From CLASP Classes
Jump to: navigation, search

The Benefits of Planning Utilizing Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project has been round in one kind or another since the early '90s, but its usage amongst professional project managers is still not as widespread as you would possibly think. There are a selection of causes for this, even if it is thought of by many as being the business commonplace benchmark for challenge management software.

One of many main reasons for mission managers' obvious reluctance to embrace Microsoft Project is a lack of awareness in respect of how the software program works. It's notoriously difficult to successfully self-educate MS Project, largely because of a lack of expertise in respect of defining and linking project tasks. The problem is that the Task Sheet seems to recommend that one should enter activity begin and finish dates. That is in truth precisely the wrong thing to do as amongst different points, it imposes what MS Project refers to as a 'constraint'. The mistaken type of constraint reduces flexibility and might stop MS Project from re-scheduling tasks should there be a change to the plan.

The proper strategy to outline to duties is the truth is to specify only durations and allow Microsoft Project to set start and finish dates by its system of process linkage. Linkages outline a dependent relationship between duties and allow a fluid schedule to be planned. If as an example a task is delayed, the effect on any dependent duties will likely be displayed on the Gantt chart giving the mission supervisor forewarning of doable scheduling issues. This is perhaps the least understood side of Microsoft Project, particularly for the inexperienced person and really tough to show one's self.

One more reason for project managers' reticence is a lack of knowledge of the true scope of the software's capability. In the right palms, Microsoft Project is an immensely powerful scheduling software, enabling the mission manager to experiment with various 'what if' scenarios. The Gantt chart is the traditional approach of representing the mission's timeline and have lengthy since been thought-about a highly useful visual tool. Traditionally Gantt charts could be drawn out by hand and a fancy mission could take some appreciable time to plan in this manner.

One drawback with the hand-drawn plan is the problem of re-scheduling ought to it change into necessary. There may be the place Microsoft Project scores closely against traditional methods. With a simple click of the mouse, duties might be re-scheduled and the Gantt chart instantly up to date by the software. This may doubtlessly be a giant saving in time and leaves the mission supervisor free to do what they do best.

A further reason for some project managers' prejudice is probably a nasty expertise with the software program in the past. Project 2010 is a much improved device compared with earlier variations and most, if not all the known points, have been successfully addressed by Microsoft. For instance, the relatively poor financial reporting capability of Microsoft Project was dramatically improved in 2007 with the arrival of 'Visible Stories'. These are graphs that are created from information which Project exports to Microsoft Excel. Excel mechanically creates a PivotTable based mostly on the information and eventually converts it into PivotChart format. All this is performed without the user requiring any detailed data of PivotTables and PivotCharts but the result is a really complete and consumer-friendly reporting package.

There are a lot of reasons then why venture managers have grown fluctuate of Microsoft Project over the years, however I hope we've proven in this article that maybe it is now time to take one other look.