How To Run Successful Projects III. The Silver Bullet Authors: OConnell F. Published year: 2001 Pages: 158-159/176

### MODULE 4: SETTING DEFAULTS FOR YOUR PROJECT

#### Overview

This module introduces how to set defaults for your current project and also for all future projects.

#### Objectives

The participant will:

• Learn how to set defaults for frequently used fields (e.g. date, schedule, view).

• Know where the default settings are located.

#### Preparation

Review the contents of this module and do each of the exercises at least once to familiarize yourself with the logic and outcome.

#### Presentation

The activities in this module cite the aims of each exercise and whether the level is suitable for basic or advanced users.

## ACTIVITY

4.1 How to set defaults for displaying the date when you open a new MS Project file.

EXERCISE 4.1 ¢ LEVEL: BASIC ¢ SET DATE DEFAULTS

• Pick Tools menu. Choose the Options command.

• Select the View tab.

• Choose appropriate Date format.

• Click on the OK button.

Dialog

Explain that defaults can be used to tailor information to suit the user. The customizable settings are accessed from the Options command on the Tools menu. For additional ways to customize information, look at the User Manual.

## ACTIVITY

4.2 How to set defaults for tasks (e.g. requiring a specific amount of resources to complete, a fixed amount of time or a set amount of work).

EXERCISE 4.2 ¢ LEVEL: ADVANCED ¢ SET SCHEDULE DEFAULTS

• Pick Tools menu. Choose the Options command.

• Select the Schedule tab.

• Default task type = fixed units.

Dialog

Explain the formula that MS Project uses to calculate duration.

 Duration formula Tasks can be either fixed units, fixed work or fixed duration. To understand this we need to analyze the formula MS Project 2000 uses to calculate duration. In its simplest form, the formula is work · units = duration. We can fix one of these by default, amend another and the third variable will be the calculated result.

## ACTIVITY

4.3 How to use the context sensitive help button to find out the definition of setting defaults for tasks.

EXERCISE 4.3 ¢ LEVEL: ADVANCED ¢ ACCESSING HELP INFORMATION

• Click the context sensitive help button (? at the top right corner of the dialog box) and read the description of this field.

• The cursor will change to a ?.

• Point at the Date Format and Click.

• When you have read the display, click to remove it.

Dialog

Explain that there is a separate module to examine the Help function.

#### Overview

The creating tasks module introduces how to insert, move and edit tasks in a project. It also demonstrates how to set up background information for the project.

#### Objectives

The participant will:

• Be able to put tasks in sequential order.

#### Preparation

Review the contents of this module and do each of the exercises at least once to familiarize yourself with the logic and outcome.

#### Presentation

The activities in this module cite the aims for each exercise and whether the level is suitable for basic or advanced users.

## ACTIVITY

5.1 How to set the start date when you open a new MS Project 2000 file and how to input a title and other information relevant to the project.

EXERCISE 5.1 ¢ LEVEL: BASIC ¢ SET UP INITIAL PROJECT INFORMATION

• Pick Project Information command.

• Set Start Date = "April 12, 2000." Click OK button.

• Pick Properties command.

• Pick Summary tab.

• Title = "Golf Course Construction."

• Manager = (your name ).

• Comments = "This project covers the building of a new golf course."

• Click the OK button to accept the input.

Dialog

Explain that the only date that should be specified for a project is its start date. MS Project 2000 will calculate all other dates, based on the relationships that are input into the file. We then identify each task in the project and how long it will take to complete before identifying any relationships between tasks.

The first thing we wish to do is to set up some general information about the project. We use the summary information dialog box to do this. Within the dialog box we use the tab key to move from field to field. Use Shift+tab to move backwards . Alternatively, use the mouse. During this course we will use as our main exercise the building of a golf course.

Make the following points when inputting a task:

2. Have you noted a clear start?

3. Have you used abbreviations?

5. Have you indicated third party interests?

6. Use generic descriptions?

## ACTIVITY

5.2 How to enter the name of the task in the Gantt chart.

EXERCISE 5.2 ¢ LEVEL: BASIC ¢ ENTER THE TASK NAMES USING THE GANTT CHART

• Use mouse, tab or arrow keys to select the task name cell of Row 1.

• Enter "Design accepted," hit CR.

• Note that the next row is selected.

• Enter "Clear land," hit CR.

• Enter "Obtain permission," hit CR.

Dialog

Explain that the Gantt chart is one of the ways of entering task details. It is also the only method that will be demonstrated in this appendix. Note the fact that when a task is entered into the MS Project 2000 file, a series of data is automatically created for that task.

 Creating tasks There are many ways in MS Project 2000 to create task details. In this course we will normally use the Gantt chart as the first method of entering task details.

Also note that it is quicker and easier to enter the task list first and then go back to alter the durations for each task. When you enter a task and hit the CR or enter button, the task is accepted by the program, assigned a duration of 1 day and the next task name under the one entered is highlighted.

 Entering tasks The quickest way to enter tasks is to use the Gantt chart and enter the names and durations separately. Type the task name in the Name column and use CR. When the task names are entered, repeat the process for the duration column.

## ACTIVITY

5.3 How to correct errors by using the delete, clear and undo functions in MS Project 2000.

EXERCISE 5.3 ¢ LEVEL: BASIC ¢ DELETE, CLEAR AND UNDO

• Pick Edit menu and pick Clear, All.

This only deletes the task name. We didn't mean to do that so we can undo what we have just done.

• Pick Edit menu and pick Undo Clear.

This deletes the complete entry. However, we now realize we needed that task after all.

• Pick Edit menu and pick Undo Delete.

• Press the Del key on the keyboard.

This also deletes the complete entry. We now realize we needed it after all so use Undo to retrieve it.

Dialog

Explain that, as in other Microsoft products, there is the ability to undo or alter information if an error is made.

 Correcting errors MS Project 2000 has a powerful undo feature if you make a mistake and wish to backtrack on something you have just done.

## ACTIVITY

5.4 How to move a task, either by using the cut and paste method or by dragging it.

EXERCISE 5.4 ¢ LEVEL: BASIC ¢ MOVE A TASK

We want the task "Obtain permission" to come before the task "Clear land" in the list.

Method 1

• Select the complete task "Obtain permission" by clicking in its ID column. This is the column with the number in it.

• Click on "Clear land."

Method 2

• Select task "Obtain permission" by clicking in its ID column.

• Click cut icon.

• Click on "Design accepted."

• Click on paste icon.

Method 3

• Select task "Obtain permission" by clicking in its ID column.

• Point to the ID number cell, hold down the mouse button and drag the complete row to where you wish to place it.

Dialog

Remind the participants that when they write down the list of tasks, sometimes they wish to alter the order of that list. Re-ordering tasks can be done by either cutting and pasting information or by dragging information.

 Moving tasks MS Project 2000 does not worry about the order of the tasks in the list but sometimes we want to move tasks to make the order more meaningful for ourselves . There are a number of ways of doing this.

## ACTIVITY

5.5 How to edit a task name by using the entry bar toolbar.

EXERCISE 5.5 ¢ LEVEL: BASIC ¢ EDITING A TASK NAME

• Select the task name field "Obtain permission."

• The name appears in the entry bar.

• Click between the words "Obtain" and "permission" in the entry bar.

• Insert the word "planning."

• Click on the Enter box (the tick), or hit CR.

Dialog

The entry bar allows us to alter the text that we have previously entered.

 Editing an entry We can alter any text by selecting it and then using the entry bar to do any edits we wish.
 How To Run Successful Projects III. The Silver Bullet Authors: OConnell F. Published year: 2001 Pages: 158-159/176