Microsoft Project ALL: BEGINNER to EXPERT 10 Projects 9 PDU
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- Create EXPERT-LEVEL Project plans using Microsoft Project (all versions) over 10 (TEN) COMPLETE hands-on Project Exercises - progressively elaborated
- Manage all your Resources inside Microsoft Project - whether it is people, money, machinery, licenses or even shared resources
- Create 100s of world-class, self-updating Graphical Reports - at the click of a button
- Resolve OVERALLOCATIONS - using multiple ways provided by Microsoft Project
- Identify Risks a mile ahead - Mitigate them early - Build Contingency in your plans
- Identify Critical Paths as easy as 1-2-3 add Summary tasks
- Make Weekly tracking and reporting a PLEASURE - and not a pain
- Track PROJECT VARIANCE at a microscopic level if you please
- PRACTICE with 100+ project download files in various stages of the 10 exercises covered
- CORE TEACHINGS - you can use ANY Project flavour (online, offline, desktop, professional) - what you learn here will not get obsolete
- Basic proficiency with Windows UI
- Microsoft Project Trial version can be used (search on Microsoft's Office site) - if you don't already have this
- Some familiarity with MS Office will make things even easier - but not absolutely required
This course is the FIRST, ONLY, #1 BESTSELLER 3 years consecutive, AND most comprehensive HANDS_ON Microsoft Project course that brings the THREE ASPECTS TOGETHER - 1) Microsoft Project 2) Project Management Principles AND 3) hands-on exercises. NO OTHER book, tutorial or course offers these unique set, anywhere on the internet.
Before you read further, see what my students are saying about my Microsoft Project courses:
From an esteemed learner: "I'm a 7-year veteran of the videogame industry and have spent most professional career working on agile/scrum/kanban development teams. This course has been a great, cost-effective way for me to broaden my project management toolbox to include traditional waterfall scheduling techniques and resource allocation modelling. I will be using these skills to help plan multi-million dollar development efforts on small to medium (50-500 person) development teams."
"This was probably one of the best online courses I have taken so far, on any subject. I did not have any previous knowledge on MS Project before I started taking the course and today I feel very confident about it." - another esteemed learner
"Lecturer not only provides excellent teaching skills, but also provides so much insight that sometimes you feel he was actually involved in MS Project's development itself. Samples, case introductions and other material is well-prepared and perfectly executed in a systematic order, where pupil is encouraged to experiment further and work on provided sample msp files. I highly recommend this to anyone using the software or prepare for a PMP or similar certificate." - review from an esteemed learner
"Full marks - met and exceeded expectation. Gladly recommend to anyone grappling MS Project. The PDUs are a great bonus too..." - Leila Barton
"One of the best course ANYWHERE.... Thanks instructor for shaping our career" - by Taha Syed
IMPORTANT: "How to download Microsoft Project" is answered later below in FAQ section. Keep reading.
Microsoft Project is a beast of a software application - almost 30 years of history! Released mid-1980's on MS-DOS. So, it has every imaginable feature built into it by now - and then even some more.
My promise to you: By the end of this course - you will be incredibly comfortable with Microsoft Project - and you will be able to use Project like a BOSS. You will be able to create, manage and track world class schedules - with complex requirements of resources, allocations, budgets, reporting and tracking - all the way to project completion!!!
Do you want to Master the World's Most Popular Project Management tool? Learn Microsoft Project in this Comprehensive Course.
Applicable to ALL versions of Microsoft Project - stay miles AHEAD of the curve
BONUS: Approved for 9 PMI PDU points, under Category 'B'. Penultimate lesson included shows how you can claim this.
Start from the very basics - this course makes no assumptions
Earn promotions with your new skills - Become indispensable in your organization
BONUS - more than 100+ Project File downloads - PRACTICE EXACTLY what is shown in each and every lecture
By the end of the course - you will be able to SOLVE the TOUGHEST issues on project scheduling.
YEARS of experience has been condensed into this course - with generous tips, tricks, best practices, pitfalls - in each and every concept lesson.
A review from a MS Project learner in my course: "I know the above tag is a oxymoron but then it is. A complete course is a detailed to perfection which i did not came across many courses. Srikanth as a tutor/ trainer is very good. Highly Recommended !!!!!" - by Hasib Patel
Learn Microsoft Project to create INCREDIBLY POWERFUL project schedules.
Learn to Use Project in EVERY STAGE of project management - Initiation, Planning, Execution & Control - and finally Closing.
Identify REAL LIFE problems - scheduling, costing, resourcing, work allocations!
Use DYNAMIC REPORTS - powerful, automated, DYNAMIC reports and dashboards
Save Hundreds of hours and Thousands of dollars - by using resources OPTIMALLY, identifying, preventing and mitigating RISKS
Learn to Resolve the #1 PROBLEM that Project Managers face with Schedule Management - Resource Over Allocations. 8+ techniques shown in this course - Push dates - Adding Delays, Increase working hours, Balance allocations, Leveling, Work Contours, Use Team Planner view, Use "Assign Resources" feature, Splitting Tasks
De-mystify the 100s of features in Microsoft Project - Views, Tables, Charts, Formatting, Multiple detail windows etc.
From another learner:
"Thanks for this superb course - I needed to get fully hands on with MS Project fast - and this course has me up and running like nothing else. Have become quite proficient and have others in the office asking my help. Highly recommend this course." - by Chia Lin
What am I going to get from this course?
A step-by-step HD video tutorial starting from the absolute basics - all the way to advanced EXPERT level topics.
Video lectures, extensive resources, downloadable exercise Project files, PDFs etc - over 120 separate lessons, 9+ hours of instruction
TEN COMPLETE EXERCISES - every one has different scenarios, objective and overview files, WBS explained.
EVEN MORE: exercise files have BEGIN and FINISH versions - which allows you to REPLICATE EXACTLY what is shown in the lecture.
EVERY concept is LOADED with tips, tricks, pitfalls from years of hands-on experience
Practice Assignments in exercises, quizzes to self-test your knowledge
Important information before you enroll:
--how to download ms project ------------------
Microsoft only allows download through Office 365 portal, which requires a valid registration.
All the steps to install are on the official Microsoft site, and should be googled for. URLs and Microsoft offerings are changing on a high frequency as I write this in 2020.
The whole process is unfortunately complex. You should register first, then log into the Office portal and finally download and install Project.
FAQ: Can I do this course with MS Project XX?
ANY which version of MS Project you use, this course will be beneficial to you. I mainly use 2016 standalone (desktop) Project Professional for teaching, but occasionally show the latest UI (only when required). This course teaches logic and techniques universal to all major versions of Project in the market today. There will be about ~10% variation in the UI and minor tweaks, but all the critical logic and techniques will be the same.
FAQ: How to get help with installation?
If your office provides Project for you, then seek it from your System Administrator. Else, if you run into issues with the installation, you should seek the help of Microsoft's excellent and live help support system from within the Office portal. And this help is only available through the steps provided in Microsoft's link above. As far as I am aware, this is the only secure and recommended way to get a trial version.
--end of "how to download ms project"------------------
In case you find the course useless for your career, don't forget you are covered by a 30 day money back guarantee, full refund, no questions asked!
Once enrolled, you have unlimited, lifetime access to the course!
You will have instant and free access to any updates I'll add to the course.
Check out the curriculum and the FREE lectures for a course preview
"Excellent course. A well-chosen level of information: from the basic (but not obvious) to advanced (but without a huge amount of details, which are not possibly to remember). Very good way of communication. No inconveniences often encountered in other courses like the useless movements of the mouse, clicking on everything what’s possible, repeating sentences several times etc...Thank you very much." - by Mr. P. Nowakowski
DON'T WAIT - ENROLL INTO THIS COURSE NOW - JOIN OVER 25,000+ LEARNERS WHO HAVE TAKEN MY COURSES.
- New Project Managers with no experience of any tools
- Experienced PMs with no MS Project experience
- Self taught users of Microsoft Project - who only used it only for basics - like creating a schedule
- Senior and Executive Management- Handling one or many PMs, projects amd budgets - this course will benefit you a lot too
- Users of OLD versions (say, MSP 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, etc) - who want to see and prepare for the latest and the greatest
- I do NOT teach the art and science of Project Management itself - this course is not the place for that. However, you will learn a lot if you are new to Project Management.
- Congrats and Welcome
- What is special about this course?
- Course Structure
- How to get the Best from this course
- Where to get Microsoft Project
In this lesson, we will dive directly into the course by creating our very first simple project plan.
I will start by firing up Microsoft Project. You will see the splash screen briefly while the software loads up.
This first screen you see now is called as the "Backstage". And this screen will help you create a new file for your project.
Continuing with our 1st Microsoft Project exercise - in the previous lesson, we saw how to create simple tasks. Now, I will take a moment to fill up the rest of the tasks that I have lined up for this plan. And I will do it through the magic of video editing - to save your time!
OK - now our plan has 10 tasks all together. You can get all of these docs from the exercise files - and recreate this exercise.
One simple thing to notice is that Microsoft Project highlights the changes made in the last step with this light blue color - that you can see here. It is nothing but a visual indication to you...
In this lesson we will first get familiar with the user interface that Microsoft Project offers. Before you start creating project schedules like a pro - it is important that you understand the functionality of the tool itself.
As you already know, work on any project is broken up into tasks. In
simple terms, you can say tasks are smallest units of work in a project.
These tasks are the building blocks of a project’s schedule. In project
management a task is an activity that needs to be accomplished within a
defined period of time.
Now we come to the next important concept in Microsoft Project - RESOURCES. To execute any project we will need resources!
Resources are typically people included in your project plan. However, a resource could also include anything and everything that is used to complete a project, including, equipment, facilities and other materials (like cement or Web servers or software).
Although it is possible to create a schedule in Microsoft Project without assigning resources to the tasks. In the first exercise that we did, we did not use resources - BUT doing so will mean that we can tap into a lot more of Project's capabilities.
In the last few lessons, we learnt first what tasks are - and how to create them in your project. We followed that - with the important concept of Resources - and then, we also saw basic types of resources.
Now, in this lesson - we will learn how to tie the two together - that is - tasks and resources. When you assign a task to a resource - you are creating an ALLOCATION. This is a simple enough concept but it is very important to understand clearly.
When you as a project manager, decide that developer John will code the login page - you are making a task allocation to a resource.
In this lesson, we will begin an extremely important concept. That is "Task Dependencies".
In real life projects, almost every task will depend upon some other task. For example, let us again look at our earlier simple exercise. You can download and use this file - check that it is "Exercise 1 - TASK DEPENDENCIES" file.
In this section, over the last few lessons, we have been establishing the absolute fundamental concepts of Microsoft Project. We progressed from the basic interface of Project, then tasks, Views, Resources, Allocations and in the previous lesson - Task dependencies.
Now, finally, we come to the most important concept - project schedule.
"A schedule consists of a list of times at which tasks, events, or actions are intended to take place in the chronological order in which such things are intended to take place."
These are sample learner’s assignments – for Assignment 1: SIMPLE Level - "Plan to Build a Tree House".
Assignment submissions of all varieties – simple to complex. NOT ORDERED by ANY parameters.
If you want any specific samples added (or removed) – send me a message.
The intention of providing this answer-bank is to encourage confident and original work on the assignments.
SCENARIO and OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT PLAN - "Purchase a new car":
You want to purchase a new car. There are many tasks involved and you want to make a plan.
Project Plan Design/Philosophy:
You want to create a plan so that:
a. You do not miss out any due diligence while purchasing the car
b. You want to do everything systematically - in the right order
c. All necessary tasks have to be completed - financial, legal, safety
One of the first major assumptions you have to make in any schedule is how much time is available to complete tasks. You need to account for all holidays, vacation time, and all other foreseeable non-working time to build a schedule with any degree of accuracy.
Microsoft Project provides the calendar tool to allow a project manager fine tune the project calendar with a great deal of flexibility.
In this lesson, we will understand an important concept used in Microsoft Project: VIEWS.
Views display, in a particular format, a subset of the information that you enter in Microsoft Office Project.
To explain this - let us take an analogy. For this analogy, imagine that you are a Project Manager who has undertaken the construction of a new commercial building. For this building, there will be several different domains that you will be planning and designing for - for example, architectural views, floor layout plans, the electrical layout, the plumbing layout, the sewage plans, the interior design, the construction details, civil engineering plans - and so on and so forth.
In this lesson, we will start building out the 2nd exercise. There are 2 key things we will do in this lesson.
The first is that we will create tasks that make up our project schedule. Secondly, we will get a deeper understanding of the extremely important Gantt Chart view.
I urge you to also fire up Microsoft Project, keep you project exercise files handy - and follow along with this video lesson.
In the previous lesson, we added the tasks list to our Exercise 2.
At this stage of the project plan - the most common next course of action - is to do effort estimation - and then to reflect that into our project plan.
For the purpose of keeping our example simple, I am going to make 2 simple assumptions. The first assumption is that only 1 person (that is, me), is working on this project. The second assumption is that I will directly feed in the duration instead of the actual efforts.
In the previous lesson, we added task durations to all tasks in our schedule. Then we did a brief discussion on recognizing work estimates versus durations.
And now, in this lesson, we will complete the exercise - by adding resources and then building out the task dependencies.
The first thing that you will do next - is to make task allocations by assigning the tasks to resources.
There are many easy ways to assign tasks to resources - the simplest way is to directly go to the row and type in the resource name.
So far in our exercises we have been using Automatic tasks. I have also recommended that you change the setting to be defaulted to "Automatic scheduling" when you create new schedules.
But then what are Manual Tasks and when are they to be used? We will explore that in this lesson. You can download the exercise file with this lesson - check the file name "4.2 Project exercise 2 - Manual Tasks.mpp" as the file to be used.
Congratulations - you have now finished the first 3 sections of the course. In this video, you will see the big picture view of what you have learnt so far.
You started the course by diving directly in Exercise 1 - which was intended to give you a lot of confidence with Project. Once you completed the simple exercise - you then went through a crash course of the building blocks of Microsoft Project - the basic interface, Tasks, Views, Resources, Allocations, Task Dependencies and Schedules.
Then in this current section, you took Exercise 2 - which was again a simple category project plan. This was intended to reinforce everything you had learnt so far.
If you have doubts or seek some clarification about the lessons, do not hesitate to ask questions in the discussion board. I typically respond very fast.
These are learner’s assignments – for Assignment 2: SIMPLE Level - "Plan a family vacation trip"
I have chosen assignment submissions of all varieties – simple to complex - NOT ORDERED by ANY parameters
If you want any specific samples added (or removed) – send me a message.
The intention of providing this answer-bank is to encourage confident and original work on the assignments.
Remember: Answer all the questions in this assignment.
WBS is the hierarchical and iterative decomposition of the complete work of the project into manageable work packages. Once the scope of the project has been defined the Project manager with the assistance of the team has to break up the scope iteratively into smaller and smaller pieces of work.
Why is creating the WBS important?
The WBS ensures 2 things - firstly 100% of the scope is addressed - and secondly nothing other than the scope is addressed.
The vast majority of projects that fail - do so because the scope and requirements are not clear. The use of the WBS is the single most important thing you can do to ensure that a project comes in on time, within budget, and with the quality and functions that were expected. Do not skip this step.
Show me a sample of the WBS.
In this sample you see the first and the second iteration of the WBS. Initially, we have broken down according to the phases that will occur on the project - this is logical to begin with. You might also notice that Waterfall methodology is used here. However, any other methodology you were using, the WBS process does not change.
In the second iteration, the one more level of breaking up is done. There are some simple rules to breaking down the work - we will look at them shortly.
Think of your WBS as an outline of the work, designed in a tree diagram. The lowest level of the WBS contains the work packages—that is, the tasks and actions to complete the work. You can create this diagram using Microsoft Office Excel, Visio, or any other tools, or you can draw it on a whiteboard. No matter how you choose to build it, creating a WBS is a project management best practice and an opportunity to
brainstorm and organize before creating the actual schedule.
You can download a simple WBS sample from this course's download section.
Who creates the WBS?
You as the project manager own the WBS. Typically, the first and second level of the WBS is created by the Project Manager. Subsequent detailing needs to be done by the person best suited to do it - in this case, the Architect, Technical Lead, Creative lead and the Quality lead.When should you create the WBS?
You should create the WBS after the scope has been defined and definitely BEFORE creating the project schedule.
In this lesson, we have seen what the WBS is, why it is important, who should create it, and when it is to be created. In many cases, the first 2 or 3 levels of a WBS can and will be re-used in an organization. So it is great practice to create one for yourself and keep using it as a template.
Rule 1. create wbs with your team - not alone - as you want their complete involvement and understanding
Involve your team in the planning stage of the project. Build the WBS interactively by first defining what deliverables need to be created. You will have a more complete WBS and a team that understands what they need to do.
Rule 2. wbs should have atleast 3 levels - highest level is the project itself
For medium to large projects you might have several levels more - depending upon both the complexity and the size of the components.
Rule 3. Don't confuse WBS to a task
WBS is a work component that will be decomposed into tasks. This is also a pitfall that awaits many project managers. For example the "Registration Page" is a WBS item - but not "Write bad password lockout logic". The latter is a task and you should not look at tasks while creating WBS.
Rule 4. Naming Convention: Name a WBS item as a noun (and not a verb)
This makes it very easy to identify WBS items and tasks on the project schedule in the future. Again taking the same example - "Registration Page" is a noun - but "Write bad password lockout logic" uses a verb at the beginning.
Rule 5. The WBS lists your work breakdown, the task list is the breakdown of the WBS into actions
This is almost a repeat - but is a very frequent pitfall - to elaborate on this, tasks belong to the Project Schedule - don't do task breakdown while doing the WBS. Schedule comes AFTER the wbs.
Rule 6. The 100% Rule:
Each lower level of decomposition must represent all of the work of the higher-level element; conversely, all higher-level scope must be reflected in one of the lower-level elements. This is called the 100% rule, which ensures that all of the scope has been captured and that nothing unnecessary is included.
Rule 7. WBS is almost never complete or right in the first iteration.
The more you learn about your project - the more you will alter your WBS. This is absolutely great - and you should be prepared for this.
Rule 8. Tasks have to be small enough to be assigned to individual resources - NOT the WBS
Please read this carefully. You should decompose WBS items only enough that they make logical sense as a component and not more than that.
Rule 9. The lowest level of the WBS—the work package — will be represented by a summary task on your Project plan.
This is a great tip especially if you are going to use a tool such as Microsoft Project to create your Project Schedule in the next step. Each of your WBS work packages should become a summary task. Summary tasks are collections of logically grouped tasks.
Rule 10. The 8/80 Rule:
This is the single most asked question everywhere about WBS decomposition: "When should I stop?" The answer to this given in a thumb rule: the 8/80 rule says that "All work packages should be greater than 8 hours and lesser than 80 hours". This should give you a fair indication of when you can stop working on the WBS.
So, in this lesson, we have seen 10 rules or tips and pitfalls of how to create the WBS - and also on when to stop. The next step after WBS is to create the project schedule. Please ask your questions in the comments section - share your own WBS with the rest of the learners on this course. It is very helpful if you share and also see the WBS that others are creating to improve your skills on the WBS.
Microsoft Project is at heart a scheduling engine. A scheduling engine is a tool that helps you “model” the actions you need to perform to achieve a goal. This “model” enables you to plan actions prior to making them.
This lesson helps you gain an understanding of the background behind resource scheduling and the calculations that Project makes when you assign one or more resources to a task.
Welcome to this new Section of the course.
In this section, you will dive right into the next Microsoft Project Hands-on Exercise - which we will start and finish over the lessons in this section. This new Exercise is more complex than the ones you have seen so far.
Before you start the lessons in this section, you should download the files attached to this video - Exercise Overview text file - AND the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Excel sheet for the exercises - to be downloaded now, before you start the next lesson. I have both of these open on the screen right now. If you find them in a zipped format - just uncompress them using your favourite tool - then store them on your hard disk - and use them along with the lessons.
In this lesson, we start Exercise 3. In the downloads tab of this lesson - you will find the necessary exercise files.
First, open the Project Overview text file and read through it. The goal of this exercise is to create a project schedule for an office shift - that you as the Project Manager will be overseeing.
In the previous exercises, we have seen how to create tasks in Project. We have seen different types of tasks, task modes, different ways of creating tasks and different ways of organizing them.
Almost ALWAYS, the tasks in a project are related to each other, and the relationships between them drive the schedule for the project. You will find very few tasks in isolation, if any at all.
The relationships between the tasks are called "task dependencies" or "task links".
When you start adding more and more tasks to the project schedule that you are building, you will need some way to organize your tasks.
The feature Project provides to do that is "Summary Tasks". To follow along, download and open the exercise file with this lesson. We are continuing with the same Project Exercise 3.
Summary tasks are the best way to organize a task list.
When organizing the tasks for a project, you can group the tasks that share characteristics or that will be completed in the same time frame under a summary task.
You can use the summary tasks to show the major phases and subphases in the project. Summary tasks summarize the data of their subtasks, which are the tasks that are grouped beneath them. You can indent the tasks as many levels as you need to reflect the organization of your project.
There are two methods for organizing your task list: Top Down and Bottom Up design.
A Milestone is a tool used in project management to mark specific points along a project timeline. This is a way in which to mark key dates and achievements on a project - perhaps some unit of work completed, reviews done or customer approval received.
In Microsoft Project 2016 - a Milestone is represented as a Task - with NO duration. And because they have no duration - Milestones will not affect your schedule in any way - other than to help you keep track of your project.
The learning objectives of this section are:
1. You will learn an important technique to create a new Project file by importing from an Excel file. This is very important when you run teams in a corporate setting - and in many other real life scenarios.
2. You will do the next hands-on exercise from start to finish - which will be different from earlier projects because you will be using a vendor to do the bulk of the project.
3. You will learn about recurring tasks - a very common usage in your projects.
4. You will learn visual task formatting techniques.
5. Finally, we will look at some simple task manipulations.
For this project, after making a "build vs. buy" analysis - you come to the decision of outsourcing the website development to a specialist company. Please read through this file completely to get a god understanding of the exercise.
Very often we have project data that comes in from team members - or you have your own data stored in Excel workbook. Similarly, there are situations where multiple team members are giving their own work estimates in excel workbooks and as the project manager you will need to collect and combine all of that into your project plan.
For these situations, Microsoft Project 2016 makes this possible very easily - and you can import all that data into a project plan.
In this lesson, we will do 3 main tasks - that is summarize, assign and link all the tasks into a complete Project file!
In this lesson we will see how to automatically schedule tasks that occur with a frequency. I have the Project file open from the previous lesson. With this lesson, you will again find 2 files attached for your download.
Firstly use recurring tasks with care and as sparingly as possible. The reason for this is that recurring tasks can complicate your plan when you start assigning resources to all tasks and levelling work loads for your resources.
Recurring tasks are a frequent cause of overallocation issues on the schedule. For example I do not want a 30 minute per week recurring task - to cause overallocation on the weekly task plan for a resource.
So far in this section we have been working on the exercise project - and at this stage, it is in a completed stage. In this lesson and the next, you will have a first look at the formatting features of Microsoft Project 2016.
Sometimes, you will want to change the default look and feel of your Project Schedule. For example, you may want to highlight some important task on your schedule - or you may want use some company standard branding for your file - or you may want to increase the legibility of your schedule before you share it with the outside world.
For any reason that you want to change the look and feel of your schedule - you will find all the tools you need in the "Format" tab on the ribbon - to customize every imaginable visual aspect of your schedule.