Tutorial 3: Communicating Project Information Microsoft Project 2010 In this tutorial you will:
XP Review Project 2010 reports Examine the critical path Filter tasks Format a Gantt Chart Work with the Network Diagram Shorten the critical path Analyze task constraints New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010
2 Creating Reports Using Project 2010 XP In addition to printing graphical views, Project 2010 can be used to create other reports. Reports can be used to: disseminate information report project status plan a project
Viewing different reports will help you to analyze your current project plan in different ways. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 3 Project 2010 Reports New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 4
Understanding the Critical Path XP A critical task is a task that must be completed as scheduled in order for the project to finish on time. Any delay in a critical task could delay the project completion date. The critical path is the series of critical tasks (or even a single critical task) that indicates the calculated Finish date of the project. The critical path determines the earliest the project can be
completed. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 5 Understanding the Critical Path Cont. XP The critical path changes if tasks on the critical path are completed ahead of or behind schedule. Another way to define the critical path is that it
consists of those tasks having a float of zero. Float, also called total slack, is the amount of time that a task can be delayed from its planned start date without delaying the project Finish date. Total slack differs from free slack. Free slack is the amount of time that a task can be delayed without delaying any successor tasks. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 6 Understanding the Critical Path Contd
XP If any tasks on the critical path take longer then planned, the project completion date will slip unless corrective action is taken. Viewing the Network Diagram makes it easy to see the critical path because critical tasks are automatically displayed in red. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 7
Critical Path New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 8 The Importance of Communicating Information about the Critical Path XP It is very important for a project manager to have
excellent skills in finding, analyzing, and communicating information about the critical path throughout the life of the project. Filters, formats, and customizing the Network Diagram help the manager accomplish this. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 9 Filtering Tasks for Information XP
A filter temporarily hides some of the tasks so that only those tasks that you are interested in are displayed. Filters help you to focus your attention on specific aspects of the project based on different criteria. Project 2010 offers many built-in filters, available using the Filter list arrow on the Formatting toolbar. One of the most important filters used is Critical because it filters out all tasks not currently on the critical path. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 10
Filter List Options New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 11 Filtering Tasks for Information Cont. XP Filters can be applied in any view, but each view is
filtered independently of the others. Other filters such as Milestones, Task Range, and Date Range can be used at any time. Filters temporarily hide those tasks that do not meet the filter criteria. It is also important to note that filters are only correct as of the moment they are applied. If you make a change to a filtered project, you must reapply the filter. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 12 Filtered for Critical
New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 13 Filtered for a date range New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 14
Using the AutoFilter XP The AutoFilter allows you to determine the filter criteria by selecting from a criteria list associated specifically with each column in the Entry table. When you select AutoFilter on the Formatting Toolbar, a list arrow is displayed to the right of each field name in the Entry table. You choose filter criteria for a column by clicking the list arrow in the column heading.
You can apply custom filters using the AutoFilter list arrows. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 15 AutoFilter for Starts in Sept. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 16
Custom Filters XP Useful to filter using two criteria Useful to filter using comparison operators. <=, >= can be combined with AND or OR The Custom AutoFilter box is used to create custom filters. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010
17 Custom AutoFilter Dialog Box New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 18 Printing Filtered View XP
You can print any filtered view of a project. Entering information such as your name, the date, perhaps a time, and filename into the header and footer sections help identify the project file on the printout. This can be helpful when presenting a filtered list of tasks. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 19 Formatting a Project
XP Sometimes you want to highlight information in a project by changing the appearance of the default views. For example: Change the color of certain types of task bars. Change the text font size within a table. Project 2010 provides many ways to format the colors, shapes, and text within each project view to help you clearly communicate your message. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010
20 Formatting a Gantt Chart XP Project 2010 applies default formatting choices such as blue for task bars and black for summary bars. You can change the default options individually or by using Gantt Chart Styles. Enhancing the appearance of certain task bars of a Gantt Chart customizes the project and helps you communicate the information to management.
New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 21 Changing Bar Style with the GanttXP Chart Style Gallery New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 22 Formatted Gantt Chart New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010
XP 23 Formatting a Gantt Chart Cont. XP Project 2010 has many formatting options for the Gantt Chart. The key to formatting the Gantt Chart is that the final product should clearly and quickly communicate the information that is important to the project manager
and management. As the project progresses, you can always reformat the Gantt Chart to highlight any new important messages. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 24 Formatting an Entry Table XP You can click any cell within the Entry table and
choose a new font, font size, font effect, or color. By visually organizing the tasks, you help communicate what needs to be done in the project. Formatting tasks by category changes all formatting for the specified category. Formatting options are available to help you communicate project information to management as you work with Project 2010. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 25 Text Styles Dialog Box
New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 26 Formatting Individual Items in the Entry Table and Gantt Chart XP Many options on the Formatting toolbar and Format menu are used for formatting individual tasks. For
example: Format the tasks that you have assigned to an outside contractor with an italic font. Temporarily change the color of one Gantt Chart bar to highlight it for a meeting. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 27 Individual Formatting Changes Applied New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010
XP 28 Formatting the Timescale XP The timescale can display three tiers simultaneously. You may be working on a project that requires that level of detail on the timescale. You can set the timescale to show all three tiers and format each one.
New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 29 Timescale with Formatting New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 30 Formatting Gridlines & Link Lines
XP Gridlines are nonprinting lines that improve readability. Gridlines help you locate current dates or intervals. Link lines show connections between bars and are used to add visual impact. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 31 Working with the Network
Diagram View XP Network Diagram most clearly identifies the dependencies (also called relationships) between the tasks, as well as the critical path. You need to be able to complete basic actions such as entering and editing tasks in any view that you use. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 32
Examining Dependencies and the Critical Path XP The primary purpose of the Network Diagram is to clearly illustrate the sequential progression of tasks and the critical path. Project managers often use the Network Diagram view to enter and edit task dependencies. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 33
Manually Moving Tasks for Printouts XP Network Diagram printouts can be quite wide, so you might want to move tasks in order to better arrange them for printouts. If you plan to show them to your colleagues or to management, you must be organized so as to best communicate the information. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010
34 Revised Network Diagram New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 35 Filtering and Formatting in Network Diagram View
XP Filtering Almost the same as in Gantt view AutoFilter is not available Formatting Almost the same as in Gantt View Changes are made by modifying settings in the Box Styles dialog box. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 36
Box Styles Dialog Box New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 37 Shortening the Critical Path by Using XP Task Information There are several ways to shorten the Critical Path:
Change the task duration Change the task dependencies Add more resources (Crashing) Run tasks in parallel (Fast-tracking) Add negative lag-time Modify the work calendar
Remove task constraints New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 38 Shortening the Critical Path by Using XP Task Information Cont. Any direct change to a task must be a true reflection
of reality. Shortening the path purely for the sake of shortening the project on paper only confuses participants and brings them stress. Find ways to shorten the critical path by using techniques that can realistically be accomplished once the project is started. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 39 The Project 2010 Task Inspector
XP Identifies factors that affect the start date of tasks Displays error messages for the tasks Provides suggestions for changing start dates and dependencies Can identify if a task begins before its predecessor ends Offers selectable suggestions to fix tasks. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 40
Task Inspector Task Pane New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 41 Shorten the Critical Path by Changing Task Dependencies XP Sometimes a Finish-to-Start (FS) dependency is
created when it is not necessary. A dependency that requires less total time, such as a Start-to-Start (SS) or Finish-to-Finish (FF) might be more appropriate. To change a task dependency, double-click on the link between tasks to open the Task Dependency dialog box, then alter the dependency type. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 42 Shortening the Schedule by deleting FS Dependencies
New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 43 Fast Tracking XP Fast tracking is when you perform activities in parallel that you would normally do in sequence. For example:
You might have planned to finish all of the analysis work before starting design, but you decide to start the design when the analysis is 75 percent complete. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 44 Negative Lag Time XP Another technique to shorten the critical path is to add negative lag time to an existing Finish-to-Start
(FS) dependency between two critical tasks. Negative lag time always allows the tasks to overlap, regardless of whether the project is scheduled from a given Start or Finish date. When a project is scheduled from a given Start date, negative lag time pulls the second task in the dependency backward in time. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 45 Changing Calendar and Task Constraints
XP If you know of a task whose working time does not follow that of the Standard calendar, you should create a special calendar with the appropriate working and nonworking times and assign it to that task. Another way to shorten the critical path is to analyze and eliminate unnecessary date constraints that have been applied to the tasks within your project. A constraint is a restriction that you put on a tasks Start or Finish date.
New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 46 Changing Calendar and Task Constraints Contd XP Be very careful about entering date constraints because they will definitely remove some flexibility in recalculating individual task Start and Finish dates. Project 2010 places an icon in the Indicator column for any constraint other than As Soon As Possible and
As Late As Possible to alert you. New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 47 Constraint Types New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 48
Constraint Applied New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 49 Viewing the Entire Project Using the Timeline to show Summary Tasks New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP
50 Comparison of Gantt Chart View and Network Diagram View New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2010 XP 51
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