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Microsoft Project 2010 70-178

Create a User Controlled Schedule

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What is Project Management?

Create a New Project

Create and Maintain Calendars

Create Custom Fields

Customize Options Settings

Setup Project Information & Create a Logical Project Structure

Create a Logical Schedule Module

Create a User Controlled Schedule

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
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
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.

Manage Multiple Projects

Enter and Edit Resource Information

Assign Resources

Edit Assignments

Manage Resource Allocation

Manage Resource Allocation using Team Planner

Model Project Costs

Setting Project Baseline and Tracking Percentage Completion

Setting Project Baseline and Tracking Percentage Completion 2

Comparing Progress Against a Baseline

Comparing Progress Against a Baseline – Remedial Actions

Task Inspector, Critical Path and Earned Value Management

Using Views and Tables

Fine Tuning Views and Tables

Share Data with External Sources

Print Schedules and Reports

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Steve Caseley

Steve Caseley

CBT Nuggets Trainer


Area Of Expertise:
Project Management, MS Project, Development Methodologies, Agile Development

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