Using this Book

This book is designed for intermediate to advanced computer users who manage projects. Even if you have never used Microsoft Project or managed a project before, this book assumes you have experience with Microsoft Windows and at least a couple of programs in Microsoft Office; for example, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Outlook.

• If you are completely new to project management and Microsoft Project, this book will give you a solid grounding in the use of Microsoft Project as well as basic project management practices and methodologies. It will help you understand the phases of project management, including the controlling factors in the project life cycle.

• If you're an experienced project manager, this book integrates common project management practices with the use of the software tool. This helps you see how you can use Microsoft Project to carry out the project management functions you're accustomed to.

• If you're already an experienced Microsoft Project user, this book will help you better understand the inner workings of Microsoft Project, so you can use it more effectively to do what you need it to do. This book also introduces the new features of Project 2003, giving you ideas and tips as to whether and how you can use those features.

Regardless of your previous experience, this book will help you work with Microsoft Project as a facilitator for your project's processes and phases. Read the chapters and parts you feel are appropriate for your needs right now. Familiarize yourself with the topics available in the other chapters. Then, as you continue to manage your projects with Microsoft Project, keep the book within arm's reach so you can quickly find the answers to questions and problems as they come up. As you master your current level of knowledge, use this book to help you get to the next level, whether it's working with multiple projects at one time, customizing Microsoft Project, or programming Microsoft Project functions to automate repetitive activities. This book is your comprehensive Microsoft Project reference, in which you can quickly find answers and then get back to work on your project plan. The book is organized into the following parts:

Part 1: Project Fundamentals If you want a primer on project management in general or Microsoft Project in particular, read the chapters in this part. Here, you find an overview of Microsoft Project, including what's new in Microsoft Project 2003. There's an overview of project management processes and how Microsoft Project facilitates those processes. You also find a discussion of the various kinds of people involved in your project, as well as some keys to successful project management. ^

Part 2: Developing the Project Plan Everything you need to know about starting a new project and creating a new project plan is found here. You get details about working g with the Microsoft Project workspace, scheduling tasks, setting up resources, assigning resources to tasks, establishing costs, and adjusting the project plan to be an accurate model of your project's reality.

Part 3: Tracking Progress After you create the perfect project plan, you're ready to execute it. To keep the project plan working for you, it needs to be up to date. This part provides details about setting and working with baselines so you can track and compare your progress toward deadlines. It covers important aspects of updating and tracking costs as well as adjusting the schedule, resource workload, and costs to reflect ongoing changes in your project.

Part 4: Reporting and Analyzing Project Information Microsoft Project provides a wide range of options for setting up and printing views and reports. This part outlines these methods—from simply printing your current view to designing a custom report and publishing it to the Web. This part also describes how you can export data to Excel for calculation and other analysis, as well as how you can use earned value data to analyze progress and costs.

Part 5: Managing Multiple Projects As a project manager, it's likely that you're managing more than one project at a time. This part explains the concepts and practices of master projects, subprojects, and resource pools. It also explains how you can exchange information between different project plans; copy or link information; and leverage customized views, reports, groups, and other Microsoft Project elements you might have created.

Part 6: Integrating Microsoft Project with Other Programs Microsoft Project is designed to work seamlessly with other programs. You can copy, embed, link, hyperlink, import, and export information. This part describes these methods in detail and also devotes chapters to the specific integration techniques for working with Excel and Outlook.

Part 7: Managing Projects Across Your Enterprise Microsoft Project helps to facilitate collaboration in project teams across your enterprise. If you're using Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003, Microsoft Office Project Server 2003, and Microsoft Office Project Web Access 2003, you and your organization have access to the robust project team collaboration and enterprise project management features. In this part, you see how you can exchange project-related messages with members of your resource team. You can assign tasks, obtain task progress updates, and receive status reports. This part also describes how you can set up and use the enterprise features to standardize and customize Microsoft Project and project management throughout your organization. It also covers enterprise resource management and executive summaries.

Part 8: Customizing and Managing Project Files With Microsoft Project, you can create and customize your own views, tables, groups, reports, formulas, toolbars, dialog boxes, macros, and more. This part covers the details of these custom elements. This part also discusses methods for closing a project at the end of its life cycle and continuing to use what you learn by creating templates that can become the basis for the next project of its kind. Along these lines, this part details project file management issues, h including file locations, backups, and multiple versions.

■S Part 9: Programming Custom Solutions You have access to a number of programming tools

1 that can help you fully customize and automate Microsoft Project to meet your specific requirements. This part provides the information you need about the programming tools, including a primer on Visual Basic, using the Visual Basic Editor, creating Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros, and working with the Microsoft Project Database.

Part 10: Appendixes This part includes ancillary information you'll find useful in your work with Microsoft Project. For example, there are installation guidelines, a reference of Microsoft Project fields, and a list of online resources to expand your knowledge of Microsoft Project and project management. Also included is a handy keyboard shortcut reference.

Throughout the book, you'll find tips providing shortcuts or alternate methods for doing certain tasks. The Inside Out tips give you information about known issues or idiosyncrasies with Microsoft Project and possible methods of working around them.

There are also Troubleshooting tips, which alert you to common problems and how to avoid or recover from them.

This book is designed to be referenceable, so you can quickly find the answers you need at the time you have the question. The comprehensive table of contents is a good starting point. Another excellent place to start finding your solution is in one of the two indexes at the end of the book. Use the special Troubleshooting index to solve specific problems. Use the master index to help you find the topics you're looking for when you need them.

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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