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In the Trenches with Microsoft® Office Project 2007

Book Description

Led by a well-known Project expert, you will learn how to apply the right tools and techniques to the most common project-management scenarios you will encounter. Most important, you will see the effects of different approaches in action so you can make the best decisions for your project. Orchestrate great results by learning the most effective ways to: Identify project scope and goals Evaluate project costs Drive a project plan and schedule Organize and deploy resources Monitor and communicate status Manage cuts in budget and resources Get management buy-in on essential changes Resolve cross-project conflicts Get a wayward project back on track Work out the kinks solving real problems, in real time.

Table of Contents

  1. In the Trenches with Microsoft® Office Project 2007
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Acknowledgments
    3. About the Author
    4. Introduction
      1. Who This Book Is For
      2. What This Book Is About
      3. Getting Support
        1. Support for the Book
        2. Support for Software
        3. Questions and Comments
    5. 1. Defining Your Project
      1. 1. Scoping Out Your Project’s Details
        1. Getting Started
          1. Setting the Project’s Goals and Defining the Project’s Scope
          2. Creating a Project
          3. Recording General Project Information
          4. Setting the Project Calendar
            1. Changing the Days and Hours Your Company Works
            2. Setting Exceptions to the Calendar
            3. Changing the Work Week
            4. The Project Calendar and Scheduling
        2. Creating Tasks
          1. Determining How Granular to Make Your Tasks
          2. Understanding Task Types
          3. Summary Tasks and Subtasks
          4. The Project Summary Task
          5. Reorganizing Your Project Schedule
          6. A Word about Task Timing
          7. Establishing the Task’s Duration
          8. Creating Milestones
          9. Using Recurring Tasks Effectively
        3. Identifying Resources Before You Have Resources
        4. About Connecting with Other Projects in Your Company
      2. 2. How Dependencies and Constraints Affect Your Project
        1. What Are Dependencies?
          1. Choosing the Right Dependency for Your Needs
            1. Finish-to-Start Relationships
            2. Start-to-Start Relationships
            3. Finish-to-Finish Relationships
            4. Start-to-Finish Relationships
          2. Setting Dependencies
          3. What Are Lag and Lead Time?
          4. How Many Dependencies Are Too Many?
        2. Viewing Dependencies
        3. Dependency Actions That Affect Your Plan
          1. Deleting Dependencies
          2. Creating Dependencies to External Projects
        4. Working with Constraints
          1. Understanding the Types of Constraints
          2. How Constraints and Dependencies Affect Each Other
          3. Choosing Between Dependencies and Constraints
          4. How Do Deadline Dates Work?
          5. Setting Constraints and Deadlines
        5. What Causes Unexpected Start Dates?
      3. 3. Pinning Down Your Budget
        1. Identifying the Resources You Need
          1. Matching Skill Sets to Skills Needed
          2. Don’t Forget About Those Non-Human Resources
        2. Choosing the Right Resource Type
          1. Creating Resources in a Project
          2. Resources and Project Server
        3. Assigning Resources to Tasks
        4. Assigning Resource Costs
          1. Assigning a Cost per Use to a Resource
          2. Assigning Fixed Costs
          3. How Cost Accrual Methods Work
        5. How Organizational Structure Affects Resource Availability
          1. Managing Projects from a Central Office
          2. Handling Projects As They Arise
          3. Managing Projects Within Each Functional Unit
          4. How Organizational Structures Impact Project Management
        6. Understanding How Availability Affects Your Project
          1. Accounting for Availability
          2. Setting Resource Calendars
          3. Checking Availability While Assigning Resources
          4. Using Overtime Wisely
        7. Printing Cost Reports
    6. 2. Working Out the Kinks
      1. 4. Finding the Information You Need
        1. Understanding Views
          1. Picture Views
          2. Form Views
          3. Sheet Views
          4. Combination Views
        2. Understanding Tables
          1. Adding a Field to a Table
          2. Working with the Details Portion of a Usage View
        3. Sorting Information
        4. Filtering to Find What You Need
          1. Using Built-in Filters
          2. Using AutoFilters
        5. Grouping Information
        6. Using Custom Fields
          1. Understanding Custom Fields
          2. Creating a Custom Field That Includes a Data Entry List
          3. Storing Information in a Custom Field
          4. Custom Fields, Formulas, and Indicators
      2. 5. Controlling an Out-of-Control Schedule
        1. Focusing on Tasks
        2. Tasks and Timing
          1. Identifying Task Drivers
          2. How Task Types Affect Task Timing
          3. Exploring the Effort-Driven Equation
          4. When Should You Use a Task Calendar?
          5. What Are Your Task Constraints Doing to Your Schedule?
        3. Scheduling from Start or Finish
          1. Understanding Scheduling
          2. What about Scheduling Backwards?
          3. Understanding What Calendar Settings Actually Do
        4. Managing Slack
          1. Ways to Identify Slack
          2. Ways to Build in Slack
      3. 6. Solving Resource Conflicts
        1. What Causes Resource Conflicts?
        2. Identifying Resource Conflicts
          1. The Resource Graph View
          2. The Resource Allocation View
          3. The Resource Usage View
        3. Techniques to Resolve Conflicts
          1. Swapping Out Resources
          2. Using Overtime
          3. Adding Resources
          4. Using a Shared Resource
          5. Part-Time Assignments
          6. Staggering Work Time
            1. Changing When a Resource Begins Working on a Task
            2. Using Contours
          7. How Resource Leveling Really Works
            1. How Project Selects Tasks to Delay or Split
            2. Understanding Leveling Order
            3. Using Priorities to Control Leveling
            4. Setting Leveling Options
            5. Handling Leveling on Your Own
          8. What If You Had More Time?
      4. 7. Taming That Monster Budget
        1. How to Use Cost Resources Effectively
        2. Anticipating Cost Hikes Realistically
        3. What Are Budget Resources and When Do You Use Them?
          1. Creating Budget Resources
          2. Assigning Resources to Budget Resource Categories
          3. Establishing the Value of Budget Resources
          4. Reviewing Budget Amounts and Assigned Amounts
        4. Tips for Trimming the Bottom Line
      5. 8. Completing the Planning Phase in Project
        1. Reviewing What You’ve Got
        2. Redefining Project Scope
        3. Identifying the Critical Path
        4. Working with Baselines and Interim Plans
          1. Setting a Baseline or an Interim Plan
          2. Comparing Baseline and Actual Information
    7. 3. Setting Up Your Infrastructure
      1. 9. Determining How to Communicate with Your Team
        1. The Lines of Communication
        2. How Much Information Do You Need?
        3. The Pros and Cons of Project Server and SharePoint
        4. How Additional Software Can Help You Communicate
          1. Using Microsoft Office Outlook
          2. Sharing Files
          3. Enhancing Reporting in Project
        5. Anticipating Reporting Needs
          1. Using Outline Numbers and Codes in Project Plans
            1. Displaying Outline Numbers
            2. Using Outline Codes
          2. Using WBS Codes in Project Plans
          3. Reviewing Reports
            1. Project’s Standard Reports
            2. Visual Reports
      2. 10. Establishing Guidelines for Tracking
        1. Identifying the Information to Collect
        2. Tracking Too Often or Not Often Enough
        3. Designating How Resources Report Activity
          1. Setting Up a Reporting Form
          2. Using Timesheet Information
          3. Using Project Server for Tracking Information
          4. Confirming the Plan for Each Reporting Period
          5. Encouraging Team Members to Report
        4. How to Record Progress
          1. Setting the Project Status Date
          2. Reviewing Calculation Options
          3. Making Notes As You Go
          4. Estimating Percent Complete
          5. Recording Start and Finish Dates
          6. Recording Actual and Remaining Durations
          7. Recording Actual Work
          8. Tracking the Use of Materials
      3. 11. Dealing with Management
        1. Approaching the Change Discussion
        2. Explaining What a Network Diagram Says about Your Project
          1. Changing the Network Diagram Layout
          2. Changing the Style of Network Diagram Boxes
          3. Changing the Information Displayed in Network Diagram Boxes
        3. Reviewing Your Budget
          1. Understanding Earned Value Fields
          2. Evaluating Variance
          3. The Difference Between the % Complete and Physical % Complete Fields
            1. Calculating BCWP by Using Physical % Complete
        4. Managing Changes to the Plan 101
    8. 4. Problem Solving in the Trenches
      1. 12. You’re Behind Schedule: Now What?
        1. Comparing Estimates with Actual Progress
          1. Understanding the Tracking Gantt View
          2. Adding Progress Lines to a Gantt View
        2. How Do You Get Back on Track?
          1. Sorting and Filtering
          2. How Adding or Changing Resources Affects Timing
          3. Reviewing Dependencies
          4. Making Changes to Save Time
        3. Deciding When to Redefine Your Project
      2. 13. Managing Cross-Project Conflicts
        1. Examining Consolidated Projects
          1. Setting Up Subprojects
          2. Consolidating Subprojects
          3. Linking Subprojects
          4. Examining the Critical Path of a Consolidated Project
          5. Using Consolidation with Project Server 2007
        2. Using a Resource Pool
          1. Setting Up a Resource Pool
          2. Opening a Project Connected to a Resource Pool
          3. How Project Handles Assignments from a Resource Pool
          4. Updating the Resource Pool
          5. How to Quit Sharing Resources
    9. Index
    10. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly