The “trick” to using Microsoft Project effectively is first to know what type of information you are looking for and then to know which view you can use to display this information. A view is a set of formatting instructions that tells Microsoft Project what data to present and how to organize it into useful information so that each view displays a unique combination of project information. Once you are in the correct view, you can modify the display to view the exact information you require, as described later.
Views in Microsoft Project 2016 can be categorized into sheet views, chart and graph views, and form views. Each of the available views will provide different presentations of project information.
One of the key ingredients to managing a successful project is to start off with a Microsoft Project plan that is complete and optimized. An “optimized” plan is one in which:
- Everything that is known is put into a plan that meets the overall project objectives and
- The project delivers on the objectives of on-time, on-budget, with high quality, and a satisfied client.
It can be somewhat subjective to determine whether your plan is optimized but the minimum requisites ar as follows:
- All phases, tasks, and milestones required to meet the project objective are loaded into the work plan.
- All resources are assigned to the tasks they will perform.
- Reliable work or duration estimates are assigned to each resource assignment.
- The resources can realistically perform the work assigned according to the current estimated task start and finish dates, and all tasks can be completed by the target finish date and budget for the project .