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Project 2013 Absolute Beginner's Guide

By Brian Kennemer, Sonia Atchison

Published by Que

Published Date: Jul 26, 2013

Description

Make the most of Project 2013—without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to take control of Project 2013, and use it to efficiently manage every phase of your project, from up-front planning through project completion and post-mortems. Even if you’ve never used Microsoft Project before, this book will show you how to do what you want, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Project 2013 has never, ever been this simple!

 

Who knew how simple Project® 2013 could be?

 

This is the easiest, most practical beginner’s guide to running real projects with Project 2013… simple, reliable instructions for doing everything you really want to do! Here’s a small sample
of what you’ll learn:

 

•     Master today’s best project management techniques

•     Use Project 2013 to solve many key project management problems

•     Master Project’s revamped interface, from Start screen to Backstage

•     Leverage Project 2013’s best new features in your day-to-day work

•     Get comfortable with the Project Window and its powerful views

•     Set up realistic project schedules and calendars

•     Add new tasks, dependencies, and resources

•     Create budgets, track costs, and quickly resolve cost overruns

•     Smoothly reflect changes in your project

•     Report on progress, from completed work to anticipated finish dates

•     Strengthen decision-making with dashboards, plans, and timelines

•     Streamline processes by integrating Project with SharePoint and Office

•     Securely share project data with team participants and stakeholders

•     Improve efficiency by customizing Project’s interface to your needs

•     Coherently manage complex project portfolios

•     Extend project management to smartphones, tablets, and the cloud

 

Brian Kennemer, Microsoft MVP for Project and Project Server, has worked with Project since 1997. He served on the Microsoft Consulting Services Global Enterprise Project Management team for five years, and has helped several Microsoft Partners design and deploy Project Server-based systems. Sonia Atchison has worked with Microsoft Project since 1999. In 2006,  she joined Microsoft’s writing team, producing extensive help content, videos, and content for Office.com and TechNet.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction ..................................1

How This Book Is Organized ................. 2

Using This Book ..................... 3

 

1 Introduction to Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 .......5

What Microsoft Project 2013 Can Do for You ........ 6

Laying a Foundation........................... 7

    Project ................................. 7

    Task ............................. 7

    Resource ................................ 8

    Assignment ................................... 8

The Project 2013 Version You Need .................... 8

What’s New in Project 2013? .......................... 9

    Updated User Interface ......................... 9

    Manually Scheduled Tasks (Professional and Standard) ........... 9

    Team Planner View (Professional Only) ................10

    Timeline (Professional and Standard) .....................10

    Task Path (Professional and Standard) .....................11

    Reporting (Professional and Standard) ......................12

    Inactive Tasks (Professional Only) .................................12

    SharePoint Collaboration (Professional Only) ......................13

 

2 Navigating Project 2013 ...................15

Using the Ribbon ............................................16

Understanding Project Views ..............................17

Working with Project Views ................................22

    Grouping Data in a View ..............................22

    Sorting Data in a View ................................23

    Filtering Data in a View ...............................24

    Highlighting Data in a View ...............................25

    Displaying Two Views at Once ........................26

Using the Timeline .......................................27

 

3 Starting a Project ........................31

Setting Up a Project .....................................32

    Creating a New Project ............................32

    Saving a Project ..........................................33

Setting Project Properties and Options ....................37

    Setting Project Properties.................................37

    Setting Project Options ................................37

Choosing a Project Start or Finish Date ..................39

Setting Up Your Project’s Calendars ......................40

    Modifying an Existing Base Calendar ..........................41

    Creating a New Base Calendar ...................................45

    Setting Up Your Project’s Calendar .....................46

 

4 Working with Tasks ...................................49

How Does Project 2013 Schedule Tasks? ...................50

    Scheduling Methods in Project 2013 .....................50

    Factors the Project Scheduling Engine Considers ..................50

    Which Scheduling Method You Should Use .....................51

    The Project Scheduling Formula .......................52

Understanding Task Types ...........................54

    Fixed Units ...........................55

    Fixed Work ......................................56

    Fixed Duration ......................................56

Adding Tasks to Your Project................................56

    Adding a New Task ..................................57

    Setting a Task Calendar ..............................59

    Indenting and Outdenting Tasks .......................60

Setting Up Task Dependencies ..................................61

    Adding Dependencies Between Tasks .................................63

Creating a Work Breakdown Structure .................................64

    Setting Your Project’s WBS Code Structure ..................66

 

5 Working with Resources ...........................69

Understanding Resource Types and Other Factors ............70

Adding Resources to Your Project ........................71

Adjusting Resource Calendars ................................73

Assigning Resources to Tasks ..................................73

    Assigning a Resource Using the Task Information Dialog Box ......74

    Assigning a Work Resource Using the Team Planner View .............75

Editing an Existing Resource Assignment .................76

    Splitting a Task to Create a Gap in Work ......................77

    Fine-Tuning a Resource’s Work Schedule for a Task ................77

    Assigning Remaining Work on a Task to Another Resource ...........78

 

6 Accounting for Project Costs .......81

Understanding Types of Costs ..................82

Creating a Budget for Your Project ...............82

    Creating and Assigning Budget Resources ...............83

    Adding Values to Budget Resources ......................85

    Pairing Resources with Budgets ...................85

Comparing Actual Cost and Work Values with the Project Budget ........87

Accounting for Overtime Spent on Project Tasks............88

    Planning for Overtime Work and Costs ...........................89

    Recording Actual Overtime Work and Costs .......................90

 

7 Capturing Project Progress ..........93

Baselining Your Project ....................................94

Gathering Status Updates from Resources ..............................96

    Actual Start, Percent Work Complete, Remaining Work .........................96

    Actual Start, Actual Work, Remaining Work, Expected Finish Date ..100

    Actual Work Per Day, Remaining Work, Expected Finish Date ..............102

    Assessing the Impacts of Updates ....................................105

 

8 Sharing Your Project with Others ........................ 107

Reporting on Your Project ..................................108

    Generating and Customizing a Visual Report .....................109

    Generating and Customizing a Basic Report ......................113

Sharing Data with Others ...................................116

    Copying the Timeline .....................................116

    Exporting Data to Excel ...........................................117

    Taking a Picture of Your Project Data .....................117

    Saving the Project as a PDF or XPS File .............................118

Collaborating with Others on Your Project .....................119

 

9 Customizing Project 2013 .............. 121

Creating Custom Fields .............................122

Adding and Removing Columns in a View ................124

    Adding a Column to a View ..........................125

    Hiding a Column in a View ...........................126

Saving a Set of Columns as a Table ...........126

Creating and Editing Views ......................128

 

10 Understanding Project Options ......... 133

General Project Options ...........................135

    User Interface Options .............................135

    Project View ................................137

    Personalize Your Copy of Microsoft Office .........137

    Startup Options .................................138

Display Options ......................................138

    Calendar ............................................139

    Currency Options for This Project .....................139

    Show Indicators and Options Buttons For ...................141

    Show These Elements ............................141

Schedule Options ..........................142

    Calendar Options for This Project .....................143

    Schedule .....................................145

    Scheduling Options for This Project ..................145

    Schedule Alerts Options ............................148

    Calculation ...............................148

    Calculation Options for This Project ...................149

Proofing Options ...............................150

    AutoCorrect Options ..............................151

    When Correcting Spelling in Microsoft Office Programs..........151

    When Correcting Spelling in Project ................151

Save Options ..................................152

    Save Projects ............................................153

    Save Templates ..................154

    Cache ....................................154

Language Options .............................155

Advanced Options .....................................156

    General ...............................................156

    Project Web App ......................................158

    Planning Wizard .........................................159

    General Options for This Project .........................159

    Edit .................................................160

    Display ...................................................161

    Display Options for This Project .............................163

    Cross Project Linking Options for This Project ...................164

    Earned Value Options for This Project ..................165

    Calculation Options for This Project .....................166

Customize Ribbon Options ...........................167

    Customize the Ribbon ................................168

Quick Access Toolbar Options .........................170

    Customize the Quick Access Toolbar .....................171

Add-Ins Options ..................................172

Trust Center Options .................................172

 

11 Dealing with Problems .............. 175

Problem: One of My Resources Is Overallocated ...................176

Problem: My Schedule Goes Longer Than My Deadline ..............180

Problem: My Costs Are Exceeding My Budget ........................182

    Assigning Work to Fewer People ...............................183

    Cutting Back on What Needs to Get Done .......................183

    Trimming Budget Amounts ......................184

 

Appendix Guide to Project Fields ............ 185

 

Index ...................... 249

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ISBN-10: 0-13-335361-3

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-335361-7

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