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Using Microsoft Project to manage projects (an individual project)
5 points total
The approaches discussed so far are effective for managing small projects. However, for large projects or complex projects, specialized project management software is much preferred. A brief introduction to the most popular example of such specialized software, Microsoft Project 2002, is provided below.
Microsoft Project is extremely useful in drawing project networks, identifying the project schedule, and managing project costs and other resources. It does not, however, perform PERT probability calculations.
Creating a Project Schedule Using MS Project
For the Milwaukee General Hospital, first define the activities and their precedence relationships. To do so:
Start Microsoft Project
Click File/New to open a blank project.
Enter the project start date in the summary information that is first presented. Note that dates are referred to by actual calendar dates rather than as day 0, day 1, and so on. Microsoft Project will automatically update the project information finish date once you have entered all the project information.
Enter Activity Information:
Change layout by clicking Format/Layout
For each activity (or task, as MS Project calls it) enter its name and duration. Microsoft Project identifies tasks by numbers (e.g. 1, 2) rather that letters. Enter the description of the activity in the Task Name column. By default, the duration is measured in days. To specify weeks we include the letter “w” after the duration of each activity. For example, we enter the duration of activity A as 2w.
As we enter activities and durations, the software automatically insets start and finish dates. Note that all activities have the same start date since we have not yet defined the precedence relationships. Also, if the Gantt Chart is selected in the View menu, a horizontal bar corresponding to the duration of each activity appears on the right pane of the window.
The schedule automatically takes nonworking days into account. Therefore, Saturdays and Sundays are automatically grayed out in the Gantt Chart to reflect the fact that these are nonworking days. In most projects management software, the entire project is linked to a master calendar (or alternatively, each activity is linked to its own specific calendar). Additional nonworking days can be defined using these calendars.
§ Go to Tools|Change Working Time to specify March 8, 2008, as a nonworking day.
Define Precedence Relationship
Enter the relevant activity numbers (e.g. 1,2 , 3 …) in the Predecessor column. For example, for activity C enter 1 and for activity D enter 1, 2.
View the Project
Assignment Submission: This part of the Case Study is an individual project. Save your file and name it in the following format: OM_Case_3_FirstName_LastName and email it to your instructor at the address: email@example.com . In the subject line put the course name, your name, student’s ID, and Case Study 3.