Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Microsoft Project (2007) favourite topics

Microsoft Project is an interesting program. It isn’t a general program like Word or Excel, it’s aimed at creating a project, managing a project.

Task Duration vs Work vs Units calculation

When you assign and edit assignments of Resources to a Project Task, MSP’s calculation engine recalculates an answer for that task. The calculation is based on this formula:

Task Duration = Work / Units

The equation is based on these three factors. Project will calculate one factor if you change the other two.

By Default (Tools > Options), MSP sets the Tasks you create as Fixed Units. However, you can make set any Task to calculate in the following way:

  • Fixed Units
  • Fixed Work
  • Fixed Duration

One more feature is Effort Driven Scheduling – this is the default in MSP. If you assign or remove people, MSP keeps the total Work fixed. Sometimes you want to add a more people because the Work has been underestimated – in this case, you remove the tick to on Effort Driven Scheduling for that Task.

Durations by the way, come in two types. A simple number for the working duration of the task where assigned people take a break when the weekend comes on their calendar and Elapsed Duration when the task extends into the weekend even though it is non working time for the resources. See this MSP 2007 Help webpage



Linking Tasks and Types of Links

The four Link Types are:

  • FS e.g. Dig Concrete and Pour Concrete
  • SS e.g. Pour Concrete and Level Concrete
  • FF e.g. Add wiring and Inspect Electrics
  • SF e.g. Truss Delivery and Assemble Roof

See diagrams and videos in this MSP 2007 Help webpage.

Copying Calendars and other stuff

Like Microsoft Word, MSP has a Tools > Organizer dialog. This can be used to copy Calendars and other items across MSP files.

Assigning Costs

  • Variable costs caused by use of a Resource are ride on the assignment of the Resource to the Task.
  • Fixed costs are assigned directly to the Task itself.
  • Material costs are assigned by use of the Resource (remember to type  the unit e.g. litres in the Material Label field)


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1 comment:

Thomas said...

Like any human undertaking, projects need to be performed and delivered under certain constraints. Traditionally, these constraints have been listed as "scope," "time," and "cost". These are also referred to as the "Project Management Triangle," where each side represents a constraint.

Project Management Software