Microsoft Project: The Five Keys - Key 1 Navigation

To be able to use MS Project you have to know the essentials on how to navigate the user interface.That is covered here
1 reviews
  • F. Kevin Gaza Enterprise Project Manager

    F. Kevin Gaza, PMP

    Kevin has been an enterprise project manager for fifteen years for a $2B per year Catholic Healthcare organization. In that role he has been the main author of the organization’s IT project methodology, and has been the lead project manager on a variety of enterprise projects such as a new data center, an Windows 7 and Office 2010 upgrade, and various enterprise healthcare application implementations.

    Prior to the healthcare industry, Kevin worked as an independent contractor for the Indiana Secretary of State, an MIS Director at the Indianapolis Zoo, and a project engineer at Inland and Bethlehem Steel. He has taught Microsoft Project at IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) every year since 1994 as an adjunct in the continuing education department.  Through that work--along with the over thirty years of project work in four different industries--Kevin has developed his approach to teaching and learning Microsoft Project, called The Five Keys Method.

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Microsoft Project: The Five Keys - Key 1 Navigation

To be able to use MS Project you have to know the essentials on how to navigate the user interface.That is covered here
1 reviews


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This is Key 1 Navigation Microsoft Project Tutorial of the Five Keys to MS Project. Key 1 covers Navigation. Key 2 covers task and task linking. Key 3 covers task constraints---one of the most misunderstood components of MS Project. Key 4 covers project calendars. Key 5 cover tracking actual progress. In total the Five Keys gives you the essential skill needed to use MS Project in a way that keeps the tool lean but powerful, and thus usable as a tool for actually helping your projects to be successful. This method works. See the Udemy course on the Intro to the Five Keys for more information on why.

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  • SECTION 1:
    Introduction to the Five Keys Method
  • 1
    Introduction to the Course instructor
    This lecture presents the course instructor and his background.  This is important as you need to understand what the instructors background is if you are going to understand his teaching approach. The instructor's background should also give you the comfort that this is not just a teacher who has never used the product, but someone that has used the tool in the battlefield of project management and found it to be an effective weapon.  
  • 2
    The course is designed for Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced Users

    It may seem impossible, but this course is designed for all skill levels.  The reason is that each lecture builds on the knowledge from the prior lectures and thus brings beginners along at a steady pace, but also fills in knowledge gaps for existing intermediate and advanced users along the way.  The great thing about video is that you can stop it and rewind it, so a beginner may take longer to get through a 3 minute lecture, while a more advanced user will watch it once and take care of business quickly.  

    This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to created reliable and effective project schedules with Microsoft Project: Beginners / new project managers that need to learn how to use Microsoft Project in order to plan their projects need no prior experience with the tool.  They may take longer to get through each video but the same  basic skills that need to be sharpened for intermediate and advanced users get covered for beginners.  Thus this course is also for intermediate and advanced users as it makes sure all knowledge gaps are filled as the lectures clearly and quickly explain complex but basic scheduling functionality that often gets overlooked but is needed for mastery.  For example, functionality  such as how to effectively use the odd but useful Start to Finish link type for Just in Time scheduling.  Thus the Five Keys Method is an approach that explains complex topics in ways that will cause you to understand ---starting with the basics and building from there.  

    The course was designed to teach essential skills that result in  reliable, flexible and accurate schedules that are necessary for effective projects.  And it teaches how to do that quickly and dependably by avoiding complex functionality that doesn’t help you understand what is driving your project’s finish date.

  • 3
    What the Five Keys to MS Project covers
    The Five Keys Method is an approach to teaching MS Project that has been developed for close to fifteen years.  This lecture explains how the Five Keys are broken down, and how the Method focuses on the essentials to MS Project.
  • SECTION 2:
    Part 1: Navigation Essentials
  • 4
    Setting Foundations - Project Options
    This lecture covers the basic setups needed in the Project Options found in the File ribbon tab (which is also called the "Backstage").  
    In the downloadable materials there is an additional PDF file contains information on recommended settings for all of the Project Options.  This can be helpful if you have changed your project options, perhaps unknowingly, and need to get them back to the basic settings.
  • 5
    Ribbon Tabs: Tab Basics - The First Three Ribbon Tabs
    The Task tab, the View tab, and the Format tab are covered in this lecture.  The most important commands are covered and the essential skills you need to operate within MS Project thus get covered.  
  • 6
    CASE STUDY EXERCISE: Creating a Basic Schedule
    This case study starts building the foundation for how to create simple but real world problems in MS Project that can be scheduled, and thus provide a sand box to play in for understanding how the tool works.  Even in my fifteen years of using MS Project, I still often go back to creating simple examples when I am trying to determine solutions with the tool.  So this exercise while simple, is instructive to learning how to use the tool to teach yourself!
  • SECTION 3:
    Part 2: View Tab Essentials
  • 7
    Ribbon Tabs: The View Tab
    This lecture covers the all important View tab in detail.
  • 8
    Ribbon Tabs: Gantt Chart Zooming
    Understanding how to zoom in and zoom out of a project schedule may appear to be of minor consideration.  But in fact, zooming in and zooming out is a skill that everyone from beginners to advanced users rarely understand correctly, and often get frustrated due to their lack of understanding the quirks and tricks of zooming.  Don't think you can skip this lecture, it is very much a key to creating effective reports and views for understanding your projects.
  • 9
    Ribbon Tabs: Gantt Chart Timescale
    Related to zooming is the need to understand on the Gantt Chart Timescale works. Thus this lecture goes hand in hand with the previous zooming lecture.  Again, fundamental knowledge about how the tool works is shared, and is needed for every users from beginners to advanced users as subtleties are presented that most users, even experts, miss.
  • 10
    SKILL BASED EXERCISE: Controlling the Gantt Timescale
    This exercise takes what you have learned to this point to see if you can apply that knowledge and create a timescale and a zoom level that effectively presents your project schedule information in a way that makes sense.  Seems simple, but the ability of most users in being able to accomplish this feat quickly is sadly missing in practice. If you have followed the lectures closely, you should be able to handle this exercise with little difficulty.  If not, then you may need to think about reviewing the prior lectures!  Hey, it's video.  Watch it on your iPhone at the Mall! Bone up baby!
  • SECTION 4:
    Part 3: Gantt Chart Essentials
  • 11
    Ribbon Tabs: Gantt Chart Navigation
    Believe it or not, the Gantt Chart view itself has some quirks and tricks that can make using MS Project easier.  Those basic skills are covered here.  Don't miss this!
  • 12
    Ribbon Tabs: Format Tab and Table Columns
    This lecture covers the Format tab and the important commands found there.  The Insert Column command button is covered in detail as it is an important command button to understand if you are going to master the information in MS Project.  Additionally, but going into detail on the Insert Column button, the lecture also introduces the viewer to the vast underlying database structure that is the inner gears of MS Project.  Fortunately, the lecture closes out by how to simplify all of this so that it is usable, and of course it does that by emphasizing the Five Keys Method!  

    Lastly the Insert Column command closes out with the insertion of the Text1 field and that sets the table for using Text1 as an effective proxy for the resource feature and thus sets the table for the next lecture.
    Important stuff if you are going to understand and master MS Project. And all done in seven minutes!
  • SECTION 5:
    Part 4: Basic Task Assignment
  • 13
    Avoiding the Resource Feature - Using Text1
    A key concept in the Five Keys Method is to keep things as simple as possible--but no simpler.  In this lecture the argument and solution is presented that you can use MS Project, without turning on the Resource feature, yet still be able to create the all important task assignments that set the task ownership responsibilities, and helpers, needed to get your project work done.  Watch this video and see if the Five Keys Method isn't on to something that the vast majority of projects could use, and make their lives simpler and more effective.  
  • 14
    SKILL BASED EXERCISE: Task Assignments
    This skill based exercise takes you through the application of using MS Project without the Resource feature, so you can quickly see that this approach works.
  • SECTION 6:
  • 15
    Key 1 CLOSEOUT: Shortcut Keys and Key 1 Demo
    Closing out Key 1 is this summary video, that takes all of the skills you have learned in this key and presents them in one final demonstration.  Also presented are some additional shortcut keys that will make using MS Project even easier---which again, is one of the objectives of the Five Keys, Simple, but not simpler than needed.  Enjoy!


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