New perspectives on microsoft project 2007 creating a project schedule
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New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2007: Creating a Project Schedule. In this tutorial you will:. Start a new project Examine scheduling defaults Change a project and task calendar Enter and edit tasks, durations, and task dependencies Enter and edit recurring tasks and milestones.

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New perspectives on microsoft project 2007 creating a project schedule

New Perspectives on Microsoft Project 2007: Creating a Project Schedule


In this tutorial you will

In this tutorial you will:

  • Start a new project

  • Examine scheduling defaults

  • Change a project and task calendar

  • Enter and edit tasks, durations, and task dependencies

  • Enter and edit recurring tasks and milestones

Presentations Created by C. Hester - Microsoft Project 2007 by Bunin


In this tutorial you will1

In this tutorial you will:

  • Enter lag and lead times

  • View project statistics

  • Create and manipulate summary tasks

  • Develop a work breakdown structure

Presentations Created by C. Hester - Microsoft Project 2007 by Bunin


Jlb partners

JLB Partners

Project Goal: Network company computers to easily share resources within a time frame of three months and within a budget of $50,000.

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New project examining scheduling defaults

New Project & Examining Scheduling Defaults

  • By default, the new project file is scheduled from a project Start date

  • All tasks are scheduled to begin as soon as possible

  • Project 2007 calculates the project’s Finish date based on the

    • Tasks

    • Durations

    • Dependencies

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Project information dialog box

Project Information Dialog Box

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New project examining scheduling defaults1

New Project & Examining Scheduling Defaults

  • When a project is scheduled from a Finish date, such as conference, all tasks are scheduled to begin as late as possible.

    • In order for the overall project to be started as late as possible and yet still meet the required Finish date.

  • It is often more efficient to wait to start a project until you really need to do work on the project instead of starting too early and wasting resources.

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Project scheduled from finish date

Project Scheduled from Finish Date

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The task information dialog box

The Task Information Dialog Box

  • The Task Information dialog box is a comprehensive collection of all of the information about each task organized into five categories represented by these tabs:

    • General

    • Predecessors

    • Resources

    • Advanced

    • Notes

  • The Task Information dialog box is another view by which you can examine and enter data about a task.

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Task information dialog box

Task Information Dialog Box

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Constraints using task information

Constraints using Task Information

  • Constraint types “as soon as possible or as late as possible” determine the initial Constraint type for each task.

  • The initial Constraint type has a tremendous impact on the calculated start and finish dates for each task entered into the project.

  • Always take the time to examine the Project Information dialog box before starting a new project.

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Examining project calendars

Examining Project Calendars

  • By default, the entire project, each task, and each resource is scheduled according to the Standard calendar.

  • The Standard calendar specifies that Monday through Friday are working days with 8 hours of work completed each day.

  • Saturday and Sunday are designated as nonworking days.

  • Calendar can be modified to identify holidays or other nonworking days or times in which work should not be scheduled.

  • You can also create unique calendars for tasks and resources that do not follow the working and nonworking times specified by the Standard calendar.

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Creating a new calendar

Creating a New Calendar

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Changing the project calendar

Changing the Project Calendar

  • The project calendar (also called the Standard calendar) is the base calendar used by Project 2007 to schedule new tasks within the project.

  • It specifies working time, the hours during which work can occur, by default 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm Monday through Friday.

  • It also specifies nonworking time, the hours of a 24-hour day that are not specified as working time, and other global working time issues (such as a scheduled holiday).

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Change time for a work week

Change Time for a Work Week

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Change working time dialog box

Change Working Time Dialog Box

  • The Legend provides the key to the shading on the calendar.

    • Working days appear as white

    • Nonworking days as light gray

    • Edited working hours with gray diagonal lines

  • If a day of the week such as Monday or Tuesday is edited, the day’s abbreviation is underlined.

  • If an individual day is edited, the day’s number is underlined.

  • Changes to the project calendar can be made at any time during the development of the project.

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Change working time dialog box1

Change Working Time Dialog Box

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Creating a task calendar

Creating a Task Calendar

  • An individual task calendar can be created for any task that does not follow the working and nonworking times specified by the project calendar.

  • An individual resource calendar can be created for a resource that does not follow the working and nonworking times specified by the project calendar.

    • By assigning a resource to a resource calendar, you allow the resource to be worked on the days and times specified by the resource calendar rather then the project calendar.

  • By default, all tasks and resource assignments inherit the project calendar unless you specify something else.

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Creating a task calendar cont d

Creating a Task Calendar Cont’d

  • Emily King has requested that the installation and training not disrupt the daily activities of JLB Partners. To meet this need,

    • You met with the staff and determined that mornings are generally used for meetings and training could also be scheduled during that time.

    • You create a calendar for the training tasks called Training that allows training tasks to be scheduled only between the hours of 8am-12pm.

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Creating a task calendar cont d1

Creating a Task Calendar Cont’d

  • By default, all new tasks follow the Standard (Project Calendar), but you can easily apply a different calendar by using the Task Information dialog box.

  • It is important that you test the new calendar with a sample task to see the effects of your changes.

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Changing the calendar for a task

Changing the Calendar for a Task

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Entering tasks and durations in the entry table

Entering Tasks and Durations in the Entry Table

  • Entering tasks and durations is probably the single most important effort in developing a useful project file.

  • If tasks are omitted or durations underestimated, the value of the project’s scheduling and cost information is compromised and the success of the project might be jeopardized.

  • The active cell is the cell that you are editing; a dark border surrounds it.

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Entering tasks and durations in the entry table cont d

Entering Tasks and Durations in the Entry Table Cont’d

  • When you are building a new project, your goal is to enter all of the task names and durations correctly.

  • If you are creating a file based on chronological tasks, you also want to enter tasks in the order in which they are to be completed.

  • Often you will need to change an existing task or insert, delete, or move a task.

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Editing tasks and durations in the entry table

Editing Tasks and Durations in the Entry Table

  • Project 2007 makes it very easy to edit an existing project.

  • Many of the editing skills that you gained when editing a spreadsheet will apply to a project table.

  • To change an existing entry, you first navigate to the cell. Once there, you have several options:

    • Retype the entry

    • Edit the entry directly in the cell

    • Edit an entry in the Entry bar

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Editing tasks and durations in the entry table cont d

Editing Tasks and Durations in the Entry Table Cont’d

  • Inserting and deleting tasks are common editing activities.

  • As you continue to plan the project by conducting research and meeting with management, you might find that new tasks are required.

  • Sometimes during project planning, you will determine that all or part of a task is no longer required and want to delete it.

  • Project 2007 makes deleting and editing task cells similar to performing those operations in spreadsheet software.

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Entering and editing tasks in the entry table

Entering and Editing Tasksin the Entry Table

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Smart tag

Smart Tag

  • If you want to delete an entire task row in Project 2007, you must select the entire row, then press the Delete key.

  • Project 2007 includes a Smart Tag to allow you to specify what you want to delete.

  • A list arrow appears when you place the pointer over the Smart Tag.

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Smart tag selection

Smart Tag Selection

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Undo and redo

Undo and Redo

  • In Project 2007, you can undo only your last action.

  • When you click the Undo button, it changes into a Redo button so that you can redo the action that was previously done.

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Copy paste and move

Copy, Paste and Move

  • Copying, pasting, and moving tasks are important task editing skills.

  • Project 2007 offers a variety of tools that you can use to accomplish these common tasks, including:

    • Menu bar options

    • Toolbar buttons

    • Quick keystrokes

    • Right-click shortcut menus

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Fill handle

Fill Handle

  • If several task durations are the same, you can use either the copy and paste features to quickly enter the durations or the fill handle to populate cells.

  • If you have used the fill handle in Excel or another spreadsheet program, you will find it a very similar process in Project 2007.

  • The fill handle is a small square that appears in the lower corner of the selected cell.

  • When you drag a fill handle, the contents of the active cell are copied.

  • You can also use the fill handle to fill task names.

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Fill handle1

Fill Handle

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Working with duration units of measure

Working with Duration Units of Measure

  • Entering and editing durations involves understanding the units of measure available for them.

  • The default unit of measure is day, and therefore “day” does not need to be entered.

  • To use any other unit, you must type the abbreviation.

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Units of measure abbreviations

Units of Measure Abbreviations

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Elapsed

Elapsed

  • Elapsed refers to clock time rather than working time.

  • Some tasks are completed over an elapsed period of time regardless of whether the time is working or nonworking.

  • An example is the task “Allow paint to dry.” The paint will dry in exactly the same amount of time regardless of whether it dries on a workday, a weekend or holiday. If it takes one day to dry, the duration should be entered a 1 ed (for 1 elapsed day).

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Editing tasks and durations in other views

Editing Tasks and Durationsin Other Views

  • Anything changed in one view is automatically changed in all the other views.

  • You can use the View Bar to quickly switch between views.

  • The way data is displayed differs by view and often satisfies different communication and reporting needs as the project develops.

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Editing tasks and durations in other views cont d

Editing Tasks and Durations in Other Views Cont’d

  • Regardless of the view used, you can edit any task by double-clicking it to open its Task Information dialog box.

  • As you work with Project 2007, you will become more familiar with each view and learn which is the best representation of the data for different purposes.

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Entering recurring tasks

Entering Recurring Tasks

  • A recurring task is a task that repeats at a regular interval.

  • A Monday morning status meeting is a good example of a recurring task that needs to be scheduled for each week of the project.

  • In Project 2007, you can define a recurring task one time using the Recurring Task Information dialog box.

  • Project 2007 then handles the details of scheduling the task on each Monday for the entire project or for the time period you specify.

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Entering recurring tasks cont d

Entering Recurring Tasks Cont’d

  • By default, Project 2007 schedules the recurring task based on the duration of the entire project.

  • If you want a recurring task to occur only a certain number of times or end before the project ends, you can enter that information in the Range of occurrence section.

  • You can also change the calendar used or the recurring task in the Calendar section.

  • Recurring tasks can be expanded to show all of the individual tasks within them or collapsed to one line, depending on how the user wants to view the Task Entry table and Gantt Chart.

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Recurring task information dialog box

Recurring Task Information Dialog Box

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Entering milestones

Entering Milestones

  • A milestone is a task that marks a significant point in time or a progress checkpoint.

  • It has a zero duration and is therefore a symbolic task that is used mainly to communicate progress or to mark the end of a significant phase of the project.

  • Examples include the signing of a contract or the announcement of a new product.

  • Milestones can also be used to motivate project participants by recognizing accomplishments.

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Entering milestones cont d

Entering Milestones Cont’d

  • Completing an important deliverable, such as completing an office installation, completing training, and so on can be entered as milestones.

  • Many project managers identify milestones early in a project to help build momentum toward the project’s completion.

  • Since milestones have no duration, they are scheduled without regard to working and nonworking time.

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Milestones

Milestones

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Understanding task dependencies

Understanding Task Dependencies

  • Four task dependencies define the relationships between tasks in a project.

    • Finish-to-Start (FS)

    • Start-to-Start (SS)

    • Finish-to-Finish (FF)

    • Start-to-Finish (SF)

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Task dependencies

Task Dependencies

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Understanding task dependencies cont d

Understanding Task Dependencies Cont’d

  • By linking tasks in finish-to-start relationships, you establish the required sequence of tasks.

  • Project 2007 uses these relationships to set start and finish dates for each task.

  • The first task described in the dependency is called the predecessor task.

  • The second task described in the dependency type is called the successor task.

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Understanding task dependencies cont d1

Understanding Task Dependencies Cont’d

  • Most dependencies are Finish-to-Start (FS), meaning a certain task (the predecessor) must finish before another task (the successor) can start.

  • In order to use important project management techniques such as critical path analysis, you must determine task dependencies.

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Creating task dependencies

Creating Task Dependencies

  • Project 2007 makes it easy to create, and remove, FS relationships between tasks by providing the Link Tasks and Unlink Tasks buttons on the Standard toolbar.

  • Task dependencies also can be established in the graphical views.

  • As you would expect, creating task dependencies affects the start and finish dates of the linked tasks.

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Critical path

Critical Path

  • Changing and linking tasks also affects the critical path.

  • The critical path consists of the tasks that must be completed with the given schedule dates in order for the overall project to be completed in the shortest amount of time.

  • Project 2007 defines the critical path as consisting of those tasks that have zero slack.

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Critical path1

Critical Path

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Slack times

Slack Times

  • Total slack is the amount of time by which an activity may be delayed from its scheduled Start date without the delay setting back the entire project.

  • Free slack is the amount of time by which an activity may be delayed without delaying the early start of any immediately following tasks.

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Critical and non critical tasks

Critical and Non-Critical Tasks

  • In the Network Diagram view, the critical tasks—tasks that are on the critical path—are displayed within a red border.

  • A task that is not on the critical path is a non-critical task, that is, it doesn’t necessarily have to start on its currently scheduled Start date in order for the overall project to be completed on time.

  • The Network Diagram is used mainly to view and analyze the critical path.

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Using form view to create task dependencies

Using Form View to Create Task Dependencies

  • Sometimes a task is a predecessor to more than one other task, and therefore the process of dragging link lines in a graphical view becomes confusing and difficult.

  • Using a Form view of the project can make entering many details for a single task easier.

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Editing task dependencies

Editing Task Dependencies

  • Task dependencies start as FS dependencies because that type of dependency is by far the most common relationship between tasks.

  • To change the dependency type, you must open the Task Dependency dialog box.

    • There, you can change the relationship type from FS (finish-to-start) to SS (start-to-start), FF (finish-to-finish), or SF (start-to-finish).

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Entering lag and lead times

Entering Lag and Lead Times

  • When a project is scheduled from a Start date, lag and lead times refer to an amount of time that the second task of a relationship is moved backward (lead) or forward (lag) in time.

  • Lead time moves the second task backward in time so that the two tasks overlap.

  • Lag time is the opposite of lead time. It moves the second task forward in time so that the tasks are further separated.

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Lag and lead time from start date

Lag and Lead Time from Start Date

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Lag time from a finish date

Lag Time from a Finish Date

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Entering lag and lead times cont d

Entering Lag and Lead Times Cont’d

  • Project 2007 combines the concepts of lag and lead times into one term, lag time.

  • When a project is scheduled from a Start date, positive lag time moves the second task forward in time.

    • Positive lag time is the traditional definition of lag time in general project management discussions.

  • Negative lag time moves the second task backward in time so that the tasks overlap.

    • Negative lag time is called lead time in general project management discussions.

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Negative and positive lag time

Negative and Positive Lag Time

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Entering lag and lead times cont d1

Entering Lag and Lead Times Cont’d

  • Lag durations use the same duration units (d for days, h for hours, and so forth) used for task durations.

  • You also can enter a positive or negative percentage that will calculate the lag as a percentage of the duration of the first task.

    • In a finish-to-start relationship, +25% lag time pushes the second task forward in time.

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Entering lag and lead times cont d2

Entering Lag and Lead Times Cont’d

  • The second task will not start until after the first task is completed plus an additional 25% of the duration of the first task.

  • A -25% lag time pulls the second task backward in time. In this case, the second task will start when the first task is 75% completed.

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Check for lag time effects

Check for Lag Time Effects

  • Once the tasks, durations, and relationships are entered, you should check the Project Information dialog box to verify the project’s calculated Finish date if the project is scheduled from a Start date, or calculated Start date if the project is scheduled from a Finish date.

  • When a project is scheduled from a Start date, applying negative lag time to task dependencies that are on the critical path is a common way to shorten the critical path because it allows tasks to overlap.

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Check for lag time effects cont d

Check for Lag Time Effects Cont’d

  • When you apply negative lag time, the second task is allowed to start before the first task is completely finished.

  • When a project is scheduled from a Finish date, all tasks have as late as possible schedules and lag time affects the first task rather than the second.

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Check for lag time effects cont d1

Check for Lag Time Effects Cont’d

  • Confusing negative and positive lag times is easy, especially when examining them for both a project that is scheduled from a Start date and one scheduled from a Finish date.

  • Remember:

    • Positive lag time always increases the amount of time between tasks.

    • Negative lag time always causes the tasks to overlap.

    • This rule holds true regardless of whether the project is scheduled from the Start date or the Finish date.

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Creating a work breakdown structure with summary tasks

Creating a Work Breakdown Structure with Summary Tasks

  • A very important strategy for managing projects well is to organize the work that needs to be done in a logical manner.

  • A work breakdown structure (WBS) is an outcome-oriented analysis of the work involved in a project that defines the total scope of the project.

    • A WBS is a foundation document in project management because it provides the basis for planning and managing project schedules, costs, and changes.

    • The WBS provides a hierarchy, similar to an organizational chart, to group project work logically.

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Work breakdown structure

Work Breakdown Structure

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Creating a work breakdown structure with summary tasks cont d

Creating a Work Breakdown Structure with Summary Tasks Cont’d

  • In order to use a WBS in Project 2007, you must organize tasks into summary tasks: groups of tasks that logically belong together.

  • When developing a new, large project, some project managers prefer to start with broad groupings of summary tasks and then break them down into smaller tasks.

  • Planning a project by starting with broad categories of tasks is called the top-down method of creating a WBS.

  • Other project managers prefer to list all of the individual tasks, and then collect them into logical groupings using the bottom-up method.

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Work breakdown structure1

Work Breakdown Structure

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Outdenting and indenting tasks

Outdenting and Indenting Tasks

  • Use the Outdent button and the Indent button on the Formatting toolbar to create your WBS.

  • Outdenting moves a task to the left (a higher level in the WBS), and indenting moves a task to the right (a lower level in the WBS).

  • Projects can have several levels in the WBS.

  • Many projects have at least three levels, and some large projects have more.

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Summary task

Summary Task

  • You do not specify a duration for a summary task because it is calculated based on the durations and relationships of the individual tasks within that summary task.

  • Summary tasks are listed in bold text in the Task Entry table and display a Collapse/Expand button to the left of the task so that you can easily show or hide the individual tasks within that summary task.

  • In the Gantt Chart, a summary task bar displays as a solid black line with arrow-like markers that indicate where the summary task starts and stops.

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Summary task cont d

Summary Task Cont’d

  • The duration cell of a summary task cannot be directly edited; it is calculated from the durations and relationships of the individual summary tasks it contains.

  • Summary tasks not only improve the clarity of the project and calculate the total duration for that phase or major grouping of tasks, but they also help identify areas that are not yet fully developed.

  • For larger projects, summary tasks can be nested to create more levels in the WBS to help define and manage all the work required to successfully complete your project.

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Creating a project summary task bar

Creating a Project Summary Task Bar

  • Many project managers like to clearly see the start and finish dates for their projects on the Gantt Chart and how those dates change as they enter and edit tasks, durations, and dependencies.

    • You can create a summary task bar for the entire project (it appears at the top of the Gantt Chart) by clicking Tools on the menu bar and using the Options dialog box.

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Expanding and collapsing tasks

Expanding and Collapsing Tasks

  • Once your project has been organized into summary tasks, you can easily expand (show) and collapse (hide) the individual tasks within each phase.

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Using outline numbers or work breakdown structure codes

Using Outline Numbers or Work Breakdown Structure Codes

  • Many people like to number tasks in their WBS to show the logical groupings of work.

  • Using outline numbers or special work breakdown structure (WBS) code is a way to use an alphanumeric code to represent each task’s position within the hierarchical structure of the project.

  • A WBS code helps identify and group project tasks for project communication, documentation, or accounting purposes.

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Using outline numbers or work breakdown structure codes cont d

Using Outline Numbers or Work Breakdown Structure Codes Cont’d

  • Project 2007 lets you create and modify a WBS code with outline numbers.

  • The default WBS code is the task’s outline number, but you can create your own custom WBS code.

  • This numbering system works well when you want to numerically code each task and do not need a different coding scheme for representing the WBS.

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Summary

Summary

  • A project does not need to be outlined in order to use the WBS column.

  • The outline helps visually clarify the organization of the project.

  • The ability to expand and collapse different WBS levels enables you to quickly display or print only the information needed.

  • Creating summary tasks, displaying different levels of detail, and adding a column with WBS codes helps you to clarify and enhance the project.

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