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So they work out where the data is coming from, how all the pages of the website relate to each other, ...... Resource Usage View and click on Add New Column, go down and select Project, and you can actually see ...... Now I must admit to an element of cheating here because normally if I were required to do a budget for a ...
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Learn Project 2013 Advanced

Table of Contents Chapter 1 – Introduction Pre-requisites and Example Files .............................................................................6 Chapter 2 – Consolidation Creating a Project containing Summary Task Requirements ................................10 Splitting a Project into Subprojects........................................................................15 Creating More Subprojects ....................................................................................21 Chapter 3 – Sharing Resources Using and Sharing a Resource Pool .......................................................................25 Practicalities in Sharing Resources; How to Access a Project File with Shared Resource Pool ........................................................................................................................30 Making Changes on the Resource Pool .................................................................35 Chapter 4 – Case Study Introduction; Exercise 1 .........................................................................................41 Chapter 5 – Project Priority Setting Priorities between Projects ........................................................................45 Chapter 6 – WBS Codes Outline Numbering, Defining WBS Codes, and Renumbering .............................47 Chapter 7 – Costs Costs.......................................................................................................................52 Budget Costs ..........................................................................................................57

Cost Rates ..............................................................................................................61 Cost Rate Changes .................................................................................................67 Variable Material Costs .........................................................................................72 Chapter 8 – Reports Report Content and Formatting .............................................................................75 Reports and Customization – Part 1.......................................................................81 Reports and Customization – Part 2.......................................................................86 Filter, Group, Outline and Sort ..............................................................................92 Report Creation ......................................................................................................97 Chapter 9 – Type of Reports Burndown Reports ...............................................................................................103 Chapter 10 – Cost Reporting Standard Cost Reports..........................................................................................108 Chapter 11 – Earned Value Analysis Basic Requirements; Percent Complete; 3 Key Values .......................................114 Applying Earned Value Analysis to a Project .....................................................120 Earned Value Analysis and Reporting .................................................................124 Chapter 12 – Resourcing Overtime ..............................................................................................................130 Task Calendars .....................................................................................................135 Chapter 13 – The Ribbon

Customizing the Ribbon ......................................................................................141 Chapter 14 – Custom Fields How to Setup a Custom Field ..............................................................................147 Adding Data into the Custom Field; Formulae in Custom Fields .......................152 Alternative of Setting AutoRAG Status; Calculations in Formulae for Custom Fields ..............................................................................................................................157 Chapter 15 – Custom Tables Customization of Tables ......................................................................................162 Chapter 16 – Custom Views Creating a Custom View ......................................................................................168 Chapter 17 – Sorting, Filtering, and Grouping More Aspects of Sorting ......................................................................................173 Custom Filters ......................................................................................................176 Grouping ..............................................................................................................181 Chapter 18 – WBS Codes and Outline Codes Custom Outline Codes .........................................................................................184 Chapter 19 – Macros Recording Macros ................................................................................................189 Understanding How Macros Work and Modifying What it Does .......................193 Macros Security ...................................................................................................199 Chapter 20 – Visual Reporting

Exporting Data from Project to Other Software ..................................................202 Export Selected Data into Excel ..........................................................................206 Visual Analysis for Data Exported to Excel ........................................................210 Chapter 21 – Conclusion Project Portfolio Management, Project Server 2013, and Project Online; Closing .. ..............................................................................................................................214

Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 1 – Introduction Video: Pre-requisites and Example Files Toby: Hello. You’re very welcome to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. My name is Toby and I’m your instructor on this course. Before we actually get started, I need to talk to you about one or two assumptions that I’m going to make about what you have and about what you know. So I’ll start with those. So let’s start with what you have. I’m going to assume that you have a device with Project 2013 installed. I’m going to be running this course on Project Professional. If you have Project Standard, then there are one or two things that you won’t be able to do; not too many, but almost everything we’re going to cover on this course you can do in Standard or Professional. I’m also going to assume that you’re primarily using a mouse and keyboard for this course. Now if you’ve done our basic course of you’ve been using Project on a touch device, you’ll know that Project 2013 goes pretty well with a touch device. You can do virtually all the things with a touch device that you can do with mouse and keyboard. I could, of course, on this course demonstrate both but it will get a bit tedious to do everything twice so I’m going to use Project 2013 in the way that most people use it which is with a mouse and keyboard. Having said that, one or two occasions in the course if I think that there’s a particular point that’s relevant to people using a touch device, then I will make that when we get to that point in the course. However, if you are using a touch device I’m going to assume, for example, that you know how to put Project 2013 into touch mode and that the fact that I’m using mouse mode most of the time, which means that I’ll see more in the Ribbon at any one time for example, won’t particularly confuse or worry you and that you’ll be used to the fact that if you’re using touch mode you have to slightly adapt how you do things. The next thing I’m going to assume is that you have access to the example files that go with this project. There will be around about a dozen to fifteen or sixteen of them by the time we’ve finished on the course. The names will look something like this. The number may be slightly different. The names may be slightly different. But you should know where that folder full of files is because I’m going to be referring to them on a fairly regular basis.

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Project 2013 - Advanced And just incidentally and while we’re on the subject, I have another folder all together which has got what I refer to as my scratch files in it. That’s the odd files that I’ll use to demonstrate things from time to time. These are files that are not provided as part of the course and are ones that I basically use on a temporary basis and then delete again. So from time to time you’ll see me mention those. They will all have names that look quite different from these. So they’ll have names like Test or Demo or something like that in them. Now let’s talk about some of the things that I’m going to assume you know. I’m going to assume that you have the equivalent of the knowledge you would have got by successfully completing out Microsoft Project 2013 training. Now if you’re not sure what’s in that, if you’ve actually learned Project 2013 in a different way or maybe if you’ve used an older version of Project, Project 2010, Project 2007 and you think that on the basis of using those earlier versions you can leap straight into the advanced training on Project 2013. Just take the time to have a look through the content of our Project 2013 training course and make sure that you pretty much know everything in there because there isn’t really time on this advanced course to go through all of those things again. One or two of the topics, when we come to them, I will revise a couple of basics just to make sure that everything’s clear regarding terminology but I won’t be doing material that’s on that basic to intermediate course in any kind of detail again. So when it comes to any of these subjects I’m going to pretty much assume that not only do you know them quite well but that with the majority of them you’ve actually used them a few times yourself; so you’re quite comfortable using them. If you’ve got any doubts about any of those subjects, I suggest you go through and make sure that you understand the topics before you start on the advanced course because one thing I really don’t want you to do is to start on the advanced course, get a bit lost early on, and then start saying to yourself, “Well I wish I’d done the basic to intermediate one now.” So make sure that you’re comfortable with all the topics in the basic to intermediate course before you really get stuck into the advanced one. So let’s now talk about earlier versions of Project. You may be an absolute expert in Project 2002 or Project 2003 or even Project 98 or one of those lovely old versions of Project. But even if you are, I suggest that things have just changed too much since then in the more recent versions to assume that you can leap in and start on Project 2013 with the advanced course. You

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Project 2013 - Advanced need to get to grips with all of the changes that have happened since those earlier versions and in particular things like the use of the Ribbon interface. Now if you’re experience is in Project 2007, you still have the fundamental issue that Project 2007 unlike most of the other components of Office 2007 didn’t actually use the Ribbon interface. So although functionally it is closer to the functionality of Project 2013, you still have a very different interface in that you’re still using the old menu system. So I would suggest that if you’ve used Project 2007, at least you need to get up to speed using the Ribbon interface before you try to follow this Project 2013 advanced course. Even if you only do the early sections in the basic to intermediate course just so that you can get used to using the Ribbon. I think that’s still a very useful thing to do because it can be quite disorientating trying to cover some fairly complex topics when you’re still getting used to using the Ribbon interface. So if you’ve used Project 2007, even if you’re a pretty strong user, make sure you’re going to be comfortable with the Ribbon interface before you follow the rest of this Project 2013 advanced course. Now if you’re experience is in Microsoft Project 2010, then there really shouldn’t be a problem. 2010 was the version of Project where the Ribbon interface was actually introduced. It hasn’t greatly changed in 2013. It’s got the same adaptation as they all have to cope with touch devices and there have been a couple of bits of rearrangement of it, but fundamentally it works in the same way. You will notice things like major changes in reports from Project 2010 to Project 2013. But to some extent we’re going to be covering that on this course anyway. So if you’re a very strong Project 2010 user, you should really have not much trouble getting straight into Project 2013 Advanced. Having said that, if you need a bit of a brush up on your skills and bear in mind that in normal use most people tend to only use some parts of a product like Project 2010, maybe some parts you might be rusty of. There may be some parts of it that you’ve never actually used. So it might still be worth spending a little bit of time going through the beginner to intermediate course to make sure that you have the breadth of knowledge that you need. But as I say, if you’re a strong user you shouldn’t really have any great trouble getting to grips with Project 2013 Advanced. One other thing just to point out before we start is that I’m going to be using the U.S. locale for most of this course. So I’m going to be using English United States spellings and I’m going to

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Project 2013 - Advanced be using U.S. dollars as the currency units in most cases. There isn’t really any reason why you should not use your local locale, so your own currency, your own format for dates and times and so on. When we come to one or two of the examples where you’re actually taking an example that’s provided with the course and producing an answer, by all means stick with your own units because they’re the ones that you should be working with. They’re the ones you should be used to. As somebody who also manages projects apart from teaching other people how to use Project, I do a lot of work for companies in other countries and I’m used to switching between currencies, languages, and so on and I think it’s a very useful skill to be able to have. So don’t just switch yourself into the U.S. locale if you don’t normally work in the U.S. locale. Try to persevere with your own and when there are any difficulties just experiment with getting round those difficulties because you’ll find that that’s very useful practice in itself. The very last thing I’d like to say is that throughout this course we’re not going to be using Project Server. I will mention it very briefly at the end of the course but basically we’re talking about Project 2013 on the desktop. Hopefully you’ll have a Professional version, but as I said earlier even if you’ve only got Project 2013 Standard, you should be fine on almost all of this course. So that’s it. We’re ready to get started. That’s the end of this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 2 – Consolidation Video: Creating a Project containing Summary Task Requirements Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section we’re going to start to look at Project consolidation and the first thing I need to do apart from explaining to you what Project consolidation is, is to explain why we might want to deal with consolidated projects. So here’s a Project schedule for a very straightforward schedule which is fairly high level at the moment but it shows the development and implementation of a new website for a company, Northern Farm Foods. Now this particular schedule is pretty simple by any standards. There’s just maybe 12, 15 tasks in that schedule. They’re arranged into little summary tasks. So we’re talking about tendering process, contract, and so on, requirement specification, then analysis and design, then the development of the website, the testing of the website, and the implementation and go live for that particular website. Now if you don’t know anything about developing websites, don’t worry about it because the actual tasks here don’t really matter too much in this situation. Now that’s a straightforward schedule but what if instead of having about say 15 tasks or so it had 150? Or 1,500? Or 15,000 for that matter? Once a schedule starts to get very big, then it starts to become very unwieldy. Now that’s not only from the point of view that the file and all the processing involved starts to get big and slow but it also means that if you’re working on say a particular part, let’s suppose you’re responsible for doing the schedule for the testing of this new website, it may well be that you don’t really need to look too much at all the other parts of the schedule. You only need to know when your part is due to start and then you really want to be able to focus on your part of the schedule. So there’s a strong case for saying, well why don’t we split this schedule up into parts so that we can deal with each part separately. Now although there are some strong arguments for doing that, when you’re dealing with a very large plan there are some arguments against it as well. Let’s deal with one of the arguments for this approach first. Let’s suppose that when we come to do this plan and Northern Farm Foods is a pretty big company so it’s pretty significant, the

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Project 2013 - Advanced websites really a major exercise, then they want to make sure this runs as slickly and smoothly as possible. So basically they have really three teams of people working on it. They have a team that is going to deal with the requirements. So they’re the people that are going to say, “Right. This is what the website must be able to do. This is the sort of graphics, the branding images, and so on that we want on there.” Then we have another team that do the analysis and design of the website. So they work out where the data is coming from, how all the pages of the website relate to each other, all the sort of commercial marketing, shopping cart side of things, and so on. And then they actually go ahead and develop the website. So they create the resources they need, they implement the database, they write the pages of the website. So they go ahead and do the development. The third team is responsible for, say, testing and for going live. Now each of those teams let’s suppose has a project manager. So we’ve got somebody on the requirements side who’s going to project manage the requirements definition. We have another project manager who’s going to do the analysis and design and development and another project manager who’s responsible for testing and implementation. Now one of the big issues we have is that if we have this one schedule like this, it’s just about impossible for all three of them to work on it at the same time. Now even though there are some ways in which this can be done to some extent, it does present its own difficulty, some of which we’re going to look at later on in the course. But immediately, you can see an advantage of being able to split this whole project up into three parts and then let each of those three project managers manage their own part of the schedule. So let’s suppose that what I did was to just take this schedule and split it into three parts for those three project managers. That sounds pretty straightforward. In fact, it is pretty straightforward. I’ll show you how to do that in a couple of minute’s time. But now let’s look at some of the disadvantages of doing that. Well, one of the most obvious disadvantages is that you no longer have this nice, clean overview of the whole project. You may decide, for instance, to call each of those three separate parts a project and call this whole thing a program, which is absolutely fine. But you would then not have a good, simple overview of your program. So one of the things we want to be able to do is to split the schedule up but we want to split it up in such a way that we can still get a good overview of the whole program or the whole what we call consolidated project.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now let’s look at one of the less obvious disadvantages of this approach. Let’s go into Resource Sheet View. I’ll use one of the buttons on the status bar and you’ll see that I’ve already setup some resources. Now the people involved in this, apart from Northern Farm Foods in a generic sense, are a company called Bakersfield Associates who are going to do a lot of the marketing related work. And then we’ve got a company called People4People who are going to do some of the HR work on it. And then we’ve got a mixture of named individuals from Northern Farm Foods who are going to be involved in various aspects of project management and some of the technical aspects and I’ll talk about what each of those people does at later on in the course. Now let’s go back to the Gantt Chart View again. All the time that I’ve got this view with all of the tasks in it, I can make sure that I understand how my resources are allocated. So for instance, if I know that I’m allowed a certain amount of general resource from the company Northern Farm Foods, then I can make sure that I don’t exceed that amount of resource at any time. If I need a particular one of the individuals to work on different aspects of the project, then I can make sure that person is not overallocated. Let’s take somebody who’s fairly flexible, perhaps somebody with a lot of the technical knowledge. I can make sure that they’re not overallocated because they’re used in both the analysis and design part of one project, development part of that project, but also that they may be involved in scripting some of the tests that need to be performed on the website. So I can make sure that those individuals are not overallocated. Once I split this project up into parts, there’s a danger that individuals or even generic resources will be overallocated and I won’t be aware of it. So the other key requirement if I’m splitting this into a set of separate projects is that the resourcing of each project is aware of the resource requirements of the other projects. Now the general approach we take to this is to setup what’s called a resource pool and the resource pool is shared by all of the projects that make up our consolidated project. Now to be strictly fair, you can actually set it up in a more complex way than that. But for the purposes of the exercises on this course, we’re going to think of it that when you’re dealing with a consolidated project you’re going to have a resource pool that all of the individual constituent projects use as well and that’s how we make sure that we keep control of how much of each of the available resources we use.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now in the balance of this section, I’m just going to show you how to split up a project like this one and we’re going to deal with issues like the resource pool in later sections of the course. But before we even do the split, I’d like to just mention one other thing. If you are using Project Server or planning to use Project Server, then project consolidation and what’s known as enterprise resource planning, so using a very, very big pool of resource to deal with many, many projects and programs is very well handled by Project Server. As I said earlier on in the course we don’t cover Project Server on this course, but if you have Project Server then one of the things you will almost certainly use it for is to deal with the shared resource issue. Now in order to do that with Project Server, you need to be using Project Professional. The features that you need to deal with enterprise resource planning in Project Server require Professional rather than Standard. But as we’re not using Project Server on this course, that’s pretty much irrelevant and the things that we’re going to be doing here, in terms of sharing resources, you can do using Project Standard or Project Professional. So Project Standard doesn’t give you a restriction on this approach to sharing resources but it does restrict you in terms of your use of Project Server. Now what I’m going to do here is to start to split this project up and to make three separate smaller projects out of it. In fact, we’ll ultimately finish up with four projects as you’ll see. But for the first project, I’m just going to use this Requirements Summary Task. Now one thing to beware of here and it’s something to be very careful of when you come to split a project into smaller projects is that there are dependencies here. So for instance, according to this current schedule, requirements definition here doesn’t start until the tendering process and contract process are complete. Now if I pull this into a separate project, then with things as they are at the moment I’ll lose that dependency. Now I’m not going to worry about that dependency at this stage. We’ll look at these dependencies later on and then you’ll see the sort of techniques you can use so that you don’t lose dependencies unnecessarily in the future. The other thing to bear in mind is that within the requirements there is a dependency in that the requirement sign off is dependent on requirements definition. So you’ve got a link from that task to that task. Now you won’t lose that dependency because it’s within this overall summary task. But then you’ve got another dependency, in fact you’ve got two dependencies between the start

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Project 2013 - Advanced of requirements definition and the start of analysis and design, and the start of graphical resources and branding.

Now we’re also using this approach, going to lose those two

dependencies again and we’ll need to put those two back in place again as well. Now when we do this, as you’ll see in a moment, Project 2013 gives us a warning about this and you need to make a conscious decision that you’re going to accept losing those dependencies using the approach that we’re using here, but we’ll come back to that in just a moment. So let’s select those three tasks, copy them to the clipboard. I’ll just use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C. Then we say File, into Backstage View, New Project, Blank Project, and then all I need to do is to press Paste. Now when I press Paste, I get this warning which is basically saying that you’re really trying to paste a dependency that will no longer work. The first task is dependent on something that isn’t in this project. Now if you want to continue pasting and take any more error messages, just say Yes and carry on. I get another warning. This is to do with the second task and its successor, as you can see from the wording there. That’s the link that goes through to the analysis and design and development tasks. Click on Yes again and I do actually see that my requirement summary task and its two constituent subtasks are pasted and I have in fact kept that internal dependency. But the other two dependencies are lost. Now what I’m going to do now is to save this project with a name that shows that it is part of this overall Northern Farm Foods project. So my original Project File, NFF Proposed Implementation.mpp, I’m saving the requirements as NFF Requirements.mpp. These files are all in the scratch folder that I’m using on the course. So if you’re working along with this or with perhaps a project of your own, these go into your scratch folder as well I hope. Click on Save and having saved that project, I’m just going to close it and I’ll use it again a little bit later on. So having taken that little summary task requirements and copied it, made a separate project, in theory what we’re going to do is to replace this little batch of tasks here in the original project with a new subproject. So we’re actually going to put in here not a sequence of tasks as such but a link to a project, a separate project. But we’re going to do that in a particular way, as I’m going to show you in the next section. So please join me for that.

© Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Splitting a Project into Subprojects Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we created a project containing just this little summary task, requirements, from our original project for the proposed implementation of a new website for Northern Farm Foods. And what we’re basically going to do is to split the whole of this proposed implementation project into separate subprojects. Now before we continue with this exercise I want to take a look at that requirements project again and point out something very important about what’s happened. So here is the requirements subproject and what I want to do is to look at the resource sheet. So I’m just going to switch to the resource sheet and take a look at it. And what you discover is that the resource sheet has a single resource on it. You may remember from the previous section that the overall implementation project had about seven or eight resources on it. One of them was Northern Farm Foods. The new project only has that one resource. Now the reason it’s only got that one resource is that with the tasks that we pasted in when we created the project, the only resource specified was Northern Farm Foods. Now, at the moment, I’ve got both of these project open and as far as Microsoft Project’s concerned not only are they two completely separate projects but they are two completely separate sets of resources. So although this project has a resource called Northern Farm Foods, the other project has a resource called Northern Farm Foods, as far as Microsoft Project’s concerned those two are completely unrelated resources. And as we’re going to see later on in the course one of the most important things we do when we start to look at a consolidated project is making sure that the resources that we’re looking at are common where they need to be common. Having created this project not only have we created what is a separate project but we’ve also created a separate set of resources at the moment with just Northern Farm Foods. Note that when we created this requirements project, it didn’t use the whole set of resources from the original project. It only created a set of resources containing the resource or resources that were actually in use in the tasks that are included in this requirements project. That is only the resource Northern Farm Foods. Okay, file that useful piece of information away somewhere for a moment and now we’re going to return to the original project.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So what I want to do now is to replace the requirement summary task in the original project with the new project which is totally devoted to the requirements work. So what I’m going to do, I select a task ID 3 there, click on Task, and then on the Insert Task dropdown here one of the options is Blank Row. I’m just going to select the Blank Row. Then I’m going to the Project Tab and the left most command there, Insert Subproject. Now Insert Subproject gives me the Insert Project dialog and this allows me to browse to a file, in this case NFF Requirements.mpp. Either double click or click and press Insert, and that project is now inserted into my main project. Now I can tell that it is a separate project because in the information column here I have the little Project icon there. Now it does appear a bit like a summary task. In fact, if you look at the marking on the right, although it’s partly grayed out, it looks a bit like a summary task and if you click on the little wedge there, you can see the individual tasks within that project. But not as expected although we have a dependency between requirements definition here and requirement sign off within the individual inserted project, we don’t have any dependencies with the tendering process and we don’t have any dependencies from here to either the analysis and design summary task or its subtasks or to the development summary task and its subtasks. So in order to fully make this inserted project replace the requirement summary task, we need to reestablish those links but now to the inserted project rather than to the original summary task. So let’s put those links, those dependencies in step by step. Let’s start at the beginning. We’ve got tendering process contract, ID 2, and we have a link from that, a dependency to ID 6, requirements. Notice that six is itself a summary task. If I double click on ID 6, open up the task information, click on the predecessors then I can see that it has a predecessor of two tendering process contract. So that’s fine. What I really need is exactly the same dependency from this project, NFF Requirements, to that tendering process task.

So if I double click on NFF

Requirements, I get inserted project information. Note that the Predecessors Tab there is empty so I have no predecessors but I need a predecessor of ID 2 so I just type in there two, click on OK, and I now have a dependency and you can see how that little arrow appeared there. So I now have two tasks, both in their own way summary task for requirements and they both have finish to start relationships with the tendering process contract which has ID 2 in the original project.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now I want to point out something else. You probably noticed this already anyway but very important to realize that when you insert a project like this if you look at the ID’s on the left, there you can see an important change in the way that the ID’s work because the ID’s are still numbered from the beginning for the project we’re looking at here which is NFF Proposed Implementation. We get down to number four and number four is an inserted project. When we get an inserted project, we then get a numbering sequence within that project. So within NFF Requirements we get numbers 1, 2, 3. That’s the last task in the inserted project, ID 3, and then we get back to the ID’s for the overall project again. Now that’s very important because very often when we’re dealing with dependencies, we refer to the other tasks by their ID numbers and it’s very easy to get confused if you’re not careful when you’re looking at these ID’s maybe to not realize that you’re looking at an ID of an inserted project or indeed that you’re not looking at an inserted project. So just be wary of that when you’re using ID’s to setup these types of dependency. So let’s look at this task ID 11 here, analysis and design. If I double click on that and look at a predecessor, predecessor is requirements definition ID 7. That’s the original one within the summary task. It’s a start to start relationship with a lag of 30 days. So what I really want to do now is to setup the same relationship but with the requirements definition in the inserted project. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to select requirements definition in the inserted project, select analysis and design, and I’m going to click on Task, setup a link, and having established that link, and there it is, I’m now going to double click and change it from the default finish to start with a lag of zero days into a start to start with a lag of 30 days and click on OK. And I have now added an exactly equivalent dependency to the original one. Okay, let’s take a look now at that analysis and design task again. Double click. Note the dependencies. You have two predecessors. One predecessor has an ID of seven. The other predecessor has an ID that includes the file name for the inserted project followed by the ID number of two. So it works in just the same way but you qualify the ID in this case by putting in the file name. So its file name, back slash, and then the ID within that project file. And that’s basically how dependencies between projects work. All of the other details of the dependency, so the type start to start, lag 30 days, they’re the same. We just have a project file name in there

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Project 2013 - Advanced effectively to qualify that dependency and that’s because the task on which this one is dependent is in another project. And it really is as straightforward as that. So let me now select the task ID 7 and press the Delete key to remove that dependency, click on OK, and now the dependency on the original requirements task to analysis and design has gone. I’m now going to do effectively, exactly the same thing with graphical resources and branding here. So I’ll do that. I’ll be with you in just a moment. That’s done that one and now I’ve just one more thing to do and that is that I still have the dependency of requirements, the original requirement summary task having a predecessor of the tendering process. So let’s just select Delete and get rid of that and now that requirement summary task has no predecessors, dependencies outside at all. It’s all on its own and, of course, it’s sunk back to starting as soon as it can because it’s not dependent on anything else. So what I really need to do now is to just delete that summary task. It’s no longer serving any useful purpose. It’s been replaced by the NFF Requirements insert project or subproject. But I am going to use it to just show you one more thing that I’d really like to emphasize because this thing is probably the thing that causes people most problems when it comes to project consolidation. Let’s go into a different view. Let’s go to Resource Usage View. If I go to Resource Usage View, I’ve got unassigned and you’ll notice a second half of Resource Usage View. I’ve actually got two resources called Northern Farm Foods. Northern Farm Foods is used in requirements definition, analysis and design, test script, and testing, and then this Northern Farm Foods is used in requirements definition. I can’t emphasize this enough. At the moment, we have two projects. We have the overarching NFF Proposed Implementation and then we’ve inserted a project called NFF Requirements into that project as a subproject. At the moment, the resources the two projects we are using are separate. So that Northern Farm Foods and that Northern Farm Foods as far as Project 2013 is concerned are completely different resources. They’re used in different tasks. They’re different things. And until we actually share those resources, they’ll continue to be so. So if I click back on Gantt Chart now, remove the original summary task. So I’ve selected those four and I’m going to click on Delete Task. Let me now go back into Resource Usage View again. In Resource Usage View, let’s just go down there again and, of course, the first Northern Farm Foods, the one in the overarching NFF Proposed

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Project 2013 - Advanced Implementation project is only used in three tasks now and the other one, Northern Farm Foods; the second one, is the one that’s used in the inserted project. So I’ve taken a significant step away from the original project. I still have the original project, NFF Proposed Implementation.mpp. I’m going to keep that one safe. The new project which now has most of the original tasks but where one chunk of the original task has been replaced by an inserted project, a subproject, this new project, the master project, I’m going to call NFF Master. So I’m going to do File, Save As. I’m going to choose my scratch folder and I’m going to call this project NFF Master.mpp. Note that while I’ve been working on that, Project has been making changes to the open NFF Requirements project as well. So it’s also been recording some of the changes that I made. We’ll take a look at those in a moment. So do I want to save the changes to that as well? Yes. And I’ve now got my NFF Master project which I’m going to carry on working on in the next section. Now finally I want to show you something that’s both interesting and important in the requirements project. Let’s just click into requirements and note that with that project which only really has that one big task, requirements definition, followed by the little milestone. You can also see a sort of ghostly presences. These are the two tasks within the master project that are dependent on tasks within the requirements project. Now they’re only shown here as sort of placeholders.

If I look at the information, bring up the task information for that, almost

everything is grayed out. You can’t actually change it in here because this is a task that’s in a completely different project. But what you can change is anything to do with the relationship. So if I wanted to change here the relationship between requirements definition which is in this requirements project and the graphical resource related task which is in the master project, I could change the relationship here but I couldn’t change anything about the graphical resources related task itself.

I’d have to go into the master project to change any of that type of

information. So what Project 2013 does here is to give me information about the dependent task or tasks although I can’t actually change it here. I could only change information about that dependency. So that’s it for this section. In the next section we’re going to carry on here. We’re going to really basically replace virtually everything else in our master project with another couple of

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Project 2013 - Advanced subprojects, and then we’re going to turn our attention to how to work with a number of projects at once. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Creating More Subprojects Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we created a subproject, NFF Requirements, and replaced the original summary task in our overall NFF Master project with that subproject and you can see it here. I’m just going to collapse that project down and what I’m aiming to do now is to replace some more of the tasks within this master project with the equivalent subprojects. Now you may recall me describing before that the development team are going to deal with analysis and design and development, and then there will be a third subproject to deal with the testing aspects of the new website. So what I’m going to do now is to create two more subprojects and then we’re going to see how our master project looks after that. And now what you can see is my new master project with three subprojects included, but not that the master project also has its own individual tasks. It’s got the tendering process contract task at the beginning and it’s got live implementation and go live at the end. Clearly I could make those into further subprojects if I wanted to. Now I should point out again here that I’ve chosen a very simple project really or a very small project anyway to demonstrate these principles, but the principles are exactly the same if we were dealing with a very much bigger project, maybe with many, many subprojects. But there are some other important points here as well. One of them is if you look at that dependency near the beginning of the project, we have a dependency between tendering process contract and NFF Requirements. Note how we have the arrow indicating the dependency there. But I don’t have an arrow indicating a dependency between NFF Testing and live implementation which seems a little bit strange actually because you may recall that the implementation will follow the completion of testing. Now the reason for that becomes apparent if I expand the NFF Testing subproject because you can see what I’ve actually setup as a dependency not between the project NFF Testing and live implementation, but I’ve set it up between one of the summary tasks within that project which is the testing summary task and live implementation. Now it just so happens in this case that there is only one summary task in the NFF Testing project but there may be many and in some situations it’s appropriate to setup a dependency between a summary task in one project and another task somewhere else, maybe a single task in the master project like this

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Project 2013 - Advanced or maybe even a single task or a summary task in one of the other subprojects. But you can see when you expand this project, in this case NFF Testing, all of the dependencies and how the dependencies not only relate within that subproject, so for instance, the dependency between test script and testing, but also the dependencies between the summary task and tasks in NFF Testing and tasks, summary tasks, and projects elsewhere. The other point to make here is that when you have a project collapsed like the one here, NFF Design and Development, you can’t see those links. You can see the grayed out subproject indicator in the Gantt Chart but until you actually expand it, you don’t see all the links. So let me just expand that one. I now see within those two summary tasks. Now expand those summary tasks and now I start to see any links that exist as I expand down. That means that when you’re looking at a master project like this one and you have subprojects there, the view isn’t cluttered by loads of lines that would actually be incredibly difficult to understand without being able to see the names of all the tasks. So basically when I collapse a subproject like this one not only do I not see the summary tasks and tasks within it, but I don’t see the dependency lines either. And just one other point, one that I did make earlier on in the course but I’d just like to make it again here. If I look at NFF Testing, one of the newly created projects, you can see the summary task here, testing. Strictly speaking if I only have one summary task, you could argue I don’t really need a summary task. I could get rid of that and promote all of the other tasks by one level. But you also see in gray the external tasks, the ones that aren’t actually part of this project but to which there are links from tasks, summary tasks, etc. within this project. The external tasks are important there as well. Note also the numbering, the ID numbering. Within that subproject, in this case items one to six, even though some of those are actually external tasks. So just bear that in mind because if you look at NFF Testing.mpp and you see that the tasks that are actually part of it are this summary task, two, and then four, five, and six and if we switch back to the master project and just expand NFF Testing that’s why the numbering there seems to be a little bit strange. You may look at that and say, “Well, why does it say two, four, five, six?” Well, that’s the reason, because NFF Testing includes those external tasks, the ones that aren’t actually part of the project but to which or from which it has links.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So I’d just like to cover one or two other things about this master project setup. It may be that after you’ve been working on a project for a while, you want to reorganize these subprojects. You can move the subprojects around in the same way that you can move individual tasks or summary tasks around. So if for example I wanted to put NFF Design and Development earlier in the master project, click once to select. I now have the cross hair cursor. Click again. Grab that task, pull it up. You’ll see the horizontal line moving it up and I can drop it there and then I can arrange blank rows and so on to improve the look if I want to. The other way that you can move things around is to do cut and paste. Suppose I wanted to cut and paste NFF Design and Development now rather than drag it. If I right click and select Cut, look at this little dialog you get, the Planning Wizard. NFF Design and Development is a summary task. Deleting it will delete all its subtasks as well. Now that is only a warning. If you’re doing a cut and paste, then you’re only effectively deleting it very temporarily while you do the cut and paste. But it is a useful warning, particularly if you haven’t really thought about what you’re doing. As with pretty much all of these warnings, there’s a box in the bottom left hand corner. You can say don’t tell me about this again if you don’t want to see that particular message over and over again. You can also obviously cancel the cut if you want to. But if all you really want to do is to do a cut and paste you can say okay that’s fine. Thanks for the warning. Click on OK and then position the cursor and do a paste. So right click, paste, and that task is now pasted back where it was before. Okay, so you should have a pretty good idea now of the structure of a consolidated master project and you should’ve noticed as we’ve been going through the last two or three exercises that whatever we did Microsoft Project has maintained the ID sequence. So even when we move that task around it just renumbered everything as necessary and of course by now you’ll be familiar with the numbering within the individual subprojects as well, which I’ve mentioned a couple of times. Let’s suppose that now that you get to a point where you have a subproject, say, NFF Testing, here and you really want it to stop being a subproject. What you’ve decided is to keep this now as part of the actual master project.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now all you have to do is to select that row, and then on the Task Tab if you click on Information you’ll of course get the project information, inserted project information. And if you click on the Advanced Tab, there is a checkbox, Link to Project, and that’s the one that basically says that what we’ve got selected is actually a link to another project. If I unlink and click on OK watch what happens. What actually happens is that that NFF Testing project reverts back to being a summary task. And if I expand it, okay it’s a sort of double nested summary task now and I don’t need both of those levels. But you can see that as a summary task, it’s restored to its previous status. Now when you do that, some slightly complicated things can sometimes happen, as here, in that if you look at the main block here, NFF Testing, and this sort of nested summary task, we finished up with you can’t see any dependencies on earlier tasks. But if you expand NFF Design and Development, you can see that all of those dependencies are there. So that’s fine, that all works fine. So it’s going to start at the right time. But you have lost the dependencies from this group if you like, this overall summary task, to the later live implementation task. And what Project has done is to put in a sort of dummy external task there for testing and the link is from there to there. So if you really wanted this to revert back to being just a straightforward summary task within the master project and not a separate subproject, you’d need to setup this dependency properly as well. But you should be able to do that now without any trouble. Now one other thing to point out about this process is that this is not a reversible process. But if you later on decided that you wanted to make this back into a separate subproject again, then either you’d have to go through the process of making a separate subproject again. Or if you haven’t made any changes to that subproject, you could just delete this lot and do the insert subproject from the separate subproject you already have again. It’s not something you’re likely to want to do very often I hope, but it is something that can be done. And one final point. You can, of course, insert subprojects at various outline levels. You’re not restricted to doing them at the top level as I’ve done here. Now before we get to the next section, I’m going to restore this back to having those three separate subprojects ready for that next section where we’re going to look at the all important subject of sharing resources. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 3 – Sharing Resources Video: Using and Sharing a Resource Pool Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section we’re going to continue our look at Project consolidation and we’re going to look at resource sharing. Now in fact resource sharing is not something that’s restricted to use for consolidated projects. You can have a number of completely unrelated projects sharing resources. So when we’re looking at resource sharing, I’m going to look at it in the context initially of a consolidated project but it’s important to realize that the project consolidation is not an essential part of sharing resources. So let’s suppose I’ve been given the job of looking after this testing subproject. So I’m going to open up the testing project and with the testing project, I know that I have resources. In fact, I’ve only got one at the moment, my Northern Farm Foods resource. But I’m now going to add myself as the project manager on this project so there we are. And I’m a work resource. My initials are going to be T-A. I’m not going to do anything to do with money at the moment. We’re going to look at costs and so on later on. But I am now going to switch back into the Gantt Chart and I’m going to make myself responsible for some of the testing. So I select the testing task. I’m going to go to the Resource Tab, Assign Resources, and I’m offered the two resources that are part of this project. So I’m going to put myself onto that as a 50% resource. So I’m going to use half my time on doing that testing. That’s closed. Don’t worry about the warning there at the moment. That’s not relevant to what we’re doing here. And so now what I’m going to do is to just close that task again. Do I want to save the changes? Yes. So I’ve assigned myself to one of the tasks in that subproject. So as the project manager on my part of the project, I’ve made an update to my MPP file, to my project schedule which is one of the subprojects within the overall project. And now the project manager who’s responsible for the whole thing wants to take a look at how progress is on the overall master project. So opens up the master project. One thing that happens when you open a master project like this one is that if you click on the View Tab and look at the other available

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Project 2013 - Advanced windows, you only get the master project open. You don’t get all of the individual projects opened as well. Certainly in the situation we’re in at the moment, you don’t anyway. So now the overall project manager decides to have a look at the NFF testing project. So expand that project and take a look. If I just scroll across here, you can see that Toby Arnott has been assigned 50% to that testing task which is what we did just now. So that’s absolutely fine. If the overall project manager looks at his resource sheet, note on the resource sheet that he’s got seven resources and those seven are associated with the master project.

And then he’s got two

resources which are the two that are associated with the testing project, including Toby Arnott who’s just been added. Now let’s suppose that he decides that he wants to get Toby to do some work on the requirements project as well. So let’s go back now to the requirements project. Let’s expand it out and let’s say that he wants Toby to spend a little bit of time on requirements definition. So he’s going to assign Toby to that task, right click, assign resources, let’s see who’s available. But the only available resource is Northern Farm Foods.

Why is that the only available

resource? Well, the reason is because of course that particular subproject, NFF Requirements, has its own resources. The only resource it’s got is Northern Farm Foods. And if I actually wanted to assign Toby to that task what I would have to do is to create another Toby. Now of course that’s going to create all sorts of chaos because when it comes to trying to level Toby in terms of the amount of work that I’m doing on the overall project, there’s going to be two of me and it’s going to be rather difficult to make sure that between the two of us we don’t get too much work to do. So what he will really want to do is to just have one Toby and to be able to assign Toby to the various different tasks, possibly in different subprojects within his overall project. And that’s really what resource sharing is all about. Now in terms of sharing resources, there are a couple of ways of going about this really in the first instance. One way is to make the NFF Master project into a resource pool itself and to say that all of its subprojects use the same resource pool. Now although this can work absolutely fine, I believe that the best way and the way which presents the fewest problems in the future is to create a separate project with no actual tasks in it that just represents the resource pool. Now one advantage of this is that if people are working on their individual projects and they’re looking at the resource pool, it reduces the chance of them interfering with, if you like, the tasks

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Project 2013 - Advanced which are actually in the main project.

If you’ve got, say, somebody responsible for the

requirements project, if from the requirements project the resources you’re using are in a project that only has resources in it, then that makes the work on the requirements project a little bit more self-contained. Now the easiest way to do this is to take this project as it is, to save a copy of it as a resource pool project, and then just remove all of the tasks from that resource pool project. So that’s what I’m going to do. So now I have a resource pool project. I’ve called it NFF Resource Pool. All I did was to copy the NFF Master and basically delete all of the tasks from it. So it’s a project with no tasks but if I look at the resource sheet, I’ve got my basic set of resources there. Now one thing you may find very useful because sometimes you get in a bit of a muddle when you’re dealing with resource pools, one very useful thing that you can do. If you insert a column in the resource sheet, one of the available columns you have is Project and if you’re in any doubts about which project to resources in, if you insert the Project field or Project attribute into the resource sheet you can just check which project the project you’re looking at is getting that resource from. Now in this case quite correctly all of the resources in use there are in the NFF Resource Pool. So now what I’m going to do is to take each of my existing projects and get them to use this resource pool as their resource pool. Now whereas most of them are going to be fine, the one that’s obviously going to run into a little bit of trouble is going to be the testing project where I’ve already assigned a new resource, the Toby Arnott resource, which isn’t actually part of the original pool. So I’m going to need to sort that out. So what I’ve done now is to close that resource pool just for the moment and I’ve opened the design and development project. So that’s the only project that’s open. Now, at the moment, the design and development project if we click on the Resource Pool button there and click on the Share Resources uses its own resources. We’ve never asked it to do anything else. If I want to switch it to use shared resources, so if I want to switch it over to use the resource pool that I’ve just created it can only be setup to share resources from a pool that is open. So if you want to do this you need to open the resource pool and then you’ll be able to do the switch. So I’m now

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Project 2013 - Advanced going to open that pool and then I’ll show you just quickly switching this over from using its own resources to using the resource pool. Now that I’ve got the resource pool open, this Share Resources dialog not only gives me the option I had before, Use own resources, but it also has the option of Use resources requires at least one open resource pool and it lists open resource pools. Now, of course, there is only one at the moment so I’m going to switch over to using that resource pool, click on OK, and now the design and development project uses the shared resource pool. In fact with the design and development project open, if I look at its resource sheet it seems to have magically got a big resource sheet all of a sudden. And if I do, as I said just now, insert column and I select from that project, lo and behold you can see that the resources that it’s using are all in the resource pool. That’s a useful double check to make sure that you’ve got things setup correctly. Now let’s look at fixing the issues with the NFF Testing project. I’ve switched the NFF Testing project over to using the resource pool and now I’m going to restore the assignments that I had before. Now, of course, we never had a Toby Arnott in the shared pool. If I now go into that testing task that I was originally assigned to and right click, go to Assign Resources, because I’ve now switched NFF Testing over to use the resource pool, I can assign any of the resources in the resource pool just as simple as that. So if I wanted 50% of the actual shared Northern Farm Foods that’s fine. Similarly, if I wanted 50% of Toby Arnott as I had before but now it’s a shared Toby Arnott. The name doesn’t appear because we’re looking at the pool, but rather go into the resource sheet. I’ll just type the name in here. I’ll put the percentage in here; 50% as before. Click on Assign for that one. Close that. If I now switch to the resource sheet note how Toby Arnott has been added. I’ll just correct the initials there. Toby, T-A again. But add it to the resource pool. You can’t have a project pointing at both its own resources and the resource pool all at the same time. So you’re working on one or the other. So any changes I make to NFF Testing now will finish up in the resource pool. Now this leads to some interesting and sometimes challenging questions relating to sharing resources in projects and I’ll come back to those. But having fixed the problem with NFF Testing, I’m just going to sort out the requirements project and then we’ll take a look at the master project.

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Project 2013 - Advanced And that’s it. I’ve changed all of my projects to point at the same resource pool. I’ve actually got everything open at the moment and I can now go back to the original questions I had. First of all, if I look at the requirements subproject here, one of the things I wanted to do was to get Toby to help with requirements definition. You may remember this. It seems like a long time ago now. And I just wanted to use the same Toby that I was using for testing. So if I right click on that now and click on Assign Resources, I get the list from the pool. I can choose this Toby Arnott and I can assign say 50% of Toby’s time to help with that. Now if I look at resource usage, let me just go into the Resource Usage View. So in the case of Northern Farm Foods, the staff there are dealing with requirements definition, analysis and design, and testing and it’s the same resources. In the case of Toby, he’s working on two different projects even though we’re there within the same master project. Of course, I could assign any of these resources within the master project itself. So if I wanted to assign those resources to things like the tendering process or the live implementation, then I really am going to be sharing resources. Now, of course, in reality you wouldn’t go about it in this way in that you almost certainly or at least I hope you would almost certainly decide earlier on that you were going to share resources and the setup of this is going to much more straightforward if you setup the resource pool at the outset or at least if you plan to setup the resource pool at the outset. But however you set the resource pool up and ours is now setup absolutely fine for our purposes, you then have a second set of not exactly issues but things to be aware of when you’re working on your projects and that is how do you deal with this situation now? For example, one of the project managers takes their subproject away and wants to do a bit of work on it. How do you make sure that everything keeps in step? That’s what we’re going to cover in the next section. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Practicalities in Sharing Resources; How to Access a Project File with Shared Resource Pool Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section, we took our NFF Master project and we separated out the resource pool completely, and then we made sure that the master project uses the resource pool, and then that the three subprojects within the master project also used that same resource pool. In this way, we’ve truly got a common sharing of resources throughout the project. Now in this section what we’re going to do is to look at the practicalities of working in this situation. Let’s begin by supposing that I’m the project manager for the overall project and what I want to do now is to simply open the master project. Now when I try to open the master project, I immediately come across one of the key points that’s necessary to understand when it comes to sharing resources. So if I click on File and then from the Open, I click on NFF Master; I see a message. Now you can already see the master project there, the Gantt Chart View in the background but what happens is that Project 2013 realizes that this particular project is using a resource pool and it gives me two choices. Now one choice, as you can see from the selected radio button there, is Open resource pool to see assignments across all sharer files. Now if I’m interested in looking at resourcing and in particular if I may want to look at resource leveling or resource overallocation, in order to really see what’s going on it’s going to be necessary for me to open the resource pool. In opening the resource pool, that will give me the ability to look at resource assignments throughout all of the projects that share that resource pool. Now, I did mention earlier on that it’s not necessarily the case that that resource pool is only being used by the projects you’ve seen before. What if one of the other project managers in my company has been told to use the same resource pool? That other project manager may be using those resources and making assignments in those resources as well. So what it’s really saying to me here is if you want to be able to look at resource assignments and know how your resource assignments are looking, you need to open the pool itself so that you can see assignments across all of the projects that are sharing that resource pool. Now as you’ll see, when I come to open this project and the resource pool in a little while, it will actually be opened in Read Only mode so I won’t be able to make changes to the resource pool as such. We’re going to look at that a little bit later on. But it does enable me to see assignments.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now the second option says “Do not open other files.” So in this case, I’m not going to be able to see the assignments. So in what sort of situation might I choose that option? Well, clearly I’m not going to choose that when I’ve got resource assignments to make or change because I won’t be able to check the availability of resources even. But I might choose it in situations such as one where what I really want to do is to add a load of tasks to a project and I’m not doing resource assignments at the moment. I’m just basically entering the task, maybe even importing them from another source. I’m going to deal with resources later on. Now in that situation, it would actually be a bad idea to tie up the resource pool unnecessarily. So then I might choose the “Do not open other files option.” Another situation in which I might choose “Do not open other files” would be if I were say running off a report, maybe a report that doesn’t really involve resourcing. Possibly just some sort of cost summary or maybe a report on costs against budget over a period of time where I don’t specifically need to the resource pool and I only need to look at specific aspects of costs. So there are some situations where I wouldn’t need to open the resource pool and that’s really what that other option is there for. Now on this occasion, I’m going to stick with that first option and see what everything looks like when I click on the OK button. So the NFF Master project is now open. If I go to the Window Group on the View Tab and click up here at the top right hand, obviously the resource pool project is open, click on that. It looks empty but of course I’m looking at the tasks so let’s go in and take a look at the resource sheet. And, of course, we can see the resource sheet. I’ve left the project column in there so that you can see that each of those resources is a resource within the NFF Resource Pool. And if I click on the Resource Usage View, even though I don’t have the individual projects open, I can see where each of the resources is used and this is particularly useful if you’re dealing with a very large project with perhaps with many subprojects. If you were to just pull over here within the Resource Usage View and click on Add New Column, go down and select Project, and you can actually see which of the projects each of these resource assignments relates to. So that can be pretty useful. It can save you the trouble of fishing around to find out where a particular assignment has been made.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So let’s just flip back to the main project again, back to NFF Master. The three subprojects are just shown as subproject, individual rows on the Gantt Chart here. Watch what happens if I expand NFF Requirements. Let’s just now get the project in view. Now let me expand NFF Design and Development then. As before, I can then see all the dependencies to again to help me get a full view of the whole project. But it also enables me again to just focus in on the particular part that I’m interested in. So here I am the overall project manager. I’m still looking at the overall project. What if I want to do a bit of resource assignment at this stage? Let’s suppose I decide here that I really need to give Toby a bit of work on the tendering process.

So select, right click, go into Assign

Resources. All of those resources are available to me. I can choose Toby Arnott. I can give him 10%, click on Assign. Toby is now assigned. Click on Close. Now let’s go back into the resource pool again and you can see that Toby has been assigned and you can see that that assignment is in the NFF Master. So let’s now just switch back to the main project and let’s say, okay I’ve finished working on that now. Let me just close the main project and it says “Do you want to save changes to NFF Master?” And then even though I haven’t consciously made any changes to NFF Requirements, I’m asked if I want to save changes to that and to the other one and to the other one. And then finally it says “Do you want to update the resource pool to reflect changes for all open sharer projects? When updating the pool file Project will save the resource pool that is memory. This copy reflects the changes for all the sharer projects that you have open in memory.” Now if I want to save the changes to the resource pool and bear in mind that I’ve actually made an assignment there that wasn’t there before, click on OK, and even though it has been open in Read Only mode what now happens is that change is saved. So in that scenario the project manager for the overall project opened the overall project and the resource pool, had available the information in the resource pool and was able to therefore make an assignment. And Project 2013 realized an assignment had been made, realized that the resourcing of the project was changing, and even though the resource pool had been opened read-only, I was still able to make that change because it basically said “Do you want to save this change in the resource pool even though you’ve only got it open Read Only?” So that’s a perfectly effective and valid way of going about things.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now let’s look at a different scenario and one that happens quite a bit. Let’s suppose I’m the manager on the testing project and I want to make one or two changes to my project, so I decide to put the MPP file on to a laptop and take it home with me. I’m going to just do a bit of work on the laptop on my project. So I open the testing project and it comes up with a question, “Do I want to open the resource pool?” And then I go, “Ah, hang on a minute. I haven’t got the resource pool. I forgot to bring that with me and in fact I’m really not supposed to take the resource pool away from work because everybody else uses it. I’ll just say Do not open other files and I can do what I need to do without the resource pool.” Now when I click on OK, and bear in mind that I haven’t now got the resource pool open, let’s just click on the Resource Tab, Resource Pool, Share Resources. It still knows that it’s sharing resources. I haven’t actually got that resource pool but it knows it’s there. That’s fine. What I’m going to do is I’m going to assign one of the other people to one of my tasks. So let me just go back into the Gantt. I want to assign one of those other people to the test script task. So right click, Assign Resources, oh hang on, I can only see Northern Farm Foods and Toby Arnott. Why is that? Well, the reason that I can only see Northern Farm Foods and Toby Arnott is that I haven’t got a copy of the resource pool and the only resources that my project is aware of are the ones that I’ve used before. So if I just scroll through the existing tasks of this project, of course, they’re the two that I’ve used before. So it’s aware of those two resources but it doesn’t have the full resource pool. So I could even assign Toby now at the moment. In fact, why don’t I do that? Why don’t I assign Toby as say a 10% on this and click on Assign. I can even assign Toby but I can’t assign any of the other resources because I don’t have a copy of the resource pool. So now let me close, make change to testing, my project is closed. But, of course, the resource pool is unaware of the change I’ve just made. Okay, so I get back to work the next day and I copy the MPP file from my laptop back on to the network or the shared location that we’re using and I’m going to once again open testing. This time when I open testing, I’m going to open the resource pool as well, click on OK, and now of course within the testing project itself, I’ve got that Toby Arnott assignment. Let’s switch into the resource pool. Let’s look at resources in the resource pool. Let’s look at resource usage. Let’s look at Toby Arnott and he has been updated automatically because as soon as I open the file with the resource pool open as well then the resource pool is updated with that assignment.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now let me just quickly flick back to the testing project again. Now let me do the same thing. Let’s put somebody else on the scripting this time. Let’s say Assign Resources again. This time, of course, I get a full list. Let me say that Lorraine here is going to be very much involved in the testing. So I’m going to put Lorraine there as a 50% resource. I’m going to assign her. Click on Close. Then I’m going to close and I’m going to say yes to changing anything and everything. Now let’s suppose that I’ve taken this project home again and I’ve still not got my resource pool with me. Open the testing project; say no to opening other files. Let’s suppose I want to do an assignment to acceptance. Click on Assign Resources, see if you can guess what I’m going to see. Yes, of course, now it’s aware of three resources, the three resources that have been used and only those three. So that’s pretty much how it works when you’re one of the project managers who is using the shared resource pool. Now the problem you have and this is a problem that there isn’t one universal solution to, is how do you manage to have several people working on different subprojects and all having the same resource pool open at the same time? Well, one way of doing this is to use a truly shared location. So whether you’re using SkyDrive, whether you’re using some sort of SharePoint based or Project Server solution, really the only satisfactory way is to have the resource pool truly shared. But within the context of what we’re doing here, what I’m trying to do is to make you aware of the issues that you’re going to get if you don’t have a completely shared resource pool in the sense that it can be shared pretty much all the time. But as you can see if you don’t have a fully shared location for your projects and your resource pool, then you can see the sort of problems that you come up against. Although to be fair, if you use Project 2013 correctly and pretty much follow the sort of things that I’ve done in this section, you’ll find that you can pretty much cope with any situation provided you’re aware of the shortcomings and constraints on the way that Project 2013 works when you don’t have fully shared projects and resource pools. Now in the next section I’m going to look at actually making changes to the resource pool itself and then we’re going to create a new consolidated project. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Making Changes on the Resource Pool Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we looked at how an individual project manager can access one of the project files where a resource pool is being shared. One of the things that I pointed out is that when a project manager’s working on a project file that uses a resource pool, usually it’s best to open the resource pool in order to be able to see the assignments and indeed to see the resources that are available. Now in doing this, if several project managers want to work on their particular project files, they’re all sharing a resource pool, then the resource pool is opened read-only and there’s absolutely no problem. However, there are occasions when somebody might need to make an actual update to the resource pool itself. For instance, they may need to change the availability of one of the resources, add new resources, or perhaps change the cost information. So in this section we’re, first of all, going to look at how you’d actually make changes to the resource pool itself. So I’m in charge of the whole project and I’m going to open the resource pool because I need to make some changes to it. Now the Open Resource Pool dialog appears and that gives me three options. Now the first option it gives me is really the equivalent of what the individual project managers have in that the first option says “Open resource pool read-only” allowing others to work on project connected to the pool. So with this option, I may just be interested to browse the pool to see who’s in there. I may want to run some types of report whereby I only need to be able to read the resource information that’s in the resource pool. So that’s the option to use when you only want to read the resource pool content either for information or for reporting purposes. Now the second option is “Open resource pool read/write” so that you can make changes to resource information, like pay rates, etc. Although this will lock others out of updating the pool with new information. So if I open the pool with this option selected, that’s exactly what it will do. Now that will stop anybody else from opening it read/write. It won’t stop other people accessing it read-only. But if somebody does, as I did in the previous section, and tries to make resource assignments with the resource pool open read-only and then when they try to save their project it says “Do you want to save the changes to the pool?”, they won’t be able to make those

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Project 2013 - Advanced changes to the pool. So if I’m going to use this option, I need to make sure before I do it that the other project managers are aware of the face that they won’t be able to save any changes to the pool while this is going on. Now it’s actually pretty important to know what happens in this situation. We covered the situation where a project manager just wants to work on their own project and they can either work separately from the pool or with the pool. And even if they’ve got the pool open read-only, they can still normally save changes that affect resourcing.

But in this situation where

somebody’s actually doing what amounts to maintenance work on the pool, what happens then if a project manager is working on one of their projects and accessing the pool and they make some kind of change that would need an update to the pool. Now what I’m going to do is to demonstrate this to you but I’m afraid I’m going to have to turn the whole thing on its head because you can only see one screen. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to open the resource pool on a different machine. I’ve actually moved the project, the subprojects, and the resource pool to a network location on my own network and I’m going to open the resource pool with this second option selected on a different PC on my network, so you need to think of this in terms of the pool being open for maintenance. And then what I’m going to do on this PC, the one you’re looking at, is I’m going to simulate being one of the project managers who’s just going about doing some work on his project just so that you can see what happens. Now one thing I should point out is that you can’t have two people working read/write on that pool at the same time. So let’s suppose just temporarily that I tried to open the resource pool at this point and if I try to open the resource pool given that another user has got it open, if I say Open resource pool read/write and click on OK; I get locked out. So I find that I’ve got file in use. It’s locked for editing so I can’t actually access it read/write. I could open it read-only but I couldn’t access it read/write. So I can’t have two people doing maintenance on the pool at once. So that covers a situation where I want to do some work on the pool but I’m not allowed to because somebody else is. Now let me open up one of my projects, let’s say this requirements project, from the shared location and bear in mind that the resource pool is under maintenance by a user on another PC. I say “Open resource pool” to see assignments across all sharer files. That’s absolutely fine because I’ll get the resource pool in read-only mode and I’ll be able to see my requirements project.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now then what I want to do is to make an assignment here. I’m going to assign an additional resource to requirements definition. So select that task, click on Assign Resources, and I’m going to get Sally Danvers to do some work on that particular task. So 20% of Sally’s time is going on to the requirements definition work. So I’m going to click on Assign, that’s fine. Again, don’t worry about these warnings here because they’re not relevant to what we’re doing in this particular section. Now if I were to just close this project at this point and say yes to every question about saving changes, I would come unstuck because I would get a message from Project 2013 that would tell me that it was not possible to update the pool at this time. But I can actually force that message and show you what that message looks like by using what is actually much better practice for your project managers when they’re working on shared resources. If you go to the Resource Tab, again to that Resource Pool dropdown, in the situation we’re in now you have two more options enabled, Refresh resource pool and Update resource pool. Now Refresh resource pool is very useful if you’re working on a shared resource pool. You maybe had the file open for a while and you want to make sure you incorporate any changes that anybody else has made. Update resource pool is basically the one you use to say to Project 2013 I’ve made a change in my resource assignments, normally, and I’d like to update the resource pool now please. Now watch what happens if I click on Update resource pool. What I find is that because the resource pool is open for maintenance on another machine, I get that message “The resource pool cannot be updated now. Project cannot update the resource pool because someone else is using it. Try again later.” So that prevents me from making any update that affects the resource pool. Effectively, I can read information in the resource pool but I can’t change the resources or their assignments. Now, of course, exactly what I do in that situation would depend on the particular circumstances. What I actually did was to shout to the person that had the resource pool open and said, “Can you close the resource pool? I need to do an assignment.” They closed it, I click the update again, and everything was fine and as you can see Sally is now assigned to that task. If I close this particular project now and save the changes, everything will be fine.

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Project 2013 - Advanced But I think you see that you need to understand reasonably well how all of this works in order to use it effectively. You can probably see why people go for options like Project Server and using SharePoint and so on in order to share resources because a lot of these problems, even if they don’t completely go away they can be addressed in a much more straightforward way. Having said that, if you’re using MPP files, possibly shared locations with a shared resource pool and so on, if you have a sort of protocol set of rules and you can make this work absolutely fine. I’ve worked on dozens of major projects where projects are split up into subprojects like this and there’s a shared resource pool and provided everybody’s careful about what they do and understands how to do it then everything can work absolutely fine. It’s usually only when somebody gets completely confused that things really go awry. So it’s largely down to training and having a common protocol for working in these situations. Now we have a third option to look at in terms of opening the resource pool and it’s going to turn out that for the rest of this section, this is going to be a very important option because it’s going to be the basis of the first exercise I’m going to give you to do on this course. The third option is “Open resource pool read/write and all other sharer files into a new master project file.” You can access this new master project file from the View Tab, Switch Windows command. Now watch what happens if I click on this. Now what Project 2013 has done is to string together all the projects that use this resource pool and make them into a new project called Project 1. Now I could if I wanted to save Project 1 with an appropriate name. It’s sort of my project master. It’s actually slightly different from the project master because there’s an element of duplication but don’t worry about that at the moment. I’ll come back to that in a little while. But I’ve included a project column here in the table and you can see where each of the tasks within this Project 1 come from because it’s got Project 1 itself. It’s then taken a row from NFF Master, which is the tendering process. Then it’s actually taken from NFF Master the name of the subproject NFF Requirements and then obviously it’s put in the NFF Requirements tasks. It’s actually built up in that way a complete, probably to be viewed as temporary file that comprises all of the projects that use that resource pool. Now let me show you something. If I go to the View Tab and switch to the resource pool, and then on the Resource Tab I click on Resource Pool, look what happens if I click on Share Resources. What I get with Share Resources, as this is a pool, is a list of the sharing links. So it

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Project 2013 - Advanced gives me a complete list of all of the projects that use this resource pool. Now in that way, I can see where the resource pool is used. If I wanted to stop one of these projects from sharing this resource pool, I could do that here and that’s exactly what I’m going to do because I’m going to take the master project and having selected the master project I’m going to break the link. Now the master project no longer uses this resource pool so let me just close. I’m going to say yes to all the changes. I’ll do that and I’ll join you in a moment. Just one thing to point out here before we make a new consolidated project; I’ve just opened the resource pool Read/Write and what I’m going to quickly do is go to Project Information because when you make a consolidated project in this way, a lot of the properties of that project are derived from the properties of the resource pool itself. So if I look at the advanced properties of this resource pool which has got the name Pitch Preparation which is not particularly helpful. I’m going to change that title to NFF, that’ll do for now, click on OK. That will do. Now let me just close that again. Now let me open. That’s the resource pool again. I’m choosing the third option, click on OK. Now let’s look at the project that it’s made for me and there we have our new project. Ad it is really just three separate projects strung together. You notice the interesting ID numbering? Well, if you understood the coverage of that earlier on, you’ll know why things are numbered in the way that they are. But this is a perfectly viable alternative way of creating a consolidated project. The difference here is that there is no master project. There is not one project holding these three subprojects together. In many cases, people use this approach to project consolidation when that they’re really interested in is not some kind of overall structure but they really just want to pull together a number of projects that use the same resources, possibly for resource leveling purposes.

Maybe this is a team of project

managers who have technical and other resources at their disposal and they need to make sure that they’re making good use of those resources and they’re not overallocated. Or possibly to look at departmental costs or company costs or something like that. This approach tends to be used more when the actual sequence of the projects is less important. The approach we’ve used so far, the earlier approach of having a master project, is used more when you’re dealing with an overall structure or from a program of work or something like that. Having said that, they’re both perfectly viable ways of doing things and as you can see the approach is pretty similar whichever of the two options you choose in any particular situation.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So that brings us very neatly to the first major exercise I’m going to give you to do on this course. There isn’t really time to squeeze it into the end of this section so we’re going to devote the next section to that. And basically the exercise in the next section, plus this website development project that we’ve been working on so far, are the two main exercises that we’re going to be using throughout the rest of the course. So it’s pretty important that you understand this one and it’s even more important that you understand the building one because you’ll be doing most of the work on that. So please join me for the next section and I’ll set you that nice tricky exercise and get some building work going.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 4 – Case Study Video: Introduction; Exercise 1 Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section I’m going to set you up with the main case study, the main exercise that we’re going to be using on the course.

I’m still going to refer back to the website project from time to time to

demonstrate certain topics or to look at different ways of doing things. But mainly we’re going to be working on building three houses on a small estate. Now I’ve actually prepared a basic schedule for the building for each one of the houses and I’m just going to take you through that now. Before I do, I’d just like to hopefully allay any fears you might have. You may think that you don’t really know anything about building houses. Well, to be honest I don’t know very much about it myself. But I tend to use building houses as an exercise when I’m teaching people how to use Microsoft Project because basically what a house is is something most people are familiar with. In fact, the majority of people live in houses or at least have seen houses. And if you said to somebody, “How would you go about building a house?” Most people would have a pretty good idea of at least the basics. They’d know things like, well presumably, you build the walls first and then you put the roof on top of it and things like that. Now we’re going to be going into a little bit more detail than that but we are still only going to be looking at a rather simplistic model of how to build a house. So the schedule that I’ve put together here is actually much simpler than the real schedule for building a house. For any of you who are builders or familiar with building a house, I apologize for the simplicity of what I’ve done here and I also apologize for any errors but I am teaching you how to use Microsoft Project, not how to build houses. So basically the sequence of events is this. We prepare the site for the house. We put the base in. I’ll talk about each of these in more detail when we get to it. Then we put up the frame of the house. Then we do what’s called the lockup. So basically we build the exterior, we put windows and door frames, we do brick work and so on, and then from that point onwards we’re able to work on the inside. We do what’s called the first fix for carpentry, plumbing, and

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Project 2013 - Advanced electrics. Then we do things like insulation, plaster, and floors. Then we connect up to the services. We do the second fix which is things like putting sockets on walls as far as electrics are going. Putting in taps or faucets as far as the plumbing’s concerned. Then we go to the finishing of the house. That’s the decoration, tiling, and so on. And then we work on the outside. We finish landscaping, driveways, paths, and so on. And then as part of completion, there’s a final inspection where we correct defects or snags. And then finally the house is signed off. Now in this schedule I’ve put in what I think are some pretty realistic estimates for most of these steps. Again, apologies if people think they’re hopelessly wrong. But it doesn’t really matter if they’re wrong anyway because what we’re going to be covering using this case study is really the techniques associated with managing a project like this rather than too much about the actual building aspects of it. Now as you can see, I’ve put in an assortment of dependencies here and again some of them are probably a little bit naive and simplistic but they will serve the purposes of what we need for this course. Now let’s turn our attention to the resource sheet that I’ve set up. Now this resource sheet is in example-01. Now it’s very often the case when you’re dealing with projects like this one where you’ve quite a lot of work to do and some quite specialized skills that it’s important to get the balance right between the availability of skilled people and the cost of having people standing around doing nothing if you’ve got too many people. Now on this particular job, we’ve got a very interesting selection of resources available and we will probably need some more. We have got a master builder and the master builder. We haven’t got the name, MB. This is somebody who can do absolutely everything. But we’re also going to find that this master builder is going to be the most expensive resource we’ve got. We’ve then got one or two specifically skilled people. For instance, we’ve got a tiler, a lady called Ruth Tyler, and she’s the person to do all the work on the roof, getting the tiles on the roof, doing the rain water associated things like putting in down pipes and so on. We have an electrician called Lou Menns. We have a plumber called Gus Pipe, and we have a carpenter called Hazel Wood. And we know that we’re going to have available another electrician, another plumber, and another carpenter. We don’t know their names yet but they’re in the groups; electrician, plumber, and carpenter. Now in addition we have two general laborers. Now general laborers can only do general work like digging. They

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Project 2013 - Advanced can do painting, rendering, and so on. They can’t do electrics. They can’t do specific plumbing. They can’t do specific carpentry. Now in addition we have an inspector who’s going to do the inspection work at the end. We have a contract cleaner who we’re going to get in to do the cleaning at the end. I’ve also included some materials as well. Now at this stage, I’m not going to worry too much about materials. If I actually I did, a resource sheet for the materials needed to build a house this would be an extremely long course. Most of what we need to cover we can cover in terms of the work, the labor, the people. There will be some materials related things but I’m going to do them in a fairly general way so as not to really make this a hugely long and complicated case study. So the emphasis is on work resource and we’ll only use material resource where there are specific things related to materials that I need to cover. So during the course, we’re going to refer back to this building project from time to time to demonstrate many of the advanced features of Project 2013. But your first exercise, which in some ways might well be the trickiest one, is to put together a schedule for building three of these houses. We’re going to call the houses rather imaginatively A, B, and C. They’re all going to have the same plan, the same schedule with the same time estimates. They are going to share a resource pool and there’s also going to be some tasks that the three houses together share. So what you’re going to do in this first exercise is to make five MPP files; a master file, three individual subprojects, one MPP each for house A, B, and C, and a shared resource pool using the resource sheet that’s in example-01. In fact the Gantt Chart, the tasks, in example-01 are the basis for house builds A, B, and C. Now in the master project there are two tasks that have to take place before we start work on any of the three houses. Now generally speaking, there would be more than that but I just want to illustrate the point. So we’re going to have an insurances task when we arrange all the relevant insurances and a permit or permits task where we arrange all the relevant building permits. So the master project will have those two tasks and the three subprojects inserted. So that’s it. That’s your first exercise using this case study. Generally speaking we won’t be working on the big master project with the three individual builds in it. We’ll concentrate a lot of the time on the individual builds. But it’s very useful to be able to apply the advanced techniques of Microsoft Project 2013 to consolidated projects. So it’s a very good practice to get used to consolidating projects in this way.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So that’s it. My answer to that is going to be five projects all with the example-02 extension on them. Master project, resource pool, house A, house B, house C. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 5 – Project Priority Video: Setting Priorities between Projects Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. I hope that by now you’ve had a chance to look at example-02, my answer to the first exercise that I set you and that what you produced yourself is pretty much in line with that. Now I’m going to assume that in your previous use and knowledge of Project 2013, you’re familiar with leveling resources. We haven’t assigned resources to our building project yet but when we do, we would certainly find with the specialist skills that we’ve got that some of the people will be in great demand. When you are sharing a resource pool over several projects, it’s a little bit like a large scale version of conflict of priority with tasks in terms of getting at those key resources. In this case, when we’re building three houses and we have maybe one or two people who’ve got key skills the way that we would make sure that the house that we wanted completed first, the one with the highest priority gets first call on those key resources is by assigning project priorities. In this section what I’d like to do is to quickly demonstrate an example of how we can make sure that we can give priority to one of our projects in order to get access to a key resource. So I’m going to use a pretty straightforward example here. I’m just going to use one resource on one task. The key resource is Ruth Tyler who does all the roof tiling. So I’m going to go to house A, and on the roof structure and tile task I’m going to assign as a resource Ruth; make it a 100% task for her. Then I’m going to select house B, go to the same task, and again assign Ruth to that as well. Note already that you can see the indicator there to indicate that Ruth is overallocated. And then let’s go to house C, do exactly the same thing again. And now she’ll be even more overallocated. So what I want to do is to deal with the overallocation of Ruth’s time. Now I could do a level all and I’m assuming that you’re familiar with leveling options. So that you know that in terms of the leveling option, you can control them within a project using the Resource Leveling dialog and you can even specify the leveling order for resolving overallocations. But when you’re dealing with a multi-project situation as you are here with a consolidated project, one thing you can do is to give a priority to a project. So let’s suppose for the moment that we’re in a situation where we’ve got a buyer for house C and we want to get house C finished first. So if I go into

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Project 2013 - Advanced the house C project and click on the Project Tab, Project Information, I can give house C the highest priority. So I could give that a priority of 600. Click on OK and now let’s suppose that the second house I want to get completed is house A. So I’m going to leave house A’s priority at 500. But for house B, that’s the one that I’m least anxious to get finished so I’m going to switch back into house B, go to its Project Tab, Project Information, and I’m going to change its priority down to 400. So B has the lowest priority. Now let me just go back to the master project. So C’s go the highest priority, A the middle priority, B the lowest priority. Let’s go to Resource, click on Level All, and what you’ll see if I just move off to the right here is that Project 2013 has made sure that house C is completed first, house B is last, house A is second. Now obviously if I switch those priorities around again, I can achieve any sequence that I want because there it’s not working within a project to look at priorities only. It’s actually looking at the overall project priorities when you’re dealing with a consolidated project like this one. So I hope that you were already comfortable with setting priorities for leveling resources within Project 2013 within a project. And now you know how to set the priorities between projects in a consolidated project like this one. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 6 – WBS Codes Video: Outline Numbering, Defining WBS Codes, and Renumbering Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In earlier sections we looked at building some houses and we’re going to stick with that overall project in this section, but in this section we’re going to look at WBS codes. WBS stands for Work Breakdown Structure. Now before we actually look at WBS codes, I need to look at something closely associated with WBS codes which is what’s called outline numbering. You’ll be familiar already with the structure of this house building project where we have in the case of this schedule for building one of the houses a structure, summary tasks, within those summary tasks individual tasks, and as you know they could be nested down to several levels of outline. Now what I want to do is to look at the outline numbering which is automatically maintained by Project 2013. So let me just insert a new column here and the column I’m going to insert is outline numbering. Outline number, there we are. As you can see, what Project 2013 has done is to give the first summary task in the schedule an outline number of one and then within that the individual tasks are outline numbered 1.1, 1.2, and you can see how that numbering system just carries on throughout the project. It’s pretty straightforward really. Now these outline numbers whilst in themselves they can be useful, there’s something that some people use to refer to the tasks in a project, particularly where you have repetitive projects. So maybe you build houses a lot. You can’t really just refer to a task as frame because you may have several tasks called frame associated not only with a single project but also if you’ve got many projects you maybe have loads of tasks called frame. And it’s useful to be able to uniquely identify a task by a code. So if you look at this particular project which I’ve called here for this temporary copy that we’re working on, House Build 02, you could say that this task is House Build 02 code 3.2, outline number 3.2. And it looks as though that would be a way of uniquely identifying that particular task and maybe even that’s potentially the sort of code I could use on an invoice. Supposing I was going to order the material for this frame, I might say on my own order to be used on task House Build 02, frame 3.2. That’s basically a good idea but it has one or two very serious flaws in it.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Let’s deal with the first of these flaws. Let’s suppose I need to change my schedule. Let’s suppose that I’m going to put lockup before frame and a similar thing would happen if I needed to insert a task or a summary task that I’d forgotten. So let me just cut that and let me just go in here and paste it. Watch what happens to the numbering; base is two, frame is three, click on Paste. Now frame has become four and lockup that I cut has become three. So the number one serious flaw in the use of outline numbering in terms of uniquely identifying the tasks in a schedule is that as you move the tasks around or as you insert tasks or delete tasks, the numbering is modified accordingly. And therefore you can’t rely on an outline number staying the same as you work on your schedule. Now apart from the problem of this renumbering as I move tasks around in my schedule I have another issue and that is that this outline numbering system that you see here, although it’s very straightforward, it’s repeated for all projects. So if I have several projects within a master project say within each project, the numbering system will be the same. That’s not necessarily a problem. But it does rather limit how I can indicate individual tasks in that. Although it’s a simple numbering system, it’s really quite a restricted one as well. Now you can create custom fields, custom codes and we’re going to look at custom fields later on in the course. You can actually set up a custom numbering system which largely removes the problems that I’ve just talked about, but there is another system which is already built in to Project 2013 and that’s using the WBS codes or Work Breakdown Structure codes. So first of all, let’s just show the WBS codes in here. So I’m going to do Insert Column again, and then type the little W to take me down to the W’s and I’ll just select WBS. And as you can see the WBS looks exactly the same as the outline numbering system initially. So now let’s actually define our own WBS code. So I’m going to click on the Project Tab and within the Properties Group, there is a WBS button. Click on the dropdown there and the option I have is Define code. So let’s click on Define code and it brings up the WBS code Definition dialog for this particular project. Now although the WBS codes work in a different way to outline codes, in some ways they’re similar and one of the ways in which they’re similar is that the WBS code follows the same outline structure as the whole project and the outline codes. So at the top level, my top level

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Project 2013 - Advanced summary tasks are effectively level one. And then within that, I have level two tasks and within the level two tasks, I have level three tasks and so on. And as I’m defining my WBS code structure, I define a sequence of levels. So the first entry here, the first row, the one that’s currently highlighted is going to be level one, then level two, then level three, and so on. So one thing I need to decide is how many levels I’m going to go for. Now at this stage I’m only going to go for three levels. Another very important aspect of the use of WBS codes is that you have a project code. So apart from codes to identify the individual tasks within a project, you have a code for the overall project. And the project code goes up here in the field that says Project code prefix. Now this is House Build 02 so I’m going to use the extremely unimaginative code prefix of HB02. That’s my project code prefix. And as I type that in and in fact as I add the codes for the other levels, you see a code preview appearing in the control at the top of the dialog. Now the way that I’m going to build this WBS code probably is going to look at bit silly to be honest with you, but I need to demonstrate a few of the features of defining this numbering system. So first of all, at level one I’m going to choose what sort of numbering I want. So I click on this dropdown next to sequence and in this case I’m going to choose Ordered numbers; you’ll see what that means in a moment. I’m going to choose ordered numbers that are three digits long and the separator I’m going to use, the default is a full stop, a point. I’m going to use a slash symbol. Now look at the preview at the top there as I do this. You’ll see HB02. There’s my project prefix and there’s my three numeric digits, 1-1-1. Now let’s go to the second level and on the second level I’m going to have a character. I’m going to use upper case letters ordered. I’m going to say a length of any. That’s fine. And this time I’m going to use the default separator of a full stop. Now again watch how the preview is building up a typical WBS code at the top. And then at the third level, I’m going to go back to numbers again. Again, ordered. I’m going to go for say two numeric digits and that’s it. Now one very important thing I should point out here is that the definition of the WBS codes really isn’t at all random in general. It’s perhaps just worth mentioning that when software to do project management or project scheduling first became available well over 30 years ago now it

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Project 2013 - Advanced was primarily used in government situations and very often in government defense situations. And I think it was the U.S. Department of Defense that initially came up with the standard WBS code definition. Now different governments and different departments around the world have their own WBS codes. These are well-defined and they’re very often used in things like procurement and so on. If you were working on that sort of project and I have actually worked on government projects in the U.K. before, you’re actually told what your WBS codes need to be in order to tie in with the other government systems that you are needing to use. So although I’m showing you now the sort of principles of doing this, if you actually needed WBS codes it’s very likely that you will have been told which WBS codes to work and how to actually setup your WBS code definition. So meanwhile back at our dialog box, having setup the code. Just need to point out to you these two checkboxes near the bottom of the dialog. The first one: Generate WBS code for new task. You can put in WBS codes manually or you can ask Project 2013 to generate the WBS codes for you. And if somebody does decide to enter a WBS code manually, you can also ask Project 2013 to make sure that they haven’t entered a duplicate. And that’s really what this last checkbox is, “Verify uniqueness of new WBS codes.” So between those two checkboxes there, you can have a certain level of manual involvement or not and you can have Project 2013 keep an eye on things or do the numbering for you or not. So having decided on those click on OK and we should see our WBS codes in place. And sure enough there are those pretty complex looking WBS codes. Note how with, for instance, the lettering system it goes up AB, ABCDEF, and so on. Clearly, with a single letter I’d only be able to have 26 items at that level. That’s why I might choose to have two or three letters for those alphabetic characters. But notice also how automatic the numbering system is otherwise. Okay, so let’s just do a little demo of the difference between outline numbers and WBS codes. If you look at the task frame ID 17, WBS code 004, outline number 4. Let’s just move it up above lockup. So all I’m going to do is take that and then just drag it up above lockup, drop it. Note how frame is now outline number three but it’s kept its WBS code. And, of course, lockup is now outline number 4 but it has kept its WBS code as well.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now at this stage, you may be thinking that looks great actually. That’s going to solve the problem. But in fact, it doesn’t because although that part of it looks good, look what happens if I move frame back again. So let’s suppose that I decide hang on, I think frame was better off where it was before. Let me move it back. It doesn’t really matter whether I do this by moving or by cut and paste but let’s just do it by moving. So select frame, move it back to wherever it was before, release, and actually there’s two problems. The first problem is that as you’ll know if you’ve used Project 2013 or indeed earlier versions of Project that when you drop something like that it assumes the indentation level of the task above it. So in this case frame, the top level summary has become 003G which is not what we’d intended at all. And normally what you would do to restore it to its rightful place at the top of the hierarchy is to select the task and promote it. So if I now go to Task and promote it, what do you think will happen? Do you think it will become a four again? It doesn’t become a four at all. It becomes 13. And the reason it becomes 13 is that when you do that, as far as Project 2013’s concerned, you’ve effectively inserted a new top level task. And if I just scroll down to the bottom here and you see that the last top level code that was used was 012, 12, so the newly inserted one as far as Project’s concerned has become 13. So although this seemed to solve the problem, the use of WBS codes does not solve the problem in all situations. And this is why we revert to outline codes, custom outline codes and that’s what we’re going to look at later in the course. Now that’s almost it as far as WBS codes are concerned, but I’ve got one other little thing to point out. If you click on Project and go back to WBS, there is another option here which is Renumber. If you click on Renumber, you can renumber all your WBS codes. So if you haven’t used them elsewhere and so you haven’t got sort of connections to the outside world. You’ve got a project.

You just want to start the whole thing off again.

You’re happy with the

definitions. You just want to renumber everything. So here we’ve done this. We’ve moved frame round and we’ve messed it up. We’ve got 13. You can either renumber for selected tasks or the entire project. Let’s say entire project. Click on OK. You get a confirmation warning and then it’s renumbered and everything basically in terms of sequencing and renumbering agrees with the outline numbers and you can carry on from that point. That’s it on WBS codes. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 7 – Costs Video: Costs Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section I’m going to start to look at costs in detail. I’m going to assume as usual that you’ve got a good basic knowledge of costs and I’m going to concentrate on some of the more advanced aspects of costs. Now in this section and the next one, I’m really going to concentrate on setting costs up and understanding what the options are. Reporting and in particular the new style of reporting in Project 2013 will have to wait for a later section of the course. Now in explaining some of the more advanced aspects of costs, I could probably occupy the whole of the rest of this course because there’s actually quite a bit to it. So I’m going to concentrate on the costs associated with the work resources. So primarily in the example we’re going to use this is going to be the cost associated with people. Having said that, almost all of the aspects we need to cover will be covered as part of that. And then right at the end of this part of the course, I’ll look at some specific things relating to materials. So I’m going to go back to our website development project which is primarily about people. There’s very little in the way of materials associated with this sort of thing. And then when we need to look at materials, we’ll look back at our building project again. Now for the purposes of this and the next section, I’ve rescheduled the whole of the web development project to have started in February of 2013. So we’re a little bit along the way now but so far, I haven’t actually assigned any resources to this project at all and we’ve actually got no cost setup at all at the moment. So we’re pretty much starting from scratch from the point of view of costs. Now let me look at a couple of basic aspects of cost that we’re going to need available to us in this section.

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Project 2013 - Advanced First of all, I’m looking at the Gantt Chart for this project now. I’m going to change the table. Currently, I have the default entry table selected. I’m going to choose the cost table and let’s just talk very briefly about the cost table. Now the cost table contains basic information. As with any other table, I can customize it. I can insert and hide columns at will. But basically it has for each task a fixed cost column. It has a fixed cost accrual column. It has a total cost column. And then we have baseline, variance, actual, and remaining.

Now of course the last ones here, baseline, variance, actual, and

remaining will only start to occupied when we actually put some costs in. And then as we track progress as the project progresses, we’ll see what the actual costs have been so far. We’ll be able to look at the variance against the baseline at whatever point we decide to save the baseline and we’ll be able to look at what the remaining costs are. But the first thing I want to look at are the first two columns here: fixed cost and fixed cost accrual. Now in general the costs associated with a project can come from all sorts of directions and take many forms and it’s usually very important to make sure that you keep good track of all of the costs. Most of the costs for most projects are a result of using up resources, either material resources that basically do get consumed or work resources, people that are working on the project, maybe external contractors and so on. But you also have to have quite a lot of flexibility when dealing with costs and I want to look at this first example of a fixed task cost. Fixed task costs can happen in a number of ways and I want to look at one or two of those now. One way in which a fixed task cost can be incurred, let’s take an example, that ID 2 tendering process contract. I might get somebody else basically to do the whole of that task. I’m not really worried about what resources they use as long as they don’t use resources that I need. If they say to me I will get the tendering process underway. I’ll receive the tenders. I’ll give you a short list. I’ll interview the potential suppliers, etc. The total cost of X, that’s a single task. I don’t need to worry about the detail. I could just put in a fixed task cost for that task into my project schedule and therefore the cost will be involved within my project without me being involved in the detail at all. And that’s a perfectly viable and feasible way of going about a task like that from a cost point of view. But usually things are a bit more complicated. And with a task like that, we may more be in the situation of saying I’ve actually got to get some of my team involved in that tendering process

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Project 2013 - Advanced and awarding that contract. I can’t really just farm the whole job off to somebody else. But there will be a fixed aspect of the cost. So I’m going to assign some resources but I’m going to need to get some tender documentation prepared, for example. I need to get somebody to prepare the tender documentation based on information I give them, probably prepare it in a company standard format, make up packs, and then basically contact potential suppliers and say “Would you like a tender pack?” and when they’ve got their tender pack deal with the response and so on. And at least line the tenders up in front of me so that I can start to look at them and decide who to short list. Now if a task like that has a fixed cost element, then all I need to do is to put that fixed cost element in here. So let’s suppose that I’ve spoken to one of my colleagues and said, “How much will it cost to get this tendering process to the stage that all of the documents are prepared on the basis of information that I’ve given you?”

And then basically you’ve issued the tender

documents to the people that are interested. You’ve received the documents. You’ve maybe filed them all away somewhere, possibly electronically, and you’re going to present them to me so that I can start to look at them and try to start to produce a short list of potential suppliers. So let’s suppose that I’ve told that the cost of doing that is going to be $2,000. All I need to do is to type 2,000 in there as my fixed cost, and that’s the first cost on this particular project. Now I cannot overemphasize the fact that there are always different ways of doing these things. That’s one way of dealing with this particular situation. I tend to try to keep things pretty simple myself. So if I’ve got a fixed price for getting a job done, I tend to put it in as a fixed task cost in just the way that I’ve done it there. I could, of course, have made the tendering team a resource and I could have assigned a fixed cost to that resource and assigned that resource to this task instead. I think that would have been overcomplicating this one, but depending on the specific situation you’re in, you have a number of ways of approaching this kind of cost issue in Project 2013 and you really need to decide on the best one to suit the circumstances that you’re in. Now let’s look at the accrual method for this particular fixed task cost. Now accrual is something that many project managers using Microsoft Project would never really come across because very often they’re dealing with internal projects where money doesn’t necessarily change hands. But if you’re dealing with projects where money does change

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Project 2013 - Advanced hands or at least where cash flow is important, getting the accrual method right for each of your tasks is very important. Now if we take the particular fixed cost I’ve just assigned, am I going to pay that up front? Am I going to pay it at the end? Or am I going to pay it throughout the life of that particular task? A period of about three months, by the way. Now you might think it doesn’t really matter. I generally think that it does. Partly because if you for example left it at the default there of prorated but in fact you had to pay the money up front, so I had to hand over the $2,000, even if it was to a department in my own company, I would seem to have spend $2,000 at the beginning of February and then be constantly overspent for the next three months because I would only be accruing that cost over the life of that task and I would appear to have spent $2,000 up front and then be constantly behind as far as cost is concerned. Now if I’ve been told that I need to hand over that $2,000 up front, then as far as accrual goes I ought to change that there to say Accrue at the start. And then even if actual money doesn’t change hands, I know that as far as the budget and cost control on my project’s concerned, I have correctly said that that $2,000 is actually accrued at the start of the task. And if money does change hands, it’ll just be a budgeted planned scheduled expenditure of $2,000. So that’s a little reminder about accruals. I’m going to assume that you understand the principles of accruals. Just let’s go to Project Options though, one little thing there that you may have either forgotten about or maybe never even seen. If you go to the Schedule Page there, one of the options if we move down the page there is right at the bottom: Default fixed cost accrual. That defaults to prorated when you install Project 2013. If you tend to always have fixed cost accruals at the start or at the end, you can change that default there. There’s just one other thing to quickly cover here and this is more of a little tip really. And that is if you do something like this where you put in a fixed task cost like this $2,000 I find particularly with very complex projects or ones which have a number of people interested in the schedule of, it’s a good idea to put a note in to where this figure came from, what this $2,000 represents. So what I would normally do in this situation is maybe just open up the task information, go to the Notes field, and put in a suitable note here. So what I’ve put there is, “$2,000 fixed cost has been provided by Trevor in the Contracts Department and covers preparation of ITTs distribution and initial processing of responses, as well as associated discussions and costs.” Now not only could that inform somebody else working on the project of

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Project 2013 - Advanced where that figure came from but in a few months time when I’ve forgotten, it’ll remind me as well. So click on OK and that’s a useful reminder note. Okay, that’s how you setup a fixed task cost and a quick resume of accruals. In the next section we’re going to look at budget costs and then we’re going to move on to actually assigning resources to the tasks in this project and trying to get a proper budget for the whole project. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Budget Costs Toby: Welcome back to this course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section we’re going to look at budget costs and in fact including in that I’m going to look at budgeting in general in Project 2013. I hope it’s something you’ve come across before but I do find it is one area of 2013 where people do get quite confused about what it means and what the relationship is between a budget and a baseline and actuals and so on. During this and the next few sections, I hope to explain all that more fully to you and to add a lot of details to things you may have used before. Now the first thing to understand is that a budget has nothing to do with tracking actual costs, even scheduled costs or scheduled assignments or scheduled use of resources and so on. A budget is purely a set of numbers that is, if you like, your best guess. It may be your budget in the sense of being a limit either to the amount of money you have or the amount of resources you can use. But basically it’s usually there because you’ve been required either at the start of a project or even before a project begins to come up with a budget for the project. Now one thing you can do in Project 2013 is to setup a budget with various components very easily and then you can track your progress against that budget along with your progress against things like your baseline. So first of all, let’s setup a budget for this pretty straightforward project. Now I must admit to an element of cheating here because normally if I were required to do a budget for a project, it would be even before I’d done this level of detail planning. Even here, although I’ve got a lot more breakdown of these tasks and more investigation of resources and so on to go into, I’ve already got a pretty good idea of what this projects going to cost. So I want you to sort of cast your mind back a few months before I had even this Gantt Chart and my bosses said to me, “We’re thinking of putting together a new website and we’re going to be able to do this on it and this on it and this on it and give me a long list of what we might be able to do. And we want it to work like this and we want it to work like this and we want it to be able to take this many visitors and do this amount of business online on it and so on.” And then he might say to me, “Can you give me some idea Toby of what that’s going to cost? Come up with a budget for the whole project.”

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Project 2013 - Advanced So I know that in order to do this we’re going to need to get some specialist help from outside. We’ve got a web development company and we’ve got some business consultants who can help us with these jobs. We’re going to do a certain amount of the work in house. We’re going to be able to do quite a lot of the testing. We’ll even be able to do some of the development work. But mainly we’ll be working on requirements and elements of design. So I go away. I look at the last website development project we did. I look at how much complex this one is, but on the other hand how much more we’ve learned and I come up with some figures and say, “Well, based on past experience and based on what I think is involved here, I think we’re going to need about 900 hours of our own time, in house work. So that’s roughly 100 days, a bit over 100 days of work for internal resources. And I’d say probably about the same amount of time from external resources. Say about 900 hours of external resources, consultants, web developers, and so on.” I’ll also look at the likely costs. Now let’s assume that we’ve got all the computer equipment we need to do the development. We may need to buy the odd bit here and there. We may need a little bit more hardware to do some testing on. But apart from that we’ve got very little in the way of additional costs. Graphical resources and branding work for example is being done either by our own people or by agencies. So from a point of view of direct material use, we’re talking about pretty small amount. I mentioned earlier in the course about the tendering process and paying for the materials to be prepared on that. But let’s suppose that I think, well, let’s allow $5,000. Let’s say that just for budget costs apart from resources, of course let’s allow another $5,000, and that’s the figure I’m going to put into my budget. So first of all let me setup my budget work resources. I go to the resource sheet and on there I’m going to add a resource. I’m going to add what I’m going to call Internal Resource and it defaults to a type of work. I’m going to call that Internal and then open that up and mark it as a budget resource. Click on OK. And then add, so that’s two budget work resources to begin with. Now I’m going to add a third resource. I’m going to call this Budget Cost. It’s really unclear at this stage what I’m including in that and, of course, it is unclear. I’ve come up with a figure there really based on a couple of guesses and a little bit of conservative estimation. Very often budget costs will be based on previous experience with similar projects. But I’m going to say

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Project 2013 - Advanced budget cost. I’m going to change the type of that to cost and I’m going to call that just Budget. And then I’m going to open that up and make that budget as well. Click on OK. So they’re my three budget resources set up. Now these are budget resources so they cannot be allocated to individual tasks within my project. I have to assign them to the project summary task. So I go to the Gantt Chart and click on the Format Tab to locate the checkbox where I can enable the project summary task. Once the project summary task is enabled, right click on that, click on Assign Resources, and I’m now going to assign those three budget resources. Now at the point of assigning budget resources, you cannot enter the number of units. You can only assign the resource to the project summary task. So I’m going to select budget cost and external resource and internal resource and click on assign. All three of those are now assigned. You can see the tick there but obviously no figures at all. Close. Now what I need to do is to actually put the amounts in and in order to put the amounts in, I need a different view and I need to go to either Task Usage or Resource Usage View and I’m going to go to Task Usage View. Now you can start to see here the reason for needing this view because when you go into Task Usage View, for each task in the project you have listed underneath it the resources. In the case of the project summary task, they are the three resources: Internal Resource, External Resource, and Budget Cost. Now I’m just going to move this dividing line over here because what I need to do now is to show two fields that aren’t normally shown. So in here I’m going to insert column. The column I’m going to insert is Budget Cost which is there, and then here I’m going to insert another column which is Budget Work. These are the columns that I use to enter the figures that I’ve already estimated. So in Internal Resource I put my 900 hours in there. So I just type 900. In External Resource, I put 900 and in Budget Cost I put 5,000. And now you can see against the project summary task my budget figures. My budget for this project is $5,000 of cost and 1,800 hours of work. Now I need to explain one small thing here and that’s the number you can see here, 1,710.4 hours. I mentioned earlier on that generally speaking I’d being doing this budgeting much earlier on in the life of a project, before I’d drawn out a Gantt Chart with any level of detail in it. And

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Project 2013 - Advanced having drawn that Gantt Chart out and estimated the amount of work needed to complete this project, as you can see I’ve already effectively got a work figure. But this work figure which is just below my budget work figure, this work figure is actually the scheduled amount of work. So that’s my work scheduled figure. That’s my budget work figure. So far I haven’t got a baseline work figure so I haven’t taken my schedule and said, “That’s the one I’m working to. That’s my baseline.” And I haven’t got any actual work figures at all yet. So the four sets of figures, budget, baseline, scheduled, and actual are starting to take shape and later on in the course when we get to the tracking and entering of actuals and so on, we’ll be able to do a more complete comparison. At the moment, we’ve just setup the budget. Okay, so that’s the basics of my project budget. Now I’m going to come back to that a little bit later on when we come to reviewing progress. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Cost Rates Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the last couple of sections we’ve been looking at costs, and in this section we’re going to continue with that and we’re specifically in this section going to start to look at the cost of using the resources, the people resources, on the web development project. Now I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with basically assigning resources and doing cost calculations. What I’ve done here is to take the web development schedule, just fill it out a little bit, be a little bit more specific about the proportion of the various resources time spends on it. At the moment, the situation we’re in is that the project started back earlier in 2013 and we’re scheduled to go live at the end of January 2014. Now ideally, we’d like to bring that date forward and get the new website up and running before Christmas 2013, but that’s a little issue for later on. For the moment, let’s look at some of the specific and more advanced cost issues that come up in Project 2013. Now the first thing to point out is that the way that the costing of work resources actually operates varies greatly depending on your situation. If you’re using internal work resources, people that work for the same company as you, for example, you may not even have to include the cost of those resources in your projects. But I’m going to assume for the purposes of this that we want a pretty comprehensive cost for this project. So all of the employees I’m going to put an hourly rate in. Many companies actually cross charge for hourly rates and so on and therefore we get not only an accurate figure for the cost of the project but in some cases we can actually have each department within a company having to do its own account, so to sell the time of its staff to other departments in order to justify its own existence. So let’s take the various people that work for the company and put in their hourly rate. So let’s start with Mark Ravenswood. His hourly rate is just $35 an hour. Sally Danvers a little bit more. It’s 40. Lorraine is also on 40. Adrian, he’s their real sort of techie guy. He would normally be charged out at a rate of $50 per hour internally, and then Toby is another person who’s on 40 as well. So that’s the rates for the internal people. Now you probably notice that for several of the tasks in this project the resource that was allocated with Northern Farm Foods and that’s basically a generic resource. And what I would

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Project 2013 - Advanced normally do is allocate a generic resource. I may have more than one generic resource in a project, to indicate that I know that I need somebody to do a piece of work. I may even know something about the type of person it is, but I’m not actually allocating an individual yet. Now when we use generic resources you can either do it informally just by having a sort of alias name there. So you might just say plumber or something like that. But you might also set this up formally as a generic resource. Generic resources I think were introduced originally in relation to Microsoft Project Server but you can use them if you’re not using Project Server and it’s quite handy because you can easily recognize generic resources, as you’ll see. So if I go into Northern Farm Foods and say this is a generic resource, click on OK, then you see that little double head there that indicates that this is a generic resource, and to make sure that my costing is as accurate as I can be, bearing in mind that depending on who I assign I may have a greater or higher cost. Let’s put in a generic resource rate of, say, $35 an hour just to give us a working figure for the cost of those resources. Now that leaves me with my two external companies, they are Bakersfield Associates and People4People.

And what I’m going to demonstrate with both of those is another rather

specialized cost situation and that is one where you basically have a table of costs from a supplier and the cost of a particular resource will depend on the kind of skills that you want. So let’s start with Bakersfield Associates. They do quite a lot of the graphics work for us, design work, and so on and can also help on the business analysis side as well. Now the basic work that they do is very much graphics, marketing, etc. But they can also supply very specialized skills, particularly in the areas of business analysis and particularly in the area of things like brand management and brand development and so on. Now if I go into their resource information and go to the cost table, bearing in mind this is an external organization, I’m going to say that their standard rate is $60 per hour for their default A rate; what Microsoft Project calls the default rate, the A rate, and they also work for an overtime rate of $100 per hour. But they then have some higher rates where you go for much more specialized skills. So for their B rate, which is really the rate that’s applied for the highly skilled specialists people that would do things like run a marketing campaign or do a new branding exercise and so on. You’re talking about a rate then of a basic rate of $100 an hour and an overtime rate of $150 an hour.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now in some situations when you’re dealing particularly with external organizations, there may be a per use cost as well. So it may be that every time you get one of these people to do a few days work for you, you have a per use cost as well. But in this case that’s not the case. Now as usual we have the important subject of accrual. When you’re dealing with the short term tasks, even when you’re dealing with one company that’s performing several short term tasks over a period of time, they may bill you on a monthly basis. They may bill you at the end. They may even bill at the start of the work that they’re doing. And how you actually accrue that in your accounts is very much dependent on how you go about maintaining your project accounts. But I’m going to say that for Bakersfield, just to demonstrate, that we’re going to accrue their costs at the end of each of the tasks that their resources are involved in. So I’m going to change cost accrual there for Bakersfield to End. So that’s it in terms of setting up the details for the costing for Bakersfield. Click on OK and they’re now in place. Now I’m going to go in and do a similar job for People4People. I’ll do that. I’ll join you again in just a moment. Okay, I’ve setup the cost for People4People as well. Interestingly, People4People managed to get away with charging an administrative cost per use of their resources working on other people’s projects. So every time you use somebody from People4People on a task on your project, you pay a $50 administrative charge. And there we are. Now let’s look at how all of this affects the costs of this project. Let’s go to the Project Tab, look at Project Information, have a look at the statistics, and we’re starting to get a much more realistic picture now because as we can see based on things as they are at the moment our cost is just over $80,000. So remember that figure of $80,867.50 because it’s going to vary quite a bit over the next few sections as we do various pieces of work on the project. The other thing to notice here is that currently we have 1,888 hours of work scheduled. My budget figure was 1,800 hours. Now I mentioned to you a little while ago that what I really want to do on this project is get it back so that it finishes before the end of this calendar year. So I’m now looking at the Gantt Chart and saying, “Well, really what I’d like to do is to save some time somewhere.” The most obvious long expansive time is in the area of testing. And although I don’t like to cut things

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Project 2013 - Advanced short when it comes to testing, I’ve probably got an opportunity there to use some additional resources. Now I’ve got two main tasks. I’ve got test scripting. Test scripting is really quite a challenging task because it involves people knowing quite a bit about the system that’s been put together and about how to test systems and software, as well as somebody who’s prepared to work in a team with the testers to make sure that everything works well and that quick progress is made. However, it’s quite possible that I can get some help from an external source to help me to do that scripting. I’ll come back to that in just a moment. The next task, testing, though is probably one where I’m much more likely to be able to get help. When it comes to testing new systems and software, there’s actually quite a strong argument in favor of not having somebody with too much knowledge of the system being tested. What you want people to do is to take a good script, be very methodical, and very thorough, but basically be driven by the script rather than what they think might or should be happening. So what I’m going to do in the first instance is to get somebody from Bakersfield to help me with the testing. I’ve phoned the boss and he said, “Okay. Yes, I can certainly give you some help with the testing” and it would be one of the members of our team who works at our basic A rate in terms of the costs. So what I’m going to do is to assign somebody from Bakersfield to help with the testing. Now when you assign a resource using their default cost rate, it’s just a regular assignment. So if I right click on Testing, go into Assign Resources. Note how in the Assign Resources dialog now I can see the costs of the assignment of the generic Northern Farm Foods resource to this task, $11,200, and the cost of assigning Toby Arnott to this task, $12,800. I’m now going to assign Bakersfield Associates. They’ve committed to a 40% assignment. So I’m going to assign that. Watch what happens to the duration against testing as I assign this. Of course, this is effort driven so it’s gone down to 66 and 2/3 days. Click on Close and now the go live date for the website is 16th of December. Now that’s probably still cutting it a little bit fine for Christmas. I may want to trim a bit more off that, but it has achieved what I wanted it to achieve. Now it will also, of course, mean that there is now more cost and as a simple way of seeing that if I go back into Assign Resources again you can see that the majority of the cost now is down to

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Project 2013 - Advanced Bakersfield Associates. Bear in mind that because the task is shorter but Toby is still only 25% assigned, Northern Farm Foods is only 40% assigned. Each of those is actually going to be working on the project for less time. So just to show you one pretty quick and effective way of doing that I’m going to use a B cost rated Bakersfield resource on test scripting. They’re just going to work on it for 20% of their time. So it’s going to be a relatively short and small assignment, probably just help me with a couple of the more important scripts. So if I go into Assign Resource in the usual way, I’m going to assign Bakersfield and I’m going to make it a 20% assignment. By default, it will pick up the A rate. Close this. As you can see it shortened the duration of that task. Now I’m going to go into Task Usage View and I’m going to look at that test script task. On the Bakersfield Associates assignment, if I double click there it brings up the assignment information box and if I go down to the bottom of the General Tab, it lets me choose the cost rate table. So I can change the cost rate table there from A to B. Click on OK and I’ve now got the Bakersfield person assigned at the higher rate. So I’ve pulled my project back to finish this year which is great. Let’s see what that’s done to these costs. Let’s go into the project costs again and the project costs unfortunately have gone up a little bit. They were standing at 80,867. They’ve gone right up to 89,000 which is not good news. But I have saved a month, well, a month and a half really, and I haven’t yet declared a baseline. Now in the next section I’m going to save a baseline and then we’re going to start working on this basis and we’re going to look at some of the other more advanced changes and issues that might arise. Now just before we do that, I’m looking at Task Usage View now. If you do a lot of work over a period of time with resources, external resources and so on, and you need to deal with cost rates which a lot of people if they have any cost rate issues at all tend to have quite a lot of them. One of the columns that’s available to you is a cost rate table column and with whatever resources you’re using, note you can have cost rates for internal resources as well as external resources. It’s quite useful sometimes to bring that up and then you can just if you’re going through checking or correcting cost rates, you can quickly go through and change those using that column.

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Project 2013 - Advanced That’s really pretty much all the work I’m going to do on this schedule for now. At the beginning of the next section, we’re going to save a baseline; I assume you’re familiar with that. And then we’re going to start to track progress. And as I said just now we’re going to start to look at some of the other issues that might arise in relation to work and cost during the life of a typical project. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

© Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Cost Rate Changes Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we used cost rate tables and we reassigned some resources in order to come up with a schedule for the development of the new NFF website to be completed during the year 2013. Now what we’re going to do in this section, first of all, is to save our project as it currently stands in the form of a first baseline. Then I’m going to do a little bit of progress tracking. These are both things that I assume you’re familiar with doing. And then we’re going to introduce some cost rate changes, a typical thing to happen during the life of a project. We’re going to find that some of our work resources are going to become more expensive. So let’s get started. So this is the schedule for the web development as it stood at the end of the last section. I’ve done some minutely small tweaks just to tidy one or two things up, but fundamentally it’s the same. So now we’re going to save our baseline. So we go to the Project Tab. We go to Set Baseline and we’re going to set the baseline for the entire project. Now again, I assume you’re familiar with doing this. I’m not going to go through all of this again. Click on OK and we’ll save our baseline. So let’s again have a look at the figures for this project as they stand. So still on the Project Tab, go to the Project Information, into Statistics. The figures are rounded off a little bit more now. You can see our current costs running at 1,888 hours, cost of $89,480. Baseline obviously at the moment is the same. I haven’t recorded any actuals at all yet, and the next thing we’re going to do is to record some actuals. Okay, what I’m going to say is that given that the project started at the beginning of February, let’s say that up until the end of March everything was going to schedule. So I can do a status update for the last working day of March. So I’m going to set my status date to the last working day in March 2013. That’s set at Friday 29th. That’s my status date. Now I’m going to go in and basically do a status update. Update project and I’m going to say that as of that status date everything is exactly as it should be for the whole project. So click on OK and I’ve got some progress marked now. And then let’s go back into the Project Information again, back into Statistics, and there we are. We’re starting to get some actuals recorded. We’ve got an idea of how progress is going. © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 - Advanced Now in the previous section we looked at the use of cost rate tables and in this section we’re now going to look at what happens if we find that a cost rate is going to vary for some reason. Now cost rates can vary for all sorts of reasons. Apart from the fact that you can have different cost rates anyway, a particular cost rate may vary seasonally, for example. You may find that a cost rate is higher during the summer than in the winter or vice versa. But most often the reason that cost rates change, of course, is that they increase over time. So let’s assume that the boss of Bakersfield Associates has told me that from the 1st of August cost rates for all of their staff are going to increase. So what I now need to do is to go into Bakersfield’s resource information and record that increase and see what impact it has on the cost of my project. Now this is one of those situations where you need to be aware of the use of a shared resource pool. If I’m one of the project managers working on this project and I’ve got the resource pool open read-only, I’m not going to be able to make any permanent changes to the resource pool and I certainly don’t want to upset what anybody else is doing, so you need an element of organization here. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to go in and make this change for the Bakersfield Associates cost rates but I’m going to do it by shutting down this project and opening up the resource pool when nobody else is using it, Read/Write, making the change that I need to make, and then making that resource pool available to everybody else. Now I’m not going to go through all of that now with you but that’s by way of reminding you that when you’re using a shared resource pool any changes to the resources, you need to be careful how you make them. You need to make sure that they don’t compromise what anybody else is doing. Okay, I’ve opened the resource pool Read/Write. I’m going to go into Bakersfield Associates, into their resource information. In the costs, of course, we’ve got their A cost rate, 60 and 100 on overtime. The B cost rate is 100 and 150 on overtime. So we’re going to increase those cost rates now. They’re going from the 1st of August this year. So from the 1st of August this year the standard rate is going up to 65 and the overtime rate is going to 110; still no cost per use, still prorated. And then the B rate, again from the same date, August 1st, the 100 is going to 110 and the 150 is going to 165. So that’s changed their rate with an effective date, click on OK. Now I’m going to save that change and look back at the project to see what that’s done to the costs on this project.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Okay, I’m back into the master project. Let’s go to Project Information, back to the Statistics, and of course this just proves that you don’t have to have a project running behind schedule for it be running over budget because our current costs have increased by almost $2,000 actually. And our baseline cost there 89,480, the current cost 91,406, and that’s purely because of an increase in the rate for one of our resources. Okay, so I’ve just done another status update to the end of April. Everything’s been going really well. Everything is running wonderfully according to schedule so I’m really pretty happy about how well all of that is going. But I’ve just had another piece of news and the other piece of news is that People4People, the other supplier that we use, are also going to put up their rates and they’re going to put up their rates by a flat 5%, so 5% across the board for all of their resources from September 1st. So now I need to go in and put in an increase for People4People. Okay, for People4People we only have an A rate.

The effective date for this change is

September 1st so I’m actually going to put September 1st even though that’s a Sunday. When you’re putting in this kind of change, bear in mind that even if you think something’s not a working day and you might say, “Well, I ought to do it from the Monday.” Supposing the calendar on the project changes, maybe you have to get people in to work at a weekend or something. You should always keep as close as you can to the date that something’s officially, legally supposed to happen. So 1st of September, that’s the date it’s going to be even though it’s a Sunday. When it comes to doing percentage increases, you don’t have to calculate what they are. In Project 2013, if you just put plus in this case 5% and then just click away or click on OK, it actually does that calculation for you which is pretty useful if you need to go through and do and quite a few of those; you don’t have to get your calculator out to work it all out. And there are our new rates. That will again cause an overall increase in cost for the project. So I’m going to click on OK. I’m going to save that one. As you can see, the cost of this project is going up even though it’s running wonderfully to schedule. Now this web development project is taking shape. We’ve started to record some actuals. We’ve looked at things like cost rates and cost rate changes and so on. And we’re going to come back to this and look at the various reports that we can use to report on progress on the project. We’re going to do some more recording of progress and we’re going to look at things like earned value analysis a little bit later on. Before we do that, we’ve got a couple of things to look at in

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Project 2013 - Advanced relation to materials. Before we do that, I’m going to set you your next exercise to do. So we’re going to return to building houses and I’m going to set you a reasonably complex exercise to do just on one single house build. Now one of the issues when we get to an advanced course on Microsoft Project is that the examples themselves have to get a little bit more complicated and it’s probably much more important that you’re prepared to sort of pick up some of these partway through by using the files that are provided as part of the course to make sure that you keep in line with what I’m doing. Having said that, of course the problem is that I’m recording this at a certain time. I’m recording this during the month of June in 2013 and you may be looking at this a year or two later. So in terms of time scales, that very often presents its own problems. But for the moment, I’m going to try to keep this as straight down the line as possible and as possible as it can be for you to follow exactly what I’m doing. So what I want you to do is, this is the schedule for House Build A and we’re actually looking at the resource sheet at the moment. The first thing I want you to do is to give all of the resources a rate. Now the way the rate works is this, the cost of the laborers is $30 per hour. There are two of those at the beginning. So they are 30. Each named specialist like a tiler, an electrician, a plumber or a carpenter, their rate is $40 an hour. And then the special specialist, if you like, the master builder, the inspector, and the contract cleaner, their rate is $50 an hour. So you’ve got 30 for the laborers, 50 for those three special work resources, and then everybody else is on 40, so that’s the electrician, the plumber, and so on. So that’s the first part of this exercise. Now the second part of this exercise is to go through and assign one resource to each task. The rules for assigning the resources are these; basically each task gets a laborer unless the task identifies a special skill. So for instance, a task that says “Plumbing and services” I want you to give that to the plumber. A task that says “First fix electrics”, that gets to an electrician. If there’s a choice of people with a particular qualification or skill, you just choose whichever one that you want to choose. It doesn’t really matter. And don’t forget you may have special cases like, for instance, right down at the end here we’ve got an inspection task. That’s going to be the inspector. There may be people like the cleaner that finish up with no tasks at all. But they’re the basic rules. Don’t worry about the master builder at this stage. We’ll look at the master builder maybe a little bit later on. So go through and put all of your resources on.

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Project 2013 - Advanced The third task is to save what you’ve got there as your baseline. Now this is the first occasion really when whether you’re going to agree exactly with me is very questionable because depending on things like public holidays, depending on your locale, etc. you may find that you finish up with a different duration. You may well start with a different start date and a different finish date to me and you may want to use your own local currency. But whatever way you do it if you look at the example that I’ve provided, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the total cost should be, bearing in mind we’re looking at work cost. We’re looking at the labor costs here. We’re not looking at materials at this stage. So we’re only talking about the labor to build this house. And then for the fourth part of this exercise, I want you to go and set a 5% cost increase for the named resources in the resource sheet. So that’s Ruth Tyler, Gus Pipe, Lou Menns, Hazel Wood, the people with names are going to get a 5% cost increase from September the 1st this year. Now again if you’re working from a different start date, make it about three months from the date that you’re doing this. So roughly three months from the start of the project, then you’re going to have a cost increase of 5% on the named resources. So if you take something like Lou Menns, he’s one of the electricians. He’s getting a 5% increase whereas the unnamed Electrician 1 is not getting a 5% increase. You’re going to start from example-03 which has got all this. It’s not a separate resource pool. Example-03 uses its own resources and my answer to this is example-04. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

© Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Variable Material Costs Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. So far while we’ve been looking at costs, we’ve been concentrating on work resources and I’ve mentioned once or twice already earlier in the course that we’ll only spend a little bit of time on material resources because most of the concepts and tools and techniques that you need are covered by what we’ve done on work resources. But there are one or two specific things I’d like to cover now in relation to materials and we’re going to do that in this fairly short section with a very simple task from a building project. Now the task that we’re looking at is called, this is U.K. terminology, the footings of a building. Now this is basically putting in what most people call the foundations. It’s actually a little bit more specific and complex than that but for the purposes of this exercise, what we mean is we’re going to dig a hole in the ground and then we’re going to pour some concrete into it. So just think of it as putting some concrete into a big hole. Now obviously, there’ll be labor involved in doing that but I’m not going to look at the labor, the work resources in this section. I’m just going to look at the materials and equipment that we’re going to use. Now the material we’re going to use is mainly concrete and I’ll come back to concrete in a moment. But we’re also going to use some equipment. We’re going to use a pump. Now a pump is an interesting kind of piece of equipment because in some ways you could think of it as material, as plant. You could even think of it as a cost of the project. But for the purposes of this exercise, we’re going to regard it as a material just to show that you can. We’re also going to have as a material the fuel for the pump. Now the fuel for the pump is definitely a material. It’s definitely something that we actually consume. So let’s look at the resource sheet where we need to have setup concrete, the pump, and the fuel. So let’s start with the concrete. The concrete is a material and the units in which we buy or use concrete are cubic yards and the cost of a cubic yard is $80. Next we have the pump. Now you may wonder what a pump is being used for here. When you’re digging in foundations, you quite often have water or at least dampness in the area underneath where you’re putting a building. Of course, the building itself will be protected by whatever damp-proofing membrane or other © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 - Advanced mechanism we’re putting in place. But while the work is going on, and particularly if the weather is bad, we may well need a pump to pump out water from the hole we’re going to fill with concrete. Now in this case, we’re going to get this pump from a plant rental company and they charge us by the hour for its use. Now the rate per hour is $3 and I’m going to make the material there hour use. You may know this already but you can’t use something like an hour, a standard time unit as the value for material for a material type resource. You have to use a term other than say hour or day, so I’m going to use that hour use. In addition with the pump, there is a delivery charge and collection charge for the pump. So they charge us also $30 to deliver and collect the pump when we’ve finished using it. Now the fuel for the pump is sold in liters and the pump uses roughly one liter of fuel per hour. The cost of a liter of the fuel that the pump uses is $1. There are our resources. So let’s see what the cost of this task is from the point of view of these material resources. Let’s go back to this now Task Usage View and let’s assign the first resource. Now the first resource we’re going to assign is going to be the concrete and we’re going to need four cubic yards. So I can either use the rollers or put four in there, assign. I’m showing both work and cost columns there in the table. So the cost of the concrete is $320. Now let’s look at the cost of the fuel for the pump and the pump. This is where you need to set this up in a slightly different way to the way that you’d normally setup material resources. The pump we are going to use one unit of per hour. Now our units are hours of use so we’re going to use one of those per hour. Now if I was being charged this for a day, I would put one, slash, D. But it’s one unit per hour so click on Assign and that is $150. Now just think how that’s worked out. We’re using this for five days. That’s 40 hours of use. It’s $3 per hour, so that’s $120. And then it’s $30 for the delivery and collection charge, hence the cost of the pump there $150. I get the feeling it might soon be cheaper to buy one, but never mind. Now let’s look at the fuel for the pump and we’re going to use one unit of fuel per hour. So that’s one, slash, H. Now let’s assign that. Of course, there’s no cost per use with the fuel for the pump so that is just $40 for 40 hours of use, 40 liters of fuel for the pump. So the total cost of those three per materials in that footings task is $510.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So now what I want you to do is to look at both the work and the cost columns for the next part of this section. Let’s suppose now that I managed to get some extra resource and we decide that we want two extra people to help. We can reduce the duration of this task. Let’s suppose in the first instance, I recon I reduce it from five days to four days. Now what I’m going to do is reduce from five days to four days and watch what happens to the work and costs. Now of course when I go down to four days, the amount of concrete I use stays the same, four cubic yards, but the number of hours I run the pump for is now just four days. That’s 32 hours at $3 an hour. So that’s $96 plus my $30 delivery and collection charge. The amount of fuel I use also reduces to 32 liters for 32 hours. And that basically is what I really wanted to demonstrate and that is how to setup a material to have variable consumption depending on the duration of the task. Now if you directly link the consumption to the direction of the task, as we’ve done here, it’s pretty straightforward. So in this section we’ve looked at setting up variable consumption for materials. That’s it for now. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 8 – Reports Video: Report Content and Formatting Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section we’re going to start to look at reports. Once again, I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with the basic use of reports in Project 2013. Bear in mind of course that reporting changed very substantially in this latest version. And I’m going to concentrate in this section and the next couple of sections on two or three specific things. First of all, I’m going to look at general aspects of customization of the reports in Project 2013 with a couple of examples. Then we’re going to look at cost reports and we’re going to link that to the work we did on cost in the last few sections. And then we’re going to look at earned value analysis which is not only an important aspect of Project 2013 but of project management in general. So let’s get started. So let’s have a whistle stop tour of the Report Tab. On the Report Tab, we have Compare Projects on the left. I’m going to look at that a little bit later on in the course just briefly. On the right we have Visual Reports. Now visual reports are a way of looking at the data in your projects in pivot tables and pivot diagrams using Excel or Visio or both. We’re going to do one or two examples with Excel later on. And the main body of the reports in Project 2013 are in this View Reports Group in the middle. So let’s have a look at one or two of these commands. We’ve got New Report on the left where we can choose a new report type. Blank. Start with a blank report. Start with a chart. Start with a table. Start with a comparison. As you’ll know if you’ve used these before, you can actually start with anything and you can add other things to it. So you don’t even have to decide what exactly is going to be in your report before you start, although it’s a good idea if you do. You can start with a blank report and you can add a table or a chart or whatever later on. I’ll skip the next four because we’re going to be looking at those in just a moment. Then you have Getting Started. Now getting started has got a whole set of specific things in it. For instance, how to get started with Project, general guidelines on how to create reports, and so on. And it’s also got the best practice analyzer that I’ll take a brief look at in a little while. Then we have Custom and custom gives you access to reports that you’ve already customized and created yourself. There’s one there that I have created which we’ll take a look at a little bit later on. Notice with this menu

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Project 2013 - Advanced dropping down from here. You’ve got More Reports which gives us access to the Reports dialog which you can access from any of these options in the View Reports Group. And then finally you’ve got the Recent button here that gives you access to the last few reports that you’ve used. So that’s a brief overview. I’m going to assume you’re familiar with those and I’m going to start just by looking at one or two of the very basic reports that you’ve probably used already, and then we’re going to look at customizing one or two of them. Now I’m going to start by looking at that best practice analyzer that you may well have used already, but I’m going to use it to just show you the basics of customization of reports. So let’s click on Getting Started and best practice analyzer and it brings up a report for the current project. Now I’m looking at the NFF Master and in fact this report has a number of sections. I’m going to look at each section in turn. What you’ll see is that each section rather than being some kind of fixed entity on a page is actually highly customizable. If you’ve used earlier versions of Project, particularly Project 2010 and Project 2007, they still had the same standard Project summary report that’s been in Project for many, many years; virtually as long as I can remember. And that was pretty much a fixed report. Now it’s true that to some extent you could customize it. But you couldn’t customize it to the level that you can customize reports in Project 2013. Now let’s take a look at the broad view of the design of a report. This is called the Best Practices Analyzer. In fact if I click within the words Best Practices Analyzer, what I’ll actually find is that that is just a textbox at the top of the report. And if I wanted to call this Best Practices Analyzer, anything else I wanted to I could just put different text in this textbox. I could take the textbox out altogether. I could pretty much do anything I like with it. Now when I’m working within a report, I will normally have the Report Tools Design Tab. And with the Report Tools Design Tab, I have access to putting images, shapes, chart, table, textbox. If I want to put another table on this report, it’s as simple as clicking it there, drawing the table on the page, and then defining what data I want in the table. I can similarly do things like manage the report. I can rename it. I can look at the Project 2013 Organizer if I want to transfer this report, say, to another system. And then I’ve also got controls here for Page Setup, where to

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Project 2013 - Advanced put page breaks, margins, orientation, paper size, etc. So I’ve got a whole set of design tools available here on the Report Tools Design Tab. Now you’ll notice that I clicked inside that header there and I’ve also got the Drawing Tools Format Tab, and the contents of this Format Tab I can use as a regular Format Tab on the Ribbon. So for instance within the Best Practices Analyzer textbox if I wanted to use some WordArt style. Say, I wanted to use that type of WordArt. Let’s click there and that’s how the text within that heading is going to look. Bear in mind the heading really is just a textbox. And of course, I can do all the regular kind of formatting that you could do with a textbox. So for instance, if I wanted to change the shape fill. Let’s choose something pretty inappropriate, something like that. Then again I have the full set of formatting capabilities available to me to work on that report header. So we’ll use one or two of those tools a little bit later on to customize one or two of these reports. Let’s move down now to another part of the same report and what I’m going to do now is to click on this chart. Now watch what happens when I click on the chart. I get a chart selected which is the outer border there. You can see the sort of thick white border with the thicker corners. Within that there is the chart itself which has got the single line border on it and then there are various things around it. So there is a title here, Remaining Work, which is actually just another textbox. Tasks with no actual work; just another textbox. And this one here. Now note when I clicked in there, I got a different set of tools up here. Still got the report tools but now I’ve got chart tools as well. With the chart tools, I have both design tools and format tools and we’re going to look at both of those. But let me just give you a very brief overview of what’s going on. When you put a chart on to a report in Project 2013, it’s a little bit like doing a chart in say Excel. It’s not quite as flexible and powerful but it’s pretty close in that you decide what sort of chart you want. In this case, I’ve got a very simple column chart. You decide on what data to use. You decide on things like how to label the axes, whether to have legend, what color to have the columns, and so on. You can do all of these things in Project 2013 as well. So let’s look at this description of this particular chart: Tasks with no actual work. What this is saying to us is that these tasks, requirements definition and analysis and design are two tasks that

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Project 2013 - Advanced don’t have any actual work. Now there are many other tasks on this project that don’t have any actual work and the difference with these two is that they should have actual work by now. We’re behind doing an update quite deliberately and therefore these two are flagged up as tasks which should have actual work by now but they don’t have any. Now what we’ve got plotted for each of these two tasks is the amount of remaining work and we’ve got a vertical axis saying the amount in hours starting at 250 hours, and then for each of these two tasks we’ve got the task name along the horizontal axis. Now actually being able to draw these sorts of charts yourself is pretty straightforward, as I’ll show you a little bit later on. If you’ve used Excel, you should have no trouble with it at all. You do need to be pretty aware of the data content related to tasks and resources in Project and it’s a good idea to understand things like filtering and sorting and outlining and so on. But I’m going to assume that as you’re looking at the advanced course, you’re pretty comfortable with all of those and we’re going to be using them all over the next section or two. Okay, I’m going to carry on working down through the best practices analyzer. The next thing I’m going to click on is this. Now this isn’t a chart; this is a table. It’s a table as you can see from the heading above it: Tasks for the duration less than 8 hours; pretty straightforward. These four are actually all milestones. As you can see they have scheduled duration zero days and all of them have an amount of work of zero hours. Now when you’ve selected the table, you may have noticed up there on the Ribbon I’ve now got Table Tools and again with table tools get two tabs. I get a Design Tab where I can do things like choose a table style, whether to have banded rows and columns and so on. And then I also have a Layout Tab where I can change things like text direction, alignment, and then I can do work on the height of rows, the distribution of rows and columns, and so on. So again, a lot of flexibility in terms of both deciding what’s in the table and formatting the table as well. Now don’t forget this is the best practices analyzer so what somebody’s done is to decide on the sort of things that you might want pointed out to you as you’re working on a project. And the next one they’ve got here is called Unassigned work. Now, of course, sometimes when you’re looking at these things you think, “Is that a chart or a table?” You soon know as soon as you tick inside it you can tell by the tools that appear at the top, chart tools, so this is a chart. And the

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Project 2013 - Advanced other thing that happens when I click on this chart is that I see the Field List Pane on the right. Now the field list is basically what I use to determine what is in; in this case, this chart. And the field list really is divided into two tabs. We’ve got the Task Tab which is the currently selected one, and then we’ve got the Resources Tab. So let’s go to the Task Tab here and let’s look first at Unassigned work. Tasks with no resources assigned. Apart from deciding what we’re actually going to show in the particular chart in this case and what we’ve decided to show is work, we’ll normally have to effectively put a query of some sort and say when you’re talking about tasks what particular property of a task means that it’s included in this chart? Now usually the way that we do this in Project 2013 is by using a filter and the filters are also in the Field List Pane about two-thirds of the way down. If I click there on the dropdown, I’ll see which filter has been applied here. The filter applied here is No resources assigned. Now there’s a whole load of standard filters with Project 2013 and very often one of those will give you what you need. So we’ve got no resources assigned and that is basically the condition that puts a task into this chart. Now at the moment, there are no tasks in that chart. So this should give you your first clue about how you might go about customizing one of these reports. Let’s do a very simple customization here. This shows tasks with no resources assigned. I’m not going to change the label but what about tasks that are completed? Now something means that work is plotted and the something that means that work is plotted is the list of fields here. If I go down, I’ll find that one is checked and it’s the work box that’s checked. The filter I’m going to apply now instead of no resources assigned, I’m going to apply Completed tasks. So I’m going to choose only tasks that are completed. Now you may recall the only task we’ve actually completed so far on this project is the tendering process and contract. And the work on that was just, it looks about 24 hours. Of course, it was quite a long task but the work here is only the work that was assigned to our one resource working on it who was Toby who I think had something like 5% of his time assigned to it. So this shows the amount of work that was done on that task by the resources that are recorded in this project. And that’s a very simple example of how to customize a report. So finally let’s go down to the very last thing here on the best practices analyzer. Let’s click in there. We find that it is a table and the table in this case if you look at the heading is Summary

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Project 2013 - Advanced tasks with assigned resources. Don’t forget this is best practices and the best practice for many people is to not have resources assigned to summary tasks but to always assign them to the constituent individual tasks. So anyway, once you’ve got in there, you can click within. You can check to see what would be shown. In this case, name and resource name. The filter applied in this case is summary tasks with assigned resources. So if you had to add that table to a different report, you could see it would be pretty straightforward to do and we’ll be adding one or two tables later on in the course. So that’s the best practices analyzer and that hopefully gives you a good idea of how these reports are put together. In the next section we’re going to customize a report or two. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Reports and Customization – Part 1 Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the last section we started to look at the basics of reports, partly by way of revision and partly by way of pointing out to you how reports are actually put together in Project 2013 and the sort of tools and techniques you’re going to need in order to be able to create your own reports and to customize the standard reports that come with the product. In this section we’re going to look at one or two of those standard reports and we’re going to do some work on actually customizing them. Now of course as far as the actual dates are concerned, I’m dealing with the date when I’m actually recording this course and so the dates will obviously be different when you’re looking at it. But it’s roughly the middle of June 2013 and by now I should have pretty much got about three-quarters of the requirements definition work done. In fact, by now you can see the vertical today line there and by now analysis and design should actually have started. So what I’m going to record here is that we’re running a little bit behind schedule. I’m going to do a status update for the 31st of May. So I’m going to change the status date to the 31st of May and I’m going to record that on the 31st of May the requirements definition, if you look at the chart, you should see it should just about be just over half way. What I’m going to do is to set its percent complete at just 25% to show that it’s running quite a way behind schedule. So having selected the task, I’m going to mark that as 25% and of course none of the other tasks will have started by that date and nothing has started early. So let’s take a look at and customize one or two of the basic reports for this project. So I go to the Report Tab as usual and I’m going to start with one of the dashboards. These are the reports that primarily give us a sort of snapshot of current status. Now given that I’ve only updated to the end of May and I’m just about two weeks behind that date now, obviously I’m not getting a completely up to date picture but let’s customize the report first and then update progress again. So I’m going to go to the Project Overview and this is the default project overview. It may be slightly different on your system but basically this is the default project overview with Project 2013. If I wanted to make my own project overview report, I could start with a blank report and we’re actually going to start building a report from scratch a little bit later on. But for the moment, let’s assume that what I’m going to do is to customize this project overview report.

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Project 2013 - Advanced What I’m going to do is make my own project overview and then I’m going to just change a few things in each of the sections of the report just to get you used to the ideas, the sort of things that you can do. So first of all, I’m going to copy the report. That gives me a copy. And then what I’m going to do is I’m going to click on Manage. I’m going to rename the report and I’m going to call this one TA Project Overview. Click on OK. Now of course I’m working on the copy. It may not be immediately obvious to you which one I’m working on. But let me just point out one or two important things. If I click on the custom list here, I find that I’ve now got a new custom report. It’s TA Project Overview. If I click on More Reports at the bottom there to bring up that Reports dialog that we saw earlier on, in the custom section I’ve got a new custom report: TA Project Overview. I mentioned to you earlier on that I’ve got a custom report that I prepared a while ago. We’ll maybe take a look at that a little bit later on. But as you can see I’ve now got a new report. One of the things I’m going to do is I’m going to change the words Project Overview there so that I realize that this is different from the one I started with. So let me just type in here a new name for this. I would normally leave this as upper case characters in a title, but just to show that it can be done. Okay having typed in the title that I want, I can see that it’s overflowing. The text is a little bit too big. Let me just select the text that’s currently here and then right click on the selection, and one of the options on the contextual menu there is font. I can see it’s currently Calibri Bold 36 point. Let me just drop that down to say 30 point and see if that fits okay. Yep that’s better. And then I can just reduce the size of the text box a little bit. I should point out that there are some good alignment tools available with Project 2013. So when you actually come to produce a report like this one, although I won’t have time to go in this in great detail here, if you actually want to align things; put things on top of other things; and so on, then all of those tools are available on the various design, layout, and formatting tabs. But for the moment that will do for the report title Toby’s Project Overview. I’m going to come back to the coloring, the theme, etc and so on in a little while. But for the moment, that’s my project overviews title. Now the next entry in this project overview is an interesting one because it’s the sort of thing you look at, maybe you even take for granted. It looks straightforward enough doesn’t it? It seems to show the start and end date for the project. But where do you actually get the start and end

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Project 2013 - Advanced date for the project from? Clearly you don’t want to sort of type those in as fixed dates because if you change the start date and indeed if you change the end date either by choice or by necessity, you’re going to need to go back in and change those. So they’re getting them from somewhere. And of course you find out where the data’s coming from using the field list on the right. In this case, you need to look right down towards the bottom at Outline Level. We’ve not talked about outline level in particular yet but now is the time. At the very top of the outline hierarchy in a Project 2013 project is the project summary task. The project summary task, as you know, covers the whole project. So if you want to find out when a project starts and finishes, you look at the start and finish of the project summary task. That’s a very straightforward way, generally speaking, of getting information about the whole project. So if you want to know when the whole project starts, look at that task; if you want to know when it finishes, look at that task. The other thing here is these haven’t been particularly well formatted. So as you can see the line that gives the range of dates, it looks as though it ought to be a bit better aligned as a sort of column here. So let’s click in the second of those dates. Let’s move it over there. I’m not going to go for perfect alignment here but let’s just do a bit of a reasonable job on it. Now if I right click within there, then I get the Mini Toolbar and one of the things that I can do is to right align the text within that table. I’ve also got here a little drawing, just a little dash which has got the dash between the two dates in it. Let me just drag that over here and just align it a little bit better. Again, I could do that by proper measurement if I wanted to, get it precisely aligned. And then of course the start date is probably left aligned anyway, which it is. So there we are. That’s the range of dates of the current project. Now the next item I’ve got here is also a table. It’s a table showing the project percent complete. Now we’re still working on the project summary task, so this is basically looking at the whole project. But the percent complete here really relates to the amount of time that’s been used up. It doesn’t relate to the amount of work. Let’s suppose I wanted to show both the percent complete and the percent of work that’s been done as well. Well, if I’ve got a particular part of a report like this one, it’s actually pretty straightforward to make a copy. So first of all, I’m going to make this a little bit smaller. Then

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Project 2013 - Advanced I’m going to right click, copy, and then using the keyboard shortcut Control-V, I’m going to paste. I’m going to put a second table on the right here. Obviously at the moment it’s identical to the first table. But in here I’m going to put the amount of work that’s been done, so the work complete for the project summary task. Now if I look at the field list on the right I’ve still got the project summary task selected. So let’s suppose that here what I’m going to do in order to make this into percent work complete instead, let me just check percent work complete and uncheck percent complete and I’m now showing percent work complete as well. So in 25% of the project duration I’ve done 5% of the work. Now that doesn’t, of course, sound very good but of course the project may be setup so that you’ve only done 5% of the work in that time anyway. So it’s not necessarily bad either. Now as we move forward I want to do some more work on customizing charts and tables, a little bit more work on the data side of those and that’s what we’re going to move on to in the next section. But I’d like to look now at a couple of more general points about customization, and the first of these is the use of themes. Now I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with the concept of themes in Office. In Office 2013, you have a pretty good range of themes. And if you’re producing other artifacts, other products using other elements of Office 2013, you’ll probably want to match a theme. On the Design Tab in the Report Tools, you can choose your theme and that’s what I’m going to do next. Let’s see what I like the look of. What about Integral? Yeah, that’s not bad. I want something that’s not too sort of bright and shiny because it’s quite a serious project. But on the other hand, I don’t want something that’s too dull. So why don’t I try Banded? No, I don’t like that at all. What about Basis? Yeah, let’s go with Basis for now. Now once I’ve chosen my theme, I assume you’re familiar with the concept of sticking to theme colors and so on. The next thing I’m going to do, in fact the last thing I’m going to do in this section, is to choose a style for these tables. I’m going to choose one of the themed styles for the tables. Let’s start with this one, the milestones due table here. Once I’ve selected that table, of course I get the Table Tools Tab Design and Layout. Click on the Design Tab and there I have the table styles gallery here which I’m going to go into in just a moment. But don’t forget, table style options. At the moment, I’ve got header row selected. So the header row is styled differently from the content. I’ve got banded row selected. Although at the moment there’s no

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Project 2013 - Advanced banding showing because I’m not using one of the styles that supports banding. If you look at the style that’s selected there at the moment, there’s no banding. I could have first column banded, last column banded, banded columns. So let me choose now a different style. I’m going to go for one of the themed styles at the top and I think I’m going to go for this one, Themed Style 1 – Accent 2. Let’s see what that looks like. Now notice I get the banding and I get a themed style and colors and so on. So I’m sticking with the selected fonts for the theme and so on. You notice how things like the numeric digits drop down below the baseline that the text is on. I still have my table selected. Let’s look at a couple of other things that I can do. Apart from doing things like applying WordArt within the table, I have shading and effects options here. The shading options let me go through and change the colors pretty much to any level of granularity I like. You should be familiar with the idea of sticking to theme colors or switching to standard colors or in fact going completely off piece and using any color, gradient, texture, background, and so on that you like. On this occasion, I think all I’m going to do is I’m going to put a bit of an effect on this table. Let’s see what sort of shadow effects I’ve got here. I’m going to go for that one, I think, offset diagonal bottom right. A little bit of shadow there. Let me just click away and there you can see the little bit of shadow under the table there. Obviously I can go in, in the usual way and customize that as well. So what I’ve done there is to add the same style to other objects within my project overview and that little bit of shadow and so on. It’s probably a little bit bright now but never mind. I wanted to do something that you’d be able to see easily on your screens. So in the next section what we’re going to do is we’re going to look at the data in the tables, and then we’re going to look at working on that chart, which obviously now looks rather dull compared to everything around it. So we will be looking at data content primarily but also looking at some aspects of style in the next section. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Reports and Customization – Part 2 Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we started customizing this project overview report and came up with this wonderful theme and color scheme. We’re going to continue with this customization in this section, concentrating quite a lot on the data side of customization. Now we had a couple of straightforward examples of tables where we showed over here just under the title Toby’s Project Overview the percent complete and the percent work complete using information from the project summary task. But there are two other tables on this report and I’m just going to quickly go through how you select what data goes into a table, and of course how you change the data that goes into a table. Now the tables in this case are pretty straightforward, but then within the reporting system in Project 2013 the tables do tend to be pretty straightforward. Let’s start with the selected table here. Now you’d normally look at the data contained within a section of a report, using the panel on the right. There’s an easy way of showing that if it’s not already shown when you’re looking at a table because on the Table Tools Design Tab at the right hand end there is a Table Data button. Click that and you bring up that Field List Pane. Now one very important point about the Field List Pane when you’re working with a table is that below the hierarchical list of data, there’s actually a list of the fields that are shown in that table. So in this particular table, you’ve got name and finish. If I wanted to put a different or additional field in here or indeed remove one of these fields, it’s pretty straightforward. Let’s suppose I on this milestones due table decided I not only want to see the name of the task and the finish of the task but I want to see the task ID, say. So first of all, let’s get the ID included in the data for the table. So I just need to scroll to that particular field and check it. Note as soon as I check it, it appears in the list of fields for the table and you can actually see it in the table now as a third column in the table. So I’ve now got name, finish, ID. To change the sequence of the fields in the table, I literally grab one of the fields, in this case ID, and drag it. Let’s suppose I’m going to put it first in the table. So drag it up to there and Project 2013 puts it first in the table and reorganizes the columns accordingly. Now, of

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Project 2013 - Advanced course, the table’s much too big. It uses default settings here and I’ve got a couple of options really for how I can get the sizing of the table just right. Now for most people who are used to working with Office products and tables, you’d probably be dragging headers and things here. But if you really want to be a bit more precise on the Table Tools Layout Tab, you have a Cell Size Group here where you can either individually adjust the height and width of cells. I’ll give you a demo of that in just a moment. Or you can actually distribute rows and distribute columns evenly. Apart from the sizing, you can also change things like text direction, alignment, vertical alignment in particular. And then the size of the whole table can be adjusted here as well. And at the right hand end of the Layout Tab in the table tools, you have an Arrange Group which enables you to either bring forward or send backward a selected object. Here we’ve got an overlap that I didn’t actually intend. But if you do have overlaps that you intend, then obviously you’re going to need to arrange things so that the right things are on top and the wrong things are underneath. So you need to be able to, for instance here, if you wanted to send this particular table right to the back, you could click on Send to back and it would be behind everything else. Whereas if this particular table you wanted to be right at the front, then you click on Bring forward and say bring it to the front, etc. The other options either bring it forward one layer or send it back with one layer. So let’s just adjust this milestones due table. Let’s reduce the width of the whole table first. Note how as I do that, Project 2013 adjusts the column widths in a sort of proportionate way. You can see that it’s already having a little bit of trouble there, having to turn the line on requirement signoff. I know that the ID column doesn’t need to be as wide as it is there so if I click somewhere within that column and go to the Cell Size Group, I could work on the individual cell width here. Currently, 1.72 inches. Supposing I decide that that particular one doesn’t need to be nearly as much as that. That’s plenty. And then I can either do some further work on making these cells wider. But however I choose to do it, I finally finish up with the table with the data distributed in the way that I want it to be. There is, of course, a second table in this project overview report and we saw it earlier on. This one you would set about customizing in exactly the same way because all it is, you’ve got six columns. So there’s six different items of data. You should know now how to change which data items are included, how to adjust the widths of the columns and so on. This one’s got a

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Project 2013 - Advanced problem which there isn’t really a simple solution to, and that is that you’ve got quite a mix of fields here. So percent complete, for instance, is never going to be much more than a very short field, 25% it says here, 0%. Whereas resource names can in some cases be completely empty but in other cases could be a long list of resource names. So you could have a hugely long amount of data in one column and a tiny amount in the next. That’s always a bit of a challenge and there isn’t really a simple way of resolving that in Project 2013 reporting customization. You’re going to need to look at that on each individual basis to try to get the balance right. So what we’re going to turn our attention to now is the chart which is in the top right of this report. Now first of all when you’re dealing with a chart, if I click somewhere, not only does the chart itself get selected and the chart really is divided into a number of parts. Primarily the actual plot itself, what’s called the plot area here with the picture in it and then around it you have the facilities for things like labeling axes, putting a legend on, and so on. And you will usually get on the right these three buttons and each of these three buttons has a specific purpose. Now we’re going to look at those three buttons in just a moment but before we do, note the chart tools up here. Two tabs, a Design Tab and a Format Tab. I’m just going to click the Design Tab. Now let’s look at those buttons. The top button, we’re going to click on the plus, and what you get there is a facility to add or remove chart elements. Now on the Ribbon on the Design Tab, there is an equivalent over here, right over on the left where you can go about the same job in a different way. Let’s stick with what we get from the plus button. You can see what’s checked. We’ve got axes, we’ve got data labels, and we’ve got grid lines. Now I’m sure you’re familiar with the basics of charting, if you’ve used Excel you’ll probably know all of these things mean. But just in case you aren’t, let me quickly just point out a couple of those. Data labels for example, supposing I uncheck data labels. Look at those blocks in this column chart. If I take off the data labels, the numbers have gone. Click them back on and I’m there. If I wanted a chart title, I get a default title of Percent Complete which is really what’s being plotted here. I can click within that area and I can edit that content. So I can give the chart a title of my choosing. Select again, back into plus, I’m going to switch off the chart title. So in terms of

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Project 2013 - Advanced what’s actually shown in the chart, you can control that there. If it was say a scattered chart of some sort, you could choose whether to have a trend line. For almost every type of chart, you could choose whether to have a legend, etc. So that’s what the plus button does. So now let’s look at this button which gives us access to some specific design and style controls. If I click on that one, it looks like a little pen or a brush. It brings up a little panel which gives us a choice between choosing a different style for the chart and changing the colors that are used in the chart. Let’s go for style. Let’s scroll down these available styles. Why don’t we try that one? Now notice how this one has got a color background, a certain amount of gradient in the lighting. It gives it an overall more interesting kind of effect. Note also that in this particular style we no longer have a label on the vertical axis. That may or may not be a problem. But we still have the individual columns labeled along the horizontal axis. Now once we’ve chosen a style, we can also then go in and change one or more colors. Notice how here there’s a bar selected which is basically the set of colors that are in use at the moment. If I chose a different bar, Color 6 here for example, then the color scheme looks like that. You can see that I’m now getting a color scheme that’s beginning to match the rest of my report. I’m probably getting to the point now where it’s a bit too red and pink but you can see how easy it is to choose colors which then match. Now by the way at this point, I’d probably also want to move that over a bit. Easy to resize. Now as an alternative to using the brush button there, I have of course got the Design Tab up here in the chart tools and I can do things like change colors. I can choose chart styles, the things that I just did. But I can also on this particular tab change the chart type. If I wanted to just have a completely different type of chart, I could do that here. So let’s click on Change Chart Type. At the moment, we’ve got what’s called a clustered column. I could, for instance, change it to a bar. What about a clustered bar? How would that look? Well, a clustered bar would look fine actually. Sometimes people prefer to use bar charts rather than column charts because column charts in some cases tend to imply sort of chronological sequence, whereas bar charts don’t. That’s a very subjective kind of thing but sometimes bar charts give a message a little bit more clearly.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now let me click on this chart again and do one more thing. I’m going to now click on the third of those buttons and this is effectively a filter button. But in some ways it demonstrates what those three buttons are about particularly well because basically what it’s doing is presenting you with a subset of the full set of options that you might expect to have. In this case, it’s in terms of the data. So it’s already got your basic selection of data that’s in this chart and it’s letting you, for example, switch off one or more of the categories. So if you didn’t want to include, say, Go live and Live implementation and NFF Testing, you could literally uncheck them here, switch them off, and they would disappear from the chart when you click Apply. So let me just click Apply, see that happen, and you see those have disappeared. So it gives a facility to manually tweak or just customize, make some final fine detail changes to your chart. Let me just put them back on again. But if I wanted to get full access to the data in this chart, I wouldn’t use that option at all. What I’d do is to go to the Design Tab and use the Chart Data button and what the Chart Data button does is give me access to the Field List Pane which works in exactly the same way that we’ve used it so far. So there’s just a couple of other things I’d like to quickly cover in this section. First of all, it’s very easy to move things around within a report. So if I say wanted to move this table, I’d just get the cursor onto it so that I get the normal crosshair cursor and then I can drag that table to a different position on my report. Similarly with this textbox here which basically contains the headings, I can move that over there as well. And then of course, if I want to I can make this particular chart quite a bit bigger. And then finally when we’ve got a chart selected, let’s just go back to the Format Tab. Don’t forget we’ve got the option to insert shapes if we want to put markers on there, maybe callouts for specific points. We can choose from a gallery of shape styles if we want to change the shape of any object. So for instance, if I just click there on that particular bar and I wanted to change it to a different style, I could do so. And you’ll see that all of the bars within that chart are changed to that style. And then if I want to change the color, fill color, and so on. So you can again highly customize. You can customize the shape outline, shape effects. So we could put shadow on those bars if we wanted to. And again you can see now with the shadow behind those bars. Again, you can get a pretty good cosmetic effect with that and using those sorts of technique you

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Project 2013 - Advanced can make your reports not only put over a good message but look attractive to a company the rest of the material you’re preparing as well. Now in the next section we’re going to look at a little bit more about the data in charts and we’re going to look at the rest of that Field List Pane, and then we’re going to create a report from scratch. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Filter, Group, Outline and Sort Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section we’re going to look at grouping, filtering, outlining, and sorting in the various types of report and the various components within each of the Project 2013 reports. I’m going to do this by looking at two or three of the other reports, ones that we haven’t looked at so far. So let’s get started. So the first other report I want to look at is in the “In progress” section. In progress section basically shows you reports that analyze how your project is going so far. So if I click on the In progress button and look at the milestone report, the milestone report at the moment is not particularly interesting as you can see, but it’s a very good demonstration of the use of various filters. Now what you can see apart from the heading Milestone Report, you’ve got these three sections here. There’s actually a bit more over to the right but let’s just stick with these three at the moment. Colored headings, late milestones, milestones up next, and completed milestones. Now with each of those there’s a table and in fact it’s a table that’s empty. If I click on the first one, Late milestones; if you look at the sort of subheading there, Milestones that are past due. If you look at the filter in the field list on the right, amongst the long list of filters is Late milestones. And what this actually says is that for this late milestones part of this milestone report we just have a filter. The filter does pretty much the whole job really, late milestones. That’ll be milestones that are actually behind their baseline schedule. Similarly, if I look at one of the other tables in this milestone report, I’ll just find that there is an appropriate filter there. So in this case the second one, Milestones up next, the filter is actually called Milestones due this month and that’s the subheading on this section the report as well. Now you should be familiar with the basic idea of creating your own filters but I am going to run over custom filters later on in the course just in case you’ve either forgotten or maybe you’ve never got round to doing it. But when it comes to reports in Project 2013 as you can see the use of appropriate filters can be very important and in some cases it’s a large part of the job of putting part or all of a report together. Now the next example we’re going to look at is on the Resources button here and it’s the resource overview. The first thing I want to point out about the resource overview is that the information in here is basically taken from the resource table not from the task table. So if I take

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Project 2013 - Advanced a particular element in this report, let’s start with the chart on the left. If I select that chart and look at the data, note that the tab selected at the top of the field list is the Resources Tab. So this is about resources. If you look at that first chart, you can see we’ve got the names of all our resources at the bottom and we’ve got the hours on the vertical axis. This is the work status for all work resources. Look at the legend at the bottom there. Blue is actual work, red is remaining work, and the dotted line is baseline work. Now this is a slightly more complex column chart here and I’m going to just explain this chart in a little bit of detail in a moment. But the first thing that I want to do is to talk about the grouping or the group by control near the bottom of the field list. Now if you look at the resource sheet for the NFF website project, you can see the resources exactly as they were before but I’ve added in here information about grouping for those resources in order to just demonstrate the grouping feature in a Project 2013 report. I’ve actually put the resources into two groups. I’ve got an internal group. That’s the people that work for NFF, including the internal resource, the sort of generic resource that I’ve got there. But then the other resources, the people that aren’t part of NFF such as Bakersfield Associates, People4People and the generic external resource, all of those are in an external group. Now I’ve used that as a very convenient grouping of these resources but as with filters, as I mentioned just now, don’t forget on the View Tab in the Data Group not only can you look at existing filters, copy filters, and so on but you can create your own groupings as well. And again with groupings, you can use that as a very convenient and straightforward way of putting a report together in Project 2013. So now I’m back at the resource overview and let me just zoom in a tiny little bit. Now let’s look at the Group by button on the right near the bottom of the Field List Pane there. Group by, it says no group. If I click on the drop down next to where it says No group, I’m now going to choose Resource group. Now watch what happens to that chart when I choose resource group. The figures, the statistics related to resource work have now been divided into two bars, an external bar and an internal bar corresponding to those two groups. For each of those bars, I can read off at least approximately the appropriate figures. So for the external group the remaining work is just over 500 hours and in fact there is no actual work. Nobody external to the company has done any work on the project yet. Whereas for the internal group there is some actual work

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Project 2013 - Advanced done; it looks about maybe less than 100 hours. But the total of all remaining work and actual work, so this is everything for the internal group, is just under 1400 hours. Now what I’m going to do is to remove that grouping. So I’m going to go back to no group and I’m going to demonstrate something else now because right at the very bottom of the Field List Pane one of the controls down there is the Sort by control and at the moment there is no sorting of the resources here. They’re basically in the sequence that they’re shown in the resource sheet. So this works slightly differently to filters and groups but the principles pretty much the same. If I click on the drop down next to Sort by, I get options of no sort which is the current selection, custom sort, actual work, remaining work, baseline work. Now clearly what I get in there will depend on what’s actually selected within that particular chart, the data content of that particular chart. Note that the list of fields that’s used is here, actual work, remaining work, baseline work. But if I wanted to sort, say, by resource name if I go into custom sort it brings up the familiar sort dialog. I can sort by up to three fields there but I’m just going to sort by name. So let’s sort by resource name. There we are. Ascending order, click on the Sort button, and there we are. This is full names it’s sorted by. So it’s A for Adrian, B for Bakersfield, E for External, and so on. And then I can just switch it off again, just go back to no sort. Now there’s something else that we haven’t really looked at in any detail about the lower part of the Field List Pane and that’s the outline level. Now the outline level is primarily there for tasks where you have, of course, a task outline hierarchy. With resources that’s not really relevant, although there are some situations where you effectively finish up with an outline for resources. I’m going to quickly show you this here and then I’m going to show you an example with tasks. In this particular case, we’ve got a list of the resources and there’s no outline level unless I go back and reapply that resource group. Now watch what happens when I select resource group. Notice that the outline level button is now enabled, but this outline will not relate to task outlines. It will relate to the outline within my resource groups. Now the current selection is Level 1. Watch what happens to the chart if I change that to Level 2. What I finish up with is a chart, the same style of column chart but notice how the resources now are in two groups. You’ve got an external group and then the individually named resources, Bakersfield associates, People4People, external resource, and then you’ve got an internal group with the individually

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Project 2013 - Advanced named members of the internal group. Of course, the last one’s internal resource, the first one’s Northern Farm Foods. So you can see that although the outline level facility there is primarily intended for use with tasks, in situations like this one you can use it with resources as well and it’s pretty useful. So let’s have a look at the outline level feature there in a task based report. So I’m going to go back to the Report Tab and I’m going to go for task cost overview. Now on the task cost overview report, if you look at the right hand chart there, there is a pie chart. The legend tells you what each slice of the pie represents. The blue part is the status complete. So complete costs. We’ve currently completed $2,960 worth of work. The amount that’s running late is $22,010.

And then the future tasks, the ones that we haven’t really got started on yet,

$66,595.10. So that’s at the very top level. Let’s just select that and it’s at outline Level 1. Watch what happens to that particular chart. If I were to say show me a breakdown of that at outline Level 2. Now watch what happens. Each of those three slices is going to get sliced still further and you finish up with that sort of incomprehensible chart with a long list including all of the Level 2 task names. Now, that doesn’t mean to say that Level 2’s never work because in many situations the use of the levels works very well. But basically you can see how the information you’re given is sliced up into the smaller pieces corresponding to the lower level and bearing in mind we’ve got a pretty straightforward structure here and we may well go down to Level 3, Level 4 elsewhere in a bigger, more complicated project. So let’s just put that back to Level 1. And sometimes the level you show something at has to be appropriate to what you’re showing and the sort of chart that you’re using to show it. Now there’s just one other thing I’d like to quickly look at in this section. I said I’d talk about this chart type for resource overview and if I select that chart and go into Change chart type, you’ll see that it’s actually a custom combination chart. You can recognize here by this icon on the end with the pen this is a custom combination. Three values are plotted on this particular combination: actual work, remaining work, baseline work. With each of those I choose the chart type that I want. So at the moment actual work and remaining work, that’s the red and blue, are plotted as stacked columns which means they’re stacked with each other and then the baseline work is actually plotted as a line chart.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now this course is primarily about Project 2013 not about the more advanced aspects of charting. But if you’ve used Excel charting, you’re probably familiar with building up a combination chart like this. I could, for example, if I wanted to change instead of having the stacked column arrangement for actual work and remaining work I could go for that type of clustered column. If I change it for one, obviously it’s going to change for the other because they work together. I could also have a secondary axis. If in fact some of the data plotted in this chart was measured on one scale and some measured on another scale, I can actually put in place a secondary axis. But let’s just stick with changing that type now. Click on OK and now I’ve got clustered columns and the information I’m showing you is the same. It’s very much a matter of personal preference which of those arrangements I prefer. So in this section we’ve seen how filtering, grouping, outlining, and sorting work in relation to some charts in Project 2013. In the next section we’re going to create a chart from scratch and set you a fairly tricky exercise to do. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Report Creation Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section we’re going to look at creating a report from scratch and you should now know all of the tools and techniques you need to do this other than, of course, actually starting the report itself. Now I’ve done a further progress update on the NFF website project. We’re still running behind schedule. The update now takes us to the middle of the month of June in 2013. And so there’s a few more things to report. I’m going to just create a report with a couple of components in it. I’m going to do a table and I’m going to do a chart, and the exercise I’m going to set you at the end of this section will be to create a report of your own with a table and a chart. Now I think it’d be a good thing if you don’t use exactly the same table and chart that I’ve used but I hope you’ll get a few tips from this section that will help you to create a pretty impressive report. So let’s get started. So let’s start a new report. I’m going to just start with a blank and I’m going to call this Toby Weekly Report. Now it’s not going to be a particularly sensible weekly report but I’m going to put a couple of things on it. I’m going to put on it a table which gives information about certain tasks and a chart that gives information about certain resources. These aren’t necessarily the two components that I would normally put in a weekly report but they’ll just demonstrate some of the main points that we’ve covered so far. So let’s start with the table. I’m going to put in a table which includes details of the tasks that are currently running late on the project. I’m going to group them according to whether they’re critical or not, sort them by finish date, and I’m going to go down to Level 2 in the detail. So that’s the basic sort of specification for my table showing late tasks. The chart I’m going to use for resources is just going to show external resources and it’s going to show how much actual work they’ve done and how much remaining work they’ve got. I’m going to sort it by the amount of remaining work that each of the resources has got and I’m going to do it by way of a bar chart. So that’s the specification, if you like, for the chart component of this weekly report.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So let’s first of all look at the report overall design. Let’s start with the Page Setup Group on the right of the Design Tab here. On the size, I’m going to choose A4 size. That’s the one we tend to use in the U.K. nowadays. Orientation is currently set to landscape. I’m going to make it into a portrait report. Margins currently have custom margins. I’m just going to use normal margins. And I won’t need any page breaks at the moment. Now let’s move to the left hand half of the Design Tab and let’s look at a theme for this report. If I’m trying to make this agree with other artifacts in terms of themes and styles that may be dictated but I’m going to make a free choice here on theme. I think I’m going to go for the Basis theme. Okay. Note the font changes but there’s no color in there yet. I may do something with the heading a little bit later on. So let’s start now. Let’s put that task table in. So, click on Table and a table is in straightaway. It defaults to a set of standard settings there and I can now go in and start to customize that table to my specific requirements. Now the first thing I’m going to do is to move the table up the page a little bit. Okay. Table is still selected. The fields that currently appear in the table are the name of the task, the start date, the finish date, and the percent complete. I’m happy with that but I also want to show the remaining work. So I’m going to go over to the select fields area on the right and I’m going to look for remaining work. There’s work, and I’m going to go for remaining work. There we are. Now note I’ve got a huge number there, 1,724 hours. But currently if you look down at the bottom of the Field List Pane, you can see this is looking at the project summary task. Obviously, I’m going to need a breakdown below that level. So let’s start with the level. The outline level that we have here is just at project summary. Let’s say that I’m going down to Level 2 and that I want to actually show the hierarchy. Let’s see how hierarchy would look. Yeah, maybe that’s okay. We’ll see how we go with that. We’re going to need to adjust those column widths a bit but that’s not too bad. Now currently the filter says all tasks. I really only want to show late tasks. So let’s go in there and put on the filter for late tasks and see what happens. Okay, that’s better. We can see as you will expect, I think, if you looked at the Gantt Chart right at the beginning. NFF Requirements is running late and NFF Design and Development is running late. The others haven’t started yet. I

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Project 2013 - Advanced usually leave tweaking things like column widths and so on until much further down the line. But just to make this a little bit easier to follow. I’ll adjust the column widths in a little while. Now let me look at sorting and grouping. I mentioned before that I’m going to group them by whether they’re critical or not and then I’m going to sort them by the finish dates. I’m going to slightly adapt that I think. I think I’m going to do the grouping and sorting by having a sort on two criteria. So the first thing I’m going to do is to include the critical flag in the table. So let me just go up and find the flags. There are the flags. One of the flags is critical. When I select that it goes to the bottom of the list. Let’s just move it up to the top. And there we see critical over there on the left. You can see now why I said what I said about adjusting column widths because as soon as you change something else, you’re going to need to do it again but never mind. And then let’s just go down to the sorting and in the sort we’re going to say custom sort. We’re going to sort by critical first and we’re going to say critical ascending and then we’re going to sort by finish date or scheduled finish date I should say. Sort by finish and we’ll make that ascending as well. Sort obviously won’t do much here because we’ve only got one of each. But there’s my table pretty much organized. I’ll see all the critical at the beginning just nicely sorted on the words No or Yes, False or True, and then I’ll have them sorted by finish date. And when I get some more late tasks, although I hope we don’t get too many more late tasks in my project, that’ll be it. So there we are. There is part of my weekly report. Just one other thing to do and that is to put a little heading in that part. So if I go back to the Report Tools Design Tab, choose textbox and draw myself a textbox say like that, type in there, there we are, and I can format that later on. And now I’ve got a little sort of title or caption above my table saying what that table is doing and basically it’s reporting on the tasks that are running late. So the next job to do is to put in a chart for resources showing the work situation for external resources. So this time I go back to the Report Tools Design Tab and I’m going to add a chart. Now when it comes to adding a chart you get the Insert Chart dialog and you can choose the sort of chart that you want first of all. Don’t forget it’s very easy to change that afterwards but let’s just go with the clustered column, the default for now. Click on OK and there’s the chart in position.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Note how it overlaps something else on the report. It’s up to you how you go about this. You might want to move the chart straightaway just to get it in a position where you can find it on its own or you may customize it first and then move it. What I’m going to do on this occasion, I’m just going to grab hold of it and just move it a bit further down the report and then scroll down so that I can concentrate just on the chart. Now on this occasion we want a chart that is showing the work being done by resources so we need to select on the Field List Pane here resources on the right. Now once you’ve done that, you get a default list of content; in this case, actual work, remaining work, and work. And on this occasion that’s probably pretty much what I want. You know how to change the fields if it’s not what you want but that’d be a pretty good basis for this chart. Now you can already see that it has in fact done a sort of version of that for me. Notice how some of the entries, Northern Farm Foods have got three bars. Some of them like Mark Ravenswood would have got only two. If you look at the list of fields on the right here, you can see why the ones with any actual work are shown with a third bar. And the legend explains the color scheme to you. Now when it comes to preparing a report like this and making it look really precise and so on, you may want to change the size perhaps to agree with charts or tables around it. You can do it by dragging but don’t forget while you’ve got the chart selected, you could go to the Format Tab here and there is actually a control on the right, a size control, where you can adjust the size of the chart. So if I wanted to make it taller, maybe four inches, and then wider, maybe six inches. I can adjust the size to an accurate figure in that way. So with the chart selected I’ve got the three buttons I can use to fine tune the chart but I’m going to go to the field list on this occasion. You may recall that what I said I was going to do was I was only going to include external resources. So what I’m going to do is go down to the filter control here, click on the list of filters, and I’m going to look for resources that are in a specific group. Now one of the filters is Group, dot-dot-dot. So if I click on dot-dot-dot, I can enter the name of the group that I want resources from. I’m just going to have resources from the external group. Click on OK and I now only see those three external resources. I also said that I was going to sort them by the amount of remaining work so I’m going down to the sort control here and I can actually use one of the sorts that’s automatically generated, the

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Project 2013 - Advanced remaining work sort. So let me just click on that and it puts the three external resources in ascending order of the amount of remaining work that they each have. And then there’s just one more thing in relation to this particular chart and that is that I said that I’d actually do a bar chart. So with the chart still selected, if I click on Design and go to change chart type. Let’s look at the Bar options. Well, there’s a clustered bar. I think that’ll pretty much do the job. Let’s click on OK and there we are. There’s my customized report showing the remaining work, work, actual work for external resources in a bar chart. Once I’ve switched it to be a bar chart like that they’re actually in descending order of remaining work and obviously I could go in and change that sort into an ascending or descending order either by going into the Sort dialog as we did before, or if you look right down in the bottom right hand corner there’s an A to Z button. If you click that it makes it Z to A. Okay, I hope you’ve got a pretty good idea then now of how to create reports, customize reports, change the data, change the theme, styles, layout, filter, group, etc. We’ve seen hopefully everything you might need to know about those to a reasonable level of detail and that just leaves us with a pretty tricky exercise for you to do. Now I’m afraid the instructions for this exercise are quite long. I’m going to go over them step by step. There shouldn’t be any surprises but there are quite a few of them. So I want you to produce a weekly report. It doesn’t really need to be any more sensible than the weekly report that I produced here in terms of content, but there are a few specific features it must have. It must have a theme and the extent to which you make sure that in terms of things like headings and so on, they all adhere to the theme and that stylistically it looks good. It’s entirely up to you. You may realize I’m not able to check these so I can’t tell you how good I think they are. But I’m sure you’ll want for your own benefit for the theme, styles, etc. to make the report look really good. But your report need to have a title and the content should include the date range for the project, say, underneath the title. So that’s when the project starts, when the project ends, and then one table and one chart. Each of them must have at least one heading, maybe a heading and subheading; either presented as a heading above the table or chart or as a caption below it. And either the table or the chart should relate to tasks and the other one should relate to resources.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So that’s it. I don’t mind what data’s in them and I don’t mind what sort of chart it is. I don’t mind how many columns in the table. How you sort them that’s entirely up to you to experiment with those. You just need one each of those. The data you’re going to use is in example-05 which is the stand alone single house building project with some progress marked in it. My answer is in example-06. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 9 – Types of Reports Video: Burndown Reports Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the last few sections we’ve been looking at reports. You’ve seen how to create certain types of report, including reports right from scratch, and we’ve looked at how to customize reports both in terms of their content and their appearance. We’re now going to look at some specific reports and in this section, I’m going to look at one of the new report types introduced in Project 2013 and that’s the Burndown report. In order to show you how to create and use Burndown reports, what I’ve done is to make a copy of the NFF website development project and I’ve turned it into a single MPP file with its own resources and you can see that project here. I’ve also stripped out all of the tracking information so far. So I’ve basically gone back to how things were right at the beginning. I have cleared and then set a new baseline. I’ve recorded progress up to the end of May 2013 and that progress shows the project being perfectly on time up until the end of May. So we have in front of us the rarity which is a project that’s running perfectly on schedule. We’re going to go to the Report Tab, and on the Dashboards button, the drop down there, the top item is Burndown. Click on Burndown and we see a Burndown report for this project. Now before we look at this in detail, let me talk a little bit about Burndown reports. Burndown reports were actually introduced as part of some of the more modern project management methods, specifically part of the agile project method and within that specifically part of the scrum approach. Now I’m not really going to go into what agile and scrum for now but basically the idea of the Burndown report is that you get a quick visual impression of how your project is going. It can very often be a good starting point for a discussion not only to explain what’s going on with the project but possibly looking at problems that are going to arise from the current status of the project. Now the Burndown report you see here, there are actually basically two charts and you can see a work Burndown chart and a task Burndown chart. Let’s look at the work Burndown chart first and see exactly what it tells us about this project.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So let’s look at this work Burndown report. First of all, along the horizontal axis you have timescale; starting at the project start date, 21st January 2013, right through to the project end date in December of the same year. Now what happens with burndown is that what you have to do goes down. So the remaining, whatever it is, goes down. In this case, we’re looking at remaining work. We started with roughly 1,900 hours. If you look on the vertical scale, you can see that this gray line, I call it a gray line. Some people tell me it’s a gray-green line but I’ll refer to it as a gray line, is at 1,900 hours. According to the schedule for the project the amount of work will diminish during the course of the project. You very often get this shape in the amount of remaining anything of what in architectural terms is called an ogive. It’s basically a curve where the steepest part is in the middle. Normally on a project you have the largest number of people doing the largest amount of work in roughly the middle of the project so you’ll get the fastest declination of the amount of work in the middle. At the beginning of the project, maybe when you’re setting the project up and so on, the amount of work doesn’t diminish very quickly. And maybe at the end where you have less people working on it, just doing testing and implementation work, again the rate at which the remaining amount of work diminishes is not so fast. So you tend to get this shape. It’s not always the case but it’s often the case. Now if you take a particular point in time, if we go for the end of May which is where my last update will go to, suddenly we get this horizontal line sticking out at the side here. The horizontal line if you look at the legend, red, remaining cumulative actual work. Now there is a red line hidden below the gray line here which is basically plotting what has actually happened. And because what has actually happened is exactly what was scheduled, you can’t see any difference between two lines. But the actual work line stops dead at the last update point because beyond that update point, in our case the end of May, the actual work outstanding, the remaining actual work is constant because we haven’t recorded any information about what has actually happened beyond that point because as far as Project 2013 is concerned, nothing has actually happened beyond that point so we always get a horizontal line sticking out the side for the actual because there are no actuals recorded beyond that point. And as far as Project’s concerned, as I say, the actual is currently the same for every point in time after the last update point.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now the other thing to note about this work Burndown report is that there is actually on the legend you can see a blue line as well, Remaining cumulative work, and the blue line is the current schedule. Again you can’t actually see that at the moment because it’s exactly the same as the baseline remaining cumulative work, the gray line, because not only have we been working according to the schedule but we haven’t needed to change the schedule from the baseline because we’ve been making good progress. So the possible variations either in terms of what the schedule is compared to the baseline and what our actual performance is according to the schedule everything is absolutely spot on up to the end of May so you can only see one line. In real life you don’t often see Burndown reports that are quite as good as this one, where those three lines absolutely coincide up to any point in time. But that’s how it would look if everything was going perfectly well. Now the other thing I’d like to point out about this Burndown report, I mentioned it right at the beginning there. If you click within it, then you can go and you can do all the normal types of formatting, both in terms of the content, the layout, and so on. So, all of the normal resources that are available to you in terms of formatting this report are there. I don’t propose to go through those again because I want to talk about the task Burndown report and then I want to start to talk about what happens when things aren’t going quite so well. Now let’s look at the task Burndown report. The work Burndown report shows the amount of work remaining at any point in time and the task Burndown report shows the number of tasks remaining at any point in time. Now if you look here again, we’ve got a horizontal scale which shows time starting on 21st January and ending in December. The number of tasks starts up 14 and over the period of the project, it’ll drop down to zero remaining. Now again, there are three lines. There is a baseline remaining tasks, blue line, a remaining actual task, gray line, and a remaining tasks, that is scheduled tasks, red line. Once again because this project is running perfectly on schedule up to the update point which is May 31st, the three lines exactly coincide. So we have a little drop there we have a task that finishes. This is the tendering and contract task. It drops down one and we’re down to 13 tasks. We expect over the period of the project for the number of remaining tasks a sort of zigzag line to go down to zero. Now again at the update point, 31st of May, from that point onwards the remaining actuals stay as a constant horizontal line because we don’t have any actual information beyond that point. So this doesn’t

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Project 2013 - Advanced imply that there’s something going wrong and we’re still going to have 13 tasks outstanding at the end of the project. It just means that we’ve only got information up to that point. And in terms of actual, we still have actually 13 tasks outstanding. Now you do need to be a little bit careful here because you may have noticed that the default color scheme for work burndown and task burndown, they’re not consistent with each other in the use of the colors blue, red, gray. You can, of course, change those colors yourself if you want to but just be a little bit careful about that. So they’re our two main burndown reports, the work burndown and the task burndown. Now let’s look at how they appear when things go wrong which, of course, they usually do. So in terms of things going wrong, let’s start with something pretty straightforward. Let’s go back to doing a status update. Let’s say a status update at the end of June. The last date was May 31st. Let’s go forward to June 28th which is a Friday. When we do our project update instead of saying that everything’s running according to schedule, let’s say that on the date of our project update we haven’t made any more progress at all. So basically on that date nothing has happened, nothing more has been done, and what we decided to do on that date was to reschedule the uncompleted to work to start after that date. So that’s the second option here and we’re going to say just reschedule the whole project for me starting on that date. Let’s click on OK. Let’s see what happens. So Project has rescheduled everything and we can take a look at our Burndown report. Let’s start with the work burndown. You can see now distinctly the three separate lines. Of course, the remaining cumulative actual work line is still horizontal beyond the last update date because obviously the actual work doesn’t change until we start recording more information about actual work. But now you can see that the remaining cumulative work, which is shown by the blue line, and the baseline remaining cumulative work, which is shown by the gray line, are now different. As you can see not only as the end date of our project moved further to the right but the blue line is actually showing that lag. You can see how the cumulative work is still going to drop off but is going to come down to zero later than it was.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now if in fact, we’d done a reschedule whereby we had not delayed the whole project, so we’d said I still want to finish by the same project end date but I’m going to rearrange things, reuse my resources in such a way that I can make up for the time I’ve lost, then we would still find the blue line coming down to zero at the same that it did before. But it would be steeper. If you look at the comment under work burndown, it shows how much work you have completed and how much you have left. If the remaining accumulative work line is steeper, that’s the blue line, then the project may be late. And basically what that means is that if you are running late and you’ve had to do rescheduling, that blue line is going to be steeper. If as in our case we’ve let the end date slip, then the blue line will have moved to the right of the gray line but it will still show us going down to zero obviously when all of the work on the project is done. Now one of the things that people really like about Burndown reports is that they are very straightforward visual representation of some aspect of a project. Here you can see, for example, that the end date has moved from the middle of December this year to early 2014. But you can also see how the amount of work remaining, the blue line, has moved to the right of the baseline and you can discuss that with the management and so on and look at the options for either accepting that situation and managing the consequences of it or perhaps reusing resources, spending a little bit more money to pull that blue line, the end of the blue line back to where it was before. The consequence of that, of course, is that the blue line will be steeper and therefore there will be more work going on at any one time and probably a lot more management effort needed to make sure that the work in future gets done in a timelier manner. And just take a quick look at the task burndown report. Pretty much the same story, although of course the colors are the other way around more or less, but you can see that our baseline remaining tasks burndown, that’s basically the blue line there. Now in comparison with the scheduled remaining tasks line, the red line, you can see how the red line has shifted off to the right as well. That’s really a different view on the same situation. You can, of course, also see right down at the bottom right there how the end date of the project has moved. So that’s it on Burndown reports for now. In the next section we’re going to look at cost reporting so please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 10 – Cost Reporting Video: Standard Cost Reporting Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. Earlier on in the course we looked at costs and we covered it in quite a bit of detail. Now I’m going to assume that you have the basic understanding of costs already from your use of Project 2013 and that you’ve covered the material earlier in the course about costs; so you’ve got a pretty good handle on the different ways that costs are incurred, how to record them, etc. In this section we’re going to look at the standard cost reports. Now we’re not going to go over all of those in detail from scratch because again I’m going to assume that you’ve used the cost reports in Project 2013 already. But there are a few specific aspects of them that I want to highlight and these will help you to understand earned value analysis, I hope, in quite a bit more detail. So the next section is the one where we’ll concentrate on earned value analysis. And even if you’ve done some earned value analysis before, it’s well worth working through that section because there are quite a few changes in Project 2013, particularly in relation to the graphical side of things; how the various values and indices are represented and so on. Of course, as with all of the reporting in Project 2013, you can highly customize earned value reports as well. The project we’re going to use once again is the NFF website development project and in this project you will remember from a previous section that we had effectively a one month delay. We had an update at the end of June that showed that no progress had been made since the end of May. You may have noticed already that the task requirements definition was then split in two and the little dotted line you see appearing there connecting the two parts. So we’re running about a month behind. Now later on in the course we’re going to look at ways of getting some of that time back, but at the moment what I want to do is to look at the affect on our cost reporting of a delay like this one. Now just before we look at one or two of the standard cost reports, let me remind of something that I said earlier on in the course and that is that if you’re not careful about how you look at some of these reports, you can get completely the wrong impression. So for instance, if you look at this particular project where we’ve had a delay, if you purely look at how much money has been spent, how much cost has been incurred we appear to be below budget. Everybody may get

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Project 2013 - Advanced quite excited about the fact that we’ve actually spent less money than we should’ve done. But the truth of the matter is the reason we spent less money is because we’re behind schedule and we haven’t used the resources that we were actually scheduled to use. So you need to take a holistic view of the situation and that’s really what earned value analysis does and that’s what we’ll turn to in more detail in the next section. But let’s look at one or two of the standard cost reports now. So let’s start with one of the dashboards which is the cost overview report. The cost overview report here; pretty straightforward. We have a total cost there and a remaining cost which are fine. There is a figure down here, this sort of orange background figure here, 19% complete. This is the percent complete for the project summary task. It’s a little bit controversial this figure because the way in which this is calculated is quite complex. In fact if you look at this particular project when you say what is 19% complete, there is a way of getting 19% complete figure but it’s not straightforward at all. We certainly haven’t used 19% of the duration of the overall project because we’re roughly halfway through the time when there are 50% than 19. We certainly haven’t incurred 19% of the cost and we’re far from doing 19% of the work. So the 19% figure although it can be calculated, you can see where it comes from, is actually quite a misleading one. So I would take that one a little bit carefully or with a very small pinch of salt when you’re looking at that figure. What I want to look at really is the table below that which is this cost status table. Now if you look at the cost status table, you can see for the top level tasks the actual cost of each. Note that the tendering process and contract task is complete. So you’ve got actual cost, remaining cost zero, baseline cost, cost variance nothing. And you’ll see that there is a cost variance figure for one of those tasks. Now design and development; why has that got a cost variance? Now if you were concentrating earlier on you’d be able to work that one out but what I really want to illustrate here is that sometimes when costs vary they may not be for the most obvious reasons in the world and you may need to dig around to find them. Now design and development hasn’t actually started yet so we can hardly have found as we progress that we’re doing more work than we should be. And although we’ve delayed the project by effectively a month, there is nothing really intrinsically in the project that would add to the cost because of that delay. Well, I hope by now you’ve worked out that the reason we’ve got that costs variance

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Project 2013 - Advanced is, of course, that some of the external resources go on to a higher rate in the second half of the current year. And by pushing the balance of the project back by a month, their work or more of their work is being done at that higher rate. So it’s another thing to be careful, to be wary of. Now I’ll show you how you would find that particular thing in just a moment but I just wanted to point out how sometime you get cost variances for perhaps not the most obvious of reasons. So now let’s turn our attention to some of the dedicated costs reports. Let’s look on the cost reports menu here and we’ll start by having a look at the resource cost overview. Now the resource cost overview gives us an overview of resource costs. If we look at cost status, we have a chart there. This one’s quite difficult to read. It needs a little bit of work on the formatting but you can see the general principle there. Each resource has a column and for each column we’ve got an actual cost and remaining cost. So for people who’ve done some work like Northern Farm Foods and Toby Arnott, you can see the blue part on the chart and it gives you a good idea of how far through their share of the work each of your resources is. You can also get straightforward table there showing the rates for the resources and the actual work done, the amount of actual work done, and the amount of actual cost incurred. So that’s a good summary of the amount of cost incurred by each of our resources. Similarly on the cost menu, we have a task cost overview and you can see there how pretty much similar layout but this time by top level task. But now let’s go back and look at a very important report here which is the cost overruns report. Now the cost overruns report is one that can help us to find where we’ve got a variance in cost. In this particular case, if you look, you’ve got a pair of charts: task cost variance and resource cost variance. And without going into the details you can see the little peak here on task cost that tells us that the overrun we’ve got is within design and development. And as far as resource cost variance is concerned, we’ve got two little columns there that show us that the cost overruns on resources are against Bakersfield Associates and People4People and these are the two external resources where the cost rates increase later in the year. If we go a little bit further down, there we’ve got a table that’ll give us more information about each of these, including a breakdown of the cost variance between those two organizations.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So that particular report is a great one for identifying cost overruns, where they occur, and how they are distributed. Let’s go back to one last one of the standard reports. Let’s go back into costs and look at cash flow. Now the cash flow report generally is an extremely important one. It gives us a cost summary at the top and then a graphical representation showing cost. This is actually organized by quarter. Obviously, the time scale here you would need to adjust according to the duration of your project. But you have the bars here for cost during in this case each quarter and then the cumulative cost, the red line above it. Now below that you have a table; in this case, it’s by top level task. It’s got remaining cost, actual cost, cost, and then these three figures: ACWP, BCWP, BCWS. These are the earned value terms that we’re going to look at in detail in the next section and these are the ones that we use to give us a more accurate, or should we say, a more holistic view of exactly where we are in our particular project. As I said we’re going to come back and look at this in detail in the next section. So the cash flow report is extremely important. Now before we move on to the earned value reporting in the next section, I’d like to do one other thing on this project. Now I hope you will have used the best practice analyzer in Project 2013 by now. You may well have customized it to your own specific requirements. But if you did run it, one of the things you’d discover is whether you’ve got any tasks with no resources on them. Now sometimes this doesn’t matter and sometimes it does. I’m not going to use that at the moment. I’m just going to take a look at this project, a quick scan through this relatively straightforward project. I’m going to use the cost table and just give myself a quick overview of how the costs of my project are distributed. In the process of doing that, I can see a number of tasks with zero cost. Now things like signoff we don’t always have a cost for. Very often milestone type tasks involve no cost. That’s not that unusual. But I found a task here which has got a duration but no cost and actually I think that’s a mistake. This is a bit of a sort of throwback from when I merged individual projects into this one. So I’m going to delete this task. Now although there is no cost involved it won’t involve a variance in cost on my project. It may well affect some of the calculations that are done at the summary level in terms of durations and durations for summary tasks and so on. But I’m going to delete that now and then I believe that’s the only task that I’ve got in this

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Project 2013 - Advanced project apart from those milestone type signoff tasks where I have zero cost. So a quick run through there. That’s fine. So having tidied that up, I’ve now got some bad news and that is that the requirements definition task which basically hung for a month, very little if anything happened, certainly nothing was recorded in Project has discovered that we need some more time on the requirement side of things and the knock on effect of that will at least be that we need some more time on the analysis and design work.

Now at the moment, the estimate we’ve received is that the

requirements definition task is going to need 20% more time in total and we need to allow additional time for analysis and design. So we’re going to increase that as well by 20%. Now in theory that’s going to push back our finish time even further. But let’s take a look at the effect of increasing each of those and let’s also have a look at the effect on cost of increasing them as well. Now I’m going to start with the requirements definition task and there are one or two things about that I don’t particularly want you to worry about at the moment. The first of them is that at the moment the requirements definition task has only one successor and that’s requirement signoff and there’s no link from my requirements signoff task to any later task. Now normally there would be. There would be some dependence whereby for example I couldn’t sign off the design of my system until sometime after the requirements was signed off as well. But I don’t want you to worry about that at the moment. We’re only really interested in costs. So let’s just pull that back and we’re going to look at the cost table. Let’s look at the cost of this task, $10,400. Let’s open the task up and we want to increase it by 20%. Now the task type is fixed units and not effort driven. So if there is 20% more work to do, I’ll need 20% more time with the same units, the same resources allocated. That’s Northern Farm Foods 40%, Toby Arnott 30%. So let’s go back. Let’s increase that from 50 days to 60 days so we get our extra 20% of work done, click on OK, and of course the cost of the task now has gone up by 20% as well. Note you’ve got the baseline figure there and the current total cost figure there. And, of course, all of the 10 days is actually added to the second part of the task because the first part of it is all complete.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So I’ve made the same change to the analysis and design task. So I’ve implemented both of those increases and if I just look at the standard cost report, so if I go into reports, dashboards, and look at cost overview, I can see that my cost has increased and I can also see down here the cost variance for requirements, the cost variance for design and development, and you’ve already seen how we can identify the individual elements. But where these cost reports fall down and where earned value analysis comes in is that there are ways that you can be over cost that are good. For instance, you could be ahead of schedule. You could’ve spent more because you’re actually working more quickly than you were scheduled for and that’s why we need earned value analysis, in order to get a proper interpretation of what has happened and that’s what we’re going to cover in the next section. So, please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 11 – Earned Value Analysis Video: Basic Requirements; Percent Complete; 3 Key Values Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we looked at cost reporting. Towards the end of the section, I changed the schedule for the NFF website development to reflect the fact that a couple of tasks have had their estimates increased. Now when we looked at the cost reports as a consequence of these changes, we could see some increases in cost. But in general terms and particularly when you’re dealing with much larger and more complex projects than this one as the project progresses, it’s sometimes very difficult to work out how significant cost increases are, whether they’re associated with costs that are running away or whether they’re associated with making better progress than you’d planned, and there are various other associated issues that can often arise with larger and more complicated projects. Now the tools that we’re going to look at in this section are the tools associated with earned value analysis and what these tools are basically about is saying given the particular point in the project how are things going really? Are we really ahead of schedule? Are we really over budget or under budget? And these tools together give us some very straightforward indicators and the associated reports that can really give us a good indication of how things are really going. Now before we start to look at the tools for earned value analysis in Project 2013 in detail, I need to explain to you some of the requirements for it to work properly. You can make this incredibly complicated if you’re not careful and it’s actually relatively straightforward once you know how to interpret a few key terms. But let’s start with the basic requirements. Requirement one is that you’ve actually assigned your resources and cost to your project. Earned value analysis doesn’t really work at all until you’ve done that. And if you’ve only partly done it or if you keep changing it because you didn’t do it right the first time rather than circumstances have changed as the project has progressed, then you’re going to be looking at some pretty much meaningless figures as you go along. So before you start expecting earned value analysis to tell you anything make sure that you’ve got your project in place, your

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Project 2013 - Advanced resources assigned, and the other costs associated as well. These include things like fixed cost for tasks. The second requirement which is closely associated with that one is that you’ve actually saved a baseline. You are going to be using comparison with baseline figures. Now if you take this particular project, the one we’re looking at now, the NFF website development project, at any point in time I may decide to save a new baseline; either an additional baseline or one to replace the original, because I may decide that my reference point needs to change to a new baseline. That’s absolutely fine, but you do need a baseline. At the moment, I’m going to stick with the original baseline for the project overall. The third requirement is that earned value analysis does depend on you having done some of the work on the project.

It’s basically comparing what has happened with what should have

happened. So it’s only going to have any value at all when you’ve actually recorded that something has happened. Now there’s one more thing to cover before we look at earned value in detail and that is percent complete. In order to explain this, I’m going to just open this up and we’re going to take a look at the tracking table. So I’m going on to View, Tables. Let’s look at Tracking. And you’ll see that there are two columns in the tracking table, percent complete and physical percent complete. Now at the moment physical percent complete says zero for everything. Whereas for tasks that have started or indeed started and finished, we’ve actually got percent completes that are nonzero. As a matter of course when Project 2013 is doing its calculations on how the project is going, it uses percent complete values based on how far through each task you are. So if you’ve got a particular task, say, a 20 day task, and 10 days will have elapsed it will assume that you’ve done half of the work and the individual resources in it have done half their work and incurred half the cost. Bear in mind that when you have costs associated with a task, where the accrual method may be start or finish or whatever that will change that pattern accordingly. But basically when it’s working out percent complete, it basically slices up the duration according to how far you are through the duration of the task. If, in fact, for one or more tasks you want to be able to record a more accurate reflection on how far through the task you are. So for instance, even though only

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Project 2013 - Advanced half the time has gone, you may have done 70% or 80% of the work or maybe 70% or 80% of the way through the task you’ve only done 10% of the work, you can define a physical percent complete and manually enter that. One way of manually entering it is to enter it in this tracking table. And then when Project 2013 comes to do its calculations, its earned value calculations, it will use the physical percent complete figure rather than the percent complete figure. Now let me just take one of these tasks and just open up its task information. Let’s say take this one, database implementation. If you look on the Advanced Tab, there is an earned value method field here and this one has got it set to percent complete which means that Project will always base its calculations for this task on the proportion of the way through the duration of the task and that’s on the basis on which it will calculate work and cost, bearing in mind the point I made just now about accrual methods. Now you may have all or some of your tasks set to percent complete, physical percent complete. To set the default, so this is the one that’s applied on all new tasks, if you go into the Options and down to Advanced. I’m going to scroll down the advanced options. Somewhere down there, two sections from the end, Default task earned value method percent complete. You can have that set either way. I should point out while we’re here by the way, baseline for earned value calculation. Now I did mention a little while ago that you may change your baseline. If you do change your baseline and you want your earned value method to use the newer or even the older baseline, then this is how you change which of the baselines the earned value calculations are made against. Now the next thing I want to look at in relation to earned value is the Microsoft Project Help. Now one of the reasons I’m pointing this out to you specifically is that the terminology of earned value is often the thing that really baffles people. There’s no need for it because at the end of the day, there are just a few numbers you need to look at which basically tell you what you need to know. But partly because of the history of earned value calculations and partly so that you can really understand what the numbers mean if you really need that level of understanding; it’s worth knowing what these terms mean. Now we’re going to start with three terms that are fully explained in the Microsoft Project Help. I’m not going to go through them all now. PV, AC, and EV. These correspond to the old terms. The ones that we used in the earlier days of earned

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Project 2013 - Advanced value analysis and which you’ll very often see still. BCWS, ACWP, and BCWP. Now in many ways looking at the old terms does help to explain these terms more fully, but I’m generally going to refer to the new terms beyond this point because the new terms trip a little bit more easily off the tongue and in many ways they also encapsulate what they mean. Let’s start with planned value. Now in explaining these terms, I’m going to use the example that they use in the online help and in the online help they basically use an example of a four day task which has a total value of $100. When we say a value of $100 that means the cost of performing that task, whether it’s in terms of materials or work resources or any other costs is $100, $25 per day. Now if you look at that task at the end of day three of four, the planned value is $75. And if I look at the longer acronym, BCWS, that’s the budgeted cost of the work scheduled which means that according to our plan, according to our budget, at this point in time after day three we should have incurred $75 of cost. Now the planned value on its own is an important thing to know but it doesn’t tell you how your project is doing as the comment there says. So planned value basically says where should we be at this point in time. It doesn’t tell you anything about where you are. It only tells you where you should be. Now one of the reasons for using the example in the online help here is that I believe there are a couple of errors and I really want to refer to one of those here. I also think there are one or two errors when you actually come to produce the earned value reports, just some words that are wrong which can actually be very misleading. In the case of actual cost, what the actual cost represents is the actual cost of the work that we’ve done so far. Now in the example here they talk about the four day task again and they say, “For example, if the four day task actually incurs a total cost of $35 during each of the first two days the AC, the actual cost for the period is $70 but the PV is still $75.” That’s wrong. I think the PV should be $50 because in two days out of four, you will have incurred $50 worth of cost. Now read the second paragraph, “However with this value you don’t know how well your project is doing. For example, if you plan to get a lot more work done for that same $70, that doesn’t sound good.” So I’ve got to the end of day two. I’ve spent $70 instead of $50. Maybe I’m just ahead of schedule. Maybe I’m doing really well and I’m going to finish this task early because I’ve done the work early. I’ve got well ahead on this task. Or alternatively, I may still

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Project 2013 - Advanced have another two days work to do. I may still need to spend another $70 to do the second half of the task in which case overall on this task I will have overspent considerably. I will have spent $140 instead of $100. So the actual cost also doesn’t tell you everything you need to know. It’s one more piece of the jigsaw. It’s one more useful piece of information. It basically says at this point in time in relation to this task what is the actual cost of the work performed. It doesn’t tell me what the value of the work is. It only tells me what it cost to produce it. And the final piece, the important piece, is the third value that we’re going to look at next which is the earned value. In fact earned value is itself a relatively straightforward thing to understand, particularly if you look at the longer acronym BCWP, the budgeted cost of the work performed. So let’s suppose that I get to the end of day two of this four day task and I look at how much of the task I’ve done. I should have done 50% but let’s suppose that I look at the task and I say, “I’ve actually done 60% of the work.” Then the earned value is basically $60. I’ve done 60% of the work so the value of what I’ve done is $60. That may be completely different from the cost of doing that work. I may well not have spent $60 doing it but the value of what I’ve done is $60. If in fact as the example on the Help there says you’ve spent $80 getting there, then you’re really not doing very well, whereas if you’ve only spent $40 or $50 getting there, you’re actually doing pretty well. So the earned value says let me look at the work I’ve done. What is the value of that? What was my budgeted cost? How much did I think getting that amount of work done would cost? 60% of a $100 task gives it an earned value of $60. Now in previous times, even before we have the more sophisticated versions of Microsoft Project that we had now, even if you understood earned value analysis and you were using a tool like Project to help you to do it, you’d still have quite a bit of calculation and so on to do. The good news with Project 2013 is that these values and the values that are derived from them and the analysis and reporting that we can do is all pretty much highly automated within Microsoft Project. And in the next section we’re going to look at how Project can basically juggle all these numbers for us, give us all these values, and let us get a good insight into how well or badly a project is going. We’re going to go into these and these other values in quite some detail. But the important thing to understand really is these three things because if you understand the difference between the cost of doing some work and the value of doing that work, so I may have

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Project 2013 - Advanced done this amount of work but what was actually worth to me that’s the important thing to understand in order to understand what’s happening with earned value analysis. If you’re new to earned value analysis or you’re new to project management or both, then this really is well worth getting to grips with because it’s going to give you an invaluable way of looking at your projects. So having laid the ground rules down and the things you have to do before you start doing earned value analysis, we’ve looked at things like the earned value method. We’ve now looked at these key terms. In the next section we’re going to apply a bit of earned value analysis to our project. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Applying Earned Value Analysis to a Project Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we looked at the basics of earned value analysis. We talked about the requirements to start using earned value analysis and then I explained some of the key terms. Notably three key terms: planned value, actual cost, and earned value. Now in this section we’re going to apply earned value analysis to the current project. We’re going to look at a couple of scenarios as we do one or two updates to the schedule and we’re going to look in particular at some of the calculations the Project 2013 does for you. Now particularly if you’re dealing with a large project, there are actually quite a lot of calculations involved in earned value analysis and the good news is that Project 2013 really can do all of those calculations for you. But you still need to understand the numbers that come out at the end of all that hard work. So what I’m going to do first in this section is to show you the three values that we’ve talked about so far as calculated by Project 2013. But I’m also going to talk about the other values that are also going to be important when you’re interpreting progress on a project. So let’s get started. Now later on in this section we’re going to look at some earned value reports and how to use those. But we’re going to begin by looking at some tables that are actually dedicated to earned value. So if I go to the tables drop down on the View Tab and go into More Tables, one of those is the earned value table and let’s have a look at what’s in the earned value table. What you’ll see in the earned value table, there’s quite a few columns of information and I’m going to talk about that information now. First of all, we have the PV, the planned value; we talked about planned value before. We also have the EV, the earned value, and then we also have the AC, the actual cost. These are the three key numbers. Now notice that these are available for the whole project. So I’ve got these values for the project summary task right at the top. And then for each individual task, I have the same. Now for most of the tasks in this project the earned value and the planned value are zero because I haven’t got to the point where those tasks have even started; but for some of them, I have. Let’s look at those three values in particular. Now let’s start with this task, task ID 2, tendering process. This task was completed some time ago. It was completed on schedule and the cost involved was exactly what it should have been.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So at this stage after the task has been completed, we have a planned value of $2,960, an earned value of $2,960, and an actual cost of $2,960. Now based on those what Project 2013 does for us is to calculate some other statistics, very important values as we’ll see in a little while. But the first thing, you can see about the tendering process is you can tell everything has worked out exactly as planned. Now apart from those first three all important statistics, Project 2013 will have calculated several others and two of them are the next two columns in this table, that’s SV and CV. Now if I hover over the titles of those columns, you’ll get a screen tip in each case to tell you what that value represents. SV is schedule variance and it’s BCWP minus BCWS and it’s actually the amount of money we are behind schedule. It’s not the amount of time; it’s the amount of money we are behind schedule. CV on the other hand, which stands for cost variance, is the amount of cost we are behind schedule. Now in the case of the tendering process, ID 2, we’re on schedule for schedule and we’re on schedule for cost as well. So we have no schedule variance. We have no cost variance. So we weren’t late. So in terms of money, we’re not behind schedule and we’re not over cost. So that task was a very successful task. Now those screen tips that I showed you just now are well worth reading. It’s also well worth going to the online Help to find out more about both SV and CV, but I’ll leave you to do that yourself. Now let’s move down to the requirements definition task. Now for the requirements definition task, we have a negative SV value. Now the negative here is reflected in the use of the accounting standard of putting a number in brackets. So the fact that it’s a number in brackets, $5,057, that tells us that in terms of schedule we are just over $5,000 behind schedule on this task. Negative means we’re behind. In terms of cost, we’re also behind by $897. So this particular task is late and it’s over cost. Now we discussed earlier why both of those things have happened, but that’s how they’re actually shown as SV and CV values. So SV and CV are actually very important values and very important to understand what they tell us because unlike the calculations that we did earlier on these two separately and together tell us really how each task and how our project overall is going.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now there are then three more values to look at that Project 2013 maintains for us and that’s the next three columns in this table: EAC which is estimate at completion, BAC which is budget at completion which some people refer to as baseline cost, and VAC which is variance at completion. What this is doing is telling us what Project 2013 currently estimates our cost will be on this particular task. So it says based on what’s happening at the moment, the cost of this task is going to be $12,480.03. The budgeted cost was $10,400 and therefore at completion it estimates that our cost will have overrun by $2,080.03. So that’s its estimated variance on completion of the task and this is based on extrapolating the progress so far into the future. Now it is important to recognize that this is an estimate and until we’ve actually completed any task, we don’t know what its actual final cost is. Now as I mentioned before, you can find out more information about these fields using the online Help. Also if you use the screen tip, say, over EAC here, you’ll see within the screen tip formula that’s used to calculate it. It does refer to another value here, CPI, which we’re going to look at in just a moment and then similarly for VAC, the formula for calculating VAC is there as well. So now we need to look at the final set of values that are important to us in earned value analysis and that’s at the indexes. Now most people like something that you can express as a single number and I guess I do as well really. So if I look at this particular project and go into tables and this time choose the earned value schedule indicators table and apply that table, I get a smaller table. It’s got PV and EV on it and it’s got SV which I explained in the previous section. SV percent which basically represents SV as a percentage; so it’s SV divided by BCWS times 100. And then it introduces the SPI, the schedule performance index and the SPI is that single number. The SPI is a number which is something’s on schedule it’s a one. So the tendering process had an SPI of one. If something is behind schedule, the schedule performance index will be below one and our overall schedule performance index on this project is 0.44, which indicates something that’s pretty badly behind schedule. Now you may think that with the amount of work we’ve done on this how can we possibly have a number as 0.44. But bear in mind that we’re talking about a situation where although we’ve only slipped a month, we’ve only been working on two tasks and everything else has slipped a month as well, even the tasks that haven’t started yet. So although it seems like a

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Project 2013 - Advanced relatively small slippage, we haven’t really done very much anyway. So it’s perhaps more significant than you think it might be on the basis that we haven’t really done very much. If we’d completed much more work on schedule, the SPI on the whole project wouldn’t have been so badly affected by this one delay. So that’s the SPI and you won’t be surprised to learn that there is also a CPI, a cost performance index. So let’s choose the earned value cost indicators, click on apply. As before, if you want to actually check out how anything in particular is calculated where there is a calculation to do, they’re generally shown in the screen tips. But the CPI, cost performance index, is the ratio of baseline cost of work performed to actual cost of work performed up to the project status date or today’s date. And the overall CPI of 0.89 indicates that we are over cost. One is perfectly on cost, below one means we’re over cost. A value above one would indicate that we’re working below cost, within cost, under budget. Now the requirements task is the one that’s basically gone over cost and we’ve got a CPI for that task of 0.83. Now those two indicators, the SPI and the CPI, are at the foundation of earned value reporting. But as I’m sure you realize by now you could actually build your own earned value report using any of these available values that Project 2013 maintains for you. Now in the next section we are going to look at some earned value reports and as I mentioned earlier on, we’re going to look at a little bit more progress updating on this particular project and what impact that has on these earned value reports. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Earned Value Analysis and Reporting Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we looked at earned value analysis and in particular at some of the most important values that Project 2013 calculates for us. We finished off by looking at the two important indices or indicators that are the basis of some of the most significant aspects of earned value reporting. In this section we’re going to pick up where we left off and we’re going to start by looking at an earned value report for this project as it stands at the moment. Now you may recall that the project had a one month delay. So basically during the month of June, little if anything happened and basically everything shifted back a month.

One

consequence of that is that the resourcing on some of the tasks became more expensive than in the original plan because some of the external resources were imposing a higher cost rate from later on in the year. So let’s start by having a look at the basic earned value report. So on the Report Tab just go into costs. There is an earned value report and the earned value report has a number of charts on it. Now I’m going to go through those pretty quickly, first of all, and then we’ll look at one or two in detail. We have the earned value over time which plots ACWP, BCWP, and BCWS. Then we have variance over time which plots the CV and the SV. Then we have indices over time which plots the SPI and the CPI. Now I’m going to come back to SPI/CPI later on. Let’s concentrate, first of all, on the one in the middle which is CV and SV, cost variance and schedule variance. Now as we’ve already seen, when either of those goes negative, that’s a bad sign. And I should warn you, by the way, that in one or two of these reports, the comments are actually incorrect. We’ll see one of those in a moment. But basically when you’re looking at cost variance of schedule variance, if it goes negative, you know in the case of cost variance that you’re going over budget and, in the case of schedule variance that you’re running late. In both cases they’re expressed in terms of a cash value. So that graph very clearly shows you that you’ve got a bit of a problem with cost variance and quite a big problem with schedule variance.

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Project 2013 - Advanced If you look at the comment on the right there, the last sentence in that paragraph, “If SV is positive, then the project is behind schedule.” Clearly, that comment is wrong. It should say if SV is negative, then the project is behind schedule. Now to all intents and purposes, the top chart shows you the same information. But in terms of ACWP, BCWP and BCWS, and the comments on the right there are correct. So if actual cost, ACWP, is higher than earned value, BCWP, then the project is over budget. If planned value, BCWS, is higher than earned value, then the project is behind schedule. So both of those charts give a pretty clear picture of how the project is going and then the indices which are plotted on the third of the graphs, basically if a project ran perfectly from beginning to end, you would have a flat red line and a flat blue line on one from beginning to end of the project. As you can see here this one went a bit horribly wrong; both lines dipping down. And then a bit further horribly wrong with the SPI dipping down even further down than the CPI. So what we would aim to see now if our project is going to recover is to see in the case of this third chart these lines begin to work up towards the one line again. Now what I’m going to do is to do an update to the project and show you what happens to the earned value report when that happens. Now my last update was towards the end of June, June 28th in fact. So I’m going to set a new status date. For me this is actually a date in the future but never mind. I’m going to set a status date of the last Friday in July which is July 26th and then what I’m going to say at the end of July 26th is actually that everything’s gone really well and that in fact the requirements definition has been completed. We were actually dealing with a task there that had moved into August but we’ve actually managed to complete it. So let’s say that at that point that one’s 100% and then we should have made a good start on the analysis and design. Now let’s suppose that with the analysis and design, what’s actually happened is we’ve made really good progress and we’re actually 75% of the way through it. So we’re actually now well ahead of schedule on the analysis and design. I do wish a lot more of my projects were as successful as this one is going to become now. But we’re really made good progress during July and made up for a lot of the earlier delays. Now I’ve also marked the requirement signoff task, ID 6, as complete.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now it’s important to realize that when you do an update like this one, which is actually quite an encouraging update, we’re still dealing with a situation where the month of July has passed. And although we’ve done more work in July than we had on the revised schedule, so we’ve done more on requirements definition and we’ve done more on analysis and design than the revised schedule said, in July against the original baseline we were due to have done work on several other tasks as well. So although looked at one way, July has been a good month, if you look at in terms of the original schedule it’s still been a bad month because we haven’t got to those other tasks. So when you come to look at the earned value report and look at what’s happened to change it during the month of July, you can see that in all three cases although there are some encouraging signs. So for instance here, you can see a little bit of a leveling off for a little bit there on the BCWP line, what you will see as you look at the others. Let’s go down and look at schedule and cost variance. They’re still basically falling and in particular the cost variance has fallen a bit further. The schedule variance hasn’t suffered quite so much. The indices, although the SPI showed a bit of a recovery, it’s still well below where it should be. So what I want to do now is to have an even better August, and what’s more in August not only do we get a lot of work done but we also find that some of the tasks that we were planning to do are actually turning out to be a lot less work than we thought. So let’s go back to the Gantt Chart again and what I’m going to do this time is I’m going to put on as my table Work and I’m going to say that when we’d finish doing the analysis and design work, we discovered that in terms of development we had a lot less work to do then we thought we did. So we’re going to be able to reduce all of these estimates pretty successfully. So let’s go and change our status date. We’re going to make the status date now the last Friday in August so that will be August 30th. We’re going to say that analysis and design on that date is complete and design signoff has been completed. The graphical resources work that we thought was 60 hours work is actually only 40 hours. The database implementation work that we’d allowed 160 hours for we can do in 100. The HTML work that we’d allowed 240 hours work for is actually only 160 hours. So having updated those amounts of work, let’s go through these individual tasks and say that at the end of August each of them is, say, 75% complete. I could, of course, select all of them and then just do this once but each of those tasks is 75% complete. In addition on the test scripting, I’ve actually had a good start on that as well. I’ve managed to get 25% of that started as well. So let’s look at our earned value report now.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now on this occasion, I’m going to go straight down to the indices and see what the indices tell us about the current situation. As you can see things really are taking a turn for the better. In fact the red index, the CPI index, has just corrected by one there at the latest update point which basically means that overall at the end of August our costs were below the original estimate. So the time that we’ve saved there on the development side has more than compensated for the earlier loss in costs. The schedule we’re still behind on. In fact, if you look back at the Gantt Chart now you would see that we’re still not finishing until we’re into January of next year. But I’m not too worried about the schedule at the moment because I’m going to look at one or two ways of resolving scheduling issues later on in the course. Of course, as a normal matter of project management you’d be dealing with that anyway. But as you can see things are definitely taking a turn for the better and when I come to do my report to my boss I can look at that last graph and say, “Well, I’m really dealing with this now and you can see how things are getting back on track again.” If you look at the CV and SV there, again you can see that the blue CV and the red SV are both headed in the right direction. So having covered pretty much in detail what you need to know about earned value analysis and earned value reporting, here’s your next exercise. This is the building project that we’ve used a couple of times already and what I’ve done is to put in some updates, take it through the month of June 2013 and I’ve also made some changes to the work estimates compared to the original baseline. So what we have now is a building job that really involves quite a bit more cost than we originally thought, particularly on the labor side. Now if I look at the earned value report for this, you can see a pretty similar pattern to the one we’ve seen so far. So you can see, for instance, a negative CV and SV there and you can see how the indices have dropped below one. Now what I’d like you to do is to take this particular project which is example-07 in the downloaded files and what I want you to do is to change this earned value report to make your own version of it. I want you to take out the first chart and the comments that go with it. So get rid of the earned value over time one. No particular reason, just to get you used to the idea of removing something. And then the other two, what I really don’t like is that way that variance

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Project 2013 - Advanced over time has got cost blue and schedule red and then the indices has got schedule blue and cost red. So make them both the same color. I don’t really mind which way round it is. So cost will be one color, schedule the other. And then the other thing that usually happens here is this horizontal axis with time on it because of the scaling doesn’t really work in the automatic version in Project 2013. You just finish up with 13, 13, 13, the year here. Put in some sort of reasonable scaling on the horizontal axis here, and that will be your customized earned value report. A little bit more readable and a little bit more consistent, but just using the data that’s in example-07. Now in order to give you a little bit of tip on this exercise which is actually a little bit trickier than it looks, I’m going to show you my answer. I’m going to show you my example-08 here. Now, of course, you don’t have to lay out your headings like these. You can decide what table of values you want to put. But the thing that’s going to cause you some trouble or that might well cause you some trouble is the date access. Now this is a pretty well known issue when you’re dealing with charting in Project 2013 and if you go into Format an axis, you may find you have quite a bit of trouble trying to achieve this effect. That’s because the easiest way to solve this is to solve it using the actual data selection itself. Now while I’ve got this chart selected, if I go into the Chart Design Tools and click on Chart Data, I get on the select category here a selection of time. Project 2013 knows that that’s a time axis but it’s here in the field list that I specify what interval of time I’d like there. Now if I click on Edit, you can see the selection I made. I made units of a month. The date format I chose from the long list of available date formats. I selected how many of those I wanted per unit on the horizontal axis, the category axis. I said one per unit. I said where I wanted the dates to start which was the 1st of May and when I wanted them to finish which is January 14, 2014. So that was how I changed that. If you, say, wanted to do it in quarters instead, then you could just say “Right, I’ll do it in quarters please.” And I’ll have it, say, instead of First Quarter, let’s say Quarter 1 2009. Click on OK and now the horizontal axis is marked in quarters. Note that quarters isn’t really appropriate here because it only records a value per quarter. So you get these huge changes between different values for your earned value statistics. So you’re better off of having a frequency of at least months and, in fact, in the second one here I’ve used weeks and I’ve actually labeled the axis two weeks at a time. So it’s the field list within chart data in the chart tools that’s most likely to give you the effect that you want when you are customizing this earned value report.

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Project 2013 - Advanced That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 12 – Resourcing Video: Overtime Toby: Hello and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. I’m looking in at the NFF website project and we’ve still got quite a bit of a problem with that project in that it’s running on into 2014. It’s currently scheduled to finish on January the 7th because of the delay we had in June. But I’d really like to get it back into the end of this year. Now I’m assuming that you’re familiar with the basic principles of looking at your available resources, assigning more resource and so on, and I’m sure that using existing resources you could come up with a solution to this particular problem in theory at least. What I want to look at in this section is the use of overtime. Now it isn’t necessarily the case that overtime is the only way of solving this particular resource problem and as we’re going to see it doesn’t completely solve it anyway. But overtime is one aspect of resource allocation in Project 2013 that people don’t really understand and sometimes get quite confused about. On our basic course, we covered overtime briefly. You may be very comfortable with it but I’d like to look at it in this section in quite a bit more detail and explain what’s going on when we’re using overtime in Project 2013. So let’s take one of these tasks, this HTML etc task. Select it here. There is 160 hours of work to do in total and the duration of the task is 40 days. It’s currently 75% complete which means 30 days work has been done and 10 days remains. Now let’s just look at the task details form for that task and we can see there’s the predecessor and successors. Let’s just right click and look at work. Now in terms of what Mark Ravenswood is doing on this, out of a total of work of 160 hours, 120 is done and 40 hours remains. Mark is allocated to this task 50%. So to do 40 hours of work, that’s five full working days, it will actually take him 10 days to do on a normal working pattern. Now what we’re going to ask Mark to do is to do some of that work on overtime, but before we actually make that change let’s also have a look at costs. Again right click, look at cost for this task, and we can see that for this task the total cost is $5,600 and of that we have so far incurred $4,200 and there’s $1,400 remaining. Now as you’ll

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Project 2013 - Advanced see in a moment, Mark’s hourly rate is $35 per hour so the $1,400 remaining corresponds to 40 hours at $35. So that’s the cost. That’s the work. Let’s get Mark to do that overtime. So let’s go back to looking at work for this task. All we need to do to allow for the overtime work is to put the amount of overtime work in here. Now what Mark has agreed to do is of the 40 hours remaining, he’s going to do the 16 hours as overtime. Now note this is part of the total. So the work is still 160 hours, the remaining work is still 40, but 16 of those hours will be done on overtime. Now the first thing to note is that Mark works 50%, so to do 16 hours of work on overtime that should shorten our schedule by four days. So currently with the total duration for that task of 40 days it should put it down to 36 days. The total amount of work that Mark does will remain the same but our schedule will benefit. Cost, however, is another matter. I’m going to come back to that in just a moment. Let’s, first of all, see what happens when we schedule that 16 hours of the remaining 40 as overtime. Note that when I do this I don’t need to put anything on the Gantt Chart. I don’t need to change any calendars. I don’t need to make Mark available at certain times or change the calendar for the task or anything like that. This is purely an arrangement whereby Mark says he’ll do the overtime, when he does it is up to him, as long as he does it in time for the completion date of that task. So let’s click on OK and sure enough the duration of the task has reduced from 40 days to 36 days. Now in a nutshell that is how overtime works, but there’s one important factor we also need to take into account and that is cost. If I now look at cost in the lower pane, I’ll find that the total cost for this particular task has gone down. Why has the cost gone down? We’re doing just the same amount of work. Well, the reason is because at the moment we haven’t allocated Mark an overtime rate. Or to be more specific, Mark’s overtime rate is currently zero. So with the lower pane selected lets go up to the View Group on the Task Tab, go into the resource sheet. We should just see Mark. His standard rate is $35. I mentioned that before. His overtime rate is $50 per hour. That’s fine. Let’s go back to the details again, the task form, and that’s a bit more like it. Our cost now is $5,840. Now you can do this calculation if you like yourself but basically we have 16 hours, the 16 overtime hours at the higher rate of $50 per hour; so that’s 16 fifteens which according to my calculations is $240. So we’ve increased the $5,600 to $5,840. So we’ve

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Project 2013 - Advanced made our schedule better. We’ve made one of the tasks on the schedule four days shorter but we have increased the cost a little bit. We’ve added another $240 to the cost of performing this task. Now let’s look at a somewhat more challenging example of overtime, and I’m going to look at one or two of the things that cause people problems with overtime. Let’s move on to the testing area because the testing area is likely to be the one now where we can makeup this lost time. If we choose test script, we’ve actually got three members of the team working on that. We’ve got Toby Arnott, we’ve got Lorraine Reese, and then we’ve got the external resources from Bakersfield Associates working on the task. Now at the moment, none of the work on that is scheduled as overtime but it does introduce one of the issues with overtime that can affect when you’ve got more than resource working on a task. And just to give it a very simple explanation to begin with, if one of the people on this team, let’s say Lorraine Reese, agreed to work some overtime in order to reduce the amount of time it takes her to complete her part of the job, that would not necessarily reduce the duration of the task because of course the other two resources might take just as long to complete their work. Now there are a couple of ways round this. One of them is for everybody to do some overtime and then the duration of the task will be constrained by the last person to finish. Another way is to reallocate some of the work between the members of the team. Now to some extent you can do this using the automated features within Project 2013 but sometimes I think it’s useful to go through these things manually to really understand what’s going on. Now in this particular task, you can see we’ve got three resources allocated. The task is 25% complete. You can see the cost figures there. I haven’t setup the overtime rates for these three resources but in fact only one of them is going to do overtime, Lorraine Reese, and she’s going to pick up the slack for the others to make sure that we shorten this task. So let’s look at work and see what the current situation is with this 25% complete task. Now if you add up the total amount of work to do, it’s 192 hours. And of that work, 48 is done and there’s a remaining 144 to do. The work is divided in the ratio one, three, two; 10%, 30%, 20%. So the 192 hours is in six slices if you like. Toby’s got one slice of 32, Bakersfield Associates have got two slices which is 64, and Lorraine’s got three slices which is 96. Now one of the things that I can do, having done a sort of back of the cigarette packet calculation myself, is to say I’m not going to divide this up into six slices. What I’m going to do is I’m going to

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Project 2013 - Advanced divide it up into eight slices and I’m going to give Toby one slice, I’m going to give Bakersfield Associates two slices, and I’m going to give Lorraine five. So I’m going to give Lorraine a lot more work but I’m also going to make up the difference between the amount she’s got allocated now and the amount she will have allocated after this reorganization with overtime. So I’ve currently got 32 hours, 96 hours, and 64 hours. What I’m going to do is if I divide 192 into slices, then with a 50% slice for Lorraine one slice is 24 hours, two slices is 48 hours, and Lorraine’s five slices will be 120 hours. Now on the original settings Lorraine had 96 hours and the difference of 24 hours is going to be her overtime. Now the figure we finish up with, if you add up the total of work we’re back to 192 hours of work again. Let’s look at the actual and remaining. Well, Toby had done eight hours out of 32. He’s now done eight hours out of 24. So he’s only got 16 hours to do. Lorraine had done 24 out of 96. She had 72 left. She’s now got a lot more. She’s only done 24 out of 120. So she’s got 96 hours remaining but we know that 24 of those hours are going to be done on overtime. So she’s really only going to be doing 72 hours in her normal hours. And the remaining work for Bakersfield Associates against the total now of 48, they only have 32 hours to do. Again if you add that lot up, the actual work is 48 and the remaining work is 144. So the totals still all add up to the original figure. Now watch that duration figure when I click on OK. The duration has just reduced by ten elapsed days. I’ve redistributed the work but in normal hours, Lorraine has the same amount of work to do that she had before. Toby’s got less to do. Bakersfield has got less to do but Lorraine is doing a whole chunk of work on overtime which is making up for the amount that the other two have lost. Now doing that calculation doesn’t really suit some people. Some people don’t like doing those things and there are actually other ways of going about this. For instance, you could actually split this task in two and use different units on the second half of the split version. But I think it’s a really good exercise this to try something like this with manual calculation and really get to grips with the work, actual work, remaining work situation in Project 2013. Anyway, the net result of that is that we have reduced the duration of the test script task by 30 days. Of course, I need to go in and put in an overtime rate for Lorraine and you can probably guess by now that there will be a cost to all of this.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Okay, so that’s it on overtime for now. One other way of approaching problems of getting people to work out of hours rather than using this sort of informal overtime approach where we just say to somebody you’ve got that many hours to work. You need to fit them in whenever you can. The other approach we can use is to formally schedule that extra work and there are a number of ways of doing this and the one we’re going to look at in the next section is the use of task calendars. So please join me for that.

© Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Task Calendars Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the last section we looked at the use of overtime to shorten a task and we discussed a couple of situations in which we might use overtime; a pretty straightforward example and then a lot more complex one where we redistributed work amongst the team working on a particular task. The use of overtime as I pointed out in the last section is fairly informal from a Project point of view. You may get involved in some slightly tricky calculations but you don’t actually schedule the work, you really just make sure the person does the overtime and then of course that they get paid the overtime rate for those hours. But now I want to look at task ID 20, this testing task. This is the task that I believe holds the key to us bringing this project back in before Christmas. At the moment, its duration is 66.67 days. So there’s about three months of testing. I hope there’s going to be plenty of scope there to knock some time off of that. We currently have three resources allocated, Northern Farm Foods 40%, Toby Arnott 25%, Bakersfield Associates 40%. Now I’m going to assume for the moment that we don’t have any other resources available so I can’t shorten this by allocating more resources. I’m going to assume that I can’t increase the allocation of any of those three resources, that I can’t reduce the amount of testing that needs to be done, and that I don’t really want to use overtime in the informal way that we used it in the previous section. What I really want to do is to schedule to get this task finished sooner but I want to do it in a more formal way. Now the more formal way that I’m going to use is that for the duration of that task and for that task only I am going to change the calendar. Now as I’m sure you know, if I open up the testing task and look at the Advance Tab, I can see that the calendar here by default says None which means that it will use the Project calendar. Now if I’ve already got a calendar in place that I could use here, I can select it. Calendar None. If I look at the drop down, the alternatives are I have a 24 hour calendar, a night shift calendar, and the standard calendar. Now this isn’t going to be night shifts. What I’m going to do is to allow weekend working and then I’m going to allow late evening working as well, so maybe up until 8 p.m. each evening. So what I need is a new calendar that supports that pattern of work.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So let’s go to the Project Tab, change working time, and create new calendar. Now I’m going to call this calendar which is based on the standard calendar the Testing Calendar. It’s not a very good name but it’ll do for now. I’m going to make a copy of the standard calendar to make it. So click on OK and I’ve got my testing calendar which I now need to customize. Now sometimes when you’re working on calendars, you’re making very specific changes; maybe to add holidays or when you’re dealing with individual resource calendars you may be indicating exceptions in individual cases. But in this case, what I fundamentally want to do is to change the working week. So if I click on the Work Weeks Tab here and then click on Details on the right, I find that the default working week here uses the Project default times for each of these days. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday will be like that. Saturday and Sunday will be non-working. So what I’m going to do, first of all I’m going to go to Monday and say I want to make this the specific working times and I’m going to change Monday so that work finishes on a Monday at 8 p.m., and then for the other days of the week I do the same. And when it comes to Saturday, I’m going to change Saturday to be a working day and it’s going to be a working day that goes up to 8 p.m. as well. So I’m going to go through each of the days of the week and make this change and join me when I’ve done that. Now before I actually allocate that calendar to the task, I want to point out something to you that really baffles some people when this happens. If you look at the testing task at the moment, the predecessor of the testing task is the test script task. And if you look in the predecessors column here in the entry table, 20 has as a predecessor 19 start to start plus 15 days. So basically testing starts 15 days after test script starts. Now if you look at the actual dates, the test script is currently scheduled to start on September 2nd and then 15 working days after that, so basically three weeks after that is September 23rd. So that’s pretty straightforward, the testing starts three weeks after the scripting starts. Now let’s allocate that calendar to the testing task and just watch carefully what happens. No calendar assigned at the moment, choose the testing calendar. I’m just going to move that dialog up so that you can see what happens here. Watch the task. Watch that column. Click on OK and what happens is that although the duration of the testing task doesn’t change at all, it moves much earlier in time. It actually starts now on Friday, September 13th. The reason that it does that is because when it is working out the lag, in this case the 15 day lag, it uses the lag that is

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Project 2013 - Advanced inherent in the task calendar that is assigned to the testing task. So 15 days, normal eight hour days, only takes about 10 or 11 days for the testing task because not only are all days of the week working days but they’re longer than normal days as well. So one consequence of this, and probably a very unintended consequence normally, is that it does play havoc with the lag in any relationships that you have, any dependencies that you have. Now I’m not going to go into that in any more detail here. You really need to be a little bit careful about that. It sort of cheats the solution to this because it’s already probably brought the end of the project back into December. But if I wanted to move that back to start when it’s supposed to start which is Monday the 23rd, I could increase this lag now with the new calendar on there. Let’s try something like 26 and we’re back to starting on Monday the 23rd. So that should have restored the original problem that we had in terms of the project running into next year and, of course, it does. So there we’ve looked at of the problems that you get with assigning task calendars, but we haven’t dealt with the main problem which is why the duration of this task hasn’t been reduced by the steps that we’ve just taken. Of course, the reason that it hasn’t been reduced is because the resources that are working on that task have not themselves been able to be allocated because they’re individual resource calendars don’t allow them to work at those times. As we saw in the previous section when we were looking at overtime, there’s no point in only solving this for one of the resources. We need to solve it for all three of the resources. But let’s look at Northern Farm Foods to begin with and let’s look at their resource calendar. Now there is a whole range of ways that I could change the calendar availability and so on for Northern Farm Foods to accommodate this longer hours and weekend working to get the testing done, but the way I’m going to do it is I’m going to go into the Northern Farm Foods working time and add an exception. What I’m basically going to say is that for this generic Northern Farm Foods resource that’s going to supply the people to do the testing, during the months of October and November this year they are going to be available seven days a week until 8 p.m. and I’m going to add it as an exception to the calendar. So I go into Northern Farm Foods, go into Change working time, and the exception is going to be called New website testing. It’s going to start the first weekend in October. So let me see when that is. That’s October 5th. It’s going to end the last weekend in November, so that will be Saturday November 30th. Now I enter the details. The details are that for these exceptions working time will be 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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Project 2013 - Advanced and we’ll say 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. It’s going to be every day so the recurrence pattern is daily, every one day. Starts and it ends on the last Saturday in November which is November 30th. Click on OK and the exceptions are changed. Note how exception days are marked in the calendar there. Click on OK, click on OK. Now let’s go back to the Gantt Chart. It’s only a very slight difference to our testing arrangements there as you’ll see in a moment. But it appears to have actually made things worse but, of course, it hasn’t. Let’s now look at the Task Usage View. Now in Task Usage View, Northern Farm Foods, Bakersfield Associates, Toby Arnott. Let me just scroll across here and you’ll see what’s happened. Notice how as soon as we get into October, Northern Farm Foods work is getting done at weekends and you can already see that Northern Farm Foods is finished well before Bakersfield Associates. You can see that the reason that the time scale seems to have extended, the duration seems to have extended is that we now have Bakersfield Associates still taking right up to the original end date but because that task is now counting weekends as working days, the actual duration in working days appears to have got longer. But as soon as I go into Bakersfield Associates and make them available to work at the weekends and for the longer hours as well, I’m going to be able to reduce the duration of this task right back down again. Of course, an alternative to that would be to give a larger proportion of the work to Northern Farm Foods, less of the work to Bakersfield Associates. There’s always a choice of the ways to go about reducing these durations and some combination of those things should enable you to pull the duration back. So I go to the boss of Bakersfield Associates. I say to him, “Look we’d really like you to do weekend and later working during October and November in order for us to keep our project on schedule to get the website up and running by Christmas.” He says, “I’m sorry because of other commitments, we can’t do that. I could increase the amount of resource a little but only during normal hours.” So I’ve now got the issue that I want Bakersfield Associates to stick to their current working schedule, slightly increased resource should do the job but I need to work out how much that is. Now it’s pretty straightforward to do but I’m going to do it in a pretty manual kind of way in order that you can follow what’s going on. The first thing I want to do is to just review the work

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Project 2013 - Advanced that the resources are doing on this. If I go into the task details form and look at work, you can see that all three of my resources although their unit allocations are different the work they’re committed to do is even. They’re all doing 213 and 1/3 hours of work on this testing. Now the total amount of work that they’re doing if you add those three up is 640 hours. It’s important that 640 hours is the total after I do this. Basically what I’m going to do is to shorten the time that Bakersfield Associates are working on it.

So they are going to finish at the end of

November. But I’m going to have to increase the number of units that Bakersfield Associates are assigned in order to keep up with that figure of 213 and 1/3 hours. Now one way of doing that is if I go into Task Usage View and I look at the assignments there, Northern Farm Foods, Bakersfield Associates, Toby Arnott. If I double click on Bakersfield Associates, I get the assignment information. Now the assignment information here for Bakersfield is 213 and 1/3 hours, units 40%, start Monday, September 23rd, finish Tuesday, December 24th. I’m going to change that finish date. I’m going to manually change it to, say; I want them to finish on Friday, November 29th. Now if I click on OK, Project will update that information. They’ll actually be finishing at the end of November. You can see there’s no more work happening on that task beyond the end of November. But if I go back in, I see that therefore the amount of work they have allocated is 160 hours. So my total has dropped down to 160 hours which is not what I wanted at all. So there’s a nice easy way to put that right and that’s to say what I want in there is that amount of work. I want 213.33 hours of work and I want it with that start and finish date. Now when I tell Project this, it realizes that there are two ways it could do that. One of them is to increase the number of units and one of them is to change the finish date. But when you do this, when you click on OK you get a warning message here, over here against this assignment. If I click on the warning message, what it says to me is you increase the amount of work for this resource. Do you want to increase the duration? Well, I certainly don’t want to increase the duration. It’s the duration I’m trying to keep down. Increase the hours the resource works per day but keep the same duration? That’s the option that I want. Now when I look down at the task details form you can see that it’s worked out that Bakersfield Associates need to be assigned 53%. My total’s back to the total that I need, my 640 hours, and all the work is back to being completed by the end of November. In fact, if I look back at my Gantt Chart now, I’ll just get rid of the task details form. I can see my go live is back to being December 13th.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So we’ve looked at in the last section and this one at some of the special cases of resource assignments and how we can both get overtime work done either informally or formally. We’ve also looked at how to change a task calendar and to individually change the ways that resources are available to work on tasks either in terms of changing a start and finish date or letting them use an extended calendar. In this case, we used basically the same calendar extension for resources and tasks. But, of course, resource and task calendars may overlap in a much more complex way and Project can cope with that as well. So that’s it on those special cases and I’ll see you in the next section.

© Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 13 – The Ribbon Video: Customizing the Ribbon Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section we’re going to start to look at customizing Project 2013. I’m going to begin by looking at the interface and then in a few of the subsequent sections we’re going to look at things like customizing fields and tables and views. Now I’m going to assume that you can customize some of the basics of the interface. I’ll quickly go through those first in this section. I’m mainly going to concentrate on customizing the Ribbon. It’s something that in my experience not a lot of people do but particularly if you’re working on a project where you have repetitive work to do, maybe once a week or month to month, you have quite an extensive update to do it really can save you time to put the commands that you use together into one place on the Ribbon. So that’s what I’m going to concentrate on in this section. But, first of all, let’s have a brief resume of some other aspects of customizing the Project 2013 interface. Now the first thing to know is the many options that are available in the Project Options of Project 2013. Some people get annoyed about the Planning Wizard but don’t realize that you can switch it off. If you go the advance page in Project Options, there’s a whole section there about the Planning Wizard. You may be annoyed by its suggestions. Why not just switch them off? Other options on the Advance Tab include the setting for the number of recent projects, for the number of unpinned recent folders, and then you also have options that determine whether you show the status bar or whether you show scroll bars and so on. Now I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with all of these, and if you’re not, take a little bit of time to go through them and make sure you understand them. Some of them are not immediately obvious. So for instance this one, “Show windows in taskbar.” That actually determines whether you see more than one window on the windows taskbar if you have more than one project open. It’s also important to remember that some of the Project Options are specific to each project and not general features of the interface. So for instance, there’s a whole section here, Display options for this project that determines the abbreviations for many hour and day, for example,

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Project 2013 - Advanced and the abbreviations for week, months, and years. You can set that differently for each of your projects and you can set a default for all new projects as well. There are many other things that you can set such as the default format for saving files and the levels of undo and so on. One other thing I want to look at now though in the interface is the status bar. The status bar is very useful along the bottom of the workspace there. Some people don’t use the status bar at all. Of course, everything that’s there you can see elsewhere. Some people are more concerned with making as much space on the screen as they can. If you right click on the status bar, you can decide by checking and un-checking which of these particular features are shown, what information you’re given. Although with the status bar, several of these things show nothing if they’re not in force. But you can already see here for example that new tasks are auto scheduled. You’ve also got access to things like quick buttons to switch between Gantt Chart View, Task Usage View, and the zoom slider. Now as you’re going to see later on in the course one other very important aspect of customization is the use of the organizer. Again, I’m going to assume that you’re reasonably familiar with this. You can access it by going into Backstage View. For the current project you’ll see organize global template. Click on Organizer and the organizer basically lets you move things around. Now the things you’re moving around generally are things that you have customized. So for instance, if you have a particular view that you customize, maybe give it a name of your own, you can keep it in the global template which is a feature of Microsoft Project that I assume you’re familiar with. Or you can copy it into a specific project file. So for instance, if I have a particular view I like to use, it’s stored in my global template and I want to make it available to other people. I’m going to give them a copy of my MPP file. I can include a copy of that view in there as well and then people can use that view themselves. As I say, I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with the organizer but during the course of the next few sections we’ll be referring back to it once or twice. The organizer is also an important part of what we’re going to be doing in the next few sections. So let’s now move on to the Ribbon. I’m sure you have your own preferences for how to use the Ribbon in terms of whether to have it hidden or to have it open all the time. But what I’m going

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Project 2013 - Advanced to look at in particular in this section now is how to customize the Ribbon. Now I’m going to use a very straightforward example. I’m going to assume that once a week I do a project update on this project. It involves me doing two or three particular things and I want to pull things together on to one tab on the Ribbon and I’m going to put two or three little groups of commands on that tab that give me a very convenient way of doing my once a week project update. Now as part of my weekly project update I use two or three groups from a couple of the existing tabs on the Ribbon. On the Project Tab a couple of groups I use there, one of them is the Status Group that I use to set the status date and then to invoke the update project dialog. That’s the basis of my weekly update. And then also on the Project Tab within the Properties Group, I very often just refer to that project information button. On the Task Tab, I use a lot of the buttons within the Schedule Group and I also use the Properties Group or to be more specific one or two things in the Properties Group, particularly the button here that I use to switch on the task details. So what I’m going to do is to copy a couple of those whole groups to my own tab and then a couple of specific commands to a group on that tab. Now I should point out that in Project 2013 you can’t actually change the standard groups. You can’t add or remove buttons from predefined groups. You can create your own groups. You can copy groups and you can add buttons to your own groups but you can’t change the predefined ones. So let’s create a new tab. I go into Project Options and customize Ribbon. With one of the tabs selected, a newly created tab will appear below that in the list which means it will be to the right of it on the Ribbon. I’ve currently got resource selected. Click on New Tab. My new tab appears with a default name of New Tab and note it says custom in brackets. I also get a default new group with a name of New Group, also marked as custom. With the new tab selected, I can use the buttons on the right, the up and the down to move it to the position I want. I’m going to put it to the right of the View Tab and then with that tab selected I could set about customizing it. So, first of all, let’s go to the list of commands on the left here and it defaults to showing popular commands. Let’s change that to say main tabs. Now I’ve got a list of the main tabs that appear on the Ribbon. The first group that I want is on the Project Tab so I’m going to expand the Project Tab and then I’m going to find the group that I want. Now the particular group that I

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Project 2013 - Advanced want is the Status Group. So if I click on Status Group, make sure I’ve got my new tab selected on the right, then if I click on Add, and I find that the Status Group is added to my new custom tab. Now before I take a look at how that looks, let me just rename my new tab, give it a more meaningful name. So I’m going to select it and then use the rename button down here and I’m going to give it a name of Weekly Update. Click on OK. There we are. Now I’m going to okay that and let’s take a look at the Ribbon. Now you can see the Ribbon’s already been updated. My Weekly Update Tab has got an upper and lower case name which makes it easier to spot as a custom tab. And if I click on Weekly Update, as you can see there is that first group. Notice I’ve got a new empty group to the left of it. That’s the default empty new group that I got when I created the new tab. So let’s go back into Backstage View into the customize Ribbon option again and add those other groups and commands. So let’s start with that new group. The new group is intended to have the project information button and ultimately some other information in it as well. So I’m going to rename that group, click on that rename button and I get a dialog where not only can I put a display name in but I can specify an icon. Let’s call that group Project Info.

I’m going to put general project

information in there so I’m going to click on OK for that. And then what I want to do is to put the project information button in there. Now there are a number of ways of putting individual commands in. If you can spot the command that you want in the list of popular commands and in this case that’s exactly what I can do. It’s the project information command there. Then all you need to do is to click on the command. Make sure you’ve got the group selected on the right there, which I have. And then just click on Add and that particular command will be added to that group. If you can’t see in the popular commands there is a list of the commands that are not in the Ribbon by default so that’s a pretty long list. You’ve also got a list with all commands in it which is an even longer list. Now as we’ll see later on, another option if you written a macro or some macros and you want to put your macro or macros on to your own custom tab and put them in your own custom group, then you can do that as well. If you can’t easily find the command

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Project 2013 - Advanced that you want, then you can do pretty much what we did just now. You can locate one of the tabs where you know that command lives. You can locate it on that tab and then you can copy it from there into your custom tab and your custom group. So you’ve got a whole range of ways of identifying what you want and making sure that you can put it on to your custom tab in your selected custom group. So that’s project information dealt with. The other whole group that I said that I’d copy over was on the Task Tab. So let me bring up the Task Tab again. So I’m going to go for main tabs, Task Tab, and the group that I wanted was the Schedule Group. Notice with some of these groups, such as Schedule Group, there’s more than one Schedule Group arranged on different tabs on the Project 2013 Ribbon. So some of these groups, like this Schedule Group here, have in brackets after them a word that identifies which Schedule Group you’re talking about. There is a Schedule Task Group. That’s not the only Schedule Group, as you’ll see in a moment. So let’s click on Add for that as well. I want that to go on to my tab so I put my tab there, click that, click on Add. There’s the Schedule Group. And then the other group that I wanted from the Task Tab was the Properties Group. I’m going to copy the whole thing over but in fact I only generally use one or two of the commands in there when I’m doing my weekly update. Let’s copy the whole load over. Click on Add. Now let me click on OK again and look at my updated tab. Well, it’s starting to take shape now. I’ve got the project information button there. I can set the status day and do my general update here. I can look at individual tasks and do updates, mark on track, etc. for individual tasks. And then I’ve also got access here to the buttons that let me look at more detail about individual tasks and then do things like switch on the task details form and then switch it off again. So that’s really just about all you need to know about customizing the Ribbon. I’m actually going to set you a little exercise in a moment but before I do, there are a couple of other things to just briefly mention. One of them is, as I said just now, if you go into customizing. So if I go into Customize Ribbon and let’s suppose that with my custom tab weekly update selected, I go to main tabs here and then say open up the Project Tab. There is a Schedule Group on the Project Tab and if I add that to my custom tab. Let me just go back and look at my custom tab

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Project 2013 - Advanced now. You can finish up with two groups with the same name. It doesn’t really bother Project 2013 at all but it might confuse you a little. The good news is that if you go back into the customization, you can rename that specific group, that custom group. You’ve actually used a predefined group but when you made a copy of it, it became a custom group in itself. So I can rename that without affecting the standard group. So let me just call it Project Schedule. That’s now got a new name. That’s how it will appear on my tab. But, of course, if I go back and look at the original, on the Project Tab the original group has maintained its regular name of just Schedule. The other thing to make you aware of, well I suppose there are two really, one of them is at any time you can reset to default settings. So if you’ve been playing around or you’ve been seriously using a custom tab and you want to set everything back to the way it was, you can click on reset there. And finally if you set up a tab that you really like and you want to use it on another installation of Project. So you’ve maybe got a couple of machines you use. Set it up on the one at work and you want to use it on the installation of Project at home. You can actually use the Import/Export facility that enables you to export your current Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar customizations into a file that you can then import and use on other computers. So that’s a pretty useful feature as well. So now for that little exercise I mentioned. This is not one where I’m going to supply a sample answer. It’s just something for you to do yourself. I’d like you to create your own Ribbon tab, copy one group from two existing main tabs, create your own group, and drop a couple of standard commands into that group. Try to associate this tab with something that you do on a regular basis. Weekly update, that sort of thing is absolutely ideal. And maybe a straightforward second part to that exercise, I mentioned earlier on the Quick Access Toolbar. If you’ve not customized the Quick Access Toolbar before, you should be able to figure that out; a combination of the Project Help and what you’ve just learned about customizing the Ribbon. Why don’t you take the Quick Access Toolbar and add a couple of additional commands to it; a couple of commands that you use quite a bit yourself. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 14 – Custom Fields Video: How to Setup a Custom Field Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section we’re going to start to look at custom fields and the first thing I need to do is to explain to you what’s called the Project 2013 object model. Now basically when you’re using Microsoft Project you’re dealing with two things. You’re dealing with tasks and you’re dealing with resources. There are other things as well, such as assignment, so that’s when you assign a resource to a task. But primarily we’re talking about tasks and resources. Now you’ve already seen quite a few different types of information about a task. So you have things like the task name which is what you see in the main column on the left hand side when you are looking at a Gantt Chart, as in this example. Now there are literally dozens and dozens of pieces of information, properties or fields, relating to tasks and there are dozens related to resources as well. Apart from the ones that we’ve already seen and used, you may have seen some other ones, what appear to be dummy fields; ones that don’t seem to contain anything or do anything. What you can do is to use some of these dummy fields to contain valuable additional information. Information that Project 2013 itself doesn’t know about but which you do know about, which you may want to keep associated with your project; either task information or resource information. Depending on the type of information and depending on what you want to do with it, you may also be able to use Project 2013 to do some calculations or to include that information in your reports. Now what I’m going to do in this first section is to show you how to introduce what’s called a custom field and then the sort of things that we can do with a straightforward custom field. Later on I’m going to then look at some more advanced and complex ways of using custom fields. So let’s get started. Now if you’re relatively new to project management or if the methods that you use are, shall we say, of a more modern variety, you’re probably used to talking about RAG status. RAG status is something that I and many other project managers use all the time, particularly associated with

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Project 2013 - Advanced more modern methods but even people with a more traditional background, and that includes me, find RAG status to be a really useful thing. Now if you’re not familiar with RAG status, let me briefly explain it. RAG, R-A-G, stands for Red, Amber, Green. And it’s a pretty straightforward way of assessing the status of individual tasks within a project. Now different organizations have more or less formal ways of defining those three values. One of my recent clients had an extremely formal way of defining it. Something that was more than a certain amount of time overdue or that was more than a certain amount of cost over budget was defined as being amber status. If it was even worse than that, if it was twice as late and twice as over budget, it was red status. Otherwise, it was green status. So there was a formula that was used to define what RAG status was for each individual task. Now what we’re going to do is introduce RAG status to the NFF website project, but we’re going to assign the RAG values fairly informally. So in order to set up a custom field, the first thing you do is go to the Project Tab and within the Projects Group, there is a Custom Fields button. Click on the Custom Fields button and you will see the Custom Fields dialog. Now the first thing to explain about this dialog is that primarily when you’re using it you will either be talking about a task field or a resource field. Don’t worry about that Project option there. So, first of all, we’re saying is this a field that’s associated with a task or a resource? Now we’re going to use an example of a custom field for a resource later on. This is associated with a task so each individual task will have a value for this field. The next decision is which field type to use. Now if I click on the drop down, there you can see that it’s got a default of text. You can have any of those types. So you could have a custom cost field, a custom date field. And basically the type tells you the sort of data that would be in that field. Now very often a custom field will tend to be either text or numbers. But in this particular occasion with RAG status in many ways, flag would be a good choice. I’m not going to use that at the moment for reasons that will become apparent later and we will come back to this later in the course. I’m going to stick with text for the moment; keep things straightforward in this first example.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So the type of data we have in there is text data. Now if you look at the list underneath that, you can see the dummy fields that are available and basically what we use is we are going to use one of those sort of spare fields and there are basically 30 text fields. We’re going to reuse one of those for our RAG status. So the next thing we do is to rename the field. So choose whichever field you like out of those 30. I’m just going to use Text 1 because there’s not really any reason to use anything else. Click on Rename and I’m just going to call it RAG. Click on OK. The field’s renamed. Note how that’s represented there because whenever you see this field, you’re going to see it appear with a name like that, RAG, with Text 1 in brackets after it. By default that’s how it will appear from this point onwards, although I will be able to customize even that as you’ll see. Now we have a number of other decisions to make. The first of which is whether this field has custom attributes. Now the choices we have are either there are no custom attributes. We can use a lookup table for values or we can apply a formula. Now as you’ll see later on and going back to what I said earlier about one of the projects I worked on recently, if you’ve actually got a formula to calculate RAG status, you can specify that formula here and that formula will automatically set RAG status. Now I’m going to come back to that question later, as I say. At the moment, the option I’m going to choose is the lookup option because what I’m going to say is that when it comes to putting RAG status on each task, I want you to look up the value from a list of valid values. If this particular text field was actually meant to be what’s usually referred to as free text, so basically you can type anything you like into that field, then you’d choose the option None but I’m going to lookup values and the three values that are allowed are R, A, and G. I could either just put R, A, and G or I could put Red, Amber, Green. But let’s put R, A, G on this occasion. So click on Lookup and then all you need to do is to type in the three values. There are some advantages in putting in the values that you anticipate using most frequently first. So if I put in G first and that’s being optimistic about my projects and my description for that would be Green. Progress good. And then I put in the other two values, Amber and Red. Now this particular RAG status field is a pretty straightforward one. There are only three possible values, R, A, and G. Once you start using custom fields you may find that some of your custom fields get quite complicated so there are some facilities within this

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Project 2013 - Advanced dialog for you to move the possible values around. So you’ve got up and down move buttons on the right. You can select one and move it around. You’ve also got an Insert button there where you can insert a new entry and a delete button. You can also not only copy and paste values into that lookup table but there’s a facility using this button at the bottom here to import a lookup table from elsewhere. So once you start using custom fields, there are some good facilities here to enable you to maintain your lookup tables. So let’s look at the other settings in the lower part of the dialog now. First of all, Use a value from the table as the default entry for the field. If we want the RAG status to default to green that’s the one that we’re going to have most of the time. We can set it as a default. So select it, just check that box, and then if you click on Set default that after you’ve selected the value you want to be, the default, that becomes the default value. You can also see how it’s highlighted differently to indicate that it is the default value. Now once you’ve added the entries into the lookup table, and bearing in mind that your lookup table may change quite a bit over time, you may also want to specify in what order to display the content of the lookup table. Now with only three entries, it’s not difficult to put it in the order that you want and I’m going to specify that I want it in the order of the rows in that table. But if you were, for example, putting in a list of part numbers, products, or whatever, you may want to specify, for instance, that you want it in alphabetical order and then you won’t have to worry about ordering it yourself in this list. You’ll let Project 2013 make sure it’s in order. So when I click on the button here that says Display order for lookup table, the options I have are by row number which is the one that I’m going to use here, sort ascending, and sort descending which you could use for example if the values were names or numbers. So row number is the one that I’m going to use here. And then the final option here, data entry options. Do I want to allow additional items to be entered into the fields? Values will be added to lookup. Now in this particular case I definitely don’t want that to happen. The only three possibilities are G, A, and R. But if I was dealing with a lookup table where somebody could add a value just by entering it into that field for one of the tasks for this particular custom field, I could allow people to add it. It would get added to the lookup table and then when other people are adding values to the RAG status field of a task

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Project 2013 - Advanced in the project, the newly added value would be one of the ones that was offered to them. So as I say, on this particular case, I’m definitely not allowing additional items to be added. So I’ve set the lookup table up. Click on Close and I’m back to the Custom Fields dialog. Let’s take a look at the rest of the controls in the Custom Fields dialog. Now the next two groups of controls on the Custom Fields dialog relate to what are effectively roll up and roll down situations. The first relates to the calculation for task and group summary rolls. If you are going to do a calculation and then you need to do a calculation for a summary row, then you can specify that here. Obviously, in this case we’re using a lookup table so the calculation is not relevant to this. Similarly with the next control, calculation for assignment rows, if you have a list of assignment rows such as you have in Task Usage View, you can specify that you want to roll down the value of this custom field but you can also say I want you to roll it down unless it’s manually entered. So, if it’s a calculated type of custom field, then you might want to roll it down to the individual assignment rows, but only if it’s not a manually entered value. And then finally you have a choice between actually displaying the data that you’ve entered or calculated or using graphical indicators and we’ll have a look at graphical indicators a little bit later on. So that’s the rest of the controls on the Custom Fields dialog. Let’s click on OK and our custom field will have been set up. Now as I mentioned before, if at any stage you need to go back and work on that custom field, you can always come back to the Project Tab, click on Custom Fields. There’s our only existing custom field at the moment. You can open it up and work on it if you need to. So having seen how to setup a custom field, in the next section we’re going to take a look at putting data into a custom field and then we’re going to look at automating the values in custom fields and we’re going to look at the use of calculations in relation to custom fields so please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Adding Data into the Custom Field; Formulae in Custom Fields Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we added our first custom field. This was a task field, RAG status, Red, Amber, Green status. And having set it up and set all of the relevant parameters and properties of that field correctly, it’s now time to enter some data into that field. Now the most straightforward way to do this is to choose a view and add that custom field to that view. It’s pretty straightforward. You can, of course, use the add new column in any of the tables that are available in the Gantt Chart View, for example, or you can just insert it to the left. So I’ve currently got the entry table shown here. If I right click on the duration column, click on insert column, I come up with a list. If I scroll down that list, you might expect to spy rag for RAG and sure enough you do, RAG, Text 1. That field is now shown. Now as you can see, none of the tasks that are currently part of my project have a RAG status. If I were to add a new task, then it would get the default RAG status of G but for the existing ones which I haven’t actually added since I setup the custom field, they don’t have default values. So let’s click in one of those and just give it a value. So let’s start with the tendering process contract. Don’t forget that particular task is complete. So if I click in the cell there in the RAG column, I get a drop down list and in the drop down list not only do I see G, A, and R, but I see those helpful descriptions as well. So any task that’s finished, as far as I’m concerned progress is good so I click G for that one. I can go down through requirements definition. Again finished, finished. So as I go through and fill in values for RAG status manually, of course I may be using some sort of written rules to do this. I may be doing it intuitively. I may be looking at each of those tasks and saying to myself, “How happy am I with how well that particular task is going?” So graphical resources and branding I’ve labeled as A, amber. I may decide that database implementation is amber as well; maybe the same for HTML. I may get down to test scripting and say I’m actually quite worried about that because we’ve reduced the time scale. We’ve made some changes on the testing schedule later; maybe I’ll flag that as red and so on. Now it’s pretty straightforward in that way to go through and mark everything with status and effectively whatever the custom field that we’re using we’re manually giving the field values. We’re manually allocating a value to that field for

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Project 2013 - Advanced each of the tasks in our project. If it was a custom field for resources, we’d be doing exactly the same thing on the resource sheet probably. But more often than not, when you’re dealing with a custom field, you actually want to automate values to go into that custom field and that’s what we’re going to do next. Let’s put together one or two simple rules that determine whether a task is R, A, or G. So let’s look at a relatively simple rule for automating the calculation of RAG status. Now as I mentioned before, different people do this in different ways.

Many people combine the

scheduling overrun if there is one with a cost overrun if there is one. Maybe also link it through to a risk register or something like that or an issue register. But all I’m going to do is to look at costs at the moment and just have a simple formula that categorizes each task according to any cost overrun. So let’s start by clicking on the View Tab. We’ll have a look at the tables. We’ll put the cost table on and as you can see if I look at the variance column, there we’ve got some significant variances both positive and negative. Many of the tasks have a cost variance of zero at the moment. Nothing’s happened to make the cost variance to appear to be more less than it was. Some things have overrun. So the analysis and design has got a positive cost variance, for example. With some of the tasks the indications are at the moment that they will come in at under budget. So for instance, graphical resources and branding, the baseline cost we have for that was $3,810 and at the moment the total cost produced is 2,600. So what I’m going to say is that if we have a variance that is zero or negative, then we’re going to say we’re happy with that. That’s a green. If we’ve got a variance of up to $1,000, we’re going to say that’s an amber because we seem to be running over budget but it’s not too bad. But we really don’t like anything to go over budget. And if we’ve got a task where the variance is more than $1,000, we’re going to flag that as red. Now I’m going to do that calculation whether or not the task is complete and so what we now need to do is to put that formula together. So we start with a new field. I wouldn’t necessarily say you’d have two RAG fields in a project but this is also going to be a RAG. I’m going to use Text 2 on this occasion. I’m going to rename it. I’m going to call it AutoRAG and this time it’s going to be calculated by a formula. So I click on formula here. Now this is just a warning to say that if you’re setting something to be calculated by a formula that something may have already been there before. You may have put manual values in. It’s just warning you that once the formula’s in place, it will override any

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Project 2013 - Advanced values that were there before. So click on OK and we can start to setup the formula. So we click on the formula button here and we get a Formula dialog where we can define the formula we need in order to calculate those RAG values.

You can actually build up some pretty

impressively complex formulas using this dialog. The one we’re going to use is not the simplest formula in the world but I’m going to start by using a very simple case and all I’m going to do is to put together the formula for flagging something as R. So the first thing to note is that in this dialog it says edit formula AutoRAG equals and what we’re actually going to do is put in a formula to calculate AutoRAG. In this first very simple version of the formula, all I’m going to say is if the cost variance is greater than 1,000, the value of AutoRAG is R. Now in order to do that, I can either just type that formula in or I can use this range of buttons that’s available below the edit area for the formula. Now this range of buttons is really pretty comprehensive. You have a set of mathematical operators on the left here: plus, minus, multiplication, division.

You’ve got various functions such as string function, the

ampersand character there. That button is used to connect two strings together, to concatenate two strings. And then you’ve got things like brackets. You’ve got logical operators: equals, not equals, less than, greater than. And logical functions such as and, or, and not. You’ve also got buttons that give you access to all of the fields that are available to you; we’ll use one of those in a moment, and a whole range of functions. Math functions, general functions, date and time functions, conversion functions. We could probably spend the whole of this course talking about how complex you could make formulas for calculating custom fields but we don’t have a lot of time to spend on it so I’m going to use a couple of the most common examples in order to demonstrate this. There’s also a button on the right, import formula, that enables you to import a formula from another source. Now in order to do this conditional check on AutoRAG, what we’re going to use is we’re going to use an If statement and we’re going to say, If the cost variance is greater than 1,000 then the value of AutoRAG is R. So the If statement in the formula notation that we use in Project 2013 is I-I-F and then the parameters of that statement go in a pair of round brackets and there are basically at least two parameters. The first one is what the conditional check is that we’re going to do and the second one is the value to assign if that test is true.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now I’m going to start with the condition and the condition is cost variance greater than 1,000. Now to find the cost variance, if I click on the field button here, it gives me categories for fields. I’m looking at cost fields. Note on the fly out menu that I’ve got a list of the cost fields. Now unfortunately because of the way I have to record this course, some of this list may go off the edge of your screen. Don’t worry about it. You’ll be able to see the main parts. And cost variance is just there so let me choose cost variance. Note it appears in the formula as the name of the field in square brackets. The next part of the test is greater than so there is a greater than symbol here. That button there is greater than, and then I just put in 1,000. So cost variance greater than 1,000. Now comma, what’s the value going to be if the cost variance is greater than 1,000. Well, it’s going to be R. Where something is going to be a literal piece of text you put it in double quotes. So we say double quotes, R. So if the cost variance is greater than 1,000 make it an R. Now at this point, we could also put in the value to assign if it’s not R. So I could put in at this point comma, but then my problem would be…hang on a minute. Is that going to be A or G? Well, hang on I’ve got to do another check to see whether it’s A or G. That’s what we’re going to deal with in a moment. Let’s just stick with checking for R at the moment. Click on OK. We get the message again that warns us that are any values that are already in AutoRAG they are likely to be deleted this. Click on OK. Formula’s in place so let’s click on OK again. Now let’s put AutoRAG in here. So I’m going to do insert column again. I could go A for AutoRAG but there it is anyway. And you’ll see that the R values are in place. So we’ve got one there with a variance of 2,000 and we’ll have, maybe that’s the only one. That’s the only one. Now notice that in the others there is an error and when you get an error that means that their formula is not covering all situations. It’s one of the reasons why I didn’t put the alternative value in there. When you see that it means you haven’t covered all the bases if you like. You’ve got other situations to deal with. If I went back into custom fields, chose AutoRAG again, clicked on formula again, and this time as a third parameter, I put comma and I said well if it’s not red, it’s green. So I put G as my If not. Click on OK, click on OK. Then everything comes out okay, including indicating the R. But here I’ve got a more complicated situation than that because I need to also allow for an A value.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now as we’re going to see in the next section there is a function, a switch function, that can do this for us, and it’s very often the case when we’re dealing with custom fields that we’re looking at setting one of a limited number of values. We’re also going to look at doing some calculations in the next section as well. But for now I want to demonstrate a feature of formulae which is very important. It starts to get rather complicated I’m afraid but it’s important to understand that you can do this. And that is that you can nest these formulae. So for instance, I’ve said here If cost variance is greater than 1,000, make it an R. Now in the If not condition where I’ve currently just put a G, I can actually take out that G and put in another whole If statement. So I can say otherwise If, then I can say cost variance again. So I can again choose the cost variance. I could just type it in with a square bracket. I could now say greater than zero, comma. So if it’s got a cost variance, that’s positive put A and now otherwise, put G. Now notice how I’ve now got nested If statements; I’ve got an If statement within an If statement. If the cost variance is more than 1,000, make it an R. If it isn’t, if the cost variance is bigger than zero, make it an A; if it isn’t, make it a G. So my formula’s got quite a bit more complicated. Let’s see if that works. Click on OK, click on OK again, and there you are. You’ve got an R there where the cost variance is 2,080. You’ve got an A there where the cost variance is 958.75 and all the others are G’s. So there we are. That’s pretty much the basics of formulae in custom fields. What I’d like to do in the next section is to look a little bit of calculation and I’m going to set you an exercise to do as well. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Alternative of Setting AutoRAG Status; Formulae in Custom Fields Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we started looking at formulae in custom fields and we finished up with a formula for our AutoRAG custom field that basically works. We actually nested an If statement with an If statement. So things were starting to get a little bit more complicated. In this section what we’re going to do is to look at an alternative way of doing that and an alternative way that’s probably a little bit easier to follow, and then we’re going to look at doing some calculations in formulae for custom fields, and then finally I’m going to set you an exercise to do involving custom fields. So let’s get started. Let’s start with that alternative way of setting the AutoRAG status. If I go into custom fields again and select AutoRAG, click on formula, there’s our nested If statement. There is an alternative in Project 2013 which is called the switch statement. Now the advantage of the switch statement as opposed to nested If’s is that you can specify pretty much any number of alternative values and they’re not nested. What you basically say is here’s the first condition, if this is true set that value. Here’s the next condition, if this is true set that value, and so on. So as usual switch, then we’ve got a pair of brackets to hold its parameters. We put in our first condition. I’m still using cost variance so let’s put cost variance in there. And I say cost variance greater than 1,000, comma. What’s the value for that? Well, that’s red so that’s an R. Then I put another comma. Then I put my next condition. My next condition is, back to cost variance again, and I say greater than zero. That time I typed greater than; I didn’t select it using the button underneath there. It’s exactly the same. As long as it looks the same within that edit box, then it’s going to do the job fine. And in that case, the value we want is A for amber. And then finally last condition; again cost variance. I could type this as well of course, but as long as I put the square brackets in. And then that one is less than or equal to so I type less than, equal to zero, and the value for that is G. Now if I had a particular custom field where there were four or five or even ten different values, I could put them in there in just that way, just put the conditions down for each. I hope that when I do this I’m going to finish up with exactly the same answers that I got before. If I’ve done that correctly I will. Click on OK, click on OK, and that’s a relief. I’ve got the values that I got before. So that alternative way works absolutely fine and gives me just the same results.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So now let’s turn our attention back to the house building project. This is the latest version. And if I look at the resource sheet, you may remember we’ve got a few resources on the resource sheet which are materials. In reality in a house building project, we’d probably have hundreds of material resources. To keep things manageable I’ve just got five or six there. What we’re going to do is to recognize that within whatever jurisdiction we’re doing this work, we have to allow for tax on the materials and there’s a 10% rate of tax on these materials. So if you take something like a yard of concrete which is currently priced at $78, we need to add a separate field for the tax which is 10% of that, and then we’ll need a total field as well. Now I’m going to show you how to set up the tax field and then your exercise is going to be to finish it off and come up with a total field for the total price of the material. Now I should point out that once you start doing things like this, you need to be a little bit careful about things like the reports that you produce. Because if you take this as an example, if I were looking at the total cost of building this house and I were using the price based on the material cost I’ve got here. If I ignore that tax and stuck with the standard reports, I’d be in great danger of forgetting 10% of my material cost. So when you do this, what you really also need to do is to look at any reports you produce and to some extent to look at any views which we’re going to come back to in a little while. And just say to yourself, “Do I really need to use my new total cost for this resource including tax where tax applies rather than the standard one based on the standard rate?” But more of that sort of thing later. At the moment, let’s concentrate on getting these custom fields set up. So what we need to do is to now define a custom field. So it’s a custom field. It’s a custom field for a resource. We’re going to use one of the cost fields. We’re going to use Cost 1 and we’re going to rename it to Tax. Okay. Now we need to define it using a formula. Usual warning about overwriting values that were already in that field; back into the formula. To calculate the tax, what we really need to do is to multiply the standard rate by the tax rate. So that’s pretty straightforward. Click on field. We know it’s a cost field for a resource. The standard rate is there. The multiplication symbol is the asterisk. And then the tax rate is 0.10, that’s 10%. That will give us our tax on a particular material. Well, let’s click on OK. The usual warning about overwriting values, click on OK again. Click on OK again. Now let’s put that tax figure in. What I’m going to do is I’m going to put in here. So I’m going to insert a column and I’m going

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Project 2013 - Advanced to say that it’s Tax Cost 1. There we are. Now, of course, you can see what the problem is because it’s absolutely great for the materials. It’s done 10%.

You’d probably be a bit

disappointed if it didn’t. But it’s also put down tax on all of the work resources as well. And sometimes you might say, “Well, I’m not going to use tax on the work resources anyway so let’s just ignore it.” But in reality it just makes things messy if you have figures in there that you’re not really going to use. So what I’m going to do with this formula is to change it a little and say that it only applies in the case of material resources. So let’s go back in and define this custom field as only giving us a value when it’s dealing with a material resource. So let’s go back into our custom field definition yet again, go back to the formula. Clearly, we’re going to need a condition here, so it’s If. Now the field we check to see if this is a material resource is actually you might think it would be a text field for type but it isn’t because the type although it’s shown there. You can just about see that type column behind the dialogs, type work, type material. Type is actually stored as a number in Project 2013. So the number you want is type. And basically the values you’re most interested in are a type of zero for work and a type of one for material. So we’re really going to check to see if the type is one which makes it a material. So that’s our condition, type equals one. And if it is, the tax is standard rate times 0.1, and in any other case, the tax is zero. Closing bracket, click on OK, click on OK again, and there we are. You can see that for the work resources we’ve got a tax of zero and for the material resources we’ve got our 10% tax applied. Now it’s important to realize that this is not how everybody does this. This is one way of doing it. In some cases what people do is to setup the standard rate as the price including tax and then they’ll have a custom field for the net rate, the rate excluding tax. It very much depends on your locale, the tax rules, and the way that your own individual company goes about tax, VAT or whatever, taxes and charges apply in your locale. So that’s a very straightforward example. In your exercise, what you need to do now is to continue with this and come up with a total price, a price including tax for material resources. And you’re only going to want that for material resources as well. Now if you were going to pursue this further there are a couple of other things you might do as well and one or two of these you might want to incorporate into later exercises. Bear in mind

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Project 2013 - Advanced that if you were doing say a report now on project costs. If you had, I know this sounds very unlikely, but if you had forgotten to allow for tax, then when you go back to look at your baseline cost, your total cost, report costs, and so on then you would need to make sure that taxes were included if indeed that’s how reporting in your organization was due to be done. Many organizations, particularly in the U.K. that I’m aware of where they reclaim the VAT, the value added tax on materials don’t include that in their report, so they only include net amounts anyway. But as I say that very much depends on your locale. Example-09 is pretty much exactly as you see it here. What I want you to do is to produce your version of this project. Mine is example-10. And in it there is another additional field for resources which is the total price. So it’s price including tax for each of the material resources. Now there are just two other things in relation to custom fields that I’d like to quickly cover before we finish on custom fields. First of all, let’s just go back yet again into the Custom Fields dialog and let’s look at the resource custom field that we’ve just setup, so that’s under cost. You notice that when I’ve set up each of these custom fields, I’ve renamed the standard field. So Cost 1 was renamed to Tax, for example. You can in fact use these spare fields, Cost 2, Cost 3, Text 1, Text 2, etc. You can use them without renaming them and a lot of people do. In my experience that’s a really bad idea because what happens is if you’ve renamed a custom field and you’ve given it a specific name like Tax or Price including tax, then it’s pretty obvious that you have deliberately decided to that spare field as a custom field. If you don’t rename them then people can look at your project and think, “Well, I wonder if Cost 1’s used for anything. I wonder if Cost 2 is used for anything.” I quite often look at old projects, including old projects of mine where something’s been used as a custom field, not renamed, and I’ve basically just ignored it or even deleted the contents of the field without realizing that it was actually quite valuable information. So as a general rule when I’m reusing one of the so called spare fields in Project 2013 as a custom field, I always rename it. The last thing that I’d quickly like to cover here is the use of graphical indicators. So I’ve switched back to the NFF website project. I’ve got the AutoRAG custom field displayed there. If I go back into the Custom Fields dialog with AutoRAG selected, down to the very bottom here, Values to display data. I’ve used data throughout so far. Now I’m going to use graphical indicators and with graphical indicators I say, “What’s the test for AutoRAG?” Well, if the

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Project 2013 - Advanced value of AutoRAG equals, in this case, it will be just the letter R, I choose an image. There’s a whole list I can choose from here. Drop down box. I’m going to put the red block there. And then the next one is, if it equals a value of amber, the image I’m going to choose is, let’s have a little amber flag shall we. And then if it equals G, everything’s good. Let’s have an everything’s good indicator. I think I might just put a smiley green there. There we are. That’s it. Now this is for non-summary rows. For summary rows, I can do something like inherit criteria from nonsummary rows. I can also have one for the project summary, etc. Keep it simple for the moment and just deal with this for non-summary rows. Click on OK, click on OK, and there I’ve got a nice set of indicators, mostly smiley greens, the odd yellow flag, and one big red blob. So that’s a use for graphical indicator that can be good as well. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

© Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 15 – Custom Tables Video: Customization of Tables Toby: As an experienced user of Project 2013, I’m sure that you’ve used sorting, filtering, grouping before. And as far as tables and views are concerned, we’ve already looked at those in some detail on this course already. We’re now going to look at customization of those and at some of the more advanced aspects of their use. The next few sections are going to be quite short but we’re going to cover quite a bit of detail and hopefully extend your knowledge of those tools and how to get the best out of them. We’re going to start in this section by looking at the customization of tables. One of the things that I see surprisingly often when people are using Microsoft Project is that they’ll take something like the entry table and they will constantly add columns, change widths, move things around because it’s not quite the way they want it. And then the next time they come to do the particular job they go through exactly the same process again. It’s important to recognize that with Project 2013 out of the box you get a certain number of standard tables and you can customize those pretty much to any extent that you want and it’s a very good idea to save any changes you make that you like to reuse. Now overall I find that the way that people do things in Project does vary a lot. I know quite a few people that do virtually all of their updating by entering data directly into tables, which is absolutely fine. But if you’re doing that it’s a good idea to have just the tables you need setup so that you can do it in as few operations and with as little switching between tables as possible. So it’s a good idea to be able to set up tables that have exactly the information that you want in them. Now what we’re going to do in this section is I’m going to take pretty much a sort of random selection of fields and just look at how you would customize a table to contain basically the data that you want and to be formatted in the way that you want as well. So let’s start with the entry table which is the table that is applied here. You can see the content right in front of you. If I go to the Tables button on the View Tab in the Data Group and the entry table you see is ticked, note that right at the bottom I’ve got that More Tables button. Let’s

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Project 2013 - Advanced go into more tables and with entry selected I’m going to click on Edit. And we’ll look at the definition of the entry table. Now first of all, the name of the table is up at the top there. It says ampersand, Entry. The significance of the ampersand is that the ampersand character before the E in entry there means that we’ve got that setup as basically a shortcut. You’ll see it when you look at the menu. The E is underlined and that means that when the menu is shown, if I press the E key on my keyboard, I will get the entry table. This is a common feature across many of the components of Microsoft Project. I also have a checkbox on the right that determines whether this particular table is shown in the menu. Now let’s look at what’s at the bottom. We have a lock first column checkbox which basically says the first column is always going to be visible. That in this case is the ID so that’s why you will always see the ID numbers down there.

That’s your most specific, unique way of

identifying a task. If I unlocked that, then when I scrolled left or right I could lose or un-lose that ID column. The second checkbox, Auto adjust header row heights. As you will have noticed if you change the width of the columns you will find that the row heights for the header can change as well because losing too much information in the header makes it impossible to know what’s going on. I’ll demonstrate that to you in just a moment. And then we have one other feature, the Show ‘Add New Column’ interface. That’s the feature whereby at the right hand edge of the table we have an empty column basically where you can choose from the available fields and decide to show a new column for one of those fields. Now some people don’t really like that. They’ll just do an insert column anyway. They don’t need that feature there. So it’s your choice really whether you have that add new column interface on the right hand end of the table or not. Now I’m going to assume that you’re reasonably familiar with the principles behind all of this. The main body of the table has a list of the fields that are shown. For each field, field name, the alignment for the data in that field. So ID is center aligned, duration is right aligned, cost rate table is left aligned, and so on. The width of each of the fields and then we’ve got alignment of the title which may be different from alignment of the content of the data in the field, a Yes/No

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Project 2013 - Advanced for whether the header text can wrap and a Yes/No for whether the text in the data can wrap. If there’s an entry in the title column here, it means that the title given, in this case Task Name, supersedes the actual field name which is Name. Within the Project 2013 object model, the name of a task is Name and the name of a resource is Name as well. So the titles are often used to avoid any confusion. So putting Task Name there helps avoid any confusion with resource name or anything else name for that matter. Below this list here we have a date format selector. This currently is set to the default day format but there are many other date formats available. And then we can also set the row height. So if for example you wanted to set the row height at double the current row height, you could click on OK, click on Apply, and now each of the rows in the entry table has twice the height. So you’ve seen the basics there of the properties of a table. Let’s now set about creating a new table. I’m going to create a table to use with my weekly update. I’ve got a pretty good idea of which fields I’d like in that table and there are two or three ways of going about creating it. I’m going to start by creating it completely from scratch which isn’t always a good idea because often it involves quite a bit of work. But sometimes if the structure and content of the table you want are quite different from any existing tables, it can be the best way to go. So let’s start with the tables drop down again. We go to More Tables and I’m going to create a new table. So click on New. It’s going to hold task information and I’m going to call it TA Weekly Update. So it’s the table I’m going to use for my weekly update. Now I want to put it on the menu so that I can get to it easily and I’m going to make a shortcut as well. I’ve checked which other letters are used. One that isn’t used is D so I’m going to put an ampersand in front of the D there, and now I start deciding which fields I’d like in my table. So start with ID. I virtually always put ID in first because it is a unique way of identifying a task. I usually also start with all the default settings for widths, wrapping, etc. I will almost always as well put in the task name. So name goes in there and I will normally override that in the way that you saw before. This time I’m going to put in the AutoRAG as well. So AutoRAG goes in there. That’s that one and I’m going to override that title with RAG Status. This is a new one in a table so let me just check the settings. Data aligned left. No, I’m going to center align that because it will

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Project 2013 - Advanced always be a single symbol. The width currently is ten. I don’t need anything like ten. I would think four would be enough for that. In fact I don’t need ten for the ID so I’m going to set that down at six and I’ll leave that left aligned. That’d be fine. And then for RAG Status align the title center. Do I need to wrap the header? Well, yes I’ll wrap that. Wrap the text in the data? No, it’s only going to be one symbol. And then the other thing I want to put in here is Work; so with the list click on the W, go down to Work. Again, I’m going to just accept the default values. Do I want to lock the first column? Yes. Do I want to auto-adjust header row heights? Not particularly. Do I want to show the Add new column interface? No. I’m quite happy to add columns by doing insert column. And then date format, default yes. I haven’t got a date in there at the moment but I’ll accept the default if I later add a date column. And then row height one; that’s fine. Click on OK. There’s my new table. Click on Apply and my new table is applied. Now one thing you can see straightaway is that the task name field isn’t nearly wide enough. So let me adjust that now to there. ID’s okay. I’ve got the AutoRAG. I’ve got the work. That looks absolutely fine. Now let me switch back to one of the other tables. Let’s go back to the entry table and then drop the menu again and notice how where it says TA Weekly Update; you can probably just about see it underlined on the D. That’s the shortcut. Touch the D and I’ve got my new TA Weekly Update table displayed. Now I mentioned wrapping a couple of times and if you take the task name column, for example, if you look at the task names here, none of them occupy more than one line. Let me just pull the task name, the right hand edge of that column over to here, and you’ll see that that row has turned. If you go into the definition of the table, you can see that the task name field has text wrapping enabled. Therefore stick with that. If I pull it a little bit further over to the left, you’ll see that more and more of the text wraps. When the rows become taller as this one has against ID 14, they always operate in multiples of a whole row. So you can’t have sort of two-and-a-half row heights. It’s one, two, three, and so on. Now as far as the headers are concerned you’ve already seen how to set whether the header text can wrap or not. Within that same dialog for a table definition, the option that I mentioned earlier on of the second button there, Auto-adjust header row heights determines whether as you change the column widths the header row height automatically adjusts or not.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So that’s pretty much it on the main features of a table definition. Let’s take a look at a couple of other ways that I could arrive at a custom table. Well, one way that I can always arrive at a custom table is if I’m, say, working on a display like this one. I’ve adjusted the columns in the table and I’ve got exactly the combination that I want. I can go to that table drop down again and you’ve probably noticed already near the bottom an option: Save fields as a new table. Click on that. It comes up and asks me for a new table name if I want to save as a new table or I can just say update the current table. So if I wanted to change the definition of TA Weekly Update that would be one way of doing that. And yet another option, let’s suppose that I know that one of the existing tables, say, the cost table is a good basis for me to put together a TA Cost Table. If I go into the tables drop down again, down at the bottom more tables, and if I say copy the cost table. So go to cost and then click on copy. I get a copy of the cost table. The name is there, Copy of Cost. I could give it my own name if I wanted to. So I might call it say TA Cost. I could decide whether I want to show it in the menu and then I can change the rows, change definitions, change the actual rows that are included, change the sequence, anything I like, get it just the way that I want it, and save that as a new table as well. So I’ve got two or three other things to quickly point out about tables before we move on to views. You’ve already seen me using that tables drop down. There is another way of switching tables. You may or may not be aware of it. If you right click on the Select All button in the top left of the display there where my cursor is now, provided you’re on a view with a table, you can have a list of the available tables. So you can just switch tables by selecting there and that’s a pretty good way of going backwards and forwards. Another point to bear in mind when you’re working with Project 2013 is that there isn’t in effect a reset button for table definitions. So if you took something like the entry table definition, made some changes, completely messed it up, there isn’t a button you can push to put it back to how it was when you first used it. So my recommendation is that you always make a copy of a table and that you work on a copy of the table so that the original standard tables are always there in their original form.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Finally on tables, don’t forget the organizer. If I click on the organizer here, you’ll see that I have a number of tables in here, including the customize TA Weekly Update table here. Notice the Tables Tab is selected at the top there. If that wasn’t in my global template which in fact it is, always make sure you get a copy in there so that you can use this in other projects if indeed you need to. And just while we’re about this don’t forget a couple of sections ago we looked at fields. Note I’ve got those two custom fields there. Those two custom fields however are not in my global template. So if I want to keep either of those, it’d probably be a good idea to copy them over there into the global template. So that’s it on custom tables. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 16 – Custom Views Video: Creating a Custom View Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. I’m going to assume that you’ve already covered the section in this course on custom tables. In this section, we’re going to look at custom views and several aspects of the approach to custom views are really quite similar to the approach to custom tables. So I’m going to shortcut those a little. I’m also going to assume that you’re basically familiar with the views in Project 2013 and in this relatively short section, I’m going to concentrate on a few of the more advanced of aspects and one or two things that you may not have come across before. So, first of all, I’m going to create my own custom view to use with my weekly update and that’s my starting point for this section. Now a few of the views are identified in Project 2013 as being particularly significant and being used most often. You can switch between those using the buttons towards the right hand end of the status bar. So you’ve got the Gantt Chart View button there currently highlighted, Task Usage View, Team Planner View, and Resource Sheet View. Also depending on the selection of a tab, I’ve got the View selected here; you’ve got a drop down on the left from Gantt Chart. You can choose views from there. Also on the View Tab, you’ve got the views buttons, resource views buttons in this case. If I click on Other Views within there, I can go to More Views and within more views I have a full list of the available standard views within Project 2013. Now the situation with standard views is pretty much the same as it is with standard tables. There isn’t a reset button. So if you’re going to customize a view, you should make a copy of it and customize the copy. If you want to create a new view, which I’m going to do in just a moment, that’s fine. If you want to edit a view, let’s just click on Edit on the Gantt Chart View, although I’m not actually going to change it, and here is the view definition for Gantt Chart View. Note the name with the same principle with the ampersand symbol. That means that the keyboard shortcut for this from the menu will be the G. The table is the entry table. There’s no grouping. If you’re not familiar with grouping, I’m going to cover that a little bit later on in the course. And then you can also apply a filter. If you have a filter applied, you can actually check

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Project 2013 - Advanced this box, highlight filter, in which case the items that satisfy the filter will be highlighted rather than just included and then the checkbox here can be used to determine whether this particular view appears in the menu or not. So there are the properties of a straightforward view. There are two types of view. There are the single views and the combination views. I’m going to come back to that in a moment as well. But in the same way as with custom tables if you’re going to create a new view you can use this view definition box from scratch which is what I’m going to do in a moment. You can also edit a copy of an existing view and also you can set up a view that you like and then you can basically save that as a new view, very similar to the approach as with custom tables so I’m not going to go through all of that again here. So let’s create a new view. Click on New. I’m going to use a single view on this occasion. Click on OK. This particular view I’m going to call TA Milestone Highlights. I usually put my initials at the start of the name then my views will appear in menus, etc. altogether. It makes it easier for me to find mine. It’s going to be basically a Gantt Chart with a table. The table I’m going to use is going to be the standard entry table. I’m not going to use any grouping so I just choose No group. The filter I’m going to apply in this case is milestones. But I’m going to check highlight filter which means that you’ll see how a highlight filter looks. Show it in the menu Yes. I’ve not put an ampersand in the name so I’m not looking for a keyboard shortcut. Click on OK. And then apply that and what you can see. It’s a pretty straightforward view. The timescale isn’t very well set but you see all of the items. And I’d need to adjust table widths and a few other things but basically you can see what a highlight view does because the milestones are highlighted. If it’s not a highlight filter, if it’s a filter, then I would only have seen the milestones. Here I see everything but the milestones are highlighted. Now one of the things that I may well want to do is to adjust this view to fix some of the obvious deficiencies in it. So for instance, if I wanted to change the font, size of the text, the entries and so on, adjust some column widths which is what I’m doing now, and I might choose here to show the whole project in view, and so on. But having adjusted that particular view the way I want it, I can then use the save view option. I can say save it as a new view or update the current view. Update the current view is what I’m going to do. Click on OK and the current view already exists in Global.MPT. Do you want to replace the view with the new view? So when you do an update like this and you want to do a Save As, it’s obviously just checking to let you

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Project 2013 - Advanced know that you’re going to overwrite what’s there before in case you’ve accidently used the name unintentionally. We’re going to overwrite it so that’s fine. And then having got that view exactly the way that I want it, if I’m going about my normal work, I use a different view. Let’s suppose I even go for something like the Network Diagram, completely different. At some later stage if I then come back and I want to look at my custom view again, so I go down to TA Milestone Highlights, then the changes that I made there will be saved. Now the other type of view that I may want to create would be a combination view. I’m assuming you’ve used combination views where you basically have one view that has the whole project and then the second view which shows more details about a selected task within the project. So let’s go back to the other views menu, go to More Views, and we’re going to say New again. This time we’re going to say Combination View. The dialog then looks a little different because we have a view definition that gives us a name. So this is going to be my weekly update view which is going to be a combination view, and in the primary view what I’m going to do is to put ultimately my own version of a Gantt Chart. For the moment, I’m going to put Gantt Chart in there and then in the details pane I’m going to use the straightforward task details form. I’m going to show it in the menu, click on OK, and that’s my TA Weekly Update. Let’s apply that. Routine Gantt Chart in the top and the task details form in the bottom. Now if I want to create my own Gantt Chart variant, perhaps one that includes my TA Weekly Update table in it, certainly including a relevant part of the project, maybe all of the project, maybe just part of it. Then I can make my custom view for the top part and change this combination view definition to use my custom version of the Gantt Chart. In that way, I can create a custom combination view. Now I’m going to set you a little exercise on combination views later in this section, but there are a couple of other things I’d quickly like to cover. Again, they’re things you may not have come across. One of them is Roll up Views. Let me just hide the task details. Well, I only need to click on the split bar to do that. On the Format Tab towards the left in the Format Group there’s a Layout button and something that can be very useful when you’re dealing with a project that’s maybe very, very big, maybe dozens, hundreds of tasks in it, highly structured, you may want to be able to get a good view of progress on the project but there may be so many tasks that it’s actually very difficult to keep track of them all, keep them all in view, and get it a good

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Project 2013 - Advanced overview of progress. This may be particularly useful when you’re taking the broad view and maybe even useful when you’re looking at things at a high level, perhaps from a sort of program management level. One of the options in this Layout dialog says Always roll up Gantt bars. Now if I select that and click on OK, if you look at say Design and Development, look what happens to the Gantt bars for the top level summary task and the levels immediately below it. Click on OK. What happens is the progress information is rolled up into those summary bars. If I subsequently collapse that particular summary task or in fact all summary tasks, each summary task has a visual summary of the work on it; very easy to read, particularly if you want to get a high level view. One other very useful aspect of that, let me just click on layout again, if I check the box underneath that, Always roll up Gantt bars and check Hide roll up bars when summary expanded. Watch what happens now when I expand one of these. Let’s expand Design and Development. Look at the bar for the summary task. You see it goes back to the situation where it’s just a summary task. It shows the duration but it doesn’t give a summary of progress. So the ones that are collapsed have the summaries, the ones that expanded you get the detail. If I collapse that again, of course I get the summary of progress in the summary bar. Now I’m going to assume again that you’re familiar with formatting things like Gantt Views and things like Network Diagrams as required. I’m just going to concentrate on one other thing you may not be aware of. Task Usage and Resource Usage Views are very useful ones when it comes to things like resource leveling and working out how best to use your resources. If we click on say this requirements definition task here and go into Task Usage View, you should be familiar with the Task Usage View where you have the task and then a list of the resources; in this case, Northern Farm Foods and Toby Arnott. And you can see the work that they’ve either done on our schedule to do on that particular task. Now, at the moment, what you can see there is work. If you right click against say Northern Farm Foods, you can see that work is checked. If you want to see actual work, you can actually have on each of those assignment rows details of work and actual work and in fact you can have cumulative work and so on. So with those usage views, you can expand in the view how many details are shown. Now the fields you can show obviously are limited by the practicality of what relates to an assignment, but it can certainly be very helpful when you’re looking to resolve things like leveling problems to be able to look at

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Project 2013 - Advanced either additional information or different information to the information that is displayed by default. Now it’s time for your next exercise which is a multi part exercise. Starting with example-11 in the supplied files and the first thing to do is to set up a custom field, a RAG field, and this RAG field is going to be based on variance at completion, VAC. For any task in the project, if the variance at completion is greater than or equal to zero, so in other words we’re working within budget, then the status is G for green. If the variance at completion is negative, then the status is amber unless the variance at completion exceeds minus 500 in which case the RAG status is red. So you’ve G-A-R. Green is non-negative variance at completion, amber is negative variance at completion, but on top of amber, A, R, red, is a variance at completion of less than minus 500. When you’ve set up your custom field, you need to set up a weekly update table including that field. Mine will be called TA Weekly Update. I suggest that you use your initials and then Weekly Update for the table. And then with that table, including the RAG status, you need to make a combination view which includes your weekly update table and the Gantt Chart in the top part with the whole of the project shown and then in the lower part a task details form. That will be called also your initials, Weekly Update as a view. My answer to this exercise is example-12. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 17 – Sorting, Filtering, and Grouping Video: More Aspects of Sorting Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this and the next couple of short sections we’re going to look at sorting, filtering, and grouping. I’m going to assume as usual that you’ve got a basic knowledge, particularly of sorting, and I’m going to concentrate on one or two aspects that you may not be familiar with or one or two that are dependent on some of the things that we’ve looked at in this advanced course so far. In this section we’re going to start by looking at sorting. Now the first thing to point out of course is that the sorting options are very much dependent on the view that you’re dealing with. First of all, I’m going to look at a straightforward Gantt Chart View and then we’ll look at a couple of the others and some differences between sorting in the various types of view in Project 2013. So when most people set up a Gantt Chart they tend to have the tasks that start earliest in the project near the beginning, so they’re the ones with the lowest ID numbers and the later tasks tend to be the ones with the higher ID numbers. So when you sort a Gantt View on Task ID, you tend to have the earlier starting tasks at the beginning and the later starting tasks at the end and therefore sorting ID suits all that very well and you get this familiar kind of pattern with a sort of top left to bottom right start time. Now, of course, things are often much more complicated than that but it’s important to know that you can basically sort a Gantt Chart for tasks on any of the task fields that’s available to you. Now, of course, some task fields might seem a little bit strange to sort something on but you can pretty much sort on any of them. So for instance, I could sort this Gantt Chart on RAG status. I’ve got in there the AutoRAG, the little indicators. G for green for good, the little smiley face, etc. Supposing I wanted to sort this on those, now any of the fields in that table can be used to sort and if I click on the AutoRAG heading, you’ll see I get sort options here. Sort A to Z, sort Z to A. So I could say, okay, let’s sort A to Z. Now that would be A, G, R, amber, green, red. Let’s see what happens. Now in fact it doesn’t do that at all. It does something rather strange because it’s definitely rearranged those but why has it rearranged them in that apparently strange way? Now the reason that it’s arranged them in that apparently strange way is because by default it will not break up summary tasks. If it actually

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Project 2013 - Advanced sorted this and ignored the grouping of these tasks into their summary tasks and so on, then I would get a straight sort on there. Now in order to remove that restriction, if I go to the View Tab on the Ribbon and click on Sort, instead of just selecting one of the early options, if I click on Sort by I get the Sort dialog. This lets me sort on up to three fields. It also lets me reset the sort using the button on the right. And then I have two very important options down at the bottom. One of them is permanently renumber tasks and one of them is keep outline structure. Now it’s that one, keep outline structure, that’s currently causing this behavior where it’s not actually sorting the way we want it to. Supposing I removed the requirement to keep the outline structure and click on Sort again, what happens then is that it ignores the structure altogether. Any task which is basically the summary task that doesn’t have an AutoRAG status, they’re the blanks; they appear first. Then I get the A for amber, then I get all the G’s, and finally I get the R for red. Now you may well not find that a particularly useful view of a Gantt Chart, particularly once you break each of the summary tasks up and the individual parts of each of them gets separated, it does become incredibly difficult to follow what’s going on but there may be situations in which being able to do that is helpful to you. Let me just go back into that Sort dialog again because I want to look at that other option and explain that other option because that also can be very useful. If I check permanently renumber tasks, what will actually happen is that once it’s done the sort that I’ve asked for, it will renumber all the tasks accordingly. What some people do when they are setting up a project is to enter the task pretty much in any order they like and maybe put some of the dependencies in if they’ve got fixed constraints or deadlines put some of those in and so on. And then at some stage before they’ve actually started doing any tracking or reporting, they may just say, “Well, sort that into ascending order of start date and renumber it.” So basically I’m not really bothered what the ID numbers are at the moment. All I’m doing is entering everything. I would like the numbering of the project to make sense. So once I’ve got all of my tasks in, I just say to Project, “Okay, sort this lot into ascending order of what is very often start date and then renumber it all as you do it.” And I’ve got a permanently renumbered set of tasks where the tasks IDs pretty much correspond to the start date.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now if you are going to take that approach, just bear in mind the issue about the outline structure. If you’re entering the task without really worrying too much about sequence, then if you’re putting outline structure in make sure that when you do that sort that you do have keep outline structure checked. Otherwise when it does the sort and permanently renumbers the tasks, you may finish up with a bit of an unpleasant surprise. Near the beginning of this section I mentioned that you’re not restricted to sorting tasks in a Gantt View. There are a number of other sorts you can do. If I were to switch to the resource sheet now, for example, and go to the Sort button on the View Tab again, the menu for sorting options is by cost, by name, by ID; a different list to the one for tasks. And then if I go into the Sort dialog, I still can sort by up to three fields but the checkbox options here are permanently renumber resources, bear in mind that like tasks resources get unique IDs, and then I can also sort resources by project. So where I’ve got, for instance, a resource pool, I can sort them by the project or projects they’re used in. I’ve also, of course, got a reset. Some of the other views have very different situations. So, for instance, if I go into something like Network Diagram, click on Apply, then the Sort button is actually disabled. You can’t really sort a network diagram. So when you’re working in Project 2013, many of the task based views will have similar options to the ones that we’ve looked at here. Resource based views obviously have their own options as well. So that’s a couple of aspects of sorting that you may not have seen before. In the next section we’re going to take a look at filter so please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Custom Filters Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. I’m going to assume that you’ve used filters already in Project 2013 and in this short section I’m really going to concentrate on custom filters. By default in Project 2013, auto filter is switched on. When auto filter is switched, on you have these little dropdown arrows at the top right of each of the headers. If you click on a header such as the task name header here, you bring up not only the sort controls there and grouping controls, we’ll talk about grouping in the next section, but most of this is related to filters. And as I say I’m going to assume that you’re used to using filters. Now depending on the field type I’ll also assume that you’ve looked at the fly out here which gives filters that are relevant to the particular field type that you have selected. So here, for example, where we’ve got task name, we can apply filters such as active tasks, all tasks, completed tasks, and so on. There’s a long list of standard filters that we’ll look at in just a moment. Whereas if you click on the dropdown next to the header in duration and click on the filters, you get filters that are largely related to periods of time as it is a time field. So filter one day or less, between one day and one week, one week or longer. Of course, whatever the data type you have, the set of checkboxes here that let you choose from the available range and filter in that way as well. Now the main control for filters is on the View Tab in the Data Group and there is a filter box on the right here. Currently, it says no filter. If you click on the dropdown to the right of that, you have a couple of important options. Obviously, no filter is one of them. You have clear filter which will clear any filter that’s currently applied and you have new filter that will start you off to creating a new filter. I’ll come back to that in a moment. Display auto filter here enables you to switch on and off the auto filter facility that I mentioned just now. If you click on More Filters, you can see the list of filters and it’s really quite a long list. The filters are divided into two groups. You have task filters and resources filters. The rules for the two are pretty much the same. As with views and tables and so on, you can store filters either in the global template or an individual Project files, if you want to move them around using the organizer, so one of the tabs in the organizer is for filters. So if you make any changes or create any new filters, you can organize those using the organizer.

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Project 2013 - Advanced So, there are a couple of other things to point out in relation to filters. One of them is that with some of the filters such as active tasks, for example, if you select it and apply to that filter, it would show you all of the active tasks. Whereas if you use the cost greater than filter, so selected that; clicked on Apply, you’d be shown a dialog box where you would need to enter the cost that you wanted to see tasks whose costs were greater than that figure. So, sometimes for a filter, you need to supply a parameter as well. And then just one other thing here, if I wanted to show the in progress tasks, I could select in progress tasks and click on Apply. If on the other hand I just wanted to highlight them, then instead of clicking on Apply I can click on Highlight and I still see all of the tasks but the in progress tasks are highlighted. Now one thing I should warn you about with filters, as with views and tables before, and that is that there is no effective reset on a filter. So if you’re going to edit, customize, change an existing filter, particularly one of the standard filters, you should always make a copy of it first and then work on the copy. Now we’re not going to make a copy of an existing filter. We’re going to create a brand new one and our brand new filter is going to check for two things. It’s going to first of check to see that a task is in progress. So we’re only going to be looking at in progress tasks. And then secondly, it’s going to look for ones where the schedule variance exceeds a certain amount which means that it’s negative by more than a certain amount. So we’re looking for tasks that are in progress now but which are scheduled to finish late. So, first of all, we need to work out how to find or to apply each of those two rules and let’s start with how to check whether something is in progress or not. Now a great way to check that sort of thing in Project 2013 is to look at one of the existing filters. There is an in progress tasks filter. If I select that and click on Edit, note I’m not actually going to change it. If I was going to change, it I’d make a copy. I just want to look at how it works and how it works is to say in progress tasks have these two properties. First of all, the actual start does not equal N/A, nothing, null. So its actual start is not blank which means it has an actual start date. Secondly its actual finish equals N/A, null, nothing. So it doesn’t have a

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Project 2013 - Advanced finish date. If it’s got an actual start and it hasn’t got an actual finish, it’s in progress. It’s started. It’s not finished. So that’s how I checked to see whether a task is in progress or not. Now the next thing I’m going to check is whether its schedule variance, its SV value has exceeded a certain amount. Now to compare one of the known fields or in fact any combination of known fields, you can look at one of the existing filters such as the one that we ran earlier, cost greater than; get an idea of how that works. Again, I’ll click on Edit. I’m not intending to change it. And it’s really straightforward. You put a field in, field name. You put in a test. It’s greater than or is equal to or whatever it might be and then normally you put in the value, the value you want to compare it with. Now, in this case, the value is actually a piece of text and when that happens, what Project 2013 does is to interpret that piece of text as a question for the user. So you’re actually going to give the user a dialog to complete, a number to enter. Effectively what number do you want to compare this with? So when we come to ask the user which level of schedule overrun, SV negative value we want to compare it with what we need to type in there is the text that we want and then Project 2013 does the rest. So let’s give that a try. Let’s click on New. We’re going to call our new filter In progress and behind schedule, and we’re first of all going to put in the in progress conditions. So we know that the first condition for something to be in progress is that the actual start is not blank. We just put N/A. We then have a choice of And or Or; sometimes it’s Or. If either one of the two conditions is enough to make whatever it is you’re testing true. In this case, we need both of these things to be true. So we need it to be true that the actual start is not blank and the actual finish is equal to blank. Then we’ve got a third condition, so it’s another And because this must apply as well and this is an And, and the schedule variance value we want is SV. I could just type that in. It picks it up. Obviously I could use the dropdown and find it in the list but it’s SV. And just for a test what I’m going to do is to put in a fixed value at the moment and then I’ll change it to a user prompt in a moment. So let’s say that I say is less then and then I’ll just put zero in for now. So show me any in progress tasks for which the schedule variance is currently negative. So that means it’s any in progress tasks that are scheduled to finish late.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now there’s one checkbox down at the bottom here which is Show related summary tasks. If I don’t check that, then I may well get a list of tasks that satisfy the conditions I’ve specified, these three criteria, but I won’t see which summary tasks they belong to. So I tend to always check this so I can see the summary tasks that these tasks are within. So there we are. I’ve also said show in menu, In progress and behind schedule. Let’s click on Save and I’ve set up my new filter. Now I said it’s in the menu so if I close that now, I can subsequently go back here and it’s in the menu: In progress and behind schedule. Let’s see what we find, and we find that we’ve got some tasks. Now let me just line those up a little bit better. You can see what they’re in. So test script, HTML, etc. There are four tasks. Let’s look at some more details about each of those and we can see if we go far enough there are the SV values are negative for all of those; minus 975, minus 17, etc. So those four tasks all satisfy the criteria we specified in this filter. So that just leaves one thing to do and that is to change it so that that limit for the amount that schedule is late I can change, I can specify an input. So first of all, let me clear the filter from the project at the moment and then I’m going to go back into More Filters and I’m going to go In progress and behind schedule, click on Edit. Let’s give it a dot, dot, dot. Now at the moment where it says zero which is the literal value that it’s comparing with, I’m going to replace with double quotes. I can put in whatever prompt I like here. I’m going to put enter limit, colon, close the double quotes, and then put a question mark. So what should happen is that the user should see a little dialog that says Enter limit. So let’s click on Save. Again, I’m going to close. Now this time I’m going to apply the filter “In progress and behind schedule”. It says enter limit. I’m going to make the limit minus 1,000. Click on OK. There we are. That’s pretty much I think. Oh no, I’ve only got two tasks this time. And then if I set that again, minus 2,000, and this time I’ve just got one tasks, test script which is scheduled to be late by more than $2,000 worth of earned value. So there we are. Now you may have noticed there I seem to have two copies of the same filter. Of course, I don’t. If I go into More Filters, I can see that I’ve actually got two filters. I’ve got the one with the absolute value in it and the one with the prompt for the user. I may decide that I don’t want either one of those. I can delete them again. It’s a good idea when you’re working

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Project 2013 - Advanced on changing a filter, making it more sophisticated, or adding features to it, keep the original in case things go wrong and you need to go back a step or two. So that’s it on filters. In the next section we’re going to take a very quick look at grouping. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Grouping Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section we’re going to take a quick look at grouping which is one of the techniques in Project 2013 that in my experience not that many people use but it can be a very interesting and helpful way of looking at a project. Let’s start with an example of grouping this NFF project. The group control is in the bottom right hand corner of the data group on the view menu, and one of the options on there is group by complete and incomplete tasks. Let’s look at that first. Now if I choose that option what I can see are the complete tasks, the partially complete tasks, and the totally complete tasks. And the grouping, each category within the grouping has its own header. So there’s percent complete, 0%, 1% to 99%, and 100%. Now when you’re dealing with grouping, showing summary tasks as well can give you some quite interesting effects. Let me just show that to you now. If I go back into the group dropdown and go to More Groups, that’s the one that we just used, complete and incomplete. I’m not going to change that. As with things like tables and views and filters, there’s no reset here so I really don’t want to change the standard grouping. So I’m going to make a copy of complete and incomplete tasks. I’m going to call it TA Complete and Incomplete Tasks. Instead of it working exactly the way that you saw now, I’m going to say show summary tasks. Click on Save. Now let’s apply TA Complete and Incomplete Tasks, and hey presto you can see the summary task to which the various tasks belong. One of the reasons that people use grouping and one of the ways that it can be very helpful is if you want to focus on a particular type of task. So for instance, if you want to look at all the tasks that are 0% complete, so no work has been recorded against them at all, you might look at those and say, “Well, is that right?” Yeah, I’m not due to have started testing yet and acceptance was certainly not yet. Live implementation, go live no. I’m nowhere near any of those. And then you might look at the ones in progress and say, “Right, is it right that all of these are in progress?” And if you look at the standard groupings, they’re basically designed around certain tasks that you might want to perform. So for instance, there’s a group there for milestone. Show

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Project 2013 - Advanced me the tasks that are milestones. How am I headed towards those? Requirement sign off, design sign off, and so on. Another point to note is that if you’ve got auto filter on, if you click on the filter buttons at the top of a column, one of the options there is to select a group and this shows not only the standard groups but any custom groups that you’ve created and put on the menu. So you can see here TA Complete and Incomplete Tasks, for example, and then you can also switch to no grouping. So let’s set about adding a grouping ourselves here. I’m going to go to the group menu there and I’m going to go for new group by. Group definition. I’m going to do this as RAG groups. So I’m going to group by the RAG values. There are three RAG values and I’m going to group by field name. Let’s use AutoRAG which is there and it’s a task field, and I’m going to put it ascending order. Now I have a choice in that I can either group by tasks or by assignments. If you’re working in Task Usage View, you could actually group by assignment. I’ll show you a little demo of that in just a moment. Now as we saw each of the groups has a little heading on it. Here you can decide what font you want that heading in. Let’s change it. That’s currently Arial 8 point bold. Just for the sake of changing it, let’s make it say Calibri, bold, italic 10 point just for a change. The cell background, let’s change that to a different color. Let’s go for that sort of bluish color there. Patterns; nothing. Show summary tasks; No. Maintain hierarchy; No. Let’s save that and then let’s try applying it. RAG, and there we have. We have AutoRAG A, AutoRAG G, and AutoRAG R. Of course, I could have put the summary tasks in if I’d wanted to. So creating your own groupings is pretty straightforward really. You can apply a grouping in either a task view or a resource view. But if you’re in a task view, you can only group by task properties. In a resource view, you can only group by resource properties. There is a sort of exception to that; in a way, I don’t suppose it is an exception really. The usage views enable you to group by assignment, and as I said I’ll just give you a very quick demonstration of that now. If we take the group TA Complete and Incomplete Tasks and look again at what that does, it divides the tasks up. 0%, so that’s no work recorded at all yet. 1% to 99%, between 1% and 99% of the work is recorded as being completed, and then complete 100%, the whole thing’s

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Project 2013 - Advanced done. That’s basically showing you status by task. If you go into Task Usage View and still have that same group applied. Let’s just go back up there. We can see that in Task Usage View, we get the same information but for each of those tasks, whichever category it’s in, 100% or 1 to 99% or 0%, we can see the individual assignment breakdowns as well. Now if I went back into that same group and changed it, so I’m going to go into More Groups, go into there, go into Edit, and said that I want to just see the group assignments not the tasks, then I would see the individual assignments without the owning tasks. And depending on the grouping that I applied, that may be significant because in some cases I may be grouping on a property which is different for different assignments within the task. So for instance, one of the resources may already be working on a particular task, another resource is for instance may not have started yet or may even have finished. So if I say a group assignments not tasks, click on Save and then click on Apply. I don’t see the owning tasks now. I just see the individual assignments and they will be grouped according to the criteria; in this case how complete, 100%, 1 to 99, and 0%. So now let’s look at the next exercise for you to do. The starting point of this exercise is example-13 in the supplied files. I’ve done another update on our building project. Things really aren’t going very well at all. And what I’d like you to do is to create a filter, and the filter you’re going to create will identify the tasks that are critical tasks but that are not in RAG status G. So it’s any critical tasks with a RAG status of R or A, so red or amber. So that’s the filter. It’s critical tasks that are not G. My answer to that is example-14 and I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 18 – WBS Codes and Outline Codes Video: Custom Outline Codes Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. One of the key aspects of looking at the task in a project is being able to uniquely identify tasks and that’s really one of the functions of the ID. But in many situations, the ID itself is not adequate in terms of uniquely identifying a task. One of the issues you may have is that you may decide to put a project together and then maybe renumber all of the tasks. This is often the case when you want the numbering to broadly agree with the sequence of events in your project. If you’re working on some projects and particularly on government project or public sector projects, it may be necessary to uniquely identify tasks in a way that is in effect permanent. So if I wanted to be able to identify, for example, the requirements of this NFF project in a document that I wanted to associate by a specific code associated with the requirements definition task, I may want to assign a code to that task which is not only unique but which never changes. And when I’m working on large and complex projects, I may for instance have several documents that come out of a task or a group of tasks that need to carry a code that ties them altogether. Now I talked about this need for a unique numbering system earlier on in the course. We looked at how unsuitable outline numbers are. I also showed you that with WBS codes, work breakdown structure codes, there are some inherent problems. If you’re very careful with how you use WBS codes, then you can overcome most of those problems. But you have got to be very careful because basically WBS codes can change and if you’re not careful you can easily come unstuck using WBS codes. So what we’re going to look at primarily in this section is the use of custom outline codes which don’t actually or potentially suffer from the same problems that WBS codes do. So let’s set up custom outline codes for this project. My accounting department have told me that what they’d really like are outline codes primarily to be used for accounting purposes and they have five codes corresponding to the five main areas of activity on the project. That’s the tendering and contract process, requirements, design and development, testing, and then implementation and go live. There’s a little bit of subdivision

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Project 2013 - Advanced within those codes but that’s primarily what they want. They give me the four letter codes for each of those five main accounting categories and they’re the ones that I’m going to use as the basis for my outline coding system. I go to the Project Tab, click on Custom Fields. You can have custom outline codes for tasks or for resources. On this occasion, we’re going for tasks. So on the type, click on the dropdown and choose outline code. Now as you can see as with other types of custom field, there are some spare outline coding systems there. You’ve got ten spares. I’m going to use the first one and I’m going to rename it to the preferred name which is AccCode. So that’s the name for my custom outline code. Click on OK. Now there are a couple of things to notice in this particular dialog, the Custom Fields dialog, which we have used before. First of all, you’re quite limited in what you can do here. The lookup button is enabled there; button not the formula. So you can’t actually define a formula for outline codes. So we’re going to be using the lookup, so click on lookup and that takes us into the Edit lookup table for AccCode and primarily I’m going to use this particular dialog to set up my accounting codes. But I also need to define my code mask. So let’s start with the code mask. Let me expand that and define the code mask for these outline codes. So click on Edit mask and basically what I’m going to have is these four characters as the first part of the code. So at Level 1, it’s a sequence. You’ve got the same choice as you had with WBS codes. You should remember that from earlier in the course. I’m going to specify that there are always four characters here. Then there is going to be a separator and then there will be two numeric digits. Now clearly, I can make pretty much the same level of complexity in these codes as with WBS codes. It’s quite likely that if you’re using these codes, again as with WBS codes that somebody will tell you what the codes need to look like. So unlike me now you won’t be looking at this saying, “Well, what sort of codes shall I have?” You’ll probably be told. But you’ve got a lot of flexibility. You can go down to a very deeply nested level. I’m keeping this simple to save time. We covered pretty much the same procedure as this when we set up WBS codes earlier in the course. So there’s no need to be any more complicated than this. Four characters and then we’re going to say two numeric digits. You’ll see how that works in a little while. Notice the code preview at the top. The sequence of four asterisks indicates that it’s four characters, then the dot as a separator, and then the two numeric digits as with the code mask

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Project 2013 - Advanced preview for WBS codes this just indicated by 1, 1. Click on that and we’ve got our mask in place and the code preview is there as well. So now it’s time to put in the values for this lookup table. We’re starting with tendering and contract, so that’s the first value, and we’re going to put a description in. Now this description is not only there as a sort of documentation aid. As you’ll see when we come to use these custom codes, it’s actually very helpful when people are doing data entry as well. So I’m going to actually put in there. Then move on to the next one. Now at this point, I get to the structure of these codes because the design and development task as you can see in the bit of the Gantt Chart you can just see on the left here is divided into two parts: Analysis and Design, and Development. And although my accounts team hasn’t given me different four character codes, for those two I want to indicate that they’re different parts of that process. So this is where my two digit part comes in. So now I put in 01. But having put in 01 this is actually going to be at the lower level. So I’m just going to put in the description and I’m going to put in the description as. But also when I’ve done that, I’m going to indent it using this arrow here to indicate that this is at the lower level. Now you may have noticed before I did that, that the text was colored red. That was really Project 2013 telling me, “Hang on a minute. The value you’ve got in there isn’t four alphabetic characters so there’s something wrong.” Now obviously on this occasion because I was indenting it, it’s absolutely fine. Then all I need to do for the next one, same thing again, 02. It assumes that it’s at the same indent level so this one is going to be development, and then when I come back to the next one which is going to be testing, put in the words, spot the mistake, and outdent it. Finally implementation and then, of course, when I realize that I’ve missed one, all I’ve got to do is select there, click the button that says Insert, I get a blank line, and I can put that last code in. And that’s it. So having set up all of my codes, I have a few of the options available at the bottom. So for instance, display indenting and lookup table. I want to keep that indent going there. Use a value from the table as the default entry for the field. On this occasion, I’m not going to setup a default entry. You’ll see that in just a moment. If I was going to, I’d clearly as before select an entry and then click on Set default. The display order for the lookup table I can either say by row

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Project 2013 - Advanced number which basically means it will appear in the sequence there or I can say sort ascending, therefore it would sort ascending on the values or sort descending. When it comes to data entry options, I’ve still again got the choice of allow additional items to be entered into fields. So if when people are entering data, I wanted them to be able to enter a new four character code then I could check this box and let them do that. In that case, values will be added to lookup. Well, my accounting team would be very unhappy if I were letting users who are setting up entries in this project create their own accounting codes so I’m definitely not going to check that box and allow only codes that have no subordinate values. Then I could specify that only codes with no subordinate values can be entered. On this occasion, I’m not going to check either of those boxes. I’m just going to basically accept all of the defaults and click on Close. So there we are. My custom outline code is now set up. Click on OK and now let’s show the column in the table here. Insert column. It’s AccCode which is Outline Code 1. Obviously currently empty. Let’s look at a particular entry, tendering process contract. See the little dropdown and then look at what happens when I click on the dropdown. I get the list that I’ve just entered. Notice how helpful those descriptive terms on the right are, TENC; tendering and contract, RQMT; requirements, and then how the structure of the coding system is there as well. So when I’m dealing with requirements etc, it’s really straightforward with this approach to just make sure that you’re putting the right AccCode on each entry. So there we are. I can go through and set up all of my AccCodes. The most important thing about using these custom outline codes is that they only support manual entry. You cannot automate this. Therefore once you’ve given one of the tasks in your task outline codes or one of the resources, if you’re using resource outline codes, a value, so you’ve selected one of the available values. It will not change. There is no automation. So you can move this round. You can cut. You can paste. You can do whatever you like and they will not change anymore than any other set property like task name would change. And that is the big advantage they have over WBS codes. Now if you’re very careful with WBS codes, they can work. But you’ve got to be very careful and as soon as you start doing cuts and pastes and moves, things can go horribly wrong. They won’t go horribly wrong if you’re using custom outline codes.

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Project 2013 - Advanced And perhaps it’s worth just saying one other thing about this non-changeability and that is that apart from the fact that everything is entered manually, these AccCodes are not related to the task structure. So for instance, as far as say Analysis and Design here is concerned where I’ve given design sign off an AccCode, a DDEV.01, I could give Analysis and Design an AccCode of tendering and contract and Project 2013 wouldn’t mind at all. It’s entirely my choice. Therefore I can reflect the structure of, for example, a work breakdown structure even if it’s different from the structure of the tasks within the project. Now in this particular case, that would be rather a bad idea but I’m sure you get the general idea from that that there is no direct relationship between the structure of this custom outline code and the structure of the tasks in my project or the resources in my project. So that’s it on custom outline codes. That’s the end of this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 19 – Macros Video: Recording Macros Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. If you’ve been managing projects for some time and certainly if you use the content of this course as a guide, the work that you do with Project 2013 is split between work setting up new project, scheduling, working out the best way to use your resources to achieve the affect that you need and the routine and repetitive side of project planning and scheduling where, for example, on a regular basis, maybe once a week or once a month you have to update your project, put in information about progress and to analyze and report on that progress. Now because quite a bit of the work involved is repetitive, it’s very useful to be able to program Project 2013 so that it can do repetitive tasks quickly, reliably, and under your control but once you’ve got them set up properly pretty much independently. You can push a button, let Project 2013 do the job for you, and you can be doing something else in the mean time. In this section we’re going to start to look at macros and macros are the basic units in which program Project 2013. Now it’s fair to say that if you develop your knowledge on programming of Project 2013 to an advanced level, it can become a pretty complex and powerful way of using Project 2013. But to get started so that you can get the basic ideas and start to get some of the advantages of using macros, it’s surprisingly straightforward. One of the ways in which it’s surprisingly straightforward is that if you have a particular task that you want to do, say, it’s something you do every day or every week, and it’s just a bit annoying to have to keep going through this sequence of steps manually. What you can do is to record yourself doing that and then Project 2013 will set that up as a macro for you and that’s what we’re going to do in this section. We’re going to record a sequence of steps, we’ll take a look at the macro that Project 2013 creates as a result of recording that series of steps, and then we’ll also look at ways of running that macro again to set Project 2013 up in such a way that you can just click one button in the future and have that sequence of steps repeated for you. Now the first thing I need to point out is that I’m going to record a sequence of three or four steps here.

The ones that I’ve chosen are completely irrelevant.

This is really just to

demonstrate how to record a macro. There’s no particular significance in what I’m doing here.

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Project 2013 - Advanced The sequence of steps is going to be this. I’m going to select Gantt View. Having selected Gantt View, I’m going to select the work table which of course may already be selected. Then I’m going to go to the Task Tab and show the task details form. And then on the task details form, if I right click there, I’m going to select work to show the bottom part of the task details form. So that’s my sequence of steps. Now note that I may do that every day. I may do it every hour. But the important thing is it’s I think four separate steps and it’s pretty repetitive and boring to have to keep doing that. So it’d be great if I could have one little button I could push to do that for me. So let’s set about recording a macro to do that job. Now before we do, if I go down to the status bar and right click on the status bar, I just need to check that macro recording is checked, which actually it isn’t. If that’s checked, then when a macro is being recorded, I’ll see a symbol on the status bar that will remind me that a macro is being recorded, which is going to be pretty useful. So I’m going to check that. There’s a little symbol down there now which shows no activity, indicates that a macro isn’t being recorded. But when the recording starts just watch how that symbol changes. So let’s set about recording this macro. First of all, go to the View Tab. At the right hand end of the View Tab, you should see the Macros Group with a macros button in it. Click on the dropdown arrow and select record macro. Note the icon on record macro there is the same icon as the one that appears on the status bar, apart from the red dot. Now we get a dialog where we can make some selections. The first thing to do is to give the macro a name. You can’t have spaces in the name so it in effect it has to be one word, but it can be a composite word and I tend to make my macro names commemorative of what the macro does. So I’m going to call this macro GanttSplitWork. So it’s a Split View with work as the primary focus of it. There’s then a number of other options and I’m going to talk about those other options later on except for the third one, Store macro in, that I’m going to talk about now. When you start making your own macros, you’re going to want to be able to move them round as you would table definitions or view definitions and you can choose whether to store this macro in the global file, the global template, or in this project and then of course you can move macros

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Project 2013 - Advanced around using the organizer. I’m going to stick with global file at the moment but, as I say, the other options on here I’m not going to worry about at all at the moment. I’m just going to click on OK to start the recording. Now once I start the recording, you see that I’ve got a little white square and it’s just like the stop button that you would get, say, on a DVD player or something like that. Now that’s the button you can use to stop the macro recording, although in fact there’s also a stop recording option over here on the bottom of the macros button now. Now when the macro’s recording, it basically records everything you do. Now to be fair there are certain things just like say clicking the header or clicking the status bar that won’t get recorded. But things that involve any kind of change, movement, cut, copy, select, anything will be recorded. So it’s very important that once you are recording that you don’t do extraneous things. If you’re halfway through recording a macro the phone rings and somebody asks to check on something about a project, and you open a different project and do a bit of work on that, that will all get recorded. So be careful that you don’t do things that you don’t want to include. Having said, that there’s no time limit. It’s not testing you. It’s not going to stop after a couple of minutes because you’re not going fast enough. So if you need to stop and think about it don’t worry about it because as you’ll see in a little while, the macro doesn’t record any long gaps or anytime that you spend thinking. So let me now go through that sequence of steps that we used just now and I’ll do them in the same sequence. So the sequence was select the Gantt Chart. That’s fine. Then select the work table, also fine. Then go to the Task Tab and select the task details form. And then on the task details form, I select work. So that’s my four step process. I can now stop the macro either using the button on the status bar or the option on the macros button. I’m going to use the one on the status bar so I’m just going to click on that white square. My macro recording has stopped and the icon down there changes. I have now recorded my first macro. In the next section we’re going to take a look at that macro, see how it works, and how we can understand what it does and also how we can modify what it does. But in this section I just want to demonstrate that if you’ve recorded a macro, you can use it without necessarily particularly understanding how it works and certainly you wouldn’t need to look at the macro in order to be able to use it. So I’ve restored everything in this project the way it was. I’m going to go back to the View Tab and click on that down arrow again. This time I’m going to select view macros.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now I can see the only macro that I’ve currently got here is GanttSplitWork. I can choose from this control which projects to look at for macros. So this looks for macros in all open projects. I can look in the global template, just this project, just a named project, etc. But in all open projects, there’s only one macro. If all I want to do is to run that same macro again, I can just click on Run and watch what happens. If you look at the project in the background after I click Run, what happens is it executes that same sequence of steps, four steps automatically without me intervening in any way. Now all seems absolutely fine with that although in fact there are one or two little hidden dangers in what we’ve got there and I’m going to look at those hidden dangers in the next section. But for the moment, let me just go back into the View Macros dialog here again, macros, and let’s look at the options for GanttSplitWork. I mentioned this earlier on. We can put in a more detailed description. So instead of just saying macro GanttSplitWork and then recorded, I can actually say in here edit that text to say what the particular macro does. One of the very important things to bear in mind, particularly if you work with other people on your projects is that once you start using macros, you tend to finish up with dozens of them and somebody looking at one of your projects may wonder, “I wonder what that macro is supposed to do.” They could run it and they maybe could work out what it does but it’s always a good idea to put in an explanation. The other thing I can do is to specify a shortcut key to run this macro. The first thing you need to do is to identify a keyboard shortcut sequence that’s not in use and then if you specify that one for me that isn’t in use would be Control and L. That means that once this is setup, instead of having to open that Macros dialog, select the macro, and click Run to the macro each time, I can just use that keyboard shortcut; in this case, Control-L. So I’m going to save Control-L as my keyboard shortcut, close, and then I’m back at a suitable start point. Let me just do Control-L and it runs my macro. So that’s a couple of the important options there that you might want to bear in mind. That’s our first macro. It’s got at least one tricky little problem associated with it but that’s what we’re going to look at in the next section so please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Understanding How Macros Work and Modifying What it Does Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. This is the second section on macros in Project 2013. In the first section we created a macro to perform a few straightforward tasks in sequence reliably and I did mention a couple of times in that section that there would be a problem or two with that macro and that’s partly what we’re going to look at in this section. But the first thing we’re going to look at is the macro itself. So we go to the macros button and click on View Macros, and on this occasion we’re going to make sure the macro that we’ve been working on is selected. There is only one. Click on Edit and we can see the macro. What you can see here is what’s called VBA Code.

VBA stands for Visual Basic for

Applications and it’s the programming language that Microsoft Project, and pretty much all of the rest of Microsoft Office, uses. One or two components have a slightly more complex setup than that but basically it’s the programming language of Microsoft Office 2013. You have a sequence of instructions imbedded in a sub and an end sub. Now sub is short for subroutine and end sub is end of subroutine. So what you can see here is a sequence of commands within a subroutine. Each line is executed in sequence and the first two lines begin with single quote characters. Note how the content of those lines is green. Anything that begins with a single quote character is a comment, so it’s just there to help you. It doesn’t actually do anything. It just gives you the reader information about what you’re looking at. So the first two lines say, “This macro is called GanttSplitWork.” Well, you could’ve told that from the sub name at the top and its information is it was recorded on Tuesday, July the 16th by Toby Arnott. The bits of it that do the work are these five steps here and I’m going to quickly take you through those five steps now. Now one of the things about VBA code and in fact any programming code for that matter is that it has to be just right and I think that’s one of the reasons that some people don’t like programming. You have to be pretty exact in what you write and VBA is no exception really. But I’m going to give you a sort of wordy version of what each of these commands does and you may pretty soon see what the potential problem is.

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Project 2013 - Advanced The first line, ViewApplyEx Name equals Gantt Chart. ApplyTo equals zero. What that basically says is apply Gantt Chart View. Now ApplyTo equals zero is a parameter of that command and we can look up if we want to exactly what that does. But for the moment, I’m going to leave that. The second command is TableApply Name equals Work. Well, that’s pretty straightforward. It basically says apply the work table. That’s simple enough. Now the next thing we did was to show the task details but the command that is recorded by Project 2013 in that case is ToggleTaskDetails and in a way that’s where the problem starts because when we were recording this, we didn’t have the task details form showed. We pressed a button and the task details form was showed. So it was effectively switched on. ToggleTaskDetails will switch it on if it’s off and off if it’s on. So if when we started running this macro, we didn’t have the task details form shown this would work fine. But the next time we tried to run it, it wouldn’t work and I’m going to demonstrate that to you in just a moment. Then it says WindowActivate, so it effectively selects the window. TopPane equals False. So that means select the window which isn’t the top pane. So that’s the bottom pane. Well, if you didn’t have a bottom pane there you’d be in trouble. And then ViewShowWork, that’s a command that will work on the task details form to show the work option on the task details form as opposed to say the predecessors and successors information. And really when you’re recording macros, probably the number one problem or the number one reason you’ll run into problems is because what happens is to a large extent context sensitive, whether a macro works or not, will largely depend on where you started from. And sometimes when you’ve recorded a macro and everything seems absolutely fine, if you try to use it two or three times in succession or if you use it another day from a different starting point, it may not work for some reason or other. That’s really where some people get so frustrated that they give up on it. But don’t give up on it because there is always a rational explanation for why something doesn’t work and you can pretty much always fix what the problem is. So I put my project back to its former state and what I’m going to do now is to run the macro using the Control-L shortcut. So Control-L. That’s fine. Now I’m going to run it again, Control-L. This time it fails. I apologize for the fact that that little message box is off the edge of the screen there. Let me pull it on. Run time error 1100. The method is not available in this situation. Now if at this point, you realize what’s gone wrong or you’ve got to do something else, if you click on End that’s the end of the run. But if you want to debug your macro, if you

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Project 2013 - Advanced want to get the problems out of it, get the bugs out, if you click on Debug it will show you where it’s failing. So I’ll click on Debug here and it highlights the particular command where it’s failing. So it’s not able to apply the work table. Now I’ve already identified one potential problem here and that is that the second time we ran this, we already had not only the lower pane shown but we even had the lower pane selected. So what I want to do now before I run this macro is to always close the lower pane if it’s open. Now there are hundreds of commands in Visual Basic for Applications and many, many of them apply to Project 2013 and you would of course have no idea what these commands are until you’ve been doing this for a while. But in many ways, if you want to find out what a particular command is to do a particular thing, what you can do is just record a little macro that does that and you’ll see what the command is. So let me close this. Note the message there. This command will stop the debugger. I’m fine about that. I know where the problem is and I think I know how to fix it. Now what I’m going to do is I’m going to leave the project like this. I’m going to go back into View, Macros, Record Macro. I’m going to call it Macro1. It’s only a sort of dummy macro anyway. So click on OK so I’m recording. There’s the stop button down there. Watch what happens if I close the lower pane. I’m going to close it by double clicking on the bar. Now I can stop the macro. I can go back into macros, view macros, there’s Macro1, edit, PaneClose. That’s the command that I want, PaneClose. Now I’m going to copy that command, so that’s PaneClose. I could of course just type it in. I’m going to close this. I’m going to go back into macros again and I’m going to edit my original GanttSplitWork macro and right at the beginning I’m going to put in a command and paste in PaneClose. What will now happen is it will close the lower pane if it’s open, then it will go through that procedure. Let’s see if that fixes the problem. So I’m going to close this again. Now I’m going to do Control-L. Now I’m going to do Control-L again, and I can do it now as many times as I like in succession and it works. So we’ve recorded a macro to create a brand new macro. We then tested it and found that we had a bug. We’ve debugged it and now we’ve fixed it basically and it’s a working macro. Now as your macros get more complex, you’ll probably find that you get more problems and some of them will take a little longer to fix. But it’s only really by practice and by persevering with some of these things that you’ll get to the point that you can do some pretty sophisticated things using macros in Project 2013.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now I’ve got a couple of other things I want to cover now in relation to macros that are very important. The first thing to point out is that when you’re working with macros, particularly if you’re just starting out with macros, you are going to need some help, some reference material. And if you want to look up which command to use in a particular situation or indeed what a particular command does, maybe what the parameters of the command mean, then you don’t look at the Project 2013 Help because it doesn’t cover VBA Code in any kind of detail. In fact there’s hardly a mention of VBA Code. You need to go specifically to the Visual Basic for Applications Help which in turn links through to what’s called the MSDN part of Microsoft. Now in order to demonstrate this, if I go back into my macro again, go into edit, there is a Help control. It’s a conventional type of menu system within the Visual Basic Editor. Click on Help and then Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications Help, click on there, and there is the top level, if you like, of the Help. Now it’s not really help in the sense of conventional help. It’s actually described as the VBA developer reference. But you can certainly search on terms. So for instance, let’s search on Paneclose here and I get a number of links to the paneclose method. Some of them relate to different versions of Project such as Project 2007 but let’s look at the top one and there it describes for us the paneclose method; closes the lower pane of the active window. Let’s look at one of the other commands that we saw while we were debugging. I mentioned when we were looking at the command ViewApplyEx that it had a parameter, an ApplyTo parameter. Well, here is the reference material for that command and as you can see although this is actually the Project 2010 reference material, this command hasn’t changed in these last couple of versions. And there you have ViewApplyEx, a list of the parameters, the name, single pane, toggle, ApplyTo. ApplyTo is the one we were looking at. We had ApplyTo zero. When you’ve got ApplyTo zero, it refers to the primary, usually the top pane of a split view. But you could specifically put a one which means the secondary which is usually the bottom pane of a split view. You could also put four for the active pane or five for the primary pane or the timeline if it is active. So you can see how complex some of these commands can be and also how essential it is that you can access this reference material to find out what all of these various parameters mean.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now if I can just return to this window again, this is called the VBA Editor window. As I mentioned just now, it has a conventional menu system and we could of course spend a whole course on VBA and the use of this window and so on. But if you’re going to learn VBA for Project 2013, you’ll be using this window and from here you can build up some really powerful systems to help you in your use of Project 2013. So there’s just a couple of other things to quickly cover in relation to macros. Let me just go back into View Macros again and look at the list of macro. Macro names cannot have spaces in them but you can have letters and numbers and underscores. You need to begin with a letter and I normally because of the restriction of one word name macros in this kind of way. So it’s actually three words but with no spaces involved. That can really help to give a macro a name like that. And where you have a macro like Macro1 there which may have been used to establish what a particular command was or to try something out, make sure you clear up any of these little test macros that you use. Otherwise, the list gets so long that it becomes rather baffling as to what does what; so just click on the macro, click on Delete, and it’s gone. Now there’s one other thing that I want to do here and that’s to show you another quick way of running a macro and that is to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. So if I go into Backstage View, into Options. Within Options, if I select Quick Access Toolbar and say choose commands from macros, of course I have only got one macro: GanttSplitWork. If I select that, add it to the Quick Access Toolbar, it goes on with this fixed little icon. This little macro icon which is like three little squares, part of like a flow chart structure diagram sort of thing, click on OK and there it is on the Quick Access Toolbar. So anytime now that I want to run that macro, not only do I get a screen tip, GanttSplitWork, but I can click it and run it. Even easier than using the keyboard shortcut because I don’t even have to remember what the keyboard shortcut is. The other thing you can do, of course, is to add a button to run the macro to the Ribbon, maybe to your own tab on the Ribbon. So if you’ve got certain things that you like to do in preparation for things like a weekly update, the procedure for adding a button to run a macro to the Ribbon is very similar to the one for the Quick Access Toolbar. I’ll leave you to try that out yourself.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now I’m going to set you an exercise to do on macros, but before I do that I need to talk to you about macro security. So I’m going to cover both of those things in the next short section so please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Macros Security Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this final short section on macros I’m going to give you an exercise to do but I’m also going to talk to you about macro security. I’ll set the exercise first but please don’t start doing that until you’ve also watched the section about security. This is the exercise. Example-15 in the downloaded files is your starting point and I want you to record a macro that executes the following sequence of steps. First of all, I want you to clear any filters that are currently applied to the current view. Then I want you to clear any groups that are currently applied to the current view and I want you to apply a Gantt Chart View. Then make sure that the whole project is in view and apply the filter we created earlier, which is actually in example-15 that shows you the critical tasks that do not have a RAG status of G. And then I want you to apply the group whereby the filtered tasks are grouped by RAG status. Oh, and by the way at some stage make sure that the timeline is shown. Now when you’ve done that I want you to test your macro a few times and make sure that it works in succession and try experimenting going into different alternative views and then seeing if your macro still works. My answer to that is example-16. The next thing we’re going to look at in this section what would happen when you actually open exampler-16 for the first time. So it’s important that you watch that before you work on this macro exercise. Within the Project Options of Project 2013 there is the Trust Center and within the Trust Center, if you go into Trust Center Settings there are a set of macro settings and these macro settings are extremely important. If you download or are sent Microsoft Project files, they may include macros in the same way that something like a Word document may include a macro or an Excel workbook may include a macro. And macros can hold or can contain harmful code. So you need to be very careful that you don’t execute a macro that has harmful code in it. Now there are various ways you can protect yourself. The most extreme way of protecting yourself is the top option there, Disable all macros without notification, which basically means that whatever you do you won’t be able to run a macro in Project 2013. Now the obvious problem with that setting is that you can’t run macros and when you’re learning how to use macros and when you’re writing your own macros, not being able to run macros is obviously © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 - Advanced shall we say a bit of a disadvantage. At the other end of the security spectrum is that bottom setting there: Enable all macros. This is the very dangerous setting because basically any macro that Project 2013 finds, it will run. I would find it very hard to envisage a situation where that would be a good or necessary setting. So generally speaking, we restrict ourselves to the two settings in the middle. The preferred one is second from the top: Disable all macros with notification. That’s the way that I have macros setup. Macro security in this case means that if I try to run a macro, it’s basically disabled so it won’t run, but I’m given a notification that lets me say okay you can run that one. The third option, which is the other one that you may have a reason to use is this one: Disable all macros except digitally signed macros. Some providers of Project files, macros, etc will digitally sign their code. If you only ever get macros from sources where the macros are digitally signed, then this is a good setting because it means that if it’s digitally signed you’ll be able to run it. If it isn’t, you won’t. For general use though, as I say, the second option is the recommended setting. If you come to open a Project file and you try to run a macro or even if you try to open the file and it says “Beware there are macros”, you can choose whether you trust that particular project and those particular macros. So that’s the recommended setting but let’s see what happens if we try to open example-16 that has got macros in it. So here we are. Let’s open example-16 and you can see the message that I get. Microsoft Project security notice. Microsoft Office has identified a potential security concern. Macros have been disabled. This is the important thing. By default macros are disabled with the settings that I have. Macros might contain viruses or other security hazards. Do not enable this content unless you trust the source of this file. Well, I do trust the source of this particular file as it’s me and you can trust the source of this particular file as well. So I enable macros and then I can actually work on that particular Microsoft Project file, including its macros in the knowledge that it is safe. That message can get a bit annoying. There are ways of getting round that. For instance, you can set up a particular source as a trusted publisher or you could persuade me to digitally sign my

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Project 2013 - Advanced macros. There are various ways round it but for the moment, for the purposes of this course that’s what you need to know. That’s it on macros in this course. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 20 – Visual Reporting Video: Exporting Data from Project to Other Software Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In this section we’re going to start to look at visual reporting. In older versions of Microsoft Project, reporting was really quite limited. The reports were by and large textual reports with a very limited amount of graphic content. There were a number of tables and you could report on cost and work and so on. But overall, I’m afraid it was a very dull kind of experience preparing a report in Microsoft Project. So what Microsoft did was to introduce visual reporting whereby you export data from Microsoft Project into another piece of software, and from there and using the other piece of software as a platform you could do further analysis, further processing, and if necessary further more visual reporting. By far, the most popular of these in my experience was the use of Microsoft Excel because with Excel you really have the greatest range of analysis tools and some extremely advanced reporting tools as well. So what tended to happen for quite some time was that people would do their basic Project reporting in Microsoft Project, the numbers and the tables, but when they wanted something which more graphical, more visual. Primarily for things like reports where they want to integrate with another one of the products in Microsoft Office to do a presentation, people would very often export the data into Excel or Visio and then they would produce whatever reporting products they wanted using that other package. Now in this version of Project, Project 2013, as you’ve seen already earlier in the course, Microsoft have largely put a lot of these deficiencies behind them by including this really good reporting package. Not only can you get some really good looking and informative reports as we’ve seen already, but you can customize the content to a very high level and you can format them pretty much to the same extent that you can format anything that you make with Microsoft Office. So you can fully integrate reports that have come out of Microsoft Project into your reports, your working documents on your projects, and so on. The good news, however, is that in doing this Microsoft has not removed visual reporting. So visual reporting is still there as a good option and what I’m going to do starting now is to do a

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Project 2013 - Advanced couple of quick demonstrations of the features of visual reporting, take you through the basics of it, and then I’ll leave you to experiment with it. Even if you’re happy with the reporting that you can do now in Project 201 within the product itself, the ability to use things like pivot tables in Excel, particularly if you’re used to pivot tables and you know the sort of amazing things that you can do with them. But the ability to use pivot tables can be very attractive when you’re trying to analyze some complex project data. However there is a problem with covering visual reporting on this course and that is that this is a course on Project 2013, not on Excel 2013 or Visio 2013 and you may not even have a copy of Excel 2013 or Visio 2013 and you certainly may not be able to use either or both of them. So on this course, I’m really going to restrict myself to the general principles of visual reporting and not rely too much on any knowledge you might have on Excel or Visio.

So that’s one

complication. There’s a second complication as well and that is that there are in effect now two ways of doing visual reporting in Microsoft Project. I’m going to show you first, if you like, the old way of doing it and just show you the general principles of that and then in the next couple of sections, I’m going to cover another way of doing it; a way that’s much more flexible. That offers you a lot more options but which will also rely quite a bit on your knowledge of Microsoft Excel. So let’s start with the, if you like, traditional approach to visual reporting first. So on the Report Tab in Project 2013, there’s an Export Group and in the Export Group there is Visual Reports. Click on Visual Reports and you have Create Report. Now in this main area here, you have a list of the available reports. You can look at them by category. So there’s a task summary list, a resource summary list, assignment summary list. There’s also an All button here that shows all of the ones that are available to you.

Above this list there are two

checkboxes: a Microsoft Excel checkbox and a Microsoft Visio checkbox. Based on which of those you have checked, which indicates which of those are the products you have, that will determine the basic contents of the list of available reports. If you don’t have Excel, the list will be virtually empty or at least it will be a very limited list. If you don’t have Visio, that’ll affect one or two of the reports. You can create new templates. So you can create new entries to go in here. You can create your own custom visual reports. But let’s just take one of the standard ones. Let’s take the baseline work report and let’s create a baseline work report.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now there are a couple of settings we can make straightaway. One of them is to select the level of usage data. The value I’ve got there is weeks but I could do it by years, quarters, months, weeks, or days. I’m going to just stick with the default of weeks. I can include a report template if I need to. You can get report templates from other sources or indeed make your own. But once I’ve selected the report, selected the period, decided or not whether to use a report template, click on View and Project 2013 will chug away making OLAP cubes, opening Excel, and putting this report together. Now when the report has been made and you can see the report here. In fact it’s slightly offset but you get the general idea. I have an Excel workbook with my report in it. Now the Excel workbook has got two sheets. It’s got the chart sheet which has the chart that it’s drawn and it has another sheet which has the pivot table on it which has got the data for this report. Now pivot tables are very much a feature of Microsoft Excel. I’m not going to go into them now but I am going to look at them in a little bit more detail a couple of sections from now when we look at the broader issue of pivot tables and visual reporting. But for the moment, just by way of demonstration I get a pivot table. I can use the pivot table to change the selection of fields in my report. I can use the areas of the pivot table, the quadrants down here to change the report about. And then clearly, if I select the chart, I can go in and do all the regular kind of chart modification both in terms of what’s shown in the chart, color, style, theme, format, layout, axes, all the things that we’ve seen already. But this is all happening in Microsoft Excel which is why I’m not covering it in detail here. If you know Excel I’m sure you know how to get in and format one of these charts, probably I hope you know how to work with pivot tables and pivot charts as well. So it’s a very quick way of creating a pivot table, pivot chart, and then you can go in and customize it to your more exact requirements. So that’s an example, if you like, of the conventional way of doing visual reporting. When I’ve got this Excel workbook created with my pivot table and my chart, of course I can save it, work on it separately later, and so on. Very, very basic introduction there to the traditional way of doing visual reporting. What we’re now going to do in the next section is to look at using the export facilities of Project 2013 to do

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Project 2013 - Advanced visual reporting and the creation of pivot tables and pivot charts in a much more detailed although much less automated way. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Export Selected Data into Excel Toby: Hello again and welcome to this second section on visual reporting in our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the first section, we looked at if you like the traditional approach to visual reporting in Microsoft Project whereby Microsoft Project exports data to, in the case we showed, Microsoft Excel. Microsoft Excel turns that data into a pivot table and produces a pivot chart that we can then customize within Microsoft Excel. In that section, I didn’t dwell too much on either the pivot table or the pivot chart as they really depend on a reasonably good level of knowledge of Microsoft Excel, which you may not have. What we’re going to start to look at it in this section though is an alternative approach to achieving pretty much the same result, and that is to separately export selected data from Project 2013 into Excel with a very high level of control and with an ability to very highly customize not only which fields are exported but what sort of information about the fields exported as well. And then in the third and final section on visual reporting in this course we’re going to take a quick look at how pivot tables are used, how to create a pivot chart, etc. So first of all, I’m going to select all of the rows of this project that I want to save. As you’ll see when you do this export process to Excel and then you start reporting in Excel, you do have quite a bit of tidying up to do and apart from the fact that once you’ve done it once or twice, you’ll know the sort of thing to beware of in terms of making sure you don’t give yourself extra work. But the ability to write macros to do some of the tidying up for you will prove invaluable in a big project. But at the moment, I’ve selected all of the tasks in this project. I’m going to click on File and then I’m going to click on Export and I’m going to say save project as file. One of the options with save project as file is Microsoft Excel workbook and then click on Save As and I’m going to save it in the same folder that I’ve been keeping the NFF project files. But of course it will be saved as an Excel workbook. So I just click on Save and that brings me into the Export Wizard. Now the Export Wizard lets me go step by step through the export process. A few of the things in here are going to need a bit of explaining as we go along and one of the things that we’re going to see is a map. One of the Project 2013 entities that you may have noticed in the organizer, but never had any idea what it is, is a map and a map is basically a mapping of

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Project 2013 - Advanced Microsoft Project properties or fields into an Excel workbook. So given the fields that we’re going to save from Microsoft Project, it basically says “Save these fields and for each of those fields this is what I want to call it in Excel.” Now if the process you’re doing is likely to be one that you’re going to repeat and quite often when you’re setting up these exports, they turn out to be a process that you’re going to repeat in future, then you can save the map for future use. So when I click on Next, the first question: What is the format of the data you want to export? Is it a Project Excel template? Well, it isn’t at the moment. Is it selected data? It’s going to be selected data. Don’t forget to select the data before you start. Actually, I’ve selected some blank lines as well but I’ll sort that our later. Selected data, click on Next. Now we get to this question about a map. Do you want to create a new map or use an existing map? Well, once you’ve saved a map and you’re happy with it and you’re going to use it again in future, you can say here use existing map to do a particular export. This is new so we’re going to create a new map. Click on Next. Now we get a choice. Select the types of data that you want to export. Obviously you can choose between tasks and resources. In fact, you can have both if you want and you have the option of choosing the assignments of the resources to the tasks. Now in a full blooded version of this, you might export everything and do massive processing analysis and reporting in Excel. I’m just going to export some task information because I just want to basically show you how to do this to get you started. So let’s just have task information. I can also say does the export include headers? Well, it does. And do I want to include assignment rows in the output? On this occasion, I don’t. I’m just going to put some task information into Excel. So I click on Next, and now we get to what is basically the main hub of this export and that is where we do the task mapping from the Microsoft Project fields into the Excel fields. So there are some very important settings in this task mapping page of the export wizard. First of all, the destination worksheet name. This is the worksheet that’s going to be created in the specified workbook and the export filter basically determines which tasks are going to be included. It currently says all tasks which is fine. Now we list the Project fields that we want to export to Excel and if I wanted to, I could specify them one at a time. So I could go through and say “Well, I want Actual Cost and that will be exported to Actual Cost in Excel.” Excel fields will not have spaces in them; it puts underscores in for spaces. But apart from that the names are generally the same unless it picks up a header, replacement header name. The whole of this

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Project 2013 - Advanced process, as you’re going to see, there are one or two little peculiarities that you need to be aware of. You need to keep an eye on a couple of things because strange things can happen. But once you’re used to those it’s fine. So you can go through and you can just choose the fields that you want to export. You’ve got a button down below that list of fields, Add All, where you could add all fields. Now as you know that would be an awful lot of fields. You can also clear all which is what I’m going to do now because I don’t actually want Actual Cost there. You can insert a row or delete a row. When you’ve got a row selected in the list here, you can move it up or down. So you can put the fields into whatever order you like. Now as I mentioned before I’m basically going to export the fields from the cost table. So there’s a button here, Base on table, which will let me basically choose all of the fields within a specified table. It also caters for custom tables as well. So if I’ve got a custom table like the one at the bottom there, TA Weekly Update, I could use that. On this occasion, it’s just cost. Click on Cost, OK, and there’s my list of fields. Note in my case the cost table already includes that custom field AccCode which is going to be important later on. Now one of the peculiarities of this and something that I’ve never managed to get a reasonable answer to, I only know that it’s been there as long as I can remember, is that although most of these field names, fixed cost, fixed cost accrual, fixed, all that seems to be okay. When you get further down the list you tend to get a few peculiarities like this one, baseline cost becomes just baseline. Cost variance becomes just variance. So you need to check through these and look for anywhere the naming has become ambiguous or where for example when it just says baseline. Well, you’d say baseline what? And unfortunately what you have to do until you’ve got your map set up is to correct any of those which is what I’m going to do now. So taking that one as an example, I’ll just click in that area. As you can see, I’ve changed the name to baseline cost and I’m going to go through and correct any others like that where the names are really not good enough. Okay, well I think I fixed all of those now and they’re ready to be converted. So having done all of those, note that there’s a preview area at the bottom where I can scroll through and just check that everything seems to line up okay which is does. Then I click on Next again.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now that’s it. I’ve basically set up my mapping and I can save the map if I want to, which is what I’m going to do on this occasion because I may need to use this map again. So I click on Save map. There’s a Save Map dialog. Let’s give the map a certain useful name. What about Export Costs to Excel? That would see a suitable name. I can go into the organizer, by the way, from that point and move it to or from my global template or this specific project file but I’ll just deal with that at the moment. Click on Save and then click on Finish. And what should have happened is that all of that cost information has been exported to Excel. That’s it for this section. We’ll look at that cost information in the next section.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Video: Visual Analysis for Data Exported to Excel Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013 Advanced. In the previous section we did an export of data from Microsoft Project, cost data related to the NFF website project into Microsoft Excel. In this section we’re going to look at cleaning up that data and doing some analysis and visual reporting using that data. So let’s get started. So I’ve got Excel open. Let me just open that particular file, NFF Master 13, and there it is. Now to be honest the data looks a bit of a mess at this stage and that’s not at all unusual. You tend to get fixed width columns and you’ll notice in particular that where I had blank rows in Microsoft Project, I’ve basically got rows in Excel with no task name. So what I would normally do now is to go through and get rid of those for a start. Notice also that some of those get sort of total values in them and zeros in them that I don’t really want. So the first thing I’m going to do is to go through and clean those up. Now in reality with virtually everything that we’re going to do in the early part of this analysis, you would automate this in some way. You would either create a filter or maybe a macro in Microsoft Project to get the data ready for the export properly, and then you may use macros in Excel to do tidying up at the Excel end of things. But we’ve got a fairly small set of data here and I want to talk about some of these problems so you start to recognize them. So I’m not going to worry about that too much. I’m just going to do most of it manually on this occasion. Now one of the most common problems that you get when you’re doing this kind of export is that the numbers, in this case the cost values get exported as text. You’ll see in each of the cells that are supposed to have a number in it here, a little green triangle in the top left hand corner which indicates an error. Let me just click on one of those. What you’ll see is a little yellow warning sign there. If I just click on the drop down, it says “Number stored as text” and then we have an option to convert it to number. Now I could go through each of those and convert it to a number, but in fact it’s a much better bet to select a whole range and go back to that yellow warning again, click on Convert to number, and all of those values are converted to numbers. There’s another column just there. Let me just do the same thing again, convert those to numbers as well and then with that selected set of numbers, I can convert them to a currency format. So click on there. This is actually accounting number format but that’ll do me fine.

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Project 2013 - Advanced And then let me select that lot, do the same there as well, and I’ve now got all of these in accounting number format.

So already you can start to see a much more reasonable

representation of the cost associated with this project. So there we are. We’ve basically got the data into Excel and as you may not be an Excel expert, all I’m really going to do is to show you a couple of the things that you might do from this point. You notice that if you look at the AccCode column, we’ve got some headings effectively like requirements so we’ve got to be careful here because that row there is actually a total of the elements within requirements. Similarly this row here, design and development, is a sum of everything within design and development. So you’ve got to be a little bit careful about how we add all of this up. One way of dealing with that in the context of Excel is if I go to the Data Tab and switch on filters and then for AccCode, if I switch off blanks, I’ll only see the rows that have AccCodes. So they’re the ones with real data in. That avoids me getting involved in any totals that I don’t want to see. From that point, I can set about doing pretty much anything I like. So for instance, if I were to click on Insert, I could go into use the charting tools within Excel 2013. But in many ways more interestingly, it also gives me access to the pivot table tools. So if I click on pivot table, it asks me to select a table or range. Well, it’s taken the Task Table 1 sheet, the range A1 to J19 which is exactly what I want, and I’m going to create this pivot table in a new worksheet. If you’re not familiar with pivot tables and pivot charts, don’t worry too much about this. If you do need to use it, then I guess you’ll have to find out how to use pivot tables but hopefully this quick demo will give you an idea of what you can do. So if I click on pivot tables there we go. Now what it does is give me a list of the available fields and it lets me put them into these four areas. I can apply filters. I can put the fields in rows. I can put the fields in columns and I can assign sigma values, sum values which can be things like sums and counts and so on. So let’s suppose that my aim is to do some pivot table analysis of these cost figures. I’m going to analyze based on AccCode, those accounting codes that we introduced earlier in the course. Switch that on first and AccCodes appears as one of the fields that’s part of the analysis. Now note its included blanks as one of the optional values there but there’s also an auto filter. So let

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Project 2013 - Advanced me just click on the auto filter here. I don’t want any where the AccCode is blank because they’re the totals which I don’t want. So click on OK. So I’ve only got the real AccCode fields and let’s suppose that the first thing I want to look at are the baseline costs. Switch on baseline cost. Now the formatting there’s gone a bit array. If I just select all of those, right click, click on format cells. I can either use accounting which I used before or I could use currency. Let’s use currency, click on OK, and you can see our original baseline cost broken down by these AccCodes. Now let’s suppose that I want to see the actual cost so far. Same principle. Switch on actual cost so far and there may be remaining costs as well. Now of course the totals of actual cost and remaining cost will correspond to total cost not baseline cost. We’re actually on this project running below baseline cost at the moment. Now if you’re used to using pivot tables, you’ll know what I’ve done here is extremely simple really, just putting together a table of values. If I’d carried over other properties of the tasks within my project such as for instance RAG status, I maybe could have analyzed by AccCode and RAG status and the possibilities with pivot tables become almost unlimited really. I’m not going to pursue this any farther here because for those of you who don’t know about pivot tables, it’ll get a little bit baffling. But for those of you that do I think you can see the principle of how to get well started in pivot tables by exporting data from Microsoft Project 2013. There’s one other thing just to show you. What about a pivot chart? Let’s do insert and pivot chart. We get the gallery of available charts. Let’s try the clustered column. Click on OK. I might just make that a little bit bigger. And there with the same analysis based on the data we’ve got there, we’ve got a pivot chart showing an analysis of the costs here by our AccCodes and then a graphical representation comparing their values for the baseline cost, actual cost, and remaining cost. So pivot charts are very straightforward as well. So now here is an exercise for you to do. I would like you to take example-17 which is our building project and I’d like you to export resource information into Excel, and then from that resource information, make a very straightforward pivot table. I’ll talk about the pivot table in a moment. Let’s talk about the export first.

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Project 2013 - Advanced I want you to export resource information but I only want resource information about work type resources and I’d like you to make sure you only get the work type resources by using a filter when you do the export. The data I’d like exported about each resource is the resource name, the group, and the baseline cost for each resource and the currently scheduled cost for each resource. You don’t need to do it by individual assignments. You can just put in a total figure for each resource. So having exported all that into Excel, I’d then like you to make a very simple pivot table which will basically set out baseline cost and scheduled cost by resource group. So a very simple pivot table in Excel 2013. If you don’t have Excel 2013 or you don’t know enough about it to do this, don’t worry too much about doing this exercise. Maybe you could run through the export anyway and then you’ll just get used to using the Export Wizard even if you can’t do anything much with the output from it. So basically you’re going to export name, group, baseline cost, and cost for each resource of type work into an Excel spreadsheet, and then in Excel you’re going to make a pivot table which basically gives you a list of the groups. Note that two or three of these resources aren’t in a group so in my example I’ll have a group name of blank but you may want to put them into groups; it’s up to you. And then for each of those groups baseline cost and current scheduled cost. So as I said you’ll be starting from example-17 and my answer to this is example-18. Don’t forget though when you look for example-18 that it will not be an MPP file. It will be an Excel workbook, an XLSX file. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013 - Advanced

Chapter 21 – Conclusion Video: Project Portfolio Management, Project Server 2013, and Project Online; Closing Toby: Hello and welcome to this last section in our course on Project 2013 Advanced. There are a couple of topics that I haven’t covered at all on this course. I mentioned them a little bit very early on in the course and I said I would just mention them at the end which is what I’m doing now. And they are to do with what’s called Project Portfolio Management. Now so far in our use of Microsoft Project on this course, we’ve generally been looking at a single project. We have looked at consolidating multiple projects either with a single project manager looking after them or maybe several project managers and the particular cases we looked at basically involved sharing a resource pool. Now in a broader sense and particularly in larger organizations, it’s very often the case that project management is done within the context of a portfolio of projects or even a portfolio of programs. Not only are resources shared but platforms for things like accounting and reporting are shared as well.

In fact the whole

management of projects may rest on a broad system that has to be shared and understood by everybody involved. Starting many years ago with a product called Project Central Microsoft has worked through a few versions to Project Server 2013 which is their offering for Project Portfolio Management. Now if you’re in situation where you need to look at the broader use of project management tools and you want to take a look at Project Server, there is a trial version available from Microsoft and there is information about that trial version available. They’re both via the TechNet system. Now at the time of recording this course Microsoft announced just a couple of weeks ago actually that the TechNet system was being discontinued. So by the time you come to actually watch me and listen to me telling you about Project Server, it may no longer be available via TechNet. Having said that, I feel pretty confident that Microsoft will still offer Project Server and that they’ll offer a trial version of Project Server and that you’ll be able to get the information somehow. So if you can’t find it on the TechNet part of the Microsoft site, have a look around. You’ll find out about Project Server.

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Project 2013 - Advanced Now let me just click to the current page that tells you about the hardware and software requirements for Project Server. It’s quite a long document and unfortunately, particularly if you’re just sort of dipping your toes and dabbling a little bit, in order to really work out exactly what the requirements are, it really will take you a time because you need to look at your SQL Server requirements, SharePoint Server requirements, hardware requirements, and so on. But if you need to use it, you could always start out with a basic version and try a basic version. But beware if you are thinking of implementing it that it’s not something to be taken lightly and you need to understand quite a bit about the infrastructure it runs on and so on. However, Project Server is a great product and if you need Project Portfolio Management and with the caveat that you need the resources to both implement it and support it and for your users to learn how to use it, then it really is a great product. So if you’re interested in that, I suggest you go to the Microsoft site, find the current pages on Project Server, and take a look. There is another product as well which is much newer than Project Server which is also now of great interest and that’s Project Online. Now Project Online is available via Office 365 and it’s Microsoft’s online offering for Project Portfolio Management. Obviously the emphasis here is on entering and updating and viewing Project information online, so primarily you’re using a browser based interface. The capabilities of Project Online are changing rapidly. A few months ago it was not even there. There wasn’t something called Project Online. When I even started recording this course it had less capability than it has as I’m recording the last section. So Project Online is developing rapidly and it’s well worth looking at. You can see there the U.K. price for access to Project Online. But in your locale there will be a price for Project Online. It’s available in most places. If you’re interested in Project Portfolio Management, Project Online is well worth looking at.

You need the

infrastructure. You need the communications. You need the connectivity to use Project Online. But again, if that’s in place and you’ve got the connectivity that is also a great product. Just one final thing from me; you may remember right near the beginning of the course I talked about versions of Microsoft Project, the differences between Project Standard and Project Professional. There are some pages on the Microsoft Site within Microsoft Office that compare Project Professional versions. So if you’re using an older version and you’re thinking about 2013, there’s some good summary information there. There’s also a comparison related to

© Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 - Advanced Project Portfolio Management, the things that I spoke about just now in relation to Project Server and Project Online, and there’s more details and links here to those products and services. So that’s it. That’s the end of our course on Project 2013 Advanced. I hope you’ve enjoyed following it as much as I’ve enjoyed preparing and delivering it. My name is Toby and I hope to see you online again soon. Bye for now.

© Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.