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On Time! On Track! On Target! Managing Your Projects Successfully with Microsoft® Project

Book Description

Keep your project on time, on track, and on target! This practical guide focuses on the core skills you need to successfully manage any project with Microsoft Project. Includes a companion CD with sample Project templates.

Table of Contents

  1. On Time! On Track! On Target! Managing Your Projects Successfully with Microsoft® Project
  2. A Note Regarding Supplemental Files
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. Introduction
  5. About the CD
    1. What’s on the CD
    2. Using the CD
    3. System Requirements
    4. Support
  6. One. Getting a Project Started
    1. One. Meet Project Management
      1. What Is a Project?
      2. What Is Project Management?
      3. The Benefits of Project Management
        1. Bottom-Line Benefits
        2. Benefits for the Project Team
      4. In Summary
    2. Two. Selecting and Prioritizing Projects
      1. Project Selection and the Project Manager
      2. Criteria for Selecting Projects
        1. Criteria You Can’t Ignore
        2. Linking Projects to Objectives
      3. Prioritizing Projects
        1. Financial Measures
          1. Payback Period
          2. Net Present Value or Discounted Cash Flow
          3. Internal Rate of Return
        2. Risks and Opportunities
      4. How a Project Review Board Works
      5. In Summary
    3. Three. Obtaining Commitment for a Project
      1. The Project Charter: Publicizing a Project
      2. Working with Project Stakeholders
        1. Identifying Stakeholders
          1. Project Customer
          2. Project Sponsor
          3. Functional Manager
          4. Team Member
          5. Project Manager
        2. Documenting Project Stakeholders
      3. Obtaining and Maintaining Commitment
      4. In Summary
  7. Two. Planning a Project
    1. Four. Planning to Achieve Success
      1. What Is Project Planning?
        1. Defining the Problem
        2. Charting the Course
        3. Getting Stakeholder Commitment
        4. Getting Team Members’ Buy-In
        5. Pointing the Team in the Right Direction
        6. Tracking Progress
      2. Plans Change
      3. An Overview of Project Planning
        1. The Project Charter
        2. Project Planning Step by Step
        3. The Components of a Project Plan
          1. Problem Statement
          2. Project Mission Statement
          3. Project Strategy
          4. Project Objectives
          5. Scope Statement
          6. Deliverables and Success Criteria
          7. Project Assumptions
          8. Work Breakdown Structure
          9. Project Schedule
          10. Project Organization and Resources
          11. Budget
          12. Risk Management Plan
          13. Communication Plan
          14. Quality Plan
          15. Change Control Plan
      4. In Summary
    2. Five. What’s the Problem?
      1. The Problem Statement
        1. Identifying the Problem
        2. Adding Constraints to a Problem Statement
      2. The Project Mission Statement
        1. Building a Mission Statement
          1. Who’s the Customer?
          2. What Are We Trying to Accomplish and Why Is It Important?
          3. What Approach Are We Going to Take?
        2. Completing the Project Mission Statement
      3. Project Strategy
        1. Identifying Alternatives
        2. Factors for Selecting a Project Strategy
        3. Choosing the Project Strategy
      4. In Summary
    3. Six. Visualizing Success: Scope, Objectives, and Deliverables
      1. The Scope Statement
        1. Developing a Scope Statement
        2. Preventing Scope Creep
      2. Project Objectives
        1. Type of Objectives
        2. Characteristics of Good Objectives
      3. Project Deliverables
      4. In Summary
    4. Seven. Building a Work Breakdown Structure
      1. What’s a Work Breakdown Structure?
      2. The Benefits of a WBS
      3. Building a WBS from the Top Down
        1. How to Build a WBS
          1. Step One: Identify High-Level Tasks Using Project Deliverables and the Scope Statement
          2. Step Two: Fill In the Remaining Levels of Tasks That Make Up the Work in the Top-Level Tasks
          3. Step Three: Revise the Structure of the WBS
          4. Step Four: Verify the Structure of the WBS
        2. When to Stop Building a WBS
      4. Recording a WBS
        1. Creating the WBS in Project
        2. Modifying the WBS
        3. Importing a WBS into Project
      5. Detailing Work Packages
      6. In Summary
    5. Eight. Project Resources
      1. The Responsibility Matrix
        1. Responsibility Levels
        2. Creating a Responsibility Matrix
        3. Filtering a Responsibility Matrix in Microsoft Excel
      2. The Project Organization Chart
      3. Putting a Project Team Together
      4. Creating Resources in Project
        1. Methods for Adding Resources
          1. Adding Resources Manually
          2. Importing Resources
        2. Resource Information
          1. Basic Information
          2. Cost Information
          3. Categorizing Resources
          4. Resource Availability
        3. Creating a Resource Pool
      5. In Summary
    6. Nine. Building a Project Schedule
      1. Estimating Effort
        1. Estimating Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
          1. Beware the Ballpark Estimate
          2. Estimating Work on Estimated Scope
          3. The Danger of Excessively Low Estimates
          4. High Estimates Hurt, Too
          5. The Problem with Padded Estimates
        2. Sensible Estimating Practices
          1. Get the Right People to Estimate
          2. Improve Estimates As You Go
          3. Approaches for Estimating
        3. Statistical Estimating
      2. Defining the Sequence of Work
        1. Types of Task Dependencies
        2. Identifying the Correct Dependency Type
        3. Creating Task Dependencies
        4. Automated Dependencies
        5. Making Schedules Easy to Maintain
          1. The Right and Wrong Way to Use Date Constraints
          2. Deadlines
      3. Adding Schedule Milestones
        1. Types of Milestones
          1. Decisions
          2. Progress
          3. Events
          4. Deliveries
        2. Creating Milestones
      4. Refining Task Names
        1. Naming Milestones and Deliverables
        2. Unique Task Names
      5. Assigning Resources to Tasks
        1. Assigning Resources in the Task Sheet
        2. Assigning Resources in the Task Form
        3. Using the Assign Resources Dialog Box
      6. Building Reality into a Schedule
        1. Accounting for Productivity
        2. Managing Part-Time Workers and Multitaskers
        3. Scheduling Around Nonworking Time
        4. Adjusting Tasks for Resource Efficiency
      7. Shortening a Project Schedule
        1. The Fast-Track to an Early Finish
        2. Choosing Tasks to Fast-Track
        3. Partial Overlaps
        4. Running Tasks in Parallel
        5. A Crash Course on Project Crashing
        6. The Danger in Crashing Projects
        7. Time Versus Money
      8. In Summary
    7. Ten. Working with a Budget
      1. Understanding Capital Budgets
        1. Putting Capital Budgeting into Practice
        2. Using a Capital Budgeting Tool
      2. Calculating Costs in a Project Schedule
        1. Specifying Rates for Work Resources in Project
        2. Entering Rates and Quantities for Material Resources
        3. Setting a Fixed Cost for a Task
      3. Exporting Costs from a Project Schedule
        1. Creating a Filter to Show Only Work Packages
        2. Exporting Costs from a Project Schedule
      4. In Summary
  8. Three. Carrying Out a Project
    1. Eleven. Executing the Project Plan
      1. A Quick Checklist
        1. Approvals and Commitments
        2. The Project Notebook
        3. Project Baselines
          1. Baseline Schedule
          2. Baseline Budget
      2. A Day in the Life of a Project Manager
      3. In Summary
    2. Twelve. Evaluating Project Performance
      1. Gathering Data
        1. The Data You Need
          1. Progress on Work Packages
          2. Quality
          3. Problems That Could Lie Ahead
        2. Obtaining Time and Status
      2. Tracking Schedule Progress
        1. Reviewing Schedule Progress
        2. Tables with Schedule-Related Fields
        3. Filters for Checking Schedule Progress
      3. Reviewing Cost and Cost Variance
        1. Viewing Cost and Cost Variance
        2. Finding Costs That Are Over Budget
        3. Project Cost Reports
      4. Earned Value Analysis: Schedule and Cost Performance
        1. Earned Value Status Measures
        2. Analyzing an Earned Value Graph
        3. Earned Value Performance
        4. Earned Value in Microsoft Project
          1. Setting Options for Earned Value
          2. Viewing Earned Value in a Table
          3. Creating an Earned Value Graph in Project
      5. In Summary
    3. Thirteen. Managing Project Resources
      1. Motivating Project Resources
      2. Developing a Team
      3. Evaluating People’s Performance
        1. Watching for People’s Performance
        2. What to Do with Problem People
        3. Reviewing People’s Performance Compared to the Plan
      4. In Summary
    4. Fourteen. Communicating Information
      1. Knowledge Is Power
      2. The Communication Plan
        1. Who Needs to Know?
        2. What Do You Communicate to Audiences?
          1. Types of Project Information
          2. Management Stakeholders
          3. Functional Managers
          4. Team Members
        3. What Communication Method Should You Use?
        4. Building a Communication Plan
        5. Creating Communication Reminders
      3. Guidelines for Good Communication
        1. What Is Communication?
        2. How to Get Messages Through
        3. Learning to Listen
      4. Meetings That Work
        1. Guidelines for Good Meetings
          1. Setting Up Meetings
          2. Running Meetings Well
          3. Meeting Follow-Up
        2. Kickoff Meetings
        3. Project Status Meetings
        4. Management Meetings
      5. Project Status Reports
      6. Taming E-Mail
      7. In Summary
  9. Four. Controlling Projects
    1. Fifteen. Managing Project Changes
      1. An Overview of the Change Management Process
        1. What Do You Control with the Change Management Process?
        2. Managing Change Requests
        3. Who Belongs on the Change Review Board?
      2. Tracking Changes
      3. In Summary
    2. Sixteen. Modifying the Project Schedule
      1. Simplifying Solution Hunting
        1. Displaying Summary Tasks
        2. Displaying the Critical Path and Baseline
      2. Fast-Tracking a Project
        1. Overlapping Tasks
        2. Running Tasks in Parallel
      3. Splitting Long Tasks into Short Ones
      4. Scheduling Around Other Tasks
      5. Shortening Lag Time
      6. Adjusting Resource Allocation
        1. Changing Units
        2. Adjusting Work Contours
      7. Assigning Overtime
      8. Substituting Resources
      9. Adding Resources to Tasks to Shorten Duration
      10. Modifying Baselines
        1. Saving Additional Baselines
        2. Clearing a Baseline
        3. Viewing Multiple Baselines
      11. In Summary
    3. Seventeen. Balancing the Budget and Other Project Variables
      1. Cost, Scope, Quality, and Schedule
      2. Balancing Acts
        1. Reassigning Resources
        2. Optimizing the Schedule
        3. Business Decisions
      3. In Summary
    4. Eighteen. Managing Risk
      1. The Benefits of Managing Risk
      2. The Risk-Management Plan
        1. Identifying and Describing Risks
        2. Assessing Risks
        3. Choosing the Risks You’ll Manage
        4. Responding to Risks
        5. Setting Up Contingency Funds
      3. Tracking Risks
      4. In Summary
  10. Five. Closing Projects
    1. Nineteen. Learning Lessons
      1. The Importance of Lessons Learned
      2. Collecting Lessons Learned
        1. Meeting Participants and What They Do
          1. Project Manager
          2. Lessons Learned Facilitator
          3. Scribe
          4. Team Members
        2. Ground Rules
          1. Accentuating the Positive
          2. Analyzing Problems
          3. The Importance of an Agenda
      3. Documenting Lessons Learned
      4. In Summary
    2. Twenty. Managing Project Completion
      1. Project Closeout Reports
        1. Quantitative Results
        2. Qualitative Information
      2. Obtaining Customer Acceptance
      3. Project Transitions
        1. Transitioning Resources
        2. Handing Off Information
      4. Closing Out Contracts
      5. In Summary
    3. Twenty-One. Archiving Historical Information
      1. Why Chronicle Project History?
        1. Save Documents for Reuse
        2. Save Project Performance for Future Estimates
      2. Information to Store about Projects
      3. Ways to Build a Project Archive
        1. Shared Folder
        2. Shared Workspace
      4. Microsoft Enterprise Project Management Software
      5. In Summary
  11. Glossary
  12. About the Author
  13. Index
  14. About the Author
  15. Copyright