IN THIS CHAPTER
Establishing timing for tasks
Using recurring tasks Establishing constraints and deadline dates
Manipulating the Gantt Chart to view timing
Entering task notes Establishing dependencies among tasks Viewing dependencies
Hesiod, that classic Greek project manager, once said, "Observe due measure, for right timing is in all things the most important factor." You could do worse than to use this truism from around 700 B.C. as your personal project management mantra today. When it comes to projects, timing is, indeed, everything.
In Chapter 3 you created several tasks and used the outlining feature of Project to organize them. But every task in your schedule has the default length (one estimated day), and they all occur on the same day. In essence, you have listed the steps to get to your goal, but with no related timing information, your schedule is more like a to-do list than a project schedule.
You have to add durations to your tasks. In other words, you must establish how long (or how many hours of effort) each task will take. However, timing consists of more than determining how many hours, days, or weeks it takes to complete each task. Timing for your project becomes clear only when you've set a duration for each task and when you've established the relationships, called dependencies, among the tasks. Only then can you accurately predict the amount of time that you will need to complete the project.