How to Use Microsoft Project

Microsoft project is a program that is produced and distributed by Microsoft. It is a project management software that is used to create plans, monitor progress, analyse workloads, designate resources to tasks and manage budgets. The software establishes critical path schedules and may also be used to formulate critical chain and event chain methodology using third party add-ons. It enables schedules to be resource levelled, while chains are displayed in a Gantt chart. It is also capable of distinguishing the pre-defined classes of users. In doing this, the ability to retrieve and view information will be determined by the user’s class. Some information will be accessible by all users including: views, calendars, filters and fields, and tables. It is considered a part of the Microsoft Office suit however it had not been packaged in the suit until recently in the Office 2010 beta 1 release. This article will highlight the fundamental steps needed to competently utilize the program.

What You Will Need

  • Functioning PC
  • Microsoft Project

Instructions

  1. To begin launch Microsoft Project.
  2. Before starting the project enter the commencement date in the required field. For all alloted tasks, this will become the default date if a dependency relationship is not established. If the dependency relationship is utilized the program will instantly calculate the dates when the tasks are not done promptly. If you do not enter a date the current date will be used to signal the initialization of the project.
  3. Go to tools and select [Change working time] to make adjustments to the calendar if the current project will be ongoing for a long period. The Project’s default settings for its calendar will use a standard 5 day work week with no provisions for holidays in its structure. Edit this to recognize any holidays that may occur during the project period.
  4. Create a list that will exhibit the essential tasks. Be very detailed about the individual tasks for greater efficiency. The objective will be to categorize the tasks so that the overall structure of the project plan will appear more organized.
  5. At this point you are now able to develop the Critical Path using the Chart Wizard. The areas in the Gantt chart that are red will correlate to the tasks in the Critical Path.
  6. The program utilizes a calculator that can be used to decide the total length of time required to complete the project. It will also consider and manage the time needed to perform all the activities within the project.
  7. It is imperative that the resources are available to carry out the tasks that are specified on the project plan. Resources will then have to be delegated to the individual tasks. Create an additional column for “Work Effort”. It is not required that you input task durations or end dates. The program will perform these calculations on your behalf.
  8. Finally save the project as a baseline once you have finished entering all the mandatory details in the project. This will enable the tracking Gantt to keep track of the project’s status. The Gantt will additionally generate a display of the project’s overall progress.

Do’s and Dont’s

  • Always save the information periodically to avoid losing any critical portion of the project
  • Be sure to input all the necessary tasks into the project to avoid foreseeable miscalculations in the designated duration time of the project.
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