Chapter . Introduction

Project management has been around as long as there have been people coming together trying to get things done. Some ancient fellow with a lot of ambition probably took the lead as the very first project manager. He carved diagrams in stone tablets to help his team members understand his strategy and actually talked to them to communicate progress (no e-mail in those days!). Unlike you, this early project manager had no senior management to report to, no formal budget, and no cubicle, but the fundamental spirit of a project was there.

Over the years, project management has evolved into a sophisticated discipline that involves standardized methodologies and techniques. Project managers have a toolkit that includes detailed analyses and projections, tools to track time and money, and highly visual reports to impress management. Project management software — which has been around only about 25 years or so — has brought a new face and functionality to project management that would have left our ancient project managers speechless.

About This Book

Microsoft Office Project 2007, the most recent version of the world’s most popular project management software, provides a treasure trove of functionality; it makes the features of your average word processing software look like child’s play in comparison.

All that functionality can be wonderful, but if you’ve never used project management software, those features can also be a bit overwhelming. One key to making the leap ...

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