Why You Should Use Microsoft Project

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Managing projects is a specialized field within management ”and it's a rapidly growing field at that. There are professional associations, journals, professional certifications, and university courses and degrees for project managers. A project manager oversees all stages of a project, from concept and planning through the completion and drafting of final summary reports .


One of the best Web sites for project management information is maintained by the Project Management Institute (PMI), at www.pmi.org. At this site you can find valuable references to publications , discussion forums on the Internet, other relevant Web sites, project management special interest groups (SIGs) in your area, educational opportunities, employment opportunities, PMI chapters in your area, and membership information. You can also download a copy of the Institute's Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge , which documents the most up-to-date best practices in project management.

Microsoft Project is, at its core , a scheduling and planning tool for project managers, providing easy-to-use tools for putting together a project schedule and assigning responsibilities. Project also gives you powerful tools to carry you through to the end of the project.

After you have defined the scope and goals for a project, you can start putting Microsoft Project 2003 to use. Project is an invaluable planning tool for helping you do the following:

  • Organize the project plan and think through the details of what must be done

  • Schedule deadlines that must be met

  • Schedule the tasks in the appropriate sequence

  • Assign resources and costs to tasks and schedule tasks around the availability of resources

  • Fine-tune the plan to satisfy time and budget constraints or to accommodate changes

  • Provide links between elements of the project (tasks, resources, and assignments) and related project management documents in other applications

  • Collaborate with other project stakeholders by reviewing the schedule and by notifying resources of their assignments

  • Initiate and track discussions and resolutions of issues related to the project

  • Prepare professional-looking reports to explain the project to stakeholders such as owners , top management, supervisors, workers, subcontractors , and the public

  • Review the portfolio of all projects in the enterprise to analyze the impact of adding the new project on resource usage and cash flow

  • Use portfolio modeling to optimize resource assignments across all enterprise projects

  • Publish the project on a server for other project managers to access and for stakeholders to review, via Internet browsers

When work begins on the project, you can use Microsoft Project to do the following:

  • Track progress and analyze the evolving real schedule to see if it looks like you will finish on time and within budget

  • Notify resources of changes in their assignments and get progress reports on work that has been accomplished and that is yet to be done

  • Revise the schedule to accommodate changes and unforeseen circumstances

  • Try out different versions of proposed changes in a project, using "what-if" analysis, before making actual modifications to the plan

  • Communicate with team members about changes in the schedule (even automatically notify those who are affected by changes) and solicit feedback about their progress

  • Post automatically updated progress reports on the Project Server, or on an Internet Web site or a company intranet

  • Produce final reports on the success of the project and evaluate problem areas for consideration in future projects

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Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Project 2003
Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Project 2003
ISBN: 0789730723
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 283
Authors: Tim Pyron

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