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Microsoft Project 2007: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Chapter 3. Taking Microsoft Project for a Test Drive

Learning how to manage projects while learning to use Project at the same time is too much for most mortals. So this chapter lets you take Project out for a test drive, with no trip planning whatsoever. If this were a real project, you'd start by defining project objectives, listing assumptions, choosing strategies, identifying risks, building project teams, carving out budgets, and so on, as described in the first two chapters.

Using a fictitious project called the "It's About Time Graduation Party" for the 40-year-old college graduate in your family, this chapter takes you through Project's main features and gives you the satisfaction of creating a working schedule.

Creating a Project Schedule

Building a project schedule might seem as intimidating and interminable as constructing the Great Wall of China. But if you build your schedule stone by stone (or task by task), you'll be done before you know it.

Tip

If you're already a Project maven, you may have a favorite approach to building a schedule. In that case, consider following this test drive anyway—you may just learn some new Project tips and tricks.

For just about any kind of project, you can start constructing a schedule by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What work must be done to achieve the project's objectives?

  • What tangible results must your project produce—and when?

  • How does each task depend upon the completion of other tasks?

  • Who's going to do the work?

  • How long do ...

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