For days, weeks, sometimes months, you build the foundation of your project plan—the project mission statement, objectives, scope, requirements, and so on. At long last, you're ready to build the project schedule, the framework that defines the entire project. It tells everyone what work is required, who's supposed to do it, when it should be done, and how much it should cost. Something this fundamental to project management takes some preparation—and the next several chapters of this book—to construct.
The project schedule is where Microsoft Project becomes indispensable. In Project, you build a list of project tasks, link them to define their sequence, and assign resources and costs. The resulting schedule acts as your road map for getting the project done.
This chapter is the first leg of this schedule building marathon. It begins with creating and saving a new project file, whether you make one from scratch or start from an existing project or template. You learn how to set up basic project options, such as the project's start date. The rest of the chapter describes adding the meat to the project file—entering the tasks and milestones that represent work and progress points. As you proceed to the remaining chapters in this section, you'll learn the rest of the process for building a project schedule.
Before you can create that schedule you're itching to get started on, you must start a new Project file. This file ...