00:00:00 - This nugget is focused on 2.3, "Build a logical
00:00:04 - schedule model", basically taking the basic work breakdown structure
00:00:09 - that we've defined in the previous nugget and starting to create
00:00:13 - a schedule,
00:00:16 - managing the tasks, getting the tasks to execute in a specific
00:00:21 - order or schedule. So let's see how that's done in Microsoft
00:00:25 - Project. And to create that logical schedule we need some
00:00:30 - tasks. So I'm just going to very quickly enter five tasks into my project plan.
00:00:40 - And Task 5. Now you'll notice by default, Microsoft Project has
00:00:46 - not done any scheduling. It's simply said, these five tasks are
00:00:50 - going to start today.
00:00:52 - They're all of an estimated one day's duration and they're
00:00:55 - going to finish today. If I was to, to start to play with the
00:00:59 - duration, say this guy's got two days' duration, this guy has
00:01:03 - three days' duration, this guy has two, three, and four, respectively,
00:01:09 - again, there is no scheduling taking place. They're all starting
00:01:13 - today and they're simply taking the number of days as stated
00:01:17 - by the duration. And if I change my view a little bit and start
00:01:20 - to show the start dates and the finish dates, again, there's no surprise,
00:01:24 - they're all still based on that.
00:01:27 - So this is, this is our starting point. We are now going to begin
00:01:32 - to tell Microsoft Project to schedule these tasks.
00:01:36 - And the most basic way I can schedule the task, I simply bring
00:01:39 - my mouse out into the calendar area, mouse over the blue bar,
00:01:44 - hold down my right mouse and simply drag the task. So I'm dragging
00:01:49 - the task and saying I want this task to start on Friday.
00:01:54 - Now if I reorient that just a little bit you can see that my
00:01:58 - blue bar has now grown. My duration was supposed to be only two days
00:02:02 - long, but now, all of a sudden, my blue bar has grown to show
00:02:07 - a four-day duration but yet, the duration is still showing
00:02:11 - as only two. That's because I have scheduled the work to go
00:02:15 - across a weekend, so Saturday and Sunday are a non-working
00:02:19 - times in my Project calendar, so Microsoft Project knows enough
00:02:24 - to say, oh,
00:02:26 - work isn't done on the Saturday and Sunday, it's still time there,
00:02:31 - but the two days' duration is going to be done on the Friday
00:02:34 - and the Monday.
00:02:35 - And I can do the same on Task Number 2, I can drag it out
00:02:39 - and have it start on the Tuesday,
00:02:43 - and Task Number 3 and so on, I can reorient and
00:02:48 - move the work around however I want within Microsoft Project,
00:02:53 - and I am manually scheduling the work.
00:02:57 - I'm going to say as simple as that. Another thing to note is
00:03:01 - over here, in the information column, I have an icon starting
00:03:05 - to show up, and if I mouse over the icon, it's going to sell, tell
00:03:09 - me that this task has a start no earlier than constraint
00:03:13 - and the "start no earlier than" constraint is on Friday. And
00:03:17 - that's because, again, I manually schedule the task, I did my
00:03:20 - drag and drop and I moved the task out to start on the Friday and
00:03:24 - if I mouse over Task Number 2, same thing, this task has a start
00:03:28 - no earlier than" constraint, based on Tuesday, which again, is
00:03:32 - where I did my drag and drop and the same would appear on Task
00:03:36 - Number 4, or sorry, Task Number 5.
00:03:39 - So that's one way I can manually schedule my work, by simply
00:03:43 - dragging and dropping the blue bars. I can do exactly the same
00:03:48 - here. Instead of dragging and dropping my blue bar, I can change
00:03:53 - the start date, so I'm going to change the start date and say I want
00:03:57 - this to start on the Wednesday.
00:04:03 - And again, my blue bar moved, happened so fast you, you probably
00:04:07 - didn't see it move, but the blue bar moved from being here on the
00:04:10 - left, to start on the Wednesday and again, a constraint has been added.
00:04:17 - So let's explore this concept of a task constraint a little
00:04:20 - bit more. Again, if I let my mouse over, it's telling me this task has a start
00:04:24 - no earlier than" constraint, and Microsoft Project added that
00:04:28 - constraint automatically because I adjusted the start-finish dates
00:04:33 - either by dragging and dropping or by actually typing in place.
00:04:37 - Let's explore what other task constraints are available
00:04:41 - to us. We can get to task constraints by double clicking on
00:04:44 - any task, so if we double click on Task Number 1,
00:04:48 - we get the task information window comes up, fairly similar
00:04:52 - to the task information window we saw in the previous nugget when
00:04:55 - we entered reoccurring tasks, but this is the task information
00:04:59 - window specific to non-reoccurring tasks, and we have one, two,
00:05:04 - three, four, five, six tabs. I have already been into this particular
00:05:09 - window before, so it defaulted to the advanced tab, which is
00:05:14 - where we're going to set the constraint. So here in the task
00:05:18 - information window, on the advanced tab,
00:05:23 - we have a constraint type and if we select the list box, we
00:05:27 - can see we have a number of constraints: as late as possible,
00:05:32 - as soon as possible, finish no earlier than, finish no later
00:05:37 - than, must finish on a specific date, must start on, start no
00:05:43 - earlier than, start no later than. So we have all of these options
00:05:48 - available to us and I think the options speak very, very well,
00:05:53 - they're very self-explanatory. If I set a "as late as possible",
00:06:00 - Microsoft Project, when we do the auto scheduling engine, is
00:06:03 - going to say, well this is not a very important task. Steve would
00:06:06 - rather have his resources work on any other task on the
00:06:09 - project than this one, so it's simply going to say, I will not
00:06:13 - even worry about trying to schedule work for this task until the
00:06:17 - last possible minute or when I have resources truly free and
00:06:22 - idle. So this is for a very non-critical task.
00:06:26 - The direct opposite of that is "as soon as possible", and this is the
00:06:31 - default constraint, or really, if we set the constraint type
00:06:36 - to be "as soon as", the
00:06:39 - icon is going to disappear, the "as soon as possible" is really
00:06:43 - the default, and it equates to having no constraint at all, basically
00:06:47 - saying, when the scheduling engine runs, and I know we're not
00:06:51 - talking about the scheduling engine yet, but it's, it's important
00:06:54 - to understand what these constraint types do, when this scheduling
00:06:57 - engine runs, Microsoft Project will try to get this task
00:07:02 - done as soon as possible, ASAP.
00:07:07 - "Finish no earlier than", "finish no later than", speaks for itself.
00:07:14 - They're going to be late tasks, but Microsoft Project will
00:07:18 - ensure that
00:07:21 - it's not that these constraints are going to be on. It's "finish no earlier
00:07:24 - than", "finish no later than", "must start on", "must finish", I'm sorry, "must
00:07:28 - finish on", "must start on", "start no earlier than", "start no later
00:07:32 - than". So by default we assigned the "start no earlier than" based
00:07:40 - on a specific constraint and we can change that. We can say
00:07:45 - no, this task,
00:07:48 - which is currently starting on Friday the ninth, we're going
00:07:52 - to change that to be Monday the 12th, which would be the
00:07:56 - equivalent of doing the drag and drop or doing the type in
00:07:59 - place. One of the beauties of Microsoft Project is it's extremely
00:08:02 - flexible and we can do our data entry in multiple locations.
00:08:07 - The good news about Microsoft Project is it's extremely flexible
00:08:11 - and it doesn't matter whether we do our data entry by dragging
00:08:13 - and dropping, typing in place here, doing a double click and
00:08:19 - bringing up the task information window.
00:08:24 - The only place we have the option of setting the constraint
00:08:27 - type is in the task information window, but we can change the
00:08:30 - dates in multiple aspects, in multiple locations, as already
00:08:35 - discussed. Pick the constraint that's going to allow Microsoft
00:08:40 - Project to do exactly what you want.
00:08:44 - Now, key point. The only constraint that truly is going to result
00:08:50 - in the maximum flexibility, giving Microsoft Project a maximum
00:08:56 - capacity to create an aggressive,
00:09:00 - fast, short schedule is if we give the absence of or the
00:09:05 - default constraint type "as soon as possible".
00:09:09 - And if we put this back to "as soon as possible", you'll note
00:09:12 - that for Task Number 1, the icon has disappeared and, in fact,
00:09:17 - it's moved back to
00:09:20 - no surprise, my project start date.
00:09:23 - Why is it moving this task around like that? Because I have asked
00:09:27 - Microsoft Project to auto schedule this piece of work for this
00:09:31 - particular task, and in my case, for the entire project. Had I set
00:09:36 - that to manual schedule it wouldn't move it around. So let's
00:09:40 - explore that concept of manual schedule for just a couple minutes.
00:09:44 - This task was set to be auto scheduled. If I set it to be
00:09:48 - manual scheduled, by clicking on the button, a couple of things
00:09:51 - have happened. We see the icon change, as we've already discussed,
00:09:55 - but over here we see a different presentation of the task in
00:09:59 - my calendar area. It's no longer the plain blue bar. It's now
00:10:04 - become, I would say an aqua bar, although I know I'm color blind, with the
00:10:08 - hard ends on it and that's the visual representation that
00:10:12 - this task is now a manually scheduled task. I can do the same
00:10:17 - basic things. I can drag it out and I can have it start on
00:10:21 - the Friday. It will still stretch the task, although this is
00:10:24 - manually scheduled, it still recognizes the calendar and it still
00:10:28 - recognizes that Saturday and Sundays are non-working days.
00:10:31 - I can still adjust my dates here, change it to be the Monday, and
00:10:38 - I can still do a double click
00:10:42 - and I can still begin, oh, wait. No I can't. I can't change
00:10:48 - around the constraints because the constraints are focused
00:10:52 - on auto scheduling of the task, so the constraint type and
00:10:57 - the constraint dates don't work when I am in
00:11:02 - manual schedule mode. So there are a couple of key differences with the
00:11:06 - manual schedule. One is the visual representation and two is
00:11:11 - Microsoft Project is going to turn off all of the functionality
00:11:15 - related to the auto scheduling of the task.
00:11:21 - And because Microsoft Project has turned off all that auto scheduling
00:11:24 - information, things like the duration do not have the same
00:11:29 - degree of importance to Microsoft Project. You can put just
00:11:32 - about anything you want.
00:11:37 - I think this should be two days long and it's fine, it's still
00:11:42 - going to allow you to key information into that particular
00:11:45 - column, but it's taken the edits off. If we try to do something
00:11:48 - like that on an auto scheduled task that says, I think,
00:11:55 - and hit enter, it's going to say, no, no, you can't do that.
00:11:58 - I can't put text into a date field. It must be
00:12:04 - the proper date, so again, just a couple of considerations for how
00:12:08 - Microsoft Project is going to absolutely treat these manually scheduled
00:12:12 - tasks with a little bit of, of, of flexibility to truly allow
00:12:18 - you to do all of the work manually that you want to do. But again,
00:12:22 - in my humble opinion, manually scheduling is not
00:12:26 - something I would use myself a lot. One of the reasons I
00:12:30 - use a tool like Microsoft Project is I really value the help Microsoft
00:12:34 - Project does for me in scheduling, and I want Microsoft Project
00:12:38 - to do as much scheduling for me as it can automatically.
00:12:42 - So I just went back and I said, okay, I'm done experimenting with
00:12:46 - manual schedule and I'm going to turn this task back to an
00:12:49 - auto schedule.
00:12:52 - The most manual aspect to scheduling we have inside Microsoft
00:12:56 - Project is with our constraints.
00:13:00 - Pick this constraint that's going to work best for you, realizing that
00:13:03 - Microsoft Project is going to do the maximum flexibility, "as
00:13:07 - soon as possible",
00:13:09 - but there will be tasks that "must start no earlier than". The
00:13:15 - equipment that I need for this particular task is on order
00:13:18 - and the equipment is not going arrive until, you know, October the 15th
00:13:22 - so therefore, this task simply cannot start any earlier
00:13:27 - than October the 15th.
00:13:29 - Microsoft Project treats constraints such as "start no earlier
00:13:34 - than" and "must start on" quite differently.
00:13:37 - Using that example again, the equipment isn't going to arrive until
00:13:41 - October the 15th. If I say this task must start on October the 15th,
00:13:46 - Microsoft Project will start that task on October 15th.
00:13:50 - Doesn't matter if the resources are not available,
00:13:54 - doesn't matter if, doesn't matter if, doesn't matter if.
00:13:57 - Microsoft Project will violate other rules that we're going
00:14:00 - to set inside the tool and we'll explore those rules later
00:14:04 - in this nugget.
00:14:06 - These are what we call very hard, very fixed constraints, as
00:14:11 - opposed to this constraint is "must start no earlier than". So
00:14:15 - it's going to ensure the task doesn't start before October the 15th,
00:14:18 - but if it, if the other constraints of dependencies,
00:14:22 - if, if, if, says this task really shouldn't be starting until
00:14:26 - October the 19th, sure, the equipment arrived on the 15th,
00:14:30 - it can sit there idle, other dependencies, other resource constraints,
00:14:33 - other, other says the task really is better off starting
00:14:37 - on the 19th,
00:14:39 - then it will allow that task to slip and not start until the 19th.
00:14:43 - So there's very hard constraints, the "must finish
00:14:47 - on", "must start on", and the less stringent "start no earlier than",
00:14:54 - but it could start later than, "start no later than" but it
00:14:57 - could start earlier than, and so on,
00:15:00 - recognizing that we get the most power, the most flexibility
00:15:04 - in Microsoft Project by letting it be "as soon as possible".
00:15:10 - And one last aspect to manually adjusting tasks to suit your
00:15:15 - schedule, we will go back into our task information window,
00:15:19 - we're still on the advanced tab, and we'll look at this
00:15:23 - feature called "deadline". And by default, deadlines are not entered
00:15:28 - into Microsoft Project. With deadlines we can say, this task
00:15:34 - needs to be done by
00:15:38 - Friday the ninth and if we click "okay", we'll see that Microsoft Project
00:15:43 - has put a green arrow into my schedule, saying there is my deadline
00:15:48 - for this particular task. Now the good news is the task is currently
00:15:52 - scheduled to be done on Thursday, so I'm going to meet my deadline.
00:15:56 - Deadlines are there for visual representation, deadlines are
00:16:01 - there for project manager information, deadlines to not impact
00:16:06 - the project schedule. For example, if I go back into my detailed
00:16:10 - task information, change my deadline and say this task needed
00:16:14 - to be done not Thursday, because that's when it was going to
00:16:18 - be done, let's say this task needs to be done by Wednesday,
00:16:21 - click "okay",
00:16:24 - the task isn't done by my deadline, the task isn't going to be done until
00:16:28 - Thursday, but Microsoft Project is not going to get terribly
00:16:32 - upset about it, except it's going to give me
00:16:36 - an icon, a nice, red icon out there in my information bar and it's
00:16:41 - going to tell me that this task goes past its deadline.
00:16:45 - So again, it's there for project management information, does
00:16:48 - not impact the scheduling of the task itself.
00:16:54 - And that ends our discussion on setting some of the manual
00:16:58 - options I have as a project manager within Microsoft Project,
00:17:02 - certainly works very well, but again, in Steve's humble opinion,
00:17:06 - setting constraints, setting the projects such that
00:17:11 - the project is not going to again, support auto scheduling, to
00:17:15 - me is contrary to why I buy a tool like Microsoft Project. One
00:17:20 - of the features of, one of the beauties of Microsoft Project
00:17:23 - is it will schedule that the project for me automatically.
00:17:27 - So I'm going to quickly go into these tasks and remove all of those
00:17:31 - constraints, I'm going to remove the deadline,
00:17:35 - and I'm going to wipe that out all together and I'm going to click "okay" and
00:17:41 - I'm going to go into this task and I'm going to set it back to "as
00:17:45 - soon as possible", and so on, as we go down.
00:17:50 - Bear with me as I do this quick typing, but I wanted you to see
00:17:53 - that I am removing all of these constraints from my project
00:18:01 - and that was just a pop up saying, you seem to be doing the same
00:18:04 - thing over and over again, Steve. You want me to give you a little
00:18:07 - hand with that, and because I only had one more task to go I
00:18:11 - said no, you don't need to bother.
00:18:13 - So now I'm back to where I was when I did my original data
00:18:16 - entry. I have five tasks with various durations and they're
00:18:21 - all starting on the project start date and finishing as appropriate
00:18:25 - to their duration. The beauty of Microsoft Project is we can
00:18:30 - begin to create dependencies. We can say this is a very serial
00:18:35 - project. Task 1 is the first task in my project and the next
00:18:40 - task, which is Task 2, can't start until Task 1 has finished
00:18:45 - and we tell Microsoft Project those rules by creating something
00:18:50 - we call a dependency.
00:18:52 - To create a dependency in Microsoft Project I select the predecessor
00:18:56 - task, so Task 1, I do a control click and I select the successor
00:19:01 - task and then I come up here. Again, I'm on my task ribbon, my
00:19:06 - task toolbar, and I have this icon that looks like a chain,
00:19:11 - and if we let the tool temp show up, it says it's going to link
00:19:13 - tasks together, and I click the button and we can see Microsoft Project
00:19:20 - has created a dependency
00:19:22 - and it has started to automatically schedule the work for me.
00:19:26 - So Task Number 1 finished on Thursday, so Task Number 2
00:19:31 - can start on Friday and it's going to finish on the Tuesday,
00:19:36 - And I can create another dependency, say Task Number 2, control
00:19:41 - click on Task Number 3, and again create the dependency,
00:19:45 - and you can see that I'm beginning to create a serial chain
00:19:49 - in my project. And I could set Task 1 or 2, 3, 4
00:19:55 - and 5 to be all serial, but again, most projects will have
00:19:58 - multiple parallel streams that I can easily create Task 4
00:20:02 - as a predecessor to Task 5, same concept, I click on Task 4,
00:20:07 - I do a control click on Task Number 5 and I hit my chain. So now
00:20:12 - I have two parallel streams working through my project, Task
00:20:16 - 1 through 3 which is going to start on the Wednesday
00:20:20 - and finish on the Thursday, and coincidentally, because of the durations
00:20:24 - that I entered, the sequence of Task 4 and 5 is also
00:20:28 - going to start on the Wednesday and finish on the Thursday.
00:20:32 - And that's creating project dependencies in its most simplistic,
00:20:36 - most rudimentary, but typically, the most typical form in the
00:20:39 - project. Now I'm just going to adjust my real-estate a little bit,
00:20:43 - I'm going to skinny down my task name pass and that's going to show
00:20:46 - me yet another column that Microsoft Project has provided for
00:20:49 - me, which is the predecessor column, which is telling me nothing
00:20:53 - I don't already know. It tells me that Task 2 has a predecessor
00:20:57 - called Task Number 1,
00:20:59 - Yeah, I knew that, and it's telling me that Task 3 has a
00:21:03 - predecessor to Task Number 2. Yes, I knew that. Similarly Task
00:21:07 - Number 4 has no predecessors, starting on my project start
00:21:11 - date and it has a predecessor of Task, or Task 5 has a predecessor
00:21:16 - on Task Number 4. So again, no surprises, just another way to enter
00:21:20 - information in, and as we've explored before, another way for
00:21:25 - me to deal with my project. I could delete that,
00:21:30 - delete that, and delete that and I have effectively removed
00:21:35 - all of those dependency links on my project. And I did that
00:21:39 - to show you if you have a pure sequential task as we just
00:21:42 - described, where Task 1 is dependent on 2 or 2 is dependent
00:21:47 - on 1 and 3 is dependent on 2, I can do it individually as
00:21:50 - I did a moment ago, or I can do a shift click,
00:21:54 - select all three of them, click on my chain, and it will automatically
00:21:59 - chain the three of them together in a serial fashion. So just
00:22:04 - a very short form for creating dependencies when I have multiple
00:22:08 - in a sequence, and you probably can expect, I can go directly
00:22:13 - into this column and say that Task Number 5 has a predecessor
00:22:17 - in Task Number 4, and I get the same information.
00:22:22 - It behaves exactly the same way, whether I do my typing in the column, whether
00:22:27 - I use the chain or in the case of doing the deletes, I can
00:22:31 - do the "unlink". So again, if I go to Task Number 5 and do the "unlink"
00:22:36 - it's going to remove it. If I do the "relink"
00:22:42 - it's going to relink them. And if we go back to the detailed task
00:22:46 - information, another tab that we haven't looked at yet is the predecessor
00:22:50 - tab. We have the ability to go in and start to manage
00:22:57 - the predecessors with more detail than we get in the basic
00:23:02 - in view.
00:23:05 - Here we can explore the various types of dependencies available
00:23:10 - to us in Microsoft Project. The most common, the one I would
00:23:14 - expect you all use 90 +% of the time, is the default
00:23:19 - which is the finish-start, which is what we're seeing in place.
00:23:23 - Task Number 1 must finish before Task Number 2
00:23:28 - can start, or said differently, Task 2 cannot start until
00:23:34 - Task 1 finishes, and so on.
00:23:37 - The other options available to us are start-start,
00:23:41 - so if we select start-start on this particular task,
00:23:46 - the visual representation changes, it's now showing that Task 5
00:23:52 - cannot start until Task 4 starts.
00:23:57 - So it brought it back and it will link Task 4 together,
00:24:01 - so I was to do a constraint, which is something Steve doesn't
00:24:04 - like, but I put a constraint on Task Number 4 to say it's
00:24:08 - going to start on the Monday.
00:24:11 - It, because we have that start-start relationship, will also
00:24:15 - move Task 5 out and have it also start on the Monday.
00:24:19 - I'm going to simply undo that,
00:24:23 - bring it back to where we were,
00:24:25 - and go back in and look at that detailed task tab again and
00:24:29 - look at my other options.
00:24:31 - Finish-start, the most common, start-start, we just explored,
00:24:36 - finish-finish, I don't think will will require a lot of imagination
00:24:41 - to understand how it's going to work. It's saying that this task
00:24:45 - cannot finish until that task finishes. Now in this case it's
00:24:50 - still showing as a day longer, but that's because the task
00:24:54 - itself has a duration of, of an extra day, but again, if we were
00:24:58 - to put a constraint on that and move him out by a few days,
00:25:01 - they're both going to move, and now
00:25:06 - we're seeing the two of them are finishing simultaneously
00:25:09 - because it was able to start this task a little earlier, honoring
00:25:15 - that the two of them are going to finish at the same
00:25:17 - time. Let's undo that again, go back to our detailed task tab
00:25:24 - and look at the last
00:25:28 - activity which is start-finish. My expectation is you'll probably
00:25:34 - never use a start-finish dependency. Start-finish is is saying
00:25:40 - that the task cannot finish until the other task starts.
00:25:46 - So if we put that one on,
00:25:52 - it's going to say, well this has got some problems, it's going
00:25:56 - to be before the project start date. Yes, I know. I'm just doing
00:25:59 - a little bit of experimentation here. So let's see what it's
00:26:02 - done. This is telling me that it's a start-finish,
00:26:09 - Task Number 4 cannot start until Task 5 finishes.
00:26:16 - This is probably not a normal process. You were probably surprised
00:26:21 - by what Microsoft Project has done. Start-finish dependencies are
00:26:26 - very abnormal, again my expectation is you'll probably never
00:26:29 - use it in your life as a project manager. I've been doing this
00:26:32 - for 25 years and I have never had occasion to use
00:26:36 - a start-finish, but I can give you an example for where this
00:26:40 - might work. You need to bring in a very expensive piece of equipment.
00:26:45 - This equipment is very expensive and in very rare supply and the
00:26:49 - shortest period of time that you can have this piece of
00:26:54 - expensive equipment on site for your project, the better, because
00:26:58 - it's very expensive. That is Task Number 4. Using the expensive
00:27:04 - piece of equipment
00:27:07 - is my
00:27:09 - critical task, but we have Task Number 5 that we're saying
00:27:14 - preparation. The more preparation I can do, the more time I can
00:27:19 - spend on preparing for this piece of expensive machinery coming
00:27:22 - in, the better off I'm going to be. If I can spend 35 days preparing
00:27:26 - for it, I may be able to reduce the amount of time that I need that equipment
00:27:29 - by two days. If I only spend 10 days preparing for it,
00:27:34 - I'm going to need that piece of equipment for an extra day longer. If I only
00:27:37 - get to spend three days preparing for it, I may may need to use that
00:27:40 - piece of very expensive equipment for an additional five days.
00:27:44 - So basically we want to keep Task 5, the preparation
00:27:48 - task, in place for as long as possible and only stop that that preparation
00:27:54 - task when, in fact, the
00:27:58 - piece of expensive equipment comes on site. So
00:28:02 - I'm going to go back and I'm going to take that dependency off because
00:28:06 - again, in Steve's humble opinion, it's not a normal type of dependency
00:28:11 - and something that we would use on a very rare and infrequent
00:28:15 - basis. So now we're back to showing the project with the traditional
00:28:21 - dependencies.
00:28:22 - Now one last thing we can do with dependencies or predecessors.
00:28:26 - By default, one finishes, the next starts, one finishes, the next
00:28:33 - starts. This one finishes, the next one starts. That's the default.
00:28:40 - If again we go into one of these dependencies, so let's pick on Task Number
00:28:45 - 2, bring up to the detail task window, we have this thing called
00:28:50 - lag. This is going to allow us to tell Microsoft Project yes,
00:28:55 - the Task 1 must finish before Task 2 can start but I need
00:29:01 - a little bit of extra time, I need two days between when Task
00:29:06 - 1 finishes and Task 2 starts. So let's use our imagination. Task
00:29:12 - 1 was pouring a concrete floor. The concrete has to dry and
00:29:16 - set for two days before I can start Task Number 2, which
00:29:21 - is building the walls, for example. So that's what the lag
00:29:25 - is going to do, it's going to say yes, Task 1 finishes and
00:29:29 - then two days later, well in this particular instance it's actually
00:29:32 - four days later because it crosses the weekend, but two days, two
00:29:36 - business days later, the Task 2 can start and we can see that
00:29:41 - showing in my dependency column. It's got a predecessor in
00:29:45 - Task Number 1, it's typed its finish-start and there is a gap of
00:29:51 - two days. We can make negative gaps as well.
00:29:56 - So let's make this a lag of negative one and see what happens.
00:30:06 - So one day before Task 1 finishes, Task 2 can start now, my
00:30:11 - concrete example certainly doesn't apply here,
00:30:14 - but let's use another example where as soon as I got some work
00:30:19 - done on Task Number 1
00:30:22 - then I have enough, enough foundation, I have enough material, maybe
00:30:26 - we're, we're starting to spread topsoil and we can start to
00:30:29 - plant grass seeds, where after one day of spreading the topsoil I can start
00:30:34 - to plant my grass seed on where the topsoil has already been
00:30:37 - spread, and so on, and so on. So again, we have a lot of power
00:30:41 - and a lot of flexibility managing our predecessors,
00:30:46 - changing our types, we're back to Task Number 5,
00:30:50 - do a double click there and change the type to be start-start
00:30:56 - and so on. We can change the types, we can add lags, we can add
00:31:01 - negative lags, we can put gaps in place and we have a lot of
00:31:05 - power that's going to start to position Microsoft Project
00:31:10 - to accurately, realistically, automatically schedule our project.
00:31:16 - This concludes our nugget on 2.3, "Build a logical schedule
00:31:20 - model". In this nugget we explored setting up the project schedule.
00:31:27 - And in its most basic form, we explored setting
00:31:33 - task dates, manually adjusting the project's schedule in the gantt
00:31:41 - area, by doing the drag and drop
00:31:47 - to manually schedule the tasks. We realized that set task constraints
00:31:54 - where we can tell Microsoft Project this must task, must start
00:31:59 - on a specific date or this task must start no earlier than
00:32:04 - a specific date and we use the example of where we may have
00:32:08 - to wait for a piece of equipment to be ordered in. We also
00:32:12 - looked at other task constraints where the task must start
00:32:15 - no, or must finish by a specific date or must finish on a specific
00:32:20 - date. And an example of that would be your preparing for a senior
00:32:23 - board meeting, the board meeting is on October the 13th,
00:32:27 - so therefore your preparation work must finish by October the
00:32:30 - 12th. As soon as we set task constraints, although we are
00:32:35 - telling Microsoft Project to do exactly what we want it to do,
00:32:39 - by setting task constraints we're also restricting Microsoft's
00:32:43 - ability to adjust the project schedule, and where possible, we
00:32:48 - want to use the absence of task constraints, which is the proverbial
00:32:53 - ASAP, as soon as possible, and by setting your task
00:32:57 - constraint which is really the the absence of a task
00:33:00 - constraint to ASAP, Microsoft Project will aggressively create
00:33:07 - a project schedule getting every task done as soon as possible,
00:33:11 - creating the shortest possible duration for your project.
00:33:15 - Recognizing that most projects have a degree of dependencies,
00:33:19 - in this nugget we explored how we set dependencies, the
00:33:25 - most common dependency being a finish-start, Task 1 must finish
00:33:30 - before Task 2 can start. We looked at other dependencies where
00:33:35 - we have start-start dependencies, we have finish-finish dependencies,
00:33:38 - which will be used in a realistic project, probably not a lot.
00:33:44 - I would say 90+% of the time you'll use a finish-start
00:33:49 - dependency, the remaining less than 10% of the time
00:33:55 - you will use one of a start-start, finish-finish dependencies,
00:33:58 - and we have the, at least in Steve's humble opinion, the
00:34:04 - non-common type of dependency which is a start-finish, and
00:34:09 - we explored how we can put gaps in place under dependencies
00:34:14 - to either create a true gap, or we can create an overlap
00:34:19 - through a negative gap.
00:34:23 - And with this we're beginning to build our logical schedule
00:34:27 - of our Microsoft Project plan. We will explore that further
00:34:31 - in the next nugget, where we're starting to look at user controlled
00:34:34 - features of scheduling, and as we move into the next major
00:34:39 - segment of of the nugget, we'll start looking at adding resources
00:34:42 - and resource constraints and truly exploring the power of Microsoft
00:34:47 - Project to create powerful, logical schedules, which is one
00:34:52 - of the beauties of, one of the features of Microsoft Project.
00:34:56 - This concludes your nugget on building a logical schedule model. I
00:35:00 - hope this module has been informative for you and thank you
00:35:03 - very much for viewing.