Ms Project


Here are some Do's and Don'ts for MS Project

Table of Contents


Understand Global.mpt

The global.mpt stores user preferences such as views, tables, fields and filters. It is maintained through the organiser (Tools-Organizer). It allows you to use your own best practice easily. E.g. If you create a good GANTT view then it can be saved for use on all projects.

Use a template

The ideal way to start a new schedule is from a template based on previous experience. These can include key milestones, phases, project summary live and default task type.

Display the project summary

Tools-Options-View tab-check show project summary task. This will display a line zero summary task.

Understand the different task types

THere are 3 standard task types:

Set working time and calendar to be equal if possible

Funnies such as 1.07 days is usually because working time and calendar are not aligned. Tools-options-clendar and tools-change working time.

Use one calendar

Life is much easier if you only have one calendar.

Use milestones for key events

Using the milestone view allows users to focus on key events. However be careful not to make milestones false "gathering points" that will bring a project to a halt.

Link all tasks

Link all task with dependencies and ONLY ones with dependencies. Beware links that are not dependent. Best view is network diagram for this.

Assign resources

All task should idealy have 1 resource (person or group). Assing and changing multiple resources is when the funnies start.

Use constraint dates sparingly

Only use if essential. They have big impact on Critical path.

Baseline the project

Baselining allow you to track actal against original plan and provides informatin for future learning etc.

Update the project regularly

Update as often as possible. THere are five simple steps:


Link Summaries

Not good practice. Dependencies should be at lowest level. For phases, link milestones.

Assign resource to summaries

Again not good practice. Also by default assignments against summaries are not displayed.

Assign more than one resource

All sorts of wonderful things can happen if you are using effort driven and have multiple resources that are reporting different amounts of work done. If 2 people are on the same task then create 2 tasks. It makes life much easier.

25 January 2009 (4)