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Microsoft Projects

Project: - A group of tasks that are completed within a specific duration of time
to achieve a specific objective is called as a Project. Ex. Construction of road,
manufacturing of products, Erection of communication tower.
Inputs of projects which are being used in Microsoft Projects are.
1. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS):- Each project depending upon its
nature is being divided into some sub-components. These sub components
are termed as WBS.
2. Task/Activities: - Each WBS in the project is being further divided into
task/activities. A WBS can have n number of activities depending upon
the nature of the project.
3. Task duration/Activity Duration: - The time taken by a task or an
activity in its completion is called as task duration / activity duration. The
duration of a WBS depends upon the duration of the tasks/activities in that
specific WBS.
4. Task scheduling / Activity Scheduling: - The phenomenon of
scheduling the task / activities as per the availability of resources in the
project is called as task scheduling / activity scheduling.
5. Resource: - Everything that is required to complete a task is a resource.
Man power, Machinery, Material (Say raw material) and Money are the
basic types of resources used in every project.
6. Resource Scheduling: - The phenomenon of scheduling the resources as
per the requirement of the project is called as Resource Scheduling.
7. Project Duration: - The time taken by a project in its completion is called
as Project duration. Project duration depends upon the duration of the
critical tasks in the project.
8. Project Cost: - The total cost which is invested in different types of
resources and other expenses for the completion of the project is called as
the total cost of the project.
9. Network Diagram: - All the activities and WBS in the project can be
viewed in the form of a network which gives the details from the start to
the end of the project. This diagram is called as network diagram of the
project.
10.
Report: - Each project has different types of
costs involved, resource assignment, constraints, cost flow and resource
flow according to its nature. All these things are documented in form of
reports known as Project reports.

Formulae to Es, Ef, Ls, Lf and slack of activities.


1. Es = Maximum previous value + 1.
2. Ef = Es + Duration 1.
3. Lf = Minimum previous value 1.
4. Ls = Lf duration + 1.
5. Float/Slack = Ls Es /Lf Ef.
6. For Last Lf, Minimum previous value = Last Es + duration.
Here Es = Earliest start time.
Ef = Earliest finish time.
Ls = Latest start time.
Lf = Latest finish time.
Critical tasks and Critical Path
The tasks which has zero slack / float and change in duration of these tasks will
change the duration of the project are termed as critical tasks.
The path along which the tasks move in a project are called as critical path of the
project.
Calendars
Calendars are the base of the project. Calendars are used to schedule the
activities and resources in the project. There are three types of calendar.
1. Project Calendar.
2. Task Calendar.
3. Resource Calendar.
There
1.
2.
3.

are three templates of calendars used in Microsoft projects.


Standard calendar.
Night shift calendar.
24 hour calendar.

Steps for defining a calendar in Microsoft project


1. Click on projects tab of menu-bar and go to change working time and
click.
2. A new tab will open, click on new calendar.
3. Select the option as per your requirement, if you want to create your own
calendar click on create new base calendar and if you want to create a
copy click on create copy of Standard/Night/24 hour calendar.
4. Specify the name of your calendar and click OK,

5. Click on work-week tab go to details and click.


6. A new tab is opened, specify the working day and working timings of your
calendar also specify the non-working days and click OK.
7. Go to exception tab and select the date (in case of national holiday)/ or
day (every third Saturday of each month) and specify the description
under name column in exception tab.
8. Click outside and then select the description provided and click on details.
9. Specify the recurrence pattern and recurrence range of the holiday click on
ok.
10.Go to options and specify the working hour per day and click on OK.
11.Click on OK and your calendar is defined now.
Steps for assigning a calendar to a project
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Go to a Gantt chart and right click.


Select non-working time and click.
Specify your calendar in the calendar drop-down and click OK.
Go to project tab then click on project information.
Specify the start time of the project as per what you have defined while
defining your calendar.
6. Change the calendar from Standard to your created calendar in the
calendar drop-down.
7. Click on OK you have assigned your calendar to the project.
Precedence diagram method
According to precedence diagram method activities in a project can be related to
each other by following four ways.
1. Finish to start- In this relation, the start of next activity totally depends
on the finish of previous activity. It is the default relation which is generally
used in the project.
2. Start to start- In this relation, both the activities start at the same time
but it is not necessary that they will end at the same time as well. Both
the activities can end at different point of time.
3. Start to finish- In this relation, the finish of previous activity totally
depends on the start of next activity. Unless the next activity starts, the
previous activity cannot end.
4. Finish to finish- In this relation, both the activities end at the same time
but it is not necessary that they will start at the same time as well. Both
the activities can start at different point of time.
WBS Codes: - Each project is divided into sub-components called as WBS. We
define WBS codes to define the number of WBS in each project and to define the
number of tasks in each WBS of the project. WBS codes are used to overview the
number of tasks and WBSs in each project.
Steps of creating WBS and indenting tasks in a WBS
1. Define the tasks in the task panel of the GUI of Microsoft projects.

2. Specify the duration of all the tasks and relationship between each of
them; dont specify the duration of that tasks which you want to create as
WBS.
3. Change the font style of those WBS to bold.
4. Select the tasks under each WBS and go to task tab of menu bar and click
on indent icon.
5. By repeating above steps you can indent tasks into WBS.
Steps to define WBS codes in project
1. You should defined the WBSs in project and activities in each WBS and
define the relation between each activity before defining WBS codes.
2. Insert a new column named as WBS and click enter.
3. Go to project tab and click on WBS dropdown and select define codes.
4. A new window will open; define the sequence, length and separator for
each level.
5. Click on OK. You have defined WBS codes for your project.
Recurring Tasks
Task which recur in definite times but does not affect the project duration are
termed as recurring tasks.
Steps to define recurring tasks
1. Insert a new task under that task with which you want to define a
recurring task.
2. Go to task tab of menu bar, under task drop-down select recurring task.
3. Specify the name, duration, recurring pattern and recurrence range of the
recurring task.
4. Specify the start date of the recurring as per the start date of task with
which recurring task is associated.
5. Click on OK and your recurring task is created.
Milestone
It is key decision in the project whenever we want to review the project; we put
milestone.
Deadline: It indicates the maximum stretch on WBS and activities.

Constraints: Constraints can be defined as those limitations which influence


you how to manage and how to proceed in your project. There are basically three
types of constraints.

TYPES

SEMI-FLEXIBLE

As soon as
possible

Start no earlier

As late as
possible

Start no later

NON-

Must start on

Must finish on

Finish no earlier

Finish
no later
Flexible Constraints: - In these
constraints;
we dont have to specify any date.
Both the ends are free in this type of constraint. There are two types of flexible
constraints.
1. As soon as possible: - All the activities in the project are having these
constraints by default. PMI says if you delay the work your risk will be
increased.
2. As late as possible:- It makes the activity to schedule backward and it
does not even cross deadline. This constraint utilizes all the buffer time or
slack of non-critical activity and makes it critical.

Semi-flexible Constraints: - In semi-flexible constraints; one parameter is


fixed and all the other can vary, there are four types of constraints:1. Start no earlier than: - In this constraint; a date or a specific time frame
is fixed before which a project cannot start. The project has to start after
that fixed date not before that.
2. Start no later than: - In this constraint; a date or time frame is fixed
after which the project cannot start, the project has to start before that
fixed time. This constraint is opposite to start no earlier than constraint.
3. Finish no earlier than: - In this constraint; a date or a specific time
frame is fixed before which a project cannot be completed. The project has
to finish after that fixed date not before that.
4. Finish no later than:- In this constraint; a date or time frame is fixed
after which the project cannot be completed, the project has to finish
before that fixed time. This constraint is opposite to finish no earlier than
constraint.
Non-flexible constraints: - In this type of constraint both the ends are
fixed. There are two types of non-flexible constraints.
1. Must start on: - It is used when the activity is so critical in nature and
the resources cannot be changed then we have to put Must start on
constraint.
2. Must finish on: - It works vice-versa of must finish on constraint.
Steps for defining constraints to a task
Method 1
1. Insert two columns named as Constraint type and Constraint date in the
window.
2. Go to that task to which you want to set a constraint.
3. Specify the constraint type and constraint date in the respective columns.
Method 2
1. Double click on that task to which you want to set a constraint.
2. A new tab will be open with the name task information.
3. Go to the advanced tab of this task information window and select the
constraint type and constraint date in the respective drop-downs.
4. Click on Ok and you have defined the constraint to that task.
Resource
A resource can be defined as an entity that is assigned to an activity and is
required to accomplish the task. The resource includes man, machinery, material
and money.
Steps of defining resources in resource sheet

1. Go to the resource sheet either by click resource sheet in the view bar or
by clicking the icon of resource sheet in the bottom right side of the GUI
window.
2. Define the name, type, standard rate, overtime rate, cost per use and
accrue at field of resources.
3. While defining the rate of material define the unit of measure under
material label and rate under the rate column.
Assigning resources to a task
1.
2.
3.
4.

Select the task to which you want to assign the resources.


Go to resource tab of menu bar and click.
Click on assign resource option and a new window of resources will open.
Specify the units of resources which you want to assign to that task and
click on assign.
5. Select another task without closing that resource window and assign the
resources simultaneously.
Assigning overtime to a task
If you have assigned overtime rate to a resource and you want that resource to
do overtime in a specific task, follow the below mentioned steps.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Select that task in which you want your resource to do over-time.


Go to view tab of menu bar and check the details option.
A new window will appear at the bottom of GUI.
Go to that window and right-click and select work.
A list of your defined resources will come and you can assign the over-time
duration under the over-time column.

Over allocation: - While defining the resources in the projects and assigning it
to various tasks it might be possible that amount of resources are not sufficient
to accomplish all the tasks in the project and while assigning the resources to the
task we allocate insufficient resources to the tasks and this condition is termed
as over allocation.
Resource levelling
To eliminate the over allocation of resources we manage our resources effectively
so that the cost and duration of product remains the same or there is a
possibility of minimum impact on the duration and cost of project and this
process is termed as resource levelling. There are six types of resource levelling.
1. Levelling with available slack: In this type of levelling the available
slack (buffer time) is utilised to complete the task with the available
resources so that there should be no over allocation.
Steps to level with available slack

Go to the resource tab of menu bar and click.


Select levelling options; a window of resources levelling will open.
Select levelling calculations to manual.
Select the levelling range to entire project.

Check the option of level only with available slack and uncheck the
remaining options.
Click on level all.

2. Levelling with stretching: When resource levelling is done by stretching


following things are done.
Work should be fixed instead of duration. There is a relation
between work (W) duration (D) and Units produced (U)
W= D * U
IF Work is fixed, duration is inversely proportional to units.

Duration of projects is increased so that units per day are decreased


as per the available resources in the project.

Steps for doing levelling by stretching


1. Insert a column type which is specified as fixed duration/fixed units by
default.
2. Change the fixed duration to fixed work for each task.
3. Go to the tasks that is over allocated
4. Create a view to analyze the over allocation.
5. Increase the duration for each task so that the units will decrease.
6. Perform hit and trial method so that over allocation is eliminated.
Levelling by crunching
The phenomenon of crunching is just opposite to that of stretching. In crunching;
the duration is decreased which gives the increased number of units per day.
After knowing the increased number of units per day we increase the resources
accordingly to eliminate over allocation.
Steps to do levelling by crunching
1. Insert a column type which is specified as fixed duration/fixed units by
default.
2. Change the fixed duration to fixed work for each task.
3. Go to the tasks that is over allocated
4. Create a view to analyze the over allocation.
5. Decrease the duration for each task so that the units will increase.
6. After knowing the increased units go the resource sheet and directly
increase the resources.
7. Or you can also increase the resources by applying resource availability
method.
Levelling by resource availability
We can eliminate the over allocation by defining the specific units of resources
available on specific dates.
Steps to do levelling by resource availability
1. Create a view to monitor over allocation for each task.
2. For creating your view go to view bar and right click; click on more views.
3. New window is opened click on new then check combination view.

4. Define Gantt chart and Resource graph in primary and secondary view
respectively.
5. Click on ok and apply your custom view.
6. Analyze the over allocated tasks and note down the required number of
resources as per the dates.
7. Go to the resource sheet and double click on over allocated resource.
8. In general tab of resource information specify the availability as per the
dates and click on OK.
9. Over allocation is now eliminated.
Levelling with delay
We can also eliminate over allocation by providing delay to non-critical
activities so that the resources can be utilized in critical activities and then
on non-critical activities.
Levelling with splitting
A task can be split into two parts if required to eliminate over allocation.
When we split a task some portion of a task is completed then resource is
assigned to the critical task and after that the remaining portion of the
split task is completed.
TRACKING
Tracking is done to check whether the tasks are being completed as per
the planned way or not. When project manager visit the working site to
check/ track the project that date is termed as status date as the project
manager determines the actual status of the project.
Steps to do tracking
1. Click on tracking Gantt in the view bar.
2. Go to the project tab and click on set baseline; set the baseline for
entire project.
3. After setting the baseline click on update project and specify the status
date.
4. Click on OK and your project is now tracked and updated.
5. If you want to update any task go to task tab and click on mark on
track.
6. You can define the actual status of the task and update it accordingly.
There are certain reports for tracking which you can generate while
tracking a project.
1. Tracking schedule report.
Task Name

Baseline
start

Actual start

2. Tracking duration report

Baseline
finish

Actual finish

Task
name

Baseline
Duration

Actual
Duration

Duration
Variance

Start
Variance

Finish
Variance

Remaini
ng
variance

3. % Tracking report
Task Name

% Complete

CPI

TCPI

Earned Value analysis


To see the earned value table go the left top most corner of the task pane
and right click.
Click on more tables and select earned value; click on apply. Earned value
table shows you the planned value, earned value, actual cost, Schedule
variance, Cost variance, Estimated at completion, Budgeted at completion
and variance at completion costs of the project.
Terms to understand
Planned value PV / BCWS: - Budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS)
contains the cumulative time phased baseline costs up to the status date.
Earned value EV / BCWP: - Budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP)
contains the cumulative value of the percentage complete multiplied by the time
phased baseline costs. Earned value is calculated up to the status date.
Actual cost / ACWP: - Actual cost of work performed contains the cost
incurred for work, up to the project status date.
Schedule Variance SV: - Earned value schedule variance shows the
difference in cost terms between the current progress and the baseline plan of a
task, all assigned task of a resource, or for an assignment up to the status date.
SV = BCWP - BCWS
Cost Variance CV: - Cost variance contains the difference between how
much it should have cost and how much it has actually cost to achieve the
current level of completion up to the status date.
CV = BCWP - ACWP

Estimate at Completion/ EAC: - Estimate at completion contains the


expected total cost of a task based on the performance up to the status date.
Baseline Cost/Budgeted at Completion BAC: - The total planned cost
of a task, a resource for all assigned tasks or for work to be performed by a
resource on a task is called as Baseline Cost.
Variance at completion VAC: - Variance at completion shows the cost
difference between the baseline cost/Budgeted at completion cost and the
estimated at completion cost for the project.
VAC = BAC - EAC

Steps for viewing the earned value table of the project


1. Go to the right most top corner of the task panel and right click.
2. Click on more tables option.
3. A new list of tables will get opened.
4. Go the earned value option and click.
5. The earned value table is displayed in the project.
Earned Value table
Task
Name

PVBCWS

EVBSWP

ACACWP

SV

CV

EAC

BAC

VAC

Steps for creating new tables:


1.
2.
3.
4.

Go to the leftmost top corner of task panel and right click.


Select more tables option.
Go to create new option and click.
A new window will open in which you can specify your customized field as
per your requirement.
5. Click on OK and your table will be created and will be displayed in the
table list.
6. Select your created table click on apply.

Filters and Groups:- Filters and groups are used in the project to overview and
manage the project data effectively. Filters shows only that data which is
required by the project manager to view important aspects of projects while
groups are used to classify all the data depending upon some parameters which
can be pre-defined or may be provided by the project manager.

Steps to use filters


1. Go to view tab of menu-bar and click.
2. Go to filter drop-down and select the type of filter you want to apply to the
project.
3. You can create your own filter by clicking on new filter.
4. When you apply a filter, it shows only that data which satisfy the condition
of the filter.
5. To remove a filter; go to view tab of menu bar click on filter drop-down and
click clear filter.
Steps to use group
1. Go to view tab of menu-bar and click.
2. Go to group drop-down and select the type of group you want to apply to
the project.
3. You can create your own group by clicking on new group.
4. When you apply a group, it classifies the data as per the condition of the
group.
5. To remove a group; go to view tab of menu bar click on group drop-down
and click clear group.