Microsoft Project: The Five Keys - Key 2 Task Links (Part B)
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In the previous module, Key 2, Task Links Part A, the mechanics of linking tasks was covered. In this course module, Key 2, Task Links Part B, the application of the task linking feature in Microsoft Project is covered by the discussion of two important task scheduling tools: The Critical Path Method, and Task Outlining.
Microsoft Project automatically performs the complex Critical Path calculations within the tool, thus this course covers how it does that, and how to use the Critical Path feature to improve the management of your project schedule.
Additionally this course module covers the all important Outlining feature, as with task outlining being built into Microsoft Project you have a powerful and easy way to decompose your projects down to the needed level of detail to be able to monitor and control your projects, while also providing the ability to rollup your project schedules to high level summary tasks which are beneficial for management reporting.
All of this is covered in detail in this important Microsoft Project course. Watch and understand key features for mastering the Critical Path and Outlining features you need to be an effective project scheduler.
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|Section 1: Five Keys Introduction for Task Linking Advanced Features|
This lecture provides an overview to the Five Keys courses.
The opportunity the Five Keys course provides is promising it will give you unique insights to understanding MS Project for creating task driven project schedules like no other course or book. It is based on fifteen plus years of creating content and teaching MS Project at a local university and using MS Project as an enterprise project manager. This course is not about teaching you how to pass a Microsoft Exam. This course is about showing you how to turn MS Project into the power tool it truly is. No other does this. Period.
This lecture provides an overview of what will be covered in Key2 - Advanced Linking
In this lecture we will introduce the concept of taking the mechanics of task linking learned in Task Links Part A, and expand it to two very important tools: The Critical Path in Microsoft Project, and the Outlining Feature in Microsoft Project.
|Section 2: The Critical Path in Scheduling with Microsoft Project|
|In this lecture we will go through the underlying mathematical algorithms that Microsoft Project uses to calculate the Critical Path, not so that you need to be able to do this by hand, but so that you can understand what Microsoft Project is doing for you automatically, and why it is important to your schedules.|
|With the previous lecture covering how the Critical Path is calculated in MS Project, this lecture goes through how to make it an easy tool to use in your project schedules.|
|With the basics of the Critical Path in place, this lecture shows you different ways to get at the Critical Path information, and thus make you more efficient and effective in creating your project schedules.|
|Sophisticated project managers use Resource Crashing as the next step in wringing out all they can from their project schedules. This lectures shows you how to do Resource Crashing in the Five Keys Method (using the Text1 field for resource assignments as presented in earlier keys).|
|With the majority of the key components with respect to task linking covered, this is a good place to take a bit of a perspective style breather, and review one of the oddities you can run into with respect to tasks, and that is task splits.|
|Section 3: Using the Outlining Feature in Microsoft Project|
|Knowing how to use the Outlining feature in Microsoft Project is absolutely essential to being able decompose your project's products and deliverables down into identifiable tasks. This lecture introduces you to how the task outlining feature works in Microsoft Project.|
|Some of the finer points of how to make task indenting and outdenting work are covered in this lecture. Indenting and outdenting are essential skills needed to master if you are going to be effective in using the Outline feature in Microsoft Project.|
|Being able to rollup your outlines into a big picture view of your project involves collapsing your project schedule outlines. That and the reverse of expanding your outlines is covered in this lecture.|
|To close out the Outlining feature in Microsoft Project, the Recurring Meeting feature is covered, which is an Outlook type of functionality that may be of use for you in your project schedules. So now that you understand Outlining, it is time to look at the Recurring Meeting feature in Microsoft Project.|
|Lecture 12||1 page|
This story problem is provided to enhance your learning experience. It exercises the concepts of the critical path and outlining. It should take you about 30 minutes to complete.
F. Kevin Gaza, PMP
Kevin has been an enterprise project manager for over fifteen years for a multi-state healthcare organization. In that role he has been a primary author and architect of the organization’s project methodology and has been the lead project manager on a variety of enterprise projects including rolling out ITIL/ITSM, building data centers, deploying networking systems, upgrading Windows and Office for over 20,000 users---and not to mention deploying numerous healthcare applications.
Prior to healthcare Kevin worked as a PM for the Indiana Secretary of State, and had fun for several years as the IT Director at the Indianapolis Zoo---but only after paying his dues as a project engineer at Inland and Bethlehem Steel. He has taught Microsoft Project at IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) since 1994 as an adjunct, which is basically his rat lab for course development.
Through all that---three decades of project work, four different industries, and teaching at IUPUI---Kevin has developed his approach to teaching Microsoft Project: The Five Keys Method. The Method is jam packed with insights and tricks you won't find anywhere else. Period. (And btw, he also graduated summa cum laude in business at Purdue many, many years ago---back when he had hair).