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Chapter 1. The Power of Microsoft Projec... > A Checklist for Using Microsoft Proj...

A Checklist for Using Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project is so rich with options you easily can lose sight of the forest as you explore all the interesting new trees. The following sections give you an overview of planning a project with Microsoft Project.


Before you start entering tasks in the computer, it's a good idea to define some basic parameters that govern how Microsoft Project treats your data. (These topics are covered in detail in Chapter 3, "Setting Up a New Project Document.")

Customize Microsoft Project's calendar of working time to define when the computer can schedule work on the project. This includes defining your organization's working days, non-working days, and regular working hours. And, while you're at it, be sure that you use the terms day and week to mean the same number of hours that Microsoft Project does.


When you enter a task that you estimate will take a day or a week, Project translates those terms into hours (actually minutes, but hours will do for this explanation). If your "day" is not eight hours, or your "week" is not forty hours, you must define those terms for Project, or it will interpret your estimate incorrectly.

Enter some basic descriptions for the project: a project title, the name of the organization, the project manager, and the expected start or finish date. These descriptions will appear on reports.

Prepare a list of the resources you will use in the project. This includes defining resource costs and recognizing working days and hours when a resource is not available. You can add names to the list later, but most users like to have the list ready when they start entering the tasks in the planning phase.



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