Using the Microsoft Project Template by qlc15660

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									Using the Microsoft Project Template
CiCS Programme and Project Unit

This document gives advice on using the CiCS Project template, and on how Microsoft Project is used in CiCS.

1. Tutorials
This page gives advice on using the Project template and on how Microsoft Project is used in CiCS. It is not a
Microsoft Project tutorial. There is on-line help for beginners within MS Project, under menu option 'Help...Getting
Started', but it has to be said that Project is not the easiest software to use. However by using the template
provided and the advice below you will hopefully not find it too painful.

If you want in-depth on-line training in MS Project, the Staff Development Unit offer an e-learning course. Click here
for further information.

2. Using the Template
There is a standard CiCS Microsoft Project template called Project Plan.mpp, held in the ':\Projects\PROJECTS
SUPPORT\Standard Documents' folder. You are advised to start with this template as there are many configurable
parameters in Microsoft Project that need to be right for your Plan to behave itself.

Setting Up the Plan
       1. Copy the template to the Project Management directory in your project area.
       2. Set the project start date, under menu option 'Project...Project Information'.
       3. Change the plan heading to your project's name, under menu option 'File...Page Setup...Header'.
       4. Create your resources. A resource is an individual, eg Fred Smith, or perhaps a group, eg SSiD. Do this
          by inserting, deleting or renaming the sample resources in the template. The 'Resource Sheet' view (its
          icon is on the toolbar at the left) is the easiest way of doing this. Return to the 'Tracking Gantt' view when
          done.
       5. Create your tasks as appropriate by inserting, deleting or renaming the sample tasks in the template.
          Your plan headings will probably reflect the Project Phases/Tasks from your Project Definition document.
          The template headings and tasks are just typical examples - delete the lot from Analysis down and start
          again if you don't find them useful.
          Just set each task's name and duration for now. You can do this by double-clicking the task name to
          show the 'Task information', then using the 'General' section. You can break up a task into sub-tasks by
          inserting tasks below it and indenting the sub-tasks using the right arrow on the toolbar.
          NB Durations: A task with a duration of zero becomes a 'milestone'. And a task which has sub-tasks
          doesn't have its duration set - the sub-tasks dictate its length.
       6. Link your tasks together logically. You can do this by double-clicking the task name to show the 'Task
          information', then using the 'Predecessors' section. There are examples of different types of predecessor
          in the template project.
       7. Add constraints to tasks, but only if really necessary, eg Finish no later than.... You can do this by
          double-clicking the task name to show the 'Task information', then using the 'Advanced' section.
       8. Allocate resources to tasks. You can do this by double-clicking the task name to show the 'Task
          information', then using the 'Resources' section.
          The resource initials will be shown to the right of the task bar. If you need to have the initials showing at
          the left of a task bar, for tasks at the end of the project, right-click on the bar, choose 'Format Bar...' then
          the 'Bar Text' tab. Select 'Resource Initials' for the Left entry and delete it from the Right entry.
       9. Set a baseline for the project when the plan is agreed. You will be prompted to do this whenever the plan
          is saved without a baseline, but if you have saved a baseline already and want to reset it then use menu
          option 'Tools...Tracking...Save Baseline'. See Tracking Changes below for information on using
          baselines.
       10.The printing set-up can be modified by:
          i) Changing the display timescale with menu option 'Format...Timescale'.
          ii) Changing the print scaling with menu option 'File...Page Setup'. Change the Scaling settings in the
          'Page' section.

Updating the Plan
For the Plan to be useful it needs to be kept up to date. The current date is shown as a line on the chart, so if the
plan is up to date you can see immediately which tasks are ahead of or behind schedule.




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%Complete
Once a task is under way its '% complete' should be filled in regularly. You can do this by putting the mouse cursor
over the current '% complete' state, ie the start of the bar initially, and dragging it along. Alternatively fill in the value
in the 'General' section of the 'Task information'.
Task end-date change
If the predicted or actual end-date of a task changes then update it on the plan, either by dragging it or by changing
the duration in the 'General' section of the 'Task information'.
Task start-date change
If the predicted or actual start-date of a task changes then update it on the plan, either by dragging the bar or by
changing the start-date in the 'General' section of the 'Task information'.
If there is a 'predecessor' link for the task you will be prompted to decide what to do with the link. You should keep
the link intact unless there is genuinely no logical connection.
NB If a task's % complete is over zero the start-date cannot be changed.
Critical Path
The Critical Path tasks are shown in red, and they change dynamically as the project progresses. These tasks'
duration controls the end date of the project.

Copying the Gantt Chart Into a Document
It may not be obvious how to get a copy of a Project Gantt chart into, for instance, a Word document. This is how it
is done:
        1. Select all the rows, by clicking on the '1' at the left end of the first row, then holding down the shift key
           and clicking on the number of the last row.
        2. Click on the camera icon on the toolbar or choose menu option 'Edit...Copy Picture'.
        3. In the dialog, select 'For screen' and 'Selected rows'. For the dates choose 'As shown' or set the start
           and end dates.
        4. Click OK.
        5. Paste into a Word (or other) document with menu option 'Edit...Paste'. Resize etc as required.

3. CiCS Standard Usage
Tracking Changes
Normally projects should be baselined (see above) and the Tracking Gantt view used as the normal display and
print-out. This shows clearly where tasks have been re-scheduled and makes it easier to see the implications on
the plan of shifting tasks.

Clearly the baseline should never normally be reset, but it may be appropriate to re-baseline a later phase of a
project that is only fully planned after an earlier phase is finished. You can do this by highlighting the tasks to be re-
baselined then baselining as above but clicking on Selected tasks in the dialog. This method should also be used to
baseline tasks created after the original baselining.

Resource Management
CiCS does not use MS Project for resource management, ie managing staff time. This is for technical reasons all
projects plus routine work would have to be consolidated into one overarching plan as well as cultural reasons.

However if you do wish to do full resource planning within your project, as opposed to simply assigning resources
to tasks, you will need to make various configuration changes. These would include changing tasks to be 'effort
driven' and changing their task type.




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