Introducing Microsoft Project

Using this Book 4 What's New in Microsoft Project 2003 . . 10

Using Microsoft Project—An Overview . . . .6 Learning As You Go 22

What kind of project manager are you, anyway?

Let's say you're an accomplished project management professional who manages projects for several departments in your organization at any given time. You're responsible for managing thousands of tasks, hitting hundreds of deadlines, and assigning scores of resources. You need to plan and monitor each project, work with different managers, and make the best use of team members—some of whom might work on only one project and others who might be shared among several of your projects.

On the other hand, suppose you're a multitasking product specialist for a small startup company. You handle research, development, material procurement, marketing, and staff development. On top of all this, you have just been assigned the responsibility of managing the project for the launch of your company's newest product.

As these two scenarios illustrate, project management is a process and a discipline that can be the full focus of your career or one of many aspects of your job description.

Numerous industries rely on sound project management for their success:

• Construction

Filmmaking

• Computer system deployment

• Engineering

• Publishing

• Events planning

• Software development

Effective project management is vital at the start of a project when you're determining what needs to be done, when, by whom, and for how much money. Effective project management is also essential after you kick off the project, when you are continually controlling and managing the project details. You frequently analyze the project—tracking the schedule, the budget, resource requirements, and the scope of tasks. In addition, you're managing the level of quality in the project, planning for risks and contingencies, and communicating with the members of the project team as well as upper management or customers.

Throughout this intricate process of planning and tracking your project, Microsoft Office Project 2003 is a smart and trustworthy assistant that can help you manage the many responsibilities associated with your project. Many software applications can help you work toward producing a specific result that you can print, publish, or post. And it's true that you use Microsoft Project 2003 to set up a project schedule and print reports that reflect that schedule. However, Microsoft Project goes far beyond just the printed outcome. This is a tool that helps you brainstorm, organize, and assign your tasks as you create your plan in the planning phase. Microsoft Project then helps you track progress and control the schedule, your resources, and your budget during the execution phase. All this so you can achieve your real objective—to successfully achieve the goals of your project on schedule and under budget.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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