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Chapter 27 – Tracking. Progress .... you can do and the tools that are available in Microsoft Project. ...... sort of light lilac-y colored background, Gantt Chart Tools.
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Learn Project 2013

Table of Contents Chapter 1 – Introduction Acquiring Project 2013; Exercise Files ...................................................................7 What’s New in Project 2013 ..................................................................................13 Chapter 2 – Help Online, Offline and Contextual Help .....................................................................15 Chapter 3 – Project 2013 Workspace Start Screen, Project Workspace and Backstage View ..........................................19 Chapter4 – Using Touch Overview of Principles and Touch Gestures .........................................................25 Chapter 5 – The Ribbon and Toolbars The Ribbon.............................................................................................................28 Quick Access Toolbar ............................................................................................33 Mini Toolbar ..........................................................................................................35 Contextual Menu....................................................................................................37 Status Bar ...............................................................................................................39 Chapter 6 – Keyboard Shortcuts Keyboard Shortcuts and Key Tips .........................................................................41 Chapter 7 – Project Options Customize Settings and the Use of Project 2013 ...................................................44 Chapter 8 – Tasks Basics

Setting Up Tasks ....................................................................................................50 Project Information ................................................................................................55 Project Options, Entry Bar, Timeline, Properties ..................................................58 Chapter 9 – Dependency Basics Link/Unlink Tasks; Setting Up Dependencies between Tasks ..............................62 Chapter 10 – Resource Basics Resource Sheet View .............................................................................................66 Resource Assignment.............................................................................................70 Chapter 11 – Opening, Closing and Saving Opening and Closing Projects; Switching Windows; Pinning to Recent List .......73 Saving Projects; File Formats; AutoSave ..............................................................76 Chapter 12 – Calendars Creating New Calendar; Setting Up Working Time; Recurrence .........................80 Standard Calendar; Schedule Public Holidays; Adding Exceptions......................85 Chapter 13 – Views and Tables Task Views; Zoom; Timescale ..............................................................................88 Resource Views and Split View ............................................................................92 Tables, Columns and Fields ...................................................................................97 Timeline View .....................................................................................................102 Chapter 14 – Summary Tasks Inserting Tasks; Subtasks .....................................................................................105

Chapter 15 – Scheduling Scheduling............................................................................................................110 Chapter 16 – Leveling Basics of Leveling................................................................................................115 Leveling Order; Resolving Resource Overallocations ........................................119 Chapter 17 – Critical Path and Milestones Critical Tasks; Slack; Critical Filter ....................................................................123 Milestones; Milestone Filter ................................................................................127 Chapter 18 – Notes Adding Notes to a Task and Resource .................................................................129 Chapter 19 – Tasks Types and Effort Driven Fixed Task, Duration and Units ...........................................................................132 Chapter 20 – More about Resources Resource Types ....................................................................................................138 More about Resource Assignments .....................................................................141 Chapter 21 – Constrains and Deadlines Constraints and Deadlines....................................................................................146 Chapter 22 – More about Dependencies Types of Dependencies; Lag and Lead ................................................................151 Chapter 23 – Resolving Scheduling Issues Respect Links; Task Inspector; Resource Overallocations ..................................156

Chapter 24 – Costs Assigning Costs to Resources ..............................................................................161 Project Costs ........................................................................................................165 Chapter 25 – Project Outline Showing, Hiding and Moving Subtasks...............................................................169 Chapter 26 – Baselines and Interim Plans Purpose of Interim Plan; Setting, Saving and Clearing a Baseline ......................172 Chapter 27 – Tracking Progress Update ...................................................................................................177 Tools for Tracking Progress.................................................................................182 Project Options that Affect Progress Tracking ....................................................185 Tracing Task Paths ...............................................................................................191 Chapter 28 – Reporting Customizing Reports ............................................................................................193 Types of Report; Creating a New Report ............................................................198 Earned Value Reporting .......................................................................................203 Chapter 29 – Printing Print Properties and Settings; Header and Footer ................................................208 Chapter 30 – Gantt Chart Gantt Chart Wizard; Formatting a Gantt Chart....................................................213 Chapter 31 – Import and Export, Organizer, and SkyDrive

Import/Export to/from an Excel Workbook.........................................................217 Organize Global Template ...................................................................................222 Storing Project Files on SkyDrive .......................................................................224 Chapter 32 – Security Password Protect; Read-only; Trust Center .........................................................227 Chapter 33 – Conclusion Recent Development of Project; Close ................................................................230

Project 2013

Chapter 1 – Introduction Video: Acquiring Project 2013; Exercise Files Toby: Hello and welcome to our course on Microsoft Project 2013, the award winning project management software for your desktop. My name is Toby and I’m going to be your instructor on this course. Let me talk first about who this course is for. I hope that anybody who wants to learn how to use Microsoft Project 2013 will get a lot out of this course. But when I was planning the course, I had three particular groups of people in mind. First of all, those people who’ve never used project management software before. One word of warning for everybody including that first group though, I am going to assume that you’re familiar with the basic language of projects and basic principles like a schedule. You may even be familiar with terms such as critical path, resources and overallocation. Now even if you are familiar with these terms, I’ll need to explain them with particular reference to Microsoft Project as we work through the course. But if you know nothing about project management at all, you may find some aspects of this course a bit of a struggle and it would be a good idea to get some background reading in first on project management in general. The second group of people are people who’ve used a very old version of Microsoft Project, a version before the Ribbon was introduced. Microsoft Project has changed a lot in the two or three versions. Although some of the fundamental principles are exactly the same as they were 15 years ago, some principles have changed a bit and there are many, many new editions to what you can do and the tools that are available in Microsoft Project. The third group of people are the people who have used one of the more recent versions of Project and for them I’ll be focusing on the specific changes in this version. Not only are there some changes to the aspects of the interface such as the Ribbon, but there are some functional changes as well. Now let me talk about the structure of the course. I’ve arranged the course into a number of units which are in turn grouped into chapters, and I believe that this forms a logical sequence for learning Project pretty much from scratch. If you’ve used Microsoft Project before, particularly

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Project 2013 a recent version, you may feel that you can skip some of these sections or go through them quickly. That’s entirely your choice. I would warn you that even things that you may think you’re familiar with; fairly basic things like using online Help or using the Ribbon have changed in this version. However if you’re happy that you can cope with minor changes or you can check the online Help yourself for these kinds of change, then it’s entirely your choice whether you want to skip forward so that you get into the nitty-gritty of scheduling projects and using Microsoft Project more quickly. If you’re starting from scratch I suggest that you don’t skip the early sections even if they appear to be on topics that you’re quite familiar with because the way that Microsoft Project works is subtly different in many cases from other desktop products, and it’s worth knowing some of the tools and tricks of the trade which will help you much later on when we get into the more advanced use of Microsoft Project. Another important point to bear in mind with this course is that we do not cover the Server products associated with Microsoft Project. I will mention one or two features of them from time to time but they’re not covered in any level of detail on this course, and also that we’re not covering the programming of Microsoft Project on this course, the use of Project VBA. We are primarily only looking at the desktop project management product itself and there is plenty to learn in a course like this one on that basic desktop Project to get you really started and to build you up to a really good level of skill in Microsoft Project. And talking about those desktop Project products, there are basically two of them. There is a Project Standard and a Project Professional. Now there are quite a lot of differences in them when you look at the Server side of things. But fundamentally, virtually everything on this course can be done using Project Standard. I’m actually going to be using Project Professional on the course and I will point out the one or two things you can do in Project Professional that you can’t do in Project Standard, but there really are only one or two of them that affect this course. If you have Project Standard that’s absolutely not a problem, you’re going to be able to do this course absolutely fine with Project Standard. Now as part of this course you should have a whole set of exercise files. The file names will be similar to these. There will be about this many with about these names. The actual list may vary. It does change a little over time. But make sure you know where those files are. They should be available on your device. And from time to time I will be referring to these and I’ll be © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 asking you to make your own versions of these or to use the versions you’re provided with. So make sure you know where that set of files is kept. Now in Project 2013, Microsoft has tried to make the product usable with a touch screen. Now to be fair, there were certain things we’re able to do in the previous version associated with Project 2010 where you could use a touch screen for certain things. But to have general usage of a product like this with touch really, Project 2013 is the first version. I’m going to incorporate coverage of some of the gestures and techniques to use with a touch screen while I’m going through the course but it would be an extremely tedious job if I did everything on the course twice, once with keyboard and mouse and once with touch screen. So I’m really going to use touch screen from time to time, explain what I’ve done, go through the main gestures, and try to use touch in a number of places as an example. But there really isn’t time to do everything twice and I think both people that are using touch and those who don’t use touch would be equally frustrated if I did do everything twice. Having said that, the PC that I am recording this course on is a touch screen PC. I’m also using hand gestures in front of the screen, but for a course that you’re going to follow on screen, me using hand gestures in front of the screen isn’t really going to work. So I am only going to cover mouse mode as I’ll call it as one option and touch mode as the other during the course. But if you’ve got a touch screen device, I think that you’re going to find that you can do just about everything in Microsoft Project that you need to. Although I would warn you that in some cases the accuracy of touch can be an issue and to some extent if you’ve got nice thin fingers you’re better off than somebody like me who has rather fat fingers I’m afraid. The next thing to mention is that I am running Project 2013 here on Windows 8. If you’re using Windows 7, there will be some differences; not an awful lot, but you will notice one or two differences in places. I’ll try to point those out as we go along because I am also testing what I’m doing on Windows 7 as well. And something that’s equally important is that the resolution on which I’m recording this is a 4:3 aspect ratio resolution. It’s not widescreen. You may well have one of the widescreen resolutions on your device. Also depending on the resolution of your device, you may see different amounts of things on the screen. This can be extreme as things like seeing different content on the Ribbon.

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Project 2013 I’m currently looking at the start screen for Project Professional 2013. If you are able to see that start screen, and I’ll talk about that in just a moment, you may look at yours and you may look at mine and you may think, well, they look completely different. Well, there can be substantial difference partly because of the screen resolution and partly because of themes, windows, backgrounds, and so on. Some of which we’re going to talk about during the course. But as long as you can see something on the left that says Project and list that says Recent and an Open other projects thing there, and then these boxes in the middle or some variant on these boxes in the middle then I’m sure you’ll be fine. And the ways in which these things are different I will explain as we go through the early stages of the course. Now I mentioned just now that I’d talk about seeing this start screen. If you already have Microsoft Project 2013 installed, either the Standard version of the Professional version and you can start it up either from one of the tiles on the start screen or Windows 8 or from the start menu on Windows 7 and you can actually see this screen, then you can actually finish following this section because the rest of this section is going to be devoted to those people who haven’t got Project 2013 installed. I’m not actually going to show you how to install it, but I am going to talk about how to get hold of a copy of it and point you in the right direction in terms of where to get the instructions to install it. But if it’s already installed and running on your machine, you can move on to the next section now; if not, read on. So for the rest of this section I’m talking to those of you who maybe don’t have yet Project installed. And the first place I’m going to direct you is to part of microsoft.com, to this particular page. Now given that I may well have recorded this course some time before you watch it, the page itself may have changed. But one thing’s for certain, Microsoft will still have an equivalent page there. You’re looking for the requirements for Project Professional 2013. You may well need to do a search, either a Google or a search within microsoft.com to find it but you’ll find a page that gives you those system requirements. Now the system requirements from point of view of Project come into approximately two categories. One of them is the hardware requirements. You need a device that satisfies this minimum hardware specification. You can sometimes make Project work on lower specked devices but it almost invariably leads to a headache and this isn’t a particularly high specification for modern devices anyway. So make sure you’ve got a device that satisfies that hardware requirement.

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Project 2013 And then the other key requirement is the operating system requirement. And as far as desktop operating systems are concerned, you need Windows 7 or Windows 8. If you have XP, if you have Vista, then I’m afraid that’s no good. You’re going to have to upgrade your desktop operating system in order to run Microsoft Project on your desktop. Now there are some other requirements here. There are requirements for graphics including a minimum screen resolution. There are list of supported browsers and also some details of the touch requirements if you intend to use touch with Project 2013. So you need to take note of those as well. So once you’ve established that the device you’re planning to use will be able to run Project, the next question is how to get yourself a copy of Project. Now, of course, you can buy a copy. You could buy it from Microsoft. You could use your favorite online store; maybe your local computer store will have Project Professional or Project Standard in stock. But the good news is at the time of recording this it is possible to get a trial version of Microsoft Project Professional from Microsoft. Now the particular offer and the terms of the offer do tend to vary but at the time of recording, you could get a 60-day free trial from Microsoft and that includes a guided element where it will actually give you some supporting help and information throughout the 60day trial which I think you might find very useful. And depending on how much time you have available, you may well find that a 60 trial is plenty of time to work your way through this course and to make sure that you’re comfortable about buying Project, if indeed that’s what you intend to do. There’s a page there which gives you access today to the Project Professional 2013 60day trial. You may, well, need to do another Google or you may need to do a search within microsoft.com at some future date if this actual page isn’t here. But if there is a Project trial version available, you should be able to find it without too much trouble. One other thing to be aware of is that there are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Project available. Now you would generally be best advised to install the 64-bit version if you’re device will support it, but one or two things to warn you about. One of them is that if you have Microsoft Office 2013 32-bit installed, I believe you’ll have trouble installing Microsoft Project 64-bit. And also if you do try to install the 64-bit version, there are one or two other scenarios where you can run into trouble. Having said that, I’m not going to try and list what will and won’t work here. That’s somewhat outside the scope of what I do. I’ll leave that between you © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 and Microsoft. But if you download a trial version, you’re given the option of either 32 or 64. If you download the 64-bit version, try to install that and if it doesn’t work, I’m afraid you’ll have to download the 32-bit. If you have a bought version and normally with bought versions they include both.

So if you try 64 and if it doesn’t work, then try the 32.

In terms of the

functionality what you can do with them they’re the same. The only real significant difference is in the performance.

This course is actually being run with a 32-bit version of Project

Professional 2013 running on Windows 8. So when you have acquired your copy of Project 2013, you have installed it and preferably you have activated it as well, you will finish up able to start it from the start screen in Windows 8 or the start menu in Windows 7 and you will get to the point that we saw earlier on where you have the start screen. And this is our starting point for using Microsoft Project 2013. But just before we open it up and start to use it, I’d like to just spend a little bit of time talking what’s new in Project 2013, particularly for the benefit of those who’ve used Project before, 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

Video: What’s New in Project 2013 Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, I’m going to do a quick run through of what’s new in Project 2013. Even if you haven’t used Project before, I think you’re going to find this section useful because it will introduce you to some of the key points that we’ll be covering in the course. The best source of information for what’s new in Project 2013 from a fairly non-technical point of view is within the Office section on microsoft.com and there’s a page there called What’s New in Project 2013 and I want to go through the main points on that page in this section. One of the sections on that page is headed Get Started Quickly and this really describes the main features of the start screen in Project 2013, the screen we saw earlier. And from this screen you get links not only to creating a new blank project but you can get links to Project templates that we’re going to look at later on and then various other links to facilities to import information from Microsoft Excel or from SharePoint. We’ll be looking at the start screen in more detail later on. One of the main areas of extension and improvement in Project 2013 is in the range of reports that are available. There are some new and greatly improved graphical reports and there are also new types of reports such as burn down reports. You can also use Link 2010 or later to communicate with members of your team by instant message, video chat, email, or even a phone call. If you were dealing with a complex project and you’re having trouble sorting out some issues with a specific task or around the area of a specific task, you can look at the task path for the selected task which shows all of the predecessor tasks and all of the successor tasks conveniently colored to help to identify them. And then there are some other new or improved features here. The first of these, Take projects into the far future, means that we can now schedule projects with project dates up to the middle of the 22nd century which is probably far enough ahead for most of us. And then other new features include the sharing of meetings if you export your project reports, timelines, or other project data into other Office programs you can share those online on any supported device. You can save and share project files in the Cloud as with the other components of Office 2013. And

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Project 2013 if you use Project online, you have access to a full version of Project from almost anywhere and you can run it even on PCs that don’t have Project 2013 installed. We’ll be looking at most of these new features during the course. But in the mean time, I suggest that you look at this page, What’s New in Project 2013 and maybe follow some of the links on that page to describe some of the features in more detail. 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

Chapter 2 – Help Video: Online, Offline and Contextual Help Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, we’re going to look at Help. As with most major new software products nowadays, there is very limited help actually provided with Project and the bulk of the help is provided online. Therefore in order to take advantage of the full Help facilities of Project 2013, you will need an internet connection. I do have a live internet connection. And one of the great advantages of Project 2013 in terms of Help is that access to Help is provided in a very consistent way. Generally speaking, in the top right hand corner of any window, you will see a little question mark and if I hover over the question mark on the start screen window, here you’ll see that the word Help is shown. That’s called a screen tip. And then after Help in brackets it says F1 and that is the keyboard shortcut for Help. Basically, there are the two standard ways of getting help in Project. Either click on this question mark or use the keyboard shortcut F1. If you click on the question mark or use the keyboard shortcut, you open browser based Help. Now unfortunately at the time of recording this course there was alignment problems with this Help Home page. It won’t actually stop me covering the material on the page but it does look a little bit strange. But I think when I explain it to you it won’t really cause you a problem. The Help home page really contains four main sections. Up here you have a set of buttons which I’ll talk about in a moment and then a search box that you can use to search the online Help for a particular feature. You then have three other sections. You have a Popular searches section which basically gives you the terms that are the most popular for people to search on in Help. I’ll come back to the Search and those popular searches a little bit later on. The third section is a Getting Started section and that gives links to three main getting started sections within the Project 2013 Help. There’s What’s new with Project 2013. Note that as I hover the mouse over that term, it’s underlined and becomes a live hyperlink. Then it has Project keyboard shortcuts. We’re going to be talking about the keyboard shortcuts a little bit

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Project 2013 later on. And then it says, Make the switch to Project 2013. If I click on that one, Make the switch to Project 2013, it gives access to a page within microsoft.com where you can download a number of relatively short videos that give you some information which is particularly useful if you’re switching from another version of Project. So apart from giving a summary of the new features, it explains things like a tour of the Ribbon and where all your favorite buttons and menu items are in Project 2013. So if you’re new to Project or you’ve used an older version and you’d like a different view on the changes, there are some good videos here for you to download and take a look at. And when you’ve finished looking at those, then you just close this browser and you’ll be back to the Project Help home page again. Now the fourth section on the Project Help home page is also a set of links, Basic tasks in Project, Change working days for the Project calendar, and so on. If I followed one of those, say Set a baseline, that takes you through to the relevant page within the Help system. If you find that the text is a little bit too small to read, then one of the buttons in the group up here to the left of the Search box, that one, says Use large text. If you click on that button, it increases the size of the text and makes it much easier to read. You can then decrease it again by clicking on the button and it’s back to its standard size. While we’re looking at these buttons, another point to make here is that to the left of that button there is a Print button which will enable you to print a particular page or a section of some pages on Help. Now sometimes when you’re looking at some help, there will be a further link within the help such as this one here. As I hover over it, you’ll see that it becomes highlighted, usually with an underline. Click on that and that will take me through to another page and from there, there may be further links. This is browser based so at any stage if I want to go back to the previous page, I use the Back button amongst the group of buttons in the top left there. And if I want to go forward again to a page I’ve just left, I can use the Forward button. And then the middle button in that group at any time if I want to go home back to Help Home, I just click on the picture of the home there and that takes me back to the Help home page.

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Project 2013 And then just one other thing on this page and that’s the Search box itself. I mentioned the popular searches before but in fact you can search on pretty much any term that you might have a question or an issue about in relation to Project 2013. Click in the Search box and type in a term. So for instance, if I wanted to find out about leveling type it in and then the magnifying glass on the right is the button, the command button that says Search online Help, click on that. Now the links that I can see here are a bit of a mix really. Some of them just help me to find things say on the Ribbon, but others actually link through to articles. The very first link there is to an article, Level resource assignment. So if I click on that it’ll take me through to an article that tells me quite a lot about how to level the resources on a project. If you’ve got no idea what leveling is, you will find out what it is a little bit later on in the course. And again, I can follow through links and at any time I can jump back to the home page and get some more help. When you’ve finished using Help, you can either minimize it down on to your task bar if you anticipate using it again or if you look at the top right hand corner of the window there, there is an X for the Close button. I mentioned before that if you don’t have a live internet connection, then you won’t be able to get online help. If you don’t have an internet connection and you click on Help, you get the offline help. Let me just show you what you get with offline help. I’ll click on the question mark there again. I get a can’t connect message here. We’re having trouble connecting to office.com in my case. You may or may not get that message. You may or may not be asked to try again. I’m not going to try again because I want to show you what happens with offline help. And basically with offline help, all you get is help about where things are on the Ribbon. So if I type in here Leveling and then ask for help on leveling, what I get is information about leveling commands and where they appear on the Ribbon, and that’s just about the extent of offline help. So it’s not really going to be able to help you very much. But in summary if you need the full help that comes with Project 2013, you’re going to need a live internet connection. The last thing I’d like to talk to you about in relation to Help now is what’s called contextual help. I’ve actually leapt into Project 2013 here just for a moment and I’ve opened one of the dialogs. It doesn’t really matter what this dialog is about, what it does. You’ll find out about it later on. But you’ll quite often see in some of the dialogs that we come across a Help button and in theory what happens if it’s got a Help button like this in a dialog is it will take you into the © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 same Help system that we’ve just seen but it will take you to a particular topic related to this dialog. So if we were formatting bar styles for a Gantt Chart in Project 2013 and clicked on Help, we would normally expect to get into the Help system with some help about bar styles. Now in my experience of Project 2013 so far, a lot of the time when you click these Help buttons all it does is take you to the Help home page. So if I click Help here, it actually just takes me to the regular home page and of course I can then do a search. I could search in there for bar styles and get some help. So in theory, there is what we call contextual help, which is help that directly relates to the context in which we asked for the help. In practice, I’m not sure at this stage with Project 2013 that much of the contextual help is actually very contextual. But having said that, if you get into the Help system, you can search for the particular topic you want help for and if there is help on it, you will be able to find it. So that’s almost it on Help. Let me just close this down again. For the benefit of those of you who are using touch, of course wherever I’ve clicked for these things, you tap. So if I tap on that Help button in that dialog, it does exactly the same thing. That’s it on Help in Project 2013. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013

Chapter 3 – Project 2013 Workspace Video: Start Screen, Project Workspace and Backstage View Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, we’re going to take a quick tour of the Project Workspace. Now many of the aspects of this will be covered in a lot of detail as we go through the course but I just want to familiarize you with some of the terminology and some of the parts of the screen that are going to be very important in the early stages of the course. Now the first thing to say is that I’ve already mentioned this start screen and there is an option as we’ll see a little bit later on to suppress the showing of this start screen and for example to go straight into the last project that you were working on. Now I normally have the start screen enabled. It’s a pretty useful way of starting up Project in my opinion. But that may not suit you and as we’ll see later when we look at Project Options, there’s a lot of customization that’s possible with the Project workspace. When you’ve been using Project for a little while, then it’s worth taking a little bit of time just to make sure that you’ve got it customized to your particular preferences and requirements. Now on this start screen, we’ve got an area on the left that lists the recent projects that we’ve worked on. We haven’t worked on any projects yet so that area is empty. There’s an area below that that says Open other projects which gives us access to a pretty standard Windows browser to open other projects either on this device or available from this device. You may for example open a project on a network or on an attached device, maybe a memory stick or a DVD or something like that. Now in the top right hand corner of the start screen, you have a pretty standard set of buttons. There’s the Help button that we’ve already talked about and then the normal Windows buttons. So there’s a minimize there. And because I’m in normal view, there’s a maximize button and, of course, a close button. And with each of these there’s an available screen tip just to remind me what each of the buttons does. Now bear in mind that different people will have acquired their copy of Project 2013 in different ways, maybe registered for a trial version, purchased a version. There will be a Microsoft

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Project 2013 account that you are currently running Project 2013 under, and the account that I’m currently running it under is shown there. You can switch account. You can run your copy of Project 2013 under different accounts and one of the reasons for doing that would be that you may run it under a different account that gives you access to additional or different services from Microsoft. Now looking at the possibilities here is outside the scope of this course. So for the purposes of this course, I’ll assume that you have a Microsoft account that you are running this under and that it’s shown there and you can see mine in the top right hand corner of the start screen. Now let’s look at these big buttons on the start screen. The one that’s highlighted at the moment is blank project and you’ll use that a lot when you start a new project from scratch. So you’re really just going to start typing the details of a project into Project 2013 from a blank starting point; a bit like starting a new document in Word. To the right of that, the next option there is New from existing project. Now if the sort of projects that you manage tend to be a little bit repetitive, you may find that there’s a pattern in your projects and you like to take say the last job that you did, the last project you managed and use that as a starting point for the next one. Well, that’s where this particular option comes in handy because if you click that, you can choose an existing project and use that as your starting point for another one. Now that’s the basic idea behind templates that I’m going to talk about in a moment as well. Below that is another option, New from Excel workbook, and this enables you to import task type information for example that you have in an Excel workbook and use that as the basis for a Microsoft Project project. Now that’s somewhat outside the scope of this course but I’m going to give you a straightforward example of that later on. To the right of that is a quite similar option but this relates to SharePoint task lists. Now if you’ve used Microsoft SharePoint, you’ll be familiar with the concept of a SharePoint task list. And like an Excel workbook, you can use a SharePoint task list as a starting point for a Microsoft Project. Now that is definitely outside the scope of this course. The next option just says Welcome to Project and this is a little sort of Wizard demonstration of creating a very basic project and just a description of the main steps in creating a project. I’m not going to go through that now. It’s a good one for you to try, particularly if you’ve never used Project before. But it is very basic and everything that’s in it we’re going to be covering during

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Project 2013 the course anyway. So if you are an absolute beginner, give that a little run through and it might give you a nice introduction to some of the basic concepts of using Project. Beyond that what we have is a list of templates and templates are basically what in older terminology would be called boiler plates. They’re sort of model projects. They don’t have any specifics in them. They don’t have specific dates and times, specific costs, or anything like that, but they give you a model that you can work from. Now the ones that are shown on the start screen, the first one there is a software development plan. Then there’s a new product launch. That’s a bit more of a sort of marketing related project.

Create a budget, commercial

construction, residential construction, a market research schedule, and so on. Now there are quite a few of those there. But in addition, if you look at the top of the start screen, there is a box here where you can search for an online template. So if you have a particular topic in mind, a particular need for a Project template, you can type a certain term in here and then click on the Search button and Project 2013 will search microsoft.com to find supporting materials, including Project templates. Now there’s some suggested searches here, business, construction, marketing products, but you’re certainly not restricted to those. The main example we’re going to use on this course is a construction project so I’m going to type in here Construction. I could in fact just click on that link if I wanted to but I’m going to type in here Construction, and then click on the Search button and see what it comes up with. And what it comes up with is a list of, well, there are two templates; the ones that we saw on the start screen. One for a residential construction and one for a commercial construction, and I could use either of those as the starting point for my project. But it also gives me links through to documents related to other Office applications. So there are six links to Excel documents, seven to PowerPoint, two to Outlook, and four to Word. Let’s just click on the Excel ones. Notice we get a list of six Excel workbooks and any of these may help as well. These are not Microsoft Project projects. These are Excel workbooks. So for instance, there’s a construction proposal. There is a home construction budget. That’ll be useful to see the sort of costs associated with home construction. And there are various other things, construction bid form, inventory list, etc. So that’s a pretty useful facility whereby you can search microsoft.com that way to help you with your particular requirement for creating a project. Now you’ve finished looking at these you use the Back button, the top left there. This is a browser based system as well. Click on Back and that takes us back to the start screen again.

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Project 2013 Now I should just point out to those of you who are using touch that we haven’t done anything unusual here. I’m going to come to touch in more detail in a couple of sections time. But all we’re doing so far is tapping on controls such as this Search button and then typing into boxes so exactly the same there with touch. You would just type in the term that you wanted to search for and then tap on the Search button. So to complete our look at the Project workspace, let’s create a blank project. Either click on Blank project or tap if you’re using touch, and look at the bottom left hand corner of the screen just after we do this. A message appears there, New tasks are created in manually scheduled mode. You’re going to see that quite a bit and we’ll come back to that in a lot of detail later on. But for now I want you to just ignore that message each time it appears. And what we have now is the Project workspace in front of us. Now the one that you see may have differences to mine for all sorts of reasons. So I’m not going to be very specific at this stage about exactly what you can see but I will point out the main areas and then we’ll look at the details as we go through the course. So let’s start right at the top of the workspace here and in the top left we have something called the Quick Access Toolbar and I’m going to look at that in detail a little bit later on, but basically it’s a customizable set of buttons that give you one click access to specific functions such as saving the current project. At the top on the right, you have the buttons we’ve talked about already, Help, Minimize, Maximize, Close, and then you also have a set of buttons immediately below that are related to the current project. You can have more than one project open at a time in Microsoft Project. And also identification for the current account, that’s me Toby Arnott there. Now this whole area excluding the button with File written on it, the green one, is basically the Ribbon. Basically the Ribbon contains the commands that you execute to do particular things like delete a task or remake your schedule or update the status of a task in your project. Below the Ribbon, we have the timeline. Now the timeline can be switched on and off and this is one of the areas where what you see may be different from what I see. Currently, the timeline is switched on but this is a completely empty project. There are no tasks in it so there’s nothing shown in the timeline. There is a start date which is today. I’m doing this on Monday, March

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Project 2013 the 18th and there’s a finish date which is the same day because, again, I haven’t put any tasks in so I have a project with no duration at the moment. Below that is the main window area where most of the project information is shown. And on the left on its side you can see it says Gantt Chart. You’ll probably use Gantt Charts quite a bit with Microsoft Project. And as you’ll see in a short while what the Gantt Chart normally consists of is two parts. On the left you have what’s called a table and this is the list of information about the tasks in your project. And on the right, you have the Gantt Chart itself which will basically be a pictorial representation of your project. Now we’re going to look at a sample project shortly and then when we do I’ll explain in more detail about the table and about the chart itself. Right at the bottom of the window, there you can see the status bar and the status bar contains on the left assorted information about the current project. Now the current project is empty so there isn’t an awful lot of interesting information to show so there’s not a lot shown there. But we’ll look at the status bar in quite a bit of detail a bit later on. And then on the right hand end, there are various buttons and a slider to control what you actually see in that main window. Again, we’ll be coming back to that a little bit later on as well. So we’ve got the Ribbon, we’ve got the timeline, we’ve got the main window which will often show the Gantt Chart but it can often show other things as well, and then at the bottom the status bar. Now there’s one other very important aspect of the Project workspace to mention here and that is Backstage View. If you click on that green button towards the top left hand corner of the window that says File, click on that, it takes you into Backstage View. Now from Backstage View, you basically do the management, the administration of Project. Loosely speaking, this is where you do the things related to projects that aren’t actually in the individual projects themselves. So it’s the sort of things you do here are open a project, one you worked on earlier on or save a project or print some of the details of a project or share a project with somebody else. You also very importantly, as we’ll see in a couple of sections time, can set your Project Options which basically enables you to customize Project. And you also have an Account button here where you can change the account that you’re running Project under. I mentioned that earlier on in the course. Now Backstage View we’re going to look at piece by piece as we go

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Project 2013 through the course, but getting access to Backstage View is via that File button, the green button with the word File on it. And to get back from Backstage View into the project we’re working on, we click this Back button up here, the one with the left arrow on it. It takes us back into an individual project. So that’s it on the Project workspace for now. There are quite a few more things but we’ll cover those as we go through the course. That’s the end of this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 4 – Using Touch Video: Overview of Principles and Touch Gestures Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. I’m going to look at touch in this short section. If you’re not intending to use touch and maybe not even interested in using touch or how people use it, then you can pretty much skip this section. If you are going to use touch or if you’re considering using touch, then it’s quite a short section and I think it’s very useful to go through it with me. The first thing I’d like to point out to you is this blog post on office.com, Using the new Office with touch. You can find that by Googling it or by going to microsoft.com and searching. But it is an extremely good post which basically gives the background to how Microsoft went about addressing touch in Office 2013 in general. From the point of view of touch, Project is part of Office 2013. So virtually everything that you see in this blog post is relevant to Project. Now I’m not going to go through all the detail here. It’s a really interesting document to read. It not only gives the background as to why they did things the way that they did but it also goes into some detail of the particular requirements of different aspects of using a fairly advanced piece of software with a touch device. They recognized in particular that one of the key issues with using a touch device, as we’ll see during this course, is the accuracy of touching part of the screen. Particularly, if you’ve got fairly fat fingers like mine in comparison with accessing maybe just a single point on a screen using a mouse. Now if you go through this article, it gives background to the vision for touch by Microsoft, the sort of guidelines they followed and then some particular issues like targeting which is really the targeting a specific point on the screen. And then things like the changes they made to the Ribbon. Now we’re going to look at the use of the Ribbon with touch in the next section so I won’t go into that here. And then further down they talk about other user interface elements. A good example is the color picker. That’s not particularly relevant to Project, although you do use it in a couple of situations in Project. But again the general principle is to take the conventional color picker and just make everything bigger to be easier to operate with your fingers. Anyway it’s an extremely interesting and informative article and I do recommend that you go through, take the time to just read through it. I will be referring to it from time to time and many of the

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Project 2013 points that it makes later on in the course and in many ways it forms the background to many aspects of touch in Project 2013. And the other important article which is also on microsoft.com is the Office Touch Guide. Now you may have seen this in an earlier version where it was basically a text document. The version that’s available as I’m recording this course has got some little video demonstrations of some aspects of using touch. Now again, I’m not going to go through all of these now because the ones that are particularly relevant I’m going to go through at the various points in the course. But let’s just take the first example, Zoom in and out. If I click on zoom in and out, you get a little demonstration of using stretch and pinch. Watch again. The idea is if you want to zoom into something, you stretch. If you want to zoom out you pinch. So zooming in by stretching your fingers apart gets you closer to the subject, and then zooming out by pinching gets you farther away. Now for each of the different kind of gesture with touch, there’s a little video demonstration in this article, Office Touch Guide. So scroll. So, there’s a demonstration there of how to scroll through a document on screen. I’ll just play that again. Notice how the user is basically touching the screen, you see a little sort of flash as they touch the screen, and then they hold it as they scroll through the document. Now if you are intending to use touch I suggest you locate this document and work through all of the different gestures; basic gestures, gestures with shapes and objects. Again, not particularly relevant to Project 2013 many of these, but some of them are.

And then further down

particularly text, selecting text and formatting text, we will be looking at using touch later on. And then there are some specifics related to Excel and PowerPoint. There are none specifically in relation to Project but many of the earlier ones are relevant. Now I am going to be demonstrating touch at various points on the course and as I introduce each new gesture, I’ll go through an example. Unfortunately, it’s not practical on a course like this to do everything using both touch and the mouse and keyboard. It would mean doing everything twice which would get a little bit tedious for everybody, including me. So I’m primarily going to use mouse and keyboard on the course, and I’ll introduce touch as various points. I’ll use examples with touch, but primarily it’ll be mouse and keyboard. And if you are using a touch device, I suggest that you practice using that right from the outset and you will find that virtually everything in Project is perfectly possible using touch. And in my experience so © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 far, if you’re using touch with Project 2013, really the only area where I still have a little bit of difficulty is when I need to target something very precisely. In some situations, that is still quite difficult but maybe with a bit more practice I’ll get over that as well. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 5 – The Ribbon and Toolbars Video: The Ribbon Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, we’re going to look at the Ribbon. So we’re going to start with Blank Project and the Ribbon is this rectangular area that you can see towards the top of the window. The Ribbon replaces the old menu system and in most of the components of Office. The replacement started in Office 2007 and although they’ve progressed at different paces within the different components in Office 2013, the Ribbon is pretty much universally now at the same stage of development. So if you’ve used the Ribbon in something like Word or Excel, then in Project there won’t be any great surprises. The Ribbon actually is a rectangle with a number of symbols on it and the symbols represent different kinds of commands, options, buttons, settings, and so on. And in the case of Project, we’re going to be looking at an awful lot of those during this course. Now you can see one set of these buttons here and the buttons on the Ribbon are divided into groups, and in turn each of the sets of groups occupy one tab. Now the tabs are along the top here. There’s a Task tab, a Resource tab, a Report tab, Project tab and View tab, and they are pretty much always there when you’re using Project 2013. Currently, I have the Task tab selected. You can see that sort of rectangle around it that tells me it’s selected. And on the Task tab, you have groups. There’s a View Group, a Clipboard Group, a Font Group, a Schedule Group, and so on. And each group has a number of buttons, a number of commands in it. The View Group here has just one that’s called Gantt Chart. The Clipboard has four; the Font has about seven or eight. Now depending on the resolution of your screen, you may see more or less commands in these groups. You may indeed see more or less groups because what Project 2013 does is to fit as much in as it can and it will vary to some extent depending on the size of your screen, the resolution, etc. and one or two other things that we’re going to look at in just a moment. So that’s the Task tab. Let’s look at the Resource tab. Click on Resource. You can see the Resource tab that has its own set of groups: View, Assignments, Insert, Properties, Level. Report tab, Project tab, View tab, we’ll be looking at all of these during the course.

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Project 2013 Now in addition, at the moment there is another tab, a Format tab. And you notice it’s got this sort of light lilac-y colored background, Gantt Chart Tools. Some of the tabs on the Ribbon only appear in certain circumstances and they’re called contextual tabs. Now at the moment, we’re looking at a Gantt Chart. Now it’s actually not much of a Gantt Chart because it hasn’t got anything in it at the moment, but you can tell it’s supposed to be a Gantt Chart because it says Gantt Chart down at the side here. And when we’re showing a Gantt Chart, we will get the Gantt Chart Tools Format tab which again has got a different set of commands on it arranged into groups. Now let me just go back to the Task tab at the moment. On the left here where it says View and it says Gantt Chart, let me just click on there and I’m going to choose a different view. I’m going to choose a view called Network Diagram. Now what happens with the network diagram selected is that I get a different view. The view won’t tell me much at the moment because as I say I’ve got no tasks. But with the network diagram, I get Network Diagram Tools Format tab that has a different set of groups and commands on it. So we have these contextual tabs and which contextual tabs you can see at any time depend on what you’re actually looking at, and to some extent on what you’re doing at the time. Now the contextual tabs we’ll look at as we go through the course and as I introduce different views, different types of objects and so on, I will introduce many of these contextual tabs. Now we’re back at the Task tab here and the next thing I want to point out to you is that depending on what you’re looking at and what you’re doing, some of the commands on the Ribbon may be enabled and some may not. So if you look at the Task tab at the moment, you notice there that we’ve got a row of buttons there with percentages written on them that are actually enabled. If you clicked on those, they would do something. The button right on the left, this one that says Gantt Chart, the one we used just now to switch to a different view, Network Diagram View and back here to Gantt Chart View, that’s enabled. We can use that. But the Paste button is not enabled. It’s grayed out. You can click on it, it won’t do anything. At any one time, you would expect that some buttons are enabled and some are disabled, and as is the convention in a Windows interface commands that are disabled are grayed out. So be aware of the fact that the buttons that are not grayed out you can use at any time and the ones that are grayed out you can’t.

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Project 2013 Now if you’re using touch, then you would switch between these tabs by tapping on the names of the tabs: Task, Resource, Report, Project, etc. And then to execute a command, you tap on the command, maybe choose from options if there are options, but there’s a very important aspect of using touch with a Ribbon and it’s universal across the components of Office 2013 and that is that there are two modes of operation. There is mouse mode which is what I’m using at the moment and there is touch mode which I want to show you next. Now to switch into touch mode for those of you who are using touch, you’re going to use this little button here. The screen tip that pops up, Touch, stroke, Mouse Mode. You can see it there. That is the tip that tells you this button which is actually on the Quick Access Toolbar is the one you use to switch between the two modes. Now if you click or tap on the little arrow there to the right of the pointing finger, you get a choice: mouse, which is the current selection, or touch. I’m going to tap on touch and I am now in touch mode. Now the important thing to note here is that you have the same tabs and basically the same groups, although depending on the tab, the situation and the screen resolution, etc., you may not be able to see all of the groups at every time and the number of commands in some of the group may be reduced in touch mode because basically what happens in touch mode is that everything is spaced out more to enable you to operate it with your fingers. I pointed out to you just now that little sequence of buttons with percentages marked on them. They would be incredibly difficult to use with your fingers as they were just now, all sort of scrunched up tightly next to each other. If you look at that same row of buttons here, you can see that in touch mode they’re spaced out widely enough that you can use them with the tips of your fingers. So if you’re working in touch mode, you can switch to touch mode and if you want to, you can just stay there. I’m going to switch back to mouse mode now. I’m actually going to switch back using my finger tips. But I’m going to switch back to mouse mode and from now on, I’m going to use mouse mode in this section. But be aware of that setting for touch. So tap on that button again, tap on mouse, and I’m back into mouse mode again. One of the problems with using the Ribbon is that it does use up rather a lot of space on the screen and sometimes when you’re dealing with a large complex project, you may say I wish the Ribbon was a bit smaller or I could just get it out of the way to give myself a bit more space to

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Project 2013 work with. Well, there is a way of doing that. You may not want to use this approach early on in your use of Project 2013 but when you’ve been using it for a while, this will very probably be something that you like to do. If you look towards the right hand end of the Ribbon, there’s a little up pointing arrow there and the screen tip that comes up is Collapse the Ribbon. And if you want to collapse the Ribbon, basically you click that and the Ribbon is now out of your way and you’ve got a lot more space to work in. Now you may see that the most obvious disadvantage of doing that is you no longer have access to the commands that you need to execute in order to work on your project. But the assumption here is that you know pretty much where all the commands are at this point and all you really need to be able to see are the tabs. And if I say wanted to switch from say Gantt Chart View into Network Diagram View, I know that’s on the Task tab; it’s the left hand command. All you then have to do is to click on Task, go to that command as we did just now, click there, change to Network Diagram View, select Network Diagram, Project 2013 switches into Network Diagram View and minimizes the Ribbon again. So not only does it execute the command, but it also puts the Ribbon out of the way again as well. Now when you’re confident enough in your use of Project 2013, you may want to choose that approach to give yourself some more space to work in. Now if you take that approach to collapsing the Ribbon, there may, of course, come a point in time where you decide maybe you’re doing something different you haven’t done before and you need to be able to see the Ribbon all of the time so that you can find the right commands or indeed you’re using one of the contextual tabs that you’re maybe not so familiar with, then if you right click, say, on one of the tabs so you’re sure that you’re using the Ribbon. One of the options there Collapse the Ribbon, the bottom one, just uncheck that and the Ribbon is expanded and you can see it all of the time again. Now there’s just one other thing I’d like to look at in relation to the Ribbon here. If you right click somewhere on the Ribbon, you see a number of options here and one of them, Customize the Ribbon, second from the bottom. Click on Customize the Ribbon. That actually takes you into the Project Options that we’re going to look at later on in the course in detail. But one of the pages on the Project Options is Customize Ribbon. Now this is outside the scope of this course. I’m not going to go into this at all in detail now but it may be something you want to find out for later on and that is that you can customize the Ribbon. You can add your own tab. You can

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Project 2013 create a Ribbon tab of your own. You can create your own groups to put on it and you can choose from the available commands in Project 2013 to make up that group or those groups on your own tab. There is a limit to what you can do to rearrange the standard tabs and groups but you can certainly create your own. I pointed out the main tabs here: Task, Resource, Report, Project, View. There are some other standard tabs: Add-ins, Developer, Compare Projects. And apart from the main tabs there are tool tabs, a couple of which we’ve already seen, but actually they’re quite a lot of tool tabs in Project 2013 and we’ll see a few of those as we go as well. So as I say this is outside the scope of this course but if you find you are doing a job where it would be really helpful to, say, have a particular set of commands all in one place to save switching around on the Ribbon all the time, then I suggest you look into customizing the Ribbon. So that’s it for the Ribbon. In the next section, we’re going to look at the Quick Access Toolbar. I’ll see you then.

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Project 2013

Video: Quick Access Toolbar Toby: Hello and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, we’re going to take a look at the Quick Access Toolbar which sits in the top left hand corner of the window. The purpose of the Quick Access Toolbar, as its name implies, is to give us quick access to a selected small number of commands that we use frequently and really want at our fingertips so that we can execute them quickly and easily whenever we need them. Now at any one time on the Quick Access Toolbar, you’ll be able to see a selection of commands. On mine at the moment, there are actually four shown. There is Save, there is Undo and there is Redo and there is the command that we used, the button that we used to switch between touch and mouse mode. Now noticeably, the Redo command is currently grayed out. The reason it’s grayed out is because redo means redo something I’ve just undone. I’ve not undone anything so there’s nothing to redo so that commands grayed out. But in general terms, if I click on the drop down to the right hand end here, the one that has the screen tip of Customize Quick Access Toolbar, I’ll see that there are about a dozen commands that I can show and I show or hide them just by checking them. So if I wanted the Quick Print command here on the Quick Access Toolbar, if I just check it by clicking it, Quick Print now appears up there as well. Now it’s not a good idea to have loads and loads of these commands spreading across the top of the window because you’re going to clash into other things, but if you choose the ones that you think are most useful to you to have always on hand, that’s the process of customizing the Quick Access Toolbar. Now in addition to switching commands on and off, you can actually customize it in a more extensive way and you can add commands to the Quick Access Toolbar. So let’s take a look at how to do that. So to customize the Quick Access Toolbar, click on the drop down there and then one of the commands down at the bottom says More Commands, click on that, and that takes us into another page of the Project Options, the page that’s called Quick Access Toolbar. Now on that page there is a list initially of the popular commands within Project 2013. There may be about 50 of those commands. But if I use the drop down at the top here, you’ll see that if I looked at All Commands, so select that instead, you will see that in Project 2013 overall there are literally hundreds of commands and I could add any of those to the Quick Access Toolbar. Now I’m not © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 going to add some sort of vaguely esoteric command. Let’s go back to the popular ones. Let’s choose say the Copy command. If I select Copy there and click on Add, the button in the middle, the Copy command will be added to the Quick Access Toolbar. If I then click on OK, you can now see up there, there is a Copy command on the Quick Access Toolbar. So it’s as easy as that to customize what’s shown. What sometimes happens if you’re doing a particular job in Project 2013 is that you find you have something repetitive to do. I mentioned earlier on that you might create your own tab and your own group and put your own commands in it. Well, another good option is being able to add one or two commands to the Quick Access Toolbar while you’re doing perhaps a particular job and then you can remove them again. To remove a command from the Quick Access Toolbar, click on the drop down again, go into More Commands again, choose the one you want to remove, in this case Copy. So I select Copy on the right, and then the other button in the middle is Remove. Click on OK and that Copy command is no longer included in the Quick Access Toolbar. Now there’s one other thing you can do with the Quick Access Toolbar and that is if you’re doing a repetitive, perhaps complicated or perhaps even slightly boring job, then you can actually show the Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon. Click on the drop down again, choose the very bottom command, Show below the Ribbon, it appears down there. The reason sometimes that people like that is that when you’re working within the main area, say you’re working on a Gantt Chart here, you don’t have to stretch across the Ribbon to find the command that you want, possibly hit something on the Ribbon on the way. You’ve got the Quick Access Toolbar right next to the area you’re working in.

To put that back where it was, it’s pretty

straightforward; just click on Show above the Ribbon again. So I’m going to show this back above the Ribbon and that’s really it on the Quick Access Toolbar, pretty straightforward. In the next section, we’re going to look at mini toolbars. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Mini Toolbar Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, we’re going to look at mini toolbars. These can be used both in mouse mode and in touch mode, and they give us a very quick way of accessing important commands. Now in order to demonstrate mini toolbars, what I’ve done here is to just type some text into the table part of a Gantt Chart. This is a new project and I’ve just put in a task name of Task 1. Now how and why I did that isn’t really important. All I want you to see is that we’ve now got an entry in the task name. If I now right click with the mouse in that particular cell in the table, what I see is a little menu flying out and above that menu there is a little toolbar and that’s what we refer to as the Mini Toolbar. Now what you actually see in that mini toolbar depends on the circumstances, depends on what you’re looking at, what you’re doing, and so on. But normally what it will contain is the commands that you’re most likely to need depending on what you’re doing at that exact point in time. Now in this case, I’ve typed in the name of a task. I’ve just called it Task 1. And amongst the things that you can see on the mini toolbar is a command to let me change the font. The font there at the moment is Calibri. If I wanted to change it to a different font, there’s a drop down there that I could use to change the font. So let me just use the mini toolbar to change the font. So I could go say from Calibri to Broadway, and then there’s a command to change the font size. And then other commands including commands to do things like make the text bold, italic, to color it, or using this little drop down here with the bar on it to indicate how complete that particular task is. So there’s quite a range of things that I can do using that mini toolbar. Now having made that change to the font, let me just point out one of the commands on the Quick Access Toolbar that we looked at earlier on. So click back up there, undo, and I’m back to the original font again. Now let’s try the equivalent using touch.

We’ve already used tap in touch which is the

equivalent to click with the mouse. And obviously when you’re using an Office program like Project, you’re going to do an awful lot of clicking, so a lot of tapping. You also tend to use right click quite a bit and right click is how we brought up the mini toolbar and that little menu just now. Pretty much the same with touch except that with touch the equivalent is tap and hold.

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Project 2013 So what I’m going to do is tap and hold on Task 1 and that will bring up the touch version of the Mini Toolbar. So tap and hold. Notice how the cursor shape changes to a square, release it, and up comes the mini toolbar for touch. Now the mini toolbars tend to be about the same. They tend to have a lot of commands in common but there are usually some differences between the ones you get with mouse and the ones you get with touch. You can see there that the core of the toolbars are the same but also with this touch one, you’ve got these Paste, Cut, and Copy commands on it as well. And there will usually be some differences and that’s a fairly typical type of difference. Now while we’re looking at that mini toolbar and note how much bigger it is than the other one, the usual reason so that you can operate it with your fingers. But at the right hand end, there’s a drop down and that’s what we’re going to talk about in the next section. If you click on the drop down, that gives you access to the equivalent right click menu. So that’s it. That’s how you access the mini toolbars. Many people prefer using those to using the Ribbon a lot and particularly if you collapse the Ribbon, you may find the mini toolbar mean that you rarely need to go near the Ribbon, but that will depend on what you do and your own preference in terms of operating Project 2013. Okay, in the next section we’re going to have a very quick look at those right click menus. What we call those are contextual menus. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Contextual Menu Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this short section, I’d just like to look at the contextual menus that you can see in Project 2013. I’m going to demonstrate this with a couple of examples using the mouse and then one using touch. As we saw in the previous section, depending on what you’re doing, you will be able to see a little sort of fly out menu if you right click. If I right click within a cell in the table here for the Gantt Chart in this project, the menu that flies out has cut cell, copy cell, scroll to task, insert task, delete task, a whole range of commands that are relevant to what I’m looking at, the view I’m in, and what I can possibly do at that point in time. Notice that many of the commands are grayed out so I can’t actually use those at the moment. And also notice with some of them, for instance this one, Assign resources dot, dot, dot. That indicates to me that if I click that, there will be more for me to do. In this case and in fact in many cases, that means if I click that option I’ll get a dialog box to work with where I’ll need to make some selections, maybe take some further actions. So let me just click on that one and that brings up the Assign Resources dialog that we’ll be looking at later on. Now exactly what you see on that menu depends on where you are and what you’re doing. So if I were to right click on what is the graphical part of the Gantt Chart over here, then the menu I get is a very different menu. It lets me change my settings for grid lines, enables me to format bar styles, work on layout, but virtually all of the commands there are completely different to the ones on the left. Similarly, if I go into a different view, so if I went from Gantt Chart View into Network Diagram View and right click there, again I get a completely different set of commands. Now as I demonstrated in the previous section, if you want to do right click and look at the menu you get with touch, then if you tap and hold, so tap, hold till you get the square, release your finger, up comes a contextual menu. Now in some cases, you won’t directly get that menu as you do here. You may get a mini toolbar and then there will be a drop down arrow on the mini toolbar to give you access to the menu and that’s what we saw in the previous section. So if I now just switch back to Gantt Chart View using touch, so tap on that command, go back to Gantt Chart, again tap somewhere, hold, bring up the mini toolbar, tap on the drop down arrow on the right, and that’s how I get my menu. Now, you’ll see the menu flying off the edge of the screen © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 there. Unfortunately because of the way I have to record this course, you won’t necessarily always see all of every menu that I use but I’ll try to make sure that anything on the menu that we’re actually going to use you can always see. But I hope from that you get the general idea of how these contextual menus work using either mouse or touch. Now there’s one other thing I need to look at before we move on and I’m going to cover that in the next section, and that’s the status bar. Please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Status Bar Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, we’re going to look at the status bar right at the bottom of the window there and I’m going to concentrate to begin with on what’s on the left hand part of the status bar. So let me just explain how the status bar works. If I right click on it, it brings up a sort of menu. It’s really a list of properties. And with each of the properties, cell mode, calculation, macro recording, filter, AutoFilter, you can decide whether they’re shown or not on the status bar. Now the bottom two properties, view shortcuts and zoom slider, relate to the right hand end of the status bar and I’ll come back to those in a moment. But all of the others would be shown on the left hand side. Now almost all of them are ticked which means that their values are shown, but for many of them such as filter which is ticked so its value is shown, its value is nothing. So the filter is shown but it’s empty. AutoFilter is shown, but it’s blank, it’s empty. Roll up is shown but it’s blank, it’s empty. So these values are all being shown but they’re all blank, they’re all nothing. The exceptions are new tasks down there; current value is manually schedule. We’ll be looking at that later on. If I un-tick that, then it won’t be shown. Watch what happens on the status bar if I un-tick that. There we are. It’s no longer shown and now it’s shown again. Similarly, if I go up to the top and look at cell mode which is shown and its current value is Ready. If I uncheck it by clicking, I now find it no longer says Ready. Check it again, I’m now showing the cell mode again. Calculation is off. This is a bit of an exception really because with calculation off it doesn’t actually say Off anywhere and we’ll come back to that again later as well. And then macro recording, not recording. If I click on showing that value and I’m not recording a macro, then the little icon that just appeared on the status bar there indicates that I’m not recording a macro. Now later on many of these other things will make sense to you and you’ll decide which ones you want to show on the status bar and which ones you don’t want to show on the status bar. So now let’s take a look at the right hand end of the status bar, and what we have at the right hand end of the status bar are a set of buttons that we can use to switch between views of the current project. And we also have a slider on the right that generally determines how far zoomed in we are on timescales. Now the different views of the project that are available include the first one which is the Gantt Chart View, then we have a Task Usage View, a Team Planner View, a

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Project 2013 Resource Sheet View, and then we have a Report View. Later on when we’ve looked at each of these types of view, you’ll find in different situations that one or other of those views will be the most suitable for the particular thing you’re doing at that time. There are in fact many other views available as we’ll see later, but these are the ones that are most commonly used and probably the ones that you’ll want to switch between the most. Now we’re in Gantt Chart View at the moment and the slider basically lets you zoom in and out in terms of timescale. So at the moment, we’re roughly in the middle. The sliders roughly centrally placed. If I moved it right over to the right, so that’s zooming into the timescale, getting much closer, much more detailed in time. If you look at the times slots along the top there, you’ll see that on the right we’re now working at the level of not just a day in view but the hours of the day. So we can zoom right in to a very fine level of detail. Back in the middle. Each time slot is a few days or a couple of weeks or a few weeks. And then as we move to the left, we start getting a whole month in a time slot. Further still we’re looking at quarters. Further still, half years and then you can go right over you can go to the whole years. So the timescale zooming out and zooming in with the slider enable you to take a broad view of your project or a very close up view of your project depending on what you need at the time. So that’s it. That’s the status bar. We’re going to be using that at various points during the course and, of course, we’ll be looking at those other views in a lot more detail later as well. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 6 – Keyboard Shortcuts Video: Keyboard Shortcuts and Key Tips Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. We’ve already looked at the use of touch in Project 2013 and we’ll be using touch at various points during the course. We’ve also seen how to switch between mouse mode and touch mode. Now for many people they either prefer to use the keyboard or in some cases they have to use the keyboard. Some people suffer from things like repetitive strain injury, RSI, from using a mouse too much and they find it much less troublesome to use the keyboard. For other people, the keyboard may be the only options available to them. So being able to operate Project using the keyboard or using the keyboard as much as possible is either a preference or necessary for many people. So in this section, I’m going to take a quick look at the facilities for using the keyboard in Project 2013. Now the first thing to point out is that when we looked at Help earlier on in the course and we found that this question mark icon is the one to use, if you hover over it you get a screen tip. The screen tips says Help and then in brackets F1. F1, the F1 function key on your keyboard is the keyboard shortcut for Help. And in fact many of the commands on the Project 2013 Ribbon and many other aspects of using Project 2013 can be driven by keyboard shortcuts. Now we are going to come across various keyboard shortcuts during the course and I will mention the key ones as we go along, but I must also confess that I am not a great user of keyboard shortcuts myself mainly because I use very many different pieces of software and if I tried to remember all the keyboard shortcuts there would just be hundreds and hundreds and I’d get hopelessly confused. Having said that many of the keyboard shortcuts associated with common operations such as copy and paste type operations, I do remember and I do use them all the time. If you look at the Ribbon here for Project 2013, if I hover over a particular command, let’s choose that one, Team Planner, you get a screen tip. It says Team Planner. But note that there is no sign of a keyboard shortcut. Let’s hover over another one, Resource Usage, Resource Sheet, you see how with these there is no keyboard shortcut. But if I go to another command such as that one, I get a screen tip and note I get a keyboard shortcut as well. So if you want to just check the keyboard shortcuts, hovering over a command on the Ribbon will tell you whether it has a keyboard shortcut or not. And if you’re good at remembering keyboard shortcuts once

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Project 2013 you’ve identified that, then maybe that’s a good basis for you using that keyboard shortcut again in the future. Now if you want or need to use keyboard shortcuts, there’s something that will really help you and that is if you go into the Project Help, the online version, under Getting Started one of the entries there is Project keyboard shortcuts. And if you click on that link, it takes you to a document that lists the Project keyboard shortcuts. Now there’s an explanation of the what and why of keyboard shortcuts, and then there’s a categorized list of the Microsoft Office basic keyboard shortcuts; that’s the ones that are pretty much common across all of Microsoft Office. And then there are the ones specifically related to Microsoft Project. Now I know that some people print these lists out and stick them on the wall if they use keyboard shortcuts quite a lot. Maybe you’re very good at remembering keyboard shortcuts and, of course, how many of these keyboard shortcuts you need to know depends on what you do with Microsoft Project so you may not need all of them anyway. But if you want or need to use keyboard shortcuts, that’s a pretty comprehensive list available there via Help. So now there’s one other aspect of keyboard shortcuts which is very important and that is that knowing those keyboard shortcuts doesn’t necessarily help you to find your way around the Ribbon. Given that the Ribbon is so pivotal in terms of your use of Project 2013, what you need is a facility to help you use the Ribbon using the keyboard. Now the facility that’s provided is a facility that’s usually referred to as key tips and basically with the Ribbon as it is in front of you now, if I press the Alt key, what happens is that you get a load of little symbols that appear and these symbols are effectively the keyboard shortcuts to operate various commands on the Quick Access Toolbar and on the Ribbon. Now if we start with the Quick Access Toolbar, if you look at the top there they’re numbered one to five. Two and three are grayed out. You can’t undo or redo because we haven’t done anything and we haven’t undone anything to redo. But save is enabled. The button to switch between touch and mouse is enabled, and the Quick Print button is enabled. And to do a save I would just hit one on the keyboard. To enable the facility to switch between touch and mouse that’s four, Quick Print that’s five.

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Project 2013 As far as the Ribbon itself goes, then the letters there, F, H, U, S, R, W, they let me choose which tab I want to operate. So if I wanted to go to the Project tab, I would press the R key. Press R and once I’m on the Project tab, I then get a single or double letter keyboard shortcut to operate any of the enabled commands. So P would operate that subproject command, AP apps for Office, I project information, and so on. So I could basically operate the tabs on the Ribbon and every individual command on the Ribbon using keyboard shortcuts. When I finish using keyboard shortcuts press the Alt key again and they disappear. So that’s keyboard shortcuts and key tips in Project 2013. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013

Chapter 7 – Project Options Video: Customize Settings and the Use of Project 2013 Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. We’re now going to take a look at Project Options which are normally accessed via Backstage View. So, click on the File tab for Backstage View and then right at the bottom click on Options. The Options are arranged into pages and we’ve looked at one or two of the pages already. We looked at Customize Ribbon and we looked at Quick Access Toolbar. And most of the other pages we’re going to be looking at throughout the course. But I just want to point out, first of all, how the options work in general and secondly some of the options that you should set correctly before you create even your first project with Project 2013. So let’s get started. So let’s start with that option right at the top of the General page, User interface options screen tip style. Show feature descriptions in screen tips. That’s the current setting. Let me just cancel the options again and let’s look at a button on the View tab here on the right, Macros, and hover over that. Now note the screen tip is View Macros. You can also see the keyboard shortcut there of Alt plus F8. Then there is a description, See a list of macros you can work with. That’s to help you understand what that particular command will do. Now let’s go back into Options again and let’s change the screen tip style from Show feature descriptions in screen tips to Don’t show feature descriptions in screen tips. Click on OK. You need to click on OK to save any changes that you make. And then let’s hover over that same button again and now it just says View Macros. It doesn’t give a description of what the function does. Back into Options again, again on the General tab, top option there. Now note Don’t show screen tips. Well, I don’t think I really need to demonstrate to you what happens if I select Don’t show screen tips. It means you won’t get any screen tips at all. Now you might say well why would somebody not want screen tips? Well, the answer to that is that for some people who’ve been using Project for a while they pretty much know what all the commands do. And if you’re working particularly on a complex project and you’ve got some close up type work to do, having things like screen tips and even having things like the mini toolbar appearing can be quite distracting and some people actually get quite annoyed by all those little boxes popping up all over the screen. It’s actually a particular problem when I’m recording this course because you’ll notice at various times that as I

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Project 2013 move the mouse around on the screen, all sorts of things pop up and you may look at it and think that’s really annoying the way those things pop up. Well, sometimes I will turn those off and sometimes I won’t.

I often leave them there because we’re going to use them again and

switching them on and off can be even more annoying than having them on all the time or off all the time. But you’ll see as we work through the course how those screens tips popping up everywhere could become annoying. Now I’m going to leave this set at the original setting, Show feature descriptions in screen tips. I’m afraid if it does get a bit annoying I apologize for that in advance. Now I pointed out just now that when you make a change, even changing something back as I’m doing here, you click on OK to save the changes. There are certain Project Options where you may even need to close down Project 2013 and restart it for the option to take effect. When that’s the case, then Project Options tells you that. It says you need to stop and restart Project for that to take effect. And there are also some options which will only apply on a project from new. So if you’ve got the option set at the beginning of working on a project and you changed the option, it may not have effect until you start another new project. So again that’s one to beware of. But with most options, all you need to do as with this one is to select the choice you want or enter the number you want or enter the directory name or whatever you need to set and then click on OK. And as with this case, if I now hover over that button again I get the screen tip with the description as well. So they’re some of the general principles of these Project Options. Let’s look at a couple of the other options on this General page because you should get those set now. One of them is your name and your initials to identify you. Now if you’re using Project purely on your own. You’re never going to share a Project schedule with anybody else then this doesn’t really matter. But if you are working with other people, you should make sure you’ve got your user name in there and your appropriate initials as well. This is particularly useful when it comes to sharing work on projects with other people as we’ll see later on in the course. You can also choose here your Office background and Office theme. I’ve got no background set and my Office theme is the white theme. These are both drop downs so you can choose from the available options. And the bottom option here is actually quite an important one because it’s the one that determines whether the start screen is shown when you start Project 2013. We’ve had the start screen shown

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Project 2013 so far and if you don’t want to see that, if you want to go straight into the main working area for Project 2013, then all you need to do is uncheck that box, click OK, and then next time you start Project 2013, you won’t see the start screen. Now I want to look at couple of options on the Schedule page and in particular I want to look first at this one within Scheduling options for this project, New task created. I mentioned this earlier. The value here is Manually scheduled. Now this is a little bit more difficult to explain to those of you who haven’t used Project scheduling software before, but you will understand this a little bit later on in the course when we go into this in more detail. I’ll just give you a fairly brief explanation here. One of the key strengths of Microsoft Project is its ability to take information about the work that needs to be done and to come up with a schedule that satisfies all of the constraints that you put on it. The constraints will include things like how long each task is, how much works involved, what resources you’ve got available, people, rooms, machinery, and then also dependency such as one particular task such as painting a window. You can’t do that until you’ve actually put the window into the wall and things like that. Now it can take thousands and thousands of pieces of information like that and come up with a schedule that works. This is auto scheduling, but there is an alternative approach and that is manual scheduling. And this is basically where you do all the scheduling work. You work out when each task starts and ends. Now you may think it sounds a bit bizarre to do manual scheduling yourself when you’ve got Microsoft Project to do it for you, but there are some situations where manual scheduling is your preferred approach. For example, if you’re working on a very long project, say something that’s going to last five years, and at the moment, say, for the next six months you can schedule automatically according to a set of constraints, estimates, costing, resource availability figures, and so on. But beyond that you’re not really sure what sort of budget you’re going to have available. You don’t know what resources you’ll have available and so on. What you may want to do in that longer term is to just manually schedule some big blocks of activity, say Phase 2 of the project as a big block, say, for the third quarter of next year. And you don’t want Microsoft Project to try to reschedule that for you, you just want to show it in the schedule as a big block that Project won’t move around. And there are some other situations where you might not want Project to manually schedule something. Now to be fair, many of the tasks that you might want to manually schedule you can

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Project 2013 auto schedule but fix them in time using other approaches but more of that later. For most people, for most types of project, the best setting for this is not manually schedule which is the default but auto scheduled because you will find I’m sure that most of the time auto scheduled is going to be the way that you want to work. Now for some of you, I’m sure you’ll find over time that this is not the best setting for you, but for most of you it will be the best setting. In addition to that, if you look at the header on this section on the Schedule page, Scheduling Options for this project, there’s a drop down here and the current value of the drop down is All new projects. So by setting that like that, I’m setting that value for all new projects. If I wanted to do it for one specific project, click on the drop down, there’s no other projects there at the moment because I haven’t got a project open. But if I did have a project open, it would appear here and I could even have a different setting for how new tasks are created for a specific project. Now I should point out that the setting we’re making here is only the default for how tasks are created. If you create a task that is auto scheduled, you can manually change it to being manually scheduled and, of course, you can change manually scheduled tasks to being auto scheduled as well. So as you would expect, there’s plenty of flexibility there in Project. So one thing I do want you to do now is to make sure you’ve got that set at auto scheduled for all new projects as your default and then when we’ve just checked one other setting, you’re going to click OK to save that. Okay, the one other setting we need to check is a little bit further down the same page. It’s the one in the Calculation section. Calculate project after each edit on or off. Now it’s very important that you have that set to on. On is the default. I’m pretty sure you’ll find it set to on. Let me just briefly explain what that means. When you have particularly a very big project, every time you change a piece of information in the project, if this is set to on, Project recalculates the whole schedule. It takes every piece of information into account again and whatever change you’ve just made, even if it’s just to change one task from being three days long to being four days long, it will recalculate the whole project. Now on a modern computer with reasonably good power, a reasonable amount of memory, and so on that is virtually instantaneous even with a very big project. Having said that, if you have an enormous project, a very complex project, or you have quite an old computer or you don’t have enough resources on the computer for it to run Project 2013 very quickly, then you may notice that the performance of Project starts to drag. Every time you make a small change, you have to wait a few seconds before you can do anything else while it recalculates the project. One option you have is to © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 switch calculation off. And if you switch it off, what that means is that when you make a change like changing a duration from four days to five days, it doesn’t recalculate the project. You make the change, it knows you’ve changed the duration but it won’t recalculate the project until you manually recalculate it. So what you would do is you’d push a button on one of the tabs of the Ribbon that says calculate and it recalculates the whole project at that point in time. Now to be fair, some people prefer not to have calculation on anyway. They quite like manually recalculating a project. But I would say that for most people, having it on is a better option because for one thing, depending on some other settings, you immediately become aware of whether a change you have just made has caused a problem with your schedule. So making a task a bit longer doesn’t mean that the project can no longer finish on time. You may want to know about that straightaway rather than waiting until the next time you manually recalculate the project. So for now and unless you have a pressing reason to do otherwise , I’d like you to make sure you’ve got that switched on and then we’ll talk about the consequences of switching it off later on in the project. So with both of those settings click on OK and those changes will be saved. What I’d like to look at next is down on the Language page of Project Options, and here it’s very important to make sure that you have your language setup. I have two languages setup. I have English United States and English United Kingdom. My default is English United States but I do switch between both of them because I do work in both languages and they are sufficiently different for me to treat them as different languages. If you want to add additional languages or replace the language that you’ve got in your current installation with a different one you have, if you select a language here, it’s easy to remove it or to set it as the default using the buttons on the right. And if you want to add an additional editing language, click on the drop down and there’s a very long, long list of languages available there. Choose your language and then you can set it as the default if you want to or you can have it set as an additional language. Very important that you have the right language set and we’ll talk about language a little bit more later on. So they are the main options that you need to have set before we start. We’ll be setting various other ones as we go along. Trust Center is very important from the point of view of security. We’ll be coming back to that right near the end of the course. Add-ins that’s pretty much outside © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 the scope so I almost certainly won’t need to mention add-ins again. But on the Advance tab there are several options we’re going to need and similarly for some of the other pages, Display, Proofing, Save. We’ll be coming back to those later in the course. So that’s it on Project Options for now. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013

Chapter 8 – Tasks Basics Video: Setting Up Tasks Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. We’re now going to get started on putting together a project and we’re going to use as our example the building of a house. Now, you may not be very familiar with house building but don’t let that worry you too much because even if you don’t live in a house you’ve probably seen houses and you must have some idea of how they are built. For instance, you’d understand that you need to build the floor before you build the walls and you’d need to build the walls before you put the roof on. We’re going to start with a very, very simple model of how to build a house and then we’re going to develop that throughout the course. In this section and the next couple of short sections, I’m going to introduce you to the most important basic features of Microsoft Project and then throughout the rest of the course we’re going to add a lot of detail to all of those things. Now I must admit that in the early stages this is going to seem like an incredibly simple house and in fact it’s going to seem as though it’s a pretty cheap house to build. But as we develop our project further on, you’ll realize that things aren’t quite as simple or quite as inexpensive as they appear early on. The other thing to bear in mind is that as we’re working away, particularly through these earlier sections, I’m going to show you one or two ways of doing things and later on I’ll show the alternative ways or many of the alternative ways. So you may find that if I do something in a particular way early on here you may prefer one of the ways that I show you later on. But I don’t want to get too bogged down in showing you all of the alternatives all of the time so I’m going to go for pretty straightforward options to begin with. And the first straightforward option we’re going to go for is I’m not going to be tempted to search for a template for building a house. I’m going to start with a blank project. So, on the start screen, Project 2013, just click on Blank project. Now I said I was going to use a very simple model for building this house, so the first thing we’re going to do is to prepare the site. Now when you’re entering the sequence of steps that have to be followed to do something, the sequence of steps that constitute your project, you can actually put them into Microsoft Project in any order you like. Even though I know that I’m not going to put the roof on first, I could put Put roof on as my first task, and then I could sort out the

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Project 2013 sequence later. But it does make a lot of sense to do things pretty much in the order that you intend to do them in the project. And the first task in this project is Prepare site so I’m going to enter that task into the project first. A very simple way of entering a task into a project is to click in where it says Task name in the table part of the Gantt Chart View there. You can see it now highlighted and just type in Prepare site as normal just using the keyboard and that’s my first task. Now when I’ve finished entering the name of that task, all I really need to do is to click in, say, the Task name cell below that one ready to put in the second task and then a couple of things happen. The first thing you notice is that a duration is added by Microsoft Project. It says One day, question mark, and also a start date appears. So let me explain what’s going on there. Now as we’ll see later it’s possible to tell Microsoft Project 2013 quite a bit about what you’re defaults are when you’re entering a new project. The way that my current installation is setup and probably the way that yours is setup is that by default, durations are assigned with this little question mark at the end, and what a question mark indicates is that this is an estimated duration. Now by default here every task that I entered will have an estimated duration of one day. And what I need to do if I want a duration to be something different from that is to click in there and change that duration. Now, I’m going to use for all of these tasks in the initial version of this project a duration of 10 days. Now, that’s not correct and we’re going to see how to change that later on, but we’re going to start with 10 days. So I’m going to allow 10 days to prepare this site. All I need to do is to click in where it says Duration, and then I have these little roller controls on the right that I can use to step up or to step down the duration. And in fact, I can click in there and just type if I wanted. So I could click to the right of five, hit the Backspace key to delete, and then just type 10 days. That now means that that task has a 10-day duration. Now before I click away to actually change that to 10 days note that on the right I’ve already got a bit of Gantt Chart bar there that shows a one day duration. The M indicates M for Monday, that’s today, Monday, March the 25th and when I change that to 10 days watch what happens to that bar. I’m going to actually click back down where I clicked before. Now watch what happens. That particular task now shows a duration of 10 days in the Gantt Chart. © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 Now the next thing I need to do is to correct the fact that I’m actually a little bit late setting this project up and I should have had it in place three weeks ago. So where as I’ve entered this first task, it’s defaulted to today’s date for its start. That’s Monday, March 25 th. It should be three weeks ago. Now to change the start date, it’s pretty straightforward and all I need to do is click into the start cell here where it currently says Monday, March 25th. But as you can see, the positioning of this vertical line here, this separator between the table part and the chart part is not quite in a good place. That’s going to happen a lot. All you need to do is to hover over that with the mouse until it becomes that double vertical line with the little arrow sticking out of the side, click with the mouse assuming you’re using the mouse, do it with your fingers if you’re using touch, and I can just drag that line to the right just to make it a little bit easier to read that date. I then note that the table itself, this column in the table is not quite wide enough. So, again if I hover over the top, get a vertical line with a couple of arrows, again just drag it a little bit to the right. And generally speaking, when you’re dealing with all of these types of view in Microsoft Project you’re going to need to adjust the widths of columns and this separator between the two halves of the view in this case in order to be able to see everything. Now, your display is probably showing a different amount of a project to mine because it will depend on the resolution of your screen, whether you’re widescreen, and so on. So if you can’t see what I can see, if something is missing, if something is running off the screen, just get used to adjusting the settings, the widths of the columns in the way that I’ve just done. So now back to what we were just doing. Let’s go back into that start cell here. Click on the cell and there’s a little drop down at the right of the cell and that takes us into a date picker. Now notice that with the date picker, I can move by months using those two little arrows here and then click on a date that I want. I said I’m three weeks late with setting this project up so I’m going to change that 25 there back three weeks. It should have been Monday, March 4th. Click on that, that’s changed my start date.

Now, note when I created this project Microsoft Project

automatically assumes a start date for the whole project. And in this case, it’s saying you moved task one of the project to start Monday, March the 4th. This is before the project start date of Monday, March 25th. You can continue and move the task to start before the project start date or you can cancel and do not move the task. Now I’m going to click on OK continue because I

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Project 2013 want this project to start on that date and in a little while we’ll look at how to change the project start date. So having put in the first task, the project start date has been set and now I’m going to need to change it later on, but we’ll come back to that a little bit later on. We’ll just click on OK and Microsoft Project is happy again. Now note that because of the time display here, I can now no longer see that task. If I go down to the scroll bar, the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the Gantt Chart and just click a little bit off to the left, I can go back to see the bar for the first task in the project and there it is. Now before we put in the second task in the project, there are a couple of things I want to point out. One of them is that there are various other pieces of information that are automatically entered by Project as you’re setting up the tasks in your project. One of them is task mode as you can see here. We’ve talked about manually scheduled versus automatically scheduled before. By default my system is setup to do automatically scheduled. So if I click in there, click on the drop down, note that it says Auto Schedule not manually scheduled. If I wanted to change it to manually scheduled, that’s one of the places that I could do it. Another very important point here is that when you enter a task it’s given an ID number. This is ID number one. Now I’m going to talk about task IDs later on, but as we’ll see task IDs are very important. And now the thing we have to do and I would normally do this before I’d even put my first task into a project, we need to save this project. We need to make sure we keep it safe. And on this course, I’m basically going to be using two folders for projects. One of them I’ve shown you already. That’s the one with the example files for this project and ultimately this project will go in there. But I also have a sort of scratch folder, the one that I’m going to use just for intermediate working on one or two special cases that I’ll be looking at. Now you can save your copy of this project assuming you’re working along with me anyway you like, of course. I suggest that you don’t overwrite the files that came with the course. So I suggest you also have some sort of scratch folder, something you can use temporarily whilst you’re working your way through the course. So, pretty simple to save a project. File. Click on Save As and then you’ll have a number of options. Yours may not be quite the same as mine, but one of them will be Computer and then you’ll need to browse to a folder where you’re going to be able to save your

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Project 2013 scratch files, your working files. So I’m going to click on Browse and then on my computer I’m going to double click on this folder and this folder which is currently empty is the one that I’m going to keep my working files in. Now the default file type a Microsoft Project file is MPP. There are some others that are relevant and we’ll come back to those later. I’m going to call this particular project, I’m going to call it House build and then I’m just going to call it House build 01. Click on Save and my project is safely saved on my computer. And then also if you look at the top of the screen, the title of the project has changed to House build 01.mpp which is the file name for this particular project. So that’s one task setup in this project. Now before we move on to add some of the other tasks and look at some of the other aspects of setting this project up, I want to just click on that row in the Gantt Chart again so that it’s selected. You can see the ID highlighted on the left there. If I right click to get the contextual menu, then three or four items from the bottom one of the options is Information. Click on Information and it brings up a very important dialog which is the Task Information dialog which contains all of the key information about any individual task in a project. Now there is a lot of information here. The information is arranged into pages or tabs that are accessed using the tabs here. So we have a General tab, a Predecessors tab, a Resources tab, an Advance tab, Notes. You can even setup Custom fields. But let’s go back to the General tab and look at the General tab first. The task has a name that we can change. It has a duration that we can change. It has a little checkbox on the right here, Estimated, that indicates whether the duration is estimated or not. It has an indicator to show how complete the task is. Percent complete 0%. That means we haven’t actually started it yet. We’ve then got a pair of radio buttons; Schedule mode, manually scheduled, auto scheduled. A priority and then we can also see the start date and a finish date. Now these and the other properties of a task we’ll be looking at in great detail later on. But for the moment, for any task, if you bring up that Task Information dialog, it will contain pretty much all the information you’re likely to need about that task. So there we are. The Task Information dialog is very important. Let me just cancel that. Another way of bringing up the Task Information dialog is to just double click on the task and by default you get the Task Information dialog. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Video: Project Information Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section, we started our project for building a house. We just put one task in, Prepare site, and I talked a little bit about duration, start date, etc. But before we go on to put the rest of the main tasks into this project, I need to look at a couple of very important things that you’re always going to need to consider when you’re using Microsoft Project, and the first of these is Project Information. On the Project tab in the Properties Group there is a button, Project Information. Click on that and it brings up a dialog, the Project Information dialog. Now right at the top we have a project start date and as you saw in the previous section by default, and we’ll come back to that in a moment, our tasks are being scheduled to start on the project start date. Now effectively because I decided that I want to set this project a little bit in the past that I need to change the start date and you can always change the start date by going into Project Information and setting the start date here. Now it might well be that you rarely want to set a start date in the past because hopefully you’re planning your projects for some time in the future. But whether it’s the past or the future, it’s absolutely fundamentally important that you set the start date correctly. So let’s click on the drop down here, use the date picker, and we’re going to set the start date to March 4th which is where I scheduled that first task to begin. So click on that and my start date is now changed. So if we were building a house and we had a start date of March

4th

, the chances are that our

objective would be to finish building the house as soon as possible. And one of the things that we would be using Microsoft Project for would be to help us to schedule the work on building the house which would enable us to finish as quickly as possible, get the house on the market, sell it, and get the money for it. However, that’s not the only sort of project scheduling requirement and if you just go down a couple of controls to there, you find one that says Schedule from project start date. You’ll use this a lot. You’re saying start on March the 4 th, do the scheduling from the start date, and get it finished as quickly as possible. But there is another option and if you click on this one, the other option is project finish date and there are some projects where your objective is not to start now and finish as soon as possible but to start as late as possible with the objective of finishing on or by a particular date. So for example, supposing that you were planning a wedding or supposing that at work you were planning a big event,

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Project 2013 maybe a company meeting, maybe an announcement to the press. Your objective would be to finish by a certain date not to start on a certain date. In that case, the point I made about making absolutely sure that you’re start date is right would become equally important for your finish date, and that is you’d have a finish date and you’d know I must be finished by that date and rather than saying as with the start date scheduling that I want to finish as soon as possible, you may say here’s my end date but I want to start as late as possible. So I don’t want to start getting ready for this event now if I don’t need to. Tell me how late I can leave my preparations. Now they’re the two fundamental ways of working with Microsoft Project. Most of the time on this course we’re going to be using scheduling from the project start date, but note that scheduling to a project end date is equally valid. If I chose project finish date watch what happens. I now enter the finish date not the start date and Project will tell me when I need to start. As it is with my project start date of March the 4th, Project tells me that currently my project will finish on March the 15th. Of course, it will finish then because at the moment all I’m doing is preparing the site which is 10 days work. Now let’s look at a couple of the other fields on this Project Information dialog. First of all, the current date is in the top right. You can actually set that to a different date if you need to enter information as though it were entered on a different date, and closely associated with that we have the status state below that which we’re going to look at later when we look at progress tracking on a project. A project will have a calendar and by default it uses what’s called the standard calendar. You can have a number of calendars associated with a project. For example, some of the people working on it may have their own working hours and may have their own calendars and some of the resources you use may also have their own calendars as well. We’ll be looking at calendars later on in the course. Below that we have the project priority and this is used when different projects might be competing for the resources that are available and a projects priority will determine what priority it gets in claiming and using those resources.

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Project 2013 At the bottom of the dialog we have access to Help and we also have access to project statistics that we’ll look at a little bit later on in the course as well. You can also define custom fields for a project in Project 2013. We’re not going to be using custom fields on this course. So that’s the basic Project Information. I’ve changed the start date to March 4th so click on OK to save that. So having updated the Project Information, we can now turn our attention back to entering the rest of those tasks for this project. We’re going to do that in the next section so please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Project Options, Entry Bar, Timeline, Properties Toby: In the previous section we looked at Project Information and the importance of that in terms of initially setting up a project like this one. You’ll soon get used to the fact that it’s very, very important that you always make sure you’ve got either your project start date or your project finish date defined before you do any significant amount of work on a new project. Now I’m going to add some more tasks to this project but before I do we also need to look at a couple of settings in Project Options. Now you should remember that we access Project Options from Backstage View so click on File, Options, and then the page we want; in this case, it’s the Schedule page. So the section we need is this one, Scheduling options for this project. Note that there is a drop down at the top there, House build 01.mpp it currently says. If I click on the drop down, I get a choice between the options for all new projects or the options for this specific project. Now at this stage, I’m only going to work on the options for this specific project but it may well be that you always do have the same options in this section for all of your projects in which case make sure you’ve got them the same in the all new projects case. But let’s just look at this specific project now, so select that. Earlier on we setup new tasks are created auto scheduled. The second item here is Auto scheduled tasks are scheduled on. This means when I enter a new task into the schedule and it’s an auto scheduled task which is the default on, which date is the task scheduled to begin? And the task is scheduled to begin on the project start date. Now there are actually two options here. Project start date is one, the other one is current date. And I’m going to choose current date. That means that when I enter an auto scheduled task, it will be scheduled to begin on today’s date, the date that I’m actually entering the task. Now alongside that the duration will be entered in and you can choose units for duration. You can choose minutes, hours, days, weeks, months. For this building type project days is a pretty good option because you mostly manage those things in number of days. But obviously if you were dealing with a very short term project, a very short term task, you might want to go for minutes or hours. Maybe a much bigger more strategic type of project you may want task to be in weeks or months. Days is the option we’re going to use here. I’ll come back to this work as entered in and default task type and new tasks are effort driven. I’ll come back to all that when

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Project 2013 we talk about work a little bit later on in the course. But there are a couple of other options here that we need to look at now. The pair of options we need to look at is this little pair on the right here. Show that scheduled tasks have estimated durations and new scheduled tasks have estimated durations. And this pair of options is what’s caused the behavior we’ve seen so far whereby whenever we insert a new task, it has an estimated duration. It’s estimated at one day. I quite like this option because it means that when a task is inserted, there’s a question mark on the duration that just reminds me that I need to put my own hopefully more accurate and realistic estimate in there. And until I’ve put my proper estimate in there, that question mark just acts as a bit of a sort of aide memoir that I still need to put my estimate in. So I generally have both of those checked and basically having checked that they’re set, I’m now going to enter one or two more of the tasks for this project. So click on OK and away we go. So the next task is that one, just click away. Lay foundations. I’m going to allow 15 days for that. Okay. Now I can see a problem because I can’t actually see that task. I’m currently looking at the first one, a 10-day task from early March. It doesn’t actually show the end of March so I’m going to use that zoom control that we looked at earlier on. At the right hand end of the status bar, if I click on the minus, it zooms out. Watch what happens when I click on the minus. I zoom out of the time frame. Let’s use the slider to just slide along. Let’s zoom out one more step and now I can see the beginnings of my building project. And note that the new task, the Lay foundation task, has actually been added with its start date today because I set the option of new tasks get a start date of current date. Now I don’t necessarily need that gap that I’ve got now between my tasks so let me just click on that date picker again and say that can start a week earlier. Now, I’m then given this option from what’s called the Planning Wizard in Project 2013 and what the Planning Wizard does is as I work, it tries to spot for me anything I may have missed. Now what it thinks has happened now is it’s seen me put in a first task and a second task. The second task is starting just after the first task and it’s saying maybe these should be linked. Maybe you should be saying that that second task can start when the first one’s finished. Now when it suspects that there could be a linkage between these two tasks, it gives me a choice. It says you can link them so that Lay foundation will always follow Prepare site or you can move © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 Lay foundation without adding a link. Now for the moment, I’m going to move them without adding a link. I’m just going to click on OK. We’ll come to links a little bit later on. And now it’s just move that so that I haven’t got that big gap between the two tasks. There is a gap but it actually corresponds to the weekend. So let me put in the next task. Build walls, I’m going to say 10 days. Now note in this case that that’s overlapping laying the foundations. Now we’re clearly going to have to fix that later on because generally speaking, you’re not going to be able to start on the walls until the foundations are set but we’ll worry about that little one a little bit later on. So I could carry on now and add the other two main tasks that I’m going to put in at this stage. But first of all, I’d like to show you one other thing. If you go back into Backstage View, down into the options and on the Display page, one of the options right at the bottom there is Entry Bar, check Entry Bar, click on OK, and you get an entry bar. It’s a bar. It’s a bit like the entry bar in Excel if you’re used to using Excel. And instead of typing into the task name or in fact any other cell in this table, you can type in the entry bar instead. So if my next task is Fit windows and doors, when I’ve typed what I want to type, I can click on the tick to commit the change or on the cross to cancel it. So I’m going to click on the tick at this stage and that’s an alternative to clicking elsewhere within the Gantt Chart in general in order to commit a piece of typing. Click in the next cell and again you note that the one day question mark is selected. I can just click in the entry bar and change that, say, to 12 days, click on tick. Some people prefer to use the entry bar than typing directly into the table here. I actually quite like using the entry bar but I pretty much use either depending on the situation that I’m in. If you don’t want to use the entry bar, it does take up a little bit of space on the screen, if you don’t need it you just switch it on and off in the Project Options as you saw just now. And talking of saving some space, what I’m going to do now is to switch off the timeline because I’m not going to be using it for the moment. Go to the View tab on the Ribbon and in the Split View Group, uncheck Timeline and then I’m going to put in the fifth of these tasks. The fifth task is going to be Fit roof and that’s going to be another 15 day task and in this case I’m just going to type in there 15 days. Note that’s also scheduled starting today. A bit of work to do on my schedule obviously but we’ll come back to that a little bit later on.

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Project 2013 Now in case you’ve had any trouble following this so far I’m now going to save this project file as the first of the example files that are available to you that came with the course. Just to show you again, you can do a file Save As.

This time I’m going to the folder that has the

accompanying files in it and that is the one. It’s ssi-project2013-example_01.mpp, save there. And then before I finish this section, just one other thing, if you go into Backstage View and the Info tab on the right you’ll see Project Information. This gives summary information about the project that I’m working on. So in this case it says the start date is March 4th, the finish date is now April 12th. So, according to my current building schedule that’s when the last task will finish. I know that’s not right but that will be corrected as we go along. And then there’s information like schedule from, current date, start date, when it was last modified, today, the project calendar priority. If I click on the arrow to the right of Project Information, I see that I have Project Statistics that we’ll look at later. But I also have Advanced Properties. Now with the Advanced Properties, I can set some properties that are really more related to the file than they are to the actual workings of Microsoft Project. So apart from showing me this file name, I can put in a subject, the author, and I suggest that as you work on your projects you put your own author name in there. Bear in mind that if you setup your Project Options with your author name anyway, it will appear in there by default. So when you’ve entered or reviewed any of these properties click on OK and then, of course, after you finished changing any of those properties you need to go back and do another save. You can use the Save button on the Quick Access Toolbar. So that’s the first of the sample files. If you open that now you should get a project that’s exactly where this one is. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 9 – Dependence Basics Video: Link/Unlink Tasks; Setting Up Dependencies between Tasks Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we looked at tasks in Project 2013 and in this section we’re going to look at the basics of dependencies. I closed down the last project that I was working on and when I restart Project now I find that I’ve got two projects in the recent list on the start screen. I’m going to restart from example_01 which is the first sample file in the list of files provided with the course. If you’re working along with his using perhaps your own project, then if you open that there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t carry on working on your own project. But I’m going to use this one so all I have to do is to click on the file name in the recent list and that project will reopen and that’s exactly how we left it at the end of the previous section. Now when we talk about dependencies within a project, we’re talking about the need for one thing to happen before another can happen. So for instance, I’m not going to fit the roof until I’ve fitted the windows and doors to the walls or in fact is that true? Could I not fit the roof as soon as I had the walls built? That would make sense. I don’t actually need the windows and doors to be in place before I fit the roof so maybe this sequence should be build walls, then fit roof, then fit windows and doors. But on the other hand, couldn’t I be fitting the windows and doors at the same time that I’m fitting the roof? They both need the walls but neither needs the other. So we quite often find that when it comes to putting things in sequence, when we look at these dependencies, they maybe not as straightforward as they might at first appear to be. But let’s start with one of the very simple dependencies and let’s look at the dependency between Prepare site and Lay foundation. Now at the moment, Prepare the site and Lay foundation follow in sequence anyway purely because of the dates they’ve been given to start on. But if I want to force Project 2013 to insist that Lay foundation cannot happen until Prepare site has happened, I can establish a link between the two tasks. Now you could do this in a number of ways but the simplest way is this: Select the first task which means the row is highlighted in the table, hold the Control key down, select the second task, and then on the Task tab on the Ribbon in the Schedule Group, there is a pair of chain links and one of them is Link the selected tasks and one of them is Unlink the tasks. On this occasion, I want to link the tasks so I click on Link

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Project 2013 and what happens is a link is added between the two. And in the Gantt Chart, you’ll see it’s represented as a little arrow and you’ll notice that that little arrow comes out the right hand end of Prepare site and goes into the left hand end of Lay foundation. Now you’ll soon find when you’re reading Gantt Charts that you immediately see what the relationship between those two tasks is, and that is that the second task cannot begin until the first task has finished. Now let’s do that again but this time we’re going to say that we cannot build the walls until we’ve laid the foundation. So select Lay foundations first, hold the Control key down, select Build walls, click on Link, and now you can see that Project has started to reschedule the work on the build because it’s actually changed the start date for Building walls so that we don’t start building the walls until we’ve laid the foundations. So now we can see the dynamic nature of Project as we add or change dependencies between the tasks. Now I’m assuming that the house we’re building here is a pretty straightforward house so I’m going to now put in the next link which I think is pretty straightforward and that is Build the walls. The walls have to all be completely built before we can fit the roof. So I’ve selected Build walls, Control, select Fit roof. Note the selected tasks don’t need to be next to each other. Click on Link again and fitting the roof goes out to there. Now this task, Fit windows and doors, offers a couple more really interesting questions in terms of dependencies. So let’s look at some things related to fitting the windows and doors. First of all, do we have to have finished fitting the windows and doors before we fit the roof? The answer to that is no. There are plenty of houses around where I live which have got the roof on, the walls are all built, but maybe half of the windows still haven’t been fitted yet. So you certainly haven’t got to finish fitting the windows and doors before you fit the roof. Must the walls be completely built before you fit the windows and doors? Well, no they don’t. You might for instance in a two story house as soon as you’ve done the walls for the lower story, you can certainly fit the windows and doors to the lower story. You may even be able to start fitting windows and doors before you’ve finished the walls on the first story. So the dependency there is a lot less absolute, a lot less clear, and we’ll talk about those less clear dependencies later on. Do you have to have laid the foundations before you fit the windows and doors? I think yes you reasonably do. And you would certainly have had to start building the walls. So we come to a

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Project 2013 conclusion in something like this that the dependency is a little bit more complicated. Something along the lines of well I will have had to do some building of the walls before I can fit windows and doors. But then once I’ve done a certain amount of work on the walls, I can start fitting the windows and doors, and that’s the sort of dependency that we’re going to add a little bit later on. However, what I’m going to do for the moment just to make our project a little bit more realistic is I am going to assume that we’re going to finish building the walls before we fit the windows and doors. So I’m going to put in the same type of dependency that we’ve had before. A simple link there and now we can see that I will in effect be fitting the windows and doors and fitting the roof at the same time. And the whole build will be finished what around about the end of April by the look of it. So as you can see I’ve setup a few fairly straightforward dependencies there. If you point at one of the dependencies, one of those little arrows and double click on it you open up a Task Dependency dialog, and this gives you details of the kind of dependency that you’ve got. So the dependency here is from Lay foundation to Build walls. There are four types of dependency. This is a finish to start which means that Lay foundation must finish before Build walls starts. We normally use a letter abbreviation here. So finish to start is FS. The four types in total are finish to start, start to start, finish to finish, and start to finish, and then we can build in what’s called a lag. I’m going to talk about lag later on and that’s the one that we’ll use to make all of that a little bit more realistic, but we’ll be looking at that later on. And if you want to delete a dependency, you’ve got a Delete button there. So that’s one way of looking at a task dependency. Let me just cancel that and let me now click on Fit windows and doors. Let me double click and bring up that Task Information dialog again. In the Task Information dialog, you have one tab Predecessors and this tells you what the predecessor tasks are. Now the predecessor task there is only one for Fit windows and doors is Build walls. It’s ID number three. I mentioned the ID numbers earlier on. This is how you uniquely identify a task in Project 2013. So the only predecessor currently of Fit windows and doors is Build walls ID 3. The type of dependency is FS with a zero day lag, and that in its very basic form is how to setup a dependency between tasks.

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Project 2013 Note that it’s not necessary for the first task to be physically above the second task in the Microsoft Project list. These tasks can be in any sequence. So if I had chosen Build walls first and Lay foundation second and created a link Lay foundation would have followed Build walls. They don’t have to be in the sequence that you can see there, although I always I find it’s much easier to follow if they are more or less in that chronological sequence. So that’s it on dependencies for the moment. We need to look at those in quite a bit more detail later on. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 10 – Resource Basics Video: Resource Sheet View Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to take our first look at resources, and by resources I mean things like that people that are going to work on our projects, the materials that we’re going to use, and the equipment that’s involved in building this house. There are some other types of resource that we’ll look at a little bit later on in the course. But for the moment, for our house build project, we’re going to concentrate on the people and the materials and the equipment. Now when you’re looking at a Gantt Chart, which is a view in Microsoft Project that most people use an awful lot of the time, you’re basically looking at the tasks involved in your project. If you want to look at the resources, there are a number of views specifically related to resources. Now if I click on the button below Gantt Chart there on the Task tab on the left, click on that, I get a list of available views, and one of the available views is Resource Sheet. And we click on Resource Sheet first and we’ll see a list of the resources that we currently have on our project. Note with the view that you’ve got a label on its side down the side just reminding you which view you’ve got. You’ve got the Resource Sheet View. And another thing to note is that down at the bottom at the right hand end of the status bar, as I mentioned earlier on, you’ve got some buttons to switch between the most commonly used views. Now the button on the left, the first one of those, the one that’s highlighted at the moment is Gantt Chart. So to switch back to Gantt Chart, I can just click on that and the one three to the right of that is the Resource Sheet View. So if I click on that, that switches me back to Resource Sheet. They’re two of the views that you’re going to use the most while you’re working with Microsoft Project. Now let me set up some resources and one way of setting up resources is to set them up in the Resource Sheet. Now the first thing I’m going to do is to define a resource called Brick Layer. Now a brick layer is a person who lays bricks. And whenever there’s some brick laying to do, I’m probably going to assign a brick layer to a task. Now it’s very important to recognize here that I am not talking about a named person. This isn’t the brick layer called John Doe or Jane Doe; this is a brick layer in general. And there are some situations, perhaps in longer termed planning, where I may use a resource of brick layer knowing that I need a brick layer but I don’t

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Project 2013 know specifically which one yet.

And there are some situations where I may assign an

individual straightaway, but more of that later. For the moment, we’ll just say brick layer. The next thing we need to do is to click into the next field which is type and select a type. Now in many ways this choice is the most important one of all. There are basically three resource types, although there is a special case that we’ll talk about later as well. But with those three resource types, it’s very important that you assign the correct one. Now as soon as I put the cursor into this type cell in the resource sheet, you’ll see that a number of other fields got values on the right there. Many of these are related to cost and we’re going to talk about cost later on, so I’m really going to ignore the cost ones for the moment. But a couple of these fields are important. One of the ones that’s important is Max and the max field says what’s the maximum number of this thing that we have available. Now we’ll talk about maximum amounts and availability and so on later on as well, but at the moment 100% means we’ve got one of these things. We’ve got one brick layer. So when we come to schedule the building of the house, having only one brick layer may well turn out to be a very important thing. Now another one of these cells which is actually quite important is the initials cell because initials although it doesn’t really affect any of the calculations and so on that we’re going to be doing, it does appear in a number of places particularly attached to the Gantt Chart. And it’s useful here to have a good abbreviation for the resource that we’re talking about. So I’m going to put as my abbreviation here Brickie. Now that’s a British abbreviation for brick layer but I think it’s probably used fairly widely around the world as well. Let me just point out here that I’ve got the entry bar when I’m working here on the resource sheet, so I can type in there the abbreviation is going to be Brickie, tick it, OK. Now let me go back to type because type is actually the most important cell and that’s one we need to look at carefully now. In Project 2013, there are basically three types of resource and I want to look at each of those types now. There are some alternative approaches to costs and budgeting which sort of do lead you to a fourth type of resource but it isn’t really a different type of resource at all. We’ll talk about that briefly later on. The three types of resource are work, material, and cost.

And for the purposes of this

introduction, we’ll think of work as the people that are working on our project, that are building

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Project 2013 our house. So it will be people like the brick layers, the laborers, the plasterers, the painters, and so on. Materials are the resources that get consumed in the building of the house. So this will be things like bricks, window frames, concrete, cement, mortar, and so on. Cost, typically is other costs. An example of a cost might be an account that’s used for various expenses on the project. So we might have a pool or what in the U.K. would be called a petty cash account where we might put travel expenses in there. Now the way that these three different types are used within Microsoft Project are actually quite different and particularly when we get to the area of working out costs, the way that the three of them work is very different. Let’s just stick with work for the moment. Our brick layer as a person is a type of work resource. And if you look over to those cost fields that I mentioned just now, you can see that we have a standard rate, so a certain number of dollars per hour that we pay a brick layer. And then we have an overtime rate, a certain number of dollars per hour that we pay on overtime, extra time rate. We also have another cost figure which is cost per use which is usually an additional cost we may have to pay one off to use this resource. Now when you’re talking about a brick layer, there may not be an additional cost per use but you might also use a work resource type for something like a piece of digging equipment. So you may have to hire a piece of digging equipment. Maybe it’s going to cost $50 an hour while you’re doing the work on preparing the site, and there may be a cost per use. For example, a cost for the supplier of the digger equipment to deliver to your site and collect it again at the end which is a one off additional cost. Now the whole area of cost we’re going to look at later on, but I just wanted to point out to you there that when you’re looking at work resources, the costs, generally speaking, are based on the amount of time that something works on your project with the possible addition of a cost per use figure as well. Now let’s set up a material type of resource and the material type of resource that I’m going to setup are bricks. So I’ll type in Bricks. This is a material resource. Watch what happens when I select material to the other fields that have been filled in there on the resource sheet. You notice that what the default values are changed. The standard rate is no longer per hour. The standard rate is the cost. There’s no overtime rate. There is a cost per use. Accrue. I’ll talk about accruals later. But I’m going to put here as the initials Bricks and now I’m going to talk about this cell, this field here, Material. Now I tend to think that that field name there, Material, isn’t a

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Project 2013 particularly helpful field name because what that field actually represents is the units of measure of the material. Now in the case of bricks, we’re going to talk about bricks in thousands. So my unit of measure is going to be that, thousands. I could put the word Thousands. In fact, you can put anything you like in that field as long as it makes clear what the units of measure are. So in a typical house, I might use say around 10,000 to 15,000 bricks which means that this particular material, bricks, if I wanted 12,000 bricks I would say 12 of this resource because this resource is 1,000 bricks. Now I’m not actually going to put any costs in there at the moment. We’re going to come back to cost a little bit later on. But let me just point out a couple of other things. If I say select the bricks line and double click, I come up with a Resource Information dialog, a bit like the Task Information dialog but this has got basically all of the information you need about a specific resource. Different tabs: General, Costs, Notes, Custom Fields. We’ll look at many of these later on in the course. One of the things to note here when you’re dealing with say costs is that you can show rate changes over time. So if over a particular period of time the cost of something is going to go up or down or increase by a percentage, you can cover that within the resource information here. So when it comes to things like costing, Microsoft Project is pretty powerful in terms of what you can do. Now we’ll come back to the Resource Information dialog in quite a bit more detail later on. Now in the next section we’re going to look at assigning these resources to the tasks within our project. But now you’ve got your first exercise to do yourself. I’m going to save this project as it is now as example_03, 0-3 in the supplied files. And what I want you to do is to add some additional resources using the resource sheet. Now the terminology you use may be different. It’s absolutely not a problem. Depending on your locale you may call a person that deals with wood in a building a joiner or a carpenter, depending on where you are. And you may use an abbreviation like a Chipee for a joiner. But I’d like you to add as work type resources a carpenter or a joiner and I’d like you to add as material resources windows and doors. So, one resource is a window; it’ll be a single unit, and one resource will be a door. Again, a door single unit. Don’t worry about putting in the cost, the prices in there. My answer to that question is in example file 04 and that’s going to be our starting point for the next section. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Resource Assignment Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we looked at setting up the resources that we’re going to use in our building project. And I left you with an exercise where I asked you to add a carpenter as a work resource and door and window as material resources. And I’m looking now at the resource sheet in example_04. Now I appreciate that term carpenter normally implies a much more skilled resource than somebody who fits windows and doors.

And in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and various other English

speaking countries, the term joiner would be used. But I believe that term is no longer in use in the U.S.A. Similarly, there’s a fairly common abbreviation for a carpenter or joiner working on a building site of Chipee but you wouldn’t use that expression in the U.S.A. So we’ll start with this list of resources and we’re now going to assign these resources to various tasks in our building project. So I’m going to switch back to the Gantt Chart using the button on the status bar, left hand button takes me back to the Gantt Chart. Now I’m going to right click on the task Build walls, and when I right click, one of the items that I can see on the contextual menu is Assign resources. It’s just below the midway point. Click on Assign resources and I see the Assign Resources dialog which is a dialog that you’ll use a lot when you’re working with Project 2013. Now quite a lot of this Assign Resources dialog we’re going to look at later on. For instance, if I click on the plus sign here where it says Resource list options there are facilities there, for example, to filter. If I have a long list of resources and I want to find a suitable resource by filtering I can use the filter facilities. I can also look at finding out which resources are actually available for a task rather than being used elsewhere. But I’m not going to go into any of that at the moment. We’re going to do some of those things later on in the course. For the moment, all I want to do is to allocate the brick layer to the task of building walls. Now the very simplest way of doing that is having selected the brick layer is to just click on the Assign button, and what happens if I just click on Assign is that the brick layer is assigned 100%. That means one brick layer. And depending on the cost figures, the cost of using the brick layer on that task is indicated here. Now at the moment I haven’t put any cost in. We’re going to come back to cost later on. But if I had put a rate per hour and possibly even an additional cost per use, then the total cost of using the brick layer on building those walls would be shown here.

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Project 2013 I could go through now and assign more resources to more tasks. The first thing I’m going to do though is to actually close this Assign Resources dialog and look at the impact of what I’ve just done on the Gantt Chart. Now you may not quite see the same as me here but if you’re still using a default installation of Project 2013, you should see something pretty similar. And one of the things that’s apparent is that you can now see the word Brick Layer next to the task in the Gantt Chart. Now exactly what you see in a Gantt Chart is something we’re going to look at in some detail later on. You can customize and format a Gantt Chart but basically by default you would normally see the names of the resources that are used in a particular task listed next to the Gantt Chart bar. Now we’ll be able to change that later on, but for the moment it’s actually quite useful because we can see that we’ve got a brick layer resource allocated to the task of building walls. So let’s now use some bricks. Let’s again right click on Build walls, click on Assign resources, and this time I’m going to assign bricks buut I’m not going to assign one unit of bricks which of course would be 1,000 bricks. I’m going to assign 12 units because I’m going to need 12,000 bricks for this house. Now if I use the little rollers here, I can go up in multiples. I’m going to say I want 12. Again, if I’d entered a cost per thousand of bricks that cost would appear here. But it does say in the units column there 12 and then my units, thousands. So it’s 12 thousands of bricks. Now you may be wondering what this RD column here is. The RD column is really outside the scope of this course but basically R and D stand for Requested and Demanded.

And in

situations, particularly where resources are shared between different projects and possibly different project managers, you can demand specific resources or you can request resources. When you’re doing that, then this column comes into play. But as I say that’s pretty much outside the scope of this course. So I’ve now allocated 12 thousands of bricks. You can see on the Gantt Chart there that that resource is named and I’m starting to build up a list of the resources that are needed on the Build walls task within my house building project. Okay, let’s close this dialog again and now let’s take a very quick look at the Resource tab on the Ribbon. On the Resource tab on the Ribbon, one of the options there, the second group along the © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 Assignments Group, is Assign Resources. And if I click on Assign Resources, I get that same dialog again. So that’s two ways into that dialog. In Project 2013 in general, you can get just about everything from the Ribbon and a selection of things from the contextual menu at any specific point. So we’re now going to allocate the resources to the Fit windows and doors task. Note that while this particular dialog is open, you can still select tasks in the Gantt Chart. You don’t have to close it. So having selected the fourth task, I can click on the Resource dialog again and I’m going to leave you now with this as your next exercise to do. For Fit windows and doors, what I’d like you to do is to use one carpenter; there are going to be 12 windows and, believe it or not, nine doors. Now you may think most houses don’t have nine doors but this is internal and external doors; so 12 windows and nine doors and one carpenter assigned to that task. I’m going to start you off at example_05. So you open example_05 to do this and my answer to this is example_06. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 11 – Opening, Closing and Saving Video: Opening and Closing Projects; Switching Windows; Pinning to Recent List Toby: Hello and welcome back to our course on Microsoft Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look at opening and saving projects. So far we’ve opened a project by selecting it from the recent list on the start screen. Now, of course, over time that recent list is going to tend to get too long to all fit on the start screen and you’re going to find that things drop off the bottom of the list. Now there is a way to some extent of overcoming that and we’ll look at that in just a moment. But in general terms, if you want to open a project and it isn’t on the recent list there, you need to look at the option below the list where it says Open other projects. And if you click on that, it takes you to the Open page in Backstage View. Now you then have a list of potential locations for a project that you want to open. At the top of the list, you have the recent projects list. You can open a project from your SkyDrive. I’m going to tell you about SkyDrive later on in the course. But think of it as what many people nowadays refer to as Cloud based storage. So these are projects that you’ve got stored on Microsoft SkyDrive. Computer basically takes you to the device that you’re using and allows you to browse through the device to find a project that you have stored locally. And at a place, as we’ll see later on, gives us an option to add to this list. We’ll come back to that later. For the moment, let’s click on Computer. Now when you click on Computer, you’re given a list of folders you have recently accessed. One of those is going to be the one with the example files that come with this course. So if I click on that, it takes me through to that list of example files. You’ll have a list, it may not look exactly the same as this but generally speaking it will be very similar to this. And from this you could take one of the files that we’ve already worked on, select it, and then having selected it you can either click Open or you can just double click on it to open that particular project. So if I wanted to open example_06, double click and the project opens. Now let’s suppose that I want to open another project as well. I’d like to open Project 4. I don’t need to close Project 6 to do that. I can go into Backstage View, click on Open, and then if I go for Computer again, instead of using the recent folders list, I can just use the Browse button down here and that allows me to browse in pretty much the usual way through the content of my

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Project 2013 device. So I can choose from the available disc drives, internal disc drive, memory sticks, network drives, whatever I’ve got attached to my device, choose an appropriate project and open it up. Now one thing to notice when you’re trying to open a project like this is that effectively Project 2013 filters the files that you’re looking at. So if I go into a particular folder such as this one the files that it’s showing me are not every file that’s in that folder. The filter in force by default is a filter that shows me just the files with extension MPP and that’s the default extension for Microsoft Project files. If I click on the drop down on the right here then I can look instead of Project’s MPP files, I could look for MPT files which are Microsoft Project templates. And there are various other possibilities such as Excel workbooks because I can import content for a Microsoft Project file from a workbook, an Excel binary workbook, an Excel earlier version workbook, and so on. There are a number of possibilities there, and one of the other options I have is to specify all files. And if I select the option of All files, I’ll see all of the files that are in that particular folder. So let me choose example_04, click on Open, and now we have Project 4 open as well as Project 6; although you can only see Project 4 at the moment. Now when you have more than one Project file open at once, it’s quite straightforward to switch between them. One of the options you have is to use the switching facility within Windows. I’m using Windows 8 here but the switching facility with Windows 7 when you’re in desktop mode is pretty much the same. Hold the Alt key down and press the Tab key repeatedly and that will let you step through all of the available open windows and each of the projects you have open will have a window that you can switch to using this approach. From within Project itself, if you click on the View tab one of the groups is Window and in the right hand top corner of the Window Group there’s a drop down here that says Switch Windows. Click on the drop down and it lists the open projects. Now at the moment we’ve got a tick against example_04. If I wanted to switch to example_06, I’d select that instead and that takes me to the Project example_06 that I also have open. So you can have more than one project open at once. That’s not a problem. And whenever you’ve finished working with a project, you have a couple of options. If you click on Backstage View, File, one of the options there is Close and that will close the specific project that you have selected in view at the moment. If you close Project itself, so if you use for example the top right hand button here to close Project, then it will close all of the individual

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Project 2013 projects you have open at that time. Let’s just close this individual project here by clicking on the Close button back there is Backstage View. That closes one project and we’re back to just having Project number 4 open. The other way that you can close a single project is in a line with the tabs above the Ribbon, there’s this X at the right here and that Close window closes only the current project window. So in this case that will close Project 4. So if I click on that Close button, Project 4 is closed. In fact, Project 2013 is still running but I now have no projects open so it waits for me to either open an existing project or create a new one. Now let me just go back to that Open page again and again look at this list of recent projects. If you hover over one of the recent projects, you can see on the right there that there’s a little push pin. And if you have a particular project, say, Project 6 that we don’t want to fall off of the bottom of the recent projects list. If you click on the push pin, it pins it to the list which means it stays fixed there until you unpin it. If you click on the picture of the pin again, it will be unpinned. Now exactly the same principle applies on the start screen where you have the list of recent projects on the left. You can pin a project there and that way it won’t fall off of the recent projects list. And as I mentioned earlier that’s one way of overcoming the problem when you’ve been dealing with a large number of projects, of projects that you access often falling off of the bottom of the recent projects list. So that’s enough on opening and closing projects for now. In the next section we’re going to take a look at saving projects. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Saving Projects; File Formats; AutoSave Toby: Welcome back to our course on Microsoft Project 2013. In the previous section, we looked at opening and closing projects, and one of the things we did was to pin example_06 to the recent projects list and you can see that on the start screen now pinned to the list. But what I’d like to do in this section is to look at saving projects and I’m going to start by opening one of the first projects we worked on, House build 01 here just by selecting it from the recent projects list. Now when you’re working on a project, from time to time it’s a good idea to save it, make sure that your work doesn’t get lost. There is a button normally enabled on the Quick Access Toolbar, a picture of an old style diskette which is by default the standard image for Save. You can also see from the screen tip there that there is a keyboard shortcut of Control and S to save the project that you’re currently working on. We also saw earlier on the Save As option from Backstage View and when you do File, Save As and let’s again choose Computer and let’s stick with the same folder that that file was stored in, my scratch folder, then when you do a save, by default as with Open, the default save type is Project MPP. But there are various other save types as well and I want to take a quick look at those now. Now of course, if I just did a save now with a type of MPP, I’d effectively overwrite the file that I’m already working on. But if I click on the drop down on Save As Type, I can see the list of other options that are available to me. Now first of all, we have a group of options that relate to earlier versions of Microsoft Project. There’s Microsoft Project 2007, *.mpp, and Microsoft Project 2000 to 2003, *.mpp. The file extension MPP has been common throughout but the format has actually changed over many versions. The format that’s used in the 2013 version is the same as the 2010 version. Before that there was a 2007 format and then before that there was a format that was used in 2000, 2002, and 2003 versions of Microsoft Project. Before that there was a format that was used with the Project 98 version. But using Project 2013, you cannot save a Project file in the Project 98 format, although you can read those older formats. So the file extension hasn’t changed but the formats have. That’s something to be careful of. Why might you want one of these old formats? Well, if you’re working with other people that have older versions of Project, you may need to agree on one of the older formats so that you can all work © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 on the files. But the newer format is the one to use if you don’t have that constraint because it supports all of the new features of Microsoft Project. You can save a Microsoft Project as a template. We’ll talk about templates a little bit later on or in the old format of template. You can also save the project as a PDF which we’re going to do a little example of in just a moment. And then you have an option of saving it as the Microsoft version of PDF if you like which is XPS. And then you can also save it as an Excel workbook and this is effectively exporting it into Excel so that you can do other work on the tasks in Microsoft Excel. I’m going to have a little brief look at that later on in the course as well. You then have options to save the project in text format, comma separated values, CSV format, and XML format. But as I say just by an example let’s try saving this one in that folder but as a PDF and see what it looks like. So select PDF and click on Save. I get a dialog box. I can choose what range of dates I want to save. I’m going to choose all dates. And then I can choose whether to include nonprinting information, document properties, document showing markup, and then the PDF options a bit of a technical option. Let’s not worry too much about that, but you don’t need to bother to check that. Click on OK and now let me open up that PDF and we’ll take a look at that. So now I’ve opened that PDF file in Adobe Reader X and you can see the Gantt Chart; very straightforward, of course, at the moment. I’ve just go that one task in there. And then there’s a little summary at the bottom; a key, legend, etc. to explain what the various symbols mean. Although, of course, most of those symbols don’t yet appear as we’ve got such a simple schedule at this stage. So that is saving a project as a PDF file. Now we come to something very important in relation to save and that is to look at the Project Options relating to save. So in Backstage View, if I look at Options, there is a page dedicated to Save. And the first option on that page is to select the default save format. Now by default, it’s at the current version of the MPP format, but you could save in an earlier format, the 2007 format or the 2000 to 2003 format. You might choose this as I said a little while ago if you were working with other people and you’d agreed on using one of the earlier formats by default, and setting that as your default is probably a good idea.

It would reduce the chance of you

accidentally saving in the current format. You can also choose a default file location. Now

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Project 2013 when you start using Project 2013, this defaults to your User Documents Folder within Windows but you can save it to do a different one. I could have set this to save in the folder that I’m saving the Project file in. The next important option is AutoSave. Now I mentioned earlier in this section that you should save your work regularly. Well, I would go one step farther and I should say that you should have AutoSave set on to save your work regularly for you. In much older versions of Project and particularly when people were using older PCs with lower performance, AutoSave could be a bit of a pain actually because you’d notice a degradation in performance while AutoSave was happening. And even now if you’ve got a very big project and say it’s being saved over a network or something like that, it can slow you down for a while. But generally speaking, AutoSave on a modern device you’ll barely notice it happening if at all. And if you set the AutoSave on and set the interval at say 10 minutes, which is the default, the worst thing that can happen if your PC crashes or your power goes off or something awful happens is that you’ll lose the last 10 minutes worth of work. You have an option when you set AutoSave on as you can see here from saving the active project, that’s the one that you’re currently working on or all open projects. As we’ll see later if you have a very complex situation maybe with many projects maybe sharing resources, you may have quite a few open projects open at once and saving them all again on a modern PC with good performance you’ll barely notice it happening. But it does increase the chance, particularly if you’ve got big projects and you’re using an old device, of a save having an impact. So although it’s pretty safe nowadays to have all this switched on, just beware of the fact that it may cause a noticeable sort of slow down for a few moments while it happens. Now the other options within the Project Options Save page I’ll let you experiment with. Some of them for example are pretty straightforward. This one Save to computer by default, check that, and then by default it will save to Computer rather than trying SkyDrive or somewhere else. But I’ll let you experiment with those, try them out, and see which ones suit you. When you’ve made any changes, of course, click on OK and we’re back to working on Project as normal. So that’s pretty much it on saving but there’s now an exercise for you to do. You saw earlier on how to save the current project, this Build 01 as a PDF and then we looked at the PDF. What I’d like you to do is to do the same thing with Project 06. You can either use the version that came © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 with the course or the one that you’ve created. I’d like you to save that in PDF format. Use all of the default settings, include all of the dates. My answer to that example is in example_06.pdf. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 12 – Calendars Video: Creating New Calendar; Setting up Working Time; Recurrence Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look at calendars and in fact we’re going to look a little bit more broadly at some of the scheduling parameters related to calendars within Project 2013. So we’re going to start by looking at the calendar that’s in force by default for our building project and to do that we’ll go straight into Backstage View, into the Project Options, and we’ll look at the Schedule page in Project Options. Now the first thing to note is that when you look at the top section on this page, Calendar Options for this project, once again you have a drop down. You have a drop down that lets you choose this particular project or all new projects. Now you may well have a standard calendar that you use on all your projects but you may have a particular one that gets a different calendar to everything else. So what do I mean by a calendar for a project? Well, for a particular situation, for a particular project that I’m working on, let’s take this building project as an example. Let’s suppose that the site is open for certain hours of the day, say from eight in the morning till six in the evening. And at that time people can do work on this project. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody who does any work on the project works all of that time. Individual people may have different calendars. They may have different availability. You may have somebody who only works in the mornings or somebody who only works Monday’s and Tuesday’s. But every project as a background needs a project calendar which is the basic time that work is done or is possible to be done on that project. Now when you install Project 2013, you’re setup with a default calendar that we’ll look at in a moment. It’s normally called the standard calendar or the base calendar. And unless you do otherwise that’s the calendar that’s going to be used to schedule your projects. Now there’s an added complication in this which is a little bit baffling at first. But once you get used to the idea, it’s not so bad and that is that whatever your calendar says when it comes to actually doing some aspects of calculations Project also uses some other values that you setup in the Options here. So not only do you really need to make sure that your calendar is correct

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Project 2013 which is something we’re going to look at a little bit later on but you also need to look at the settings that we’ve got here in our Options to make sure that everything fits. So first of all, I have a couple of straightforward options here. One of them is on what day of the week does the week start? It’s a Sunday. That doesn’t necessarily mean you work on a Sunday but it just means that when we look at the calendar the first day we see will be Sunday. And the fiscal year start defaults to January. You can change that to one of the other months of the year for your fiscal annual reporting. We then have a default start time and a default end time for tasks. Now again this is not the same as the start time and end time as will appear on the calendar. As it says in the note here, these times are assigned to tasks when you enter a start or finish date without specifying a time. If you change this setting consider matching the project calendar using the Change working time command. It’s important to recognize that largely speaking the settings here are independent of the calendar and you can rather badly mess things up by having them out of step. If the projects you’re working on tend to be projects where each task is several days long, then start times and end times are less important. But if you’re dealing with projects where things may just take a couple of hours and it’s important to understand that this finish time during the day of something is important, then these start times and end times can be important as well. Below those we have three very important numbers that are used particularly in the cost, scheduling and financing side of a project as we’ll see later on. How many working hours per day, how many hours per week, this is based on a five day working week, and how many days per month. Clearly, in reality the number of working days per month varies depending on which month it is, and then allowing for things like Christmas, public vacations, Easter and that sort of thing. But this is an average figure that’s used for some of the calculations that are done within Project 2013. Now we’re going to take a look at the calendar next but just bear in mind that when we have done, you need to carefully consider making sure that what’s here agrees with what’s in the calendar. And if they get out of step, you can give yourself really quite a few problems. So let’s take a look at this calendar. Let’s click on the Project tab and go to Change working time in the Properties Group and that brings up the Change Working Time dialog which includes

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Project 2013 a view of the current standard project calendar. Now the standard project calendar is the default that comes with Project 2013. If your default, your standard calendar for your projects does not agree with this, then you can change the standard. If on the other hand, if it does basically agree with this but sometimes you have a project that needs a different calendar, then it’s a much better idea to take a copy of this and use a specific changed, modified copy of this as the calendar for that specific project that needs a different one. It’s not a good idea to keep changing the standard on backwards and forwards. It’s much better to have the standard one as your standard, your default, and then making specific different ones if the need arises than to keep changing the standard. Now what I’m going to do in this case is I’m going to take a copy of this calendar and show you how to change the copy, how to modify the copy, but the same techniques could be used on the standard one if that was more appropriate in your case. So let’s click on Create new calendar and I’m going to call it my building calendar. Maybe this is the one that I use for all of my building projects.

I can create a new base calendar from scratch so that means I specify

everything or I can just make a copy of the standard calendar. I’m going to use a copy of the standard calendar as my starting point. So there’s my building calendar. It’s created, ready to use. Now what I’m going to do is to customize it to my specific requirements in this case. There’s an area in the bottom of this dialog that deals with exceptions and work weeks. Let’s start with a standard week. Default, if I double click on Default it brings up a little dialog, Details for default, and this lets me define my standard working week; my default working week. So if I want to setup the working hours for my default working week what I can do is to go through the days of the week, Sunday through Saturday, and for each day of the week I can specify the working hours. If I step through the days now you can see what they are by default. So Monday, for example, you can see grayed out there 8 to 12, 1 to 5 and then the same for the other working days of the week and Saturday is a nonworking day.

I can achieve either

inheriting the values from the default, that’s what the first radio button there does, Use Project default times for these days.

So by default that means Sunday and Saturday have been

nonworking days, the others will be working days. Or I can specifically say Set the selected day or days to nonworking time or I can say Set the selected day or days to these specific working times. If I want to change the working times for Monday through to Friday, if I select all five of

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Project 2013 those days by holding down Monday, the Shift key, and then Friday, so all five days are selected, I can click on Set days to these specific working times. Those areas are now editable and I can enter my new working times for the five working days of the week. So let me just click in the first one which currently says 8 a.m., if I click in there and change that to 9 a.m. Click in the next one which currently says 12 p.m. I’m going to change that to say 1 p.m. and then the From for the afternoon currently starts at 1 p.m. I’m going to change the, say, to 2 p.m., and then 5 p.m. change that to be 6 p.m. Now one important point to note there is that although I’ve changed those times, my working day is still eight working hours. So I’m not going to need to change the hours per day, working hours per day in my Project Options. But if I’d say change this from say 8 till 1 and 2 till 6 so there were nine working hours in the day, I would need to go into my Project Options to change the working hours per day. So let’s click on OK and I will have changed the standard working day in the standard working week. And you can actually see on the right here that on a standard working day like today, March 29th, my working hours are now 9 till 1 and 2 till 6. So let’s just set that up in the Options. There’s a button at the bottom of the dialog here that takes us straight into the Project Options on to the Schedule page. Calendar options for just this project. I’m treating this project as an exception. I haven’t changed any of these things but my default start time is going to change to 9 a.m. and my default end time is now 6 p.m. in case that becomes important. Hours per day is the same, hours per week is the same, days per month no change there, click on OK. Now one of the most important things to bear in mind when you’re working on calendars is that is there are significant differences to the standard calendar such as a different working week, a standard day, and in particular also when you have to take into account public holidays, it’s very important to get these in place before you start working on a project. If you introduce them later on, not only can it change the pattern of the project and cause you scheduling problems that you didn’t know you had, but you also might find yourself repeating work. If you’re going to use a standard calendar as the basis for all of your projects, make sure that the hours are right before you start scheduling projects but also make sure that public holidays are in place and try to get them in place as far in advance as you can.

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Project 2013 Let’s take an example of a public holiday. The next one, this is currently March 29 th when I’m recording this. Let me just use the arrows to the right of the calendar here to go down to the month of April. I’m going to choose Monday, April 1st and then I’m going to type in the exception box here, at the top of the exceptions tag, Easter Monday. Now this is a nonworking day. But if I just click there, note it picks up the date that I’ve selected, click on Details. By default, it becomes a nonworking day. If this were a repeating event then I could set this up as a recurrence. On this occasion, because Easter Monday doesn’t always happen on the same day then I’m not going to setup a recurrence. I’m going to say recurrence, daily, every one day, range of recurrence at the bottom. It starts on Monday, April 1st and it ends after that one occurrence. So it’s only a one off difference. Whereas on the other hand, if I went down to the month of December, December 25th is always a public holiday so let me select that, click here, Christmas, December 25th, go into the details, nonworking. This is a recurrence pattern. It happens every year on December the 25th and I can say end by and I can choose some date hugely in the future, say, go to the year 2020, click on OK, and now I’ll have Christmas scheduled as a nonworking day right through to the year 2020. So it’s very important that you get your public holidays in place as well. So having setup one or two of the public holidays there are now several others to setup, but we also have to make this building calendar the calendar for this project and that’s what we’re going to do during the next section so please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Standard Calendar; Schedule Public Holidays; Adding Exceptions Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we created a new calendar called building calendar and it had different hours of work from the ones that come by default with Project 2013 in the standard calendar. We’re now going to make that the standard calendar for our current building project and then we’re going to look at some of the consequences of that. We also still need to add the rest of the public holidays to that calendar. So let’s get started. So first of all, let’s go to the Project tab and then on the Project tab in the Properties Group click on Project Information. Now when you click on Project Information, you’ll see that the calendar in force is still the standard calendar. So I’m going to change that now to be the building calendar. Click on OK and the calendar that I’ve selected there is now effectively the base calendar for this project. Now you may have noticed a slight change to the schedule there and the slight change to the schedule there is because the resources that are currently scheduled to work on the project, that’s basically the brick layer and the carpenter, because their calendars are still based on the original standard calendar will not be fully available to this project during the hours of work on this project because they still have as their calendars the 8 to 5 hours, whereas the building calendar is basically on the 9 to 6 hours. Now basically the majority of people working on this project will be working to the same hours as the project itself. So let’s go in and look at those individual resources and make sure that we’ve got their calendars setup correctly. So I’m going to use the button on the status bar at the bottom to switch to the resource sheet, and then on the resource sheet I’m just going to double click on brick layer. Open up the Resource Information for brick layer, and in terms of working time if I click on Change working time for brick layer, I’ll see that the resource calendar for brick layer is currently set at the standard calendar. Now I want to change that to be the building calendar. Now I can’t emphasize enough that the only reason I’m having to do that is because I didn’t set that up before I started. If you set your calendar correctly before you start scheduling tasks and resources, then you won’t need to go through all of this. Having said that, at least I’m doing it early on in the process so I’m aligning everything before I’ve entered too much information into my project.

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Project 2013 So for the brick layer the default working week is the one on the calendar building calendar. So click on OK. That will have now corrected the working time for brick layer and then if I do the same for the carpenter who is my other work resource, again click on Change working time and his calendar is based on the building calendar as well. Now again I should point out here that although the resource calendar for carpenter has as its base calendar, the building calendar if I wanted to put some exceptions for the carpenter, I could do them here. The exceptions for working time for carpenter, for instance, would be things like the carpenter’s vacations. If the carpenter is going to take a couple of weeks off, I can actually record that as an exception here. If the carpenter, for instance, has to go to the dentist one day, I can actually put a two or three hour exception in here. So you can define exceptions for individual resources. Click on OK, click on OK again, and now I’ve corrected the calendars for the two work resources, the brick layer and carpenter, and they’re the only ones I’ll need to do. And from now on any work resources that I add will have their calendars based on the new building calendar and not on the original calendar. So I won’ have to go through this process again. So now I’m going to go back into the Project tab, Change working time, and look again at the building calendar which is now marked as project calendar. You can see the two exceptions I’ve got there, Easter Monday and Christmas. And what I now need to do is to add the rest of the public holidays for this year. Now if you are actually following this course in a subsequent year beyond 2013, then I hope you can adapt this accordingly. But the next thing for you to do is to add the rest of those public holidays. Add them for the year that you’re following this course in which might be 2013, it might be 2014, 2015. And where you have a holiday that can be repeated, probably on an annual basis, something like Christmas day or any other day that’s a fixed date in the year, then schedule it up to 2020. You could schedule it even farther if you want to but schedule it to at least 2020. Now I appreciate that depending on your locale your public holidays may be different. I’ve actually put two U.K. public holidays there. There’s a few more. If you’re in the U.S.A. then you may have state public holidays as well. In any other country, you’ll have your own public holidays. I’d like you to schedule the public holidays for your locale.

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Project 2013 I should also point out to you that since this project is the one that we’re going to be using from now on, if you have different public holidays to mine, then you may find that dates subsequently on the course may differ anyway. That’s absolutely not a problem but it does mean that when I talk about dates later on, yours may be slightly different from mine because of public holidays. Okay, so that’s your next exercise. I’ve save this project exactly as it is as example_07 and my answer to this current exercise based on U.K. public holidays is example_08. If you’d like to use different public holidays, that’s fine. If you want to follow the U.K. public holidays, then you can pick up after this from example_08 which has the U.K. public holidays in it. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 13 – Views and Tables Video: Task Views; Zoom; Timescale Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section, we’re going to start to look at views. We’ve already seen a couple of different views of the project that we’re working on. In this section, we’re going to look at some more and we’re also going to start to look at how to choose the best view to suit the particular task that you’re performing at the time. Now one thing that’s a common feature of most but not all of the views in Project 2013 is this vertical dividing line here. This currently separates the table on the left. We’re going to look at these tables in great detail later on in the course. From the Gantt Chart in this case on the right and as we’ve seen, you can change the position of that dividing line either if you’re using the mouse hover over the line until you see the cursor change into a double vertical line with an arrow sticking out either side, then just click and hold with the left mouse button and you can move the line backwards and forwards. Or if you’re using touch, all you need to do is to touch on the line. You’ll see a little round selector appear and then you can drag to the left or right with your finger to change the position of the vertical line. So I just do that now. So you can see it’s straightforward whether you’re using the mouse or touch to change the position of that vertical dividing line. Now we’re looking at the View tab on the Ribbon now and we’ve currently got Gantt Chart shown. In the group at the left hand end of the Ribbon, we have Task Views and this is really a straightforward way of accessing all of the available task views. Some of those task views have specific buttons. So for instance, the command button in the top right hand corner of the group if I hover over it that gives us access to the network diagram. Below that the calendar and below that a task form. Now I’m going to come back to one or two of those later on. I want to concentrate now though on not Gantt Chart but Task Usage. Let’s click on task usage. Now with task usage we have a list of the tasks. We’ve just got five tasks in our building project at the moment. And in the Task Usage View you can see that we have a list of the resources that are used in each task. So if we look at the build walls task, we can see the resources are brick layer and bricks. And one of the great things about the Task Usage View is that it will actually show us over a period of time how we are using the resources that we’re using on a specific task.

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Project 2013 Now the brick layer we are using 80 hours of and the bricks we are using 12 thousands of. But what we can see in the Task Usage View is when we are using them. This can be useful for many reasons, not least of which we know when we need the brick layer to be available for example and we need to know when we need the bricks for. We maybe don’t want all of the bricks delivered right at the start of the building project. They might be in the way when we’re preparing the site. It’d be much better to get the bricks delivered just before we need them. Now in the right hand half of the view, we actually have a display that shows us a break down of when we’re using the resources. Now at the moment, we don’t appear to be using them at any time but that’s because the timescale we’ve got is a day by day timescale. And as you can see in the particular week, we’re looking at which is the week that I’m recording this in we’re not actually using any of these resources. If I scroll a little bit earlier in time, still no sign of using those resources. Scroll a bit later in time and eventually we come to the point where we’re using those resources. And as you can see the bricks on each day, starting roughly the middle of April, we’re going to need 1.2 thousands of bricks each day to build the walls. And we’re going to need eight hours of the brick layers time in order to build the walls. So this is a really useful breakdown of what we need and when we need it, but as you can see the current view is not really ideal because it was quite difficult to track what we wanted in this Task Usage View. So let’s look at a couple of ways that we can make a view like this more useful and so that we can see more in view at any one time and one of the more obvious ways, of course, is to move that divider. So we give ourselves a little bit more space on the right. But in the case of a building project which is going to go on for many weeks getting a broad view using a day by day display is maybe not the best option. There are a couple of ways of getting round this. One of them is if you look at the Zoom Group on the View tab, the top right hand corner there’s this little magnifier, click on the drop down, and go into Zoom, Zoom dialog. With the Zoom dialog you are given options of how much to show in view. Now what you can show in view, you can have one week, two weeks, one month, three months, the duration of a selected task. So I could actually choose a view which would setup on the right hand side there the timescale to cover just the duration of a selected task. Or, and this is the option I’m going to use here, I can say Show me the entire project. Now if I click on Entire project and click on OK, I get the whole project in view. Now, of course, in this particular case that doesn’t really give me a good break down

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Project 2013 either because with this view, all I find is that in one period of time I need 9.6 thousands and in another period of time I need 2.4 thousands, and the periods of time are a little bit strange actually. If you look at the top, the timescale at the top there I’ve got March 17th, April 14th, May 12th, and I’ve got Monday, Friday, presumably Tuesday, Sunday. It all seems a little bit strange. What Project 2013 does when you select entire project is it sets up the timescale literally to show the entire project.

And although sometimes that’s really useful on other

occasions, it gives you a very strange timescale. But we can actually select the timescale on the right there in a much more flexible and adaptable way and that’s what we’re going to look at next. So let’s go in and control this timescale a lot more accurately and conveniently. If you right click where the timescale is there, so somewhere around those dates or the days of the week markers there you will see timescale, dot, dot, dot. Click on Timescale, dot, dot, dot on the contextual menu and you get the Timescale dialog. Now the Timescale dialog has a number of tabs, including three tabs for the possible three tiers of the time table: top tier, middle tier, bottom tier. And literally they are top tier, middle tier, bottom tier. At the moment, you can only see two tiers. And if you look at Timescale Options within the dialog, you can see that it says Show two tiers, only middle and bottom are in use. There’s a drop down here whereby you can show one tier, two tiers, or three tiers. We’re going to stick with two tiers. So let’s have a look at the middle tier. The middle tier currently says Middle tier formatting, units weeks, count four. The interval on the middle tier is four weeks which is why you’ve got those strange dates: March the 17th, April 14th. That’s actually a four week period rather than a calendar month period. And four weeks after April 14th is May 12th, so that explains those rather strange dates up there. The labeling of the time period is dictated by this field, Label, and you have a choice of ways of labeling dates. There’s a whole long, long list of options there which you can experiment with and you can decide here how you want those labels aligned with the time periods. So in this case that label, so for instance March 17, 2013 is aligned in the left of the time period that it covers. Now let’s look at the bottom tier. So, click on bottom tier and the bottom tier is arranged in multiples of 11 days. Now that really is a rather strange interval to use but it is a result of deciding to show the whole project duration in view. Let’s change that to a period of say one week. So I’m going to change that down to one © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 and I’m going to make that weeks. You get a preview of what the interval’s going to look like here. So let’s just click on OK and see how that looks in real life. And that’s not actually so bad now. We’ve got a little bit more useful division of the use of the labor. So we’ve got brick layer, 24 hours that week, 40 hours that week, 16 hours that week, and then we’ve got an idea of how many bricks we need per week for the period of three weeks that spanned by this particular task. Now, of course, there’s absolutely nothing to stop me going back into that Timescale dialog again, go into the bottom tier again, and I could if I wanted to change from one week to one day, click on OK, and now I really do get a break down day by day of what’s needed. And then let me just go back into the timescale once more. There is also a button to the right of the Show Option in Timescale Options that basically let’s me rescale what I’ve got there anyway. Now at the moment, the figure of 104 is a percentage and I’ve got this display set at 104%. If I wanted to reduce it, I could say put it down to 80%. You can actually type a value in there. You don’t have to use the little rollers. Let’s suppose I said 80%. I’d make each of the columns in the display a little bit narrower and I get a little bit more in view. Now I hope you can see from that that when it comes to formatting the timescale that’s shown, in fact in just about any view in Project 2013, there’s a lot of power and flexibility in what you can do. And you can usually get a timescale format set that enables you to see just what you want to see in any given situation. So I’ve demonstrated here the formatting of the timescale using Task Usage View.

The

approach in Gantt Chart View is exactly the same. If I click back now and go back into the Gantt Chart, then I could customize the Gantt Chart timescale in exactly the same way and to achieve exactly what affect that I want at any given time. So we’ve looked at a couple of the main Task Views here. In the next section we’re going to look at some of the Resource Views and we’re also going to look at Split View so please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Resource View and Split View Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we looked at views, in particular we looked at a couple of Task Views and at how to format the time scale in any view that includes a time scale to make it suit the purposes of the view that you are using. In this section we’re going to look at Resource Views, first of all, and then we’re going to look at Split View. So first of all let’s look at the resource sheet that we’ve used already. In the Resource Views Group on the View tab there is a button, Resource Sheet. Click on Resource Sheet and we see the resource sheet itself where we can enter details of new resources or maintain the details of the resources we’ve already got. And as you saw before, if we double click on one of these, we bring up the Resource Information dialog. Now the other very useful view here is Resource Usage, and if you bear in mind what task usage showed us let’s just take a look at resource usage. Now note once again it’s a Split View vertically, but on the left this time instead of a list of tasks and then for each task the resources that are used we have a list of resources, and for each resource a list of the tasks that that resource works on or is used on. So for instance, the brick layer works on the build walls task, the bricks are used in the build walls task and so on. Now as before, we can customize the time scale on the right in order to see what our resource requirements are. But as I say basically this is Task Usage View turned inside out if you like. So it’s arranged by resource and then within resource, we can see how each resource is used, the tasks that it’s used in as opposed to the other way around we had in Task Usage View. So that’s resource usage. Now I should point out that pretty much on any of these drop downs, for instance here on the resource usage drop down here, if I click on that drop down, I almost always see More Views at the bottom. Click on More Views and you have a list of pretty much all of the available views and there are quite a few of them. Also either starting from the drop down or from this More Views dialog, you can make a copy of a particular view. You could, for instance, make a copy of Gantt Chart View and then you could customize it to your specific requirements. Now customization of these views is outside the scope of this course but if you find that you like a

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Project 2013 particular view and that you like a particular set of settings where you have a combination of what you can see, the time scale, and so on, then you can setup a custom view with a name of your choice. So that’s a good thing to find out about if you think you have a need for creating custom views later on. So we’ve looked at the resource sheet and we’ve looked at Resource Usage View. There’s another very useful resource view which will become more useful later on when we start looking at overallocation of resources when we get to a situation where we’ve got a certain amount of resource to use on a project and it just isn’t enough. We get to a situation where we need more people or more materials or we need another room or something like that, and there just isn’t enough to go round. Now the view that can be very helpful in that situation is Resource Graph View. Now I’m just going to click on the resource sheet drop down here and one of the options at the bottom there, More Views, let’s choose resource graph, click on Apply. This is another view with a time scale on the right but it doesn’t have a table as such on the left. What it has is a sequence of little panels and each panel corresponds to one of our resources. At the moment, the first resource shown is brick layer and there is a graph showing the use of our one brick layer. Don’t forget 100%, that’s one brick layer. And for a period, this is a period of roughly three weeks, just under, then our brick layer is 100% allocated. So we’re going to keep that brick layer solidly busy on our project for a period of time spanning three weeks. Now at the bottom of that pane on the left there’s a scroll bar, and if you click on the arrow at one end of the scroll bar, it actually takes you through the resources in your project. So I’m going to click right first, bricks is the next resource, allocated, overallocated, only allocated. All the time you’ve blue here you haven’t got an overallocation problem. Let’s try the next one. Carpenter. Again, that’s fine. Now if you’re doing this on a project of yours and you’ve got the same problem, you normally have which is fitting everything into view, don’t forget you can always flip into view where you see the entire project. And in fact in the Zoom Group on the View tab, the second button down on the right there is a straightforward zoom entire project button. So if you click on that it’ll always give you the entire project. Now, of course, you may get those strange time periods that we saw earlier on. But if all you want to do is to try to spot any red overallocations using © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 resource graph, then this is certainly good enough because you’ll see any red that there is by stepping through your resources in this view. So that’s Resource Graph View and we’ll be using that a little bit more later on in the course. So now I’m going to go back to Gantt Chart View and I’m going to talk about Split View. There is a Split View Group on the View tab on the Ribbon and it’s got a couple of checkboxes. The timeline checkbox we’ve already seen. You can use that to switch on and switch off the timeline. We’re going to come back and look at the timeline in little bit more detail later on. But it’s really the second box that we’re interested in here. That’s the details box because that’s the one that’s going to enable us to split the current view. Now notice at the moment in this Gantt Chart I’ve got row one, task one, Prepare site selected and I’m going to click the details checkbox in the Split View Group. And what you now see is a view that is split by a horizontal line and in the top half you’ve still got the Gantt Chart View but in the bottom part you’ve now got a task form. You can see the words Task Form on the left hand edge there just written on its side. And if you go back up to Split View again next to the details checkbox there’s a drop down and you can choose what you can show in the bottom part of the Split View. Currently I’ve got task form but if I click on the drop down, you can see what the alternatives are. I’m going to come back to that in just a moment. Let’s stick with task form for now. Let’s select the next task, task number two in our project. And when we select another task it’s that task that is selected in the bottom part of the form as well. So what I’m effectively seeing here is a subset of the task information for the Lay foundation task. So there’s the name of the task, Lay foundation, the duration is there of 15 days, but I can also see various other pieces of information, the start date, the finish date, the task type, I’ll be talking about that later on, how complete it is. Whether it’s auto scheduled or manually scheduled; well, it’s auto scheduled. Whether it’s effort driven or not; well, it’s not effort driven at the moment. And I can also, using the bottom part of this Split View display, step through the tasks using the Next and Previous buttons in the bottom part. So instead of clicking on Build walls in the top half of the Split View, if I were to click on Next in the bottom part, it would take me to Build walls anyway. And in Build Walls I can see start, finish, the resource usage, and the predecessors. So I can also see which other task it depends on, in this case, Lay foundation.

And I can see what the dependency type it.

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It’s a finish to start

Project 2013 dependency with a zero day lag. So I can step through my project using either next and previous in the lower part of the Split View or I can select a task in the top part of the Split View. One thing that’s worth bearing in mind when you’re using Split View is that you can mix and match these views. So although I’ve got Gantt Chart selected at the top here and the task selected here is Fit windows and doors, I could for the lower part choose in the Split View Group on the Ribbon here instead of task form, I could choose resource form. Now if I choose resource form, it shows me resource information. But it shows me resource information related to the resources that are used on the selected task in the Gantt Chart. Now Fit windows and doors uses three resources. It uses carpenter, it uses doors, and it uses windows. If you look at the lower part of the Split View where I have resource form selected what the next and previous buttons do here is not to take me through the tasks in the Gantt Chart but to take me through the resources that are used by the selected task in the Gantt Chart. So the first resource is carpenter, click on Next, and I get to the resource door and the next one is the resource window. And for each of those resources I can see which tasks the resource is used in. In fact, you may just notice on the left there, there’s a column that says Project, I could be using resources that are available to more than one project. So I might even find out what other project my resources are used in. This is very useful if you’re working in a situation where projects share resources. So that’s Split View. It’s pretty easy to switch Split View off again. You can just uncheck the details box there. You can also grab the center dividing line in much the same way that we grabbed the vertical divider and you can just drag it off the bottom of the display and it goes and the details box in the Split View Group is unchecked as well. So that should get you started on views. I just want to show you a couple of other things. One of them is particularly handy if you’re dealing with quite a large project. If you want to adjust the timescale to see, for instance, just a group of tasks; let’s suppose that you have the Build walls and Fit windows to doors task and you really want a timescale to suit looking at those. If you select those two, in the Zoom Group there is a button bottom right hand one, there’s Zoom selected task. And what that does is to adjust the timescale to suit just the selected task. So if I click on that, it basically expands the timescale or contracts or compresses the timescale so that you can see those two tasks. That can be pretty useful.

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Project 2013 And another view altogether is Calendar View. If you go to the Task Views over here again, that group. The middle one on the right there is Calendar View. If you click on Calendar View, what you see is the various tasks involved in the project plotted on a Calendar View. And you can either look at a month which is what we’ve got displayed there, a week, or you can setup a custom view to suit a number of weeks of your choosing. Again, that’s very useful in some situations. If you want to know what’s happening say in a particular week or a particular month or even over a specified period you can setup Calendar View and it will show you just what you’ve got selected according to the period and there’s even a date picker arrangement on the left. So that’s it on views. That’s the end of this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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

Project 2013

Video: Tables, Columns and Fields Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the last couple of sections we looked at views and in this section we’re going to look at a subject that’s closely associated with views and that is the use of tables. Now so far in the course you’ve seen a number of tables. I haven’t named them or talked about them in any great detail so in this section I’m going to put that right and explain to you the tables in Project 2013 and how you can adjust and adapt the use of tables to suit your requirements. So first of all, I’m looking at the Gantt Chart for our project. What I’m going to do is to drag the vertical divider off to the right there and eventually when I dragged it far enough I find that I get to the end of the table of data. Now the first thing I need to explain is that in Project 2013 there are basically two types of entity. Now there are actually more than two in reality as I’ll explain in a moment but think of it as two for the moment. And the two types of entity are tasks and resources. For a task, let’s take this first task here, Prepare site. We can use some information about it here. So we’ve got a task name. That’s the header we get at the top of the column there. It has a duration; 10 days. It has a start of Monday, March 4th, a finish of Friday, March 15th, and it has no predecessor, so the predecessors field is empty. There are no resources allocated to it at the moment and then we have one other cell here under a column that’s called Add new column. We’ll come back to that in a moment. So we have here four or five pieces of information about the task Prepare site. Project 2013 actually stores dozens of pieces of information about Prepare site. At the moment, many of them will be blank but they could also be used and in a long complicated project, we may have literally dozens of pieces of useful information about a task. Even if we get down to task three here or task four, we can see that although we’ve got the same columns in terms of what sort of information we have.

In the case of three and four, we’ve also got some resource name

information and in many of the tasks we’ll also have predecessors. So we’ll have information about some tasks, different information about other tasks, but overall there’s a lot more information available about each task in the project than you can see at any one time. So now let me look at Resource Sheet View again. In Resource Sheet View, I get a table of resource information. Now once again this is only a subset of the information that’s available to me about resources. And as I said just now, we have basically information about tasks and © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 information about resources and those two things are really the foundation on which Microsoft Project works. There are other entities. For instance, there is the relationship between a task and a resource which is what we call a resource assignment. So we may have information about how a particular resource is used on a particular task. We also have relationships between tasks and tasks. So for instance, we can say that one task is a predecessor or successor of another. But for the purposes of looking at tables in this section, we’re fundamentally looking at tasks and resources. So let me just switch back to Gantt Chart View again and once again look at this table. Now in this view what I want to do is to look at the View tab again, but I want to click on the drop down here on the Tables button in the Data Group and it lists a number of built in tables. By default the table that is shown in Gantt Chart View is what’s called the entry table. The entry table contains specific fields, the fields I’ve already discussed earlier in this section. I could choose a different table. I could show the cost table. Watch what happens if do that. What I get is a different selection of fields that are shown for each of the tasks in my project. So I have a fixed cost, I have a fixed cost accrual rule, and then I have things like total cost, baseline cost, variance, actual, remaining. There are actually other cost fields as well but they’re not all shown even in this table. Again, go back to that tables drop down again. I could actually look at the work table and the work table shows me a different selection of fields. Now in the case of the work table against build walls, for example, 80 hours is the total amount of work, and one of the other fields is the remaining amount of work which is 80 hours. Therefore the percent complete of this task is 0% because I started off with 80 hours work to do and I’ve still got 80 hours of work to do, so I haven’t done any work so my percent work complete is 0%. So when you’re working with Project 2013 depending on the type of information that you’re interested in at any one time, you can usually choose a particular table that enables you to work with that particular type of information. Don’t forget also that if you double click on a task as we saw earlier you bring up the Task Information dialog and although that doesn’t contain all of the information about a task, it does show you most of the key fields and you can go in there quite often and because of the way the fields are arranged it’s quite convenient for doing certain things. For instance, if we go back to the General tab, it gives us a good summary on a task; things like the start date and finish date, whether it’s manually or auto scheduled, its duration,

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Project 2013 and so on. But sometimes you need to look at or maintain some information about a task and there isn’t a single table that’s got all the information that you need and the Task Information dialog maybe doesn’t have everything. You may also choose to export information from a table, for example into Microsoft Excel to do some external processing, a bit of number crunching somewhere else. That’s where one of the main features of tables come into play that we need to look, and that’s the ability to customize what you can see in a table. Now for the purposes of this exercise I’m going to switch back to the entry table, but I want you to remember that figure for work, the total amount of work involved in our basic tasks in our house build. And what I’m going to do is to introduce a work column into the entry table. Now there’s basically a couple of options. Within Project 2013, there is a new column always available at the end and you can do what we’re going to do here in that right hand column if you want to. But you can actually insert a new column anywhere you like in the display table. So I’m going to choose the start column there and I’m going to right click and I’m going to say Insert column. Now what happens then is I can type a column name if I want to, one of my choosing, or I can just select the field that I want. Now I mentioned a little while ago that there are a lot of fields in Project 2013 and you’re now going to see just how many pieces of information there are. We’re going to go right down to work and we’re going to find down here a little field called Work. By default the header that we get there is Work, but I could rename that column if I wanted to. But the first thing to note is that my work figures have now appeared and you can see the 80 hours, 96 hours, and so on. Let me just right click on the header there and one of the options that I have is to click on Field Settings, and in field settings there’s the field name, Work. Here’s my opportunity to give that a different title. So I could say, let’s say Task Work, and I can choose the alignment for the title, the alignment for the data, the width of the column, and so on. I can also click the Best Fit button which will make sure that this column has its width adjusted to best fit the contained data. So let’s do best fit and there we are. So I’ve now included a new column within this entry table. Now, a couple of things to notice about that, one of them is if I go back to that tables drop down in the Data Group on the View tab again right near the bottom there is second up from the bottom, Save fields as a new table. If you get a particular combination of fields in a table and you particularly like that combination, maybe it’s one you use to do your weekly progress

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Project 2013 updates on your projects. If you click on this option you can save this new table as a new table, give it a name, and it will be available to you from that point onwards by its new name. Also if you’ve made some changes but you want to set the entry table back to how it was to begin with, you just click on Reset to default, and then right at the bottom you have an option, More Tables. If you bring up that option, then as with views you have an option of making a copy of a table, say, the entry table, giving it a name, editing that, putting it into the table organizer. We’ll have a look at that a little bit later on. And you note also here with the tables that the tables in this More Tables dialog are in two groups, the task tables and the resource tables. There are more task tables than resource table, but there are a lot of resource fields and quite a few resource tables as well.

So you can customize pretty much all of the tables.

You can save any

customizations that you want to keep. You can reset, etc. Now while we’re looking at tables, just a couple of other important things. You can not only insert a column, you can hide a particular column. So if I wanted to save a bit of space here, if I select the predecessors column, right click, one of the options is Hide column. No data’s deleted. I haven’t actually gotten rid of those predecessors, they’re just hidden, and at any time I could insert that column back in again. Another point to note here is that when you’re working on the Gantt Chart, there is a Gantt Chart Tools Format tab and on that Format tab there are these column manipulation command button. So there’s an Insert column button, there’s a column settings command with a drop down that includes things like Hide column and Fields settings. Field settings takes us back into that same dialog again that includes things like a Best Fit button. So with this resource names column selected, if I click on Best Fit, of course, it changes the width of that column so that the text in it doesn’t need to wrap in order to show all of the information. So you can use not only the right click contextual menu or the tap and hold contextual menu to work on the columns but you’ve got a whole group of commands here available on the Gantt Chart Tools Format tab for working on columns as well. And then finally on tables what I’m going to do is to use the button on the status bar to switch back to Resource Sheet View and then in Resource Sheet View on the Resource Sheet Tools Format tab let me select one of these columns, say, the group column here, click on Insert column, and I’m given a list of resource attributes and I could setup a new resource column © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 within that table as well. And everything on the resource sheet with the tables appropriate to resources works in just the same way. So that’s pretty much it on tables for now. We’re going to be using those from time to time through the rest of the course. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Video: Timeline View Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look at Timeline View which was introduced in Project 2010 and which is a very good way of getting a good summary of the overall timescales of a project. Now I’m going to demonstrate it at this early stage in our development of this project, but as we go along we’ll see how increasingly it can be useful particularly when we start to look at summary tasks which we’re going to look at in the next section. So, Timeline View. Now the first thing to note is that Timeline View can be shown with virtually any of the standard views in Project 2013. So I’m currently still in Gantt Chart View. I’ve got my modified version of the entry table shown there. I’m just going to pull the divider back to show more of the chart itself and then I’m going to on the View tab in the Split View Group. I’m going to check timeline. What happens is the timeline appears up here. Now at the moment the timeline as such is empty but there is some information. There is a start date for the project which is Monday, March 4th. There is a finish date of the project which is Wednesday, May the 15th. And then there are three other dates marked along the timeline for the whole project and today is marked with a vertical line and a little today marker. Now the principle behind Timeline View is that you choose what you want to show in Timeline View. Now with the rather restricted project we have at the moment, we might choose from these five tasks. Let’s suppose that I wanted to show on there the period of time that I’m actually building the walls. If I right click on the Build walls task, one of the options is right near the bottom there, Add to timeline. And once I do that, what happens is that the Build walls task is shown as a block in Timeline View. So I can actually see how Build walls features in the overall timeline of the project. Now as I mentioned just now typically you would use Timeline View for what are called summary tasks. So you would take the large subdivisions of a project and show those in Timeline View to give you a good summary view of the breakdown of the overall time scale of a project. Even if you have a project that’s spread out over a long period of time and the time scale you’re using, for instance in the Gantt Chart View, it means that you’re not seeing the whole project at once. By using Timeline View, you can really get a good summary view.

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Project 2013 Now let’s do the same thing with touch. Supposing I wanted to show Fitting the roof as well. If I tap on the Fit roof task to select it, tap and hold, up comes my Mini Toolbar, tap on the drop down at the right, and one of the options there is Add to timeline and now I can see Fitting the roof on the Timeline View as well. So you’ve seen how easy it is to add a task to the timeline. Let’s just add Prepare site and it’s just as easy to remove something from the timeline as well. Let’s suppose I wanted to remove the Build walls task. If I right click on it, then there’s an option there Remove from timeline, and it really is as straightforward as that. Now when you have the timeline selected you will see the Timeline Tools Format tab and that has a number of very useful tools on it, some of which are closely associated with one of the main purposes for which the timeline is used and that is to give you a way of putting a summary of a schedule into another document. So let’s look at a couple of examples. Let’s suppose that I’d got say six or seven tasks in the timeline here. One of the things I can do if I say select Prepare site is there is an option for the current selection of displaying it as a call out. So if I do display as callout, what happens is that particular task moves outside the timeline and in effect becomes sort of highlighted and the period of time it covers is now shown as an interval on the timeline. And if I want to move that back inside the timeline bar again, I can just click on display as bar. With the tasks that are in the timeline, I can do various types of formatting to them. For instance, if I selected that task I could change the font, font size, color of the font text. I could even change the fill color. So let me change that to a sort of reddish color. Now in this way you can pretty much make the timeline look any way that you want, highlight particular points. And having made the timeline look just the way that you want it to, what you can then do is to copy it ready to paste into another document. Now within the Timeline Tools Format tab, there is a Copy Group with a Copy Timeline button. If you click on the bottom of that, you have three options:

Copy timeline for email, for a presentation, or full size.

If you copy it for a

presentation, say, you’re going to put it into a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. If you copy and paste it into a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, you’ll then be able to do even more extensive formatting of that timeline within PowerPoint itself. So the ability to add all sorts of effects is there within PowerPoint once you’ve copied and pasted the timeline in. © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 Now, a couple of things to note about the timeline before we move on. Let me add another task. Let me add the task Fit windows and doors to the timeline. Notice how they finish up stacked. You can sometimes finish up with quite a high, tall diagram, not just a long, thin one. And in fact if you drag the horizontal dividing line below the timeline off the bottom of the screen, you finish up with the timeline on its own. And when you’re building up a more complex timeline picture, it can be very useful to work with it in that way. And then again with that selected, with the Timeline Tools Format tab selected, you can copy the timeline in either the small form for email, the medium size for presentation, the large for full size, paste it say into an Outlook email or a PowerPoint presentation as I mentioned just now or perhaps a Word document, and do further formatting there. So that’s enough on Timeline View for the moment; particularly useful if you need to do a presentation summarizing your project. That’s the end of this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 14 – Summary Tasks Video: Inserting Tasks; Subtasks Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to take our first look at summary tasks. And in the context of this building project, it’s a way of grouping a whole related set of tasks together so that we can effectively see the wood for the trees. We can look at a group of tasks as one particular part of our project and then in some situations look at them as a group together and in other situations look at them as separated out into their individual tasks again. So the first thing I’m going to do is to look at one of the tasks we already have which is Prepare site, the first task in that schedule at the moment, and what we’re going to do is to break it down into what might its constituent parts. So what I’m going to do first is to select the task after it, task number two, right click on task number two, and click on Insert task. I’m going to put a new task in there where it actually says now New task, and the first task is going to be Demolition. Hit the Enter key and my new task is in place. Now you’ll notice, of course, that we’ve got the one day estimate. I’m not too worried about that at the moment. But let me now select that task, the one that’s just been inserted, and then what I’m going to do is to select the Task tab. And then on the Task tab in the Schedule Group, one of the options just here, an arrow pointing right, is indent task. And if you look at the screen tip for that, This task becomes a subtask. When I make Demolition a subtask of Prepare site, several things happen. First of all, although the duration of Demolition doesn’t change, it’s still one day with a question mark; it is indented. And Prepare site becomes a summary task. Now you notice that before we did that, Prepare site task had a duration of 10 days. Once a task becomes a summary task, it no longer has its own duration. Its duration is determined by the total duration, the total elapse time of all of its constituent subtasks. So if Demolition is one day question mark, then Prepare site is one day question mark.

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Project 2013 Let’s suppose that I think the demolition is actually going to take five days. So let me just set that at five days, tick on the entry bar, and as you can see the summary task, Prepare site, also has a duration of five days. So we have our first summary task which is Prepare site. Now at this point I always get a little bit concerned because I know there’ll be at least on builder in one country following this and he will basically disagree with what happens next, but I’m really demonstrating here how to use Microsoft Project not how to build a house. So I apologize for the obvious errors in what comes next. I’m just going to put two or three other constituent subtasks within the Prepare site task. So the first thing I’m going to do is put in the next task which is Set out site which basically means that having demolished whatever was there we are going to basically mark out and measure out exactly which bits of the house are going to go where on the site. So now I select Task 3 and this time I’m going to put as my task Set out site and I only need to allow one day for that so I’m going to click on that. Notice that it inherits the level of indent of the task above. So it assumes that this is also a subtask and all I’m going to do here is delete the question mark because I’m happy with one day, click on tick, and I’ve now got a one day task. Now, of course, we know that Set out site won’t happen until Demolition is finished. So let’s select two and three and in the way that we did earlier, let’s make a link between them. And now notice what’s happened to Prepare site, our summary task. It now has a duration of six days because it’s five days followed by one day. The other thing you may already have noticed about Prepare site is that there’s a little wedgy thing there next to the word Prepare and if I click on that wedge what happens is the summary task is collapsed and it just appears as a summary task. Now you’re going to always know it’s a summary task because it’s bold, it’s got that little wedge to indicate that it’s a summary task, and in fact the shape that appears in the Gantt Chart is different. Now as we’ll see later we can certainly customize the way that summary tasks look in the Gant Chart but for the moment by default they’re the tell-tell signs that tell me that I’m dealing with a summary task here. Let me just expand it out again because I want to put in another subtask within the Prepare site summary task. So I’ve selected Lay foundation. In fact, I’m going to put two more tasks in here. This time I’m going to use the command in the Insert Group on the Task tab. I’m just going to click it twice to insert two new tasks. The first new task is In ground plumbing, so this is basically all of the pipe © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 work that’s going on underneath the house; that’s the first part. And then for the second one I’m going to put the task Excavation. That just covers anything else that needs to be done underneath the house before I start working on the foundations. Now the In ground plumbing, I’m going to allow just two days for and the Excavation two days for as well. Tick that and notice that because I haven’t put the dependencies in yet, I still need to set those up. Link and my Prepare site task now has its original duration of 10 days. But I’ve now got all of the constituent tasks that make it up. Now what I want to do is to look at some of the dependencies that exist within this schedule now. If I select Task 6 which is Lay foundation, what I want to do now is to put it into Split View so that I can look at some of the properties of Task 6. So on the View tab click on Details and that shows me by default the task form. You probably noticed before that the task form can take different forms. If I right click within that form while it’s displayed, I can choose which of the tables or combinations of tables of data are shown. If I wanted to say see resources and predecessors, if I select that on the contextual menu I see here the resources that are used. There are none currently used in Lay foundation, and the only predecessor is Prepare site. Now the important thing here is that prepare site is itself a summary task and since all of these other tasks, subtasks, Demolition; Set out site; In ground plumbing; Excavation, are all subtasks of Prepare site, there is no need for me to setup a dependency between those individual subtasks and the task Lay foundation. Now I certainly wouldn’t want to lay the foundations of my house before I’d done the in ground plumbing, so I put in all the waste pipes, water supply, etc. But I don’t need to worry about that because these subtasks are all within the Prepare site summary task and the whole of the Prepare site summary task is a predecessor of Lay foundation. Now I need to point out one or two other important things to you about summary tasks, but one thing I want to point out now, although we will be coming back to it in more detail later on, is that when you’re dealing with a summary task like this one, Prepare site, you wouldn’t normally work out what resources you need for Prepare site itself. You would normally work out the resources you need for each of the subtasks, and then effectively the resources for the summary task are the sort of rolled up total of all of those resources; but more on resources later on. For the moment, I want to concentrate on actually setting up the summary task and in particular © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 looking at dependencies. So I’m just going to get rid of that task form for the moment and I’m going to now turn my attention to one of the other tasks which is Fit windows and doors. Now I’m going to split that job up into two parts. I’m going to have a Fit windows part and a Fit doors part just to demonstrate something in particular. So I’ll select Task 9 and then on the Task tab, I’ll click on Insert task twice and I’m going to say Fit doors and I’ll say Fit windows. Now I’m going to select Task 9 and Task 10, both of them, and then I’m going to indent them to make them subtasks. I can select as many of those I like and indent them. What I’ve now got is that Fit windows and doors is a summary task and it has two subtasks. Now let me select the Fit windows task, right click, click on Insert task, and this time I’m going to say Ground floor doors, tick, indent, and now Fit doors is actually itself a summary task within Fit windows and doors. Let’s put another one of those summary tasks in there. You can probably guess what’s coming next, and this demonstrates that you can have summary tasks operating at multiple levels. So in this case we could separate out the task of fitting the ground floor doors and fitting the upper floor doors and, of course, those two tasks could be further broken down into the individual doors if I wanted to. What you choose as the level to which you’re preparing this schedule is a very subjective thing and if I say now split out the ground floor doors and I put in six separate subtasks there for Ground floor door 1, Ground floor door 2, Ground floor door 3. There’s absolutely no reason I shouldn’t do that but it’s going to start to become quite an unwieldy project. Whether you need to do that or not will be very subjective. It will very much depend on your approach and the requirements of your particular project. But clearly you could do that and you can have summary tasks operating at multiple nested levels. So having split Fit windows and doors into the subtasks of Fit doors and Fit windows, and then further subdivided each of those, what I’m now going to do is to put in the proper time estimates for each of those jobs. So I reckon the ground floor doors to be four days work. I reckon the upper floor doors to be two days work. The ground floor windows three days; the upper floor windows three days, giving me a total of 12 days work for our carpenter. Now the number of doors we set at nine so we’re now talking about five doors on the ground floor and four doors on the upper floor. And the number of windows is 12; that should be six windows on the ground floor and six windows on the upper floor, so an even split.

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Project 2013 Now the next thing that I’d like you to do, this is your exercise. I’m going to save this as example_09. I would like you to allocate those resources to the subtasks. They won’t be allocated to the summary tasks at either level. They’ll be allocated at the subtasks. So the doors are five on the ground floor, four on the upper floor. The windows are 12 in total and there are six on the ground floor and six on the upper floor. And then in the next section what we’re going to do is to look at the scheduling issues here because in theory, we could be fitting say the upper floor doors while we’re fitting the upper floor windows; ground floor doors while we’re doing the ground floor windows. But there is another factor. It isn’t only down to dependencies. It’s also down to resources and if we’ve only got one carpenter on the job, we’re going to need to make sure that we get the carpenter working on those jobs in the right sequence. And so we’re going to look at scheduling next. But just to summarize that task again. I’m going to save this as example_09 and you’re going to allocate the windows and doors as I just said. Don’t worry about putting the tasks in sequence because that’s what we’re going to do in the next section. My answer to this question is example_10 in the supplied files. 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

Chapter 15 – Scheduling Video: Scheduling Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to start to look at scheduling which is probably the fundamental aspect of Microsoft Project 2013 for most people. And what we mean by scheduling is to take all of the information we’ve got about our project and the tasks in it, and coming up with a sequence of events that satisfies all sorts of criteria. Even if we don’t have an end date in mind, let’s take our building project for example. If we’re not specifically aiming at an end date, when we start it will normally be the case that we’ll want to get the job finished as quickly as possible. If you’re building houses, it’s obviously a high priority to get those houses on the market, sold, and moving on to your next job as quickly as you can. So what scheduling is about is taking a load of facts and producing a working schedule that makes best use of the resources available and gets the job done in a timely manner. So let me talk first about some of the key factors that come into play when we’re scheduling, and let’s start with resources. Whatever sort of project you’re working on there will be limitations on resources. If you look at our house build example which is still pretty straightforward, if you look at this row here, the Build walls task, we have a brick layer allocated. Now if I had two or three brick layers maybe I could get the building of those walls done more quickly. But if I really have only one or I’ve got two, then it really is going to constrain you quickly I can do some parts of the job. Having said that, putting just dozens and dozens of brick layers on won’t necessarily reduce the time taken to build walls proportionally. There’s a balance. There’s an ideal number. And sometimes other factors will come in when it comes to the availability of resources. For instance, if I wanted to get those walls built more quickly, I might put my brick layer on overtime pay, but then obviously that’s going to increase the cost of building the house. So resource availability itself is quite a complex issue. If you look at the question of bricks for example, then assuming that we’ve got a good supply for bricks, the number of bricks available isn’t generally going to be a constraint as such, but it is important that the bricks are available on site by the date that we need to start using them.

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Project 2013 Another very important factor in scheduling is the presence of dependencies. So for example, at the moment we’ve got a pretty straightforward dependency between building walls and fitting windows and door, and that is that we can’t start fitting the windows and doors until we’ve built the walls. That’s actually a bit over simplistic and we’re going to review that dependency later on. But it’s certainly true that you can’t start fitting any windows and doors until you’ve done a certain amount of brick work. You couldn’t start fitting the windows and doors at the same moment that you started building the walls because you’d have no walls to fit the windows and doors to. So dependencies can play an important part as well. Another factor that we haven’t looked at, at all yet but which we’ll come to in a later section is what are generally referred to as constraints. Within a project you may, for example, have a constraint whereby a certain task has to be finished by a certain date or some external factor which occurs at or by a certain date will affect your project. When this happens, you may have one or more tasks with constraints on them. So for instance, something can’t start until the 1st of May or something has to be finished by the 30th of June. Perhaps the most important factor to bear in mind when you are looking at scheduling a project though is that it is potentially a complex process. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s difficult to do but what it does mean is that you need to understand many of the factors involved in scheduling in order to do it in a way that suits your project and your requirements. What I’d like to do in this section is to look at some of the important underlying factors, and then in the next section we’re going to look at something called leveling. But let’s begin with those important factors. And the first thing I want to look at is this copy of example_10 which is the building project where we’ve got a couple of summary tasks, and within those summary tasks I’ve correctly allocated some of the physical resources that are needed. Now if I look in Fit windows and doors and just expand that summary task notice something. I allocated carpenter to all four of those tasks. I’ve got the right numbers of doors and the right numbers of windows and in the left hand column in the table with the Gantt Chart, the entry table in this case, notice the little red person symbols. Now in that I column, this is basically indicators column that I haven’t mentioned before, that’s going to show us any issues, any problems that we’ve got and we can see that we have a problem here. And the problem that we have that’s indicated by the red © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 person symbol is that we have a resource allocation issue. Now notice that actually in this indicator column against one of the tasks, say, Task 14, I’ve actually got two messages. The first message says This task has a start note earlier than constraint on Tuesday, April 2nd. I talked about constraints just now and we’re going to come back to constraints in a later section. For the moment I don’t really want to worry about constraints. This is basically there because of when the task was added to the schedule and it doesn’t really affect the scheduling as such that we’re doing now. I want to concentrate on the resource aspects of scheduling in this section to begin with. The second message: This task has overallocated resources. Right click for options. That’s the one that I particularly want to look at so let’s right click and what we get is a contextual menu, many things we can do there, but right at the top we have Fix in Task Inspector. Reschedule to available date. Now if I were manually going to resolve any scheduling issues here I could do, for instance, Reschedule to available date. Now I want you to watch very carefully what happens if I choose that option. Notice that the carpenter, we can see that the carpenter is going to be the person who is overallocated because that’s the person that’s working on all four of those tasks. Watch what happens to that last of the carpenter tasks if I choose Reschedule to available date. You can see that the carpenter moves out to the next available date when he or she will not be overallocated. So basically the second, the upper floor windows task, is now going to be later than the ground floor doors task. Now it may well be that that completely solves your overallocation problem, it may not be. But one important aspect of what we’ve just done is that we have manually resolved an issue.

We’ve gone in and said I’m going to

reschedule that particular task. Now on a small project that may be a perfectly good way of doing it and in fact even with a big project it may be a perfectly good way of doing it. But if you are dealing with a big project, the chances are that you don’t want to manually intervene on every one of the overallocation issues and we’re going to talk about a more general and automated approach to solving these problems as we go along in the rest of the course. But if you look at the other three tasks that the carpenter is involved in you can see we’ve still got overallocation symbols on those three and we would have to go through now and do the same thing on two more of those in order to completely resolve the overallocation issues with the carpenter’s time.

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

Project 2013 Okay, I’ve put that task back to where it was. So I’ve still got overallocation on all four of those tasks. We shouldn’t lose sight of another way of resolving this overallocation issue and if I switch to Resource Sheet View and look at carpenter, one of the ways of resolving this is to change that 100% to 400% and say that I’ve actually got four carpenters. If I now go back into Gantt View, of course, I have no overallocation because I’ve got four carpenters. They can all work on one task each and I’ve got no further overallocation. That isn’t always possible and it isn’t always economical but if you can do that, that’s a very simple way of overcoming scheduling problems. So what I’ve shown you there are a couple of simple ways of overcoming scheduling problems. When your projects are quite large and complex, it might be the case that you very rarely get the sort of scheduling problems that can be solved with those kinds of simple solution. But it is very important always to bear the simple solutions in mind.

It may well be that manually

rescheduling one or two tasks or just getting some extra resource for a period of time can solve a scheduling problem. And rather than make the scheduling extremely complex and trying to make a schedule fit when it’s just destined not to, just getting a little bit of extra resource or perhaps looking for the simple solution is very often the best way of solving scheduling issues. So now I’m back to this particular house build task at the way it was before, number 14 there. If I again do what I did before, so right click on that and say Reschedule to available date, it moves that task out and removes the overallocation as it did before. But now I want to open that task up and look at the task information. The important thing here is according to the task information on the General tab that is still an auto scheduled task. So although Project 2013 has rescheduled it for me, in order to remove the resource allocation that is not the same as manually scheduling the task. I may have gone through and manually decided which task I want to resolve the overallocation on but it hasn’t made it into a manually scheduled task. The reason that’s extremely important is that as I progress with this project, I add other tasks. I record what’s actually happened and so on. It may be necessary for Project 2013 to reschedule that particular task again, and all the time that tasks are auto scheduled, then Project 2013 can do a lot of the work for you in terms of resolving any scheduling problems, including resource overallocation issues.

If I changed it to being a

manually scheduled task, so if I actually clicked on manually scheduled, said OK, and made it a © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 manually scheduled task, then having scheduled it for the dates it’s currently scheduled for Project 2013 will not try to reschedule it for me whatever needs to be done. From that point onwards this task is a manually scheduled task and it’s up to me to adjust it. If it finished up with a resource overallocation because it was clashing with something else, Project 2013 wouldn’t reschedule that task for me. I would have to resolve everything myself. Now this is a situation that can be an advantage and it can be a disadvantage. It can be an advantage in that if you’ve got certain tasks, certain things in your project that must happen on a certain day or in a certain week or by a certain time and you really want to fix those make them manually scheduled, then Project 2013 will not reschedule them for you.

On the other hand, once

something is manually scheduled, then it really does mean that Project 2013 will not try to solve problems with it by moving it for you. So once something is manually scheduled it’s all up to you. You can, of course, change something back from being manually scheduled to auto scheduled but you need to be aware of which are which. And one more thing to bear in mind, and this will also mean a little bit more to you later on in the course, there is a way of fixing something in time even if it’s an auto scheduled task. I’m going to talk about constraints later on, but let me just open up that upper floor windows task again, change it back to auto scheduled, and if I go to the Advanced tab one of the options on the Advanced tab is Constraint type. If I really want to force an auto scheduled task to start on a certain date, then I can just click in here, choose Must start on, and then specify the date that it must start on and that will also fix the start date for that task without making it manually scheduled, but more on the use of constraints for that type of purpose later on in the course. For the moment, I’m going to change that back to being an auto scheduled task with a constraint of Start as soon as possible. So as I’m sure you can already see scheduling can be quite a complex process and there are no absolute rules in terms of what is the best way to go about it for any particular type of project. But one of the things that you can very often use to really substantially solve a lot of scheduling issues is resource leveling and that’s what we’re going to look at in the next section. So please join me for that.

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

Project 2013

Chapter 16 – Leveling Video: Basics of Leveling Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In last section we looked at some of the basic ideas behind scheduling. In this section we’re going to look at leveling which is a process whereby we level the resources on a project or at least try to. We try to get to a situation where none of the resources are overallocated. Now what I’m going to do in this section is to demonstrate leveling first and then to discuss exactly what’s happened and how we control it. So let’s get started. We’re still looking at the same schedule and in this case we’ve got four resource overallocations for the carpenter. In order to demonstrate leveling, what I’m going to do though is to change the view and we’re going to bring up a particular variant on the Gantt Chart. So click on Gantt Chart, come to More Views, and one of the views there is Leveling Gantt. So apply the Leveling Gantt View. Now when you look at the Leveling Gantt one of the columns you can see in the table is this column, leveling delay, and the basic thing that happens when you level a project or part of a project is that leveling delay is adding to some of the tasks. Now when you see a time period like the time period, you can see here edays; you can also get things like eweeks, it’s elapsed. So an eday is a 24-hour elapsed period. It doesn’t relate to the number of working hours in a day, for example. It’s just an elapsed period. So if something has a leveling delay of three edays, it means that task has been delayed by three elapsed days. It’s moved later in our schedule. When you first look at a new project or one that hasn’t been leveled before anyway, then all of the leveling delays will normally be set to zero edays and when you perform leveling, then some of the tasks will get a leveling delay added to them. So what I’m going to do now is to level this project and you’ll see what effect that has. Notice at the moment that we’ve still got these four carpenter tasks over here. We’ve still got the four red markers to indicate overallocation. So let’ do some leveling. Let’s go to the Resource tab an in the Level Group on the Resource tab right in the middle there’s a button that says Level All, and this will level the entire project. Now generally speaking you wouldn’t necessarily level an entire project. You’d probably level part of it, maybe just over some time period or for one or two resources, but let’s do a Level All

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Project 2013 to see what happens. Now when we’ve done a level all here, what actually happens is that we find that some of the tasks have leveling delays defined. Upper floor doors has got a 15 eday, elapsed day leveling delay. Now what that means if you look at the relevant part of the Gantt Chart on the right is that the little green block is where the task originally was and the blue block is where it is now, and that represents a 15 elapsed day delay. Similarly, if you look at ground floor windows that’s got a seven elapsed day delay and upper floor windows has got a 12 elapsed eday delay. Notice that all of the overallocation markers have gone. So Project 2013 has successfully removed all of the overallocations on this project. Now I haven’t talked so far about end dates and so on but I’m sure you can realize from this that it will have effectively pushed back the end date of our project because we’ve delayed some of the tasks within the project. That won’t always happen though, but very often it will. Now notice that we were only getting overallocations for the carpenter, but because we said level all, all of the project has been leveled. So, even some of the tasks like Lay foundation which aren’t jobs that the carpenter was working on and didn’t have an overallocation problem have been leveled. Of course, the leveling delay is zero edays but you can still see the green and blue blocks there just emphasizing the fact that there was no delay added to this task. To undo the affects of leveling you could just use the Undo button. But within the Level Group there is also a Clear Leveling button which basically clears all the leveling that’s been done on a selected part of the project. So let’s just say clear leveling. Entire project or selected tasks? We’ll go for entire project and basically that’ll put things back to the way that they were. Now let’s look at another approach. Let’s click this time on Level Resource and what that does is to give us a list of resources for the project and we can choose a specific resource like in this case Carpenter and click on Level Now and what happens is that just the task for which the carpenter is a resource is subject to leveling. As before, the leveling has removed all of the overallocations. So what I want to look at next are the leveling options which are also accessible from the Level Group on the Resource tab. So click on Leveling Options and you get the Resource Leveling dialog and we’re going to go through this starting at the top. Some of these options take a little bit of explanation. Right at the top the first one, Leveling calculations, you have a choice of automatic or manual and I have this currently set at manual and, in fact, I pretty much always © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 have this set at manual. If you have it set at automatic, then while you’re working on your project, Project 2013 will be leveling the resources for you. I find that this can be incredibly annoying really because until you’ve got the project in you may not have made final decisions about who to allocate resources to and sometimes until you can see the whole picture, it’s difficult to make specific decisions about individual tasks in terms of resource assignments. So for example, if I’ve got a general resource called Carpenter but maybe I’ve got three named carpenters, I may want to put carpenter on each of the tasks for which a carpenter is needed and then decide who does which job later. Having allocated the resource carpenter to each of those tasks, it will probably get pretty much overallocated straightaway. But, of course, that’s only a temporary measure until I assign the named carpenters. Now you may choose to work with leveling calculation set to automatic, that’s entirely up to you, but I generally have it set at manual all of the time. Now the next option says Look for overallocations on a, and then you have a drop down where you can choose between minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month basis.

When you allocate resources to the various tasks in your project, you will

sometimes find that somebody appears to be overallocated and they aren’t really. Let me give you an example. Let’s suppose that you have a particular resource who’s allocated for 50% of their time in a particular week to do a particular task, so half of their time is being used throughout the week to do a task. So they’re certainly not overallocated if they don’t have any other tasks. But let’s suppose that that resource has to take a day off say to go to the doctors. So the person is working four days and at the doctors on one day. Now during that four days, that person can quite easily do the five half days of work, the two and a half days of work that you’ve got allocated. But the problem is that according to the schedule on one day, they can’t do that half day. Now you and I know that they can spread the half they can’t do because they’re at the doctors over the rest of the week but Project 2013 doesn’t necessarily know that. It can’t make those sorts of assumptions itself. Now if we look for overallocations on a day by day basis, Project 2013 in that situation would find a problem because it would say that person who’s scheduled to work on that task for half of their time can’t do any of it on that particular day because they’re at the doctors. Their calendar says that they’re not available. But we know that they can spread the work out over the week. Now in that situation if we looked for allocations on a week by week basis, there wouldn’t be a problem because Project would add up what © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 they’ve got allocated for the week, so they’ve got two and a half days of actual work, that’s 50% of a five day week and a day at the doctor. So two and a half plus one, that’s three and a half days in a five day working week; there isn’t an overallocation. Now how you do this and which of these options you choose will very much depend on you, your project, and your approach to resource leveling. I tend on this sort of project that takes a period of weeks or months, I would tend to have overallocations looked for on a week by week basis. But we’re going to run with day by day at the moment and then we’ll look at one or two of the problems that occur as we come across them later on. Now let’s look at the next option which is a checkbox, Clear leveling values before leveling. You’ve already seen that the way that leveling works is to add a leveling delay and what you can do by having that checkbox checked is that each time that Project 2013 tries to level your project or a selected part of your project, it begins by clearing the leveling that it’s done before and effectively starting from scratch. Now the significance of that will become more apparent later on but I generally work on the principle that I clear leveling values before leveling, so I ask it to make a fresh start. It still has all the rules in place, the resource availability may have changed, tasks may have changed, introduced, deleted, completed and so on, so I generally tend to find that starting from scratch with that on any particular occasion gives better results. But again it’s partly a matter of personal preference. Now roughly in the middle of the Resource Leveling dialog there we have a couple of options where we can decide whether to level the entire project or whether to level a selected date range. We’ve seen that before.

But below that we have options related to how to resolve

overallocations and the rules to follow when resolving overallocations. Now these rules related to resolving overallocations you need to understand pretty well so we’re going to concentrate on those in the next section. That’s it for this one. I’ll see you then.

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Project 2013

Video: Leveling Order; Resolving Resource Overallocations Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this previous section we started looking at leveling, covered some of the basics of how to level all or part of a project, and we got to the leveling options regarding how to resolve overallocations. In this section we’re going to concentrate on the last batch of those options and we’re going to start by looking at leveling order which is a very important option to understand. Now in the Resource Leveling dialog in the Leveling Order control there are three options: ID only, Standard, and Priority, comma, Standard which means priority followed by standard. By default that is set at standard and standard is the setting that was used when I leveled this project before. Now in standard what Project 2013 does is to look at a number of factors including dependencies, dates, and priorities in order to determine which tasks to delay in order to resolve resource overallocations. If you look at what actually happened here, let me just move that dialog out of the way, we had four tasks to begin with: ground floor doors, upper floor doors, ground floor windows, and upper floor windows. They were all starting on the same date. It delayed three of them and the one that it delayed the most was upper floor doors. It delayed ground floor windows by seven elapsed days and upper floor windows by 12 elapsed days. Elapsed days will include weekends. Now why it did that, it’s a function of the calculation that it does. But let’s look at the impact of these other options on how they would have approached the leveling here. Let’s first of all look at ID only. In the case of ID only, the way that resource leveling works is to base it purely on the IDs of the tasks. The higher the ID the more likely a task is to be delayed. So the task near the beginning of the project will tend to be the ones that keep their timescales and the ones later on will be the ones that tend to be delayed. Now you may remember me mentioning right near the beginning of the course that in effect the sequence of the tasks in terms of how they appear in the project schedule isn’t really important, but this is one of those aspects where it is in that by implication here the tasks that have higher ID numbers, the ones that are lower down if you like in your chart, are the ones that are generally going to be later and therefore the ones that generally you’re going to be more likely to be prepared to delay when you have resource overallocation issues. So that is one situation in which there is some significance in the position of a task within the list

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Project 2013 of project tasks. And it also is another reason to, generally speaking, have the earlier tasks near the beginning of the project. So what I’m going to do now is to make sure that I’ve got that ID only selected and I’m going to clear the existing leveling for the entire project. And now when I level the entire project, I should see the ID only option take effect. So click on Level All and what happens this time is that the leveling delay that’s added to the tasks which were overallocated is strictly in order of ID. So the task with ID 10 is not delayed at all, 11 is delayed by seven elapsed days, 13 by nine elapsed days, 14 by 14 elapsed days. And now my overallocations have gone and I’ve used the option of ID based leveling. Now let’s look at incorporating priority into leveling. So what I’m going to do here is to clear the existing leveling for the entire project, then I’m going to choose one of the tasks. What about ground floor windows? Double click to open up the task information and I’m going to give that task a priority of 520, so a slightly higher priority than all of the other tasks within my project. Click on OK. Now go into Leveling Options and in the leveling order I’m going to select the third option which is Priority, comma, Standard, click on OK, and now let me do a level all. And what you’ll now find is that the task with the higher priority which is ground floor windows, Task 13, is now the one that doesn’t get delayed. The other three tasks all have the same priority as each other so the order in which they are leveled is the standard order which, in this case, means that ground floor doors happens first, then upper floor windows, and then upper floor doors. So that’s the three options for leveling order. Now let’s look at the other options within the resolving overallocation section of the Resource Leveling dialog. First of all, we have level only within available slack. Now we haven’t talked about slack yet. We’re going to talk about that in a subsequent section when we talk about the critical path. But basically if you have this checked, Level only within available slack, Project 2013 is constrained to leveling in such a way that you don’t delay the overall project. Some of the tasks which are overallocated or which share overallocated resource it may be possible to delay without delaying the overall project. And basically if you have this option checked, they’re the only ones that Project 2013 is going to add a leveling delay to. So it will only level tasks where you don’t

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Project 2013 affect the end date. Now at the moment I don’t have that checked so that means that leveling in the case of the project I’m working on here could involve delaying the overall project. We’ll talk about slack later on and then I think this option will mean a lot more to you. Now to fully understand the next option you’re going to need to know a little bit more about how work is distributed in a task. I’m going to come back to that later on. But basically what this option here, Leveling can adjust individual assignments on a task, what that means is that leveling is allowed to adjust one resources work schedule on a task independently of other resources that are working on the same task. Now in some situations that may be reasonable and in others it may not. And the next one also may be reasonable in some circumstances and not in others. Leveling can create splits in remaining work. Let’s suppose that you’re partway through a task, you’ve done say half of a task and you have a resource overallocation issue. Generally speaking, because the task is started, then Project 2013 won’t be able to reschedule the start date of the task because it’s already started. But if you allow Project 2013 to split a task what it can do is to spread it into two. The work that’s completed is completed, so it’s in the past. And the work that remains to be done effectively forms a new task that can be leveled, so it can have a leveling delay added to it and that work can be moved off into the future. Now given the type of work that you do, the type of projects you manage and the type of task, it may or may not be reasonable for you to allow that when you’re working on your projects. Now the last two options here I’m going to deal with quite quickly. One of them, Level resources with the proposed booking type, there are booking types and one of them is propose. This is where you’ve got a request to use a resource but you haven’t actually got a committed resource assignment yet. We’re not going to be talking about propose booking types on this course but if you do use propose booking types, then you can see here whether those proposed bookings should be included in the resource leveling calculations. Bear in mind that with a proposed booking you may not have confirmed it, you may not know whether you’re actually going to have that task or indeed the relevant resource working on that task. The last option, Level manually scheduled tasks. We’ve talked about manually scheduled task. If you want to include manually scheduled tasks within resource leveling, then make sure this

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Project 2013 checkbox is checked and the resources used on manually scheduled tasks will be rolled into the leveling process with the ones that are in the auto scheduled tasks as well. So that’s pretty much it on the Resource Leveling dialog and there’s just one other thing I want to show you in relation to leveling. Let me just clear this leveling again one more time, clear it for the whole project, go back and select the first task again. One of the things that you can do is to step through the leveling requirements for a project using the Next overallocation button in the Level Group on the Resource tab. So if I click on Next overallocation, it takes me to the next overallocation. Of course, in this project, which is quite a small, simple project, we only have four and they’re all for the same resource. But if you just want to step from overallocation to overallocation, look at each particular situation, and maybe resolve it manually or at least consider whether it’s appropriate to resolve it in an automatic way the next overallocation can help you with that. And then also if you want to take a look at overallocations and what the shape of them is, don’t forget if we go back to View we can go to the Resource Usage View or Resource Graph. Let’s go to Resource Usage. In tabular form, you can identify whether resource overallocations are. If you look at the list of resources here, you can see that carpenter has a nice yellow warning sign there. This resource is overallocated. A list of the tasks that that resource is working on and then if I step through I can find red wherever there is a resource overallocation. So in this case, in that particular week we have 88 hours work scheduled for the carpenter against the background working week of 40 hours. And of course, let’s just have one quick look then at the Resource Graph, apply the resource graph, let’s find carpenter. We can see overallocated in red there and again if we step through it’s easy to see where the overallocation occurs. So that’s it on resource leveling for now and that’s it in this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 17 – Critical Path and Milestones Video: Critical Tasks; Critical Filter Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look at the critical path for a project. So, first of all, what is the critical path of a project and why is it important? The critical path is the set of tasks that must be completed for the project to be completed on schedule. Even with a project that’s not particularly big, there are usually some tasks that could be delayed without affecting the overall end date or duration of a project. But there’s also a set of tasks that can’t be delayed and that set of tasks is the critical path and it’s normally a sequence of tasks that are from the beginning of the project right through to the end of the project. With virtually every project you deal with, it’ll be important to know what the critical path is. And the first thing we’re going to do in this section is to see how to identify the critical path of a project. Now what I’ve done is to add a few more details to our building project. So I’ve added some subtasks under Lay foundation and some subtasks under Build walls and under Fit roof. So I’ve still got my five summary tasks but each of them now has a number of subtasks, and if I expand each of those you see that the project is beginning to grow in size. On the Gantt Chart Tools Format tab, one of the options is a checkbox in the Bar Styles Group for critical tasks. And if you click on this checkbox, you will show the critical tasks of the project in red. So click there are you can see that everything under Prepare site, everything under Lay foundation, everything under Build walls, it’s all red which means they are all critical tasks. If I go down to the bottom, everything under Fit roof is critical as well. In fact, the only tasks that aren’t critical are the Fit windows and doors task. Now in words the reason for that is that in effect Fit windows and doors happens in parallel according to this schedule with the task of fitting the roof and because the fitting a roof task takes longer, the fitting doors and fitting windows task could take a little longer than we intend without having the overall project delayed. Now, of course, at this stage I’m still looking at a version of this schedule where I have resource overallocation issues. And if I now level the resource, let’s see if my critical path changes. So I’m going to go to the Resource tab. I’m going to say Level all. It levels the tasks for the carpenter who was the only overallocated resource and those tasks are still blue. So the red

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Project 2013 tasks, the ones that were critical are still critical and the blue tasks, the ones that were noncritical are still noncritical. Now it’s very important to know at any time when you’re working on a project which the critical path and which the critical tasks are because they’re the ones that you must complete on schedule in order for the project to finish on the currently planned finish date, whereas for the noncritical tasks such as ground floor doors here, we’ve got what is called slack. We can actually have a certain amount of delay on that task without delaying the overall project. And it’s slack that we’re going to look at next. Now again if I go to the Gantt Chart Tools Format tab and look in that Bar Styles Group, there is a checkbox there which can show a line to represent slack in a task. Now let’s enable slack in this view. For each of the critical tasks, the red ones, there is no slack. But if you look at say this blue ground floor doors task here, you can see a little line coming out of the bottom of it. That line denotes the slack. And basically all four of those blue tasks have slack that takes them up to a deadline; effectively it’s the deadline that would correspond to the point that the roof is finished. So right up to the time that the finishing of the roof is done which on the current schedule is the end of the building of the house, those could be delayed right up until then without affecting the end date. So we’re basically working on the principle that, say, in the case of ground floor doors, there’s quite a lot of slack available there. And in the case of this one, ground floor windows, quite a bit of slack as well, the others have less slack. Now apart from showing slack like this on the Gantt Chart, don’t forget you can always show in the table that sort of property of a task. So let me just right click here on task work, do insert column. Let me just scroll down here and one of the fields is Finish slack. And you can see what the finish slack is for each of my noncritical tasks, how much the finish of that task could be delayed by without delaying the overall finish of the project. So, again, a very useful way to use the ability to customize the shown table to show the numbers that correspond to the bars in the bar chart there, in the Gantt Chart, that show the available slack in each of those noncritical tasks. Now if you have a very big project, it can be quite difficult to see all of the critical path in view at once and you may have odd critical tasks all over the project. Apart from the ability to flag

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Project 2013 the critical task by showing them red as we did here, another thing you can do is to use a filter in the Gantt Chart. And in fact filtering in general in a Gantt Chart is a pretty useful thing to be able to do. So what I’m going to do here is just switch off the slack in the Gantt Chart for the moment, and what I’m going to do is to go to the View tab and in the View tab one of the groups there is the Data Group. We already looked at tables in the Data Group, but we also have here the ability to filter. Now at the moment, no filter is applied but if I want to just show specific tasks in this Gantt Chart, I can apply one of the standard filters. Click on the drop down to the right there for a standard filter and one of the standard filters is critical. Amongst the other filters we have tasks that are active, ones that are in progress at the moment, tasks that are complete, tasks that are not completed, ones that are currently running late, milestones, summary tasks, a number of others, and you can actually create filters of your own. But at the moment, we’re just going to look at critical and we’ll be dealing with one or two of those other filters later on. So let’s just show the critical tasks. Now what that then means is that we lose the noncritical tasks and we can identify just the critical ones and you can see the sequence of those through the life of this project. So although I only have some of the tasks for the house building project here, I’ve got enough really to talk about the fundamental work that we’re going to do over the next few sections of the course. Typically in a situation with a project like this one, one of our objectives will be to shorten the critical path. We currently start work on a certain date. Let’s bring up the timeline which will tell us that currently we start on April 2nd and we finish on June 5th, and one of the requirements we may be given is we want to finish that by the end of May. Now how can I shorten a critical path? Shortening the critical path is something that a project manager will do quite a lot when they’re using Microsoft Project. Now there are a few basic possibilities but if we start at the very highest level of possibilities given the critical path as it is now, you can either shorten some of these tasks, so a task like demolition five days. Could I do it in four days? A task like footings and slabs three days. Could I do in two days? And so on. And by reducing the duration of the tasks, I can reduce the length of the critical path or I can change the relationships between the tasks. Generally speaking, at the moment none of these critical tasks overlap each other. But is the process of building this house such that some of these could overlap each other? Could I

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Project 2013 start building the upper floor walls before I finish the ground floor walls? Some of these questions are sort of theoretical questions in a way and you might well say well, how can you possibly start building the upper floor walls before you finish the ground floor walls? And some of them may be a combination of theoretical and practical in that you might say well in fact, you could but what if you’ve only got one brick layer? He can’t do both. So maybe your resources will constrain what you can do anyway, and it’s very difficult to generalize about what can and what cannot be overlapped. But if we look at this particular building project which is what we’re going to do a little bit later on, we can look at specific tasks within it and based on what needs to be done and based on the resources that we have available, we can look at opportunities to overlap some of the tasks. So we’ve got making the tasks shorter and we’ve got overlapping the tasks. Now when we talk about making tasks shorter, it isn’t only about reducing the amount of work. It’s often more about reducing the elapsed time for tasks. So it might be five days work but could we do five days work in three days? And then we look at options like what about working overtime? So in each of these situations there are very practical considerations and there’s usually at least two or three different approaches to achieve a specific objective. So having identified the critical path in our project, now let’s start looking at some of the ways that we can reduce this critical path. Before we do that though, we need to look at a very special kind of task which is a milestone and that’s what we’re going to look at in the next section so I’ll see you then.

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Project 2013

Video: Milestones; Milestone Filter Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to take a quick look at milestones which represent significant points in the life of a project and are often represented as zero duration tasks. Milestones are used for various purposes. You might use a milestone in a project just to act as staging points for yourself as reference points, perhaps at points which you want to get together with the rest of your team to celebrate having got to that milestone, but also to focus attention on the work to be done during the next period of the project. Milestones are often associated with a payment schedule for a project. So when a certain milestone has been achieved, then one of the payments needs to be made. It’s also a very good way of reporting progress at management level on any project. And what I’m going to do here is just introduce a couple of simple milestones into our building project, and the first milestone I’m going to put in is going to be when the building is complete. So in order to do that, I’m going to remove the critical filter on the Gantt Chart and go back to no filter so I can see all of the tasks. And then what I’m going to do is to say that I’ll consider the building complete when the roof has been fitted. So I’m going to put in a milestone here which is Building complete, click on the duration. Note that by default it gets the same indentation level as the task above it which is finishing within the Fit roof summary task. You can outdent a task as well as indent it. So with that one selected, if I click on the Task tab and use that Outdent task button and change the duration from one day question mark to zero days and then click tick on the entry bar, and I have a milestone. By default, milestones are shown in a Gantt Chart as diamonds rather than bars. And as I said just now this particular milestone is going to be achieved when fitting the roof is complete. So if I select the Fit roof task, hold the Control key down and select Building complete, I can create a link between those two.

There is my

milestone. It’s June 5th and that is the building complete milestones. So I’m going to add one more milestone. I’m going to put a milestone in for when the site preparation is complete. What I could do here is to just insert a task just below where all of the subtasks of Prepare site appear. But just to make things easier, one thing you can do which avoids the need to do insert task and so on, you can always type a task right at the end like this. So if I put a task in there saying Site prepared. I’m going to make it into a milestone so I’m © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 going to set it’s duration at zero days, and then what you can do is to drag it into position. Now you can do this with the mouse or with your fingers if you’re using a touch device. I’m going to do it with the mouse here but it works equally well with touch. Select that task, note the crosshair cursor when you’re using the mouse, drag it up to the position you want it. Note that as I drag it, you see that thick horizontal black line that shows where the task will appear if I release it. If I release it there and then do the outdent on it so that it becomes a separate task, then select Prepare site, hold the Control key down and select Site prepared, click on the Link command, and I now have Site prepared as a milestone that happens after the Prepare site summary task is complete. So I’ve setup two milestones; one for April 15th, one for June the 5th. And on the View tab, one of the options in the Data Group there under the filters is a milestone filter which would just show the milestones in your project. So if you just want a summary in terms of project milestones, that’s pretty useful as well. And of course, we just have those two milestones in our project at the moment. Now there’s just one other thing to mention here about milestones. I said right at the beginning of this section that, generally speaking, a milestone is a task of zero duration and that’s how most people use milestones. But within Project 2013, you can actually mark any task as a milestone task and in the various types of milestone report or when we’ve got a milestone filter applied as we have here a task will appear as a milestone. Let’s just take an example of that. Let’s switch off the milestone filter here. Just go back to all of the tasks. Choose a task like this one, Footings and slabs. It’s actually a three day task. If I double click to open up the Task Information dialog on the Advanced tab one of the checkbox options, bottom left hand corner, there is Mark task as milestone. And if you select a task like this one, a three day task and mark it as a milestone, click on OK, it maintains its duration of three days but it appears now as a milestone, as a diamond within the Gantt Chart. To some extent that depends on the formatting of the Gantt Chart that’s in force at the time. But you can pretty much mark any task as a milestone in Project 2013. So that’s it on milestones for now. I’ll see you in the next section.

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

Project 2013

Chapter 18 – Notes Video: Adding Notes to a Task and Resource Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to take a look at notes, and notes can be applied to either a task or to a resource in Project 2013. Notes attach to a task or a resource in Project 2013 can be useful in many ways. One of the ways that I most often use notes is if I’m working on a project with other people and we can’t share contact information, we don’t have access to a common Microsoft Exchange, we don’t use Office 365 or some other way of sharing contact information; sometimes quite useful to put the contact information in a note on a resource in Project 2013. Similarly, for a task if there’s a particular set of instructions, maybe just a little reminder that something has to be done in a particular way, you can easily attach a note to a task for that purpose. So let’s suppose that I’m going to add a note about the demolition task here and what I’m going to do is I’m going to double click on the demolition task to bring up the task information, and then one of the tabs in the task information is Notes. And basically, I can just type myself a note within the text area there; so let me do that now. So there we are. I’ve typed in my basic note, just really a reminder that I’m going to contact Acme Demolition about doing this job for us. I can do some pretty straightforward formatting on this note. So for instance, I could select these three items and apply that, the bulleted list formatting to them. And if I wanted to change the formatting of some of the characters, say, I want to make that short notice note there bold, click on the little Font button there so I could make that bold. Click on OK. So there’s simple formatting available there. There’s also a button that enables me to insert an object. So I could put a picture in there or attach a document of some sort. So having typed my little note and my notes, in fact, tend to be a little bit less tidy than that one but they’re still useful. Click on OK and the note now appears as a little yellow note icon in the indicator column there to the left of the table in Project 2013 right next to my Gantt Chart. Now from the point of view of reading that note, clearly I could open up the task information, the icon there. The note icon tells anybody else looking at this project schedule that there is a note. But if I just hover over it, then what I can see is a summary of the note. So if it’s a very short note I might get it all there. But if not I at least get the first couple of lines. So you can see

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Project 2013 there, notes, Planning to contact Acme Demolition about this, and then you can see that the note carries on and what you could do then is to open up the task information and look at the longer detailed version of that note. Generally speaking, whatever you have in that indicators column you’ll see a summary of what all of the points are if you hover over the content of the indicator column for a particular task. So you can see how straightforward it is to add a note to a task. Let’s now add a note to a resource. So I’m going to do this with touch. So if I use my finger to switch to Resource Sheet View using one of the buttons on the status bar at the bottom there, that takes me to Resource Sheet View. I’m going to add a note about the door and say that I haven’t identified a supplier for the door yet. So if I just tap on Door, that selects it; tap and hold, that brings up the mini toolbar. Click on the drop down and one of the options there is Notes, click on Notes and that takes me into the Resource Information dialog with the Notes tab selected and I can just tap in there and just start typing. Tap on OK and there we are. I’ve got a note against that resource now. And it’s pretty straightforward to get rid of a note. Let’s suppose that I’ve now identified a supplier for the doors, I can just go into the resource information and just clear the content of the note. Select all of the text, press the Delete key, click on OK, and the note has gone. Now there’s one other thing to briefly mention about notes. We haven’t looked at printing yet. We’re going to look at printing later on in the course. But when you do come to print a schedule, some version of a schedule or a resource sheet, when you go into Print from Backstage View which is as I say we’ll look at later on. When you actually look at the settings for printing a project, let’s suppose we’re going to print the entire project. This is one of the options we’ll see here. One of the options that you have available here as a selectable option is whether you want to print the notes when you print your project or in this case when you print your resource sheet. So you often have the option of including notes when you’re printing. We’ll come back to that later on but I just wanted to point that out to you now so that you know that when you come to do printing in many instances, you have the option of printing the notes or not.

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Project 2013 So, back to the schedule. We’ll go back to the Gantt Chart. We’ve still got my note there about demolition and that’s notes in Project 2013. 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

Chapter 19 – Task Types and Effort Driven Video: Fixed Task, Duration and Units Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look at task types and at the difference between fixed work, fixed unit, and fixed duration tasks and about the concept of whether tasks are effort driven or not. It’s really essential to understand what each of these mean in order to be able to plan your project successfully with Project 2013 and also to understand how project scheduling works. Now we’re going to go through each of these types in turn and I’m going to start with a fixed work task because in some ways this is the simplest one to describe. Now in order to demonstrate this I’ve created a scratch project. It’s just called Task type demo. And in this project I’ve just created this single task. The task name is Fixed work task and it’s type is fixed work. If I look at the task information for that task and go to the task type there, fixed work, that’s one of the three. Note that when fixed work is selected you cannot check or uncheck effort driven. With a fixed work task basically there’s a certain amount of work and effort driven means that the more people work on the task the less time it will take to complete. So we’re going to stick with that task. I’ve currently got a resource, somebody lab, that’s short for laborer who’s working on this fixed work task for four days, eight hour days. So the amount of work is 32 hours. That’s the important thing. It’s 32 hours fixed work. Now let me just bring up the Assign Resources dialog and I’m just going to put it out there slightly out of the way. You can see there in Assign Resources laborer 100%. I’ve got one laborer. If I increase the number of laborers from one to two working on this task watch what happens. The amount of work remains the same, 32 hours. Because I’ve now got two laborers working on it the duration becomes two days. Now there’s a little warning sign over here and I’m going to come back to that warning sign in a moment. Let’s just persevere with this. What about three laborers working on the task? Now what happens? It’s going to be, you’ve got it, 1.3 to 3 days; one and a third days. What about four laborers? And so on. The amount of work has stayed the same, the duration has reduced because the number of resources has increased, and that’s basically what is involved in a fixed work task.

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Project 2013 Now there aren’t actually in real life that many tasks that are as quite as simple as that. The principle is very important but the practice tends to be a little bit more complicated. For instance, if you had the brick laying for a house to do and you estimated that one person could do it in ten man days, it’s quite possible that two people could do it in five man days; twice the number of people could do it in half the time. It might even be possible that five people could do it in two days. But once you start increasing the number of resources, you increasingly get the change that it’s not actually possible for that number of people to work as efficiently as a single person does. If you like, they’ll start getting in each other’s way. One will start waiting for one of their colleagues to finish a part of the brick laying before they can do their part of it. So you tend to get to the point where it’s not a simple equation of dividing the amount of work by the number of resources. But it’s the principle that we’re interested in here and that is the principle of a fixed work task. And to be fair, many other project managers that I work with tend to work on the principle that when they’re adding additional resources to a fixed work task they may actually increase by some small amount the total amount of work anyway to allow for the additional work that’s needed for the resources basically to work together on the task as a team. So that’s the principle of fixed work tasks. Now there is something else in all of this that does complicate things a little and it’s an effort by Microsoft I think to be helpful in Project 2013. In fact, it was introduced in earlier versions. And that is that even if you’re clear about how you want to manage task types and the issue of how to distribute work amongst resources, even if you’re comfortable with it, you know how to do it, Microsoft Project 2013 does rather insist on being helpful. And you’ll get this little warning message here and what that says is Click to set how the current assignments are adjusted to accommodate the change in units. Now by its very nature, a fixed work task, if you increase the number of resources working on it should reduce the duration of the task. But you’re actually given an option here, if you click on there it shows you the options are Change the duration but keep the amount of work the same. Well, that’s basically what happens with a fixed work task and that is the option that’s selected here. So if you don’t look at that warning message basically you’re going to get what I believe is the correct behavior for a fixed work task. But you do get effectively the alternative here which is by way of a warning to say actually I’m putting more or less resources on here. What I really want to do is to change the amount of work

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Project 2013 but keep the duration the same. Now if you really wanted to change the amount of work but keep the duration the same, you shouldn’t be using a fixed work task I’m afraid. If you keep to what might loosely be called the rules of how all this works, then these messages will usually just recommend the default behavior anyway. But if you’re not sure and you want to just check in each case I suppose these messages can be useful. So I’m going to ignore that message here because it recommended the correct course of action anyway and now we’re going to have a look at fixed duration tasks. We’re now looking at a fixed duration task. I have no resources assigned to it at the moment. I’m going to assign one resource. I’ve also set effort driven as yes. So let’s bring up the Assign Resources dialog. I’ve got three different laborers, Laborers 1, 2, and 3. I’ve got the first one selected. Click on Assign. Now the view I’ve got is actually the Task Usage View at the moment. So I can see that Laborer 1 is going to do 32 hours work in total out of a total of 32 hours and you can see how the work is split over the four day duration of the task, or at least you can see part of it there. Now it’s a fixed duration task but it is related to effort. It does depend on effort. So if I put an extra resource on to this task and the duration remains the same what’s the conclusion? Well, if you’ve got more people doing work on it and the duration’s the same, each person must be doing less work. So let’s assign Laborer 2 to the task this time. Click on Assign. Notice the total amount of work is still 32 hours but the two people working on it, Laborer 1 and Laborer 2, are only doing 16 hours work each over the period of four days, the fixed duration of the task. So what happens here is that on each day, Laborer 1 does four hours work on the task and Laborer 2 does four hours work on the task. If I introduce a third person, assign the third person, then again the work is evenly distributed between the three resources. So as you can see with an effort driven fixed duration task the duration’s the same, the work remains the same, but by putting more people on it they can do less work each. Now you may not particularly see a reason for having people do less work than they have the capacity to do but what this can sometimes mean is that you can get part of somebody’s time, maybe you can’t use that person full time on a task but you could maybe use a half or a quarter of their time to share some of the work on a task and that would help to bring your schedule in just that little bit earlier as well.

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Project 2013 Now this is the point where you’ve got to try not to glaze over as you watch the next bit. We’re still dealing with a fixed duration task but I’ve changed it to effort driven no. That means that there is no relationship between the amount of work and the duration. So it basically means I can add as many resources as I like to this, the duration is fixed, all that’s going to happen is the amount of work in total is going to go up. I’m not going to share a fixed amount of work between a number of people, there’s just going to be more work done. So let’s do assign resources here. Let’s assign that second laborer again. Click on Assign. You should know what’s going to happen in that work column. That’s right, the total becomes 64 hours. This is not effort driven or if you like effort related. All I’ve done is I’ve put two resources on it full time and they’re both going to do 32 hours work on that task. Assign a third resource and so the amount of work goes up. Sometimes if you have a particular task you’re trying to do in three or four days and there’s just more work to do than you thought there was, you brought extra resource on there. It doesn’t reduce the timescale. It doesn’t reduce the amount of work. In fact, it greatly increases the amount of work but maybe it means that the task which turns out to be more work than you thought it was can now get done on time. So that’s a fixed duration task that is not effort driven. Now for the next task type, I’m just going to insert a task into the schedule. And by default in Project 2013 what we get when we insert a task is a fixed units task that is not effort driven. So I’m going to change this name and I’m going to change the duration to four days like the others and then I’m going to look at the impact of changing the number of resources. Let’s add one resource. So I can right click, assign resources, let’s assign Laborer 1, and of course the amount of work is 32 hours being done by Laborer 1. Now let’s just have a look at the task information and on the Advanced tab, we can see its fixed units not effort driven. That’s the default type of task that’s created in Project 2013. We’ll look at the setting for that default in just a moment. Now if I add a resource to that task, so now I’m going to right click on that task, go into Assign Resources, and I’m going to add a second resource to that task, and the duration does not change. It stays at four days. But the amount of work increases. So with each work resource that I assign I find that I have an extra 32 hours of work. So the total amount of work for a fixed unit not effort driven task will vary according to my variations in the number of assigned work resources.

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Project 2013 So now I changed it back to being an effort driven task. Watch what happens now when I assign a second resource. Because it’s fixed units it is effort driven and what will happen is that the duration will be reduced. So when I click on Assign I finish up with a two day task in which the fixed amount of work is 32 hours which is actually enough work for four resources, four units if you like. And the two resources, Laborer 1 and Laborer 2, are going to do two days of work each; 16 hours of work each. So the task duration is reduced in this case and the adding of the resources has had the effect of shortening the overall duration and hopefully shortening the duration of my whole project. Now I hope that will help to explain the differences between these task types and the significance of effort driven in task properties, but there’s plenty more information on this in the Microsoft Project Help. It’s one area that there’s quite a lot of explanation of, an alternative approach to these. There’s a page, How Project schedules the task behind the scenes; quite a long and detailed explanation of how all of the scheduling takes place. And one of the entries in there, How do task types affect the schedule, give sort of matrix arrangements showing there the three different types: fixed units, fixed works, fixed duration; the types of change you might want to make if you revise the units, though that’s really the number of work resources allocated; if you revise the duration, so that’s how long the task takes to do; if you revise the work, that’s the amount of work in the task. And it shows you what the differences are between those types and then gives two or three really quite good examples of how each of the task types deals with a given situation. Now in subsequent parts of the course we’re going to be looking at examples of these different types of task and one of the things I’m going to be asking you to do is to think very carefully about task type when you’re setting tasks up. But I’ve just got one other thing to show you in this section. One of the schedule options down here is the default task type fixed units and if you want to change that to one of the other types, that’s up to. If this was changed to fixed units I think in Project 2010, so if you’re used to an older version, you may want to just set this up to be the way that you’re used to working. And then just below that there’s another checkbox, New tasks are effort driven. If you leave the defaults as they are new tasks will be created as fixed unit tasks that are not effort driven, but obviously you can change either of those. © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 So that’s it on some of the basics of task types and effort driven. We’re going to be using that in a couple of sections time but that’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 20 – More about Resources Video: Resource Types Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to take a quick look at a few other pieces of information about resources. We’ve looked at quite a bit of it already and some of the remaining items we’re not really going to look at in detail until we get to costs a little bit later on. But there are a few other things that I think it’s useful to cover now so let’s take another look at resources. Now so far we’ve primarily been dealing with two resource types and the two resource types are work and material. They’re not the only two but they’re the two we’ve been using so far. A work resource is a person or a piece of equipment that consumes time when working on a task. And work resources are the sort of resources that are involved in questions such as whether a particular task is effort driven or not. And generally speaking when we assign a work resource to a project there will be a cost based on per hour or per day or per week cost of using that resource. On the other hand, material resources are the resources that are consumed in the process of performing tasks. So this will be things like the bricks that are laid into the house, the doors and windows that are used. This can also include things like cement, sand, and so on in relation to a building. Some types of material resource may be dependent on the duration of tasks. That’s not the same as them being work resources. But for example, you may need to run a generator and to run the generator you will use a certain amount of gasoline or diesel oil or whatever during the course of a task and the amount of that fuel that you use will be probably directly related to the duration of the task or tasks that it’s used with. So it is possible to specify the amount of material that you need based on duration. Now there is a third type of resource, as I mentioned earlier on, and that is a cost resource. We’re going to look at cost resources when we deal with cost later on in the course. But basically these tend to be fixed cost associated with a particular task. This might be an expense like the rental of a storage unit or possibly a travel expense, something like that. Now some people say that there is a fourth resource type which is generic but I don’t really think it’s a fourth resource type. But the concept of generic is a very useful one and you may or may

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Project 2013 not decide to use it. In the case of planning this particular house build, I’ve defined brick layer and carpenter without actually giving names to those people. And one of the approaches that I personally prefer is that when I’ve said I need a brick layer on a particular project but I haven’t yet decided which brick layer to use, then I can actually define brick layer to be what’s called a Generic Resource. The use of generic resources actually comes from the much more complex side of computer based project management and project scheduling but it’s now used quite a bit in the desktop products such as Microsoft Project. And if I take my brick layer resource here which is a work resource and open up the project information, you’ll see that there is a checkbox there, Generic, and if I click on Generic I can say that I have a generic resource of brick layer and I can schedule work for the brick layer resource but I haven’t yet worked out which brick layer to use. So I’m going to do that now and I’m going to do the same with carpenter. Note the little image that appears there, the little icon for generic resource; same for carpenter now. And I’ll show you how I use generic resource a little bit later on. Now what I’m going to do next is to add a couple more resources. I’m going to add an actual named brick layer and a named carpenter. So my named brick layer is Jim Stansfield, work resource. And my named carpenter is Jade Patterson, another work resource. So we’ve got J.S., initials. And what I’m going to do in order to identify that Jade is a carpenter and Jim is a brick layer is I’m going to use this very convenient group property here. And you can use the group property to assign resources to groups where you’ve got some sort of common characteristic and job function is very often the sort of characteristic that you would use. So if I said that the brick layer group, let’s call that group Brickie and I know that Jim is also a brickie. If I click there on Jim, I’m going to put Brickie in there as well. And then for carpenter I’m going to put Carpenter and then Jade is a carpenter as well. You’re going to see how I use that group feature in a little while. Now we’ve already seen that we can use the max property here to say how many of these. We’ve got one Jim, we’ve got one Jade, and so far I’ve been scheduling on the basis of one brick layer and one carpenter. I’m going to look at all these things to do with rates later on and, of course, as I mentioned earlier each new work resource inherits by default our standard building calendar for this project.

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Project 2013 And basically with that we’ve covered virtually all of the things we need to cover about resources at this stage. If I went into Jim Stansfield resource information, custom fields the last tab is outside scope; notes we’ve talked about; cost we’re going to cover later on. And on the General Tab, the front tab, resource name, we can put in details here about Jim’s email address if we communicate by email. I mentioned earlier on booking types, committed and proposed booking types. Now they’re outside the scope of this course but that’s where you can control the booking type for a specific resource. We can go into Jim’s calendar and perhaps put vacations, holidays, trips to the dentist, any difference from the normal working week on Jim’s specific calendar. But that’s just about it really as far as basic resource information is concerned. There’s one other thing I’d like to briefly mention here and that is that in Project 2013 you can operate it in a way whereby the resource sheet and the project tasks that you’re dealing with are kept in separate MPP files. You could actually setup this resource sheet as what’s called a resource pool. It’s actually quite straightforward to do. I don’t think we’ll have time to cover it on this course. We might just have time at the end to quickly go through the basics of it. But one of the advantages of this is that if you’ve setup a resource pool, say, you’re work in something like a building company and you generally use these types of resources. You might have hundreds of these resources that you’ll typically use when you’re doing a building project. You may want to just reuse this resource sheet in another project or you may have a few building projects on the go at any one time that are sharing these resources. There are a lot of advantages in being able to setup a resource sheet like this one as a resource pool that you can share between active projects and that you can certainly use with projects in the future. As I say I’ll try to have a quick look at how to do that at the end of the course; but for now, that’s it on resource information. In the next section we’re going to take another look at resource assignment so please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: More about Resource Assignments Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look at some additional features of resource assignment and we’re going to look first at the use of variable consumption of materials. So while I’m working on the excavation I’m going to need a ground pump so my resource for that is a ground pump. That’s a piece of equipment that I’m going to be using. It’s not going to be consumed as part of the build so I’m going to make it a work resource. I’m going to make its initials GPump and then I’m going to also need some fuel for it. So I’m going to call it Ground Pump Fuel. This is a material. Note when I’m entering information on to the resource sheet I can get contents of fields, wrapping text, making the rows in this spreadsheet arrangement taller. Of course, I can adjust the heading widths, column widths, on the resource sheet so that doesn’t happen or indeed so that it does happen to make it easier for me to read all the information that I need to read. This is a material. The material column here, the material label column is actually the units as I explained earlier in the course, so I’m going to put this in as Liters. And the initials for the ground pump fuel are going to be GPump fuel and that’ll do that for now as well. So there’s my two new resources associated with some of the excavation work. Now let me assign those resources to the excavation task. Now to assign resources, click on the task. We’ve already seen the Assign Resources dialog a few times before. You can assign many resources at once. You don’t need to just do them one at a time, and also the Assign Resources dialog is not modal. You don’t have to close it before you can do something behind it. So if you wanted to open it and then assign different resources to different tasks you can leave it open. On this occasion, we’ve got the excavation task selected, so into assign resources. We’re going to assign the ground pump, so we’ll assign that. As with everything else it’ll have a cost of zero at the moment because I haven’t put any costs on anything, but we’ll come back to that later on as well. And then for ground pump fuel it’s a bit of a different story because here in order to specify variable consumption of this particular resource in the units column, what we’re going to do is to indicate a number of units per hour. Now let’s suppose, I’m sure it won’t be quite as bad as this but let’s suppose that we’re going to use one liter of fuel per hour. The way we would put that here in the units column is we would put one, then a slash, then H for hour, and what that means is that we will use one liter per hour.

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Project 2013 Let me just move that across. And when we come to look at the costing, we will find that for every hour of this task we’ll use a liter of fuel. For a two day task, that’s a two working day task, that’s 16 hours, we’ll use 16 liters of fuel. And we’ll come back to the cost of that later on. But that’s how you specify variable material consumption; slash and then the time units on which it’s based. And one other little point to bear in mind there when you’re looking at variable consumption is that if we have variable material consumption on a task and we change the duration of that task. Let’s suppose that we decide that the excavation task is a noncritical task and we can take some resources off it and let it take a little bit longer while we do something else. We will actually increase the cost overall because we will need to be running this ground pump the whole time that that task is in progress and the cost of that fuel is going to add a little bit to the cost of the project. Now it may be an insignificant amount but very often changing durations of task can have quite far reaching consequences. Okay, let’s now look at putting specific people resources on to a couple of tasks where previously we’ve had what we’ve now defined as generic resources. So I’m now at the point in my project scheduling that I want to put specific resources on to some of these tasks. I’ve chosen ground floor doors. I’ve looked at the resources for ground floor doors and I can see that I’ve currently a carpenter defined as a work resource and five doors. Now if I wanted to put a specific named carpenter on to this task, if I click on Replace, I can access a list of all my resources and if I know all the names of all my carpenters, then I’ll be able to find the person I want and replace them. But what I want to do now is to show you something slightly different that’s maybe going to help you and that is if you want to find just somebody who is a carpenter, maybe you don’t know all of the carpenters that you have available to you, then this Filter by box here let’s you choose a filter. And the filters if I click on the drop down here, there’s quite a few of them. One of them is Group. So if I wanted to look for a particular group click here, specify the group name. Now the group name I know is Carpenter. Click on OK and what I get is a list of carpenters. Here not assigned to this task yet, just listed, the names there. And if I then say Ah! Jade’s the one I want,

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Project 2013 I’m going to assign Jade to this task and then I’m going to remove the generic carpenter. So now I’ve got Jade working on the job instead of the generic carpenter. So you can see that with that couple of groups that I setup in the previous section, one for carpenters, one for brick layers, you can see how I can use those groups in the Assign Resources dialog by using filters to find those specific types of skill. Now, of course, on this project I’ve got 20 or 30 tasks.

I’ve got half a dozen resources. I’m hardly going to have trouble

remembering all of those resources. But in reality if you’re dealing with a lot of buildings and you’ve got maybe dozens or hundreds of staff and you’ve got many, many building projects on at any one time, then being able to filter available resources like that is a really useful aid. Now when I say available resources, I should also say that when I did that I didn’t actually say I want the carpenters that are available. There is another box just below the filter box there, Available to work, and if I’d checked that and specified how many hours I wanted a carpenter to be available for during the duration of the selected task, then Project 2013 would’ve only offered me a list of the members of the group Carpenter that had that level of availability over the time period of specified. So let’s go back to that filter list again and see the other sorts of things we could do with that filter. We can look for budget resources. We can look for non-budget resources. We can look for just cost, material, or work resources. So there’s quite a range there that can help. But I generally find that when it comes to this type of project, Group is a really useful one to use. So let’s look at another couple of neat features of assigning resources. If I select the task Upper floor doors, this one, I can see the same arrangement there whereby I’ve got carpenter assigned at the moment, my generic carpenter. Once I’ve identified the carpenter I’m actually intending to use on this job which is Jade. With that carpenter selected, I can just say Replace and then just go down to Jade’s name and click on OK. Now it’s Jade that’s going to be the carpenter on this particular job for the upper floor doors; in fact, for the ground floor doors as well, and the carpenter I had before is no longer assigned to the task. And another thing to bear in mind is if I select one of the other tasks here such as ground floor windows. Note again I’ve got the generic carpenter there, and upper floor windows generic carpenter as well.

With the Assign Resources dialog in place you can do assignments,

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Project 2013 replacements, remove all’s with as many tasks as like selected. So if I were to select both ground floor windows and upper floor windows and did a replacement for carpenter with Jade, then that replacement is done on both of those tasks. So selecting them individually I can see it in both of them. Jade is now the assigned resource. And I can take exactly the same approach when I’m assigning resources. So ground floor walls and upper floor walls, I’m going to filter by group; so specify as my group of Brickie is the group name that I used, click on OK. There are my available brickies. I’ve got the generic brick layer and then I’ve Jim Stansfield. It’s Jim I’m going to use so I’m going to assign Jim to both of those tasks. If at any time you want to remove a particular resource, then all you’ve got to do is select the resource and click on the Remove button. So that’s some more about resource assignments. I’ve now got a task for you to do. I’m going to save this house build project as example_11 and what I want you to do is to add two new generic resources. I want you to add a generic laborer resource and a generic roofer resource. Only the generic ones, you don’t need to add any named individuals. And then I want you to add a project manager and that’s actually going to be you, so use your own name there and I’ll use my name. And I also want you to add a site foreman. You can use any name you like for the site foreman. Not a generic resource but an actually named person. And having added those resources, what I want you to do is to go through the site inspection task, so that’s the recurring two hours every Tuesday to inspect the progress, the project manager and the site foreman should both be on that task. Any tasks that involves laying bricks I want you to put a generic brickie on. Anything that only involved wood, although I don’t think there is anything, I want you to put a generic carpenter on. And for everything else I want you to put either a generic laborer or a generic roofer. That sounds like quite a big job I know, but just quickly again. Generic laborer, generic roofer, specific project manager with your name, specific site foreman, and then I want you to allocate those resources to the tasks such that the site inspections are down to the project manager and the site foreman, anything involving bricks has a brickie generic resource, anything involving wood has a carpenter generic resource. And for the other tasks I want you to use your own initiative to decide which of them should have a generic roof for resource assigned and which of them should have a generic laborer resource assigned. So © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 hopefully that exercise almost takes longer to describe than it does to do, not quite. My answer to that will in example_12. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 21 – Constraints and Deadlines Video: Constraints and Deadlines Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look at constraints and deadlines and we’re going to look first at constraints. Now the first thing that I want to do is to take you back into the Project Options, into the Schedule, and much earlier on in the course we changed one of these options which was that new auto scheduled tasks will be scheduled to start on the current date. So as I’m inserting these tasks I’m inserting them to start on the current date. Of course, they can be rescheduled as I work my way through the process of developing the project and indeed as the project progresses itself. But the other option here, the one that I want to demonstrate now is the one where we say that auto scheduled tasks are scheduled to start on the project start date. So I’m going to set that as project start date for now, click on OK, and then what I’m going to do is to insert a new task. Task as you know will be inserted above the currently selected task which is currently the Summary Task 1, Prepare site. I’m going to use the Insert task button in the Insert Group on the Task Tab. There’s my new task. Note where it appears that the start of the project, project start date; now let me just double click to see the task information. And on the Advanced tab, the constraint that’s put on this newly created task is to start as soon as possible. So as I’m putting these tasks in with that particular setting on the Project Options the constraint that’s added is As soon as possible. In situations where I am scheduling a project from the start date as I am here, the general idea of this is to say I want you to get this done as soon as you can. And that will be subject to all of the other factors that come into force, such as dependencies, availability of resources, and so on. Now let’s look at the other constraint types that are available. As soon as possible you will certainly come across a lot. As late as possible is the one that is effectively the default when you’re scheduling to an end date and you want to do everything as late as you can rather than as soon as you can. Bear in mind that you can apply any of these constraint types in a given project. So they don’t stop you changing the constraint type and in many cases you will want to do that.

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Project 2013 The other constraint types all pretty much explain what they are. Finish no earlier than, that’s where you want a task to not finish any earlier than a certain date or you don’t want to finish any later than a certain date. Must finish on and Must start on are the constraints that insist that a task finishes or starts on a particular date. And then you have a start no earlier than and a start no later than constraint. Now we’re going to look at one or two examples of how we might use each of these constraints. But just before we do, let me just go back and change that Project Option back again and show you what difference that makes. So I’m now going to change this option back to Current date, click on OK. Now I’m going to do insert task again, put in another new task, and let’s look at the task information for this one. And with this one, the constraint we get is Start no earlier than and then today’s date, Friday, April 5th. So depending on how you have that Project Option set, you will dramatically affect how new auto scheduled tasks have their constraints set. Now in normal work, I actually have this set to new task appearing on the project start date. It can be a little bit unnerving for some people because as you create new tasks they always tend to be created in the past. But, of course, once you apply the scheduling in Project 2013, those tasks are going to move into their right position anyway. I generally find that a default constraint type of As soon as possible works best in the projects that I manage. So I prefer that option. Note that As soon as possible doesn’t have a date associated with it, whereas the current selection, Start no earlier than, has got a date selected with it. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to go back into the Options and change that to the one that I use most of the time. So I’m going to click on Project start date, click on OK. Let me just delete those two tasks and now let’s look at some examples of how we might use those other types of constraint. So let’s look at an example of how we might set a constraint. And let’s say that we are going to have a couple of inspections by the local authorities at various stages during the building of the house. They come around and just make sure that the work that we’ve done is up to spec. And one of the things they do is they inspect the subfloor when it’s been finished. So I’m going to choose the subfloor task here, open it up, and I’m going to change the constraint to say that the inspection is actually going to be on Monday, April 29th. So I need to make sure that the subfloor work is finished by the preceding Friday. So I’m going to change this constraint from © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 Start no earlier than to Finish no later than. And then the date I’m going to set is going to be Friday, April 26th. Now note if I go back to the General tab, the dates that this task is actually running on actually go from Tuesday, April 23rd to Friday, April 26th. So at the moment it’s absolutely spot on, but as I introduced more tasks or if I introduce more tasks, I change the schedule. I need to be aware of the fact that if I start to push this date later, then I’m going to clash with that constraint that I’ve just set there, Finish no later than. Now I’ll come back to that particular question in a moment when we talk about deadlines but that’s the sort of situation in which you can apply a constraint. Now note when you do that you very often get a message from the Planning Wizard. Now what the Planning Wizard is doing here is warning you about a potential conflict. Now whenever you set a constraint you’re quite likely to create potential scheduling problems. It explains here that by setting a Finish no later than constraint this could result in a scheduling conflict either now or later because this task has at least one other task linked to it. So we get the option of cancelling and not setting that constraint. It will give us an alternative constraint by using a Finish no earlier than constraint. Well, we certainly don’t want a Finish no earlier than. The finish date for this task is definitely a no later than so we’re going to continue. If you get these messages from the Planning Wizard and you either understand what you’re doing and you find that the Planning Wizard messages aren’t helping, you can check the box here to, say, Don’t tell me about this again. Click on OK. That constraint has been set. Note that because of that constraint being set note how we now have these two tasks, Base brick work and Subfloor, are now critical. They’ve gone red. Now that’s actually a very significant point because it means that I’ve created another little sort of critical path within my project in that I now have another set of red tasks where I really need to keep on top of the schedule. I could remove the criticality of those tasks by delaying that end date a little bit. I could contact the authorities; ask them to put the inspection back. But that may not be in my best interest because it would delay the whole project potentially and also if I do finish the subfloor on time, they’re not going to want to inspect the subfloor when I’ve already put a house on top of it so I might have to stop work for a few days until their inspection time came round. So it’s quite often the case that these dates are really quite critical and you really don’t want to delay things just to make your project easier to manage because that can have all sorts of unpleasant consequences. Even if in this situation, let me just go back into the subfloor task again. If I change that Finish no later than date from © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 Friday to the following Monday, so instead of April 26th I went April 29th for the finish date, click on OK, then those tasks are no longer red. They’re no longer critical. Now let’s take a look at a deadline and when you apply a deadline to a task, then although in some ways it’s very similar to having Finish no later than, there are some very significant differences. I mentioned a few sections ago that our objective is to schedule the work on this build to finish by the end of May. Currently it’s scheduled to finish on June the 5th, so we’re running a little later according to the schedule and we are going to start to look at how we’re going to make up this time. But what I’m going to do is to choose the last task, the final milestone, Building complete, and now I’m going to put a deadline on that. So, Building complete. I’m going to set a deadline of the end of May. So I’m going to choose from the date picker, go to May, May 31 st which is a Friday, click on OK, and that is my deadline. I could set a constraint type of Finish no later than but by using a deadline there are some significant differences as you’ll see. Click on OK. Now let’s look at what the significant differences are. First of all, when you have a deadline set on the Gantt Chart, you’ll actually see a little vertical arrow like that one showing you what the deadline is. It’s a good visual cue to tell you how past your deadline you are. That doesn’t look like very much does it? It’s a few days. It’s going to take a little bit of work to pull that June 5 th back to hit the deadline. You also get this red warning in the indicators column and if I just hover over that, you can see this task goes past its deadline on Friday, May 31st. The other important thing about this is that although the constraints are used when scheduling a deadline date does not affect the scheduling when it applies its scheduling algorithm. Whereas Project looks at things like constraints of Finish no later than it doesn’t use deadlines at all when it’s scheduling. Now it does include deadline dates in certain calculations. So for instance, when it calculates the total slack for a project, it will take into account deadlines. But deadlines are not actually used when scheduling. They’re more of a visual cue really. They’re just a way of pointing out to you that something is running late or you’re not hitting some point. Now whether to use deadlines in a particular situation or whether to set an appropriate constraint will very often be a very subjective decision. I tend to use deadlines for things that are not

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Project 2013 commercial or contractual even though they may be quite important.

And I tend to use

constraints where they are commercial or contractual. So if it’s likely to cost us money, I tend to use a constraint. I may, of course, use both. There’s no reason you shouldn’t use both in a given situation. And here’s another very straightforward example of using a constraint. It quite often happens on building projects. A particular material isn’t going to be available until a certain date. So let’s suppose that the timber of lumber that I need for building the trusses and frame for the roof won’t be available until May 13th. Let me just open that task up. It’s currently scheduled to start on May 16th so that’s fine. But I’m going to put in on the Advanced tab a constraint of Start no earlier than, well that’s fine. But I’m going to say May 13th because that’s when the timber is going to be available. So if I do some rescheduling in order to pull back this time, then it’s not going to be any good if it involves starting on the roof before May 13th because the timber won’t be available until then. And I might just put a little note in here to understand or to remind myself why I put that constraint on there. Okay, so click on that. That constraint should be fine. That’s it on constraints and deadlines for now. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013

Chapter 22 – More about Dependencies Video: Types of Dependencies; Lag and Lead Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look in more detail at dependencies. So first of all, I’m going to demonstrate the different types of dependency that you can specify. So far we’ve looked at finish to start dependencies and if I setup a finish to start dependency between two tasks it means the first one must finish before the second one can start. Now what I’ve done is to create a little dummy project. It’s just got two tasks in it and the first task is a five day task, the second one is a three day task. And the first task is starting on the day that I’m recording this, Friday, April 5th. What I’m going to do is select the first task, select the second task, and then I’m going to create a dependency by on the Task tab clicking on the Link the selected tasks button. Note the keyboard shortcut for that is Control and F2. It’s one of those things you may do quite a bit and therefore knowing that keyboard shortcut may save you a little bit of time. But let me just setup that dependency and there’s our finish to start dependency created. That’s the type of dependency we’ve looked at so far. Let’s look at the other types. If I double click on the arrow connecting the two on the dependency itself, there are in fact four types. Finish to start is the one that we use by default. Start to start basically means that when the first task starts, the second one can start. Click on OK and you can see when the first one starts the second one can start. Let’s go into the dependency again. The third option is finish to finish. Now what happens in this situation is that when the first task finishes, the second task can finish. So what Project 2013 is going to do is to work out when the second task should start so that it can finish when the first task finishes. You can probably work that out yourself but let’s click on OK and see what it does. And there you can see by starting on Tuesday it’s going to finish on next Thursday, which is in fact when task one’s going to finish. And then the fourth type of dependency is start to finish. Now what this basically means is that when the first task starts, the second one can finish. Now Project 2013 is going to have to say, When should task two start so that as soon as task one starts it can finish, task two can finish? Click on OK and that’s that one. So they’re our four basic types of dependency.

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Project 2013 Now with each of those types of dependency I can introduce lead or lag. Now I’m going to explain what lead and lag are. And I’m back to the default finish to start dependency. Bring up the box again. There’s a little box on the right there, lag, zero days. So when task one finishes task two can start with a lag of two days, just see what that does. What it basically means is that task two can start two days after task one finishes. On the other hand, I can specify a negative lag, something we usually refer to as a lead, and say in fact the lag is minus a day which really means that task two can start one day before task one finishes. Click on OK and now you can see that task two is starting one day before task one finishes. So that’s lag and lead. So that’s really all you need in terms of the theory of dependencies at the moment. And we’ve covered in the last two or three sections quite a bit of the tool set for dealing with a schedule, and what we’re going to do now for the rest of this section with particular reference to dependencies is now go back into our building project and start to look at a bit of remedial work. It’s still running late so how can we use dependencies to help us with that later running project? I must emphasize again that this is not meant to be a real building project and what we’re going to look at here is a very simple version of how to fit a roof. We’ve put three tasks in there: Trusses and frames. So that’s building the roof, trusses, and fitting the frame on to the top of the house. And then putting the tiles on and the roof lining and then when that’s done, finishing off the roof, flashing, edging, and so on. Now generally speaking, unless you’re dealing with a large and complicated roof you’d probably need to have all of the trusses and framework done before you started putting the tiles on to the roof. So the dependency we’ve got here which is finish to start, it’s that one over there, generally speaking you wouldn’t be able to change. But it’s quite possible that when you’re doing lining and tiles some time before you finish somebody could start doing the finishing off work. So if you were say working from one end of the roof to the other, when somebody is doing the tiles and the lining somebody else could actually be starting to finish off the roof on the parts that have already been tiled and maybe lined. So what I’m going to do here is to say that the finishing of the roof can actually start one day before the lining and tiles are complete. So I’m going to go into the relationship between these two, double click on that, currently finish to start. And I’m going to change the relationship between lining and tiles and finishing to have a lead of one day which is a lag of minus one day; change that to

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Project 2013 minus one day, click on OK, and if you watch, if you look at the end date for the project, when I do that, of course I gain a day. I’m back to June 4th. Now there is a price to pay for this in this case and that is that we’ve already have the roofer resource allocated to doing that roof work and since we only have one roofer resource, then the problem we’ve got is that that roofer can’t be working on two things full time at the same time. And very often as you’re going through working on a schedule solving one problem can create another one. Now we will need to decide within the context of exactly the project you’re working on which of these two things will win out. Have we got to accept that we can’t squash this roofing work up because we’ve only got one person to work on the roof or do we get another roofer in for a couple of days? Do we get a different roofer in to do all the finishing work, for example? These are the sort of decisions, these sort of real decisions that you take in the field and Project can only help you to show what effect they have on the overall schedule. It can’t actually make these decisions for you. So let’s stick with that for the moment. We’ve got a resource overallocation here on roofer and let’s look for other opportunities to save time by changing dependencies. Let’s look next at the Lay foundation summary task. We have a three day footings and slabs task that all has to be done before we can start putting in the base brick work. But as soon as the base brick works finished, we can start on the subfloor. But when we setup the next relationship between subfloor and doing the suspended plumbing, we basically said that the subfloor had to all be in place before we put the suspended plumbing. Now let’s assume that we can actually start work on the suspended plumbing before we finish the subfloor. In fact, as soon as we’ve done a couple of days work on the subfloor we could start work on the suspended plumbing. So we’re going to change the relationship between subfloor and suspended plumbing so that there is a start to start relationship with a two day lag. So let me just identify that relationship here, double click. Always check that you’ve chosen the right relationship because these arrows once you get a complicated project are all over the place. Sometimes it’s easy to double click on the wrong arrow, but yes that’s subfloor to suspended plumbing. Change it to start to start and with a lag of two days. One other thing to notice here, sometimes you’ll want to delete a relationship between two things, a dependency. There’s a Delete button there to delete the dependency all together. So we’re changing this to start to start with a two lag, click on OK. Also watch the

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Project 2013 project end date there, June 4th at the moment. Click on OK and we’re actually back to May 31st just by doing that. So in fact, what’s happened is we’ve achieved our deadline of May 31st which is really good news. So that’s a change to another one of our dependencies. Unfortunately, however, it does create another problem and that is that in doing that and overlapping those two tasks both for the laborer then we have created an overallocation. We’ve now got resource overallocation markers in the indicators column. So although that’s enabled us to achieve our project end date, it’s created another problem which is an overallocation problem which means either that we’re going to have to find somebody else to do the laborer work or maybe that we can get the laborer to do some overtime. But we’ll come back to that question a little bit later on. Now I want to cover one more topic in relation to dependencies now. We’ve solved our immediate scheduling problem, not necessarily permanently because we’ve still got at least one resource allocation issue to resolve. But let’s look now at one of the relationships that got setup earlier on, and that’s the relationship between build walls and fit windows and doors. If I select fit windows and doors and click on information, I’ll find that there is only one predecessor task and that is build walls. Now both fit windows and doors and build walls are summary tasks and there is absolutely no reason that you shouldn’t have a relationship between summary tasks. Relationships, dependencies can work at the summary task level or on individual tasks. But in this case that dependency that we’ve sort of inherited from when we first starting the project up is not really a very helpful one because what it basically says at the moment as it’s a finish to start dependency is that building the walls has to be completely finished before we can do anything on fitting windows and doors. As we’ve developed this particular schedule, we could be a little bit more sophisticated about this now and say as soon as the ground floor walls have finished we could actually start work on the ground floor doors and the ground floor windows. And then when the upper floor walls are finished, we could start on the upper floor doors and the upper floor windows. So we could put in dependencies between the individual tasks within the summary tasks rather than dependencies between the summary tasks themselves. Again, there’s no absolute rule on this. You need to look at each project in the light of its own circumstances. Sometimes you want dependencies between summary tasks and sometimes between the individual tasks.

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Project 2013 The other point I need to make here about this particular issue is that with fit windows and doors we’re dealing with noncritical tasks, so we’re not talking about saving a bit of time on the project here. We’re just looking at setting up dependencies that more accurately reflect the reality of this build. So what I’m going to do here is to delete the dependency between the summary tasks. Now you could either do that as I did just now in the Task Dependency dialog, clicking the Delete button, provided I can get the right dependency. But you can also do it here in the summary task information. Summary task information for fit windows and doors, if I click on the build walls predecessor and just press the Delete key on the keyboard, that dependency is gone. And when I do that these tasks all tumble much earlier in time because it appears that they’re not depending on anything now. Now I’m going to select ground floor walls and select ground floor doors, put in a dependency between them. Select ground floor walls again, ground floor windows, put in a dependency between them. Upper floor walls, upper floor doors, dependency. Upper floor walls, upper floor windows, dependency. And now I’ve got a realistic schedule back again, but I’ve taken away the dependency between the summary tasks. So that’s all you need to know about dependencies for now. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013

Chapter 23 – Resolving Scheduling Issues Video: Respect Links; Task Inspector; Resource Overallocations Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to summarize some of the things that we’ve looked at in terms of resolving scheduling issues and look at one or two other approaches to solving the problems you might get when you’re working on a Project 2013 schedule. The first thing I want to look at is one or two things that happen in relation to manually scheduled tasks. If you look under the Lay foundation summary task, we’ve got a sequence of steps there, footing and slabs, base brick work, subfloor. And what I want to do is to look at what happens if I extend the duration of the base brick work task from two days to three days. Notice that at the moment, we’re meeting our deadline of 31st of May for the whole project. Let’s change base brick work to being a three day task, see what happens. And as you would guess, the end date is now missed. We’ve extended the project by a working day. You can see the deadline, the green arrow for the deadline show there. It’s pretty much exactly what you would expect to happen. So I’ve undone that change and now what I’m going to do is I’m going to change subfloor from being an auto scheduled task to being a manually scheduled task. If you look on the Task tab in the Task Group, there are a couple of big buttons there: Manually schedule, Auto schedule. All of these tasks are auto scheduled but I’m going to change subfloor to being manually scheduled. When I do that I get a pin in the task mode column instead of the icon that all of the others have. Now watch what happens if I go back to base brick work and do exactly the same thing that I did before which is to change the duration from two days to three days. What happens is that the schedule is not delayed. It doesn’t have a sort of knock on domino effect throughout the schedule. What happens is that because subfloor is a manually scheduled task, it’s not moved by the scheduling algorithm within Project 2013. What it does instead is to flag the fact that there is a potential problem. And the way that it does that is by putting a little squiggle, in this case a red squiggle, under the finish date of the subfloor task and it’s that that should bring your attention to the fact that there is a problem. So what we do then is to right click on the date that’s got the red squiggle in it and it brings up the contextual menu, and the contextual menu offers us a number of options. One option is to fix in the Task Inspector. We’ll look at Task Inspector in a moment.

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Project 2013 The second option is to respect links; we’ll look at that in a moment. And the third one is to ignore the problems for this task. Now if you ignore the problems for this task clearly that’s not going to last forever, and if there really is a problem here with the task beforehand taking a day longer and still planning to start this one when we were going to, then it’s a problem you’re probably going to have to resolve later anyway, but sometimes if you’re in a hurry or if you’re aware of a way of solving this problem but you can’t apply it now, you may choose to ignore the problems for this task. Respect links, I won’t actually do that but let me just show you what would happen with respect links. If you look at what’s happened here where base brick work has been extended to three days the link, you can probably just about make it out there, the arrow coming down from the task base brick work to the task subfloor is now not pointing at the beginning of the subfloor task. It’s pointing partway through it. So Project 2013 knows that it’s not respecting the link, but if I chose the option here, Respect link, then it would basically do what it did when subfloor was still an auto scheduled task. So let’s follow that option now. Let’s try that respect links option and just confirm that’s what happens. Of course, if you do respect links then it does exactly what it did in the situation where subfloor was auto scheduled. It has kept subfloor as being manually scheduled but it’s moved its manually scheduled dates. So that’s what happens if we follow the suggestion that’s been made by Project 2013. The other option there was using the Task Inspector. I’m going to come back to that in just a moment but before I do, I want to look at the tasks group on the Task tab. In the top right hand corner there’s a little button there; it’s the one we used to invoke the Task Inspector. But if I click on the drop down to the right of it, I have three other options. Show warnings which basically means in this case show the squiggles to indicate where there’s a problem. Show suggestions. This amounts to things like saying well what you could do is to respect the links. And then Show ignored problems. If you’ve said ignore problems to a few things and you’ve come back to it the next day or something and said, well let me see all those problems I chose to ignore yesterday and try to find out how to resolve them. That will show those ignored problems again. So that’s how you can control, how you work with warnings and suggestions when you’re using manually scheduled tasks.

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Project 2013 So next let’s have a look at the Task Inspector and what I’m going to do is to put this back to the situation it was, and then I’ll invoked the Task Inspector to see what it can tell me. So I’m back to having the red squiggle here and the fact that the manually scheduled subfloor task is the one that’s causing me a problem. To invoke the Task Inspector I can just click on that Inspect button there. The Task Inspector appears on the left and it tells me about the problems that it’s spotted. Bear in mind it’s aware of the fact that this isn’t the only problem I’ve got here because with the Task 23 Subfloor that’s got a warning sign on it. Not only have I got the second problem here, Task may need to be delayed by one day, but it’s also aware of the fact, you’ve probably noticed this already, that there’s a resource overallocation as well because the laborer resource is now overallocated because subfloor and suspended plumbing are sharing the same resource, 100%, on the same day. So we’ve got two problems and these are the possible actions it’s got. Respect links. Move the task based on its predecessors. Auto schedule. Automatically calculate dates based on links, constraints, and other factors. Or remove the constraint from the task. So it’s offering me a number of ways of going about solving this problem or these problems with this task. And in any situation, not just with manually scheduled tasks, you can always bring up the Task Inspector and try to get some ideas from it; what your options are in terms of solving a scheduling problem. So they’re some of the key ways, the key approaches, you can use when it comes to resolving scheduling problems. When you’ve finished using the Task Inspector whether or not you decided to take any of the actions that it recommends, you can just close the Task Inspector to get it out of the way. I’m going to undo that last couple of changes I made to force those problems. My project is back to being good in terms of satisfying my planned end date. The last thing I’m going to do in this section is to look at these resource overallocations. You’ll be aware of the fact that our critical path hasn’t significantly changed. So with one particular set of resource overallocations, that’s fit windows and doors that basically involve resource overallocation for Jade Patterson. I should be able to resolve Jade’s overallocation just by using the standard resource leveling facilities. So what I’m going to do now is to go to the Resource tab, click on Level resource, choose Jade, and see if her time can be leveled out just on an individual basis.

So let’s say level now for Jade and in fact we can solve Jade’s

overallocation problems and still respect the end date of the project. © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 Now let’s turn our attention to one of the other overallocation problems. Let’s look at the one up the top here under lay foundation. The problem there is that the laborer is overallocated. He’s working on subfloor and suspended plumbing all at the same time. Now really the laborer shouldn’t be doing plumbing work. We ought to have a specialist plumber in there. We don’t actually have a plumber scheduled to work at all yet. So let’s go on to the resource sheet and let’s put in a generic plumber for now. We may use a named member of staff later or we may even use an external contract plumber. But for the moment, we’ll make it a generic plumber. So, generic resource at the moment, click on OK. Now we’ll go back into the Gantt Chart, choose that task, assign resources; there’s the laborer, select the laborer, select replace, find our new plumber, click on OK, close, back to the Gantt Chart, and that problems solved as well. We’ve still got to find a plumber, of course, but we do know that the plumber and the laborer can work alongside each other on these two tasks at the same time. So, let’s now just collapse down lay foundation and look to the one remaining problem which is the overallocation of the roofer during the fitting of the roof. Now one of the issues here is that I don’t particularly want to get another roofer in just do one day of work and none of the other staff that I’m planning to use on this building project really do roofing work. So what I’m going to do, first of all, is I’m going to resolve the overallocation using the normal leveling. I think it’s only one day over anyway. So let me just try leveling that for the roofer. Level now. Let’s see what happens to my end date. My end date is now just one day out, allowing for the weekend, of course. So that’s not so bad. And what I’ve done is I’ve had a talk to the roofer and he’s agreed that he’s prepared to do some overtime, and with overtime he can reduce the lining and tiles job here which is a six task to five days. So he’s going to do a day of overtime. Now the way that you use overtime in Project 2013 may seem a little bit strange at first but it’s actually quite straightforward. Tick on the View tab and let’s go into the Task Usage View and for the selected task here, lining and tiles, the six day task, all we have to do to get some overtime done is if you insert the column in this table of overtime work, and then for the resource that’s going to do the overtime you just say eight hours. Then that would do, just watch what happens when I click here. It actually reduces the duration of the task to being a five day task instead of a six day task because eight hours, one day of work is being done on overtime.

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Project 2013 Let’s go back to the Gantt Chart and back in the Gantt Chart as if by magic the lining and tiles job has been reduced to five days and I can respect my deadline again. So I’m back to finishing the job by May the 31st. ‘So that’s pretty much all that we’re going to cover here on resolving scheduling issues. I perhaps should give you one word of practical warning and that is that the schedule we’ve got here has virtually no contingency in it. And if you live somewhere like I do in the north of the U.K., planning to do even five days of roofing work in five days is somewhat optimistic. The fact that the rain might hold off for a whole week is a bit amazing. Having said that, people who do roofing work can do an awful lot of it when it’s raining. And when the roof is off of a building, you probably want to get the roof back on quickly anyway. But one thing I would always do here is put in a little bit more contingency then we’ve got. But that’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 24 – Costs Video: Assigning Costs to Resources Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. If you’ve been following me so far, you’ll be familiar with our house build project where we have a selection of the kind of activities, tasks involved in building a house and we’ve got to the point here where we’ve got a pretty good sample project for many of the tasks, but we haven’t looked at all so far at costs. In this section and the next we’re going to look at costs. In this section we’re going to look at costs as they relate to resources and then in the next section we’re going to look at project costs. So here’s the resource sheet for our project. Let’s have a look at costs on this sheet. Now you notice that the resources on this resource sheet basically share the same columns, but materials and work use different combinations of those columns. The one that uses the least is the type material. So let’s put in the cost for the materials first. To make things a little bit easier I’m going to apply a filter to this view. So go up to the Data Group on the View tab, and the filter I’m going to use is resources material. The material resources that I’ve got are bricks, doors, windows, and the fuel for the ground pump. Now when we’re putting in cost of materials, the cost goes in the standard rate column and basically it’s the cost of one of whatever the unit of the material is. Now the units are in this material label column. So when we’re looking at the price of bricks we’re looking at the price of 1,000 of bricks. Now this obviously greatly depends on the bricks themselves, but pretty much as a going rate, we’d say for 1,000 bricks it’s going to cost in U.S. currency about 450 U.S. dollars. Even more variable what a door would cost. I’ve just put doors in there. In reality, we’d have exterior doors and interior doors. Exterior doors, particularly solid wood doors would generally be very much more expensive than interior ones, and clearly we could be using any number of materials. We could have UPBC type doors and so on. But I’m going to come out with a ballpark figure for doors of $250 per door. Some would be a lot more expensive but you could get some cheaper doors than that. And then for the windows, again, I’m going to go in for a sort of moderate quality. We’re going to say $300 per window. That just leaves us with the price of a liter of fuel for the ground pump and typically that’s going to be about 60 cents per liter. So I’ve put in my costs now for the materials.

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Project 2013 Now in some cases there may be an additional cost per use. Often this will be something like a delivery charge. So for instance, if we were using thousands of bricks, we may need to pay to have them delivered. Let’s suppose that we’ve got a delivery charge of $100 associated with the bricks but the doors and windows there is no delivery charge or cost per use and similarly with the fuel, there is no delivery charge or cost per use. Now we come to this very important column, the accrual column, accrue at. And for each of the resources that we use, we need to decide how the cost is accrued within the finances of our project. Now by default costs are accrued prorated, which means prorated throughout the life of a task. So if you were using bricks, say, over the course of a task, then the cost of those bricks, 12,000 bricks say over a 12 day task, you’d be incurring the cost of 1,000 bricks per day and that’s how it would be in the accounts for the project. But there are alternative accruals. Basically you can say accrue at start. If for a particular type of resource, material in this case, you say accrue the cost at start, then as soon as the task that uses that resource starts the cost of that resource, the full cost of that resource to that task is accrued. You can also specify accrue at end and in that case the total cost of the resource that’s used on that task will be accrued at the end of the task. Now obviously, it’s impossible to generalize here about what would happen in relation to bricks, doors, windows, fuel, or anything else and I’m going to leave these all set at prorated which means that for all of these materials we’ll accrue the cost to the project as we go along. To some extent this may agree with the payment profile. So, for instance, if you have to pay for all of the bricks up front, the merchant that supplies them to you requires payment in full before you start using them, then you may decide that the full cost should be accrued at the start of the first task that uses the bricks. But that will be very much a local situation and it’s impossible for me to generalize here so I’m going to leave these all set at prorated for the moment. So now let’s turn our attention to the work resources. I’m going to go back to that filter again and this time I’m going to have resources work and let’s look at the hourly rates for the various people that are working on this build and also the hourly rate for this ground pump. So let’s start with a standard hourly rate for a brick layer and something along the lines of, say, we’re $22 per hour for the generic brick layer resource and then for an overtime rate we’d expect © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 to pay around about $32 per hour. Now is there a cost per use? Well, it might seem a little bit unlikely in relation to a person but there can quite likely be a cost per use, particularly for a contract resource you may have expenses that you need to pay, maybe some sort of travel or accommodation allowance for contract staff. And also if you’re using an agency, there may be some sort of agency fee to pay. I’m going to leave the cost per use out for most of these but I am going to just briefly here look at accrual because we exactly have the same issues as we have for materials in terms of accrual for work resources. Very often work resources will accrue prorated. Whether they’re paid day by day, week by week, month by month, we’ll almost certainly accrue the cost in the accounts for our project on a prorated basis. Having said that, there will be exceptions. There will be people where we have to pay for their time up front and there will be people when they can bill us for their time and we’ll pay it perhaps later on. But for the people that we’ve got here, I’m going to assume that they are all prorated. So I’m just going to quickly go through now and put in similar kinds of rates for the other skills. So, for carpenter that’s going to be 22 per hour as well and again for the overtime rate; I’m going to just fill in the rest of these and just join me again in a moment. So I’ve setup all of those rates and I’ve also setup a rate for the use of the ground pump. And with the ground pump, the thing is that the people that supply that to us only need to be paid at the end. They basically have a little device on it that measures how many hours it’s been used for. Obviously I’ve got to buy the fuel but that’s covered separately as a material. But we’ll just be charged for that at the end. So I’m actually going to accrue the cost at the end because I won’t know how much it is until we’ve finished using it. The task it’s being used on may take more or less time than I anticipate. There is also a cost per use of the ground pump which is basically a delivery charge which is $75. So I’m going to put that in as well. So there we are. That’s my work resources. Now let me just go back to showing everything with no filter on the resource sheet and I’m now going to add one more resource, and this resource is going to be called Incidental expenses. And very often in a project you’ll want a way of putting in an allowance for incidental expenses, things that come up. Maybe you need to get some help with something quickly. Maybe you

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Project 2013 need to get somebody to deliver a material from a local hardware store quickly. Just things you need to buy without going through some huge routine. And you would normally allow yourself a budget for incidental expenses. Now the way that budget resources work, where you basically know that you’re going to need to spend money on something but you’ve got no idea what it’s going to be at the moment but you do need to allow for it in your budget for your project is to define it as a cost resource. I’m going to call it there Incidentals, and then if I double click on that I’m going to declare it to be a budget resource. Now when I declare it to be a budget resource, I cannot enter standard rate, overtime rate, anything like that. I’ll enter the cost associated with this budget resource via the project summary task which I mentioned earlier on in the course. And in the next section, I’m going to show you how we handle a budgetary cost like this. So that’s it on the costs related to individual resources. In the next section we’re going to look at project costs so please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Project Costs Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we looked at assigning costs to the resources on our building project; that’s all done now. In this section we’re going to concentrate on looking at project costs, and the first thing we’re going to look at is what our project costs are so far. So click on the Project tab and one of the options there, Project Information that we looked at before. The difference now is that if we click on the Statistics button there and look at the project statistics for our project, we now have some costs, and our current cost total $24,834.60. Now, of course, we’re not building very much of a house there. Okay, we’ve got the walls and the windows and the doors but we haven’t fitted any rooms out. We haven’t done any plaster work. There’s all sorts of things that we haven’t done. So that’s nothing like the true cost of building a house but it’s a good starting point and we’ve got a lot of different types of costs included there. Now you’ll see some terminology here like baseline, actual, and variance, and we’re going to be looking at what these things mean starting from the next section when we start looking at tracking progress on our project. For the moment, I just want you to sort of ignore those terms and just look at the costs themselves. So we’ve got a total cost of $24,834.60. Let’s look at how that cost is currently made up. Now on the Gantt Chart here we’ve currently got the entry table selected, and let’s go to View tab and select the cost table. What you’ll now see is the cost associated with the project by task. So prepare site total cost $1,724.60, etc. The biggest costs are on building the walls and fitting the windows and doors. Now the cost that you see here are all associated with resource costs, but resource costs aren’t the only type of cost that we get in Project 2013 and we’re going to look at one or two other types of cost now. One of the other types of cost is what’s called a Task fixed cost, and a task fixed cost can happen if you have a task where there is a cost, a fixed cost associated with performing that task. Now let’s suppose that I take a particular example, let me go down to prepare site. Let me expand

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Project 2013 that. Note how the individual subtasks within this summary task, I can see their individual costs. But what about with this in ground plumbing task here? Supposing that in ground plumbing involves connecting the supply pipes to the main water supply to the locality and let’s suppose that there’s a fixed cost associated with doing that. The water company charges a fixed fee for being able to connect to the water supply and let’s suppose that that fixed cost is $190, say. It’s probably more than that, but let’s call it 190. That goes in this fixed cost column and that is a cost for the task that isn’t associated with any particular resource. It’s a fee that we pay to the water company. But I still have the same accrual cost. So I can say well I have to pay that fee up front so that’s going to accrue at the start of the in ground plumbing task. I have to pay that straightaway. And of course, the total cost for that task is then made up of fixed cost and resource cost as well. In fact if I were to now go into Task Usage View here and put in there the cost table, note that if I look at that in ground plumbing task I’ve got a really detailed breakdown now because I can see that my $510, the total cost of that task, is made up of a $190 fixed cost and $320 being paid to the laborer who’s working on this particular task. Now there is another way of doing a fixed cost which is sometimes more appropriate, although strictly speaking this is a case of a resource cost. Suppose that you employ a consultant or an inspector or some other professional, and instead of charging you on an hourly or daily rate they just charge a fixed fee. If that happens, then what you can do is to setup that particular resource in the usual way as a work resource but not to have a cost per hour or a cost per day but to instead just specify a cost per use. So let’s take as an example of that, I’m going to go to the resource sheet and I’m going to put in a resource of Glazing inspector and the principle on which the glazing inspector works is that the glazing inspector charges you a fixed fee for inspecting all of the glazing that’s been done on a new building. So we’re going to call this person Glaz Insp and there’s no rate per hour. There’s no overtime rate but there’s a cost per use of, say, $299 which is the professional rate to do the inspection and also to provide a certificate to say that the inspection has been completed. So that’s our glazing inspector. Now let’s go back into the Gantt Chart again and on the fit windows and doors task which is, of course, a summary task and breaks down into all the constituent two main subtasks which are themselves summary tasks. But this particular resource is going to be used on the summary task. © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 So I go into the summary task there, look at the information, go for resources, and I’m just assigning the resource to this one task which is the glazing inspector. Click on OK and now if I, let’s go back into the Task Usage View again. I’m going to get a bit more of a breakdown of these costs here. And you can see that under the fit windows and doors summary task, so this supplies to everything that comes within windows and doors, glazing inspector we have a total cost of $299. Now let me just go back into that resource sheet again. Of course, I would have to make sure that I was clear about when that $299 was payable. Is it paid in advance or is it paid afterwards? Well, let’s say we’ve got a very generous glazing inspector who’s quite happy to have us accrue the cost and charge us after the works completed. So that’s a fixed cost resource assigned to a task. So I’ve just got one other type of cost to show you and that’s the budge resource cost that we talked about earlier on. I’m back in Gantt Chart View now and what I need to do is to show the Project summary task. So if I click on the Format tab and show the Project summary task, select the Project summary task itself, and then show the Project information for that. And on the Resources tab what I need to do is to assign that incidental expenses budget resource. Now at this stage, I can do no more than actually just assign that budget resource. So I click on OK. Now I switch back into Task Usage View so that I can see the tasks and the resources assigned to each task. Now I’m going to insert another column into this table, and the column I’m going to insert is the budget cost column. Now as you’ll see by now when you come to doing insert column, you’ve got that long list of fields. There’s an awful lot of them there. If you want to try to go straight to a particular field, you can just start typing it. So if I do B-U and I’m pretty soon filtered it down to either budget cost or budget work. Click on budget cost and you can see uniquely to this type of resource, you see all the others have got blanks in there, you can actually now type in the budget cost for incidental expenses. Let’s suppose based on past experience I set that at $350 for my expenses budget for this building project. And that’s how you assign a budget cost resource. So we’ve really covered here all of the important aspects of cost and although it can be a fairly complex area I think the way it’s setup in Project 2013 is pretty easy to get along with. It covers © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 pretty much all the eventualities that I’ve ever come across. One area that we’re not going to cover on this course but which I think is important to point out is that in particular if you’re working on projects which involve very long term planning, you may need to take into account changes in costs over time. If I go to the resource sheet and let’s say take one of these work resources. Let’s say take Jim for example. If we look at the Cost tab in Jim’s resource information, we have different charging rates. So we can have a charging rate A, B, C, D, E. By default, the default rate is the A rate but you could use a different charging rate. Jim’s A rate is 22.50 an hour standard, 33.75 an hour overtime, and no per use cost. If I want to cover changes to that rate, let’s say that Jim’s rate is linked to some kind of index rate of inflation or something and I want to have say from let’s choose a date, say, July the 1st the standard rate is going to increase by 2%, for example, and so is the overtime rate. Then that can all be done in a very straightforward way in Project 2013. I’m not going to cover that now but it’s a really powerful facility when it comes to long term planning where it’s important to have as a good a stab at getting the cost right as you can. Anyway that’s it on costs for now. We’re going to move now into tracking progress and costs will figure in that quite a bit as well. But in terms of our current project, we’ve got the cost setup now as well as we need them to be and that’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 25 – Project Outline Video: Showing, Hiding and Moving Subtasks Toby: Hello and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look in a little bit more detail at how to work with a project outline. In order to demonstrate this, I’ve made a copy of the latest version of our building project and I’ve collapsed all of the tasks down. So first of all, on the View tab in the Data Group there’s a button there on the left, Outline. If you click on the drop down next to the word Outline, you have a number of options one of which is All subtasks. If I select that option, All subtasks, I see all the subtasks in the project. As you can see all of those summary tasks are fully expanded. I can see the whole project. At the moment, I’ve also got the critical task switch set so I can see which ones are the critical tasks. Similarly, if I go back to that same button and say Hide subtasks, then all of the subtasks are hidden right up to the level of the Project summary task. So let me go back to that drop down again and this time instead of saying Show subtasks, I’m going to say Level 1. Now Level 1 gives me the first level of tasks in this project outline. If I say Level 2 watch what happens. Level 2 takes me to the next level. Now that’s not quite seeing all of the subtasks because as you should remember we also have a further level down here under fit windows and doors. Fit doors and fit windows, each of those is a summary task as well. So if I go to Level 3, I see those as well. Now, of course, in a long very complex project you may have many levels of subtask. But this is a really useful way of being able to control what level of subtask you can see at any time. Now let me go back to Level 1 again. You don’t have to work on the whole of the project when you’re controlling these levels. If I, for instance, just selected lay foundation, as we’ve seen already I could click on the little wedge there in order to expand lay foundation. But I can also, say, using that drop down, Show subtasks, and in this case because I have a specific summary task selected it just shows the subtasks for the selected summary task. One way of thinking of that is that before we really had the Project summary task selected and therefore were dealing with all the tasks in the project. So in this case I have two summary tasks expanded, lay foundation and build walls. If I select one of them, just say build walls, click on Outline, and

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Project 2013 then at the top there say Hide subtasks, it only hides the subtasks of the selected summary task not of all summary tasks in the project. So that’s how to view the project outline. If you want to move tasks around, there are a couple of things to be aware of. In a very straightforward case, let’s take this task here, base brick work. If I just want to put this into a different position, if I go to the Task tab, there’s the normal cut, copy, and paste buttons there or I can use keyboard shortcuts. I’m going to use a keyboard shortcut here of Control-X. Watch what happens by the way to the dependencies. If I take base brick work and I cut it and let’s say I go right down to the bottom, Select building complete and paste it down there. It becomes an independent task but notice that the dependencies still apply. Note how the arrows have changed but basically same dependency and, of course, the task itself will still have the same start and finish dates because I haven’t changed anything that would affect how it’s scheduled. All I’ve done is draw it in a different position within the outline. If I drag it, select, and then drag it up and drop it somewhere, maybe in the same position it was or near the position it was already, notice I’ve got it in between two of the subtasks of lay foundation and I release it then it does assume the indent level of those tasks, and that’s another important thing to bear in mind. So that was moving a subtask within a summary task. Let’s go up and look at the prepare site task. That’s a summary task with four subtasks. If I take the prepare site task which is a summary task, select and drag that down to the bottom, watch what happens. The summary task and all of its subtasks get moved as well. Now, again, it doesn’t affect my schedule in any way. It only affects where they’re positioned within the Gantt Chart. But if you move a summary task, if you cut, copy, drag a summary task, then all of its subtasks move with it. If I wanted to move one of the individual subtasks, maybe make it part of a different summary task or make it a standalone task, I’ve got to select the individual task and work on the individual task. Now let me just demonstrate that this works in pretty much the same way if you’re using touch. Let’s go into touch mode and let’s suppose that I wanted to move the site inspection summary task. The first thing to do is to select it. So all I need to do is to tap to select it. Note the two little circular selection handles, one above and one below the selected task. Now to cut it, I can either go to the Ribbon or if I tap and hold on the task, bring up the mini toolbar. One of the options on there is cut. Note I get a warning there about cutting and possibly deleting a summary © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 task there, but that’s fine. I know what I’m doing. Click on OK. Now if I select the task above which I want to paste this, so if I select the first task, prepare site. Now this time I’ll use the Ribbon. So let’s go to the Task tab on the Ribbon and tap on paste; that pastes the site inspection summary task there and I can either just tap to expand. Or if I go back to the View tab again and use the Outline button with Show subtasks, you can see that the site inspection summary task is now expanded. So as I say it works pretty much the same if you’re using touch. That’s how to work with the Project Outline and that’s the end of this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 26 – Baselines and Interim Plans Video: Purpose of Interim Plan; Setting, Saving and Clearing a Baseline Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. So far on the course we’ve been concentrating on scheduling, looking at the use of resources to get the work on our house build done, and also setting up dependencies, deadlines, constraints, and so on. But there comes a point when the scheduling is all done. We’re confident in our schedule, or at least as confident as we can be, and now is the time to start looking at running the project and monitoring progress and the project progresses. That’s really what we’re going to start looking at in the next few sections. The first thing we’re going to do in this section is to look at saving a baseline. Now let me, first of all, explain what a baseline is. If you were working on a relatively straightforward project, once you’ve got the scheduling done, you would save a baseline which is basically a copy of the schedule at a point in time. But it doesn’t only contain a copy of the schedule in terms of the dates for each of the tasks. A baseline also contains information about costs, about the use of resources, and so on, and we use a baseline to measure progress on the project. So let’s suppose that we saved a snapshot of our building project on the day that the first person arrived to start work. Two or three weeks later we might look at comparing where we’d actually got to with that baseline. On the basis of that comparison, we can say whether things are going well or whether things are going badly. We could look at things like have we spent more or less money than we thought we would? Do we need more resources? And so on. Apart from the day to day practicality of comparing progress against a baseline, baselines are very often used for management reporting. So if you’re in a situation where you’re reporting progress on your project or projects to some kind of interested party, stake holders, management team, a board, or whoever, then it will very often be the case that you’ll be comparing how things actually are with a baseline. So the baseline really is the sort of benchmark that the projects progress is measured against. So let’s consider our little building project here, that we’re going to build this house.

Let’s

suppose that we’ve saved a baseline, something we’ll be doing shortly. And let’s suppose that not long after we start the project somebody comes along and says, Okay we’ve changed our

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Project 2013 minds about this build. We’re actually going to build a much bigger house. We’ve decided that we’re aiming for a different market altogether so we’re going to make the house 50% bigger. We’re going to have twice as many rooms. We’re going to have a triple garage. We’re going to do all sorts of things we weren’t going to do before. Immediately the schedule for building the house is very likely to be extended and the cost of building the house may be greatly increased. If we were then to continue to measure progress against our original baseline, it would really be unfair on the project manager because everything would be costing more, everything would be taking longer. Compared to the original baseline, we’d appear to be doing really badly. So in fact, you can have more than one baseline on a project. In fact, Project 2013 will accommodate up to 11 baselines. You probably won’t get involved in projects that need that many baselines and I should point out that it’s not good practice to sort of save a new baseline every week to make things look good. Usually a baseline is associated with some sort of commercial or contractual state.

So if in the example I’ve just outlined it was decided to change the

specification of the house and make it a much bigger building job, then we would formally adopt a new baseline once we’d rescheduled the build and redone the costings and so on. Now on this course, we’re just going to work with a single baseline for this build but it’s important to understand that you may well be in situations where you need to save new or additional baselines. Something else that sometimes happens on projects is that you get a delay due to some external factor such as an industrial dispute. In fact, there was a good example in the U.K. just literally in the last two or three weeks before me recording this where one of the major public building projects has been delayed by the discovery of a colony of a rare species of spider. While they were doing the excavations, they discovered these spiders and the various scientists are now working out how to relocate these rare spiders somewhere else. The whole projects been delayed by some considerable length of time, and when this happens you wouldn’t necessarily save a new baseline, particularly if a delay only affected part of a project. What can happen is that you can put in place an alternative entity called an Interim plan. An interim plan is a sort of smaller scale thing than a baseline. An interim plan is basically just the dates rather than the overall costs and so on. And what you may do in some situations, let’s suppose you’ve got a baseline for a major project and you always want to keep site of that baseline. You always need to know how costs compare with how you originally envisaged them, how timescales are going, and so © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 on. But you also need on a day to day basis to see how things are going against a sort of revised schedule, perhaps something caused as I say by some exceptional event. What you can do in that situation is you can save an interim plan which is a sort of a low fat baseline and then you can compare progress with the interim plan for all or part of the project. Now we’re not going to cover interim plans on this course but it’s important to understand what the purpose of an interim plan is. So here is a version of our current schedule. What I’m going to do is to save this as a baseline. Now in order to do that or to demonstrate, what happens when I do that on the View tab, click on Tables, go down to More tables, and we’re going to look at the baseline table. Now when we save a baseline what we get is a set of baseline figures. These include baseline duration, baseline start, baseline finish, baseline work, and baseline cost. Now before we save a baseline as you can see they’re all empty or zero. So let’s save a baseline. Click on the Project tab. One of the options on the Project tab in the Schedule Group here is Set baseline. Note the screen tip there. Take a snapshot of your schedule that includes information about tasks, resources, and assignments. Let’s just click on the bottom of the button there. Set baseline. Notice there’s an option here to clear a baseline. You can actually, if you’ve made a mistake or you’ve decided it’s all gone horribly wrong, clear a baseline and start again. But let’s go on, Set baseline. So we see the Set Baseline dialog and, first of all, we have an option between setting a baseline and setting an interim plan. Now we’re going to set a baseline and we can choose the baseline we want to set. There’s baseline which is the default baseline. That’s the one we’re going to use, and then as I said there’s a total of 11. There are ten alternative baselines. So if because of some major change in scope, budget, or whatever we needed to set a new baseline and we wanted to keep the original, then we’ve got up to ten alternative baselines. We’re going to stick with the default baseline here, and then we get a choice. Do you want a baseline for the whole project or for selected tasks? Now we’re going to work with the entire project on this occasion. So we’re going to say I want my default baseline for the entire project and then click on OK. Now when you do that all of the current figures are copied into those baseline fields that were empty before and we now have our project baseline.

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Project 2013 And just to take one particular example, if you look at the project summary task here, that’s the task with ID zero at the top. The baseline amount of work is 696 hours and one of the things we can compare throughout the project is how we’re doing towards that total of 696 hours of work. Now there’s just one other thing I’d like to show you in relation to this and that is let’s suppose that we find we have an additional task and we’ve got approval to add it to the baseline. We don’t need to treat this as a change of scope or a completely new baseline. We just think it’s an omission and it’s one small item we can add to the current baseline. So let me just go back into the normal Gantt Chart View and I’m going to change back normally to the entry table. I’m going to put a task in prepare site, a new subtask right at the bottom there. So insert task. Let’s say it’s just a cleanup task and let’s say it’s a one day task, and resource wise, assign resource. I’m going to choose a work resource of laborer. Laborer’s going to have a cleanup task up there. Close. So there’s my new task. I’m going to add a dependence there. So let’s put in a link there. My project by the way is going to run late now because of that but that doesn’t matter at the moment. Now let’s go and look again at the baseline. We’ve added this task since we saved the baseline so it’s not included in it, but we can add individual tasks to an existing baseline. So back on the Project tab, click on Set baseline again. Now we’re doing set baseline for selected task or tasks. If I select the summary tasks that I want to roll the figures into such as the prepare site task here which I haven’t selected, then what Project 2013 will do will be to recalculate totals for the summary task. But I can say to all summary tasks and that makes sure that all of the rolling up right up to the project summary task level is done. So now watch what happens when I click on OK. I’m warned about changing the existing baseline. It may not be my intention to add this to existing baseline. So that’s Project 2013 just warning me that I’m about to change the baseline I’ve already saved. Click on Yes and, of course, not only does the cleanup task now appear as part of the baseline, but the additional eight hours of work is in prepare site and the additional eight hours of work has been rolled up right to the top level to the project summary task as well. So it’s important to understand that you effectively manually control the rolling up of the additional work and cost and so on into summary tasks right up to the project summary task level. So that’s how you add one or more tasks to an existing baseline and as we saw on the Set baseline button before, if you need to clear a baseline, there’s a button to do that as well. © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 So now there’s a pretty straightforward exercise for you to do. I’m going to take that newly added task out of this project and remove the baseline that I’ve already saved here, and then that is going to be example_13 in the files that you got with the course. All I’d like you to do is to save a baseline for example_13. My answer to that is example_14. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 27 – Tracking Video: Progress Update Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. The last exercise I gave you to do will have been to save a baseline as example_14 and our building project now looks like this. If we looked at the baseline data, baseline start, baseline finish, and so on everything’s got values now. Let’s go to the Project tab and click on Project Information, and we have a project start date of April 2nd and the finish date of June 18th. Now in fact, the building completes sometimes before that. In fact, it just about achieves our deadline of the end of May. But the tasks that are continuing are some site inspections. This will quite often be the case when there’s some sort of snagging and correction work and clearing up to and so on. This milestone here, 39 building completed, only really denotes the completion of the actual physical building. So let’s now also click on Statistics and if we click on statistics now, not only have we got a current start and finish but we’ve got a baseline start and finish now. So, the next missing part of the statistics on our project have now appeared. Now, of course, at this stage the baseline agrees with the current plan, as you would expect, because we’ve only just saved the baseline. What we’re going to start to do in this section is to start recording some actual information. Before we start recording actual information, I’d like to point out two very important things. The first of them is that getting reliable information about actual progress tends to be a much more difficult task than recording it in Microsoft Project. There are various techniques for assembling information. You might have people that complete time sheets. You may walk around members of the team that are working on a project and ask how they’re getting on, check with them what they’ve completed, what they haven’t completed, and so on. But the problems that most people get related to keeping track of actual information tend to be a combination of people having a usually rather over optimistic view of how far they are through a task and the fact that sometimes it’s a little bit too easy to just assume that everything’s on track. So to a large extent the success you’re going to have with tracking progress is going to depend on how good you are at getting the correct source information to update Microsoft Project with. Sometimes this is primarily down to putting in the right sort of processes but often it’s also due to your own ability to get a

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Project 2013 good feeling for how well or badly things are going and maybe to some extent which figures or whose figures you can trust and which figures you can’t. Now Microsoft Project can only work with the numbers you give it. So if you tell it that a task is half complete, it would just put down half complete. It’s not going to say to you, Are you sure it’s half complete? It only looks a quarter complete to me. So you really need to make sure that the figures that you’re putting in are as accurate as they can be. The second thing to point out is that when we’re tracking progress, some of the techniques that we use are automated or at least semi-automated. Largely speaking those processes cannot be used with manually scheduled tasks. If your project or projects include manually scheduled tasks tracking progress, updating progress on those is a manual process. So you’d need to look at each of those each time you do a progress update and manually update the status of any manually scheduled tasks. Now the meaning of that will become more apparent over the next section or two as we start looking at the various ways of updating and tracking progress. Now it’s potentially quite difficult to show you how to update progress on a project which for you will be set in the past and where I have a certain date when I’m recording this course and so on. So I’m afraid you’re going to have to just go with me a little bit on the dates that we’re using here. The date currently actually is April the 8th and this particular project in theory has been running for about a week. One of the great things about Project 2013 is that as part of the process of not only planning and scheduling but tracking progress on a project, we can change the current date, so we can cheat, and we can also set the status date because the important thing when we’re tracking progress is that we’re looking at the status as it was on a date. It will very often be the case that when you’re looking at progress on a project it won’t be progress as of now. Let me give you an example. Several of the projects that I’ve worked on in the recent past have involved quite a long period of time and perhaps once a month, maybe at the end of the month, the people working on the project are required to give an update on their progress; to look at all the tasks they’re responsible for and record how much work they’ve done, whether they’ve finished, whether the task is going to take longer or less time than they said, and so on. Now at the end of the month, we gather all that information together and it often takes a few days before we can collate that all, update our project, and publish the findings. It may well be the fourth or fifth working day of © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 the month before we can update status as at the end of the previous month. So what happens is when you’re entering this status information, it’s quite often entering status information that’s a few days old. But it’s important to point out when you’re recording the information which date the status actually applies to. If I’m updating status, say, for March 2013 on April the 8th, I don’t want it to look as though it’s the status on April the 8th. I want it to look as though it’s the status at the end of March. So before you update status, the first thing you’re going to do is to specify what the status date is. If I go in to Project Information, if I choose a current date, let’s stick with the current date of April 8th, and I set a status date of April 5th, what I’m saying effectively is that on April 8th I’m recording the status as it was on Friday, April 5th. So I’ve got a current date and I’ve got a status date. Now according to my schedule on April the 5th what should have happened is that I should have had the first site inspection and the demolition work should be well progressed. It’ll almost be finished. But according to the Gantt Chart nothing else will have started. So that’s the status as it should be and in fact what I’m going to record is the fact that that is the status. That’s exactly what’s happened. We’ve had the first site inspection, the demolition is well under way, almost finished, and that’s really where we’d got to on Friday. And just before we start the update process, I need to show you one other table. We were looking at the baseline table here. Let’s now choose the table Tracking. For any tasks within the schedule, once you record any kind of tracking information, any progress against it, then it has an actual start date and really the whole project has an actual start date when the first task has an actual start date. If we just go back for a moment to that Project Information Statistics dialog that I showed you before, that has N/A, nothing. Actual start none, finish none, and then actual duration, work, cost, none, none, none. Nothing’s happened until we do the first bit of tracking. Once we do the first bit of tracking, then the contents of these tracking fields start to appear. And just briefly to describe them, the actual start date is the actual start date for individual tasks or summary tasks and indeed an actual start date for the whole project which is the first recorded start date for anything in the project. Actual finish will go into each task or summary task as it’s completed. Percent complete, think of that as a sort of estimate of the percent complete, the amount of work complete on each individual task or summary task. Physical percent complete is © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 the actual measured percent complete. I’ll talk about percent complete and physical percent complete later on. And then we have an actual duration. That’s the duration that’s actually gone by and the amount of duration that remains, the remaining duration. So these actuals, together with things like actual cost and actual work, are the recorded values for each of the tasks in our project. At the moment, none of them have any values, but as soon as you start tracking they start to get values. So what we do now is on the Project tab in the Status Group we select Update project and this is the dialog that you’ll normally use to update the whole project or some part of the project on a regular basis. Now we’re going to use the most straightforward options possible to begin with. The status date, Friday, April 5th, is in the box here. It’s another chance to change it here if necessary. I’m actually completing this on the following Monday, April the 8th. And the first option is Update the work as though it is complete through. What we’re basically saying here is that when we use this option, then with the top option selected what’s actually happened is what is scheduled to happen. So whatever’s supposed to have happened by now has happened and we’re basically completely on track. So update the work as complete through, set 0% to 100% complete. So for tasks that are partially complete calculate what proportion complete they are. There is a second option here and what this option says is that if a task is scheduled to be complete, then it’s complete. If it’s not scheduled to be complete, so maybe it’s not scheduled to be started yet or it’s not scheduled to be finished anyway. Maybe it’s a quarter or a half or threequarters or something, set it as 0%. You then have this option which says for any uncompleted work schedule it to start after today. So what this is basically saying is that the project as I’ve got it marked now with various tasks complete, un-started, or in various stages of completeness, what I want you to do is reschedule the whole thing as though it’s starting again from today with all that uncompleted work. And then you have a choice here that says do I want to do this for the whole project or for the selected tasks? Now we’re going to work on the whole project and we’re going to choose the top option, Update work as complete through and the Set 0% to 100% complete option, and then all we have to do is to click on OK. And what Project 2013 now does is to update our status. So let me just pull the divider over and let’s have a look at the table. One of the tasks, ID 2, is the first site inspection which was scheduled to take place on the first Tuesday. Look carefully at what’s happened to that. It has now an actual start date. It has an

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Project 2013 actual finish date. So that task is 100% complete which is what’s indicated there. The actual duration, two hours, the actual cost, $116, the actual work, four hours. The site foreman and the project manager did two hours each so that’s four hours and at their various rates of pay that’s $116. So that task cost $116 and it’s complete. Now as soon as task two got an actual start date, then the summary task, task ID 1 that owns it also got an actual start date. Of course, the summary task is not finished yet because it owns all of the other site inspections, but it is 8% complete. So because one of the site inspections is complete, it is 8% complete. And figures such as actual cost and actual work are going to roll up into that summary task over time. So we can see how the fact that one of the subtasks has some progress means that we now have some progress in the summary task. Now let’s turn our attention down to the demolition task which is the only other actual task that has started. But with this task, although it started on Tuesday, April 2nd, it is not yet complete. It was a five day task. We completed four days, up to Friday. So that was Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and we have one day remaining duration. That’ll actually be the work being done today. So the task is 80% complete. Now you may or may not have noticed this before but a total of five days for that was half of the work within the prepare site summary task. So the fact that we’ve done 80% of half of the work means that as far as the summary task, prepare site is concerned we’ve done 40% of the summary task. The summary task has an actual start date but of course no actual finish date yet because that work is not finished. We’ve got an actual duration of four days, a remaining duration of six days. That’s 40% and we can see what so far the actual cost and the actual work have been. So those two tasks represent all of the progress so far on the project and for each of those two tasks they also have an impact on their respective summary tasks as well. So having seen how to record actual information for a project, in the next section we’re going to move things forward another week and see how progress on the build is going then. So please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Tools for Tracking Progress Toby: Hello and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section, we did our first week’s worth of progress updating and we indicated that progress on Friday of the first week of work on the build was on schedule. We did this on the following Monday. And a little bit later on we’re going to put in progress for the next week, but before we do that I’d like you to look at some of the other tools that will help you with both understanding what we’ve done so far and identifying the use of further tools to help with tracking progress in Project 2013. Now we’re currently looking at our project in Gantt View and I’m just going to zoom in a little bit. So let me just use the zoom slider there to zoom in, and then I’m going to drag right back here to the first of the site inspections and that’s the one that’s complete. What you can notice there is that there is now a line through that task and what that basically says is that that is a task that is complete. Now if I just zoom back out again and now we look down at the task below it, demolition. We indicated demolition was 80% complete, four days out of five. Notice that the line there goes only as far as the progress that we’ve indicated when we’ve done the progress update. Note the shading here indicates the weekend Saturday and Sunday. So although we’ve done 80% of the work, we haven’t put a line through 80% of the line. Having said that, there is a line through the middle of 80% of the working part of the line. So 80% is the bit from there to there and the other 20% is the work that’s to be done today, Monday. So the line through the task like this is one of the visual cues that you can use in a Gantt Chart to show you how much of a task or a range of tasks is complete. Having said that, don’t forget you can customize the view of a Gantt Chart and we’re going to look at that later on in the course. But in addition to those visual cues within a standard Gantt Chart, if you go to the drop down here for the view, there is another Gantt Chart called a Tracking Gantt. If I click on Tracking Gantt, let me just pull the divider over here a little, the tracking Gantt can also be extremely useful because it still shows us the bars but it also shows us in numbers to the right of the Gantt itself the percent complete of each task. Now this percent complete replaces in the standard definition, the standard formatting the list of names of the resources, but if you’re really trying to get a quick look at percent complete of tasks both visually in terms of how much filling on the bar there is and also with the numbers on the right, then the Tracking Gantt can be really useful as well.

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Project 2013 So let’s now look back at the Project tab and the Project Information and let’s look at statistics because now that we’ve got some recorded progress, our statistics are starting to fill out. We have a start date for the current start date, the baseline start date, and the actual start date. Obviously, we don’t have an actual finish yet. We’ve not finished the project. But in the lower half of the statistics box here we can see that in terms of percent complete, in 7% of the duration of the project we’ve done 6% of the work. We also have a summary here of duration 53.25 days. We’ve actually done 3.84 days and we’ve got 49.41 days remaining. Of the 616 hours of work, we’ve done 36 hours. We’ve got 580 hours to do. And in terms of the overall cost, we’ve so far accrued $756 and we’ve got $22,907.60 still to accrue. Now when you come to looking at these kinds of numeric summaries of progress, you really need to be very careful because you really need to take a good broad picture of a project before you come to any conclusions about it. We’ll be looking at this later on in the course when we have a look at financial reporting. But let me just give you a little example of how misleading some of these numbers can be. Let’s suppose I’m running a project and it’s hopelessly behind schedule. Not only have I not done any of the work but I’ve not even bought the materials that I need. If I were to do a presentation to management on my project, I could actually make the point that we’re well within budget. We’re supposed to have spent $5,000 by now but we’ve only spent two. And I might even be persuasive enough to make them think that I’m working within budget. Well, I am but that’s because I am so far behind schedule that I haven’t even bought the materials yet. Now that’s a very simplistic example but it gives you just an idea of how important it is to look at all of these numbers holistically to say okay, you may have spent less money than you should have done by now but have you done less work or have you done more work or have you done the target amount of work? And there’s some of the things that we’ll look at later on when we talk about financial reporting. So, now for the next exercise for you to do I’m going to save this particular project as example_15 and I would like you to record that we’re on schedule and this is going to be for a status date of Friday, April 12, 2013 and you’re going to set the actual current date as say Tuesday, April the 16, 2013. So Tuesday next week compared to where I am now is going to be

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Project 2013 the date that you’re entering the status on Friday and the status on Friday is that everything’s on track. My answer to that will be example_16. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013

Video: Project Options that Affect Progress Tracking Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. At the end of the previous section I left you with an exercise to do and my answer to that, example_16, is what we’re looking at now and this is involved doing another week of progress reporting on our building project. We’ve got a few tasks completed now, including the first two site inspections. In this section, we’re going to look at the Project Options that affect progress tracking. The main options that affect tracking are on the schedule page so let’s just scroll down to the bottom of the schedule page and we’ve already seen the calculation option here, Calculate project after each edit on or off. I explained those options earlier on in the course. I virtually always have this set to on. And then it’s the group of options below that that we’re particularly interested in at the moment. The first option, Updating task status updates resource status. If this is checked what happens is that if, for example, you say that a task is half complete then resource usage for each resource on that task is also half complete. Whether it’s a work resource or a material resource if the task is half done, then each of the resources is half done as well. Secondly, Inserted projects are calculated like summary tasks. You can have a subproject within a project. You can take a project and insert it into another one and it’s like a sort of super summary task. Well, if you have this option checked, then indeed when it comes to calculation that inserted project will be calculated as though it were a summary task. The third option, Actual costs are always calculated by project. One of the things that you can do when you’re updating status on one or more tasks in Project is to enter actual cost manually. You can put them into the actual cost column in the cost table in Gantt Chart View, for example. But if this box is checked what’s going to happen if you do that is that whenever you get Project to do a calculation for you, it will overwrite the actual cost that you’ve put in when it comes to calculate the actual cost itself. But it’s worth noting that once a task is marked as complete, Project isn’t going to update the costs anymore anyway. So once a task is complete, then if you put in an actual cost of your own, effectively overriding what Project has said, then that will not be overwritten again because once the task is complete, Project isn’t going to overwrite what you’ve written.

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Project 2013 The final option here is the one that we talked about earlier on, Default fixed cost accrual. You can set that to one of the three options. It’s currently set here to prorated which is the one that I usually use and it is the default for Project 2013. There are some additional options on the Advanced page, so let’s just click to the Advanced page, scroll down to the bottom. A couple of these are a little bit more complicated to explain but they’re actually relatively straightforward when you understand them. Let’s take the first one, Move end of completed parts after status date back to status date. Let’s suppose that you have a task where it’s complete. It’s not actually due to be complete but it’s effectively been finished early. If you have this box checked, well what’ll happen is that when you come to do a progress update that task will be moved in the schedule such that it shows that it’s completed on the status date even though originally it was scheduled to be completed after the status date. The option below that is the opposite in terms of where you have a remaining part of a task checking this option will mean that the remaining part is moved to start on the status date. Now I’m not going to go into the other options here. They’re a little bit more advanced and we don’t really need them at the moment in terms of doing the basis of progress tracking. But they’re important ones to look into if you’re use of Project means that you need to use some of the more sophisticated aspects of progress tracking. For now the ones that we’ve seen are enough for our purposes. So, so far everything’s been going to schedule which is great. But, of course, in most projects things don’t go to schedule so let’s look at this project starting to go a little bit wrong. The first thing I want to remind you of is what the dates were set at when we last did an update. So if I click on Project Information, we had a current date of Tuesday, April 16th which was the date we were doing the update. And the status date, so the date to which the update referred was Friday, April 12th. So they’re the dates. Note that the current date, Tuesday, April 16 th, is the date that’s shown by that vertical line on the Gantt Chart. Now what I’m going to do is to change that current date and I’m going to say the current date has moved on two days. It’s now the 18th. So that line moves two days to the right and the problem is it’s been absolutely pouring with rain. We’ve not been able to do any work on the excavation at all. We’ve not even really got started on any of the later tasks because all of them are dependent on us finishing the

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Project 2013 preparation of the site. The only thing we’ve managed to do is this week’s site inspection. So let’s do an update that reflects the fact that it’s all gone horribly wrong. Now one of the options you’ve got in this situation is to use Update Project with one of the options that we looked at earlier on. I’ll come back to that in just a moment. But the first thing we need to do is to set the status date. Now on this occasion, the status date is going to be the same as the current date because what we’re going to say is it’s all gone pretty horribly wrong. So how are things today on Thursday, April the 18th? Well, we might say, Okay well the weather has picked up. We’ve lost some work but we can actually get started again now. So what I really want to do is to reschedule the project from now. If I went into Update Project, I could say, Reschedule uncompleted work to start after and just use today’s date and say everything that’s not done reschedule it to work after today. But before I do that what I’m going to do is I’m going to go into the site inspections, choose the one that’s due to happen this week which is that one, Site inspection 3, and I can say well that did actually happen. If you go to the Task tab in the Schedule Group, there are some buttons where you can indicate percent complete for individual tasks. And I can say that particular one, that’s 100% complete. So let’s mark that one as 100% complete. Now let’s take a look at the excavation task. Now we know that the excavation task started last week. It’s actually a two day task. It should’ve finished on Monday but it hasn’t finished because of the bad weather. So we go to talk to the people involved in the excavation task and they tell us that they believe it’s about 75% complete. So there’s probably about a half a day’s work to do. So let’s select that excavation task, go back to the Task tab, and mark it as 75% complete.

Now having done that, of course, we’re still well behind schedule because it

should’ve been well finished by now, but at that point we’ve really updated everything we can. So what we now want to do is to say, Okay I’ve put in all the information that I know. What I now need to do is to reschedule the project from now based on the information that I’ve entered. So what I now do is go back to the Project tab again, click on Update Project. Of course, my update date and current date are still correct so I click on Reschedule uncompleted work to start after today. So I’m going to assume that as from tomorrow, we can carry on with whatever hasn’t been done.

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Project 2013 Now clearly we’ve lost some time. It’s not going to conveniently fit in by the end date. We’re going to have one or two problems to resolve in order to get our project back on its target completion date of May 31st but let’s see what happens when we do this. What we get is a message from the Planning Wizard. Now sometimes the messages from the Planning Wizard can be quite daunting because they seem quite long and complicated. This one is relatively straightforward although it’s quite a long message actually. And it basically says that at least one task it had trouble rescheduling because of a constraint date. The second paragraph there though tells you how to locate that task or tasks so that you can look at how to resolve that particular problem. So I’ve made a note of what needs doing there. I’m going to click on OK and let’s take a look at the schedule as it stands now. One of the most notable things about it and this is a very significant point is if you look at the excavation task, note how the task has been split between the work that’s already completed and the half a day of work that still needs to be done. The dot, dot, dot, dot, dot between them indicates the split. Let’s go down and see how late our project is running. We’re aiming at May 31st. We’ve missed it by a little bit now. We’ve lost a couple of days there so we’re going to have quite a big problem to resolve here. When it comes to looking for ways to resolve these kinds of scheduling issue, we talked about the basic approach earlier on in the course. We have used overtime. We used it to save a little bit of elapsed time on doing the roof. The roofer agreed to do the equivalent of one day of overtime. We looked at changing some dependencies, overlapping tasks. We’ve pretty much trimmed one or two of those things down as far as we could. We could here, for instance, ask Jim to do a bit of overtime on bricklaying. Maybe even ask Jade to do some overtime on the windows. But let’s look at one of the options that we’ve talked about before but not actually used. I’m now specifically looking at the work on brick laying because the brick laying work we allocated to Jim but I did mention before that we may well need another brick layer. Why don’t we try getting another brick layer to help Jim to reduce the elapsed time on the walls? Now if I open up the ground floor walls task here and look at the task information, Advanced tab, it is effort driven. The brick laying task is an effort driven task. It’s a five day task as well. So why don’t I allocate an additional resource? So I’m going to say resources, Jim is on there. Let’s choose another resource. Let’s go for generic brick layer, 100% for it of a generic brick layer,

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Project 2013 click on OK, and what we now have is an improvement to the schedule. Now note that I haven’t necessarily increased costs here because although I’m now paying two brick layers to work on the ground floor walls the elapsed time is only going to be half what it was. So overall, it won’t make a significant difference to my cost. I’ve still got a little bit more time to win back though because I’m still running late, although allowing for a weekend, I’m only a day behind schedule now. So maybe the best thing to do next would be to allocate the brick layer to help Jim on the upper floor walls as well. So let’s just try that, upper floor walls. Let’s go into that, allocate a brick layer, click on OK, and we’ve actually pulled back more time than we needed. Now that looks really good. Of course, with a project with no contingency time at all, I shouldn’t feel too complacent about doing that but you can see how as the project progresses we need to look at scheduling, rescheduling, keep an eye on cost, make sure that things don’t become far too expensive in order to keep to a schedule. You may get to a point where the weather or some other external factor means that you just can’t complete the project on time. But, of course, this is totally subjective and absolutely dependent on the particular project and the particular circumstances. So before we leave the subject of progress tracking let’s just go back and take another look at the Tracking Gantt Chart. That’ll make slightly more interesting reading now. I’m still reasonably zoomed in. Notice how say with Task 18 how the Tracking Gantt looks now. The original bar is the lower bar. So that’s effectively a sort of very dark colored virtually black bar at the bottom there. The top part has been split. We’ve got a complete part and a not complete part. And if you look down at the other tasks in the schedule, note how the rescheduling has moved them all very significantly away from where they were, although as I go further down the schedule the time that I’ve won back by using the additional brick layer means that some of the other tasks are actually ahead of where they were. So that’s why we’re finishing up a day ahead of the original deadline. However, we have got a resource leveling issue with Jade’s time so let’s just go back into Resource, Level Resource, find Jade, there she is, click on level now. That sorted out the leveling of Jade’s time. It hasn’t in any way delayed the project so that’s fine. One other thing to point out up here, note how in the Tracking Gantt Chart as tasks are completed you get a tick in the indicator column just to emphasize the fact that those tasks are © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 completed.

And if we go back to the View tab, click on the filter, we can actually say

incomplete task. So if in a project you want to make it a little bit easier to see the tasks that haven’t been completed, yet click on Incomplete tasks and the ones that are complete will no longer be shown. It means you can focus your attention on the ones that still have some work needed. So that’s it on progress tracking for the moment. In the next section we’re going to take a quick look at task paths so please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Tracing Task Paths Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this short section we’re going to take a look at one of the new features of Project 2013 and this is the feature whereby we can trace task paths which is very useful when it comes to resolving scheduling problems. In order to demonstrate this new feature, I’m going to use this little dummy project. Now I could have demonstrated it within our existing building project but the coloring and the overall effect of tracing task paths is actually quite subtle. And although you’ll be able to see it fine when you’re working on one of your own projects, looking at it on a training video like this would actually be quite difficult. Whereas separating out these few tasks it’ll make it very clear what’s going on. Now the key task here is Task 3. It has two predecessors and two successors. It has a finish to start relationship with both of its predecessors but Task 1 finished earlier than Task 2. So although both of these are predecessors of Task 3, it’s actually Task 2 that is currently driving Task 3 because that’s the one that finishes last so that’s the one that Task 3 has to wait for until it can start. Task 3 has two successors, Task 4 and Task 5. But note that with Task 4, whereas it’s actually driving the start of Task 4, Task 5 is not directly dependent on Task 3. In fact with Task 5 there’s even a bit of a lag here between it and Task 4. Now with Task 3 selected if I go to the Gantt Chart Tools Format tab, right in the middle of the Bar Styles Group, there is a Task path button. If I click on that, I’m given four options. The first option is to show the predecessors of the selected task; i.e., the predecessors of Task 3. So click on predecessors and you can see that it has two predecessors and they’re colored in that sort of yellow or amber color there. If I click on that little menu again, you’ll see just about that there are four different colors used for the four different situations. Now with predecessors switched on, so the little icon is actually highlighted there. So I’m keeping predecessor switched on but I’m also going to switch on driving predecessors. Highlight the predecessors that directly affect the selected task at the moment really. So if I click on driving predecessors, I can see that the driving predecessor is Task 2. If I moved Task 2, basically I would move Task 3, whereas Task 1 does not directly affect it. Now obviously if I move Task 1 late enough so that it was ending

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Project 2013 later than Task 2, then I might affect Task 3. But at the moment, I’m not affecting it so it’s not one of the driving predecessors. Task 3 still selected; let’s go back up to the list again. Successors. Which tasks are after Task 3? Both of those are highlighted in that sort of lilac-y sort of color. And then finally which are the driven successors? Which successors are directly driven by Task 3? Of course, that is just Task 4 because for some reason Task 5 is out here. It may have a manually scheduled date, for example. So you can see the four different colors there in force and the use of those colors will help you to identify in a much more complex Gantt Chart what the relationship is between all of the tasks that are in some way linked to your selected task. So if you’re looking at Task 3 in this example and you’re trying to figure out exactly what affects it and what you would affect if you moved or changed Task 3, this is a great way of identifying those. When you have finished using this feature, there is an option at the bottom there, Remove highlighting, and everything’s back to the way it was. Now let me just quickly go back to our more complete building project, show you the same effect there. I’ve got the task Build walls selected now roughly in the middle of the Gantt Chart that you can see at the moment. And if I go to the Task paths drop down and say predecessors, you should just about see there the color of that summary task there changing to indicate that it is a predecessor. When we come to formatting Gantt Charts a little bit later on in the course, you’ll be able to make this a little bit more obvious. But now let me do driving predecessors and you’d see that color just change there enough to show that lay foundation is a driving predecessor. And then similarly, I can do the same on successors. You will have seen a color change down there, and finally watching the same place, driven successors, another color change there. Again, I can remove the highlighting using the last option on the menu. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Chapter 28 – Reporting Video: Customizing Reports Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to start to look at reporting and this is one aspect of Microsoft Project that has really significantly changed in the latest version. So first of all, go to the Report tab and then in the group on the left, the Project Group, there is a Compare projects command which you can use to compare two versions of a project. This is pretty useful if you’re keeping multiple versions and you just want to establish the differences between two versions. It’s sometimes useful if you’ve got two projects pretty similar maybe for different clients and you want to see the differences between the two. That’s outside the scope of this course but it’s a pretty useful function. It’s not actually a completely new function within Project 2013 but it was a little bit hidden before and even if you’ve used an earlier version of Microsoft Project, you may not have been aware of this. On the right in the Export Group, we have the Visual Reports Group. Now this is an extremely useful way of producing customizable visual reports. This is a pretty well established feature of Microsoft Project. Again, it’s outside the scope of this course to go into this but again a useful feature to experiment with. There’s a Help facility there that’ll link you through to some help and there’s some good source information on the Microsoft website if you want to find out how to make these customizable reports. In older versions of Microsoft Project these were really the most customizable reports that existed, but in Project 2013 you’ll find that most of the reports you produce are also extremely customizable now as we’re going to see. So let’s look at the main group of reports here, View Reports, and second from the left we have dashboards. You may well have used dashboards before. The general principle here is to have an eye catching sort of dynamic snapshot of something. And if you click on the drop down arrow here for dashboards, you have burn down which we’re going to look at in a later section and then you have some overview reports, one of which is the Project Overview. So let’s start with Project Overview. Click on that and there we have a project overview.

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Project 2013 Now before I actually look at the overview, let me just point out that as soon as you create a project like this you have a Report Tools Design tab, and really all of these reports you can customize the design of. Before we go back to project overview let me just quickly run through what you can do using the commands on this Design tab. Now first of all, with the commands on the Design tab you can change the theme on a report. You’re probably used to using other components of Microsoft Office and if you’ve used Office 2010 or Office 2013, you’ll be used to mixing and matching themes, perhaps producing different types of documents relating to what you’re doing, adopting one of the standard themes. Well, you can apply the themes to all of the reports that you produce in Project 2013. So here, for instance, if I click on the drop down here I can see that the current theme is Banded. If I click on that drop down, I could choose a different theme; supposing I chose the Celestial theme there, for example, and the theme in use on my report changes. The theme will include things like color scheme, font, font size, etc. Now within the theme, I can then go in and customize individual colors, fonts, effects on text and graphics and so on. It’s an incredibly flexible way that you can customize the contents of one of your Project 2013 reports. To the right of that there’s another group where you can actually insert objects on to the reports. So for instance, I could insert a shape. Say take a shape like a rectangle and draw that on to the report. I could perhaps use this to do a call out on part of the report or even to add some additional information to it. So again the reporting facility is extremely flexible from the point of view of being able to customize what you see in a report. Now let’s move on to the Report Group here. Two very important buttons there. One of them is Manage. Now that allows us to rename a report but it also lets us go into the Organizer. Now the organizer is something we’re going to look at later on in the course and it’s basically a way of managing all of the resources of Project 2013, not only reports but many other aspects such as filters, views, tables, and so on. As I said, I’m going to look at the organizer later on in the course. I can copy the report which basically copies the report to the clipboard which makes it very straightforward to paste it into another document. I might, for instance, want to paste it into a PowerPoint presentation or into a Word document, and then I have these Page Setup buttons here that enable me to set it up ready for printing. So I can switch between portrait and landscape, © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 adjust the margins, set the size of the report itself, ready for the paper size that I’m going to use, and so on. So I have a very wide range of design tools available here to work on these reports. Now largely speaking those design tools are common across all of this new style of report that can be produced in Project 2013. But there are also some more specific aspects as well, so let’s use this project overview to look at an example of something more specific that can be done. The project overview, as you can see, gives me a range of dates over which the project is operating. The percent complete, that’s actually the percent complete in duration that it refers to. It then lists various things such as milestones due, milestones that are coming soon. So that’s a nice little quick reference to the forthcoming milestones on the project. And then we also have details on here of percent complete using the major tasks on the project, basically the summary tasks on the project, and then a list of late tasks. You may recall with this current project because of the weather the excavation has been delayed by two days. It’s currently 75% complete. But if I look at the top right there where I have this chart which basically summarizes the percent complete for each of the summary tasks, notice that most of them are 0% complete because they haven’t started yet. But for the other two, site inspection and prepare site, they’re both partway through. The site inspections are 25% of the way through and prepare site is 95% done. There’s just the finishing of the excavation to do. But if I click on that chart watch what happens. When I click on that chart, it becomes recognizable as a chart and I have the full set of Project 2013’s chart tools available to me. As part of that, at the top I get the Chart Tools tabs. I get a Design tab and I get a Format tab. So let me move the chart fully into view and let’s start with the Design tab where I can choose the different chart style. So I could, for instance, click here and go for say that style. Having chosen the chart style, I also have things like quick layout, add chart element. If you’re familiar with charting in say Microsoft Excel, you’ll be very familiar with these kinds of tools. And very importantly here you have a Chart Data button which is currently selected. So we have a pane on the right here which has the chart data in it. Not only can we select the fields to show but we have the facility to, for example, apply filters. Now just to show you how to change the chart data, at the moment what we can see in there, you can see checked in this Select field box on the right. You see under number custom it’s got

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Project 2013 percent complete checked. The figures that we can see here are percent complete figures. So for each of the summary tasks in the project, you can see the percent complete. If I look down that list, say, for a different piece of data, what about work? Let’s show work in there. So if I click on work, we actually finish up with two columns. One column shows the percent complete, one column shows the work for each of those summary tasks. And then I could go back up and switch off percent complete and just have work there. So I can also change the chart type. So for instance, if I went into Change chart type, I could change from column to bar or any other suitable type for that type of data. So I could choose bar, clustered bar, and there’s the clustered bar. So in that way it’s possible to go in and very highly customize one of these standard dashboard reports. These customization tools are pretty common across all of these new types of report in Project 2013. And then, of course, with the chart still selected, I can click on the Format tab here and I can work on using, for instance, WordArt to change shape styles and shape fill. So for instance, if I went into shape fill here, chose a different fill color, I could change the shape fill for the background of the chart like that, which is not a particularly attractive effect but it does just demonstrate that you are pretty much unlimited on what you can do to work on the design and format of charts. If I click away from the chart and just look at the report in general or go to a different object on the report, then I will get the relevant tools to work on that object. So if I select this box here which has got 18% in it, that’s actually a table so I get the table tools that go with that and I could go into design for the table, maybe change it to a different color scheme and different types of border lines and so on. So apart from the overall look and feel of the report, each object within it can be separately formatted and have both data content changed, style change, colors changed, etc. So it’s an extremely flexible reporting system. Now generally speaking when you’ve finished working on a report like this, customizing it to your own requirements, what you can then do is to copy it and paste it into another document.

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Project 2013 You can, of course, print it as well. We’re going to look at printing later on. But let’s suppose I just wanted to say do a management progress report and I was going o make a little PowerPoint presentation here, just for example. I’ve customized this. I’ve customized it incredibly badly as you can see but I was really just trying to demonstrate some of the things that you can do. There’s my project overview as of today. I could, of course, put a header and footer on there with today’s date on it if I wanted to. But I can also do that within PowerPoint. I’m going to copy that report to the clipboard. Now I’m going to switch into PowerPoint. Okay, I’m in PowerPoint 2013. I’m now going to paste that into a slide in PowerPoint and there is my project overview report pasted into PowerPoint. I can still access individual elements or before or after pasting, I can resize the whole thing as well. So in terms of putting my progress report for management together, that’s a pretty slick way of being able to do it. In the next section we’re going to look at some of the other types of report in Project 2013, and then I’m very quickly going to show you how you would set about creating a report of your own. That’s it for this section. I’ll see you in the next one.

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Project 2013

Video: Types of Report; Creating a New Report Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In the previous section we looked at the standard project overview report which is one of the new style of reports in Project 2013 and I showed you how to customize it. We looked at customizing a chart in that report and we looked at customizing a table in that report, and in general terms, it’s possible to do a very high level of customization of the new types of report. I’d like to begin this section by looking at some of the other standard reports and then in the second part of this section I’ll show you how to at least start to create a report of your own. So we’re still working on the same project, the build project. Let’s go to the Report tab and let’s go back to the dashboards. We chose the project overview dashboard before. Let’s look now at the cost overview dashboard and again this gives a neat summary of the cost information in relation to our project. Cost overview is the title there. Note that as with the other elements of this report, if I clicked in there, I could actually change the wording of that title if I wanted to, it’s straightforward enough.

It shows the date range for the project, and then we have

information about cost including the remaining cost. Now depending on the type of dashboard, you’d normally have a number of tables. This is cost data table there and then if I move over to the right we also, in this case, have two charts; a progress versus cost chart which plots cumulative percent and cumulative cost against time and then we have a cost status chart that plots remaining cost, actual cost, baseline cost against time. Now I should point out that whichever of these objects you have selected, as we saw before, you will get the relevant tools and additional contextual tabs to work on that particular object. So you can either accept these in the default layout and content and structure or you can highly customize them. So that’s a cost report. Let’s go back into the Report tab again, look at one of the other dashboards. Let’s look at the work overview, and again we have tables containing remaining work 540 hours and then we have a couple of charts over here as well. Now I’m not going to go through all of these different types of reports. I hope you’ve got the idea of these by now. I am going to look at one or two particular reports during this section and the next one. But let’s just go back just once more at dashboards, and at the bottom of the menu

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Project 2013 there, there is a More Reports button. If you click on More Reports, you have a Reports dialog that lists the reports that are available to you categorized. Now, first of all, you have custom reports. Well, we don’t have any custom reports yet. We haven’t customized any. Then we have dashboards and these are the five available standard dashboards. We have resources, costs, in progress, getting started, new reports, and recent. Now new report is the one we use if we want to actually create a new report and we’re going to come back to that in a moment. Recent lists, the reports that have recently been accessed. So it’s going to keep track of what I access. The first one we looked at was project overview, then cost overview, then work overview. It’s an easy way to get back to reports that you’ve recently looked at. So you’ll normally be able to access this from any of the drop down list of options from the buttons here in the Review Reports Group. So let’s cancel that and let’s set about creating a new report. So first of all, let’s go to report and go to new report. On new report, we can choose from either starting with a blank report or starting with a chart, starting with a table, starting with a comparison. Now it doesn’t really matter which of these you start with because you can add other elements as you go along. But let’s start with a table and let’s suppose we’re going to do a simple report which we’re going to run off once a week, which basically is going to tell us about all of the tasks that are in progress. So we’ll start with a table. Let’s give the report a name next. Let’s call it the Tasks in progress weekly report. Click on OK and what that gives us is a straightforward report with a table in it. Now as you may recall I could, if I wanted to, add other things to this. So if I wanted to add a chart I could select chart here, I could choose a chart, insert it into my report, and build my report up in that way. But all I’m going to do on this occasion is just show you the basics of putting this table together and then I’m going to leave you to experiment with that and the other elements yourself. Now by default, the name that we chose becomes the title of the report so that’s there. I could, of course, click in there. I could change the formatting. Note that this counts as a drawing, so I get the Drawing Tools Format tab up there. I can go in. I could use a WordArt style. I could fill this shape with a different color. I could change the size, the font, etc. I’m going to leave those things now and again leave those to you to experiment with. But let’s have a look now at this

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Project 2013 table because when I click in table, one of the things that happens is I get access to the field list that we saw earlier on and I can look at the data that I’ve got in the table. Now when we’re looking at this field list it’s important, first of all, to be aware of the outline level and this is the same whether you’re dealing with a table or a chart or anything else that’s displaying data in a report. If you look towards the bottom of the field list, there is an outline level drop down and currently if I click on that drop down for outline level, I see that we have project summary selected. Now project summary means that what we’re going to see in the table is everything at the project summary level. In fact if we were dealing with a project here which had several subprojects we’d have all the subprojects listed. But because this is a single project, all you can see is one single row in the table. If I wanted to see our summary tasks which are the level one tasks what I need to do is to change from project summary to level one. Now watch what happens when I select level one. What I now see is the level one tasks, and that’s how I get a list at the correct level of the task data in my report. Now following on in the same theme, of course, if I chose an outline level of level two, then I’m going to get right down to level two tasks and I’ve only got a very few things level two. So let’s take a quick look at level two and we have really quite a long list there including all of the site inspection meetings. So let’s go back to level one again and now let’s look at the next requirement. The next requirement was to list all of the tasks that are in progress. Now to do that what we need to do is to look at the filter because filter, four up from the bottom there on the right, currently says All tasks. And basically depending on the outline level, that means you’re going to see all the tasks at that level. So let’s now change that filter. All I want is the tasks that are in progress so I’m going to change that using the filter in progress tasks. Now I see just the two level one tasks that are in progress which is exactly what I want. The last thing I want to do is to change the information that is shown. Now for each of those two level one tasks I’m currently showing the task name, the start date, the finish date, and the percent complete. What I want to do is to also show the work. To do that all I need to do is to use this Select fields control on the right that we looked at before. If I scroll down there to see © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 what’s included there’s the finish, there’s the start. Let’s click in the end here and we’ve got percent complete, see that checked. Let’s go down and find there’s the work section. Why don’t we include actual work? And then what happens is we finish up with a field dropped in there at the end, actual work. Of course, using that control on the right you can control exactly what data is shown about each of the level one tasks in this table. And don’t forget that you can format the table. All of the time you’ve got something in the table selected, you’ve got the Table Tools up there, the Design tab and the Layout tab. So you can format the table to your exact requirements. Even in the bottom of the select fields control on the right here where you’ve got the list of the fields that are included for each level one task, you can change the order of these. You can actually drag them up and down. So if I click on actual work I could put it in front of percent complete like that and then the order of the columns will be changed. So that’s creating a basic tabular weekly report. And that’s it. If I look now at the commands in the View Reports Group, for instance in recent, I’ve got Tasks in progress weekly report. If I click on the More Reports option at the bottom there, then under custom I’ve now got the Tasks in progress weekly report, the one I’ve just created. It’s listed as one of the custom reports, and I can use it on an ongoing basis. I could run it off every Friday and, of course, it would be updated with that week’s figures. So now it’s time to give you another exercise to do. I’m going to save this project now as example_17 and I want you to create another tabular report. This is going to be a tasks completed report and it’d be good if you give it a name like that, and really it’s going to list the tasks in the project that have been completed. Now the data I want you to show for each of those is not, for instance, percent complete because it’ll obviously be 100%. I do want you to show actual work. But I also want you to show instead of start and finish, I want you to show actual start and actual finish. Now in Project 2013 whenever you see start and finish, it means planned or scheduled start and scheduled finish. I want to see the actual start and the actual finish which may or may not be the same dates. Now if you go up and select fields within the custom fields, you’ve got actual finish and actual start and what we’re showing are finish and start. So that’s how you’re going to find the actuals to go in there.

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Project 2013 And of course one more thing, this will have to be at level two not level one. My answer to that is in example_18. In the next section, we’re going to look at earned value reporting in particular. Please join me for that.

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Project 2013

Video: Earned Value Reporting Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. I mentioned earned value reporting a couple of times already on the course and in fact from the point of view of monitoring progress on a project I really don’t think there’s any other way of doing it effectively than to use the earned value analysis approach. However there’s a little bit of a price to pay with this because earned value analysis can be really quite baffling and if you’re trying to understand the long list of terms, terminology, and acronyms involved many people just sort of give up and say well, it’s all too complicated for me. Well, earned value analysis is actually not that difficult and in Project 2013 there are one or two really useful reports you can use that will give you a very good snapshot of where you really are in relation to a project. I mentioned an example earlier on of how you might seem to be running below budget on a project, think you’re doing really well, whereas in fact the reason you’ve not spent as much money as you should have is because you’re way behind schedule. And really what earned value analysis does is to deal with that situation because at any given point in time what it really does is say, Where are we? Where should we be? And does that mean we’re behind schedule or ahead of schedule? Does it mean we’re behind budget or ahead of budget? Where are we really? Are things really going well or really going badly? And that’s really what earned value analysis is about. So what I’m going to try to do here is to just steer you in the right direction. If you don’t know about earned value analysis already I suggest you invest a little bit of time in finding out about it. And a great place to start is actually in the Microsoft Project 2013 Help because if you go into the online Help and do a search on earned value, you will get this extremely useful page: Earned value analysis for the rest of us. And it explains many of the acronyms that are involved. It starts with a simple example. It talks about somebody doing some work on some gardens and explains how misleading only having part of the information about progress can be. And then it gives links to various other specific points, shows you how to use the earned value table in Project 2013, and then it starts to talk about these acronyms that you will get your head round eventually if you persevere. Now let’s take a quick look at these three key acronyms here and the first thing to point out is that these are all calculated on a status date. Now we used status date already when we’ve done © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 some project tracking so we’re talking about a particular point in time where we believe that we know the status of all of the tasks in a project. Now at that point in time, at that status date, we need to look at these three figures, planned value and this is the value of the work that we had planned to do at that time. And basically that’s the cost of doing the work up to the time. What did we plan to have spent on the amount of work that we’d planned to do at this point? Now in an older terminology one which you may be more familiar with if you’ve been using earned value analysis before. This would’ve been called BCWS. That’s the Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled. So this is what we thought we were going to have done. This is what we’d planned to have done. The second figure is the actual cost. This was known as the ACWP, the Actual Cost of Work Performed; now called the AC. What’s the actual cost? And the third figure is the earned value and this is really, what is the value of the work we’ve done? So given where we’ve got to, given the work that we’ve completed it may be more or less than we’d planned to do, what is the budgeted cost of that? Because that’s what we call the earned value. Now using those three figures, and I’ll come back to those a little bit later on, you can come to a conclusion about how well or badly your project is going. Now there are various links within this Help document to give you more information about how to deal with earned value calculations and I’m going to leave you to look at those yourself. But the key one next is right near the beginning, Display earned value. Project displays earned value information two ways, with views and with reports. But first you need to do a few things to setup earned value for reporting. Now in order to use earned value reporting, you need to do these three things. First of all, you need to set a baseline. Well, of course, we’ve already set a baseline on the current project. You’ll always need to have a baseline in order to do earned value reporting because otherwise you’ve got nothing to compare your progress with. The second thing is that it always operates at a status date. So you need to set a status date that this refers to. Again, we’ve talked about that before. We’ve been doing that when we’ve been looking at project tracking so that should be fine. The third thing is to specify the earned value method for percent complete. I mentioned this earlier on and I did actually point out where within the Project Options you set this. But this is a very important question as well. The percent complete you can use is either the standard percent complete or the physical percent complete. The difference between these is this. If you

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Project 2013 just use percent complete, then what Project does at any point in time for any task, whether it’s in progress, completed, or whatever, is it works out the value of the work done based on how far you are through it in terms of, say, you’re halfway through the duration of that task or you’ve done three-quarters of the work. It assumes, for example, that in a four day task if you’re three days into it you must have done 75% of the work. With physical percent complete it’s up to you to enter the amount of work done on any task. So if a task is marked as having an earned value method of physical percent complete, then Project won’t calculate it on the basis of your percent of the way through the duration of the task. What it would do is let you put in the amount of work that’s been done. Now you could set every task in your project to use physical percent complete or you can set individual tasks to have one or other of those earned value percent complete types. But it is very important that you’re aware of the difference and it is very important that you have them set correctly. So let me just run over these settings. Let’s start with Project Options on the Advanced page on Project Options. Just towards the end there, there is an earned value option for this project. The default task earned value method on this project is percent complete, so that’s calculated by Project 2013. This is only the default. It doesn’t mean that all the tasks get that. It just means that’s the default for a new task. And then the baseline for earned value calculation is the only baseline I’ve saved so far. If I’d saved additional baselines, I could change which one was being used for earned value calculations. So that’s how you set your default and that’s how you make sure you’ve got the right baseline set for earned value calculations. And then for any specific task, let’s say take base brick work here, double click to open up the task information, go to the Advanced tab, and on the Advanced tab earned value method for this task is percent complete. That’s got the one that was the default when it was created. If for this task I was going to manually enter percent complete, I would change that to physical percent complete. So that’s how we’d deal with changing or setting exceptions for individual tasks in the earned value method. So having setup your project and your baseline and you’re now in the progress of running the project, doing your regular updates, you’re looking at a particular status date, then provided everything’s setup correctly you can go into reports and one of the reports that you can look at

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Project 2013 there in the costs list is the earned value report. And the earned value report in its default format gives you an analysis of earned value on your project. Now with the three charts that we get by default in this report we can see how earned value is varying over time, how variance is varying over time, and how the performance indicators are varying over time. Now I’m only really looking at earned value at the moment but it’s a good idea to check on these other two as well. You can look them up on the Help and how to interpret them. I’ll just talk about them briefly in a moment. The earned value one is the one that I’m primarily interested in at the moment. Often when you look at this type of report, you find that you need to just customize it a little bit to make it a little bit more readable. So for instance, down here I can’t see the actual dates but if I click on that scale, up comes the panel on the right. I can look at the categories. The category there is time. If I click on edit the units there are weeks but the date format that’s in use is this long date format. That’s why it won’t all fit in there. So let me change it to a shorter format. So let’s change it to say that format, and let’s do it in two week intervals. Click on OK, see how that looks. That’s a little bit easier to see how things are going. As you can see we’re still in the relatively early stages of this project. Also, if you read the paragraph on the right: The projects earned value based on the status date. If actual cost, ACWB, that’s the blue line which you can’t actually see at the moment because it’s exactly the same as the earned value line, the red line, then the project is over budget. Well, this project is not over budget. If planned value, BCWS, that’s the gray line there, is higher than earned value, the red line, which it is, then the project is behind schedule. So what this chart is telling us is that the project is behind schedule basically and that, of course, would be the rain delay that held us up by a couple of days. Now it’s a bit misleading if you look at the line and see it dips down to there and goes on. The flat part of the line is the future and over time you’re going to be monitoring this earned value chart and any variations whereby the blue goes above the red or the gray goes above the red you’re going to be looking out for those. And they’re the ones that tell you that either you are over budget or you are behind schedule.

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Project 2013 Finally, let me just briefly look at these other two charts. The variance over time chart shows both CV which is Cost Variance and Schedule Variance. Both of these you don’t want to become negative. If CV becomes negative, then the project is over budget. In fact, it’s not over budget at the moment. We haven’t spent any more money than we should. If SV it says is positive there, I believe that’s an error. It should say if SV is negative, then the project is behind schedule. Now we are at the moment at the status date which is this line here, which is this position here, we are actually behind schedule. We’re not behind schedule by a large amount but again because it cannot plot the future, the future line goes back to normality. So you shouldn’t misinterpret this as indicating that things are going to be okay. This line will only be plotted as time goes on and then our aim will be to get this SV line here back up towards zero. The last chart, the indices over time chart plots the SPI, the Schedule Performance Indicator, and the CPI, the Cost Performance Indicator. Ideally, both of those will be above one. Being on one is absolutely fine but if you can get above there, it indicates good efficiency either in terms of cost or in terms of schedule. And so your target with both of those is to stay on one or above it. As you can see, at the moment, that we’re looking at the current status date; the red one, the cost performance indicator, is on one so that’s absolutely fine.

The blue one, the schedule

performance indicator, has just dropped a bit because of the little bit of time that we’ve lost. We’ll be looking to keep both of those up and around the one mark, maybe a bit above if we can. So this particular report is a really good one for giving you a snapshot of how things are going on your project. That’s it from me on earned value reporting. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013

Chapter 29 – Printing Video: Print Properties and Settings; Header and Footer Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look at printing and we’re going to look at printing in two contexts. First of all, we’re going to look at printing the current view and then we’re going to look at printing Project 2013 reports. So at any time and whatever the view I’m using I might want to just print that out. Now if you go to Backstage View, one of the options is Print. Select print and what you see on the right is a preview of what the print would look like. Now note at the bottom that I’ve got a little count there that says the page I’m looking at in the preview is one of two. So I know this is going to be a two page print. And I’ve also got some little arrows like little wedges, and if it’s a multi-page situation then I can step through those pages. Now if you look at this particular example I can just about make out, it’s tiny, you might not be able to see it on the screen, but the very top of this print is the first task in my project. In fact, it’s the project summary task. If I press only one of these four arrows, that is enabled; the down arrow, that takes me to the second page. Once I’ve gone to that second page, then the down arrow becomes disabled and the up arrow becomes enabled. So you can use the arrows here to step through the print preview pages on the right. Now clearly, exactly what you see and how many pages the view occupies will very much depend on the view, the size of the project, and so on. You could, for instance, if you were printing a resource sheet maybe with hundreds or thousands of resources on this could be a very long document. If you chose to print a view with a very zoomed in timescale, you might have a lot of width to the print as well. So at the moment, the view that I’ve got there covers the whole of the period of this project. But if I’d been looking at a day by day Gantt Chart and I decided to print a view of that, then it may be several pages wide. But whichever view you’re printing these are the buttons down here on the right, right in the corner are useful. If you click the first one, the actual size button, you can get a preview of the document at the actual size. So you can then use the scroll bars, scroll from side to side and just check that you’re happy with how it looks. You’ve got a scroll bar at the bottom, a scroll bar on the side. The middle one, we’ve already seen. The last button is one that’s for multiple pages

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Project 2013 and if I click on that, then I can see in this case both of the pages in view. So that’s the facility to preview how the print is going to look. On the left we then have the controls for the print itself. When we’re ready to print we’ve got a nice big Print button there, but before that we need to check all of these other settings. The number of copies here, I’ve currently just got that set to one but it’s a roller to go up or down and, of course, I can just delete and type or overtype to put in the particular number that I want. Then choose my printer. This by default on my machine I have it sending to OneNote. I don’t actually print much in paper nowadays. I tend to send all of my prints electronically elsewhere. So this is currently setup to go to OneNote but I do have a physical printer attached so let me just select my printer and depending on what you’re printing it to which may be a physical printer or may be something else, underneath that you see this link, Print Properties, and if you click on that it brings up a little dialog. Now the dialog, exactly what’s in it will depend on what your printer is or what you’re printing to. You may also be printing to something electronic. I’m printing here to a standard HP printer. It’s quite an old printer actually but a lot of the features of it will be the same as one now. So you can choose things like the paper options. I normally use A4 paper. I appreciate you may use something different from that such as letter size or some other particular size. I’m going to leave this set at my default of A4 which tends to be the default in the U.K. and Europe. And then there are other quality settings. I can also go into things like setting the color, certain finishing settings, and so on. So I have this set to a default print that I would normally use which is basically an A4 color print. But obviously in a particular situation I might change that. What you see in your Printer Properties dialog will depend on your printer. So although there may be some overlap with what you can see here, the properties for your printer may be quite different from mine and certainly may well be organized in a different way to the way that mine are organized in this dialog. So having chosen the printer and the set the printer properties, now down to the settings, the first setting, print entire project. Print the entire project from start to finish. You can print specific dates, print specific pages, print custom dates and pages. You can elect to include notes or not; I did mention that very early on in the course. And you can choose to print all sheet columns, left column of pages only. So there are quite a few alternatives there. If you are going to specify a range of dates, you’ve got a pair of field there to do it in. If you want to specify a range of pages,

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Project 2013 you can specify it there as well. Below that you have a choice between landscape orientation and portrait orientation. And then finally here on the big buttons, you have a choice of paper size. Now as I say I’m going to leave mine set at A4. So that just leaves one item at the bottom and that is page setup and that takes us into the Page Setup Dialogue. Now in this case it’s the Page Setup dialog for a Gantt Chart. There are some differences depending on what you’re printing but the general principle is the same. First of all, this can seem quite baffling at first because if you look at some of the buttons on here, for instance, right at the top, you can switch between portrait and landscape orientation. Well, you’ve had at least one other way of doing that when we were actually looking at the print page in Backstage View. All of these settings do interact with each other. So they really represent different ways, alternative ways of setting things, everything down to choosing paper size. Here’s yet another place where you can choose paper size. So don’t worry too much unless there’s something drastically wrong with the way your systems setup. If you change, say, paper size in one place, it does get changed in all the other places as well. What I want to show you here for this particular Gantt Chart is just one of the little options that you can use and that is you could use this Page Setup dialog to put, say, a header on the print of this Gantt Chart View. If you click on the Header tab, there’s a control at the top that says Preview and it previews the current header. Now as you can see it’s blank so there is no header. But let’s suppose that I wanted to put a header on there. I could literally click in this box down here and I could type in there a header. So I could say, Building Project. Now you notice that above this there are three tabs, Left, Center, and Right and the Center Tab was selected. So Building Project gets aligned in the center of my heading. And let’s suppose that I wanted to put a date on this report so I remember when I actually printed it. So if I now click on the Left tab there, notice how that’s blank. But below that I have some buttons and some other controls where I can choose to enter various fields. So I wouldn’t type the date in here because obviously next time I printed the report that might be wrong. But one of the standard items in this list of buttons here, that one in fact, is one that inserts the date. So if I click on that it puts in a field which will represent the date. Now notice in the preview it’s put in today’s date. I’m recording this on Wednesday, April the 10th. So I’ve put in a date as a field in the top left, in the center I’ve typed in the name of the project, in the right I could put something else if I wanted to.

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Project 2013 So I’ve setup a header. I can also do the same to setup a footer, except in this case it already has a footer. You may just about be able to see at the bottom on the preview there that it says Page Number. So let’s click on OK. Keep an eye on the preview and notice now in the preview that I’ve got my newly inserted header. Let me just use that to the right place. There is the date I’ve just inserted and there it says Building Project. So in that way, I can add a header or footer to the print of one of my views. Having now setup everything, I need to print this view I can actually go ahead and hit the Print button and away it goes. Now when it comes to printing reports in Project 2013, it’s pretty much the same as far as the Print in Backstage View goes, but a couple of things to point out to you about actually preparing the report to be printed. Let’s go to the Report tab again and dashboards. We’ll go to the Project Overview. The project overview as you know is one of the standard reports. So let me just zoom out a little bit. And one of the things that you can do, it’s actually done here, on the Design tab when you’re looking at a report in the Page Setup Group there is a Page Breaks button that’s currently selected. What that means is that you get this sort of dotted line which is actually a sort of dashed line which shows you the border of our printable page. And as you can see this particular report is all going to fit on one page. So if I wanted to print this project overview having checked it’s going to fit on one page, which it will, if I click on File to go into Backstage View and then Print, I will see that it’s going to only need one page. All the settings work the same way as they did when I was printing the view so I could print this project overview and that would be absolutely fine. So now let’s go back and look at a different report. This time let’s look at the work overview and again let me just zoom out on the work overview and switch on the page breaks. What you’ll notice here rather unfortunately is that with this work overview a page break for the landscape page that I’ve got selected would split these charts in half. Now, of course, I could change the orientation to portrait and then I’ve got a problem here. When you’re designing reports or even when you’re using the standard reports, this is something you need to be a little bit careful of if you’re going to print them. Now, of course, what you can do here is you can go in and rearrange the content of the report. It’s pretty easy to select things like this table and I could drag it to a different position and I can rearrange the report to fit into pages in a way that’s © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 appropriate to me. And, of course, with some reports they won’t necessarily fit on one page anyway. I may be planning to use two or more pages. So when you’re designing reports that’s something to be careful of if you’re planning to print those reports out. Once you’ve got the layout that you want, of course, then printing is just the same. Okay, so that’s it on printing in Project 2013. I’ll see you in the next section.

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Project 2013

Chapter 30 – Gantt Chart Video: Gantt Chart Wizard; Formatting a Gantt Chart Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to take an introductory look at formatting a Gantt Chart and the first thing I want to show you is how to use the Gantt Chart Wizard. Perhaps what I should say is the first thing I’m going to show you is how to find the Gantt Chart Wizard because for some reason that I’ve never fully understood the Gantt Chart Wizard is not readily at hand. But we’ll use this as an opportunity to show you again how to add a command to the Quick Access Toolbar, and if you’re feeling brave, you could even create a Ribbon Group and put this command in your group on the Ribbon. But we’ll stick with the Quick Access Toolbar. So I’m going to click on the little drop down button to the right hand end, click on More Commands. So first of all, let’s go to Commands not in the Ribbon and then scroll down to Gantt Chart Wizard, click on Add, click on OK, and the Gantt Chart Wizard is now visible on the Quick Access Toolbar. It’s that little magic wand icon up in the corner there. So let’s take the Gantt Chart Wizard for a spin. Click on Gantt Chart Wizard. The first screen we see in the wizard is a welcome screen. Click on Next and we get a choice on the kind of information we want to display in the Gantt Chart. Now by default the type is standard which is pretty much what we’ve got now really. It’s just a standard out of the box Gantt Chart but you can choose to show just critical path or to show just a baseline. Or if you select Other, then you choose from a number of styles of standard or baseline or status or critical path. Now to know what each of these is going to look like, you’ve got this little preview box here. So if I go for standard style one, that’s previewed. Let’s style baseline style one. Let’s try critical path style two and so on. So you choose the style that you want. I’m going to go for one of the standard styles. I think I’m going to try standard style three. Having chosen the style, click on Next and now you’re asked what task information you want to display with your Gantt bars. Now at the moment what you’re shown is the resources. Note there on the right of the bars there, so we’ve got Bill and Sue as the resources, and dates. So where we’ve got a milestone, you can see a date. But I could see just resources. I could see just dates. Note that the dates on the non-milestone task show you the start and finish. Or I could choose None. So I’m going to go with resources

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Project 2013 and dates, click on Next. Next choice. Do you want to show links between dependent tasks? So do I want to see my dependency arrows? Yes I do want to see those, so click on Next. And now I’ve answered all the questions I need to for the Gantt Chart Wizard to do its job. So when you’re ready and you’re happy with the selections you’ve made, you click on Format it and what the Gantt Chart Wizard now does is to format your Gantt Chart in the way that you’ve said. And then when you finish, click on Exit Wizard and you can see how it looks and see the sort of changes that it’s made there to our Gantt Chart. Now the Gantt Chart Wizard is a pretty quick, slick way of achieving a fairly smart looking Gantt Chart without too much effort. But the Gantt Chart formatting tools in Project 2013 are a lot more extensive than that. I could spend a long time going through all of the available tools and functions but I’m just going to give you a quick couple of examples here and then I’ll leave you to investigate these further yourself. If I take say the table here. Let me move the Gantt Chart out of the way. Let’s just look at this table. Suppose I were to select three columns in the entry table here. On the Task tab I have a Font Group and within the Font Group I have text formatting controls and I could format the text in there in exactly the same way that I would format text in, say, Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. I’ve even got a little dialog box launcher in the bottom right hand corner of the group that gives me access to a Font dialog, and in that Font dialog I could change the font that I want to use there.

So let’s have a hand written font.

I could choose Italic 14 point, completely

unsuitable but let’s click on OK and in that way I can format the content of the table there is pretty much anyway that I like. Now that may look rather grotesque in the context of a Microsoft Project schedule but if you’re trying to fit this into another document, you’ve got a certain style that you’re using, it can be very useful to have such extensive formatting capabilities. Also, as I’m going to demonstrate briefly a little bit later on, you can of course export and import information from other applications such as Excel and being able to deal with different formatting options can be extremely useful. Anyway on this occasion I’m going to undo that particular piece of formatting and turn my attention back to the actual chart in this Gantt Chart. So we have a Gantt Chart Tools Format tab and if I click on that, I have a number of options there. Apart from doing work on the columns in the table there, I can look at text styles and I © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 can look at bar styles and I can look at the overall Gantt Chart style. So, for instance, if I start with Gantt Chart style, if I click on the More drop down there, I have a gallery of styles that I can choose from. And then if I want to format the bars in a different way, if I go into Bar Styles and look at format, click on the drop down, I can format individual bars like that that’s for a selected task or I can format a bar style. By formatting a bar style, I’m formatting all of the bars for a particular function of bar. Let me show you what I mean by that. In the Bar Styles dialog, I am given a list of the various types of bar that I may see in a Gantt Chart. So I’ve got task which is the regular task. I’ve got split. You’ve already seen a split task before. That’s the dot, dot, dot pattern. The milestone, a diamond. Summary task which is this sort of black bar with little vertical bars at each end. Project summary task, group by summary, rolled up tasks, and so on. If I choose one of these types, let’s take the regular task. In the bottom, I have two tabbed controls. One of them is bars, one of them is text. The text one at the moment says that on the right I’ve got the resource names. I can put the text on the left, the right, the top, the bottom, the inside. I can have some text to the left, some to the right, some inside. I can have text in all positions if I like. Supposing I want to change this from resource names to resources initials. So let me just go through there. I’m going to show not the resource names but resource initials. You can see just below this dialog a couple of the bars in the current version of the Gantt Chart. You can see how the resource names are shown there. I’m going to change them to initials. And as far as the bars go, I could say put a shape at the start, change the type and color of the start. End, shape, type, color. And in the middle I can change the shape of the bar, pattern on the bar, and the color of the bar. Let’s suppose that I’m going to change the color of the middle bar. I’m going to go for a standard color. Why don’t I go for that sort of bluish color there? And I’m going to put a shape at the start and a shape at the end. Supposing I’m going to use that little vertical bar there and a shape at the end, same at the other end, click on OK, and let’s see what happens to all of the standard tasks in my Gantt Chart. What you can now see is that they all have a neat little black bar at the beginning and end, and on the right instead of having the full resource names, I’ve got those resource initials that I entered much earlier in the course. So in that way you can format a Gantt Chart with a very, very high level of control.

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Project 2013 Now as I said earlier in this section I’m not going to go through all of those options now. As you can see there are many of them, but I hope there’s enough for you to be going on with there that you can investigate and experiment further with it yourself. So that’s what we’re going to cover now on formatting a Gantt Chart. Please join me in the next section.

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Project 2013

Chapter 31 – Import and Export, Organizer, and SkyDrive Video: Import/Export to/from an Excel Worksheet Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to take a look at import and export of data and I want to start by looking at import. Now I’m going to show you one very good example of import using some information that’s in an Excel workbook. But before I do that I just want to point out something general about both import and export and that is that you should never underestimate the power of copy and paste between Microsoft Office programs. In this particular Excel workbook I’ve just got a list of tasks that I’ve prepared on the fly. I’ve not done this in Microsoft Project. I’ve just listed some tasks. Three alternative plans for dealing with a particular situation: Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. I’ve listed the tasks that will be involved in each of those alternative plans and I’ve put in an estimate of how long each of those tasks will take. Each of the lists has also got a little milestone in it, delivery to customer milestone. I haven’t put any dates on there. This is done purely in Excel and all I want to do is now put this into Microsoft Project and do a little schedule. Now let’s suppose that I want to do it with copy and paste. If I were to take just the plan details, I’m not taking the headings there that say task name and days; just the plan details, and I just did a selection and then did a copy. So Control-C with the keyboard. Now let me switch into Microsoft Project, create a new project and paste this information in. So here I am with a brand new project in Microsoft Project. I’m going to click in the first task name which is where the selection that I’ve just copied in Excel is going to go, and then I just do a paste, Control-V. What happens is that the whole of that information is just copied and pasted into Microsoft Project in a pretty neat way. I haven’t actually said anything about the start date of the overall project so as it’s a new project by default it will start on today’s date and Microsoft Project has basically accepted all of this information and setup my sort of three alternative plans. So as I say, don’t underestimate copy and paste. If I’d copied the information from a table in Microsoft Word, for example, then that would have pasted in here pretty much just as well.

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Project 2013 So that’s one way of doing an import. Let’s now do the import based on using the import functionality in Project 2013. So I don’t need to have selected anything in the workbook. I’m actually going to import directly from the workbook. But I should close it first. I will however point out one thing. If you look down here, you’ll see that the data are on Sheet 1. One thing you will need to know when you do an import from an Excel workbook is which sheet the data you want are on. So let me now close the workbook and Excel, and let’s try and import this now directly into Project 2013. So on the start screen, I’m going to choose the option New from Excel workbook, click there, and I’m asked to find the workbook so I’m going to look for files in my regular folder and I need to find the workbook type, so it’s Excel workbook XLSX. That’s the sample file. It’s actually example_19.xlsx so that you have access to that. Now, welcome to the Project Import Wizard. Click Next to continue. Now if you are going to do this sort of thing regularly, you can save a map of what you’ve done. We haven’t done this particular one before so this is a new map, but we do have the option of saving the map that’s made as part of this process in case we need to do this again. So we’re going to use a new map on this occasion, click on Next. How do you want to import this file? Do you want to create a new project, append the data to the active project, or merge the data into the active project? Well, we’re going to create a new project so we click on Next.

Select the type of data you want to import.

Are we importing tasks, resources,

assignment? We’re going to import tasks. And does the import include headers? Yes, there were headers on the sheet. The first row on that workbook sheet were headers so we check the box there, click on Next. Now we have to say which is the worksheet. Now it starts by default with none. There was only one worksheet. It was Sheet 1. Now what then happens is that Project 2013 looks at the headers and says you’ve got a header Task Name and it has no idea what that is. It’s got the header Days. It’s got no idea what that is. And two others. Now I don’t know where it’s got those other two, F3 and F4 from. I could probably find out if I looked. But I know that I’ve only got task names and days. Now the reason it doesn’t know what to do with Task Name is because in Project 2013 a task name isn’t called a task name. You may or may not remember what it’s called. It’s actually just called Name. But if I click in here where it currently says Not mapped and use this list, it’s Name. So let’s type the letter N; yes, it’s name. That’s what I want. Similarly, there is no field in Project © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 2013 called Days. You may remember what it’s called. Yes, it’s called Duration. So it’s D-U. It’s Duration that I want. So the task name field in Excel is the name field in Project. The days field I’ve used in Excel is the duration field. The other two I’m not interested in. Even if I had data in those that I didn’t need, I’d just say not mapped, and then it won’t get imported. So click on Next. If I want to save what I’ve done as a map for later use, I could do that here. I’m not going to on this occasion. I’m just going to click on Finish. When I’ve done that, what it comes up with is a really neat version of my schedule. So there we are. I’ve imported the contents of that workbook into Project 2013. You may notice one or two very slight differences with what happens with copy and paste, such as the duration on these tasks, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. But the differences are extremely slight and either method will do the job absolutely fine. Now let me just show you a little trick or two here. When you’ve imported some data like this, you very often have to do things like create summary tasks. In this case, there are clearly supposed to be three summary tasks: Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. Project 2013 when it did the import doesn’t try to do things like create summary tasks. Plan A which had no duration in the Excel workbook it just assumes is by default a one day task. It gives it a start date of today like everything else. All I need to do to make Plan A into a summary task is to select its subtasks and then on the Task tab use the Indent button. You should be very familiar with doing that by now. And then the summary task becomes a summary task. The next thing you may look at in relation to that though is to say okay but I now need to set the dependencies because if these four tasks, two to five, are supposed to be in sequence, so two, then three, three then four, four then five, I’ve got to go through and do the linkage. Well, in fact, there’s a little trick you do within Project 2013. If you have a selection of tasks like this and they just basically go in sequence, so each depends on the task before it. If you click on the Link button, then what happens is it does exactly that. It makes the dependencies for you and puts them in sequence. Let me just do a bit of zooming out here to fit everything into view, and there you are. I’ve got everything in a nice sequence now. So I’ve taken some data from Microsoft Excel and without having to retype it, I’ve put it into Microsoft Project and created myself a straightforward little schedule. Now, of course, it’ll work

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Project 2013 with much bigger lists than that. It would successfully import start and finish dates and just about any other type of data as well. So the example we’ve looked at there is a straightforward one. I am now going to give you your next and, in fact, final exercise on this course to do and that is that I would like you to take that workbook example_19.xlsx which is in the supplied files, import it into a new project pretty much the same as I’ve done here but do the same processing on Plan B and Plan C to turn that into basically a set of three alternative schedules for dealing with something. My answer to that is the Project file example_20.mpp. But that’s not the end of this section because I’d now like to quickly look at one or two examples of exporting from Project 2013. So let’s suppose that I wanted to do the opposite of what we did earlier in the section and I want to save this, I want to export this to an Excel workbook. Click on File to go into Backstage View and then Save As, Computer, Browse to my normal working file folder, and then I’m going to choose a type of Excel workbook. Click on Save and what happens is that I bring up the Export Wizard which is pretty much the opposite of the Import Wizard. So, first of all, click on Next. So what is the format of the data you want to export? Well, I’m not going to make a Project Excel template on this occasion. I’m just going to export selected data which is the content of the current schedule. Click on Next. Do I want to use an existing map or a new map? Well, it’s a new map because I haven’t done this particular one before. And what type of data would I like to export? Well, let’s suppose that on this occasion I just want to export the task information; so check tasks, click on Next. And the next stage in the Wizard is the task mapping stage. Now I basically choose here which fields I want to export to Excel. You should be familiar enough now with what’s in Project 2013 to know that if I clicked on Add All here, I would get an awful lot of fields exported. There are a lot of them and the vast majority would contain no useful information at all. So I’m not going to do Add All. I’m going to clear that with Clear All. I’m just going to export, say, Name; so let’s put Name. And maybe Start; so start. That will do. And maybe Finish. And maybe, what about Work? That’ll be fine. There’s a little preview area at the bottom. I’m happy with that though. I can change the order of these by the way using the Move buttons on the right. Notice that the name of the sheet in the workbook that’s going to contain this task information is up there. I can change that if I want to. © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 It’s currently called Task_Table1. Click on Next. Do I want to save the map? No, I don’t. I’m only going to do this, this one occasion. Click on Finish and my export should be complete. So let’s take a look at that Excel workbook. There it is. It’s a workbook with the name I specified and the single worksheet, Task_Table1 has a list of tasks, a list of start dates, a list of finish dates, and the amount of work involved in each of those tasks. So that’s a pretty straightforward example of an export. Finally I did that as a Save As. If you actually use the export option in Backstage View, it’s really two parts. There’s the option to create a PDF or XPS document and there’s also Save Project as File, and then you’re given a list of file types. So there’s the Project type and the Project 2007 project format. Saving it as a Project template is another option. And then these other standard options, including the one we’ve just used, Microsoft Excel workbook, XML format or saving it as a different file type. And depending on the file type that you choose to export the data as you may or may not have the Wizard or its equivalent in order to define the various options for doing the export. So that’s it on import and export. I’ll see you in the next section.

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

Project 2013

Video: Organize Global Template Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section I’d like to take a quick look at the organizer. I mentioned it once or twice already on the course. It’s a very useful thing to know about and I’m just going to quickly explain how it works. Now back in example_18 you may remember by that stage we had a couple of custom reports. We had the task completed report and we had the task in progress weekly report. If I go into Backstage View, then on the Info tab, one of the options is Organize Global Template and the button there says Organizer. Now if I click on that, I get something called the Organizer and what this does is to let me organize the content of not only any open projects I’ve got but what’s called the Global Template. Now what I can see in the organizer are a set of tabs and the tabs along the top refer to views, reports, modules, tables, filters, calendars, maps, fields, groups. Some of those we’ve talked about on this course, some of them we haven’t; they’re really more advanced topics. Modules, for example, you’d need to be looking at VBA, actually programming Microsoft Project yourself to be looking at modules. But let’s concentrate on reports here. In the list on the left at the top it says Global.mpt. This is a list of the reports that are available in what’s called the Global Template. The global template is not associated with a particular project. It’s stored, if you like, within your installation of Project 2013. And any Microsoft Project file that you open when you’re working on it you can use what’s in the global template because it’s available to everything. Anything that is specifically in one of the open projects, in this case example_18, is listed on the right. So here I’ve got all of the report content, custom report content that is in example_18. Two of the things that are in it are those two custom reports that we made, task completed report, task in progress report. But neither of those is in the global template. So let’s suppose I’d made a task completed report and I was really happy with it and I thought, yeah that looks really good. I’m going to use that in some of my other projects. When I customize it and initially store it, it’s only in the example_18 Project file; so no other MPP, no other Project I’m working on is going to be able to use that custom report. The way I make it available to other projects is via the global template. So what I do if I wanted the task completed

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Project 2013 report available generally is I select it in the list, click on the Copy button here, the top button in the buttons in the middle, and it becomes part of the global template and there it is. Now once it’s in the global template, I have it available to copy into any other Project file. By putting it in another Project file, not only can it be used in that file but if I took that Project file somewhere else and used it on somebody else’s installation of Project 2013, I’d still be able to run my tasks completed report. So the global template is a sort of repository. It’s where I can keep the things that I’m going to use in more than one MPP file. If I’ve got something that I only want in an individual MPP file, it’s only a bit of a one off, there’s not really any need or point to copying it into the global template. You’re just going to clutter the global template up. But anything that I might use more widely I put in the global template and I can use that as a sort of central junction for distributing useful items throughout my other MPP files, throughout my other Microsoft Project projects. What you can see, these two lists, the global template on the left and a straightforward project on the right, that’s just the default. I could, if I had two or three projects open for example, open one project in one of the lists and another project in the other list, and can copy directly between the projects. So I don’t have to go via the global template if I’ve got two or more projects open at any one time. Now there are other option buttons in the middle there, as you can see. Apart from copying I can delete things I no longer need and I can rename things. But that’s the organizer and that’s the function of the global template. 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

Video: Storing Project Files on SkyDrive Toby: Hello again and welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this section we’re going to look at SkyDrive which is a system of cloud storage provided by Microsoft to holders of Microsoft accounts. By cloud storage we basically mean storage that you can access via the internet but which is not specifically located on one of your devices. So far, when we’ve been saving projects or anything else in Project 2013, we’ve been storing them on one of the hard drives on my computer or your computer. There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to store your Project files elsewhere, and one of the options is SkyDrive. One of the advantages of using cloud storage or, in this case, SkyDrive is that you should in theory then be able to access these files not only wherever you are in the world but let’s suppose you don’t have access to your regular PC or your regular laptop, you should be able to access those files using another device. In fact, using one of the web based applications that can cope with Microsoft Project files you should even be able to work on those files using a web based Project management application. Now in order to get some SkyDrive storage space, which is basically free from Microsoft, I think at the time of recording this course you could get free something like 7 gigabytes of storage space. You can get more but then you have to start paying money for it. But in order to get that free space, you need to have a Microsoft account. Now I have a Microsoft account. I’m going to tell you about my Microsoft account in a minute or two from now. If you don’t have a Microsoft account, then you can sign up for one for free. Included in Microsoft accounts are things like Hotmail accounts or Live.com or Live.co accounts which are also earlier implementations of Microsoft accounts. Now if you either Google SkyDrive or you go to Microsoft and look for SkyDrive, one of the pages is this one. Obviously, over time this may have changed but I’m sure there will be an equivalent of this; Microsoft account and how to sign up for one. In the top sentence there, Already have a Microsoft account? If you use Hotmail, SkyDrive, Xbox Live and want to claim a new email address, sign in and then rename your account or create an alias. So using those existing accounts you can effectively automatically create a Microsoft account and either use the

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Project 2013 name you already use or create an alias. One way or another you need to get yourself a Microsoft account. So once you’ve got your Microsoft account, you can sign into it and once you’ve successfully signed into your account and bearing in mind that this interface changes pretty frequently, there will be an access option here on the drop down next to the word Outlook in the top left corner. I can access SkyDrive, and what I can see now is my main SkyDrive folder. Now yours won’t look exactly the same as this because I’ve already used this particular SkyDrive area a bit before. Within the SkyDrive storage area, you can pretty much treat it as a regular folder, as though it was a folder on the device that you normally use. So I’ve created a folder called Parliament Presentation. I’ve got some work in there and I’ve also got a Pictures folder which has got some pictures in it and you can just see a little automated slide show working its way through those pictures. Let’s suppose that what I’m going to do is to store the house build project on SkyDrive and I’m going to create a folder to store it in. So the first thing I’m going to do in my SkyDrive area is to create a new folder. Now if you’ve only just setup a Microsoft account or you’ve only just accessed SkyDrive for the first time, I suggest you do this as well to create a new folder. So click on Create, Folder, and I’m going to call that folder House Build. That’s my new folder and what I’m now going to start doing is keeping a copy of the house build project in that folder. So having done that, if I want to, now I can just sign out of my Microsoft account again and I’m going to now go back into Project 2013. So I’m assuming here that I’m working on my house build project. If I go into Backstage View and go down to the Account Option, just note that the account that I’ve got connected here at the bottom, Toby Arnott’s SkyDrive, [email protected] That is the account that I use for my SkyDrive and therefore if I go to the Save As and I say Save As and I choose Toby Arnott’s SkyDrive, then provided I’m connected to the internet, of course, which is a prerequisite for all of this, I can use my SkyDrive just as a regular folder. So I’m going to save the house build on Toby Arnott’s SkyDrive. Click on Browse and then what happens is I see the SkyDrive folder that we looked at just now in Internet Explorer and I see that new house build folder and all of the other folders exactly the same folders but looked at in a browser from within a desktop

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Project 2013 application rather than from Internet Explorer. So I could now say go into the house build folder and save a copy of my presentation there. So I can just click on Save and that’s it. I’ve saved my Project file to my SkyDrive. If you are going to store Project files on SkyDrive, when it comes to opening them note that when you go into Backstage View and go to Open, if you choose Toby Arnott’s SkyDrive or in fact that will be your SkyDrive, then the recent folders list you get relates to recent folders on SkyDrive. So it’s got its own recent folders list. If I know that the last one I saved was in that particular folder that’ll give me access quickly to that saved file. Depending on the speed of your internet connection it may take a moment to connect to SkyDrive and then to download the file to work on it. But once that’s done it looks exactly like working on the file from anywhere else. 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

Chapter 32 – Security Video: Password Protect; Read-only; Trust Center Toby: Welcome back to our course on Project 2013. In this short section I’d like to take a look at a couple of important aspects of security in Project 2013 and the first thing I’d like to show you is how to password protect one of your Project files. I’ve got a copy of the house build schedule here so I’m just going to use that. Click on File to go into Backstage View, Save As. I’m going to save it on Home Computer, click on Browse, and then what I’m going to do in this case, I’m going to select the same file name, so I’m effectively going to overwrite this one. But next to the Save button there is a Tools button with a little drop down arrow. Click on the drop down arrow and one of the options on there is General Options. Now in General Options I can choose to put one or two or no passwords. The first password is what’s called a protection password and if I put a protection password on, somebody can only open this file if they know that password. In addition, I could also put on a Write reservation password, and if I put on a write reservation password that means somebody can not only open the document but it means that they can reserve it for writing which effectively means that they can make changes to it. So if I just want somebody to be able to read it, I’ll put a password in there. I’ll tell you now the password I’m typing is T-O-B-Y-A, all lower case. Somebody would have to have that protection password to open the file at all. But if somebody in addition wants to be able to modify the project schedule, I’d put a different password in here. Don’t use the same one in both. It’s a good idea to have long passwords, not simple passwords. So include numeric digits, punctuation characters, etc.

If you check the bottom box here, Read-only

(Recommended), what will happen is that when somebody tries to open the file, they’ll be asked if they want to open it read-only or if they want to change it they’re going to have to be able to supply the right reservation password. So let me check that box as well, click on OK. I’m going to re-enter the password to make sure I’ve entered it correctly the first time. I’m going to now re-enter the reservation password. I’ve actually used quite short passwords here because I’m only demonstrating this to you. Click on Save. Project 2013 warns me that I am overwriting a file that already exists. Say yes. Now let me close that particular project. So now I’m going to open it again. So I’ll go to recent files. That file should be opened as read-only unless changes to it must be saved. Do you want to open the file as read-only? No, I don’t. I want to be able to © Copyright 2008-2013 Simon Sez IT, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Project 2013 make changes. So it tells me it’s protected and it asks me for the password. It also said that it is write reserved. Enter the password for write access or open it read-only. Well, I’m going to go into write access so I put the second password in as well and now I can access the schedule and I can make changes to it. So that is how to password protect a Microsoft Project file. I’ve just got one other thing to show you about security very briefly. If we go into Backstage View and go back down to Options, one of the pages was the Trust Center. Now if you go to the Trust Center, basically within that you have access to Microsoft Project privacy statements, general privacy statements, trustworthy computing, and so on. But there are also some Trust Center settings which concern security and privacy. Now the settings for these are, generally speaking, made Microsoft Office wide and a lot of them are to do with macros and code. So how you can both ensure that code and macros and program code, VBA code, and so on is safe and also how to protect yourself if you’re going to use code from external sources; so if you’re going to use add-ins or other people’s templates with macro code in them. To read up on the settings for these I think the best thing to do is to look at the Microsoft Project Help because it will explain these options and as I, say, largely the options are related to Microsoft Office generally anyway. The default settings here on things like macro settings, disable all macros with notification, are generally good unless you’re going to do something very specifically with macros yourself. So if anything you were using in Project tried to run a macro what it would say to you is I’ve been asked to run this macro. Do you want me to go ahead? Well, if you’re not sure exactly what it means I would say no. But as say let me just show you the Help page for this. So if you search the Project Help for Trust Center, you’ll get to this page. View my options and settings in the Trust Center, and as it says there these are really Office wide settings. It explains in point four there what each of the pages within the settings mean. And basically if you’re not intending to use macros within Project, certainly macros that you’ve obtained from elsewhere, then the default settings are going to be fine. If you are or if you want to, for instance, use a

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Project 2013 digital signature, then the pages that are linked to off of this one explain things like obtaining a digital certificate to create a digital signature. That’s it for this short section on security. I’ll see you in the next one.

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

Project 2013

Chapter 33 – Conclusion Video: Recent Development of Project; Close Toby: Hello again and welcome to this final section in our course on Project 2013. One last thing I’d like to point out to you before I say goodbye is the arrival recently of Project Pro for Office 365 and what this really offers you is Project Professional 2013 as an always up to date desktop subscription through Office 365. Now, the idea of this is that rather than buying Project Professional 2013 or standard 2013 as a desktop product and then obviously getting updates as necessary through Microsoft update, you can pay by subscription for a version of Project which is kept up to date always through Office 365. Now there is a page available within Microsoft.com, the Office section, that does a comparison between the products. It shows the difference between standard and professional which are mainly to do with the collaboration aspects. But then as you scroll down, you also find a couple of boxes ticked on the right here to do with, first of all, the flexibility of keeping everything up to date by always having an up to date version of the product available and secondly the fact that you can access that version on almost any PC. It basically means any PC that’s up to running the product. Now one of the things about this is that, of course, you do need an adequate internet connection and although most people nowadays will have a good enough internet connection to support this, some people don’t. For some people, their internet connection would maybe make this a little bit too slow to use. But if you’ve got a good internet connection, it’s well worth considering looking at the relative costs of buying a version of Project Professional or subscribing on a monthly basis. That’s a recent development. That may or may not be of interest to you but I thought it’s important to point that out to you before I leave you. Having said that, that is the end of our course on Microsoft Project 2013. I hope you’ve enjoyed following the course with me as much as I’ve enjoyed preparing it for you and delivering it to you. I hope to see you online again sometime soon; so from me, goodbye for now.

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