Microsoft Project Tips and Tricks

Version 98 and up

  • Use a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to add structure and logic to the task list.
  • DO NOT assign a resource or time to a summary task
  • Do Not use summary tasks as a dependency (Unless it is to be removed later)
  • Do not assign a dependency to a summary task (Unless it is to be removed later)
  • Assign resources to tasks before adding hours
  • Assign only one resource to any task
  • If a task has more than one resource it may need to be broken down further
  • Use Verb Noun format for task names
  • Make each task name complete and able to stand alone. (If the task is pasted into an email, it will be known what the deliverable is with out the context of the WBS structure.)
  • No task over 40 hours in length. If longer break it down.
  • Do Not use dependencies to level resources.
  • Use priorities, leveling and manually moving tasks.
  • Set leveling options to use Priority and task number to level.
  • Set leveling options to split tasks
  • Dependency field is length limited (in 98)
  • If task A and B have a Finish-to-Start relationship, then make sure A will complete before B starts. If work is started on B before A is complete, sometime the schedule will react strangely
  • Accounting for less than 100% productivity can be tricky. Before assigning a resource to any task, open the resource sheet and create needed resources. Set the max units for the resources that will have less than 100% productivity. When you assign the resource to a task that productivity number will be used and show up as a percentage to the right of the resource name in the list.
  • Future Lessons
  • Find a way to deal with
  • < 100% efficiency Hard to check the network integrity
  • Find a way to deal with out of project activities (if not in scope should not be in schedule)

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