When working with Microsoft Project it is important to know how to use the tool. It is very powerful and may appear very confusing if you do not implement these seven things. The following are 7 things you must know if you want to successfully manage your project schedules.
1. Configure your project schedule up front. You can easily create a template, configure it, and reuse the template over and over, which allows you to jump start your future projects.
2. Learn how to create a WBS (work break down structure) using Microsoft Project to create your project schedule, as well as save a template that you can reuse. A WBS will allow you to map out what you are planning. Creating it in Microsoft Project will allow you to fill in the details of the schedule and manage it successfully.
3. Implement the calendar strategies to manage your resource holidays and vacations. This will allow you to manage your project schedule that includes more realistic timelines since you have included the resource holidays and vacations.
4. Use the functions that allow you to quickly level resources. When resources are over allocated your project schedule time line is affected. Set up your schedule and quickly adjust work to match the resource work schedules. This will allow you to deliver your project on time.
5. Use the power of custom fields and graphical indicators to warn you when your schedule is changing. This will allow you to immediately see what you need to manage.
6. Use the baseline functions and add the baselines into your reporting. This will help you see how well you plan and adjust for future projects based on your lessons learned.
7. Create dashboards and views for management report. This will allow you to quickly communicate your project status on a daily, weekly, or whatever timely basis your company requires.
Learning how to do these 7 things is very easy. If you do not know how to implement these 7 things then Microsoft Project may appear confusing and your project schedule will not function optimally for you. An optimal schedule communicates to you so that at a glance you can respond to issues that arise.
It is important to remember that you build a project schedule and plan what you intend to happen, however as the project life cycle evolves the schedule will change. This is a normal process. A project schedule is an organic item. It is not set in stone. It is inevitable for change to occur since that is the nature if life. If you do not learn how to implement these 7 things then you will not have the control you need to effectively manage your project schedule. If you learn how to properly use the tools to help you be successful, such as Microsoft Project, then you will be able to control the changes that will occur and ultimately manage your projects successfully.
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Original Author : Dora Tarver
Courtesy : http://EzineArticles.com/4316611