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This chapter prepares you for the next several chapters, in which you will be assigning resources to tasks and dealing with the changes in the schedule and the scheduling conflicts that occur when you assign resources to tasks in your project. This chapter gives you the background and understanding you need to use resource scheduling effectively. The details of using different views both to enter assignment information and to deal with changes and conflicts in the schedule are covered in the next two chapters.
This chapter explains how Microsoft Project calculates resource assignments, and schedules and reviews the controls you can exercise over those calculations. Project performs numerous calculations in the background as you edit the data for resource assignments, and many of them are not obvious ” especially if you're not trained in project management or in using software such as Microsoft Project. It can be very frustrating to make a change that you assume will have only a small effect on a resource's schedule and then find that Project has amplified that small change into a chain reaction that affects many other resources and costs. This chapter helps you understand how Project proceeds with its calculations and helps you understand and predict the consequences of data entries, and therefore it helps you achieve the scheduling results you're looking for.
In Chapter 8, "Defining Resources and Costs," you learned about the data fields that you use to define resources and costs. This chapter shows you how the values in those fields influence the way Project schedules work when you assign a resource to a task.
With the topics in this chapter under your belt, you will be better able to focus on the many views, tools, and features of Project that you will see in the next two chapters, as you go through step-by-step instructions for actually entering the details of resource assignments and correcting problems in a schedule.
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