Microsoft Project is a powerful planning tool used by many project managers and project planners. It provides support for many of the key project control processes including the preparation of schedules, resource plans, cost forecasts and progress reports. However to get the best out of Microsoft Project can require some training. In this course you will learn elements of Microsoft how it can be used to plan and manage the delivery of projects.
At the end of the course you will be able to:
- Create a structured project schedule.
- Plan project resources and associated cost profiles.
- Modify a project schedule to accommodate a change.
- Create project schedule baselines and then use this to track and report progress.
- Work with multiple projects to identify the total resource demand and resource pool.
Benefits Of This Course
The benefits of this course for you and your organisation are:
- Save time getting up to speed with Microsoft project, so that you can start producing high quality plans quickly.
- Learn how to use Microsoft Project to its full potential, including planning resources, cost and reporting.
- Give confidence to the organisation that you can plan projects in an effective way, using the recommend approaches.
Before this course you will need to understand the fundamentals of project management. If you don’t have this level of knowledge we would recommend you take the APM Fundamentals of Project Management before this course. You will also need a basic understanding of Microsoft Windows.
This course is highly interactive with each student having exercises to complete in Microsoft project.
Initially Microsoft Project can be a confusing application. In this section we will set you off on the right path by introducing the structure of the screen and how project templates can be used to quick start new projects. Activities covered in this topic include:
- Understanding the layout of the Microsoft Project Screen.
- Creating a new project.
- Using project templates.
- Entering project information.
- Setting up working with time and calendars.
- Saving a baseline plan
Working with Tasks
One of the first steps in many projects is to define the tasks to be completed. Capturing the full scope of the project at this stage is critical to success. In this topic you will learn how to enter tasks into Microsoft Project and the different properties that are used to determine the task duration. Activities in this topic include:
- Entering tasks and setting properties.
- Working with task durations.
- Creating Milestones.
- Copying and moving tasks.
- Entering recurring tasks
- Task Information and task notes
- Linking and unlinking tasks
- Splitting tasks
- Different task types
- Setting deadlines and constraints
- Applying task calendars
Working with Resources
Many projects are constrained by resources. Planning the work within the available resource pool is critical to the success of many projects. Without understanding the resource requirements then it can be very difficult to predict when a project will be completed and the overall cost. Activities in this topic include:
- Creating a resource sheet and associated cost rates.
- Entering resource availability for each resource type.
- Grouping resources into families.
- Resource schedules and assignment.
- Assigning work and material resources to tasks.
- Entering costs into the project.
Working with the Project Database
Having developed a plan then the analysis and presentation of the date needs to be tailored to meet the needs of different project stakeholders. In this section we learn how to analyse the project data using different views and perspectives, identifying pinch points and resource constraint then need to be removed or reduced to produce the most effective and timely schedule. In this topic we cover the following activities:
- Using the common views.
- Using split views to see different views of the project on one screen.
- Using tables to show data.
- Sorting information.
- Using filters.
- The showing the critical path.
- Printing different views to meet stakeholder needs.
Update and View Progress
A common saying in project management is “plan the work – work the plan”. In this topic we examine the support within Microsoft Project for working the plan. This includes keeping track of progress and costs, identifying variances and the causes of delay within the project schedule. Activities in this topic include:
- Updating Tasks, Resources & Costs
- Checking duration, cost & work variance
- Project statistics
- Identifying and fixing project trouble spots
Working with Reports
Often different stakeholders have different reporting requirements. In this topic you will learn how to use the reporting facilities within Microsoft Project to create reports to meet the needs of different stakeholders. The activities in this topic include:
- Choosing a report
- Using report details
- Defining report contents
- Sorting a report
- Adding page elements to reports
- Saving a project as a web page
Working with Multiple Projects
Many project managers work as part of a programme or portfolio containing several projects. Microsoft Project has useful tool to help plan and manage project in a multi-project environment. In this session we explore how Microsoft Project can be used to combine multiple projects into one consolidated plan and how these can be linked to a single resource pool. In this topic we cover the following activities:
- Consolidating projects
- Creating linked projects
- Sharing resources with resource pools
- Viewing multiple project critical paths
- Saving a workspace
- Saving consolidated project baselines