I am super-excited to welcome you to “Managing Projects With Microsoft Project Scheduling Masterclass”.
Question: Are you new to this software?
If yes, do yourself a favor and grab this course right now. I mean, seriously - come on. Just click on the “Take this course" button. It’s no brainer with the risk-free, mega-generous 30-day money-back guarantee. Just do it! Enroll now and start to learn. You are gonna love it!
In case you are still here…
I want to tell you my story.
I discovered “Project” twenty years ago when a colleague whispered in my ear about this “awesome software package” and revealed a shiny, glossy shrink-wrap box from his desk drawer.
After a quick look at the list of benefits that it could provide to you, I almost jumped with excitement and danced around the office.
It was a project manager’s dream come true.
Think about it…
As you can imagine, all of that was like music to my ears. I wanted to install and learn it immediately.
So, I grab a copy, put it in and power it up. My whole body shakes with anticipation. And…
It looks mighty-similar to Excel.
I go, “Sweet! I already know Excel, this will be a breeze - easy-peasy to learn instantly”.
By that time, I had already earned a reputation of a computer wiz who does not need to take a course to learn software. (It was even before my training career.)
And I begin to learn MS Project with unbridled, white-hot enthusiasm.
Like a bucket of ice-cold water the reality hits. It turns out that MS Project is different from other software packages that I had used before.
It does things behind the scenes that surprise you. Nothing works the way you think - “logically”.
All of my assumptions get flushed down the toilet. I squander so much time on it that there is hardly any left for project management.
My eyes were hurting from staring at lines and lines of project data. My mind was ready to explode. My whole body would start itching the instant I saw another Gantt chart.
And the worst part…
My computer-genius reputation was being murdered. It almost made me sick to my stomach as the paralyzing fear started to creep under my skin.
That’s when I told myself, “Slow down! There is a better way. You feel like a blind kitten. Stop this intuitive-learning nonsense and take a training course right now.”
And I did.
As a matter of fact, I perused every single piece of instruction that I could get my hands on including great books and video courses. Plus, I met some more experienced users (there were not too many back then) who gave me their insights and shared their “secret” world-class techniques.
Which I promptly translated to my own situation and instantly improved my scheduling workflow.
As a result, I did manage to conquer MS Project. It was not easy, but I can’t describe the energizing sense of accomplishment it provides.
On my MS Project learning journey over the years, I was painstakingly collecting ideas, thoughts, tips and techniques fundamental to scheduling and problem-solving success with this powerful app.
Which is great news for you.
Because in this easy-to-follow tutorial I am just about to gently lead you step-by-step through your own MS-Project learning experience.
As you work through the course, you’ll quickly learn the exact strategies that helped me and will help you harness Project and get back in control of your scheduling.
My learning curve was steep as Mount Everest.
Yours will be smooth and intellectually pleasant, so you can enhance your Microsoft Project game immediately.
I have accumulated a treasure chest of shrewd tactics, processes, tips and tricks which I’ll reveal to you in this course.
As soon as you begin the course, you’ll quickly grasp and become comfortable with the user interface and various important considerations when working in Project.
As you go through the course, You’ll learn that MS Project success is not simply about your ability to learn software.
It’s about your level of comfort with the essential practical project-management concepts. Like critical path, work breakdown structure, resource types and resource leveling, etc.
As you learn in this course, you’ll accumulate your own collection of favorite tactics and techniques and get multiple benefits.
Some of the benefits are:
Benefit 1: Become efficient in managing lists of tasks in Project.
Benefit 2: Fine-tune your project plans with custom project calendars.
Benefit 3: Speed up your scheduling by using task relationships and dependencies.
Benefit 4: Get to understand recurring tasks in MS Project
Benefit 5: Control your schedule by task constraints and task deadlines.
Benefit 6: Use Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to bring sanity to multi-project environment.
Benefit 7: Simplify your scheduling and communication with custom views and tables.
Benefit 8: Become adept at task types (Fixed Duration, Fixed Work, Fixed Units)
Benefit 9: Understand the behavior of the effort-driven scheduling.
Benefit 10: Learn how to understand and profit from the Critical Path Method.
Since my early days of teaching, I earned a reputation as a great teacher and a problem solver. Folks like to learn from me because I can explain complex things in such an easy and clear way so even a child can comprehend them.
That’s exactly why, when you enroll in this course, you should expect crystal-clear, easy-to-understand explanations and instructions.
Frankly, I am a bit envious. I wish I had this tremendous learning opportunity when I was just getting started.
I am confident that you’ll experience instant results delivered by this course.
That’s why I invite you to click on the “Take this course" button, secure your lifetime access now and begin to learn.
You are going to love it.
Thank you for deciding to enroll into this Managing Projects With Microsoft Projects tutorial course. Before we begin to learn how to manage projects with Microsoft Project 2013, let’s get acquainted...
This course is about Microsoft Project scheduling software, but not only that. It is also a course that teaches you how to manage projects - it is a project management course. Project Management is a complex combination of skills, knowledge, tools and techniques that allow you to get what you want. How do you learn to manage projects? We all learn in different ways. In this lecture I give you some thoughts about how to benefit from this course.
In this lecture we begin to learn how to use Microsoft Project 2013. It is basically a good overview of MS Project user interface. We touch MS Project ribbon, tabs on the ribbon, Gantt Chart view. It is important to be comfortable with the MS Project user interface in order to effectively manage projects with Microsoft Project.
Many people who use Microsoft Project forget to use some simple best practices. In this lecture we take a look at a few. We talk about the often overlooked MS Project file properties. When you manage projects with Microsoft Project, it is a good idea to make it easier for yourself and others to work with the MS Project schedules. File properties can help you in many ways in your project management environment.
This is the first quiz in the Managing Project with Microsoft Project course.
After this lecture you will be comfortable creating, modifying, and assigning your project calendar in Microsoft Project. To do that, we will work with the Change Working Time command and with the MS Project Calendar dialogue box. You will be able to understand the calendar tool, create a new project calendar, set up various exceptions and assign your new project calendar to the project. Understanding calendars is essential for effectively managing projects with Microsoft Project.
Let's review MS Project Calendar tool.
When we manage projects, we, at some point, come up with our Work Breakdown Structure. It is also called WBS and is the project scope. WBS translates into tasks that we list in Microsoft Project and then schedule. In this lecture of the tutorial we begin to learn how to work with task in MS Projects.
This quiz reinforces learning from the lecture on listing tasks in MS Project.
Task in Microsoft Project are arranged in a hierarchical way. In this lesson you continue working with task lists and learn how to insert and to outline tasks in MS Project. All of this can be considered task management in Microsoft Project. Again, managing tasks is one of the most essential project management skills.
Project management task sequencing, task dependencies, and task relationships are some of the most important concepts in any scheduling software. Microsoft Project is not an exception. Project Management Institute distinguishes task dependencies as Mandatory and Discretionary, Internal and External. Each one of these dependencies can have one of the four relationships: Finish to Start, Start to Start, Finish to Finish, and Start to Finish. In this lesson we will go through all of these important project management and scheduling concepts and learn about the importance of sequencing tasks in scheduling.
This quiz helps reinforce your understanding of task relationships in scheduling.
Now as you understand about task dependencies and relationships, let us learn how to create them in Microsoft Project. It is very easy and there are several ways to link task in MS Project. After this lecture, you will be able to easily chose your favorite way to sequence task when scheduling in Project.
When you sequence tasks and create task relationships in Microsoft Project by linking them, the default relationship is Finish to Start. Let’s now learn to modify these default task relationships and create the other ones: Start to Start, Finish to Finish, Start to Finish. Let’s us also learn to create Lead and Lag, in addition to the task relations. There is more than one way, of course, to do that in MS Project.
In Project Management a milestone is an important event on the project schedule: project start or project finish, end of a phase, project deliverable acceptance, etc. Microsoft Project marks a task as a milestone if you make its duration zero. Occasionally, we need to treat a short task that is not zero duration as a milestone. For example a review meeting may take a few hours, but we consider it to be a milestone. The few hours are not zero duration. Let’s talk about it in this lesson of the course.
Project managers know very well that when the project schedule is ready and we are ready to go and start work, things change. It is common to change the project start date. Fortunately, when you mange projects with Microsoft Project, it is very easy to do. In this lecture of the course, you will learn how easy it is to move the complete project schedule, and to reschedule your entire project. This is only one capability that makes MS Project a very powerful software tool.
Every project has events or tasks that repeat during a period of time. For example, we may need to schedule a status meeting every week for the duration of the entire project schedule, or we may hold a phase-review meeting every month, or we may have a “Scrum” planning session every “Sprint.” In Microsoft Project it is very easy to do. It is called Recurring Task. It is a special task that we can set up in our MS Project schedule. In this lecture, let’s learn how to create a recurring task in our Microsoft Project schedule.
Microsoft Project task scheduling includes many different factors. We can basically control a task by using task dependencies and relationships, or manually - by using what’s called task constraints. Task sequencing is the preferred method of creating a project schedule during the initial project planning phase. Task constraints become more prominent when you move further into the project. What are task constraints in MS Project? How can we set up the constraints? How do constraints just happen in Microsoft Project? What are the best practices with task constraints? Let’s learn about these things in this lecture.
Task constraints in Microsoft Project is a way to control the tasks in your schedule. Deadlines in Microsoft Project, however, are a way to keep an eye on project tasks. In many cases using deadlines is a preferred method. Microsoft Project task deadlines do not impact your schedule, but rather allow you to quickly notice when it is off. In this lecture we learn how to use deadlines when we are managing projects with Microsoft Project.
This reinforces your understanding of task deadlines in MS Project.
Banana task or hammock task? What in the world? I know, they sound a bit funny, but actually mean the same thing and are very easy to understand. “Banana” task or, as it is also called, “Hammock” task is just a task with flexible duration. Instead of estimating a task’s duration, we connect its start to another task’s start and its finish, to a different task’s finish. That way we can have a task whose duration is as long as the duration of the whole project, or of a phase of a project. It is as if we hang a task as a hammock between two points and make its duration flexible and dependent on the duration of several other tasks. Again, it is a task with flexible duration and is stretching between two points in your MS Project schedule. You can achieve this in Microsoft Project quite easily. Let’s learn how!
Microsoft Project’s project summary task is also called task 0. It is the highest level of the project deliverable - the project itself. It also shows you duration of the entire project schedule. In Microsoft Project we need to turn this task on as it is hiding by default. I consider turning on the project summary task to be the best practice. Let’s learn how to activate the project summary task in MS Project.
WBS stands for Work Breakdown Structure. It is defined as a hierarchical breakdown of work. WBS gives us our list of tasks. Summary task represent higher-level deliverables or task, detail tasks are usually lower level deliverables or tasks. WBS code is a way to uniquely identify every task on the project. In this lecture you will learn to define WBS code in Microsoft Project. We also discuss some benefits of using WBS code. There are cases when generating WBS code and using it in MS Project is absolutely essential. We will learn such cases in future lectures.
We have spent a lot of time working in just one view - Gantt Chart view. I is definitely one of the most prominent views in Microsoft Project, but it is not the only view. There are many different views in this scheduling software package. For example, Calendar view, Network Diagram view, Timeline and many others. In this lecture we explore some of the other views in MS Project 2013. I want to mention here that Microsoft Project views is a big topic. I will continue to introduce you to different views and the best practices associate with them, as you continue to enjoy the course.
In Microsoft Project scheduling we work with tasks that follow a work calendar. For example, the project calendar. The calendar gives us our days off and specifies working time. In some cases, however, we want to ignore the calendar completely. This is where elapsed time comes in. Let’s take a look at what it is and how to use elapsed time when working with task durations in MS Project.
Checks and reinforces understanding of elapsed durations on MS Project tasks.
Critical Path Method was originally developed by DuPont. It is a method to prioritize activities or tasks on a project. Microsoft Project is very friendly with Critical Path. The method itself is very widely adopted, but many people do not completely understand what Critical Path means in project management. In this lecture you will be able to completely understand Critical Path. You will not only know what Critical Path is and be able to define it, but also will learn about something called Slack or Float.
Now, as you have easily grasped the concept of Critical Path and the Critical Path Method is crystal-clear to you, let’s use Microsoft Project to display it and talk about how to benefit from it when managing projects with MS Project.
In this lecture we talk about a few more concepts related to the Critical Path Method: Free Slack and Total Slack. You can also call them Free Float and Total Float. They mean the same thing. Microsoft Project calls them Slack, though. Let’s learn what it means in this video lecture.
Checks and reinforces the understanding of the Critical Path Method.
We continue to learn how to manage projects with Microsoft Project. This lecture is a bit lengthy. No wonder! We start thinking about the important topic of managing resources in Microsoft Project. We will work in the Resource Sheet view and go through many important points of setting up resources in MS Project 2013. We discuss resource types, such as work resources, material resources, cost resources. We will look at resource calendars, resource availability, cost rate tables and many other important things. Let’s go ahead and set up some resources in our MS Project schedule.
Now you know how to set up resources in Microsoft Project. Congratulations! It is time to assign the resources to tasks so that they can make our project a success. In this video lecture you will learn several ways to assign resources in Microsoft Project 2013. Assigning resources is easy, but there are some things to consider when making those assignments.
You created your MS Project schedule, you set up the resources, then you assigned the resources to task. Now, you notice that some of the resources have turned red. That means that the resources are over allocated. It basically means that they are scheduled to work for more hours than they can. We need to fix that. This process is called resource leveling. As always, it is easy to level resources in Microsoft Project, but there are some important points to consider. In this video lecture you will learn the benefits and pitfalls that the resource leveling in Microsoft Project can provide.
We have already explored several Microsoft Project views. In this video lesson we take it a little bit deeper. We learn here about the distinction between MS Project views and tables. This distinction applies to views that display lists of items: task or resources. Views in Microsoft Project determine how the information is displayed. Tables, on the other hand determine what information is displayed by the view. A MS Project table is a template that is telling the MS Project view which fields to put on the screen for you convenience. Notice that in this context a table is not the same as a database table. A bit confusing at first, but it will make perfect sense after you learn all of this in this video lecture. What I mean is that after this video things will be pretty clear and you will feel that you have grasped the concept pretty well. Managing projects with Microsoft Project has its learning curve.
Well, we continue our journey of managing projects with Microsoft Project. In this section of the course we explore MS Project fields. MS Project is a database. It is a special purpose database - project management database. As any database, Microsoft Project stores data in fields. There are many different fields in Microsoft Project. The easiest fields to understand are the ones you can insert as a column. We have already done that. Let’s explore it further in this lesson.
Microsoft Project is a database of project information. However, it is a special-purpose database and is not as flexible as a regular database. It does not provide a lot of flexibility in creating custom fields. What MS Project has though is a set of fields that you can simply grab and use for whatever you want. In this lesson of our tutorial course we create our first custom field in Microsoft Project. Create, however, is a big word, in reality we grab one of the fields that are available for grabbing and adapt it to our needs. We start with a Text field. There are 30 text fields available: Text1, Text2, Text3 and so on all the way to Text30. This lecture is the first in our tutorial on custom fields in Microsoft Project. Let’s watch!
In this lecture of our Microsoft Project tutorial we continue to learn about custom fields. Now we take a look at one more field type called “Flag”. A flag field in Microsoft Project is basically a Yes-No field. You can use a flag field in your project schedules to track anything that requires a Yes or No flag. You will also begin to use graphical indicators for your custom MS Project fields in this lesson. Anyway, let’s learn how to use a flag field in MS Project.
Project Baseline, Project Management Baseline, Project Scope Baseline, Project Cost Baseline, Project Schedule Baseline — we often encounter these terms in the Project Management field. Project Management Institute or PMI defines baseline as part of the plan that is approved and can only be changed through the formal change control procedures. It is good to think about any of the project baselines as a snapshot of the plan at a point in time, for future comparison. It helps us compare our project plan as it is right now to what it was when the plan was approved. You can also think about the baseline as an old copy of your plan. In this lecture you have a chance to learn and think about baseline from MS Project point of view.
Microsoft Project makes it very easy to save (or set) the baseline. You can as easily clear baseline in MS Project, or overwrite an existing project baseline with a new one. Sometimes it is called re-baselining. Plus, one can save up to 10 additional baselines in Microsoft Project. In this video lecture you learn to set baseline in MS Project.
Let's check the understanding and reinforce the learning from the Baseline section.
A task’s percent complete is one of the most common and most ambiguous concepts in Project Management. You often hear things like, - “What percent are you complete?” Microsoft Project has several ways to set percent complete to a task. In this lecture we not only learn how to set percent complete in MS Project, but also think about what it really means. Truth is, percent complete means different things to different people and is often a way to miscommunicate in project management environment. Let’s take a look at percent complete in this lecture!
Update task and mark on track in Microsoft Project are commands to help you track the progress of your project. Update task is one of the tools that is used to update project schedule with new project status information collected during project execution. It is an important part of project monitoring and controlling. In this lecture we not only look at how to use the update task tool, but also how utilize the mark on track command when everything is going according to the plan. You will also learn about the importance of the Project Status Date when updating project schedule in Microsoft Project.
When you use Microsoft Project, sometimes it is necessary to update your project schedule in bulk as one piece. Imagine a perfect situation, a project manager’s dream, when your project is going as planned. Update Project is a command in MS Project that allows you to quickly update the project’s progress in one quick action. In this lecture you learn how to update project quickly and easily with the Update Project command. Project Status Date is also very important when you update project status this way.
The Tracking Table is an excellent tool for tracking your project schedule and updating project status in Microsoft Project. It creates a spreadsheet-type screen that allows you to enter actual information into the task list. I like to use it when it is necessary to enter actual status information into multiple tasks. It is easy to do - simply apply the Tracking Table to your task view and start typing. Let’s learn how to do it in this part of our MS Project tutorial.
Take this quiz to reinforce your learning and to check your understanding of project tracking and updating the schedule in Microsoft Project.
Hi, I am Igor Ovchinnikov.
Welcome to my profile page. This is where you normally get to learn about me and read something like this:
“Igor Ovchinnikov is a corporate trainer with over 10 years of experience. He lives in San Francisco and provides excellent training-delivery services to clients all over the Bay Area. He has delivered training for Apple Computers, Stanford University, University of California, Google, Boston Scientific, Altera, Stryker Endoscopy, Air Liquide, BAE Systems, City of San Francisco, Anritsu, Genentech, Novartis, Bayer, Systron Donner, and many others.
Mr. Ovchinnikov holds an MBA from the Ohio State University.”
Well, frankly, I always have some serious cognitive dissonance whenever I have to write about myself in the third person like this. It’s a bit silly - don’t you agree? So, enough of this out-of-body talk!
First of all, you probably don’t care about me that much. Second, you are probably more interested in why you should buy my courses and what’s in them for you? You may be more interested in how my teaching is different compared to the other great instructors out there?
I have to confess, it is something I've been wondering about too. You know, when someone asks you what you are good at, it’s tough to answer that. Especially, because when you are really good at something, you don’t really perceive it as a big deal. Don’t you agree? Think of something you do really well. Now, do you really work hard on it, or does it come kind of naturally?
So, to answer this question to myself, I recently decided to ask my students. Most of the ones I polled are employees of just one organization where I teach - Stanford University, so the research sample may not be fully scientific. Anyway, I asked a few dozens of my students what they liked best about my teaching style. It was really surprising, that most of them told me that their favorite part was how clear things became after I explained it to them. One of them said literally: “You are a great explainer. It was so confusing before, and now I finally understand it!”
I think, here’s what I can promise you when you enroll in my courses. I promise you clear explanations, so that things will be no longer confusing.
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