Here are some additional tips for getting better plans with MS Project:
- Manually scheduled tasks have shortcomings. Set up Project such that new tasks are automatically scheduled (Options>Schedule>Scheduling options for this project); use manual sparingly.
- As plans expand, section them out by project phase or major deliverables through space separation, changing bar colors, highlighting, etc.
- Project is great at Gantt charts, not so great on budgets. Focus Project on the schedule and maintain a budget in a spreadsheet or other tool.
- Abbrev, Abbrev, Abbrev - space is limited. Shorten column names (Predecessors --> Pred: right-click on the header, Field Settings, fill the blank Title field), use resource abbreviations (Resource Sheet), and set shortest time unit abbreviations (Options>Advanced>bisplay options for this project).
- Be aware Project lacks many common-sense business rules. Examples: changing start date will not adjust constraint dates (better: always use As Soon As Possible). Documenting a 4x10 work schedule is possible, but Project uses the calendar set up (Options>Schedule>Calendar options) when computing dates (the 4x10 schedule is just documentation).
Did you know we also have a free MS Project Course available on our YouTube Channel? You can access the videos via this playlist.
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