Learning Microsoft Project 2019

Book description

Explore detailed explanations and examples to get up and running with the five phases of the project management lifecycle and integrate project management principles in a variety of projects

Key Features

  • Explore various algorithms and the latest features of MS Project to organize and keep track of your projects
  • Understand Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to improve productivity
  • Apply real-world best practices and discover the tips, tricks, and pitfalls of schedule management

Book Description

Microsoft Project is one of the most popular project management tools for enterprises of all sizes thanks to its wide variety of features such as project scheduling, project budgeting, built-in templates, and reporting tools. Learning Microsoft Project 2019 will get you started with the basics and gradually guide you through the complete project life cycle.

Starting with an overview of Microsoft Project 2019 and a brief introduction to project management concepts, this book will take you through the different phases of project management – initiation, planning, execution, control, and closure. You will then learn how to identify and handle problems related to scheduling, costing, resourcing, and work allocation. Understand how to use dynamic reports to create powerful, automated reports and dashboards at the click of a button. This Microsoft Project book highlights the pitfalls of overallocation and demonstrates how to avoid and resolve these issues using a wide spectrum of tools, techniques, and best practices. Finally, you will focus on executing Agile projects efficiently and get to grips with using Kanban and Scrum features.

By the end of this book, you will be well-versed with Microsoft Project and have the skills you need to use it effectively in every stage of project management.

What you will learn

  • Create efficient project plans using Microsoft Project 2019
  • Get to grips with resolving complex issues related to time, budget, and resource allocation
  • Understand how to create automated dynamic reports
  • Identify and protect the critical path in your project and mitigate project risks
  • Become well-versed with executing Agile projects using MS Project
  • Understand how to create custom reports and make them available for future projects

Who this book is for

If you use Microsoft Office and are looking to use MS Project to manage your projects efficiently, this book is for you. Project managers or anyone interested in project management will also find this book useful. Basic knowledge of Windows UI and MS Office products is required.

Table of contents

  1. Learning Microsoft Project 2019
  2. Why subscribe?
  3. Contributors
  4. About the author
  5. About the reviewer
  6. Packt is searching for authors like you
  7. Preface
    1. Who this book is for
    2. What this book covers
    3. To get the most out of this book
    4. Download the color images
    5. Conventions used
    6. Get in touch
    7. Reviews
  8. Section 1: The Iron Triangle – a Quick Primer for Project Management
  9. Chapter 1: Project Management – the Essential Primer
    1. Projects – what is special about them?
      1. Project – the definition
      2. Project management
      3. The project manager
    2. Project management knowledge
      1. Choose your fount of knowledge
      2. The project life cycle
      3. Project management processes
    3. The challenges and benefits of project management
      1. The Iron Triangle (Triple Constraint of Project Management)
      2. The elephant in the room (failure rates)
      3. Winning – but at what cost (burnout rates)?
    4. What is Microsoft Project really?
      1. Gantt charts
      2. When not to use MS Project
    5. How this book is structured
      1. Mapping to process groups and the project life cycle
      2. Truly domain agnostic
      3. How to read the book (end to end reading versus pinpoint references)
    6. Summary
  10. Section 2: Project Initiation with Microsoft Project
  11. Chapter 2: Fundamentals of Microsoft Project
    1. Technical requirements
    2. Understanding the UI basics of MS Project
      1. Backstage
    3. Building your first simple project
    4. Understanding Tasks
      1. Task modes: Automatic or Manual
      2. Backstage: contextual changes
      3. Linking and dependencies between tasks
    5. Scheduling a project
      1. Resourcing your tasks
      2. Allocating tasks to resources
    6. Taking a closer look at views
      1. Tables
      2. Charts, diagrams, timelines, and graphs
      3. Which view should we use?
      4. Reports
    7. Practice assignment
    8. Summary
  12. Chapter 3: Initiating projects with Microsoft Project
    1. Initiating projects
      1. What the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) says
      2. Key outcomes of the initiating stage
      3. Risk over the project life cycle
    2. Project for this chapter – digital marketing campaign
    3. Scheduling with MS Project – a deeper understanding
      1. Project Information and Project Options
      2. Tasks
      3. Linking and dependency
      4. Resources
    4. Revisiting the UI
      1. Timeline view
      2. Gantt chart UI
      3. Quick Access Toolbar
      4. The Indicators column
      5. Options and configurations
    5. Assignment
      1. Case study
    6. Summary
  13. Chapter 4: Underlying Concepts of Microsoft Project
    1. Demystifying the Basic Work Formula
    2. An example Project for this chapter – creating online departmental manuals
      1. Case 1 – Change of duration
      2. Case 2 – Adding additional resources
      3. Case 3 – Increasing Units
      4. Deeper scheduling
    3. Exploring task types
      1. Understanding the concept of Fixed Units
      2. Fixed duration
      3. Fixed work
      4. Are your tasks effort-driven or not?
      5. The impact of using task types
    4. Underlying algorithms – How project scheduling works
    5. Understanding Project Calendars
      1. Setting the Project Start Date
      2. Creating your new calendar
      3. Customizing your new calendar
      4. Setting the Project Calendar
      5. How calendars really work in Project
    6. Summary
    7. Assignment
  14. Chapter 5: Resource Management with Microsoft Project
    1. Basic resource management techniques with Project
      1. Creating resources
      2. Allocating resources
      3. Assigning resources
      4. Updating resources
      5. The Resource Pool feature
    2. Enterprise-level resourcing concepts
    3. Revisiting overallocations
    4. Basic concepts of fine-tuning resource assignments
    5. Best practices of resource management
    6. Summary
  15. Section 3: Project Planning Like a Pro!
  16. Chapter 6: Work Breakdown Structure – the Single Critical Factor
    1. The planning phase in project management
    2. Delving into WBS
      1. The importance of the WBS
      2. What is not included in the WBS
      3. What does a WBS look like?
    3. Standard techniques for creating a WBS
      1. Some confusing aspects of WBS
      2. The drawbacks of a WBS
    4. Creating a robust WBS using 10 simple rules
    5. Exploring the WBS feature in Microsoft Project
    6. Going from a WBS to tasks
    7. Summary
  17. Chapter 7: Tasks – under the Microscope
    1. The project for this chapter
      1. Importing tasks from Excel into Project
    2. Organizing tasks to create a schedule
      1. Technique 1 – Organizing a schedule using Summary Tasks
      2. Technique 2 – Organizing a schedule by chronological sorting
      3. Technique 3 – Organizing a schedule by grouping resources
      4. Creating Summary Tasks from indentation
    3. Special tasks and task features
      1. Milestones
      2. Inactivating tasks
      3. Blank rows
      4. Recurring tasks
      5. A deeper understanding of Summary Tasks
    4. Summary
  18. Chapter 8: Mastering Link Dependency and Constraints
    1. Scheduling – a quick refresher
    2. Task dependencies and constraints
      1. Task relationships
      2. Four types of task dependencies
      3. Understanding constraints
      4. Selecting the correct task dependency
    3. Releasing the latest application version
    4. Working with task dependencies
      1. Creating special dependencies
    5. Working with date constraints
      1. Types of date constraints
    6. A few important best practices
    7. Summary
  19. Chapter 9: Extended Customization – Task and Gantt Formatting
    1. Fundamentals of formatting a view
      1. Formatting Text Styles
      2. Gridlines
      3. Layout
      4. Adding a new customized column
      5. Achieving an aesthetic design
    2. Formatting bar styles
      1. Formatting a single, specific taskbar (local-level formatting)
      2. Formatting an entire category of taskbars
      3. Formatting an entire Gantt chart
    3. Diagnostic formatting
      1. Task Path
      2. Critical Tasks (critical path)
    4. Summary
  20. Section 4: Project Execution – the Real Deal
  21. Chapter 10: Executing Agile Projects with MS Project
    1. Technical requirements
    2. A brief introduction to Agile methodologies
      1. The Agile Manifesto
      2. Deciding between Agile and Waterfall
      3. Deciding whether Agile is suited to your project
      4. When you should not use Agile
    3. A project on a simple e-commerce website
      1. Task list for the project
    4. Agile frameworks
      1. Kanban and MS Project
      2. Scrum and MS Project
    5. Summary
  22. Chapter 11: Overallocation – the Bane of Project Managers
    1. Introducing overallocation
      1. Simulating an overallocation
      2. Why does overallocation exist?
      3. Avoiding overallocation with the Assign Resource feature
      4. Diagnosing overallocation
      5. Resolving overallocation
    2. Summary
  23. Chapter 12: Baselines – Techniques and Best Practices
    1. A deeper understanding of baselines
      1. The need for baselines
    2. Project for this chapter
    3. Understanding the Variance table
    4. Creating a new baseline
      1. A flowchart for controlling changes with baselines
      2. Variance table revisited
      3. Analyzing baselines
      4. Comparing multiple baselines
      5. Understanding interim plans
    5. Best practices when using baselines
    6. Maintaining baselines
      1. Updating a baseline
      2. Deleting (clearing) a baseline
    7. Summary
  24. Chapter 13: Project Tracking Techniques
    1. A deeper understanding of project tracking
      1. Considerations for project tracking
    2. Project tracking flowchart
    3. Project for this chapter
      1. Relevance of the status date
    4. Simple techniques for project tracking
      1. Context menu update technique
      2. Preset percentage complete technique
      3. The Mark on Track technique
    5. Update Project technique
    6. Advanced techniques for project tracking
      1. Advanced scheduling options
      2. Variable percentage complete technique
      3. Percentage complete and remaining duration technique
      4. Actuals tracking technique
      5. Using the Tracking Gantt Chart view
      6. Assignment tracking
    7. Best practices for project tracking
    8. Summary
  25. Section 5: Monitoring and Control with Microsoft Project
  26. Chapter 14: Views, Tables, and Customization
    1. Gaining an advanced understanding of views
      1. Types of view
      2. Display formats used in views
    2. Understanding which view to use and when
      1. Views to manage task data
      2. Views to manage resource data
      3. Views to manage assignment data
    3. Advanced features of views
      1. Understanding tables
      2. Details view (also known as the split-window view)
      3. Sorting of schedule data
      4. Filtering and highlighting information
      5. Grouping project information
    4. Creating custom views
      1. Creating a new view from a current view
      2. Creating a new view from scratch
    5. Summary
  27. Chapter 15 : Resource and Cost Management
    1. A deeper understanding of resources and costs
      1. The Work resource type
      2. The Material resource type
      3. The Cost resource type
    2. Basics of costing in Project
      1. Costing versus pricing
      2. Costing is based on resourcing
      3. Project for this chapter
      4. Creating a Project budget
    3. Costing of work resources
      1. Standard rate of pay
      2. Variable rate of pay
    4. Costing of material resources
      1. Variable costs
      2. Fixed costs
    5. Costing of cost resources
      1. Fixed costs for resource usage
      2. Fixed costs for task usage
    6. Analyzing costing using different views
      1. Project-level cost analysis views
      2. Assignment-level cost analysis view
      3. Task-level cost analysis view
      4. Resource-level cost analysis view
      5. Baseline cost comparison analysis
    7. Summary
  28. Chapter 16: Critical Path Monitoring and Advanced Techniques
    1. A deeper understanding of the critical path
      1. What is slack?
      2. What is a critical task?
      3. What is the critical path?
      4. What is CPM?
    2. Techniques to shorten the project
      1. Shortening the critical path (crashing the project)
      2. Increasing parallel paths (fast-tracking the project)
      3. Resource reallocation
    3. Applying lag and lead time
    4. Advanced overallocation resolution techniques
      1. The resource leveling technique
      2. The work contour technique
    5. Resolving scheduling problems
    6. Summary
  29. Chapter 17: Project Reports 101
    1. Introduction to Project's reporting framework
      1. Salient features of Project reports
    2. Reporting architecture in Project
      1. View-Table reports
      2. Graphical prebuilt reports
      3. Limitations of graphical reports
      4. Visual (OLAP) reports
    3. Best practices for status reporting
    4. Summary
  30. Section 6: Project Closure with Microsoft Project
  31. Chapter 18: Reviewing Projects and Creating Templates for Success
    1. Introduction to the project closing phase
    2. Common error patterns in Project
      1. Sequencing error patterns
      2. Scheduling error patterns
    3. Understanding the project closure review
      1. Project comparison report tool
      2. Baseline comparison tool
    4. Templates for success
      1. Templates in Project
      2. Benefits of templates
    5. Creating a new template for your organization
    6. Summary
  32. Chapter 19: Advanced Custom Reports and Templates
    1. Introduction to customized reports
    2. Understanding Project's reporting architecture
      1. Understanding dynamic reports
    3. Modifying an existing report
    4. Creating your own custom report
      1. A new report – resource cost balancing table report
      2. A new report – resource work variance bar graph report (plus costs too!)
      3. Earned Value Management (EVM) report
    5. Understanding the global template
      1. What is stored in the global template?
      2. Copying into and from the global template
    6. Summary
  33. Chapter 20: Book Conclusion and Next Steps
    1. The complete Project roadmap
      1. Initiating with Project
      2. Planning with Project
      3. Executing with Project
      4. Monitoring and controlling with Project
      5. Closing with Project
    2. Next steps
    3. A final summary
  34. Appendix A: Using This Book as a Textbook
  35. Appendix B: Available Fields Reference
    1. Task fields – a small curated subset
      1. Resource fields – a small curated subset
      2. Assignment fields – a small curated subset
  36. Appendix C: Keyboard Shortcuts
  37. Appendix D: Glossary
  38. Other Books You May Enjoy
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Product information

  • Title: Learning Microsoft Project 2019
  • Author(s): Srikanth Shirodkar
  • Release date: September 2020
  • Publisher(s): Packt Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781838988722