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Customizing MS Project: Triggering Warnings When End Dates Change

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An out-of-box feature that has long been missing from Microsoft Project is the ability to set a target finish date when you are scheduling from the project start date. When you initially define your project in the Project Information dialog box, you normally choose to schedule from the project start date. This option does not let you choose a project finish date, and that field is automatically calculated outside of your control.

This post will demonstrate how you can “trick” MS Project into prompting a scheduling message if your project finish date changes. (more…)

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Project Initiatives Drive Your Organization’s Mission

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Every organization has an ultimate Mission that all of their long-term goals, yearly portfolios, quarterly outlooks and daily operations are striving to fulfill. The Mission often sounds simple on its surface, but there is an array of initiatives that are critical to achieving it and limited resources to dedicate to these initiatives.

(more…)

Posted in General Project Management, Project Portfolio Management, Resource Management, Theory | Tagged , , , , , ,

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Presenting: New EPMO White Paper

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We have developed an Enterprise Project Management Office white paper, and we wanted to provide it for free for our loyal blog followers.  At 5,000 words and over a dozen graphics, this is the most in-depth content we have ever released free to the public, so be sure to take advantage.

This comprehensive and multi-layered paper demonstrates how the project portfolio delivers your organization’s Mission and Vision, the strategy challenges and solutions, and the execution challenges and solutions.

Click here to receive your copy of Delivering the Future into the Present: Fulfilling Mission and Vision through Portfolio Priorities and  Project Execution.

 

 

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Replacing Resources on Task Assignments in Microsoft Project

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In our last post, we covered several different ways of assigning tasks to resources. This post will cover the decisions around changing task assignments and technique on how to do it in Microsoft Project.

(more…)

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How to Assign Resources to a Task in Microsoft Project

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The following guide demonstrates how you can assign resources in various ways and avoid some overallocations by using tools available through the Assign Resources dialog box. These techniques apply whether you are working with local resources or those from the enterprise resource pool.

We will cover Assigning Resources in the Split Screen View, Using the Assign Resources Dialog, Assigning Multiple Tasks to One Resource, and Assigning Multiple Resources to Tasks.

(more…)

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Assigning a Resource to a Task: Introduction

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Microsoft Project 2016 enables you to assign resources to tasks in a variety of ways. Resource assignments clarify responsibility for doing tasks and also help you to determine how long a task will take and how much it will cost.

This series will demonstrate how you can assign resources in various ways and avoid some overallocations, working with both local resources or those from the enterprise resource pool.  Read below for an introduction on how this works, or click on the appropriate post to follow the How-To guides:

Part 2: Assigning a Resource to a Task

Part 3: Replacing Resources on Task Assignments

(more…)

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How Task Dates Are Automatically Set in Microsoft Project (Part 3)

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Have you ever been unable to change the start date of a task in Microsoft Project?  You type in 11/2 for the start date and it changes back to 11/19.  In most cases, Project is not misbehaving; you need to understand what Project assumes when it schedules tasks. In this three-part series, we’ll explore how Project’s scheduling algorithms use links, constraints, preset options, and dates to automatically set your task start and finish dates. 

(more…)

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How Task Dates Are Automatically Set in Microsoft Project

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Have you ever been unable to change the start date of a task in Microsoft Project?  You type in 11/2 for the start date and it changes back to 11/19.  In most cases, Project is not misbehaving; you need to understand what Project assumes when it schedules tasks. In this series, we’ll explore how Project’s scheduling algorithms use links, constraints, preset options, and dates to automatically set your task start and finish dates. 

Part 1 of 3 introduces the topic and covers the first two considerations to keep in mind regarding MS Project’s scheduling priorities.

(more…)

Posted in Microsoft Project, Resource Management, Technical How-To, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Replies

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An Approach to Optimal Resource Management

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In an earlier post, we covered how to gauge the value of using a more rigorous Resource Management approach for your organization. This post is aimed at providing a process-based framework for employing optimal Resource Management.

The famed Project Management expert Dr. Harold Kerzner often talks about how assessing project failures should go from the top-down, whereas most organizations have a bad habit of pointing the finger at the lowest man on the totem pole and moving on (see: How the Seven Deadly Sins Can Lead to Project Failure). (more…)

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Simple Ways to Optimize Your Project Plan in MS Project

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The process of ensuring that resources are realistically scheduled in your work plan is referred to as load leveling. When you level the planned load for your resources, you may have to balance several factors. These include:

  • The amount of work a resource can do in a time period (e.g. Hours per day)
  • The sequence of tasks in the project as defined by dependencies
  • The skills required to perform particular tasks
  • The expected timeline for the project
  • The utilization rate for the resources.

Typically you will have to trade off some of these factors to arrive at the “best” schedule for your particular project.  As we covered in our last post on Resource Workload Information, this means that you will have to check and adjust information across multiple views. (more…)

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