Project 2016 For Dummies

Project 2016 For Dummies

by Cynthia Snyder Dionisio


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The easy way to take control of project timelines, resources, budgets, and details

Project manager, meet your new assistant! Once you discover Project 2016 you'll be amazed at how efficient and effective the project management process can be. Written by an expert author who knows project management processes backward and forward, this friendly, hands-on guide shows you how to get started, enter tasks and estimate durations, work with resources and costs, fine-tune your schedule, set baselines, collect data, analyze progress, and keep your projects on track.

How many times have you heard people in the office mutter under their breath, 'These projects never run on time?' Well, now they can! Project 2016 For Dummies shows you how to use the latest version of Microsoft Project to create realistic project timelines, make the most of available resources, keep on top of all those pesky details, and, finally, complete your project on time and on budget. Easy!

  • Fully updated to reflect the latest software changes in Microsoft Project 2016
  • All-new case studies and examples highlight the relevance of key features of Microsoft Project 2016
  • Exposes the correlation between what project managers do and how Microsoft Project 2016 supports their work
  • Covers working with calendars, using and sharing resources, budgeting, gathering and tracking data, and more

If you're a time-pressured project manager looking to make your life—and your projects—easier, Project 2016 For Dummies shows you how to get things done!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119224518
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/28/2016
Series: For Dummies Series
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 436,477
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Cynthia Snyder is a well-known speaker, consultant, and trainer on project management, as well as the project manager of the team that updated PMI's Project Management Body of Knowledge, Sixth Edition. Her other books include PMP Certification All-in-One For Dummies and A User's Manual to the PMBOK.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part I Getting Started With Project 2016 5

Chapter 1 Project Management, Project 2016, and You 7

Introducing Project Management 7

Defining project manager 8

Identifying what a project manager does 9

Introducing Project 2016 10

Getting to Know You 11

Navigating file tabs and the Ribbon 14

Displaying more tools 17

Tell Me What You Want to Do 18

Chapter 2 Starting the Project 19

Creating the Project Charter 20

Introducing the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) 21

Organizing the Work 22

Starting the Project 24

Entering project information 24

Weighing manual scheduling versus automatic scheduling 26

Entering the WBS 28

Entering tasks 30

Importing tasks from Outlook 32

Promoting and demoting: The outdent-and-indent shuffle 35

Saving the Project 36

Chapter 3 Becoming a Task Master 39

Creating Summary Tasks and Subtasks 39

How many levels can you go? 41

The project summary task 41

Moving Tasks Up, Down, and All Around 43

Moving tasks with the drag-and-drop method 44

Moving tasks with the cut-and-paste (or copy-and-paste) method 44

Now You See It, Now You Don't: Collapsing and Expanding the Task Outline 45

Showing Up Again and Again: Recurring Tasks 48

Setting Milestones 49

Deleting Tasks and Using Inactive Tasks 50

Making a Task Note 51

Chapter 4 The Codependent Nature of Tasks 53

How Tasks Become Dependent 54

Dependent tasks: Which comes first? 54

Dependency types 55

Allowing for Murphy's Law: Lag and lead time 57

Setting the Dependency Connection 58

Adding the dependency link 58

Extending your reach with external dependencies 61

Words to the wise 61

Understanding that things change: Deleting dependencies 62

Chapter 5 Estimating Task Time 65

You're in It for the Duration 66

Tasks come in all flavors: Identifying task types 66

Effort-driven tasks: 1 + 1 = 1/2 67

Estimating Effort and Duration 70

Estimating techniques 70

Setting the task duration 72

Controlling Timing with Constraints 73

Understanding how constraints work 73

Establishing constraints 74

Setting a deadline 75

Starting and Pausing Tasks 76

Entering the task's start date 77

Taking a break: Splitting tasks 78

Chapter 6 Check Out This View! 81

A Project with a View 81

Navigating tabs and views 82

Scrolling around 84

Reaching a specific spot in your plan 85

More Detail about Views 86

Home base: Gantt Chart view 86

Resourceful views: Resource Sheet and Team Planner 88

Getting your timing down with the Timeline 88

Going with the flow: Network Diagram view 89

Calling up Calendar view 90

Customizing Views 91

Working with view panes 92

Modifying Network Diagram view 96

Resetting the view 100

Part II Managing Resources 101

Chapter 7 Creating Resources 103

Resources: People, Places, and Things 103

Becoming Resource-Full 104

Understanding resources 104

Resource types: Work, material, and cost 105

How resources affect task timing 105

Estimating resource requirements 106

The Birth of a Resource 107

Creating one resource at a time 108

Identifying resources before you know their names 109

Many hands make light work 110

Managing Resource Availability 111

Estimating and setting availability 111

When a resource comes and goes 112

Sharing Resources 114

Skimming from resource pools 114

Importing resources from Outlook 116

Chapter 8 Working with Calendars 119

Mastering Base, Project, Resource, and Task Calendars 119

How calendars work 120

How one calendar relates to another 121

Scheduling with Calendar Options and Working Times 122

Setting calendar options 122

Setting exceptions to working times 124

Working with Task Calendars and Resource Calendars 126

Setting resource calendars 126

Making the change to a resource's calendar 127

Creating a Custom Calendar Template 129

Sharing Copies of Calendars 130

Chapter 9 Assigning Resources 133

Finding the Right Resource 133

Needed: One good resource willing to work 134

Custom fields: It's a skill 135

Making a Useful Assignation 136

Determining material and cost-resource units 137

Making assignments 137

Shaping the contour that's right for you 140

Benefitting from a Helpful Planner 142

Chapter 10 Determining a Project's Cost 145

How Do Costs Accrue? 146

Adding up the costs 146

When will this hit the bottom line? 147

Specifying Cost Information in the Project 148

You can't avoid fixed costs 148

Entering hourly, overtime, and cost-per-use rates 149

Assigning material resources 151

How Your Settings Affect Your Costs 152

Part III Before You Baseline 155

Chapter 11 Fine-Tuning Your Plan 157

Everything Filters to the Bottom Line 157

Setting predesigned filters 158

Putting AutoFilter to work 159

Creating do-it-yourself filters 161

Gathering Information in Groups 163

Applying predefined groups 163

Devising your own groups 164

Figuring Out What's Driving the Project 166

Inspecting tasks 166

Handling task warnings and suggestions 167

Chapter 12 Negotiating Project Constraints 171

It's about Time 171

Applying contingency reserve 172

Completing a task in less time 174

Getting What You Want for Less 176

The Resource Recourse 176

Checking resource availability 177

Deleting or modifying a resource assignment 178

Beating overallocations with quick-and-dirty rescheduling 179

Finding help 179

Leveling resources 180

Rescheduling the Project 183

Chapter 13 Making the Project Look Good 185

Looking Good! 185

Formatting the Gantt Chart 186

Formatting taskbars 186

Zeroing in on critical issues 189

Restyling the Gantt chart 190

Formatting Task Boxes 191

Adjusting the Layout 192

Modifying Gridlines 195

Recognizing When a Picture Can Say It All 197

Creating a Custom Text Field 198

Chapter 14 It All Begins with a Baseline 201

All about Baselines 201

Saving a baseline 202

Saving more than one baseline 203

Clearing and resetting a baseline 205

In the Interim 206

Saving an interim plan 207

Clearing and resetting an interim plan 208

Part IV Staying on Track 211

Chapter 15 On the Right Track 213

Developing a Communications Management Plan 213

Gathering data 214

Applying a tracking method 215

Using the tracking tools 216

For everything, there's a view 217

Tracking Work for the Record 218

Specifying the status date 219

Remaining on track 220

Determining the percent complete 220

Recording start and finish information 222

Knowing what to do when John works three hours and Mary works ten 222

Uh-oh - we're in overtime 224

Specifying remaining durations for auto-scheduled tasks 225

Entering fixed-cost updates 227

Moving a Task 228

Update Project: Sweeping Changes 229

Tracking Materials 231

Tracking More Than One: Consolidated Projects 232

Consolidating projects 232

Updating consolidated projects 234

Changing linking settings 235

Chapter 16 Project Views: Observing Progress 237

Seeing Where Tasks Stand 238

Baseline versus actual progress 238

Lines of progress 239

Delving into the Detail 242

Tracking Progress Using Earned Value Management 244

Calculating Behind the Scenes 246

Earned-value options 247

An abundance of critical paths 248

Chapter 17 You're Behind - Now What? 251

Using Project with Risk and Issue Logs 251

Printing interim plans and baselines 252

Printing task notes 253

What-If Scenarios 254

Sorting tasks 255

Filtering 256

Examining the critical path 257

Using resource leveling (again) 259

Determining which factors are driving the timing of a task 259

How Adding People or Time Affects the Project 260

Hurrying up and making modifications 260

Throwing people at the problem 261

Shirting dependencies and task timing 262

When All Else Fails 264

Taking the time you need 264

Finding ways to cut corners 265

Chapter 18 Spreading the New: Reporting 267

Generating Standard Reports 268

What's available 268

Overviewing the dashboard reports 269

Creating New Reports 270

Gaining a new perspective on data with visual reports 271

Creating a visual report 272

Fine-Tuning a Report 273

Dragging, dropping, and sizing 273

Looking good! 274

Spiffing Things Up 276

Call the Printer! 278

Working with Page Setup 279

Getting a preview 283

Printing, at last! 284

Working on the Timeline 285

Adding tasks to the Timeline 285

Customizing the Timeline 287

Copying the Timeline 288

Enhanced Copy and Paste 288

Chapter 19 Getting Better All the Time 289

Reviewing the Project 289

Learning from your mistakes 290

Debriefing the team 291

Comparing Versions of a Project 292

Building on Success 294

Creating a template 294

Mastering the Organizer 296

Part V The Part of Tens 299

Chapter 20 Ten Golden Rules of Project Management 301

Roll with It 301

Put Your Ducks in a Row 302

Expect the Unexpected 303

Don't Put Off until Tomorrow 303

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate 304

Document It 305

Keep the Team in the Loop 305

Measure Success 306

Maintain a Flexible Strategy 306

Learn from Your Mistakes 307

Chapter 21 Ten Cool Shortcuts in Project 2016 309

Task Information 309

Resource Information 310

Frequently Used Functions 310

Subtasks 311

Indenting and Outdenting 312

Fill Down 312

Navigation 312

Hours to Years 312

Timeline Shortcuts 313

Quick Find 313

Appendix: Glossary 315

Index 325

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