00:00:00 - This nugget 2.4, create a user controlled schedule,
00:00:04 - really starts where the last nugget, building the logical
00:00:08 - schedule model stopped and further explorers the features
00:00:12 - and functions in Microsoft project that's going to allow us
00:00:16 - the project manager to define and control the way that Microsoft
00:00:22 - project creates the schedule.
00:00:25 - The key is we the project managers are going to control the
00:00:29 - way that Microsoft project creates the project schedule and
00:00:33 - although that may seem like a self-evident statement, of course
00:00:36 - the project manager is going to control the schedule, the project
00:00:40 - manager is the brains, the project manager is in charge of the project.
00:00:44 - Why would Steve make such terminology that we're going to control
00:00:47 - the way Microsoft project does it, because some people believe
00:00:51 - that Microsoft project literally has a brain of its own and
00:00:55 - does weird and wonky things, there's that term again, related
00:01:00 - to creating the schedule. Microsoft project doesn't do weird
00:01:03 - and wonky things, Microsoft project does exactly what we ask
00:01:07 - it to do. We are going to explore in this nugget how we control
00:01:12 - what we ask Microsoft project to do.
00:01:16 - So picking up where we left off, we have the same basic projects
00:01:19 - schedule in place with my five tasks and it's out there on CBT nuggets,
00:01:23 - if you want to go and look for basic scheduling project.com
00:01:25 - you can save yourself the taping to create this simple
00:01:29 - project in there.
00:01:31 - We discussed in the last nugget that the question mark on the
00:01:34 - end duration says this is estimated, that says this is Steve's
00:01:38 - rough cut act, his approximation of what he thinks the
00:01:42 - duration should be. Do I have enough words in that sentence to
00:01:45 - say this is estimated.
00:01:47 - The question mark doesn't change the way Microsoft project
00:01:51 - is going to deal with the schedule, the question mark is simply
00:01:54 - an indicator to us that we haven't put a lot of thought into
00:01:59 - the duration and therefore may want to take it with a certain
00:02:02 - grain of salt.
00:02:04 - As we get more confidence with our projects schedule, as we
00:02:07 - get more confident with their estimates we may want to remove
00:02:10 - the question mark.
00:02:13 - There's a couple of ways to do that. If we double click on
00:02:15 - the task and we bring up the task information window. In this
00:02:19 - case we go to the general tab.
00:02:22 - We can see over here in the general tab we have the ability
00:02:25 - to turn the estimated on or off. You can see as I toggle it on or
00:02:30 - off, the question mark is coming on or off and if I click okay, it's
00:02:35 - gone back. If I do direct data entry into the field and say
00:02:40 - three days,
00:02:43 - again by doing this specific data entry into the field, I have
00:02:46 - removed the estimation and the task is now set that Steve
00:02:51 - has confidence that this task does have a three day duration.
00:02:56 - Now while we doing direct entry into the duration column,
00:03:01 - let's spend just a moment or two talking about that automatic conversion
00:03:05 - that we've seen Microsoft project use in the options field.
00:03:10 - I entered 2d in here and it stays as 2d. If instead
00:03:17 - I was to enter in 16h for hours,
00:03:22 - it's going to keep my data entry as sixteen hours, but you'll
00:03:26 - see that the task remains as two days long. If I drop that back
00:03:31 - to 8h,
00:03:34 - you can see the task has shrunk.
00:03:37 - If I key it in as 200 minutes, it's gotten fairly small because
00:03:44 - 200 minutes is only part of the day. If I was to type in
00:03:47 - one week, 1w, we can see the task it's very long. So that's
00:03:53 - again seeing those conversion factors in play. Let's take
00:03:59 - it back to where we headed today, just so this project
00:04:03 - continues to look the same as you had when you're loaded it off
00:04:07 - CBT nuggets.com.
00:04:10 - One more component of dealing with the schedule, specifically
00:04:14 - with the concept of manual schedules. Again you'll note that
00:04:17 - I have all of these set to auto schedule, but I'm going to insert a new summary
00:04:21 - task and because I was at the bottom of my plan, it's going to
00:04:26 - insert both my summary task and my new task. I'm going to change
00:04:31 - my summary cast to be manually scheduled,
00:04:37 - but I'm going to leave the detail task underneath it to be auto
00:04:41 - scheduled and I'm going to create yet another task seven
00:04:46 - and I'm going to say this task is going to be four days long
00:04:50 - and this task is going to be three days long. I'm going
00:04:55 - to chain them.
00:04:58 - And the reason for all this discussion is the summary task, because
00:05:03 - I have it set at manual scheduling, isn't automatically
00:05:08 - inheriting all of the information related to the children
00:05:12 - below it. So Microsoft project has gone ahead and said this
00:05:15 - task is four days long, schedule it in; this task is seven days
00:05:20 - long, scheduled it out. But I in my wisdom is the project
00:05:25 - manager have the summary task as a manual schedule and I
00:05:30 - have given it a day long duration. Now Microsoft project is
00:05:34 - doing a little bit more of course. It is also creating this extra bar
00:05:38 - in here that says, although Steve has created as a manual schedule,
00:05:42 - there really are child tasks underneath it that are taking
00:05:47 - these seven days. So that's what happens when we create a summary
00:05:51 - task that's manual. Let's create a new task,
00:05:57 - this time we're going to leave it as automatic. We are going to out-dent it, so that it is
00:06:01 - on the same level so there's no doubt as to exactly how this
00:06:04 - is behaving and we're going to create yet another task, we're going
00:06:07 - to make it task eight.
00:06:09 - We're going to give them the same estimates, this ones four
00:06:12 - days long, this ones three days long and you'll note I'm not
00:06:15 - entering the date, because my default that duration is entered
00:06:19 - in days. So when I entered just a three and a four, it defaults two days.
00:06:24 - You can see that my summary task is growing to be the length
00:06:27 - of my longest task and if I go ahead and chain these together,
00:06:33 - you'll see that my summary task grows. So very different behavior
00:06:37 - of our summary tasks whether we are working in an auto schedule summary
00:06:41 - task or manual schedule summary task.
00:06:45 - Now I am going to shift gears a little bit, still very much focused
00:06:48 - on scheduling of my project. I am going to shift my focus of scheduling
00:06:52 - from being duration based scheduling to being in work or effort
00:06:56 - based scheduling.
00:06:58 - Before I do that I am going to get rid of these extra lines
00:07:01 - that I put in there to show you the differences in the summary
00:07:04 - tasks. I am simply going to select the entire row and hit my delete button. It's going
00:07:08 - to give me a little pop up that says it's the summary task. If
00:07:11 - you delete the summary task you're also going to delete all of
00:07:13 - the children task; yes please go ahead; and the same on this
00:07:17 - one just to tidy it up. Now all along we've been focused on entering
00:07:24 - the duration to control our projects schedule and that's one
00:07:28 - way that Microsoft project works. And if you remember back to our discussion
00:07:32 - on our task types, we have fixed work, fixed units and fixed duration.
00:07:37 - When we're estimating in entering the information as duration
00:07:41 - we are focused on a fixed duration style task.
00:07:45 - We've also explored that there are other data fields in Microsoft
00:07:49 - project or columns. We've been focused heavily on the task,
00:07:53 - name, the duration, the start, the finish. I introduced the predecessor
00:07:57 - to you in the last nugget.
00:07:59 - If we scroll over we also have the resource name column and we
00:08:04 - have the ability to add new columns. If I select on this arrow
00:08:09 - we can see that Microsoft project has a lot of data fields
00:08:13 - available to us. A field called % Complete; a field called % Work Complete,
00:08:20 - field called active actual costs and I'm not going to read all of these
00:08:23 - to you because you'll see as I scroll through this, there
00:08:27 - is a very very large number of fields available to us in Microsoft
00:08:31 - project. We will not touch on all of these fields throughout this nugget series,
00:08:35 - but we will certainly touch on a significant number of these
00:08:38 - fields, the fields that would normally be used in project
00:08:42 - management and certainly the fields that you need to be aware
00:08:45 - of to pass your certification exam. And I am continuing to scroll
00:08:49 - down. Some of the fields we've already discussed, such
00:08:52 - as the custom fields where we can do our own usage of the
00:08:56 - number of fields. A little further down we have the start
00:09:00 - fields, the text fields that we've discussed and I'm going to keep
00:09:04 - growing the bottom because I am most interested in this field
00:09:07 - called work.
00:09:10 - So if I select the work column, we're now showing that Microsoft
00:09:14 - project by default has produced my work as zero hours. My
00:09:20 - duration is set,
00:09:24 - but my work is zero hours. Now I don't like having my
00:09:30 - work field so far from my task and my duration, so I'm going to drag it
00:09:35 - over and reorient my columns in my view.
00:09:38 - So to move the column I will select the entire column and I'll ensure my
00:09:42 - cursor shape has turned into this four sided arrow and I
00:09:47 - will do a control and I will begin to drag that field that
00:09:53 - column to wherever I wanted it. Do I want it before duration or
00:09:57 - after duration and before start. Let's put it in there.
00:10:02 - Let's scroll back
00:10:05 - and let's reorient our geography a little bit here, our real
00:10:08 - estate and I now have my work column showing up.
00:10:12 - I can also adjust the size of my columns. Again none of this is startling,
00:10:16 - none of this is different from anybody who uses excel, I just wanted
00:10:20 - to show you in action.
00:10:22 - There is also a much faster way to insert new columns into
00:10:26 - your project plan than have to scroll all the way over to
00:10:29 - the left. Use this add new column, create the new column there and
00:10:34 - then drag it over to where you want it to be. Wherever you want a new
00:10:39 - column to appear,
00:10:41 - you will go to the immediate left of that. So I want to create
00:10:46 - a new column to the immediate left of start.
00:10:49 - I go to that column, I do a right mouse click
00:10:54 - and I select the insert column
00:10:57 - which is going to give me exactly the same functionality I
00:11:00 - saw on the far right hand side of my grey area and I can again
00:11:05 - select the new column that I want and as you would expect you
00:11:09 - don't have to scroll all the way through to get to a field
00:11:12 - that's at the bottom of the alphabet such as work. I type a W and
00:11:16 - Microsoft project will scroll me automatically to the
00:11:20 - Ws and I can insert my work column.
00:11:24 - I deliberately inserted the work column twice, not because
00:11:29 - I strange and I like to see my work column twice, I did that to
00:11:33 - demonstrate; A, the ease of inserting columns wherever I want and
00:11:39 - to try to explain a concept of these columns of these data fields
00:11:44 - within Microsoft project.
00:11:46 - All we're doing in this view is we're controlling what information
00:11:51 - Microsoft project is showing us and in our control we have
00:11:55 - told Microsoft project, I want to see the indicator column, I
00:12:00 - want to see the task mode column, I want to see the task name
00:12:03 - column, I want to see the duration column, I want to see the
00:12:07 - work column, the start, the finish.
00:12:10 - And if I was to do data entry into that work column, so let's
00:12:14 - say I want to put eight hours of work in there, you'll notice
00:12:17 - I did data entry into that column
00:12:20 - and that column also took it. It's simply because I displaying
00:12:24 - the same data field, I'm displaying the same data
00:12:28 - field twice as a matter of fact.
00:12:32 - The columns we are showing in are view, are simply the data fields
00:12:37 - that we have chosen to display.
00:12:42 - If I choose to hide one of those columns, which would
00:12:46 - certainly be the norm, I wouldn't typically want to have two work columns.
00:12:50 - Again I just go to my column area, the data field I
00:12:53 - want to hide and I say hide this column.
00:12:58 - Now I only have one column of work showing. To again
00:13:04 - to try to drive home that I'm not deleting information, that
00:13:07 - I'm not eliminating information I'm just hiding it from
00:13:10 - my view, I'm going to hide my start column. So again I'm going
00:13:17 - in and I'm hiding
00:13:19 - and for that matter I'm going to hide my finish column to. So I'm
00:13:24 - no longer showing any schedule information in my column
00:13:28 - area. There's my end, my new column. I'm showing my resource name,
00:13:32 - I'm showing the predecessors, I'm showing my work, my duration,
00:13:36 - my task name and so on.
00:13:39 - Have I limited my start dates and my finish dates, absolutely not.
00:13:43 - I know they still exist because I'm seeing it over here in
00:13:46 - my schedule area. I'm also going to go into the task. So I'm going to do
00:13:50 - a double click on task one,
00:13:54 - I'm going to go to start date and I am going to manually change and start
00:13:58 - date from September 8th to September 12th,
00:14:04 - click okay. You can see Microsoft project is change that that
00:14:07 - now my start data is showing as September 12th. So it's
00:14:11 - doing everything I want, but that field called start is not
00:14:16 - showing any where in my column area. I haven't deleted the
00:14:20 - data, I'm simply choosing not to show it and again I maybe laboring
00:14:25 - a very obvious point, but I find a lot of new users of Microsoft
00:14:29 - project have troubles
00:14:32 - with the inserting and hiding of columns; well I just removed a column,
00:14:37 - but I forgot to do a save, have I lost all of my data? No we
00:14:40 - haven't lost anything all you've done is simply chosen not to
00:14:44 - show that information in your current view. So again if I insert
00:14:48 - column, right mouse click, insert column, start
00:14:54 - bringing my start date, again I can see that the start date
00:14:57 - has changed to be 12th September, which is totally
00:15:01 - consistent with the view that I'm seeing in my calendar area.
00:15:07 - So let's get rid of the start again. We don't need it for the
00:15:10 - purposes of this discussion. Right now are focus is on working,
00:15:14 - on scheduling, on estimating with the work column.
00:15:20 - So with that little detour out of the way to explain column management
00:15:24 - in Microsoft project, I want to go back and focus on work
00:15:30 - scheduling of our project. So the duration is set for two. We are
00:15:34 - seeing that here in Microsoft project and I put a work of eight
00:15:39 - hours. Now let's take that and say this task number two,
00:15:44 - which has a three day duration on it, let's give it a fairly large
00:15:49 - work estimate. Let's say it's going to take 40 hours
00:15:54 - of work.
00:15:58 - I entered 40 hours of work, your thinking well 40 hours of
00:16:01 - work, assuming we work an eight hour day that should be taken five
00:16:06 - days of duration to be completed. Why has it only taken three?
00:16:12 - Why is this project not behaving the way Steve explained it
00:16:15 - would be back when we were setting the options, back when we were
00:16:19 - discussing the three tasks types of fixed work, fixed duration
00:16:24 - and fixed units in the interaction of those on that magical
00:16:27 - formula of work equals units times duration,
00:16:32 - because I only have two of my three values in play. I have
00:16:37 - my duration three,
00:16:40 - I have my work of forty, but if I move this over I don't
00:16:45 - have any resources assigned to my project plan yet.
00:16:49 - Microsoft project is only going to bring its formula into
00:16:52 - play, work equals units times duration, when I have all three
00:16:57 - parts of the equation visible. So I need to add a resource
00:17:01 - to my project plan. So I'm going to add a resource called steve and by
00:17:05 - typing my name into that field in Microsoft project, it is now
00:17:11 - assigning me to do work on that task.
00:17:16 - So if I hit enter and Steve get assigned to that task
00:17:21 - we can look here
00:17:23 - and I need a little more real estate,
00:17:26 - we can see that the task did in fact grow to be five days
00:17:32 - long and we can see that my name has been tagged to that task
00:17:38 - to associate that I am working on that task.
00:17:43 - Why did it do it, because this task type is fixed work. How do
00:17:48 - I know that; well I know that because I did it.
00:17:51 - How can I verify that, if I do a double click and bring up my
00:17:56 - task window again. I go to my advanced tab this time, not the
00:18:00 - general that it is showing. I go to my advanced tab.
00:18:04 - I can see the task type is fixed work and as we have already
00:18:08 - discussed having a fixed work task will default to effort
00:18:12 - driven. So I can absolutely find my task type there or task
00:18:19 - type is one of the many fields available to us at Microsoft
00:18:22 - projects, so if I do a right mouse click, insert column and quickly type
00:18:26 - key Y, I get the type
00:18:29 - and you can see that all of my fields are in fact of the task
00:18:34 - I put fixed work.
00:18:36 - So having verified that my task types are all fixed work, I can hide
00:18:40 - that column I don't need that available to me anymore and as
00:18:43 - a matter of fact I'm going to hide my previous answer column
00:18:45 - as well, because it's taking up valuable real estate that I
00:18:48 - need for explaining the functionality that we are seeing in this
00:18:52 - this demo. So let's assign Steve to the rest of the work on
00:18:56 - this project.
00:18:59 - Steve, Steve, Steve and Steve. Now what's happened up here?
00:19:09 - Why did Steve go to 50% on this particular type or task
00:19:14 - were in fact steve remained at a 100% on this particular
00:19:17 - task and Microsoft project automatically calculated
00:19:24 - they work for the tasks by assigning Steve. Well again, work
00:19:31 - equals units times duration. I had already told Microsoft project
00:19:36 - that this task was going to take two days worth of duration.
00:19:41 - I put in an estimate of eight hours, so therefore the only
00:19:45 - way that that work is going to get done in eight hours over
00:19:49 - two days is if Steve is working on the task for 50% of
00:19:53 - his time. This one had the five days and 40 hours as we've
00:19:57 - already discussed. This one had a two day duration. I assigned
00:20:01 - a single resource, so work equal units times duration, Microsoft
00:20:07 - project calculated the workforce as 16, as 24 and as 32.
00:20:12 - appropriately.
00:20:15 - So let's explore this in action a little bit more. Again recognizing
00:20:19 - that it put me down to half time because I put a shorter
00:20:24 - work in than the duration, so let's bring that up to a full
00:20:29 - sixteen hours appropriately.
00:20:33 - It's brought it up to four hours, so what we really want to do is
00:20:37 - say no that's not what we want, that's the way Microsoft project
00:20:40 - is executing the work equals units times duration. What I really
00:20:45 - want to do is make Steve go up to 100% at 16
00:20:50 - hours of work, so it's going to give me a duration of two.
00:20:53 - Let's continue to explore how Microsoft does this. If I
00:20:59 - change the estimate from 40 hours to 32 hours,
00:21:05 - work equals units times duration, Microsoft project is going
00:21:09 - to change the duration down to four. If I put this back up to 40,
00:21:16 - obviously it changes it back up to five. If I add resources,
00:21:20 - if I put both Steve and Mary on this task
00:21:26 - and hit enter, Microsoft project is going to change the duration
00:21:30 - down to two and a half days because it's able to do the 40
00:21:34 - hours of work in two and a half days with two resources.
00:21:39 - Understanding that relationship of work equals units times
00:21:43 - duration and understanding what your task type is, fixed work,
00:21:49 - fix units, fixed duration and understanding the discussion
00:21:53 - we had in the previous nugget about how Microsoft is going
00:21:56 - to hold one as fixed
00:22:01 - and automatically change the other, we are going to get a very
00:22:05 - solid understanding of how Microsoft project interacts between
00:22:10 - work,
00:22:14 - units and duration. The key to understanding scheduling inside
00:22:21 - Microsoft project is understanding the relationship of work
00:22:25 - equals units times duration.
00:22:30 - The last thing we need to explore in this nugget is the
00:22:33 - relationship of how Microsoft project is going to automatically
00:22:37 - schedule my plans. So I just move my columns back to the far left, because
00:22:41 - my lack of real estate have hidden my information tab and we're
00:22:46 - seeing a lot of red.
00:22:49 - What does the red mean? This task has resources assigned
00:22:52 - which are over allocated. Well that doesn't make sense. Steve
00:22:56 - is working on the task.
00:22:59 - He's going to work on it for eight hours a day, for two
00:23:03 - days, it should be good. Why is Microsoft project telling me he's
00:23:07 - over allocated because Steve is also working on this task number
00:23:12 - four at that same period of time.
00:23:18 - So Steve is working eight hours on Tuesday on task one and
00:23:22 - Steve is also working eight hours on Tuesday for task number four.
00:23:28 - I've been telling you all along Microsoft project has this
00:23:32 - wonderful scheduling engine. Why is Microsoft with this wonderful
00:23:36 - scheduling engineering allowing Steve to work 16 hours
00:23:40 - a day, because I haven't activated this wonderful scheduling
00:23:43 - engine. If I go to project
00:23:47 - and I ask Microsoft project to schedule the project and actually
00:23:53 - I'm on the wrong tool bar, I keep forgetting where it got moved in
00:23:57 - 2010 and if I go to resource,
00:24:02 - I get ask Microsoft project to level all of the resources in
00:24:06 - my plan. Now I'm going to move the slider back a little bit
00:24:11 - so we can focus on the overall scheduling and
00:24:15 - we can see that the project is over consuming Steve two hours
00:24:19 - here or eight hours here or eight hours here and so on and so
00:24:23 - on through most of the entire project. The only time that I'm
00:24:27 - not over scheduled is for about half of the day on Friday,
00:24:34 - but if I ask Microsoft project to level the plan and I click the level
00:24:38 - button it is now gone through and leveled the plan and we
00:24:45 - see all of our indicator bars have disappeared.
00:24:50 - And you may at first look at the plan and say, that's really
00:24:54 - interesting how it has leveled the plan.
00:24:57 - Why is Microsoft project done it this way? Again that's the explanation
00:25:01 - of some of the weird and wonky things that I keep describing
00:25:05 - Microsoft project doing. So let's take a moment and understand
00:25:08 - why project leveled the plan the way that it did.
00:25:12 - So again an example of what may appear to be weird and
00:25:16 - wonky, it's not weird and wonky, it's Microsoft project following
00:25:20 - its very prescribed rules for scheduling. The first prescribed
00:25:25 - rule is what is the task constraint. As soon as possible is
00:25:30 - my task constraint, because I have no indicator bars.
00:25:34 - So it's assuming that every task needs to be completed as soon
00:25:37 - as possible. The second major rule that it uses in scheduling
00:25:43 - is, I need to honor dependency. So I can't start task two
00:25:50 - until task one is done and I can't start task three until task
00:25:54 - two is done and similarly on four and five. So that's why it's
00:25:58 - done some of the scheduling.
00:26:00 - So that's beginning to explain it, but doesn't truly explain
00:26:04 - why it did task one,
00:26:08 - then started task two and we have a little bit of dot dot dots,
00:26:13 - that's the ability to split in progress tasks that we discussed
00:26:17 - in the options and then more work in task number two and
00:26:22 - got task four done and then left task five to way out here. I'm
00:26:28 - going to try to explain all of this to you. I hope it comes
00:26:32 - through clear. As soon as possible says, I need to get a task
00:26:37 - started and it looks at what's the optimal path to get
00:26:42 - every task started as soon as possible.
00:26:47 - So task one and task four are the only two tasks that can start
00:26:52 - as soon as possible because the others all have the dependencies.
00:26:56 - So then it had to determine which of task one or task four were
00:27:00 - "more important".
00:27:03 - And it determined that the task one is more important, because
00:27:08 - and this is very interesting the way it does this, because
00:27:12 - both Steve and Mary are working on this particular task.
00:27:17 - If it gets task two started as soon as possible, meaning it can
00:27:22 - get Mary started on that task as soon as possible.
00:27:27 - So therefore it gave precedence to this dependency chain of
00:27:31 - 1 2 3, because if could get this dependency chain started as soon
00:27:36 - as possible it could get Mary started as soon as possible, which
00:27:40 - meant that it got this task started as soon as possible.
00:27:44 - So it said okay. Task one is going to start, Steve is working full
00:27:48 - time. No other work can happen on that Thursday or Friday,
00:27:52 - because Steve is working full time and then it's going to say
00:27:56 - okay, now I can start task number two and I'm going to get Mary started.
00:28:03 - Mary worked on the task for two and a half days, which
00:28:07 - is the effort assigned to Mary. It was a five day task, split
00:28:12 - across two people, so each person got two and a half days.
00:28:16 - So Mary does her two and a half days and then this
00:28:19 - this task goes into limbo because Steve is not available.
00:28:24 - And why is Steve not available, because Microsoft projects
00:28:27 - said, I'm now going to get Steve working on task number four.
00:28:31 - It had the option of me working on either of these two.
00:28:35 - Why its select to start me on task number four instead of
00:28:39 - letting me work with Mary and get this task number two done
00:28:44 - in two and a half days.
00:28:46 - This is a rule number three, Microsoft project uses for its
00:28:50 - scheduling engine. In absence of any other dependencies on
00:28:55 - any other information from Steve, the project manager, I'm going to
00:28:59 - get the largest tasks done first. So now I had to make
00:29:04 - a decision between do we get Steve working on two and a half days
00:29:07 - worth to work on task number two or do we get Steve working on
00:29:14 - a three day task for task number four and it shows to say, well
00:29:19 - this task is longer I'm going to get him working on this particular
00:29:23 - task. So it gave me that task to get done
00:29:28 - and then the said, but now I need to get task number two completed,
00:29:32 - so I'm going to put Steve back on that one. Steve is going to put his two
00:29:36 - and a half days on this one.
00:29:38 - So Steve is not available to work and anything else. This chain
00:29:42 - then says, okay now I need to get Steve done and this one and
00:29:46 - finally it will let me do the remaining task and get the project
00:29:50 - on. So it's doing exactly what it's programmed to do,
00:29:55 - but it maybe not doing exactly what you want to do.
00:30:00 - So now understanding these rules of why Microsoft scheduled
00:30:03 - it that way, we as project managers may make a decision
00:30:07 - to change the rules that Microsoft project is using to schedule
00:30:11 - the project.
00:30:13 - So before we change the rules, let's first undo the work that
00:30:18 - was done. And I could just undo the work that was done by clicking
00:30:21 - on the undo button, but Microsoft project also provided a very
00:30:24 - specific button here to allow me to clear the leveling. So if I select
00:30:28 - clear leveling, it's going to go back, it's going to say do you want to do the
00:30:32 - entire project; yes I do. It's going to go back, Steve is now over
00:30:36 - consumed and we're back to where we were before we started
00:30:39 - the scheduling engine.
00:30:41 - Now we're going to be change the rule engine that Microsoft
00:30:45 - project uses for auto scheduling. So we're going to go into our
00:30:48 - leveling options. In here we have a large number of options
00:30:54 - available to us.
00:30:56 - Do we want to do automatic or manual scheduling? We have it set
00:30:59 - for manual, it's only going to do when I push the button.
00:31:03 - How do we look for allocation? Typically we will get the
00:31:06 - most aggressive schedule when we do it day by day. Do we want
00:31:10 - a schedule for the entire project and here is where we're going
00:31:13 - to change the rules. Leveling can adjust individual assignments
00:31:18 - on a task and leveling can split, create splits; so we take
00:31:23 - both of these off.
00:31:27 - We're going to find Microsoft project is going to behave very
00:31:30 - definitely when we ask it to level the project this time.
00:31:34 - So the rules set, we're going to ask Microsoft project to schedule
00:31:37 - this project one more time. We click the level button and now
00:31:43 - again it's doing very much the same thing, but it's to me doing
00:31:47 - it in a slightly more logical fashion.
00:31:52 - Steve is working, same rules. Pick that next task, get it done.
00:31:57 - Didn't do the split
00:32:00 - by turning off an ability to do the split. Again Steve has said in the
00:32:04 - options if you allow it to do the split, you'll get the
00:32:07 - most aggressive schedule possible, but I personally don't necessarily
00:32:12 - find that allowing the split gives me that much refinements and
00:32:16 - results in at least to my humble opinion some visual representations
00:32:20 - of starting the task, stopping the task for a period of
00:32:23 - time, doing the split and then restarting it. I personally
00:32:27 - again prefer to see the project scheduled with out the split
00:32:31 - in there, but then again it applied the same basic rules and
00:32:36 - again in my humble opinion created a much more sensible realistic
00:32:41 - and understandable schedule.
00:32:44 - That concludes our nugget 2.4, creating a user controlled
00:32:48 - schedule. Refining the information
00:32:56 - we provide to tell MSP how to schedule.
00:33:10 - We further explored durations and we spent just a moment or two
00:33:16 - understanding how Microsoft project uses our conversion formulas
00:33:21 - to convert days to hours and hours to weeks and weeks to minutes
00:33:25 - and seconds. We spent a fair bit of time discussing effort based
00:33:31 - estimating and how Microsoft project applies the formula
00:33:35 - of work equals units times duration and we saw that formula
00:33:43 - that we explained and discussed back in setting of the options.
00:33:46 - We saw that formula in action and we saw how Microsoft project
00:33:50 - maintains the relationship between the duration and the effort
00:33:54 - based on the resources assigned to the task.
00:33:58 - And how Microsoft project uses all of that information to
00:34:01 - calculate the project schedule and then finally we did the
00:34:05 - ultimate in user controlled scheduling. We looked at the scheduling
00:34:09 - engine in MSP itself. We saw how Microsoft project will
00:34:19 - calculate the schedule for space and all of facts that we've
00:34:23 - given to it and we've also explored how we can fine tune
00:34:30 - the rules that Microsoft project is applying to calculate the
00:34:34 - project schedule and to me that's a key message that I want
00:34:38 - you to take out of this nugget and we will be back exploring
00:34:42 - that schedule engine later in this series, but Microsoft scheduling
00:34:47 - engine works very well, but Microsoft scheduling engine works
00:34:52 - exactly the way that we tell it to do. We as project managers
00:34:57 - need to take the time to fine tune, to define the rules that
00:35:02 - Microsoft project uses to calculate the schedule and we need
00:35:06 - to have the confidence that the schedule that Microsoft project
00:35:09 - is calculating for us, is a schedule them we will commit to.
00:35:15 - So not our last time looking at the scheduling engine and
00:35:18 - using the scheduling engine in Microsoft project, but
00:35:22 - the final set up of the information that we need to be aware
00:35:26 - of as project managers for defining the rules, providing the
00:35:30 - information that Microsoft project needs to run its powerful
00:35:34 - scheduling engine.
00:35:36 - This concludes our nugget on creating a user controlled schedule.
00:35:40 - I hope this module has been informative for you and thank you
00:35:43 - very much for viewing.