you take in the field
and Project can only help you to show what effect they have on the overall schedule. It cant
actually make these decisions for you. So lets stick with that for the moment. Weve got a
resource overallocation here on roofer and lets look for other opportunities to save time by
changing dependencies.
Lets look next at the Lay foundation summary task. We have a three day footings and slabs task
that all has to be done before we can start putting in the base brick work. But as soon as the base
brick works finished, we can start on the subfloor. But when we setup the next relationship
between subfloor and doing the suspended plumbing, we basically said that the subfloor had to
all be in place before we put the suspended plumbing. Now lets assume that we can actually
start work on the suspended plumbing before we finish the subfloor. In fact, as soon as weve
done a couple of days work on the subfloor we could start work on the suspended plumbing. So
were going to change the relationship between subfloor and suspended plumbing so that there is
a start to start relationship with a two day lag. So let me just identify that relationship here,
double click. Always check that youve chosen the right relationship because these arrows once
you get a complicated project are all over the place. Sometimes its easy to double click on the
wrong arrow, but yes thats subfloor to suspended plumbing. Change it to start to start and with
a lag of two days. One other thing to notice here, sometimes youll want to delete a relationship
between two things, a dependency. Theres a Delete button there to delete the dependency all
together. So were changing this to start to start with a two lag, click on OK. Also watch the

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
project end date there, June 4th at the moment. Click on OK and were actually back to May 31st
just by doing that. So in fact, whats happened is weve achieved our deadline of May 31st which
is really good news.
So thats a change to another one of our dependencies. Unfortunately, however, it does create
another problem and that is that in doing that and overlapping those two tasks both for the
laborer then we have created an overallocation. Weve now got resource overallocation markers
in the indicators column. So although thats enabled us to achieve our project end date, its
created another problem which is an overallocation problem which means either that were going
to have to find somebody else to do the laborer work or maybe that we can get the laborer to do
some overtime. But well come back to that question a little bit later on.
Now I want to cover one more topic in relation to dependencies now. Weve solved our
immediate scheduling problem, not necessarily permanently because weve still got at least one
resource allocation issue to resolve. But lets look now at one of the relationships that got setup
earlier on, and thats the relationship between build walls and fit windows and doors. If I select
fit windows and doors and click on information, Ill find that there is only one predecessor task
and that is build walls. Now both fit windows and doors and build walls are summary tasks and
there is absolutely no reason that you shouldnt have a relationship between summary tasks.
Relationships, dependencies can work at the summary task level or on individual tasks. But in
this case that dependency that weve sort of inherited from when we first starting the project up
is not really a very helpful one because what it basically says at the moment as its a finish to
start dependency is that building the walls has to be completely finished before we can do
anything on fitting windows and doors. As weve developed this particular schedule, we could
be a little bit more sophisticated about this now and say as soon as the ground floor walls have
finished we could actually start work on the ground floor doors and the ground floor windows.
And then when the upper floor walls are finished, we could start on the upper floor doors and the
upper floor windows. So we could put in dependencies between the individual tasks within the
summary tasks rather than dependencies between the summary tasks themselves. Again, theres
no absolute rule on this. You need to look at each project in the light of its own circumstances.
Sometimes you want dependencies between summary tasks and sometimes between the
individual tasks.

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Project 2013
The other point I need to make here about this particular issue is that with fit windows and doors
were dealing with noncritical tasks, so were not talking about saving a bit of time on the project
here. Were just looking at setting up dependencies that more accurately reflect the reality of
this build. So what Im going to do here is to delete the dependency between the summary tasks.
Now you could either do that as I did just now in the Task Dependency dialog, clicking the
Delete button, provided I can get the right dependency. But you can also do it here in the
summary task information. Summary task information for fit windows and doors, if I click on
the build walls predecessor and just press the Delete key on the keyboard, that dependency is
gone. And when I do that these tasks all tumble much earlier in time because it appears that
theyre not depending on anything now. Now Im going to select ground floor walls and select
ground floor doors, put in a dependency between them. Select ground floor walls again, ground
floor windows, put in a dependency between them. Upper floor walls, upper floor doors,
dependency. Upper floor walls, upper floor windows, dependency. And now Ive got a realistic
schedule back again, but Ive taken away the dependency between the summary tasks.
So thats all you need to know about dependencies for now. Ill see you in the next section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 23 Resolving Scheduling Issues


Video: Respect Links; Task Inspector; Resource Overallocations
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to summarize
some of the things that weve looked at in terms of resolving scheduling issues and look at one or
two other approaches to solving the problems you might get when youre working on a Project
2013 schedule. The first thing I want to look at is one or two things that happen in relation to
manually scheduled tasks.
If you look under the Lay foundation summary task, weve got a sequence of steps there, footing
and slabs, base brick work, subfloor. And what I want to do is to look at what happens if I
extend the duration of the base brick work task from two days to three days. Notice that at the
moment, were meeting our deadline of 31st of May for the whole project. Lets change base
brick work to being a three day task, see what happens. And as you would guess, the end date is
now missed. Weve extended the project by a working day. You can see the deadline, the green
arrow for the deadline show there. Its pretty much exactly what you would expect to happen.
So Ive undone that change and now what Im going to do is Im going to change subfloor from
being an auto scheduled task to being a manually scheduled task. If you look on the Task tab in
the Task Group, there are a couple of big buttons there: Manually schedule, Auto schedule. All
of these tasks are auto scheduled but Im going to change subfloor to being manually scheduled.
When I do that I get a pin in the task mode column instead of the icon that all of the others have.
Now watch what happens if I go back to base brick work and do exactly the same thing that I did
before which is to change the duration from two days to three days. What happens is that the
schedule is not delayed. It doesnt have a sort of knock on domino effect throughout the
schedule. What happens is that because subfloor is a manually scheduled task, its not moved by
the scheduling algorithm within Project 2013. What it does instead is to flag the fact that there is
a potential problem. And the way that it does that is by putting a little squiggle, in this case a red
squiggle, under the finish date of the subfloor task and its that that should bring your attention to
the fact that there is a problem. So what we do then is to right click on the date thats got the red
squiggle in it and it brings up the contextual menu, and the contextual menu offers us a number
of options. One option is to fix in the Task Inspector. Well look at Task Inspector in a moment.

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Project 2013
The second option is to respect links; well look at that in a moment. And the third one is to
ignore the problems for this task. Now if you ignore the problems for this task clearly thats not
going to last forever, and if there really is a problem here with the task beforehand taking a day
longer and still planning to start this one when we were going to, then its a problem youre
probably going to have to resolve later anyway, but sometimes if youre in a hurry or if youre
aware of a way of solving this problem but you cant apply it now, you may choose to ignore the
problems for this task.
Respect links, I wont actually do that but let me just show you what would happen with respect
links. If you look at whats happened here where base brick work has been extended to three
days the link, you can probably just about make it out there, the arrow coming down from the
task base brick work to the task subfloor is now not pointing at the beginning of the subfloor
task. Its pointing partway through it. So Project 2013 knows that its not respecting the link,
but if I chose the option here, Respect link, then it would basically do what it did when subfloor
was still an auto scheduled task. So lets follow that option now. Lets try that respect links
option and just confirm thats what happens. Of course, if you do respect links then it does
exactly what it did in the situation where subfloor was auto scheduled. It has kept subfloor as
being manually scheduled but its moved its manually scheduled dates. So thats what happens
if we follow the suggestion thats been made by Project 2013.
The other option there was using the Task Inspector. Im going to come back to that in just a
moment but before I do, I want to look at the tasks group on the Task tab. In the top right hand
corner theres a little button there; its the one we used to invoke the Task Inspector. But if I
click on the drop down to the right of it, I have three other options. Show warnings which
basically means in this case show the squiggles to indicate where theres a problem. Show
suggestions. This amounts to things like saying well what you could do is to respect the links.
And then Show ignored problems. If youve said ignore problems to a few things and youve
come back to it the next day or something and said, well let me see all those problems I chose to
ignore yesterday and try to find out how to resolve them. That will show those ignored problems
again. So thats how you can control, how you work with warnings and suggestions when youre
using manually scheduled tasks.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
So next lets have a look at the Task Inspector and what Im going to do is to put this back to the
situation it was, and then Ill invoked the Task Inspector to see what it can tell me.
So Im back to having the red squiggle here and the fact that the manually scheduled subfloor
task is the one thats causing me a problem. To invoke the Task Inspector I can just click on that
Inspect button there. The Task Inspector appears on the left and it tells me about the problems
that its spotted. Bear in mind its aware of the fact that this isnt the only problem Ive got here
because with the Task 23 Subfloor thats got a warning sign on it. Not only have I got the second
problem here, Task may need to be delayed by one day, but its also aware of the fact, youve
probably noticed this already, that theres a resource overallocation as well because the laborer
resource is now overallocated because subfloor and suspended plumbing are sharing the same
resource, 100%, on the same day. So weve got two problems and these are the possible actions
its got. Respect links. Move the task based on its predecessors. Auto schedule. Automatically
calculate dates based on links, constraints, and other factors. Or remove the constraint from the
task. So its offering me a number of ways of going about solving this problem or these
problems with this task. And in any situation, not just with manually scheduled tasks, you can
always bring up the Task Inspector and try to get some ideas from it; what your options are in
terms of solving a scheduling problem.
So theyre some of the key ways, the key approaches, you can use when it comes to resolving
scheduling problems. When youve finished using the Task Inspector whether or not you
decided to take any of the actions that it recommends, you can just close the Task Inspector to
get it out of the way. Im going to undo that last couple of changes I made to force those
problems. My project is back to being good in terms of satisfying my planned end date. The last
thing Im going to do in this section is to look at these resource overallocations.
Youll be aware of the fact that our critical path hasnt significantly changed. So with one
particular set of resource overallocations, thats fit windows and doors that basically involve
resource overallocation for Jade Patterson. I should be able to resolve Jades overallocation just
by using the standard resource leveling facilities. So what Im going to do now is to go to the
Resource tab, click on Level resource, choose Jade, and see if her time can be leveled out just on
an individual basis.

So lets say level now for Jade and in fact we can solve Jades

overallocation problems and still respect the end date of the project.
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Now lets turn our attention to one of the other overallocation problems. Lets look at the one up
the top here under lay foundation. The problem there is that the laborer is overallocated. Hes
working on subfloor and suspended plumbing all at the same time. Now really the laborer
shouldnt be doing plumbing work. We ought to have a specialist plumber in there. We dont
actually have a plumber scheduled to work at all yet. So lets go on to the resource sheet and
lets put in a generic plumber for now. We may use a named member of staff later or we may
even use an external contract plumber. But for the moment, well make it a generic plumber. So,
generic resource at the moment, click on OK. Now well go back into the Gantt Chart, choose
that task, assign resources; theres the laborer, select the laborer, select replace, find our new
plumber, click on OK, close, back to the Gantt Chart, and that problems solved as well. Weve
still got to find a plumber, of course, but we do know that the plumber and the laborer can work
alongside each other on these two tasks at the same time. So, lets now just collapse down lay
foundation and look to the one remaining problem which is the overallocation of the roofer
during the fitting of the roof.
Now one of the issues here is that I dont particularly want to get another roofer in just do one
day of work and none of the other staff that Im planning to use on this building project really do
roofing work. So what Im going to do, first of all, is Im going to resolve the overallocation
using the normal leveling. I think its only one day over anyway. So let me just try leveling that
for the roofer. Level now. Lets see what happens to my end date. My end date is now just one
day out, allowing for the weekend, of course. So thats not so bad. And what Ive done is Ive
had a talk to the roofer and hes agreed that hes prepared to do some overtime, and with
overtime he can reduce the lining and tiles job here which is a six task to five days. So hes
going to do a day of overtime.
Now the way that you use overtime in Project 2013 may seem a little bit strange at first but its
actually quite straightforward. Tick on the View tab and lets go into the Task Usage View and
for the selected task here, lining and tiles, the six day task, all we have to do to get some
overtime done is if you insert the column in this table of overtime work, and then for the
resource thats going to do the overtime you just say eight hours. Then that would do, just watch
what happens when I click here. It actually reduces the duration of the task to being a five day
task instead of a six day task because eight hours, one day of work is being done on overtime.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Lets go back to the Gantt Chart and back in the Gantt Chart as if by magic the lining and tiles
job has been reduced to five days and I can respect my deadline again. So Im back to finishing
the job by May the 31st.
So thats pretty much all that were going to cover here on resolving scheduling issues. I
perhaps should give you one word of practical warning and that is that the schedule weve got
here has virtually no contingency in it. And if you live somewhere like I do in the north of the
U.K., planning to do even five days of roofing work in five days is somewhat optimistic. The
fact that the rain might hold off for a whole week is a bit amazing. Having said that, people who
do roofing work can do an awful lot of it when its raining. And when the roof is off of a
building, you probably want to get the roof back on quickly anyway. But one thing I would
always do here is put in a little bit more contingency then weve got.
But thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 24 Costs
Video: Assigning Costs to Resources
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. If youve been following me so far, youll
be familiar with our house build project where we have a selection of the kind of activities, tasks
involved in building a house and weve got to the point here where weve got a pretty good
sample project for many of the tasks, but we havent looked at all so far at costs. In this section
and the next were going to look at costs. In this section were going to look at costs as they
relate to resources and then in the next section were going to look at project costs. So heres the
resource sheet for our project. Lets have a look at costs on this sheet.
Now you notice that the resources on this resource sheet basically share the same columns, but
materials and work use different combinations of those columns. The one that uses the least is
the type material. So lets put in the cost for the materials first. To make things a little bit easier
Im going to apply a filter to this view. So go up to the Data Group on the View tab, and the
filter Im going to use is resources material. The material resources that Ive got are bricks,
doors, windows, and the fuel for the ground pump. Now when were putting in cost of materials,
the cost goes in the standard rate column and basically its the cost of one of whatever the unit of
the material is. Now the units are in this material label column. So when were looking at the
price of bricks were looking at the price of 1,000 of bricks. Now this obviously greatly depends
on the bricks themselves, but pretty much as a going rate, wed say for 1,000 bricks its going to
cost in U.S. currency about 450 U.S. dollars. Even more variable what a door would cost. Ive
just put doors in there. In reality, wed have exterior doors and interior doors. Exterior doors,
particularly solid wood doors would generally be very much more expensive than interior ones,
and clearly we could be using any number of materials. We could have UPBC type doors and so
on. But Im going to come out with a ballpark figure for doors of $250 per door. Some would
be a lot more expensive but you could get some cheaper doors than that. And then for the
windows, again, Im going to go in for a sort of moderate quality. Were going to say $300 per
window. That just leaves us with the price of a liter of fuel for the ground pump and typically
thats going to be about 60 cents per liter. So Ive put in my costs now for the materials.

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Project 2013
Now in some cases there may be an additional cost per use. Often this will be something like a
delivery charge. So for instance, if we were using thousands of bricks, we may need to pay to
have them delivered. Lets suppose that weve got a delivery charge of $100 associated with the
bricks but the doors and windows there is no delivery charge or cost per use and similarly with
the fuel, there is no delivery charge or cost per use.
Now we come to this very important column, the accrual column, accrue at. And for each of the
resources that we use, we need to decide how the cost is accrued within the finances of our
project. Now by default costs are accrued prorated, which means prorated throughout the life of
a task. So if you were using bricks, say, over the course of a task, then the cost of those bricks,
12,000 bricks say over a 12 day task, youd be incurring the cost of 1,000 bricks per day and
thats how it would be in the accounts for the project.
But there are alternative accruals. Basically you can say accrue at start. If for a particular type
of resource, material in this case, you say accrue the cost at start, then as soon as the task that
uses that resource starts the cost of that resource, the full cost of that resource to that task is
accrued. You can also specify accrue at end and in that case the total cost of the resource thats
used on that task will be accrued at the end of the task. Now obviously, its impossible to
generalize here about what would happen in relation to bricks, doors, windows, fuel, or anything
else and Im going to leave these all set at prorated which means that for all of these materials
well accrue the cost to the project as we go along.
To some extent this may agree with the payment profile. So, for instance, if you have to pay for
all of the bricks up front, the merchant that supplies them to you requires payment in full before
you start using them, then you may decide that the full cost should be accrued at the start of the
first task that uses the bricks. But that will be very much a local situation and its impossible for
me to generalize here so Im going to leave these all set at prorated for the moment.
So now lets turn our attention to the work resources. Im going to go back to that filter again
and this time Im going to have resources work and lets look at the hourly rates for the various
people that are working on this build and also the hourly rate for this ground pump.
So lets start with a standard hourly rate for a brick layer and something along the lines of, say,
were $22 per hour for the generic brick layer resource and then for an overtime rate wed expect
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
to pay around about $32 per hour. Now is there a cost per use? Well, it might seem a little bit
unlikely in relation to a person but there can quite likely be a cost per use, particularly for a
contract resource you may have expenses that you need to pay, maybe some sort of travel or
accommodation allowance for contract staff. And also if youre using an agency, there may be
some sort of agency fee to pay. Im going to leave the cost per use out for most of these but I am
going to just briefly here look at accrual because we exactly have the same issues as we have for
materials in terms of accrual for work resources.
Very often work resources will accrue prorated. Whether theyre paid day by day, week by
week, month by month, well almost certainly accrue the cost in the accounts for our project on a
prorated basis. Having said that, there will be exceptions. There will be people where we have
to pay for their time up front and there will be people when they can bill us for their time and
well pay it perhaps later on. But for the people that weve got here, Im going to assume that
they are all prorated.
So Im just going to quickly go through now and put in similar kinds of rates for the other skills.
So, for carpenter thats going to be 22 per hour as well and again for the overtime rate; Im going
to just fill in the rest of these and just join me again in a moment.
So Ive setup all of those rates and Ive also setup a rate for the use of the ground pump. And
with the ground pump, the thing is that the people that supply that to us only need to be paid at
the end. They basically have a little device on it that measures how many hours its been used
for. Obviously Ive got to buy the fuel but thats covered separately as a material. But well just
be charged for that at the end. So Im actually going to accrue the cost at the end because I
wont know how much it is until weve finished using it. The task its being used on may take
more or less time than I anticipate. There is also a cost per use of the ground pump which is
basically a delivery charge which is $75. So Im going to put that in as well. So there we are.
Thats my work resources.
Now let me just go back to showing everything with no filter on the resource sheet and Im now
going to add one more resource, and this resource is going to be called Incidental expenses. And
very often in a project youll want a way of putting in an allowance for incidental expenses,
things that come up. Maybe you need to get some help with something quickly. Maybe you

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Project 2013
need to get somebody to deliver a material from a local hardware store quickly. Just things you
need to buy without going through some huge routine. And you would normally allow yourself
a budget for incidental expenses. Now the way that budget resources work, where you basically
know that youre going to need to spend money on something but youve got no idea what its
going to be at the moment but you do need to allow for it in your budget for your project is to
define it as a cost resource. Im going to call it there Incidentals, and then if I double click on
that Im going to declare it to be a budget resource. Now when I declare it to be a budget
resource, I cannot enter standard rate, overtime rate, anything like that. Ill enter the cost
associated with this budget resource via the project summary task which I mentioned earlier on
in the course. And in the next section, Im going to show you how we handle a budgetary cost
like this.
So thats it on the costs related to individual resources. In the next section were going to look at
project costs so please join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Project Costs


Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we
looked at assigning costs to the resources on our building project; thats all done now. In this
section were going to concentrate on looking at project costs, and the first thing were going to
look at is what our project costs are so far.
So click on the Project tab and one of the options there, Project Information that we looked at
before. The difference now is that if we click on the Statistics button there and look at the
project statistics for our project, we now have some costs, and our current cost total $24,834.60.
Now, of course, were not building very much of a house there. Okay, weve got the walls and
the windows and the doors but we havent fitted any rooms out. We havent done any plaster
work. Theres all sorts of things that we havent done. So thats nothing like the true cost of
building a house but its a good starting point and weve got a lot of different types of costs
included there.
Now youll see some terminology here like baseline, actual, and variance, and were going to be
looking at what these things mean starting from the next section when we start looking at
tracking progress on our project. For the moment, I just want you to sort of ignore those terms
and just look at the costs themselves.
So weve got a total cost of $24,834.60. Lets look at how that cost is currently made up.
Now on the Gantt Chart here weve currently got the entry table selected, and lets go to View
tab and select the cost table. What youll now see is the cost associated with the project by task.
So prepare site total cost $1,724.60, etc. The biggest costs are on building the walls and fitting
the windows and doors.
Now the cost that you see here are all associated with resource costs, but resource costs arent the
only type of cost that we get in Project 2013 and were going to look at one or two other types of
cost now.
One of the other types of cost is whats called a Task fixed cost, and a task fixed cost can happen
if you have a task where there is a cost, a fixed cost associated with performing that task. Now
lets suppose that I take a particular example, let me go down to prepare site. Let me expand

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Project 2013
that. Note how the individual subtasks within this summary task, I can see their individual costs.
But what about with this in ground plumbing task here? Supposing that in ground plumbing
involves connecting the supply pipes to the main water supply to the locality and lets suppose
that theres a fixed cost associated with doing that. The water company charges a fixed fee for
being able to connect to the water supply and lets suppose that that fixed cost is $190, say. Its
probably more than that, but lets call it 190. That goes in this fixed cost column and that is a
cost for the task that isnt associated with any particular resource. Its a fee that we pay to the
water company. But I still have the same accrual cost. So I can say well I have to pay that fee up
front so thats going to accrue at the start of the in ground plumbing task. I have to pay that
straightaway. And of course, the total cost for that task is then made up of fixed cost and
resource cost as well. In fact if I were to now go into Task Usage View here and put in there the
cost table, note that if I look at that in ground plumbing task Ive got a really detailed breakdown
now because I can see that my $510, the total cost of that task, is made up of a $190 fixed cost
and $320 being paid to the laborer whos working on this particular task.
Now there is another way of doing a fixed cost which is sometimes more appropriate, although
strictly speaking this is a case of a resource cost. Suppose that you employ a consultant or an
inspector or some other professional, and instead of charging you on an hourly or daily rate they
just charge a fixed fee. If that happens, then what you can do is to setup that particular resource
in the usual way as a work resource but not to have a cost per hour or a cost per day but to
instead just specify a cost per use.
So lets take as an example of that, Im going to go to the resource sheet and Im going to put in
a resource of Glazing inspector and the principle on which the glazing inspector works is that the
glazing inspector charges you a fixed fee for inspecting all of the glazing thats been done on a
new building. So were going to call this person Glaz Insp and theres no rate per hour. Theres
no overtime rate but theres a cost per use of, say, $299 which is the professional rate to do the
inspection and also to provide a certificate to say that the inspection has been completed. So
thats our glazing inspector.
Now lets go back into the Gantt Chart again and on the fit windows and doors task which is, of
course, a summary task and breaks down into all the constituent two main subtasks which are
themselves summary tasks. But this particular resource is going to be used on the summary task.
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Project 2013
So I go into the summary task there, look at the information, go for resources, and Im just
assigning the resource to this one task which is the glazing inspector. Click on OK and now if I,
lets go back into the Task Usage View again. Im going to get a bit more of a breakdown of
these costs here. And you can see that under the fit windows and doors summary task, so this
supplies to everything that comes within windows and doors, glazing inspector we have a total
cost of $299.
Now let me just go back into that resource sheet again. Of course, I would have to make sure
that I was clear about when that $299 was payable. Is it paid in advance or is it paid afterwards?
Well, lets say weve got a very generous glazing inspector whos quite happy to have us accrue
the cost and charge us after the works completed.
So thats a fixed cost resource assigned to a task.
So Ive just got one other type of cost to show you and thats the budge resource cost that we
talked about earlier on. Im back in Gantt Chart View now and what I need to do is to show the
Project summary task. So if I click on the Format tab and show the Project summary task, select
the Project summary task itself, and then show the Project information for that. And on the
Resources tab what I need to do is to assign that incidental expenses budget resource. Now at
this stage, I can do no more than actually just assign that budget resource. So I click on OK.
Now I switch back into Task Usage View so that I can see the tasks and the resources assigned to
each task. Now Im going to insert another column into this table, and the column Im going to
insert is the budget cost column. Now as youll see by now when you come to doing insert
column, youve got that long list of fields. Theres an awful lot of them there. If you want to try
to go straight to a particular field, you can just start typing it. So if I do B-U and Im pretty soon
filtered it down to either budget cost or budget work. Click on budget cost and you can see
uniquely to this type of resource, you see all the others have got blanks in there, you can actually
now type in the budget cost for incidental expenses. Lets suppose based on past experience I set
that at $350 for my expenses budget for this building project. And thats how you assign a
budget cost resource.
So weve really covered here all of the important aspects of cost and although it can be a fairly
complex area I think the way its setup in Project 2013 is pretty easy to get along with. It covers
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
pretty much all the eventualities that Ive ever come across. One area that were not going to
cover on this course but which I think is important to point out is that in particular if youre
working on projects which involve very long term planning, you may need to take into account
changes in costs over time. If I go to the resource sheet and lets say take one of these work
resources. Lets say take Jim for example. If we look at the Cost tab in Jims resource
information, we have different charging rates. So we can have a charging rate A, B, C, D, E. By
default, the default rate is the A rate but you could use a different charging rate. Jims A rate is
22.50 an hour standard, 33.75 an hour overtime, and no per use cost. If I want to cover changes
to that rate, lets say that Jims rate is linked to some kind of index rate of inflation or something
and I want to have say from lets choose a date, say, July the 1st the standard rate is going to
increase by 2%, for example, and so is the overtime rate. Then that can all be done in a very
straightforward way in Project 2013. Im not going to cover that now but its a really powerful
facility when it comes to long term planning where its important to have as a good a stab at
getting the cost right as you can.
Anyway thats it on costs for now. Were going to move now into tracking progress and costs
will figure in that quite a bit as well. But in terms of our current project, weve got the cost setup
now as well as we need them to be and thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 25 Project Outline


Video: Showing, Hiding and Moving Subtasks
Toby: Hello and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to
look in a little bit more detail at how to work with a project outline. In order to demonstrate this,
Ive made a copy of the latest version of our building project and Ive collapsed all of the tasks
down.
So first of all, on the View tab in the Data Group theres a button there on the left, Outline. If
you click on the drop down next to the word Outline, you have a number of options one of which
is All subtasks. If I select that option, All subtasks, I see all the subtasks in the project. As you
can see all of those summary tasks are fully expanded. I can see the whole project. At the
moment, Ive also got the critical task switch set so I can see which ones are the critical tasks.
Similarly, if I go back to that same button and say Hide subtasks, then all of the subtasks are
hidden right up to the level of the Project summary task.
So let me go back to that drop down again and this time instead of saying Show subtasks, Im
going to say Level 1. Now Level 1 gives me the first level of tasks in this project outline. If I
say Level 2 watch what happens. Level 2 takes me to the next level. Now thats not quite seeing
all of the subtasks because as you should remember we also have a further level down here under
fit windows and doors. Fit doors and fit windows, each of those is a summary task as well. So if
I go to Level 3, I see those as well. Now, of course, in a long very complex project you may
have many levels of subtask. But this is a really useful way of being able to control what level of
subtask you can see at any time.
Now let me go back to Level 1 again. You dont have to work on the whole of the project when
youre controlling these levels. If I, for instance, just selected lay foundation, as weve seen
already I could click on the little wedge there in order to expand lay foundation. But I can also,
say, using that drop down, Show subtasks, and in this case because I have a specific summary
task selected it just shows the subtasks for the selected summary task. One way of thinking of
that is that before we really had the Project summary task selected and therefore were dealing
with all the tasks in the project. So in this case I have two summary tasks expanded, lay
foundation and build walls. If I select one of them, just say build walls, click on Outline, and

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Project 2013
then at the top there say Hide subtasks, it only hides the subtasks of the selected summary task
not of all summary tasks in the project.
So thats how to view the project outline. If you want to move tasks around, there are a couple
of things to be aware of. In a very straightforward case, lets take this task here, base brick work.
If I just want to put this into a different position, if I go to the Task tab, theres the normal cut,
copy, and paste buttons there or I can use keyboard shortcuts. Im going to use a keyboard
shortcut here of Control-X. Watch what happens by the way to the dependencies. If I take base
brick work and I cut it and lets say I go right down to the bottom, Select building complete and
paste it down there. It becomes an independent task but notice that the dependencies still apply.
Note how the arrows have changed but basically same dependency and, of course, the task itself
will still have the same start and finish dates because I havent changed anything that would
affect how its scheduled. All Ive done is draw it in a different position within the outline. If I
drag it, select, and then drag it up and drop it somewhere, maybe in the same position it was or
near the position it was already, notice Ive got it in between two of the subtasks of lay
foundation and I release it then it does assume the indent level of those tasks, and thats another
important thing to bear in mind.
So that was moving a subtask within a summary task. Lets go up and look at the prepare site
task. Thats a summary task with four subtasks. If I take the prepare site task which is a
summary task, select and drag that down to the bottom, watch what happens. The summary task
and all of its subtasks get moved as well. Now, again, it doesnt affect my schedule in any way.
It only affects where theyre positioned within the Gantt Chart. But if you move a summary
task, if you cut, copy, drag a summary task, then all of its subtasks move with it. If I wanted to
move one of the individual subtasks, maybe make it part of a different summary task or make it a
standalone task, Ive got to select the individual task and work on the individual task.
Now let me just demonstrate that this works in pretty much the same way if youre using touch.
Lets go into touch mode and lets suppose that I wanted to move the site inspection summary
task. The first thing to do is to select it. So all I need to do is to tap to select it. Note the two
little circular selection handles, one above and one below the selected task. Now to cut it, I can
either go to the Ribbon or if I tap and hold on the task, bring up the mini toolbar. One of the
options on there is cut. Note I get a warning there about cutting and possibly deleting a summary
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Project 2013
task there, but thats fine. I know what Im doing. Click on OK. Now if I select the task above
which I want to paste this, so if I select the first task, prepare site. Now this time Ill use the
Ribbon. So lets go to the Task tab on the Ribbon and tap on paste; that pastes the site inspection
summary task there and I can either just tap to expand. Or if I go back to the View tab again and
use the Outline button with Show subtasks, you can see that the site inspection summary task is
now expanded. So as I say it works pretty much the same if youre using touch.
Thats how to work with the Project Outline and thats the end of this section. Ill see you in the
next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 26 Baselines and Interim Plans


Video: Purpose of Interim Plan; Setting, Saving and Clearing a Baseline
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. So far on the course weve
been concentrating on scheduling, looking at the use of resources to get the work on our house
build done, and also setting up dependencies, deadlines, constraints, and so on. But there comes
a point when the scheduling is all done. Were confident in our schedule, or at least as confident
as we can be, and now is the time to start looking at running the project and monitoring progress
and the project progresses. Thats really what were going to start looking at in the next few
sections. The first thing were going to do in this section is to look at saving a baseline.
Now let me, first of all, explain what a baseline is. If you were working on a relatively
straightforward project, once youve got the scheduling done, you would save a baseline which is
basically a copy of the schedule at a point in time. But it doesnt only contain a copy of the
schedule in terms of the dates for each of the tasks. A baseline also contains information about
costs, about the use of resources, and so on, and we use a baseline to measure progress on the
project.
So lets suppose that we saved a snapshot of our building project on the day that the first person
arrived to start work. Two or three weeks later we might look at comparing where wed actually
got to with that baseline. On the basis of that comparison, we can say whether things are going
well or whether things are going badly. We could look at things like have we spent more or less
money than we thought we would? Do we need more resources? And so on. Apart from the
day to day practicality of comparing progress against a baseline, baselines are very often used for
management reporting. So if youre in a situation where youre reporting progress on your
project or projects to some kind of interested party, stake holders, management team, a board, or
whoever, then it will very often be the case that youll be comparing how things actually are with
a baseline. So the baseline really is the sort of benchmark that the projects progress is measured
against.
So lets consider our little building project here, that were going to build this house.

Lets

suppose that weve saved a baseline, something well be doing shortly. And lets suppose that
not long after we start the project somebody comes along and says, Okay weve changed our

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Project 2013
minds about this build. Were actually going to build a much bigger house. Weve decided that
were aiming for a different market altogether so were going to make the house 50% bigger.
Were going to have twice as many rooms. Were going to have a triple garage. Were going to
do all sorts of things we werent going to do before. Immediately the schedule for building the
house is very likely to be extended and the cost of building the house may be greatly increased.
If we were then to continue to measure progress against our original baseline, it would really be
unfair on the project manager because everything would be costing more, everything would be
taking longer. Compared to the original baseline, wed appear to be doing really badly. So in
fact, you can have more than one baseline on a project. In fact, Project 2013 will accommodate
up to 11 baselines. You probably wont get involved in projects that need that many baselines
and I should point out that its not good practice to sort of save a new baseline every week to
make things look good. Usually a baseline is associated with some sort of commercial or
contractual state.

So if in the example Ive just outlined it was decided to change the

specification of the house and make it a much bigger building job, then we would formally adopt
a new baseline once wed rescheduled the build and redone the costings and so on. Now on this
course, were just going to work with a single baseline for this build but its important to
understand that you may well be in situations where you need to save new or additional
baselines.
Something else that sometimes happens on projects is that you get a delay due to some external
factor such as an industrial dispute. In fact, there was a good example in the U.K. just literally in
the last two or three weeks before me recording this where one of the major public building
projects has been delayed by the discovery of a colony of a rare species of spider. While they
were doing the excavations, they discovered these spiders and the various scientists are now
working out how to relocate these rare spiders somewhere else. The whole projects been delayed
by some considerable length of time, and when this happens you wouldnt necessarily save a
new baseline, particularly if a delay only affected part of a project. What can happen is that you
can put in place an alternative entity called an Interim plan. An interim plan is a sort of smaller
scale thing than a baseline. An interim plan is basically just the dates rather than the overall
costs and so on. And what you may do in some situations, lets suppose youve got a baseline
for a major project and you always want to keep site of that baseline. You always need to know
how costs compare with how you originally envisaged them, how timescales are going, and so
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Project 2013
on. But you also need on a day to day basis to see how things are going against a sort of revised
schedule, perhaps something caused as I say by some exceptional event. What you can do in that
situation is you can save an interim plan which is a sort of a low fat baseline and then you can
compare progress with the interim plan for all or part of the project. Now were not going to
cover interim plans on this course but its important to understand what the purpose of an interim
plan is.
So here is a version of our current schedule. What Im going to do is to save this as a baseline.
Now in order to do that or to demonstrate, what happens when I do that on the View tab, click on
Tables, go down to More tables, and were going to look at the baseline table. Now when we
save a baseline what we get is a set of baseline figures. These include baseline duration, baseline
start, baseline finish, baseline work, and baseline cost. Now before we save a baseline as you
can see theyre all empty or zero.
So lets save a baseline. Click on the Project tab. One of the options on the Project tab in the
Schedule Group here is Set baseline. Note the screen tip there. Take a snapshot of your
schedule that includes information about tasks, resources, and assignments. Lets just click on
the bottom of the button there. Set baseline. Notice theres an option here to clear a baseline.
You can actually, if youve made a mistake or youve decided its all gone horribly wrong, clear
a baseline and start again. But lets go on, Set baseline.
So we see the Set Baseline dialog and, first of all, we have an option between setting a baseline
and setting an interim plan. Now were going to set a baseline and we can choose the baseline
we want to set. Theres baseline which is the default baseline. Thats the one were going to
use, and then as I said theres a total of 11. There are ten alternative baselines. So if because of
some major change in scope, budget, or whatever we needed to set a new baseline and we
wanted to keep the original, then weve got up to ten alternative baselines. Were going to stick
with the default baseline here, and then we get a choice. Do you want a baseline for the whole
project or for selected tasks? Now were going to work with the entire project on this occasion.
So were going to say I want my default baseline for the entire project and then click on OK.
Now when you do that all of the current figures are copied into those baseline fields that were
empty before and we now have our project baseline.

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Project 2013
And just to take one particular example, if you look at the project summary task here, thats the
task with ID zero at the top. The baseline amount of work is 696 hours and one of the things we
can compare throughout the project is how were doing towards that total of 696 hours of work.
Now theres just one other thing Id like to show you in relation to this and that is lets suppose
that we find we have an additional task and weve got approval to add it to the baseline. We
dont need to treat this as a change of scope or a completely new baseline. We just think its an
omission and its one small item we can add to the current baseline. So let me just go back into
the normal Gantt Chart View and Im going to change back normally to the entry table. Im
going to put a task in prepare site, a new subtask right at the bottom there. So insert task. Lets
say its just a cleanup task and lets say its a one day task, and resource wise, assign resource.
Im going to choose a work resource of laborer. Laborers going to have a cleanup task up there.
Close. So theres my new task. Im going to add a dependence there. So lets put in a link
there. My project by the way is going to run late now because of that but that doesnt matter at
the moment. Now lets go and look again at the baseline.
Weve added this task since we saved the baseline so its not included in it, but we can add
individual tasks to an existing baseline. So back on the Project tab, click on Set baseline again.
Now were doing set baseline for selected task or tasks. If I select the summary tasks that I want
to roll the figures into such as the prepare site task here which I havent selected, then what
Project 2013 will do will be to recalculate totals for the summary task. But I can say to all
summary tasks and that makes sure that all of the rolling up right up to the project summary task
level is done. So now watch what happens when I click on OK. Im warned about changing the
existing baseline. It may not be my intention to add this to existing baseline. So thats Project
2013 just warning me that Im about to change the baseline Ive already saved. Click on Yes
and, of course, not only does the cleanup task now appear as part of the baseline, but the
additional eight hours of work is in prepare site and the additional eight hours of work has been
rolled up right to the top level to the project summary task as well. So its important to
understand that you effectively manually control the rolling up of the additional work and cost
and so on into summary tasks right up to the project summary task level.
So thats how you add one or more tasks to an existing baseline and as we saw on the Set
baseline button before, if you need to clear a baseline, theres a button to do that as well.
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
So now theres a pretty straightforward exercise for you to do. Im going to take that newly
added task out of this project and remove the baseline that Ive already saved here, and then that
is going to be example_13 in the files that you got with the course. All Id like you to do is to
save a baseline for example_13. My answer to that is example_14.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 27 Tracking
Video: Progress Update
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. The last exercise I gave
you to do will have been to save a baseline as example_14 and our building project now looks
like this. If we looked at the baseline data, baseline start, baseline finish, and so on everythings
got values now. Lets go to the Project tab and click on Project Information, and we have a
project start date of April 2nd and the finish date of June 18th. Now in fact, the building
completes sometimes before that. In fact, it just about achieves our deadline of the end of May.
But the tasks that are continuing are some site inspections. This will quite often be the case
when theres some sort of snagging and correction work and clearing up to and so on. This
milestone here, 39 building completed, only really denotes the completion of the actual physical
building.
So lets now also click on Statistics and if we click on statistics now, not only have we got a
current start and finish but weve got a baseline start and finish now. So, the next missing part of
the statistics on our project have now appeared. Now, of course, at this stage the baseline agrees
with the current plan, as you would expect, because weve only just saved the baseline. What
were going to start to do in this section is to start recording some actual information.
Before we start recording actual information, Id like to point out two very important things. The
first of them is that getting reliable information about actual progress tends to be a much more
difficult task than recording it in Microsoft Project. There are various techniques for assembling
information. You might have people that complete time sheets. You may walk around members
of the team that are working on a project and ask how theyre getting on, check with them what
theyve completed, what they havent completed, and so on. But the problems that most people
get related to keeping track of actual information tend to be a combination of people having a
usually rather over optimistic view of how far they are through a task and the fact that sometimes
its a little bit too easy to just assume that everythings on track. So to a large extent the success
youre going to have with tracking progress is going to depend on how good you are at getting
the correct source information to update Microsoft Project with. Sometimes this is primarily
down to putting in the right sort of processes but often its also due to your own ability to get a

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Project 2013
good feeling for how well or badly things are going and maybe to some extent which figures or
whose figures you can trust and which figures you cant. Now Microsoft Project can only work
with the numbers you give it. So if you tell it that a task is half complete, it would just put down
half complete. Its not going to say to you, Are you sure its half complete? It only looks a
quarter complete to me. So you really need to make sure that the figures that youre putting in
are as accurate as they can be.
The second thing to point out is that when were tracking progress, some of the techniques that
we use are automated or at least semi-automated. Largely speaking those processes cannot be
used with manually scheduled tasks. If your project or projects include manually scheduled
tasks tracking progress, updating progress on those is a manual process. So youd need to look
at each of those each time you do a progress update and manually update the status of any
manually scheduled tasks. Now the meaning of that will become more apparent over the next
section or two as we start looking at the various ways of updating and tracking progress.
Now its potentially quite difficult to show you how to update progress on a project which for
you will be set in the past and where I have a certain date when Im recording this course and so
on. So Im afraid youre going to have to just go with me a little bit on the dates that were using
here. The date currently actually is April the 8th and this particular project in theory has been
running for about a week. One of the great things about Project 2013 is that as part of the
process of not only planning and scheduling but tracking progress on a project, we can change
the current date, so we can cheat, and we can also set the status date because the important thing
when were tracking progress is that were looking at the status as it was on a date. It will very
often be the case that when youre looking at progress on a project it wont be progress as of
now. Let me give you an example.
Several of the projects that Ive worked on in the recent past have involved quite a long period of
time and perhaps once a month, maybe at the end of the month, the people working on the
project are required to give an update on their progress; to look at all the tasks theyre
responsible for and record how much work theyve done, whether theyve finished, whether the
task is going to take longer or less time than they said, and so on. Now at the end of the month,
we gather all that information together and it often takes a few days before we can collate that
all, update our project, and publish the findings. It may well be the fourth or fifth working day of
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
the month before we can update status as at the end of the previous month. So what happens is
when youre entering this status information, its quite often entering status information thats a
few days old. But its important to point out when youre recording the information which date
the status actually applies to. If Im updating status, say, for March 2013 on April the 8th, I dont
want it to look as though its the status on April the 8th. I want it to look as though its the status
at the end of March.
So before you update status, the first thing youre going to do is to specify what the status date is.
If I go in to Project Information, if I choose a current date, lets stick with the current date of
April 8th, and I set a status date of April 5th, what Im saying effectively is that on April 8th Im
recording the status as it was on Friday, April 5th. So Ive got a current date and Ive got a status
date.
Now according to my schedule on April the 5th what should have happened is that I should have
had the first site inspection and the demolition work should be well progressed. Itll almost be
finished. But according to the Gantt Chart nothing else will have started. So thats the status as
it should be and in fact what Im going to record is the fact that that is the status. Thats exactly
whats happened. Weve had the first site inspection, the demolition is well under way, almost
finished, and thats really where wed got to on Friday.
And just before we start the update process, I need to show you one other table. We were
looking at the baseline table here. Lets now choose the table Tracking. For any tasks within the
schedule, once you record any kind of tracking information, any progress against it, then it has
an actual start date and really the whole project has an actual start date when the first task has an
actual start date. If we just go back for a moment to that Project Information Statistics dialog
that I showed you before, that has N/A, nothing. Actual start none, finish none, and then actual
duration, work, cost, none, none, none. Nothings happened until we do the first bit of tracking.
Once we do the first bit of tracking, then the contents of these tracking fields start to appear.
And just briefly to describe them, the actual start date is the actual start date for individual tasks
or summary tasks and indeed an actual start date for the whole project which is the first recorded
start date for anything in the project. Actual finish will go into each task or summary task as its
completed. Percent complete, think of that as a sort of estimate of the percent complete, the
amount of work complete on each individual task or summary task. Physical percent complete is
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Project 2013
the actual measured percent complete. Ill talk about percent complete and physical percent
complete later on. And then we have an actual duration. Thats the duration thats actually gone
by and the amount of duration that remains, the remaining duration. So these actuals, together
with things like actual cost and actual work, are the recorded values for each of the tasks in our
project. At the moment, none of them have any values, but as soon as you start tracking they
start to get values.
So what we do now is on the Project tab in the Status Group we select Update project and this is
the dialog that youll normally use to update the whole project or some part of the project on a
regular basis. Now were going to use the most straightforward options possible to begin with.
The status date, Friday, April 5th, is in the box here. Its another chance to change it here if
necessary. Im actually completing this on the following Monday, April the 8th. And the first
option is Update the work as though it is complete through. What were basically saying here is
that when we use this option, then with the top option selected whats actually happened is what
is scheduled to happen. So whatevers supposed to have happened by now has happened and
were basically completely on track. So update the work as complete through, set 0% to 100%
complete. So for tasks that are partially complete calculate what proportion complete they are.
There is a second option here and what this option says is that if a task is scheduled to be
complete, then its complete. If its not scheduled to be complete, so maybe its not scheduled to
be started yet or its not scheduled to be finished anyway. Maybe its a quarter or a half or threequarters or something, set it as 0%. You then have this option which says for any uncompleted
work schedule it to start after today. So what this is basically saying is that the project as Ive
got it marked now with various tasks complete, un-started, or in various stages of completeness,
what I want you to do is reschedule the whole thing as though its starting again from today with
all that uncompleted work. And then you have a choice here that says do I want to do this for the
whole project or for the selected tasks? Now were going to work on the whole project and
were going to choose the top option, Update work as complete through and the Set 0% to 100%
complete option, and then all we have to do is to click on OK. And what Project 2013 now does
is to update our status. So let me just pull the divider over and lets have a look at the table.
One of the tasks, ID 2, is the first site inspection which was scheduled to take place on the first
Tuesday. Look carefully at whats happened to that. It has now an actual start date. It has an

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Project 2013
actual finish date. So that task is 100% complete which is whats indicated there. The actual
duration, two hours, the actual cost, $116, the actual work, four hours. The site foreman and the
project manager did two hours each so thats four hours and at their various rates of pay thats
$116. So that task cost $116 and its complete.
Now as soon as task two got an actual start date, then the summary task, task ID 1 that owns it
also got an actual start date. Of course, the summary task is not finished yet because it owns all
of the other site inspections, but it is 8% complete. So because one of the site inspections is
complete, it is 8% complete. And figures such as actual cost and actual work are going to roll up
into that summary task over time. So we can see how the fact that one of the subtasks has some
progress means that we now have some progress in the summary task.
Now lets turn our attention down to the demolition task which is the only other actual task that
has started. But with this task, although it started on Tuesday, April 2nd, it is not yet complete. It
was a five day task. We completed four days, up to Friday. So that was Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday and we have one day remaining duration. Thatll actually be the work being
done today. So the task is 80% complete. Now you may or may not have noticed this before but
a total of five days for that was half of the work within the prepare site summary task. So the
fact that weve done 80% of half of the work means that as far as the summary task, prepare site
is concerned weve done 40% of the summary task. The summary task has an actual start date
but of course no actual finish date yet because that work is not finished. Weve got an actual
duration of four days, a remaining duration of six days. Thats 40% and we can see what so far
the actual cost and the actual work have been.
So those two tasks represent all of the progress so far on the project and for each of those two
tasks they also have an impact on their respective summary tasks as well.
So having seen how to record actual information for a project, in the next section were going to
move things forward another week and see how progress on the build is going then. So please
join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Tools for Tracking Progress


Toby: Hello and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section, we did
our first weeks worth of progress updating and we indicated that progress on Friday of the first
week of work on the build was on schedule. We did this on the following Monday. And a little
bit later on were going to put in progress for the next week, but before we do that Id like you to
look at some of the other tools that will help you with both understanding what weve done so far
and identifying the use of further tools to help with tracking progress in Project 2013.
Now were currently looking at our project in Gantt View and Im just going to zoom in a little
bit. So let me just use the zoom slider there to zoom in, and then Im going to drag right back
here to the first of the site inspections and thats the one thats complete. What you can notice
there is that there is now a line through that task and what that basically says is that that is a task
that is complete. Now if I just zoom back out again and now we look down at the task below it,
demolition. We indicated demolition was 80% complete, four days out of five. Notice that the
line there goes only as far as the progress that weve indicated when weve done the progress
update. Note the shading here indicates the weekend Saturday and Sunday. So although weve
done 80% of the work, we havent put a line through 80% of the line. Having said that, there is a
line through the middle of 80% of the working part of the line. So 80% is the bit from there to
there and the other 20% is the work thats to be done today, Monday. So the line through the
task like this is one of the visual cues that you can use in a Gantt Chart to show you how much of
a task or a range of tasks is complete. Having said that, dont forget you can customize the view
of a Gantt Chart and were going to look at that later on in the course.
But in addition to those visual cues within a standard Gantt Chart, if you go to the drop down
here for the view, there is another Gantt Chart called a Tracking Gantt. If I click on Tracking
Gantt, let me just pull the divider over here a little, the tracking Gantt can also be extremely
useful because it still shows us the bars but it also shows us in numbers to the right of the Gantt
itself the percent complete of each task. Now this percent complete replaces in the standard
definition, the standard formatting the list of names of the resources, but if youre really trying to
get a quick look at percent complete of tasks both visually in terms of how much filling on the
bar there is and also with the numbers on the right, then the Tracking Gantt can be really useful
as well.

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Project 2013
So lets now look back at the Project tab and the Project Information and lets look at statistics
because now that weve got some recorded progress, our statistics are starting to fill out. We
have a start date for the current start date, the baseline start date, and the actual start date.
Obviously, we dont have an actual finish yet. Weve not finished the project. But in the lower
half of the statistics box here we can see that in terms of percent complete, in 7% of the duration
of the project weve done 6% of the work. We also have a summary here of duration 53.25 days.
Weve actually done 3.84 days and weve got 49.41 days remaining. Of the 616 hours of work,
weve done 36 hours. Weve got 580 hours to do. And in terms of the overall cost, weve so far
accrued $756 and weve got $22,907.60 still to accrue.
Now when you come to looking at these kinds of numeric summaries of progress, you really
need to be very careful because you really need to take a good broad picture of a project before
you come to any conclusions about it. Well be looking at this later on in the course when we
have a look at financial reporting. But let me just give you a little example of how misleading
some of these numbers can be.
Lets suppose Im running a project and its hopelessly behind schedule. Not only have I not
done any of the work but Ive not even bought the materials that I need. If I were to do a
presentation to management on my project, I could actually make the point that were well
within budget. Were supposed to have spent $5,000 by now but weve only spent two. And I
might even be persuasive enough to make them think that Im working within budget. Well, I
am but thats because I am so far behind schedule that I havent even bought the materials yet.
Now thats a very simplistic example but it gives you just an idea of how important it is to look
at all of these numbers holistically to say okay, you may have spent less money than you should
have done by now but have you done less work or have you done more work or have you done
the target amount of work? And theres some of the things that well look at later on when we
talk about financial reporting.
So, now for the next exercise for you to do Im going to save this particular project as
example_15 and I would like you to record that were on schedule and this is going to be for a
status date of Friday, April 12, 2013 and youre going to set the actual current date as say
Tuesday, April the 16, 2013. So Tuesday next week compared to where I am now is going to be

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Project 2013
the date that youre entering the status on Friday and the status on Friday is that everythings on
track.
My answer to that will be example_16. Ill see you in the next section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Project Options that Affect Progress Tracking


Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. At the end of the previous
section I left you with an exercise to do and my answer to that, example_16, is what were
looking at now and this is involved doing another week of progress reporting on our building
project. Weve got a few tasks completed now, including the first two site inspections. In this
section, were going to look at the Project Options that affect progress tracking.
The main options that affect tracking are on the schedule page so lets just scroll down to the
bottom of the schedule page and weve already seen the calculation option here, Calculate
project after each edit on or off. I explained those options earlier on in the course. I virtually
always have this set to on. And then its the group of options below that that were particularly
interested in at the moment.
The first option, Updating task status updates resource status. If this is checked what happens is
that if, for example, you say that a task is half complete then resource usage for each resource on
that task is also half complete. Whether its a work resource or a material resource if the task is
half done, then each of the resources is half done as well.
Secondly, Inserted projects are calculated like summary tasks. You can have a subproject within
a project. You can take a project and insert it into another one and its like a sort of super
summary task. Well, if you have this option checked, then indeed when it comes to calculation
that inserted project will be calculated as though it were a summary task.
The third option, Actual costs are always calculated by project. One of the things that you can
do when youre updating status on one or more tasks in Project is to enter actual cost manually.
You can put them into the actual cost column in the cost table in Gantt Chart View, for example.
But if this box is checked whats going to happen if you do that is that whenever you get Project
to do a calculation for you, it will overwrite the actual cost that youve put in when it comes to
calculate the actual cost itself. But its worth noting that once a task is marked as complete,
Project isnt going to update the costs anymore anyway. So once a task is complete, then if you
put in an actual cost of your own, effectively overriding what Project has said, then that will not
be overwritten again because once the task is complete, Project isnt going to overwrite what
youve written.

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Project 2013
The final option here is the one that we talked about earlier on, Default fixed cost accrual. You
can set that to one of the three options. Its currently set here to prorated which is the one that I
usually use and it is the default for Project 2013.
There are some additional options on the Advanced page, so lets just click to the Advanced
page, scroll down to the bottom. A couple of these are a little bit more complicated to explain
but theyre actually relatively straightforward when you understand them. Lets take the first
one, Move end of completed parts after status date back to status date. Lets suppose that you
have a task where its complete. Its not actually due to be complete but its effectively been
finished early. If you have this box checked, well whatll happen is that when you come to do a
progress update that task will be moved in the schedule such that it shows that its completed on
the status date even though originally it was scheduled to be completed after the status date.
The option below that is the opposite in terms of where you have a remaining part of a task
checking this option will mean that the remaining part is moved to start on the status date. Now
Im not going to go into the other options here. Theyre a little bit more advanced and we dont
really need them at the moment in terms of doing the basis of progress tracking. But theyre
important ones to look into if youre use of Project means that you need to use some of the more
sophisticated aspects of progress tracking. For now the ones that weve seen are enough for our
purposes.
So, so far everythings been going to schedule which is great. But, of course, in most projects
things dont go to schedule so lets look at this project starting to go a little bit wrong.
The first thing I want to remind you of is what the dates were set at when we last did an update.
So if I click on Project Information, we had a current date of Tuesday, April 16th which was the
date we were doing the update. And the status date, so the date to which the update referred was
Friday, April 12th. So theyre the dates. Note that the current date, Tuesday, April 16 th, is the
date thats shown by that vertical line on the Gantt Chart. Now what Im going to do is to
change that current date and Im going to say the current date has moved on two days. Its now
the 18th. So that line moves two days to the right and the problem is its been absolutely pouring
with rain. Weve not been able to do any work on the excavation at all. Weve not even really
got started on any of the later tasks because all of them are dependent on us finishing the

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Project 2013
preparation of the site. The only thing weve managed to do is this weeks site inspection. So
lets do an update that reflects the fact that its all gone horribly wrong.
Now one of the options youve got in this situation is to use Update Project with one of the
options that we looked at earlier on. Ill come back to that in just a moment. But the first thing
we need to do is to set the status date. Now on this occasion, the status date is going to be the
same as the current date because what were going to say is its all gone pretty horribly wrong.
So how are things today on Thursday, April the 18th? Well, we might say, Okay well the
weather has picked up. Weve lost some work but we can actually get started again now. So
what I really want to do is to reschedule the project from now. If I went into Update Project, I
could say, Reschedule uncompleted work to start after and just use todays date and say
everything thats not done reschedule it to work after today. But before I do that what Im going
to do is Im going to go into the site inspections, choose the one thats due to happen this week
which is that one, Site inspection 3, and I can say well that did actually happen. If you go to the
Task tab in the Schedule Group, there are some buttons where you can indicate percent complete
for individual tasks. And I can say that particular one, thats 100% complete. So lets mark that
one as 100% complete.
Now lets take a look at the excavation task. Now we know that the excavation task started last
week. Its actually a two day task. It shouldve finished on Monday but it hasnt finished
because of the bad weather. So we go to talk to the people involved in the excavation task and
they tell us that they believe its about 75% complete. So theres probably about a half a days
work to do. So lets select that excavation task, go back to the Task tab, and mark it as 75%
complete.

Now having done that, of course, were still well behind schedule because it

shouldve been well finished by now, but at that point weve really updated everything we can.
So what we now want to do is to say, Okay Ive put in all the information that I know. What I
now need to do is to reschedule the project from now based on the information that Ive entered.
So what I now do is go back to the Project tab again, click on Update Project. Of course, my
update date and current date are still correct so I click on Reschedule uncompleted work to start
after today. So Im going to assume that as from tomorrow, we can carry on with whatever
hasnt been done.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Now clearly weve lost some time. Its not going to conveniently fit in by the end date. Were
going to have one or two problems to resolve in order to get our project back on its target
completion date of May 31st but lets see what happens when we do this. What we get is a
message from the Planning Wizard. Now sometimes the messages from the Planning Wizard
can be quite daunting because they seem quite long and complicated. This one is relatively
straightforward although its quite a long message actually. And it basically says that at least
one task it had trouble rescheduling because of a constraint date. The second paragraph there
though tells you how to locate that task or tasks so that you can look at how to resolve that
particular problem. So Ive made a note of what needs doing there. Im going to click on OK
and lets take a look at the schedule as it stands now.
One of the most notable things about it and this is a very significant point is if you look at the
excavation task, note how the task has been split between the work thats already completed and
the half a day of work that still needs to be done. The dot, dot, dot, dot, dot between them
indicates the split. Lets go down and see how late our project is running. Were aiming at May
31st. Weve missed it by a little bit now. Weve lost a couple of days there so were going to
have quite a big problem to resolve here.
When it comes to looking for ways to resolve these kinds of scheduling issue, we talked about
the basic approach earlier on in the course. We have used overtime. We used it to save a little
bit of elapsed time on doing the roof. The roofer agreed to do the equivalent of one day of
overtime. We looked at changing some dependencies, overlapping tasks. Weve pretty much
trimmed one or two of those things down as far as we could. We could here, for instance, ask
Jim to do a bit of overtime on bricklaying. Maybe even ask Jade to do some overtime on the
windows. But lets look at one of the options that weve talked about before but not actually
used. Im now specifically looking at the work on brick laying because the brick laying work we
allocated to Jim but I did mention before that we may well need another brick layer. Why dont
we try getting another brick layer to help Jim to reduce the elapsed time on the walls? Now if I
open up the ground floor walls task here and look at the task information, Advanced tab, it is
effort driven. The brick laying task is an effort driven task. Its a five day task as well. So why
dont I allocate an additional resource? So Im going to say resources, Jim is on there. Lets
choose another resource. Lets go for generic brick layer, 100% for it of a generic brick layer,

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
click on OK, and what we now have is an improvement to the schedule. Now note that I havent
necessarily increased costs here because although Im now paying two brick layers to work on
the ground floor walls the elapsed time is only going to be half what it was. So overall, it wont
make a significant difference to my cost. Ive still got a little bit more time to win back though
because Im still running late, although allowing for a weekend, Im only a day behind schedule
now. So maybe the best thing to do next would be to allocate the brick layer to help Jim on the
upper floor walls as well. So lets just try that, upper floor walls. Lets go into that, allocate a
brick layer, click on OK, and weve actually pulled back more time than we needed. Now that
looks really good. Of course, with a project with no contingency time at all, I shouldnt feel too
complacent about doing that but you can see how as the project progresses we need to look at
scheduling, rescheduling, keep an eye on cost, make sure that things dont become far too
expensive in order to keep to a schedule. You may get to a point where the weather or some
other external factor means that you just cant complete the project on time. But, of course, this
is totally subjective and absolutely dependent on the particular project and the particular
circumstances.
So before we leave the subject of progress tracking lets just go back and take another look at the
Tracking Gantt Chart. Thatll make slightly more interesting reading now. Im still reasonably
zoomed in. Notice how say with Task 18 how the Tracking Gantt looks now. The original bar is
the lower bar. So thats effectively a sort of very dark colored virtually black bar at the bottom
there. The top part has been split. Weve got a complete part and a not complete part. And if
you look down at the other tasks in the schedule, note how the rescheduling has moved them all
very significantly away from where they were, although as I go further down the schedule the
time that Ive won back by using the additional brick layer means that some of the other tasks are
actually ahead of where they were. So thats why were finishing up a day ahead of the original
deadline.
However, we have got a resource leveling issue with Jades time so lets just go back into
Resource, Level Resource, find Jade, there she is, click on level now. That sorted out the
leveling of Jades time. It hasnt in any way delayed the project so thats fine.
One other thing to point out up here, note how in the Tracking Gantt Chart as tasks are
completed you get a tick in the indicator column just to emphasize the fact that those tasks are
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
completed.

And if we go back to the View tab, click on the filter, we can actually say

incomplete task. So if in a project you want to make it a little bit easier to see the tasks that
havent been completed, yet click on Incomplete tasks and the ones that are complete will no
longer be shown. It means you can focus your attention on the ones that still have some work
needed.
So thats it on progress tracking for the moment. In the next section were going to take a quick
look at task paths so please join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Tracing Task Paths


Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this short section were
going to take a look at one of the new features of Project 2013 and this is the feature whereby we
can trace task paths which is very useful when it comes to resolving scheduling problems.
In order to demonstrate this new feature, Im going to use this little dummy project. Now I could
have demonstrated it within our existing building project but the coloring and the overall effect
of tracing task paths is actually quite subtle. And although youll be able to see it fine when
youre working on one of your own projects, looking at it on a training video like this would
actually be quite difficult. Whereas separating out these few tasks itll make it very clear whats
going on.
Now the key task here is Task 3. It has two predecessors and two successors. It has a finish to
start relationship with both of its predecessors but Task 1 finished earlier than Task 2. So
although both of these are predecessors of Task 3, its actually Task 2 that is currently driving
Task 3 because thats the one that finishes last so thats the one that Task 3 has to wait for until it
can start.
Task 3 has two successors, Task 4 and Task 5. But note that with Task 4, whereas its actually
driving the start of Task 4, Task 5 is not directly dependent on Task 3. In fact with Task 5
theres even a bit of a lag here between it and Task 4.
Now with Task 3 selected if I go to the Gantt Chart Tools Format tab, right in the middle of the
Bar Styles Group, there is a Task path button. If I click on that, Im given four options. The first
option is to show the predecessors of the selected task; i.e., the predecessors of Task 3. So click
on predecessors and you can see that it has two predecessors and theyre colored in that sort of
yellow or amber color there. If I click on that little menu again, youll see just about that there
are four different colors used for the four different situations. Now with predecessors switched
on, so the little icon is actually highlighted there. So Im keeping predecessor switched on but
Im also going to switch on driving predecessors. Highlight the predecessors that directly affect
the selected task at the moment really. So if I click on driving predecessors, I can see that the
driving predecessor is Task 2. If I moved Task 2, basically I would move Task 3, whereas Task
1 does not directly affect it. Now obviously if I move Task 1 late enough so that it was ending

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Project 2013
later than Task 2, then I might affect Task 3. But at the moment, Im not affecting it so its not
one of the driving predecessors.
Task 3 still selected; lets go back up to the list again. Successors. Which tasks are after Task 3?
Both of those are highlighted in that sort of lilac-y sort of color. And then finally which are the
driven successors? Which successors are directly driven by Task 3? Of course, that is just Task
4 because for some reason Task 5 is out here. It may have a manually scheduled date, for
example.
So you can see the four different colors there in force and the use of those colors will help you to
identify in a much more complex Gantt Chart what the relationship is between all of the tasks
that are in some way linked to your selected task. So if youre looking at Task 3 in this example
and youre trying to figure out exactly what affects it and what you would affect if you moved or
changed Task 3, this is a great way of identifying those.
When you have finished using this feature, there is an option at the bottom there, Remove
highlighting, and everythings back to the way it was.
Now let me just quickly go back to our more complete building project, show you the same
effect there. Ive got the task Build walls selected now roughly in the middle of the Gantt Chart
that you can see at the moment. And if I go to the Task paths drop down and say predecessors,
you should just about see there the color of that summary task there changing to indicate that it is
a predecessor. When we come to formatting Gantt Charts a little bit later on in the course, youll
be able to make this a little bit more obvious. But now let me do driving predecessors and youd
see that color just change there enough to show that lay foundation is a driving predecessor. And
then similarly, I can do the same on successors. You will have seen a color change down there,
and finally watching the same place, driven successors, another color change there. Again, I can
remove the highlighting using the last option on the menu.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 28 Reporting
Video: Customizing Reports
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to start to look
at reporting and this is one aspect of Microsoft Project that has really significantly changed in the
latest version.
So first of all, go to the Report tab and then in the group on the left, the Project Group, there is a
Compare projects command which you can use to compare two versions of a project. This is
pretty useful if youre keeping multiple versions and you just want to establish the differences
between two versions. Its sometimes useful if youve got two projects pretty similar maybe for
different clients and you want to see the differences between the two. Thats outside the scope of
this course but its a pretty useful function. Its not actually a completely new function within
Project 2013 but it was a little bit hidden before and even if youve used an earlier version of
Microsoft Project, you may not have been aware of this.
On the right in the Export Group, we have the Visual Reports Group. Now this is an extremely
useful way of producing customizable visual reports. This is a pretty well established feature of
Microsoft Project. Again, its outside the scope of this course to go into this but again a useful
feature to experiment with. Theres a Help facility there thatll link you through to some help
and theres some good source information on the Microsoft website if you want to find out how
to make these customizable reports.
In older versions of Microsoft Project these were really the most customizable reports that
existed, but in Project 2013 youll find that most of the reports you produce are also extremely
customizable now as were going to see.
So lets look at the main group of reports here, View Reports, and second from the left we have
dashboards. You may well have used dashboards before. The general principle here is to have
an eye catching sort of dynamic snapshot of something. And if you click on the drop down
arrow here for dashboards, you have burn down which were going to look at in a later section
and then you have some overview reports, one of which is the Project Overview. So lets start
with Project Overview. Click on that and there we have a project overview.

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Project 2013
Now before I actually look at the overview, let me just point out that as soon as you create a
project like this you have a Report Tools Design tab, and really all of these reports you can
customize the design of. Before we go back to project overview let me just quickly run through
what you can do using the commands on this Design tab.
Now first of all, with the commands on the Design tab you can change the theme on a report.
Youre probably used to using other components of Microsoft Office and if youve used Office
2010 or Office 2013, youll be used to mixing and matching themes, perhaps producing different
types of documents relating to what youre doing, adopting one of the standard themes. Well,
you can apply the themes to all of the reports that you produce in Project 2013. So here, for
instance, if I click on the drop down here I can see that the current theme is Banded. If I click on
that drop down, I could choose a different theme; supposing I chose the Celestial theme there, for
example, and the theme in use on my report changes. The theme will include things like color
scheme, font, font size, etc. Now within the theme, I can then go in and customize individual
colors, fonts, effects on text and graphics and so on. Its an incredibly flexible way that you can
customize the contents of one of your Project 2013 reports. To the right of that theres another
group where you can actually insert objects on to the reports. So for instance, I could insert a
shape. Say take a shape like a rectangle and draw that on to the report. I could perhaps use this
to do a call out on part of the report or even to add some additional information to it. So again
the reporting facility is extremely flexible from the point of view of being able to customize what
you see in a report.
Now lets move on to the Report Group here. Two very important buttons there. One of them is
Manage. Now that allows us to rename a report but it also lets us go into the Organizer. Now
the organizer is something were going to look at later on in the course and its basically a way
of managing all of the resources of Project 2013, not only reports but many other aspects such as
filters, views, tables, and so on. As I said, Im going to look at the organizer later on in the
course.
I can copy the report which basically copies the report to the clipboard which makes it very
straightforward to paste it into another document. I might, for instance, want to paste it into a
PowerPoint presentation or into a Word document, and then I have these Page Setup buttons here
that enable me to set it up ready for printing. So I can switch between portrait and landscape,
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Project 2013
adjust the margins, set the size of the report itself, ready for the paper size that Im going to use,
and so on. So I have a very wide range of design tools available here to work on these reports.
Now largely speaking those design tools are common across all of this new style of report that
can be produced in Project 2013. But there are also some more specific aspects as well, so lets
use this project overview to look at an example of something more specific that can be done.
The project overview, as you can see, gives me a range of dates over which the project is
operating. The percent complete, thats actually the percent complete in duration that it refers to.
It then lists various things such as milestones due, milestones that are coming soon. So thats a
nice little quick reference to the forthcoming milestones on the project. And then we also have
details on here of percent complete using the major tasks on the project, basically the summary
tasks on the project, and then a list of late tasks. You may recall with this current project
because of the weather the excavation has been delayed by two days. Its currently 75%
complete. But if I look at the top right there where I have this chart which basically summarizes
the percent complete for each of the summary tasks, notice that most of them are 0% complete
because they havent started yet. But for the other two, site inspection and prepare site, theyre
both partway through. The site inspections are 25% of the way through and prepare site is 95%
done. Theres just the finishing of the excavation to do.
But if I click on that chart watch what happens. When I click on that chart, it becomes
recognizable as a chart and I have the full set of Project 2013s chart tools available to me. As
part of that, at the top I get the Chart Tools tabs. I get a Design tab and I get a Format tab. So let
me move the chart fully into view and lets start with the Design tab where I can choose the
different chart style. So I could, for instance, click here and go for say that style. Having chosen
the chart style, I also have things like quick layout, add chart element. If youre familiar with
charting in say Microsoft Excel, youll be very familiar with these kinds of tools. And very
importantly here you have a Chart Data button which is currently selected. So we have a pane
on the right here which has the chart data in it. Not only can we select the fields to show but we
have the facility to, for example, apply filters.
Now just to show you how to change the chart data, at the moment what we can see in there, you
can see checked in this Select field box on the right. You see under number custom its got

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Project 2013
percent complete checked. The figures that we can see here are percent complete figures. So for
each of the summary tasks in the project, you can see the percent complete. If I look down that
list, say, for a different piece of data, what about work? Lets show work in there. So if I click
on work, we actually finish up with two columns. One column shows the percent complete, one
column shows the work for each of those summary tasks. And then I could go back up and
switch off percent complete and just have work there.
So I can also change the chart type. So for instance, if I went into Change chart type, I could
change from column to bar or any other suitable type for that type of data. So I could choose
bar, clustered bar, and theres the clustered bar.
So in that way its possible to go in and very highly customize one of these standard dashboard
reports. These customization tools are pretty common across all of these new types of report in
Project 2013.
And then, of course, with the chart still selected, I can click on the Format tab here and I can
work on using, for instance, WordArt to change shape styles and shape fill. So for instance, if I
went into shape fill here, chose a different fill color, I could change the shape fill for the
background of the chart like that, which is not a particularly attractive effect but it does just
demonstrate that you are pretty much unlimited on what you can do to work on the design and
format of charts.
If I click away from the chart and just look at the report in general or go to a different object on
the report, then I will get the relevant tools to work on that object. So if I select this box here
which has got 18% in it, thats actually a table so I get the table tools that go with that and I
could go into design for the table, maybe change it to a different color scheme and different types
of border lines and so on.
So apart from the overall look and feel of the report, each object within it can be separately
formatted and have both data content changed, style change, colors changed, etc. So its an
extremely flexible reporting system.
Now generally speaking when youve finished working on a report like this, customizing it to
your own requirements, what you can then do is to copy it and paste it into another document.

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Project 2013
You can, of course, print it as well. Were going to look at printing later on. But lets suppose I
just wanted to say do a management progress report and I was going o make a little PowerPoint
presentation here, just for example. Ive customized this. Ive customized it incredibly badly as
you can see but I was really just trying to demonstrate some of the things that you can do.
Theres my project overview as of today. I could, of course, put a header and footer on there
with todays date on it if I wanted to. But I can also do that within PowerPoint. Im going to
copy that report to the clipboard. Now Im going to switch into PowerPoint. Okay, Im in
PowerPoint 2013. Im now going to paste that into a slide in PowerPoint and there is my project
overview report pasted into PowerPoint. I can still access individual elements or before or after
pasting, I can resize the whole thing as well. So in terms of putting my progress report for
management together, thats a pretty slick way of being able to do it.
In the next section were going to look at some of the other types of report in Project 2013, and
then Im very quickly going to show you how you would set about creating a report of your own.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Types of Report; Creating a New Report


Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we
looked at the standard project overview report which is one of the new style of reports in Project
2013 and I showed you how to customize it. We looked at customizing a chart in that report and
we looked at customizing a table in that report, and in general terms, its possible to do a very
high level of customization of the new types of report. Id like to begin this section by looking at
some of the other standard reports and then in the second part of this section Ill show you how
to at least start to create a report of your own.
So were still working on the same project, the build project. Lets go to the Report tab and lets
go back to the dashboards. We chose the project overview dashboard before. Lets look now at
the cost overview dashboard and again this gives a neat summary of the cost information in
relation to our project. Cost overview is the title there. Note that as with the other elements of
this report, if I clicked in there, I could actually change the wording of that title if I wanted to,
its straightforward enough.

It shows the date range for the project, and then we have

information about cost including the remaining cost.


Now depending on the type of dashboard, youd normally have a number of tables. This is cost
data table there and then if I move over to the right we also, in this case, have two charts; a
progress versus cost chart which plots cumulative percent and cumulative cost against time and
then we have a cost status chart that plots remaining cost, actual cost, baseline cost against time.
Now I should point out that whichever of these objects you have selected, as we saw before, you
will get the relevant tools and additional contextual tabs to work on that particular object. So
you can either accept these in the default layout and content and structure or you can highly
customize them.
So thats a cost report. Lets go back into the Report tab again, look at one of the other
dashboards. Lets look at the work overview, and again we have tables containing remaining
work 540 hours and then we have a couple of charts over here as well.
Now Im not going to go through all of these different types of reports. I hope youve got the
idea of these by now. I am going to look at one or two particular reports during this section and
the next one. But lets just go back just once more at dashboards, and at the bottom of the menu

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Project 2013
there, there is a More Reports button. If you click on More Reports, you have a Reports dialog
that lists the reports that are available to you categorized. Now, first of all, you have custom
reports. Well, we dont have any custom reports yet. We havent customized any. Then we
have dashboards and these are the five available standard dashboards. We have resources, costs,
in progress, getting started, new reports, and recent. Now new report is the one we use if we
want to actually create a new report and were going to come back to that in a moment. Recent
lists, the reports that have recently been accessed. So its going to keep track of what I access.
The first one we looked at was project overview, then cost overview, then work overview. Its
an easy way to get back to reports that youve recently looked at. So youll normally be able to
access this from any of the drop down list of options from the buttons here in the Review Reports
Group. So lets cancel that and lets set about creating a new report.
So first of all, lets go to report and go to new report. On new report, we can choose from either
starting with a blank report or starting with a chart, starting with a table, starting with a
comparison. Now it doesnt really matter which of these you start with because you can add
other elements as you go along. But lets start with a table and lets suppose were going to do a
simple report which were going to run off once a week, which basically is going to tell us about
all of the tasks that are in progress. So well start with a table. Lets give the report a name next.
Lets call it the Tasks in progress weekly report. Click on OK and what that gives us is a
straightforward report with a table in it.
Now as you may recall I could, if I wanted to, add other things to this. So if I wanted to add a
chart I could select chart here, I could choose a chart, insert it into my report, and build my report
up in that way. But all Im going to do on this occasion is just show you the basics of putting
this table together and then Im going to leave you to experiment with that and the other
elements yourself.
Now by default, the name that we chose becomes the title of the report so thats there. I could,
of course, click in there. I could change the formatting. Note that this counts as a drawing, so I
get the Drawing Tools Format tab up there. I can go in. I could use a WordArt style. I could fill
this shape with a different color. I could change the size, the font, etc. Im going to leave those
things now and again leave those to you to experiment with. But lets have a look now at this

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Project 2013
table because when I click in table, one of the things that happens is I get access to the field list
that we saw earlier on and I can look at the data that Ive got in the table.
Now when were looking at this field list its important, first of all, to be aware of the outline
level and this is the same whether youre dealing with a table or a chart or anything else thats
displaying data in a report. If you look towards the bottom of the field list, there is an outline
level drop down and currently if I click on that drop down for outline level, I see that we have
project summary selected. Now project summary means that what were going to see in the table
is everything at the project summary level. In fact if we were dealing with a project here which
had several subprojects wed have all the subprojects listed. But because this is a single project,
all you can see is one single row in the table.
If I wanted to see our summary tasks which are the level one tasks what I need to do is to change
from project summary to level one. Now watch what happens when I select level one. What I
now see is the level one tasks, and thats how I get a list at the correct level of the task data in my
report.
Now following on in the same theme, of course, if I chose an outline level of level two, then Im
going to get right down to level two tasks and Ive only got a very few things level two. So lets
take a quick look at level two and we have really quite a long list there including all of the site
inspection meetings.
So lets go back to level one again and now lets look at the next requirement. The next
requirement was to list all of the tasks that are in progress. Now to do that what we need to do is
to look at the filter because filter, four up from the bottom there on the right, currently says All
tasks. And basically depending on the outline level, that means youre going to see all the tasks
at that level. So lets now change that filter. All I want is the tasks that are in progress so Im
going to change that using the filter in progress tasks. Now I see just the two level one tasks that
are in progress which is exactly what I want.
The last thing I want to do is to change the information that is shown. Now for each of those two
level one tasks Im currently showing the task name, the start date, the finish date, and the
percent complete. What I want to do is to also show the work. To do that all I need to do is to
use this Select fields control on the right that we looked at before. If I scroll down there to see
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Project 2013
whats included theres the finish, theres the start. Lets click in the end here and weve got
percent complete, see that checked. Lets go down and find theres the work section. Why dont
we include actual work? And then what happens is we finish up with a field dropped in there at
the end, actual work. Of course, using that control on the right you can control exactly what data
is shown about each of the level one tasks in this table.
And dont forget that you can format the table. All of the time youve got something in the table
selected, youve got the Table Tools up there, the Design tab and the Layout tab. So you can
format the table to your exact requirements. Even in the bottom of the select fields control on
the right here where youve got the list of the fields that are included for each level one task, you
can change the order of these. You can actually drag them up and down. So if I click on actual
work I could put it in front of percent complete like that and then the order of the columns will
be changed.
So thats creating a basic tabular weekly report. And thats it. If I look now at the commands in
the View Reports Group, for instance in recent, Ive got Tasks in progress weekly report. If I
click on the More Reports option at the bottom there, then under custom Ive now got the Tasks
in progress weekly report, the one Ive just created. Its listed as one of the custom reports, and I
can use it on an ongoing basis. I could run it off every Friday and, of course, it would be updated
with that weeks figures.
So now its time to give you another exercise to do. Im going to save this project now as
example_17 and I want you to create another tabular report. This is going to be a tasks
completed report and itd be good if you give it a name like that, and really its going to list the
tasks in the project that have been completed. Now the data I want you to show for each of those
is not, for instance, percent complete because itll obviously be 100%. I do want you to show
actual work. But I also want you to show instead of start and finish, I want you to show actual
start and actual finish. Now in Project 2013 whenever you see start and finish, it means planned
or scheduled start and scheduled finish. I want to see the actual start and the actual finish which
may or may not be the same dates. Now if you go up and select fields within the custom fields,
youve got actual finish and actual start and what were showing are finish and start. So thats
how youre going to find the actuals to go in there.

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Project 2013
And of course one more thing, this will have to be at level two not level one. My answer to that
is in example_18. In the next section, were going to look at earned value reporting in particular.
Please join me for that.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Earned Value Reporting


Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. I mentioned earned value
reporting a couple of times already on the course and in fact from the point of view of
monitoring progress on a project I really dont think theres any other way of doing it effectively
than to use the earned value analysis approach. However theres a little bit of a price to pay with
this because earned value analysis can be really quite baffling and if youre trying to understand
the long list of terms, terminology, and acronyms involved many people just sort of give up and
say well, its all too complicated for me. Well, earned value analysis is actually not that difficult
and in Project 2013 there are one or two really useful reports you can use that will give you a
very good snapshot of where you really are in relation to a project.
I mentioned an example earlier on of how you might seem to be running below budget on a
project, think youre doing really well, whereas in fact the reason youve not spent as much
money as you should have is because youre way behind schedule. And really what earned value
analysis does is to deal with that situation because at any given point in time what it really does
is say, Where are we? Where should we be? And does that mean were behind schedule or
ahead of schedule? Does it mean were behind budget or ahead of budget? Where are we
really? Are things really going well or really going badly? And thats really what earned value
analysis is about.
So what Im going to try to do here is to just steer you in the right direction. If you dont know
about earned value analysis already I suggest you invest a little bit of time in finding out about it.
And a great place to start is actually in the Microsoft Project 2013 Help because if you go into
the online Help and do a search on earned value, you will get this extremely useful page: Earned
value analysis for the rest of us. And it explains many of the acronyms that are involved. It
starts with a simple example. It talks about somebody doing some work on some gardens and
explains how misleading only having part of the information about progress can be. And then it
gives links to various other specific points, shows you how to use the earned value table in
Project 2013, and then it starts to talk about these acronyms that you will get your head round
eventually if you persevere.
Now lets take a quick look at these three key acronyms here and the first thing to point out is
that these are all calculated on a status date. Now we used status date already when weve done
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Project 2013
some project tracking so were talking about a particular point in time where we believe that we
know the status of all of the tasks in a project. Now at that point in time, at that status date, we
need to look at these three figures, planned value and this is the value of the work that we had
planned to do at that time. And basically thats the cost of doing the work up to the time. What
did we plan to have spent on the amount of work that wed planned to do at this point? Now in
an older terminology one which you may be more familiar with if youve been using earned
value analysis before. This wouldve been called BCWS. Thats the Budgeted Cost of Work
Scheduled. So this is what we thought we were going to have done. This is what wed planned
to have done. The second figure is the actual cost. This was known as the ACWP, the Actual
Cost of Work Performed; now called the AC. Whats the actual cost? And the third figure is the
earned value and this is really, what is the value of the work weve done? So given where weve
got to, given the work that weve completed it may be more or less than wed planned to do,
what is the budgeted cost of that? Because thats what we call the earned value. Now using
those three figures, and Ill come back to those a little bit later on, you can come to a conclusion
about how well or badly your project is going.
Now there are various links within this Help document to give you more information about how
to deal with earned value calculations and Im going to leave you to look at those yourself. But
the key one next is right near the beginning, Display earned value. Project displays earned value
information two ways, with views and with reports. But first you need to do a few things to
setup earned value for reporting.
Now in order to use earned value reporting, you need to do these three things. First of all, you
need to set a baseline. Well, of course, weve already set a baseline on the current project.
Youll always need to have a baseline in order to do earned value reporting because otherwise
youve got nothing to compare your progress with. The second thing is that it always operates at
a status date. So you need to set a status date that this refers to. Again, weve talked about that
before. Weve been doing that when weve been looking at project tracking so that should be
fine. The third thing is to specify the earned value method for percent complete. I mentioned
this earlier on and I did actually point out where within the Project Options you set this. But this
is a very important question as well. The percent complete you can use is either the standard
percent complete or the physical percent complete. The difference between these is this. If you

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Project 2013
just use percent complete, then what Project does at any point in time for any task, whether its in
progress, completed, or whatever, is it works out the value of the work done based on how far
you are through it in terms of, say, youre halfway through the duration of that task or youve
done three-quarters of the work. It assumes, for example, that in a four day task if youre three
days into it you must have done 75% of the work. With physical percent complete its up to you
to enter the amount of work done on any task. So if a task is marked as having an earned value
method of physical percent complete, then Project wont calculate it on the basis of your percent
of the way through the duration of the task. What it would do is let you put in the amount of
work thats been done. Now you could set every task in your project to use physical percent
complete or you can set individual tasks to have one or other of those earned value percent
complete types. But it is very important that youre aware of the difference and it is very
important that you have them set correctly.
So let me just run over these settings. Lets start with Project Options on the Advanced page on
Project Options. Just towards the end there, there is an earned value option for this project. The
default task earned value method on this project is percent complete, so thats calculated by
Project 2013. This is only the default. It doesnt mean that all the tasks get that. It just means
thats the default for a new task. And then the baseline for earned value calculation is the only
baseline Ive saved so far. If Id saved additional baselines, I could change which one was being
used for earned value calculations. So thats how you set your default and thats how you make
sure youve got the right baseline set for earned value calculations.
And then for any specific task, lets say take base brick work here, double click to open up the
task information, go to the Advanced tab, and on the Advanced tab earned value method for this
task is percent complete. Thats got the one that was the default when it was created. If for this
task I was going to manually enter percent complete, I would change that to physical percent
complete. So thats how wed deal with changing or setting exceptions for individual tasks in
the earned value method.
So having setup your project and your baseline and youre now in the progress of running the
project, doing your regular updates, youre looking at a particular status date, then provided
everythings setup correctly you can go into reports and one of the reports that you can look at

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
there in the costs list is the earned value report. And the earned value report in its default format
gives you an analysis of earned value on your project.
Now with the three charts that we get by default in this report we can see how earned value is
varying over time, how variance is varying over time, and how the performance indicators are
varying over time. Now Im only really looking at earned value at the moment but its a good
idea to check on these other two as well. You can look them up on the Help and how to interpret
them. Ill just talk about them briefly in a moment. The earned value one is the one that Im
primarily interested in at the moment. Often when you look at this type of report, you find that
you need to just customize it a little bit to make it a little bit more readable. So for instance,
down here I cant see the actual dates but if I click on that scale, up comes the panel on the right.
I can look at the categories. The category there is time. If I click on edit the units there are
weeks but the date format thats in use is this long date format. Thats why it wont all fit in
there. So let me change it to a shorter format. So lets change it to say that format, and lets do it
in two week intervals. Click on OK, see how that looks. Thats a little bit easier to see how
things are going.
As you can see were still in the relatively early stages of this project. Also, if you read the
paragraph on the right: The projects earned value based on the status date. If actual cost,
ACWB, thats the blue line which you cant actually see at the moment because its exactly the
same as the earned value line, the red line, then the project is over budget. Well, this project is
not over budget. If planned value, BCWS, thats the gray line there, is higher than earned value,
the red line, which it is, then the project is behind schedule. So what this chart is telling us is that
the project is behind schedule basically and that, of course, would be the rain delay that held us
up by a couple of days.
Now its a bit misleading if you look at the line and see it dips down to there and goes on. The
flat part of the line is the future and over time youre going to be monitoring this earned value
chart and any variations whereby the blue goes above the red or the gray goes above the red
youre going to be looking out for those. And theyre the ones that tell you that either you are
over budget or you are behind schedule.

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Project 2013
Finally, let me just briefly look at these other two charts. The variance over time chart shows
both CV which is Cost Variance and Schedule Variance. Both of these you dont want to
become negative. If CV becomes negative, then the project is over budget. In fact, its not over
budget at the moment. We havent spent any more money than we should. If SV it says is
positive there, I believe thats an error. It should say if SV is negative, then the project is behind
schedule. Now we are at the moment at the status date which is this line here, which is this
position here, we are actually behind schedule. Were not behind schedule by a large amount but
again because it cannot plot the future, the future line goes back to normality. So you shouldnt
misinterpret this as indicating that things are going to be okay. This line will only be plotted as
time goes on and then our aim will be to get this SV line here back up towards zero.
The last chart, the indices over time chart plots the SPI, the Schedule Performance Indicator, and
the CPI, the Cost Performance Indicator. Ideally, both of those will be above one. Being on one
is absolutely fine but if you can get above there, it indicates good efficiency either in terms of
cost or in terms of schedule. And so your target with both of those is to stay on one or above it.
As you can see, at the moment, that were looking at the current status date; the red one, the cost
performance indicator, is on one so thats absolutely fine.

The blue one, the schedule

performance indicator, has just dropped a bit because of the little bit of time that weve lost.
Well be looking to keep both of those up and around the one mark, maybe a bit above if we can.
So this particular report is a really good one for giving you a snapshot of how things are going on
your project.
Thats it from me on earned value reporting. Ill see you in the next section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 29 Printing
Video: Print Properties and Settings; Header and Footer
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to look at
printing and were going to look at printing in two contexts. First of all, were going to look at
printing the current view and then were going to look at printing Project 2013 reports.
So at any time and whatever the view Im using I might want to just print that out. Now if you
go to Backstage View, one of the options is Print. Select print and what you see on the right is a
preview of what the print would look like. Now note at the bottom that Ive got a little count
there that says the page Im looking at in the preview is one of two. So I know this is going to be
a two page print. And Ive also got some little arrows like little wedges, and if its a multi-page
situation then I can step through those pages. Now if you look at this particular example I can
just about make out, its tiny, you might not be able to see it on the screen, but the very top of
this print is the first task in my project. In fact, its the project summary task. If I press only one
of these four arrows, that is enabled; the down arrow, that takes me to the second page. Once
Ive gone to that second page, then the down arrow becomes disabled and the up arrow becomes
enabled. So you can use the arrows here to step through the print preview pages on the right.
Now clearly, exactly what you see and how many pages the view occupies will very much
depend on the view, the size of the project, and so on. You could, for instance, if you were
printing a resource sheet maybe with hundreds or thousands of resources on this could be a very
long document. If you chose to print a view with a very zoomed in timescale, you might have a
lot of width to the print as well. So at the moment, the view that Ive got there covers the whole
of the period of this project. But if Id been looking at a day by day Gantt Chart and I decided to
print a view of that, then it may be several pages wide.
But whichever view youre printing these are the buttons down here on the right, right in the
corner are useful. If you click the first one, the actual size button, you can get a preview of the
document at the actual size. So you can then use the scroll bars, scroll from side to side and just
check that youre happy with how it looks. Youve got a scroll bar at the bottom, a scroll bar on
the side. The middle one, weve already seen. The last button is one thats for multiple pages

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Project 2013
and if I click on that, then I can see in this case both of the pages in view. So thats the facility to
preview how the print is going to look.
On the left we then have the controls for the print itself. When were ready to print weve got a
nice big Print button there, but before that we need to check all of these other settings. The
number of copies here, Ive currently just got that set to one but its a roller to go up or down
and, of course, I can just delete and type or overtype to put in the particular number that I want.
Then choose my printer. This by default on my machine I have it sending to OneNote. I dont
actually print much in paper nowadays. I tend to send all of my prints electronically elsewhere.
So this is currently setup to go to OneNote but I do have a physical printer attached so let me just
select my printer and depending on what youre printing it to which may be a physical printer or
may be something else, underneath that you see this link, Print Properties, and if you click on
that it brings up a little dialog. Now the dialog, exactly whats in it will depend on what your
printer is or what youre printing to. You may also be printing to something electronic. Im
printing here to a standard HP printer. Its quite an old printer actually but a lot of the features of
it will be the same as one now. So you can choose things like the paper options. I normally use
A4 paper. I appreciate you may use something different from that such as letter size or some
other particular size. Im going to leave this set at my default of A4 which tends to be the default
in the U.K. and Europe. And then there are other quality settings. I can also go into things like
setting the color, certain finishing settings, and so on. So I have this set to a default print that I
would normally use which is basically an A4 color print. But obviously in a particular situation I
might change that. What you see in your Printer Properties dialog will depend on your printer.
So although there may be some overlap with what you can see here, the properties for your
printer may be quite different from mine and certainly may well be organized in a different way
to the way that mine are organized in this dialog.
So having chosen the printer and the set the printer properties, now down to the settings, the first
setting, print entire project. Print the entire project from start to finish. You can print specific
dates, print specific pages, print custom dates and pages. You can elect to include notes or not; I
did mention that very early on in the course. And you can choose to print all sheet columns, left
column of pages only. So there are quite a few alternatives there. If you are going to specify a
range of dates, youve got a pair of field there to do it in. If you want to specify a range of pages,

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Project 2013
you can specify it there as well. Below that you have a choice between landscape orientation and
portrait orientation. And then finally here on the big buttons, you have a choice of paper size.
Now as I say Im going to leave mine set at A4. So that just leaves one item at the bottom and
that is page setup and that takes us into the Page Setup Dialogue.
Now in this case its the Page Setup dialog for a Gantt Chart. There are some differences
depending on what youre printing but the general principle is the same. First of all, this can
seem quite baffling at first because if you look at some of the buttons on here, for instance, right
at the top, you can switch between portrait and landscape orientation. Well, youve had at least
one other way of doing that when we were actually looking at the print page in Backstage View.
All of these settings do interact with each other. So they really represent different ways,
alternative ways of setting things, everything down to choosing paper size. Heres yet another
place where you can choose paper size. So dont worry too much unless theres something
drastically wrong with the way your systems setup. If you change, say, paper size in one place, it
does get changed in all the other places as well.
What I want to show you here for this particular Gantt Chart is just one of the little options that
you can use and that is you could use this Page Setup dialog to put, say, a header on the print of
this Gantt Chart View. If you click on the Header tab, theres a control at the top that says
Preview and it previews the current header. Now as you can see its blank so there is no header.
But lets suppose that I wanted to put a header on there. I could literally click in this box down
here and I could type in there a header. So I could say, Building Project. Now you notice that
above this there are three tabs, Left, Center, and Right and the Center Tab was selected. So
Building Project gets aligned in the center of my heading. And lets suppose that I wanted to put
a date on this report so I remember when I actually printed it. So if I now click on the Left tab
there, notice how thats blank. But below that I have some buttons and some other controls
where I can choose to enter various fields. So I wouldnt type the date in here because obviously
next time I printed the report that might be wrong. But one of the standard items in this list of
buttons here, that one in fact, is one that inserts the date. So if I click on that it puts in a field
which will represent the date. Now notice in the preview its put in todays date. Im recording
this on Wednesday, April the 10th. So Ive put in a date as a field in the top left, in the center
Ive typed in the name of the project, in the right I could put something else if I wanted to.

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Project 2013
So Ive setup a header. I can also do the same to setup a footer, except in this case it already has
a footer. You may just about be able to see at the bottom on the preview there that it says Page
Number. So lets click on OK. Keep an eye on the preview and notice now in the preview that
Ive got my newly inserted header. Let me just use that to the right place. There is the date Ive
just inserted and there it says Building Project. So in that way, I can add a header or footer to the
print of one of my views.
Having now setup everything, I need to print this view I can actually go ahead and hit the Print
button and away it goes.
Now when it comes to printing reports in Project 2013, its pretty much the same as far as the
Print in Backstage View goes, but a couple of things to point out to you about actually preparing
the report to be printed. Lets go to the Report tab again and dashboards. Well go to the Project
Overview. The project overview as you know is one of the standard reports. So let me just
zoom out a little bit. And one of the things that you can do, its actually done here, on the
Design tab when youre looking at a report in the Page Setup Group there is a Page Breaks
button thats currently selected. What that means is that you get this sort of dotted line which is
actually a sort of dashed line which shows you the border of our printable page. And as you can
see this particular report is all going to fit on one page. So if I wanted to print this project
overview having checked its going to fit on one page, which it will, if I click on File to go into
Backstage View and then Print, I will see that its going to only need one page. All the settings
work the same way as they did when I was printing the view so I could print this project
overview and that would be absolutely fine.
So now lets go back and look at a different report. This time lets look at the work overview
and again let me just zoom out on the work overview and switch on the page breaks. What
youll notice here rather unfortunately is that with this work overview a page break for the
landscape page that Ive got selected would split these charts in half. Now, of course, I could
change the orientation to portrait and then Ive got a problem here. When youre designing
reports or even when youre using the standard reports, this is something you need to be a little
bit careful of if youre going to print them. Now, of course, what you can do here is you can go
in and rearrange the content of the report. Its pretty easy to select things like this table and I
could drag it to a different position and I can rearrange the report to fit into pages in a way thats
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Project 2013
appropriate to me. And, of course, with some reports they wont necessarily fit on one page
anyway. I may be planning to use two or more pages. So when youre designing reports thats
something to be careful of if youre planning to print those reports out. Once youve got the
layout that you want, of course, then printing is just the same.
Okay, so thats it on printing in Project 2013. Ill see you in the next section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 30 Gantt Chart


Video: Gantt Chart Wizard; Formatting a Gantt Chart
Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going
to take an introductory look at formatting a Gantt Chart and the first thing I want to show you is
how to use the Gantt Chart Wizard.
Perhaps what I should say is the first thing Im going to show you is how to find the Gantt Chart
Wizard because for some reason that Ive never fully understood the Gantt Chart Wizard is not
readily at hand. But well use this as an opportunity to show you again how to add a command
to the Quick Access Toolbar, and if youre feeling brave, you could even create a Ribbon Group
and put this command in your group on the Ribbon. But well stick with the Quick Access
Toolbar. So Im going to click on the little drop down button to the right hand end, click on
More Commands. So first of all, lets go to Commands not in the Ribbon and then scroll down
to Gantt Chart Wizard, click on Add, click on OK, and the Gantt Chart Wizard is now visible on
the Quick Access Toolbar. Its that little magic wand icon up in the corner there.
So lets take the Gantt Chart Wizard for a spin. Click on Gantt Chart Wizard. The first screen
we see in the wizard is a welcome screen. Click on Next and we get a choice on the kind of
information we want to display in the Gantt Chart. Now by default the type is standard which is
pretty much what weve got now really. Its just a standard out of the box Gantt Chart but you
can choose to show just critical path or to show just a baseline. Or if you select Other, then you
choose from a number of styles of standard or baseline or status or critical path. Now to know
what each of these is going to look like, youve got this little preview box here. So if I go for
standard style one, thats previewed. Lets style baseline style one. Lets try critical path style
two and so on. So you choose the style that you want. Im going to go for one of the standard
styles. I think Im going to try standard style three. Having chosen the style, click on Next and
now youre asked what task information you want to display with your Gantt bars. Now at the
moment what youre shown is the resources. Note there on the right of the bars there, so weve
got Bill and Sue as the resources, and dates. So where weve got a milestone, you can see a date.
But I could see just resources. I could see just dates. Note that the dates on the non-milestone
task show you the start and finish. Or I could choose None. So Im going to go with resources

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Project 2013
and dates, click on Next. Next choice. Do you want to show links between dependent tasks? So
do I want to see my dependency arrows? Yes I do want to see those, so click on Next. And now
Ive answered all the questions I need to for the Gantt Chart Wizard to do its job. So when
youre ready and youre happy with the selections youve made, you click on Format it and what
the Gantt Chart Wizard now does is to format your Gantt Chart in the way that youve said. And
then when you finish, click on Exit Wizard and you can see how it looks and see the sort of
changes that its made there to our Gantt Chart.
Now the Gantt Chart Wizard is a pretty quick, slick way of achieving a fairly smart looking
Gantt Chart without too much effort. But the Gantt Chart formatting tools in Project 2013 are a
lot more extensive than that. I could spend a long time going through all of the available tools
and functions but Im just going to give you a quick couple of examples here and then Ill leave
you to investigate these further yourself.
If I take say the table here. Let me move the Gantt Chart out of the way. Lets just look at this
table. Suppose I were to select three columns in the entry table here. On the Task tab I have a
Font Group and within the Font Group I have text formatting controls and I could format the text
in there in exactly the same way that I would format text in, say, Microsoft Word or Microsoft
Excel. Ive even got a little dialog box launcher in the bottom right hand corner of the group that
gives me access to a Font dialog, and in that Font dialog I could change the font that I want to
use there.

So lets have a hand written font.

I could choose Italic 14 point, completely

unsuitable but lets click on OK and in that way I can format the content of the table there is
pretty much anyway that I like. Now that may look rather grotesque in the context of a
Microsoft Project schedule but if youre trying to fit this into another document, youve got a
certain style that youre using, it can be very useful to have such extensive formatting
capabilities. Also, as Im going to demonstrate briefly a little bit later on, you can of course
export and import information from other applications such as Excel and being able to deal with
different formatting options can be extremely useful. Anyway on this occasion Im going to
undo that particular piece of formatting and turn my attention back to the actual chart in this
Gantt Chart.
So we have a Gantt Chart Tools Format tab and if I click on that, I have a number of options
there. Apart from doing work on the columns in the table there, I can look at text styles and I
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Project 2013
can look at bar styles and I can look at the overall Gantt Chart style. So, for instance, if I start
with Gantt Chart style, if I click on the More drop down there, I have a gallery of styles that I can
choose from. And then if I want to format the bars in a different way, if I go into Bar Styles and
look at format, click on the drop down, I can format individual bars like that thats for a selected
task or I can format a bar style. By formatting a bar style, Im formatting all of the bars for a
particular function of bar. Let me show you what I mean by that.
In the Bar Styles dialog, I am given a list of the various types of bar that I may see in a Gantt
Chart. So Ive got task which is the regular task. Ive got split. Youve already seen a split task
before. Thats the dot, dot, dot pattern. The milestone, a diamond. Summary task which is this
sort of black bar with little vertical bars at each end. Project summary task, group by summary,
rolled up tasks, and so on. If I choose one of these types, lets take the regular task. In the
bottom, I have two tabbed controls. One of them is bars, one of them is text. The text one at the
moment says that on the right Ive got the resource names. I can put the text on the left, the
right, the top, the bottom, the inside. I can have some text to the left, some to the right, some
inside. I can have text in all positions if I like. Supposing I want to change this from resource
names to resources initials. So let me just go through there. Im going to show not the resource
names but resource initials. You can see just below this dialog a couple of the bars in the current
version of the Gantt Chart. You can see how the resource names are shown there. Im going to
change them to initials. And as far as the bars go, I could say put a shape at the start, change the
type and color of the start. End, shape, type, color. And in the middle I can change the shape of
the bar, pattern on the bar, and the color of the bar. Lets suppose that Im going to change the
color of the middle bar. Im going to go for a standard color. Why dont I go for that sort of
bluish color there? And Im going to put a shape at the start and a shape at the end. Supposing
Im going to use that little vertical bar there and a shape at the end, same at the other end, click
on OK, and lets see what happens to all of the standard tasks in my Gantt Chart. What you can
now see is that they all have a neat little black bar at the beginning and end, and on the right
instead of having the full resource names, Ive got those resource initials that I entered much
earlier in the course. So in that way you can format a Gantt Chart with a very, very high level of
control.

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Project 2013
Now as I said earlier in this section Im not going to go through all of those options now. As you
can see there are many of them, but I hope theres enough for you to be going on with there that
you can investigate and experiment further with it yourself.
So thats what were going to cover now on formatting a Gantt Chart. Please join me in the next
section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 31 Import and Export, Organizer, and SkyDrive


Video: Import/Export to/from an Excel Worksheet
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going to take a look
at import and export of data and I want to start by looking at import.
Now Im going to show you one very good example of import using some information thats in
an Excel workbook. But before I do that I just want to point out something general about both
import and export and that is that you should never underestimate the power of copy and paste
between Microsoft Office programs.
In this particular Excel workbook Ive just got a list of tasks that Ive prepared on the fly. Ive
not done this in Microsoft Project. Ive just listed some tasks. Three alternative plans for
dealing with a particular situation: Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. Ive listed the tasks that will be
involved in each of those alternative plans and Ive put in an estimate of how long each of those
tasks will take. Each of the lists has also got a little milestone in it, delivery to customer
milestone. I havent put any dates on there. This is done purely in Excel and all I want to do is
now put this into Microsoft Project and do a little schedule.
Now lets suppose that I want to do it with copy and paste. If I were to take just the plan details,
Im not taking the headings there that say task name and days; just the plan details, and I just did
a selection and then did a copy. So Control-C with the keyboard. Now let me switch into
Microsoft Project, create a new project and paste this information in.
So here I am with a brand new project in Microsoft Project. Im going to click in the first task
name which is where the selection that Ive just copied in Excel is going to go, and then I just do
a paste, Control-V. What happens is that the whole of that information is just copied and pasted
into Microsoft Project in a pretty neat way. I havent actually said anything about the start date
of the overall project so as its a new project by default it will start on todays date and Microsoft
Project has basically accepted all of this information and setup my sort of three alternative plans.
So as I say, dont underestimate copy and paste. If Id copied the information from a table in
Microsoft Word, for example, then that would have pasted in here pretty much just as well.

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Project 2013
So thats one way of doing an import. Lets now do the import based on using the import
functionality in Project 2013.
So I dont need to have selected anything in the workbook. Im actually going to import directly
from the workbook. But I should close it first. I will however point out one thing. If you look
down here, youll see that the data are on Sheet 1. One thing you will need to know when you do
an import from an Excel workbook is which sheet the data you want are on. So let me now close
the workbook and Excel, and lets try and import this now directly into Project 2013.
So on the start screen, Im going to choose the option New from Excel workbook, click there,
and Im asked to find the workbook so Im going to look for files in my regular folder and I need
to find the workbook type, so its Excel workbook XLSX. Thats the sample file. Its actually
example_19.xlsx so that you have access to that. Now, welcome to the Project Import Wizard.
Click Next to continue. Now if you are going to do this sort of thing regularly, you can save a
map of what youve done. We havent done this particular one before so this is a new map, but
we do have the option of saving the map thats made as part of this process in case we need to do
this again. So were going to use a new map on this occasion, click on Next. How do you want
to import this file? Do you want to create a new project, append the data to the active project, or
merge the data into the active project? Well, were going to create a new project so we click on
Next.

Select the type of data you want to import.

Are we importing tasks, resources,

assignment? Were going to import tasks. And does the import include headers? Yes, there
were headers on the sheet. The first row on that workbook sheet were headers so we check the
box there, click on Next. Now we have to say which is the worksheet. Now it starts by default
with none. There was only one worksheet. It was Sheet 1.
Now what then happens is that Project 2013 looks at the headers and says youve got a header
Task Name and it has no idea what that is. Its got the header Days. Its got no idea what that is.
And two others. Now I dont know where its got those other two, F3 and F4 from. I could
probably find out if I looked. But I know that Ive only got task names and days. Now the
reason it doesnt know what to do with Task Name is because in Project 2013 a task name isnt
called a task name. You may or may not remember what its called. Its actually just called
Name. But if I click in here where it currently says Not mapped and use this list, its Name. So
lets type the letter N; yes, its name. Thats what I want. Similarly, there is no field in Project
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
2013 called Days. You may remember what its called. Yes, its called Duration. So its D-U.
Its Duration that I want. So the task name field in Excel is the name field in Project. The days
field Ive used in Excel is the duration field. The other two Im not interested in. Even if I had
data in those that I didnt need, Id just say not mapped, and then it wont get imported. So click
on Next. If I want to save what Ive done as a map for later use, I could do that here. Im not
going to on this occasion. Im just going to click on Finish. When Ive done that, what it comes
up with is a really neat version of my schedule. So there we are. Ive imported the contents of
that workbook into Project 2013.
You may notice one or two very slight differences with what happens with copy and paste, such
as the duration on these tasks, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. But the differences are extremely slight
and either method will do the job absolutely fine.
Now let me just show you a little trick or two here. When youve imported some data like this,
you very often have to do things like create summary tasks. In this case, there are clearly
supposed to be three summary tasks: Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. Project 2013 when it did the
import doesnt try to do things like create summary tasks. Plan A which had no duration in the
Excel workbook it just assumes is by default a one day task. It gives it a start date of today like
everything else. All I need to do to make Plan A into a summary task is to select its subtasks and
then on the Task tab use the Indent button. You should be very familiar with doing that by now.
And then the summary task becomes a summary task.
The next thing you may look at in relation to that though is to say okay but I now need to set the
dependencies because if these four tasks, two to five, are supposed to be in sequence, so two,
then three, three then four, four then five, Ive got to go through and do the linkage. Well, in
fact, theres a little trick you do within Project 2013. If you have a selection of tasks like this and
they just basically go in sequence, so each depends on the task before it. If you click on the Link
button, then what happens is it does exactly that. It makes the dependencies for you and puts
them in sequence. Let me just do a bit of zooming out here to fit everything into view, and there
you are. Ive got everything in a nice sequence now.
So Ive taken some data from Microsoft Excel and without having to retype it, Ive put it into
Microsoft Project and created myself a straightforward little schedule. Now, of course, itll work

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
with much bigger lists than that. It would successfully import start and finish dates and just
about any other type of data as well. So the example weve looked at there is a straightforward
one.
I am now going to give you your next and, in fact, final exercise on this course to do and that is
that I would like you to take that workbook example_19.xlsx which is in the supplied files,
import it into a new project pretty much the same as Ive done here but do the same processing
on Plan B and Plan C to turn that into basically a set of three alternative schedules for dealing
with something. My answer to that is the Project file example_20.mpp. But thats not the end of
this section because Id now like to quickly look at one or two examples of exporting from
Project 2013.
So lets suppose that I wanted to do the opposite of what we did earlier in the section and I want
to save this, I want to export this to an Excel workbook. Click on File to go into Backstage View
and then Save As, Computer, Browse to my normal working file folder, and then Im going to
choose a type of Excel workbook. Click on Save and what happens is that I bring up the Export
Wizard which is pretty much the opposite of the Import Wizard.
So, first of all, click on Next. So what is the format of the data you want to export? Well, Im
not going to make a Project Excel template on this occasion. Im just going to export selected
data which is the content of the current schedule. Click on Next. Do I want to use an existing
map or a new map? Well, its a new map because I havent done this particular one before. And
what type of data would I like to export? Well, lets suppose that on this occasion I just want to
export the task information; so check tasks, click on Next. And the next stage in the Wizard is
the task mapping stage. Now I basically choose here which fields I want to export to Excel.
You should be familiar enough now with whats in Project 2013 to know that if I clicked on Add
All here, I would get an awful lot of fields exported. There are a lot of them and the vast
majority would contain no useful information at all. So Im not going to do Add All. Im going
to clear that with Clear All. Im just going to export, say, Name; so lets put Name. And maybe
Start; so start. That will do. And maybe Finish. And maybe, what about Work? Thatll be fine.
Theres a little preview area at the bottom. Im happy with that though. I can change the order
of these by the way using the Move buttons on the right. Notice that the name of the sheet in the
workbook thats going to contain this task information is up there. I can change that if I want to.
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
Its currently called Task_Table1. Click on Next. Do I want to save the map? No, I dont. Im
only going to do this, this one occasion. Click on Finish and my export should be complete. So
lets take a look at that Excel workbook.
There it is. Its a workbook with the name I specified and the single worksheet, Task_Table1 has
a list of tasks, a list of start dates, a list of finish dates, and the amount of work involved in each
of those tasks. So thats a pretty straightforward example of an export.
Finally I did that as a Save As. If you actually use the export option in Backstage View, its
really two parts. Theres the option to create a PDF or XPS document and theres also Save
Project as File, and then youre given a list of file types. So theres the Project type and the
Project 2007 project format. Saving it as a Project template is another option. And then these
other standard options, including the one weve just used, Microsoft Excel workbook, XML
format or saving it as a different file type. And depending on the file type that you choose to
export the data as you may or may not have the Wizard or its equivalent in order to define the
various options for doing the export.
So thats it on import and export. Ill see you in the next section.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Organize Global Template


Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section Id like to
take a quick look at the organizer. I mentioned it once or twice already on the course. Its a very
useful thing to know about and Im just going to quickly explain how it works.
Now back in example_18 you may remember by that stage we had a couple of custom reports.
We had the task completed report and we had the task in progress weekly report. If I go into
Backstage View, then on the Info tab, one of the options is Organize Global Template and the
button there says Organizer. Now if I click on that, I get something called the Organizer and
what this does is to let me organize the content of not only any open projects Ive got but whats
called the Global Template.
Now what I can see in the organizer are a set of tabs and the tabs along the top refer to views,
reports, modules, tables, filters, calendars, maps, fields, groups. Some of those weve talked
about on this course, some of them we havent; theyre really more advanced topics. Modules,
for example, youd need to be looking at VBA, actually programming Microsoft Project yourself
to be looking at modules. But lets concentrate on reports here.
In the list on the left at the top it says Global.mpt. This is a list of the reports that are available in
whats called the Global Template. The global template is not associated with a particular
project. Its stored, if you like, within your installation of Project 2013. And any Microsoft
Project file that you open when youre working on it you can use whats in the global template
because its available to everything. Anything that is specifically in one of the open projects, in
this case example_18, is listed on the right. So here Ive got all of the report content, custom
report content that is in example_18. Two of the things that are in it are those two custom
reports that we made, task completed report, task in progress report. But neither of those is in
the global template.
So lets suppose Id made a task completed report and I was really happy with it and I thought,
yeah that looks really good. Im going to use that in some of my other projects. When I
customize it and initially store it, its only in the example_18 Project file; so no other MPP, no
other Project Im working on is going to be able to use that custom report. The way I make it
available to other projects is via the global template. So what I do if I wanted the task completed

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Project 2013
report available generally is I select it in the list, click on the Copy button here, the top button in
the buttons in the middle, and it becomes part of the global template and there it is.
Now once its in the global template, I have it available to copy into any other Project file. By
putting it in another Project file, not only can it be used in that file but if I took that Project file
somewhere else and used it on somebody elses installation of Project 2013, Id still be able to
run my tasks completed report.
So the global template is a sort of repository. Its where I can keep the things that Im going to
use in more than one MPP file. If Ive got something that I only want in an individual MPP file,
its only a bit of a one off, theres not really any need or point to copying it into the global
template. Youre just going to clutter the global template up. But anything that I might use more
widely I put in the global template and I can use that as a sort of central junction for distributing
useful items throughout my other MPP files, throughout my other Microsoft Project projects.
What you can see, these two lists, the global template on the left and a straightforward project on
the right, thats just the default. I could, if I had two or three projects open for example, open
one project in one of the lists and another project in the other list, and can copy directly between
the projects. So I dont have to go via the global template if Ive got two or more projects open
at any one time.
Now there are other option buttons in the middle there, as you can see. Apart from copying I can
delete things I no longer need and I can rename things. But thats the organizer and thats the
function of the global template.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Video: Storing Project Files on SkyDrive


Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section were going
to look at SkyDrive which is a system of cloud storage provided by Microsoft to holders of
Microsoft accounts.
By cloud storage we basically mean storage that you can access via the internet but which is not
specifically located on one of your devices. So far, when weve been saving projects or anything
else in Project 2013, weve been storing them on one of the hard drives on my computer or your
computer. Theres absolutely no reason why you shouldnt be able to store your Project files
elsewhere, and one of the options is SkyDrive.
One of the advantages of using cloud storage or, in this case, SkyDrive is that you should in
theory then be able to access these files not only wherever you are in the world but lets suppose
you dont have access to your regular PC or your regular laptop, you should be able to access
those files using another device. In fact, using one of the web based applications that can cope
with Microsoft Project files you should even be able to work on those files using a web based
Project management application.
Now in order to get some SkyDrive storage space, which is basically free from Microsoft, I think
at the time of recording this course you could get free something like 7 gigabytes of storage
space. You can get more but then you have to start paying money for it. But in order to get that
free space, you need to have a Microsoft account. Now I have a Microsoft account. Im going to
tell you about my Microsoft account in a minute or two from now. If you dont have a Microsoft
account, then you can sign up for one for free. Included in Microsoft accounts are things like
Hotmail accounts or Live.com or Live.co accounts which are also earlier implementations of
Microsoft accounts.
Now if you either Google SkyDrive or you go to Microsoft and look for SkyDrive, one of the
pages is this one. Obviously, over time this may have changed but Im sure there will be an
equivalent of this; Microsoft account and how to sign up for one. In the top sentence there,
Already have a Microsoft account? If you use Hotmail, SkyDrive, Xbox Live and want to claim
a new email address, sign in and then rename your account or create an alias. So using those
existing accounts you can effectively automatically create a Microsoft account and either use the

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
name you already use or create an alias. One way or another you need to get yourself a
Microsoft account.
So once youve got your Microsoft account, you can sign into it and once youve successfully
signed into your account and bearing in mind that this interface changes pretty frequently, there
will be an access option here on the drop down next to the word Outlook in the top left corner. I
can access SkyDrive, and what I can see now is my main SkyDrive folder. Now yours wont
look exactly the same as this because Ive already used this particular SkyDrive area a bit before.
Within the SkyDrive storage area, you can pretty much treat it as a regular folder, as though it
was a folder on the device that you normally use. So Ive created a folder called Parliament
Presentation. Ive got some work in there and Ive also got a Pictures folder which has got some
pictures in it and you can just see a little automated slide show working its way through those
pictures.
Lets suppose that what Im going to do is to store the house build project on SkyDrive and Im
going to create a folder to store it in. So the first thing Im going to do in my SkyDrive area is to
create a new folder. Now if youve only just setup a Microsoft account or youve only just
accessed SkyDrive for the first time, I suggest you do this as well to create a new folder. So
click on Create, Folder, and Im going to call that folder House Build. Thats my new folder and
what Im now going to start doing is keeping a copy of the house build project in that folder.
So having done that, if I want to, now I can just sign out of my Microsoft account again and Im
going to now go back into Project 2013.
So Im assuming here that Im working on my house build project. If I go into Backstage View
and go down to the Account Option, just note that the account that Ive got connected here at the
bottom, Toby Arnotts SkyDrive, toby.a@live.co.uk. That is the account that I use for my
SkyDrive and therefore if I go to the Save As and I say Save As and I choose Toby Arnotts
SkyDrive, then provided Im connected to the internet, of course, which is a prerequisite for all
of this, I can use my SkyDrive just as a regular folder. So Im going to save the house build on
Toby Arnotts SkyDrive. Click on Browse and then what happens is I see the SkyDrive folder
that we looked at just now in Internet Explorer and I see that new house build folder and all of
the other folders exactly the same folders but looked at in a browser from within a desktop

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Project 2013
application rather than from Internet Explorer. So I could now say go into the house build folder
and save a copy of my presentation there. So I can just click on Save and thats it. Ive saved
my Project file to my SkyDrive.
If you are going to store Project files on SkyDrive, when it comes to opening them note that
when you go into Backstage View and go to Open, if you choose Toby Arnotts SkyDrive or in
fact that will be your SkyDrive, then the recent folders list you get relates to recent folders on
SkyDrive. So its got its own recent folders list. If I know that the last one I saved was in that
particular folder thatll give me access quickly to that saved file. Depending on the speed of
your internet connection it may take a moment to connect to SkyDrive and then to download the
file to work on it. But once thats done it looks exactly like working on the file from anywhere
else.
Thats it for this section. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 32 Security
Video: Password Protect; Read-only; Trust Center
Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this short section Id like to take a look
at a couple of important aspects of security in Project 2013 and the first thing Id like to show
you is how to password protect one of your Project files.
Ive got a copy of the house build schedule here so Im just going to use that. Click on File to go
into Backstage View, Save As. Im going to save it on Home Computer, click on Browse, and
then what Im going to do in this case, Im going to select the same file name, so Im effectively
going to overwrite this one. But next to the Save button there is a Tools button with a little drop
down arrow. Click on the drop down arrow and one of the options on there is General Options.
Now in General Options I can choose to put one or two or no passwords. The first password is
whats called a protection password and if I put a protection password on, somebody can only
open this file if they know that password. In addition, I could also put on a Write reservation
password, and if I put on a write reservation password that means somebody can not only open
the document but it means that they can reserve it for writing which effectively means that they
can make changes to it. So if I just want somebody to be able to read it, Ill put a password in
there. Ill tell you now the password Im typing is T-O-B-Y-A, all lower case. Somebody would
have to have that protection password to open the file at all. But if somebody in addition wants
to be able to modify the project schedule, Id put a different password in here. Dont use the
same one in both. Its a good idea to have long passwords, not simple passwords. So include
numeric digits, punctuation characters, etc.

If you check the bottom box here, Read-only

(Recommended), what will happen is that when somebody tries to open the file, theyll be asked
if they want to open it read-only or if they want to change it theyre going to have to be able to
supply the right reservation password. So let me check that box as well, click on OK. Im going
to re-enter the password to make sure Ive entered it correctly the first time. Im going to now
re-enter the reservation password. Ive actually used quite short passwords here because Im
only demonstrating this to you. Click on Save. Project 2013 warns me that I am overwriting a
file that already exists. Say yes. Now let me close that particular project. So now Im going to
open it again. So Ill go to recent files. That file should be opened as read-only unless changes
to it must be saved. Do you want to open the file as read-only? No, I dont. I want to be able to
Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
make changes. So it tells me its protected and it asks me for the password. It also said that it is
write reserved. Enter the password for write access or open it read-only. Well, Im going to go
into write access so I put the second password in as well and now I can access the schedule and I
can make changes to it.
So that is how to password protect a Microsoft Project file. Ive just got one other thing to show
you about security very briefly. If we go into Backstage View and go back down to Options, one
of the pages was the Trust Center. Now if you go to the Trust Center, basically within that you
have access to Microsoft Project privacy statements, general privacy statements, trustworthy
computing, and so on. But there are also some Trust Center settings which concern security and
privacy.
Now the settings for these are, generally speaking, made Microsoft Office wide and a lot of them
are to do with macros and code. So how you can both ensure that code and macros and program
code, VBA code, and so on is safe and also how to protect yourself if youre going to use code
from external sources; so if youre going to use add-ins or other peoples templates with macro
code in them.
To read up on the settings for these I think the best thing to do is to look at the Microsoft Project
Help because it will explain these options and as I, say, largely the options are related to
Microsoft Office generally anyway. The default settings here on things like macro settings,
disable all macros with notification, are generally good unless youre going to do something very
specifically with macros yourself. So if anything you were using in Project tried to run a macro
what it would say to you is Ive been asked to run this macro. Do you want me to go ahead?
Well, if youre not sure exactly what it means I would say no. But as say let me just show you
the Help page for this.
So if you search the Project Help for Trust Center, youll get to this page. View my options and
settings in the Trust Center, and as it says there these are really Office wide settings. It explains
in point four there what each of the pages within the settings mean. And basically if youre not
intending to use macros within Project, certainly macros that youve obtained from elsewhere,
then the default settings are going to be fine. If you are or if you want to, for instance, use a

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013
digital signature, then the pages that are linked to off of this one explain things like obtaining a
digital certificate to create a digital signature.
Thats it for this short section on security. Ill see you in the next one.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013

Chapter 33 Conclusion
Video: Recent Development of Project; Close
Toby: Hello again and welcome to this final section in our course on Project 2013. One last
thing Id like to point out to you before I say goodbye is the arrival recently of Project Pro for
Office 365 and what this really offers you is Project Professional 2013 as an always up to date
desktop subscription through Office 365. Now, the idea of this is that rather than buying Project
Professional 2013 or standard 2013 as a desktop product and then obviously getting updates as
necessary through Microsoft update, you can pay by subscription for a version of Project which
is kept up to date always through Office 365.
Now there is a page available within Microsoft.com, the Office section, that does a comparison
between the products. It shows the difference between standard and professional which are
mainly to do with the collaboration aspects. But then as you scroll down, you also find a couple
of boxes ticked on the right here to do with, first of all, the flexibility of keeping everything up to
date by always having an up to date version of the product available and secondly the fact that
you can access that version on almost any PC. It basically means any PC thats up to running the
product.
Now one of the things about this is that, of course, you do need an adequate internet connection
and although most people nowadays will have a good enough internet connection to support this,
some people dont. For some people, their internet connection would maybe make this a little bit
too slow to use. But if youve got a good internet connection, its well worth considering
looking at the relative costs of buying a version of Project Professional or subscribing on a
monthly basis.
Thats a recent development. That may or may not be of interest to you but I thought its
important to point that out to you before I leave you.
Having said that, that is the end of our course on Microsoft Project 2013. I hope youve enjoyed
following the course with me as much as Ive enjoyed preparing it for you and delivering it to
you. I hope to see you online again sometime soon; so from me, goodbye for now.

Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.