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In this introduction

Why You Should Use This Book

Why You Should Use Microsoft Project 2002

What’s New in Microsoft Project 2002

How This Book Is Organized

Special Features in This Book

Microsoft Project 2002 is an important new release of the best-selling and most widely used project management software product in the world. There are, of course, lots of exciting new tools in Project 2002 that will delight seasoned users. Moreover, Microsoft has made a number of fundamental technical changes that significantly extend the effectiveness and power of Microsoft Project.

Why You Should Use This Book

Almost anyone in the workplace can make good use of Microsoft Project at one time or another, but for project managers in particular, it’s a life-support system. Microsoft Project is adaptable to both large and small projects. Managers of large, decade-long projects rely heavily on project management software to keep track of all the interrelated tasks and phases of projects.

This book provides direct answers about how to put a project schedule together by using Microsoft Project 2002. It’s organized to follow the project cycle of initializing and developing a plan, implementing the plan, tracking progress and adjusting to changes and unforeseen events, and preparing the final reports. You’ll find step-by-step procedures for using Project’s features, plus you’ll get help with common problems (such as avoiding unintended constraints on tasks, adjusting task duration when resources are added, maintaining resource information among multiple projects, and many more). Special Edition Using books from Que offer comprehensive coverage of software. You can be sure you will find what you need in this book to make Project work for you.

Why You Should Use Microsoft Project 2002

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 2002 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

What’s New in Microsoft Project 2002

Project 2002 extends the dramatic changes that were introduced in Project 98 and Project 2000. If you are new to project management and its terminology, you might not fully appreciate some of the items listed in this review of new features. But if you are a seasoned user of Microsoft Project, you will be very excited by these enhancements.

Two Editions of Microsoft Project 2002

Microsoft Project 2002 is available in two editions: Microsoft Project 2002 Standard edition and Microsoft Project 2002 Professional edition. The Standard edition is an upgraded version of Project 2000 and has significant improvements and new features in its own right. All those improvements are also available in the Professional edition, which includes the tools that an enterprise project management office (or portfolio management office) needs to monitor, evaluate, and manage the whole portfolio of enterprise projects.

Both versions of Project use Microsoft Project 2002 Server to manage collaboration among members of the project team. The project managers publish their projects on the server, and Microsoft Project 2002 Web Access makes that information available to executives, other managers, resources, outside contractors, and other stakeholders who use Internet browsers to access the data.

A project manager or others on the project team can publish relevant documents and issues for discussion to Microsoft SharePoint Team Services, linking the documents and issues to specific projects, tasks, or resources. The documents and discussion issues might relate to the goals of the project, specifications for completing tasks, change orders, budgets, and so forth. Furthermore, resources and others can also post issues and documents for review by the project team.

Integration with Office XP

Project 2002 opens with the Office XP Task pane—a sidepane that includes the most recently used file list, project templates, and the option to browse Web locations for more templates.

Office Watson intervenes if Project stops responding or encounters a fatal error, giving you the option to send the details of the issue to the Microsoft Project development team. A dialog box offers the option to restart Project and to view details of the error report.

File Compatibility

Project 2002 can read both Project 98 and Project 2000 files, and it can save to the Project 98 and Project 2000 formats. However, you don’t have to save in the Project 2000 format for a Project 2000 user to be able to open the file because Project 2000 can open, work with, and save Project 2002 files. Of course, the Project 2000 user will not see features or field data that Project 2000 doesn’t support; but in general those features and fields simply remain hidden and remain unchanged when you open the file in Project 2002 again to work with it.

The Project Guide, Smart Tags, and Wizards

The Project Guide is a new Project sidepane that provides instructions and controls to help the user create a new project, manage tasks and resources, track a project, and prepare reports. The Project Guide can be customized to show activities that users in your organization are encouraged or required to perform.

Smart tags pop up in Project when the user does something that is known to have different possible outcomes. The smart tag offers the user options for choosing the outcome that is desired. For example, pressing the Delete key when a task name cell is selected produces a smart tag that offers to delete the task or to simply clear the cell.

Several new wizards and dialog boxes in Project 2002 guide the user through the initial steps of important processes:

  • The New Project Wizard displays dialog boxes for general and required project information, for setting up the collaboration method for the project, for saving the project, and for placing supporting documents about the project into the SharePoint document library.

  • The Calendar Wizard guides the user through defining working and nonworking time on the project’s standard calendar and through setting calendar options such as start time and hours per week.

  • The Tracking Setup Wizard guides you through deciding to do manual tracking or to use feedback from resources through Project Server timesheets. If Project Server is selected, the wizard guides you through setting up a custom tracking view and then sends notifications to all resources about their assignments.

  • The Import/Export Mapping Wizard replaces the old Import/Export Mapping dialog box and launches automatically when you open or save a file in a non-Project format.

  • To facilitate starting a project by listing tasks and/or resources in Excel, two Excel templates (Microsoft Project Plan Import Export Template.xlt and Microsoft Project Task List Import Template.xlt) are saved in the Office templates directory and can be opened in Excel. When opening a file created by one of these templates in Project, there is no need to map the data.

  • The new Import Outlook Tasks command displays a dialog box that guides you through importing a task list from Outlook into a project.

Ease-of-Use Features

The Delete key no longer deletes a row in a task or resource table; instead, it clears the contents of the selected cell. To delete a row with a single keystroke, in Project 2002 you must use Ctrl+- (the minus sign on the number pad).

In Project 2002 you can drag and drop columns in tables to change the column order. You can also drag the bottom-tier time unit gridlines in a Usage table to resize the cells in the grid.

If you manually adjust the row height for column headers in tables, the title automatically wraps.

Views and Reports

In Project 2002 the Group By command allows grouping on assignment fields, and summary timephased data rolls up to group summary rows.

You can use the Group By command in the Network Diagram view to display the task nodes in grouped bands. You can also display indicators and custom fields in the nodes.

You can use up to three timescale rows (now called “tiers” instead of rows) in views that have timescales.

In Project 2002, when you’re printing views such as the Gantt Chart view or the Usage view, you can print row or column totals on the last page of the print layout. The totals are calculated for the date range that is selected for the printout.

The Assign Resources Dialog Box

The Assign Resources dialog box has undergone a major change: In Project 2002 you can apply filters to the list of resources that are displayed. You can apply any of the named standard or custom resource filters. You can also use a new filter that is available only in the Assign Resources dialog box - with a task selected in the underlying view, you can filter for those resources with enough available free time to complete the work on the task during the task’s currently scheduled dates. You can also display graphs of the available work time for one or more resources.

Now that smart tags offer you the ability to control whether an assignment change will be calculated using fixed work, fixed units, or effort-driven parameters, you can safely use the Assign Resources dialog box for virtually all assignments.

Fields and Calculations

Project 2002 allows you to save up to 11 sets of baseline values, and all baseline fields are now included in each set. Furthermore, the date when the baseline was captured is displayed next to each baseline in the Save Baseline dialog box.

As in previous versions of Project, in Project 2002 summary task baseline data is by default not updated when the baselines for subtasks are updated. However, in Project 2002 you can choose to roll up baseline updates to all summary tasks or to selected summary tasks.

There are new options to control the way Project calculates tracking information and earned value. There are also new earned value fields, including Schedule Performance Index (SPI), To Complete Performance Index (TCPI), Cost Performance Index (CPI), Cost Variance Percent (CV%), and Schedule Variance Percent (SV%). You can base the earned value calculations on any of the 11 baselines.

Project Server

Microsoft Project Server has replaced Project Central for managing communication among project managers, resource managers, resources, and general managers. You access the collaborative functions in Project via the new Collaborate menu and toolbar. The Project Server home page for users has a new look and is easier to use. You can also view the Server pages directly in Microsoft Project. Team members can save a view with grouping or filtering to suit their preferences.

The timesheet for reporting work progress has been simplified and can be customized to allow time to be reported the way you prefer. Resource comments are collected in a comprehensive history of comments that includes authors’ names and dates.

Project managers can use the Manager Transactions page to review, group, and filter summarized updates and new task requests as well as to manage notifications and reminders. Change indicators appear when data in a field has changed since the last update. Web Parts from Project Server can be displayed in an Outlook Digital Dashboard. Project 2002 enables you to have more than one project manager in a project.

Using SharePoint Team Services, you can store project documents in the Document Library repository and access them through a browser. You can record issues, assign responsibilities, track progress, record resolutions, and create reports through the Issues page in Microsoft Project Web Access.

New ActiveX controls for Microsoft Project Server provide improved programmable interfaces. The Project OLE DB provider is enhanced with timephased data and additional tables. With a COM add-in you can create, view, and edit data access pages from within Microsoft Project. You can import and export data from Project in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format.

Microsoft Project Professional Edition

Microsoft Project 2002 Professional edition and Project 2002 Server provide a project portfolio management office the tools it needs to manage resources and the portfolio of all its projects at the enterprise level. With Project Professional, you can easily answer questions such as, “What is the organization’s capacity for work?” “What are the skill bottlenecks?” “What is the impact of a new project on other projects?” “What if I change the priority of specific projects in the portfolio?” “What is the cash flow across all projects?”

The server is scalable across multiple departments and organizations within an enterprise. You can customize and standardize many aspects of the way Project 2002 Professional is used for your business. This allows standardized information on a wide range of projects to be consolidated and organized for reporting across the enterprise. It makes possible the analysis of project performance and resource utilization across the enterprise, and it therefore forms a reliable basis for setting priorities and launching new initiatives.

Generic resources are identified with a new Generic field and can be assigned to tasks until actual resource names are assigned. Enterprise resources (that is, resources that are available to all project managers) can be supplemented by local resources. Enterprise resource availability is visible to project and resource managers throughout the enterprise. Managers can define and edit resources by using a check-out, check-in mechanism.

You can use the Resource Substitution Wizard to optimize resource assignments across multiple projects by substituting resources with the same skills but differing availability in such a way that the overall duration of projects is minimized.

Enterprise Team Builder helps you find the right resources from throughout the enterprise to put on a project team, based on skills and availability. Resource availability graphs let you quickly identify when and why resources are underallocated or overallocated.

Enterprise customization in Project 2002 Professional includes an Enterprise Global template, similar to the local Global template, that includes customized elements that are copied into the local GLOBAL.MPT file when an enterprise project is open. The Enterprise Global template includes custom fields, such as custom resource outline codes, to provide consistent coding of resource skill sets, geographical location, and so forth.

The Portfolio Modeler in the Professional edition lets you create alternative models of resource assignments across multiple projects and compare the results in a what-if analysis to pick the optimal strategy. You can also save different versions of individual projects and select which version to include in these comparison models.

The Portfolio Analyzer, using Microsoft’s PivotTable and OLAP Cube technologies, provides management with data analysis views that can be modeled in different ways to answer top management questions about departmental and organizational budgets and staffing.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is divided into eight parts. Although the first seven parts are written for those who use the Standard edition, all of the features and procedures documented in those chapters also apply to those who use the Professional edition. Part VIII contains chapters that show how to use the additional features that you get with the Professional edition. Following is a brief review of these parts and the chapters you’ll find in each part.

Part I, “Getting Started with Microsoft Project 2002”

Part I introduces you to Microsoft Project 2002 and shows you how to set up and manage project documents.

Chapter 1, “The Power of Microsoft Project 2002,” introduces you to project management concepts and the major phases of managing a project.

Chapter 2, “Learning the Basics of Microsoft Project,” introduces you to the Microsoft Project workspace. With few exceptions, this workspace is the same for both Standard and Professional editions. In this chapter, you’ll learn to navigate the screen display, scroll and select data, and select different views of a project.

Chapter 3, “Setting Up a Project Document,” reviews the preliminary steps you take when creating a project. You’ll learn how to specify the calendar of working days and hours, how to enter basic information about the project, and how to specify the planned date for starting or finishing the project. You’ll also learn how to adjust the most critical of the default values that govern how Microsoft Project displays and calculates a project.

Chapter 4, “Managing Project Files,” presents the information you need to work with project files. Included is a comprehensive discussion of the Global template file and how you use it.

Part II, “Scheduling Tasks”

Part II shows how to build and organize the list of tasks that make up the project plan.

Chapter 5, “Creating a Task List,” explains how you define and enter the tasks, milestones, and recurring tasks that must be completed to successfully finish a project. You’ll also learn how to organize the task list in outline form, in accordance with top-down planning principles. You’ll learn how to edit the data in a project and how to use different forms for editing the task data.

Chapter 6, “Entering Scheduling Requirements,” shows how to define the special conditions that govern the scheduling of tasks in a project, including specific deadlines and sequencing requirements for the tasks.

Chapter 7, “Viewing Your Schedule,” explains and compares the most popular views you can use in Microsoft Project to display the task list: the Gantt Chart view, the Calendar view, and the Network Diagram view.

Part III, “Assigning Resources and Costs”

Part III describes how to define and assign resources and costs to the tasks in a project.

Chapter 8, “Defining Resources and Costs,” shows how to define the resource pool that you plan to use in a project and how to define the working and nonworking times for those resources. You’ll learn how to sort, group, and filter the resource list and how to save the resource pool as a template for use in other project documents.

Chapter 9, “Understanding Resource Scheduling,” explains how Project calculates a schedule when resources are assigned to tasks—both when you first assign resources and when you change resource assignments. The detailed instructions for actually assigning the resources are covered in Chapter 10.

Chapter 10, “Assigning Resources and Costs to Tasks,” shows how to assign resources and costs to specific tasks. You’ll learn how to create assignments and then to modify the default schedule that Project creates by scheduling overtime, delaying or splitting assignments, and contouring the assignments. You’ll also learn how to assign fixed costs to parts of a project. Finally, you’ll learn how to view the resources, costs, and task assignments in useful ways for auditing the project plan.

Chapter 11, “Resolving Resource Assignment Problems,” is a guide for troubleshooting problems in the schedule for assigned resources. Typically, some resources are scheduled for more work than they can possibly do in the time allowed; this is where you learn ways to resolve the conflicts.

Part IV, “Reviewing and Distributing a Project”

Part IV covers the part of the project cycle when you have completed the initial planning and need to review the schedule and refine it to ensure that it meets the objectives of the project. At that point, you generally want to publish the final plan in printed reports or on an intranet or on the Internet.

Chapter 12, “Reviewing the Project Plan,” introduces features that help you review the task schedule for completeness and accuracy. You’ll learn how to get an overview of the project to see if you can complete the project plan in a timely fashion and at an acceptable cost. You’ll also learn how to view the task list through filters that focus on important aspects of the project and to sort and print the task list. You’ll learn how to spell check the schedule and how to view the summary statistics for the project.

In Chapter 13, “Printing Views and Reports,” you’ll learn how to use the standard views and reports to publish a plan for a project.

Part V, “Tracking and Analyzing Progress”

Part V shows you how to keep track of actual work on a project and how to understand what is going on, with special emphasis on catching problems early so that corrective measures can be taken.

Chapter 14, “Tracking Work on a Project,” deals with your role as project manager after work on the project begins. You’ll learn how to save a copy of the finalized project plan to use as a baseline for comparison with what actually happens. This chapter teaches you how to track the actual beginning and ending dates for tasks, the actual work amounts, and the actual costs.

Chapter 15, “Analyzing Progress and Revising the Schedule,” is an important presentation of ways to look at tracking information to see how well a project is meeting its objectives. Project offers many techniques and reports that you will learn to use in this chapter. This chapter emphasizes the use of earned-value reports.

Part VI, “Coordinating Projects and Sharing Data”

The chapters in Part VI discuss advanced topics that the beginning user will usually not encounter initially. Therefore, they are separated from the earlier parts, which cover the basic steps of developing and tracking a project schedule.

Chapter 16, “Working with Multiple Projects,” explains how to link one or more subprojects to a master or summary project and how to link an individual task in one project to a task in another project. You’ll also learn how to consolidate multiple projects and how to manage multiple projects that share a common resource pool.

Chapter 17, “Exporting and Importing Project Data with Other File Formats,” describes how to export and import task, resource, and cost data with other applications and file formats, including the database formats. You’ll also learn how to save entire projects in database formats.

Chapter 18, “Copying, Pasting, and Inserting Data with Other Applications,” shows how to copy and paste selected data and objects between Project and other applications. You’ll learn how to copy Project’s timephased data into other applications and how to manage embedded and linked objects in Project and in other applications.

Part VII, “Using and Customizing the Display”

The chapters in Part VII describe how to take advantage of the extensive options that Microsoft Project provides for displaying the data in a project. Some of the views and reports described in Part VII are mentioned in earlier chapters as well. This section provides a comprehensive reference to all the major views and reports.

Chapter 19, “Using the Standard Views, Tables, Filters, and Groups,” explains the many options for using tables, forms, graphic images, groups, and filters to display your project in a view.

Chapter 20, “Formatting Views,” describes the formatting options for all the major views and how to create custom views. You’ll also learn procedures, including tips and techniques, for changing the appearance of graphic elements and text display for categories of items and individual items.

Chapter 21, “Customizing Views, Tables, Fields, Filters, and Groups,” shows how to modify and customize the components of views. You will learn how to create custom tables and filters, how to define custom fields to calculate values for special data needs, and how to create custom grouping of the data.

Chapter 22, “Using and Customizing the Standard Reports,” explains how to use the standard reports to supplement the printed views, how to modify the elements in the reports, and how to create new reports.

Chapter 23, “Customizing Toolbars, Menus, and Forms,” explains the options for customizing the display of the Microsoft Project interface. You’ll learn how to change the standard toolbar buttons and how to attach commands and macros to a button. You’ll learn also how to customize menus and how to create your own forms for data entry and review.

Part VIII, “Using Project Server and Project Professional”

Chapter 24, “Managing Collaboration with Project Server,” describes how to strengthen your project team and improve the results of your projects by communicating with your team about the schedule, the specifications and requirements for the project, and the issues that arise during the life of the project. This chapter describes how resources and resource managers can use timesheets on Project Server to report actual work and record comments about work that still needs to be done.

Chapter 25, “An Overview of Microsoft Project Professional 2002,” explains the features that the Professional edition of Microsoft Project adds to the Standard edition. It also guides you through the planning you must complete in order to implement the processes that the Professional edition makes possible.

Chapter 26, “Managing Projects Using Microsoft Project Professional 2002,” describes how project managers will create and manage enterprise projects and resources and how they can use Team Builder and the Resource Substitution Wizard to optimize the assignment of resources based on skill and availability.

Chapter 27, “Managing Project Portfolios with Microsoft Project Professional,” describes how to analyze all the projects in a portfolio to determine whether resources are being used to the best advantage. You’ll learn how to create and store different what-if versions of projects and how to use the Portfolio Modeler and the Portfolio Analyzer to study the effects of changes in project priorities and changes in resource availability.

Chapter 28, “Administering Project Portfolios with Microsoft Project Professional,” describes how to perform the Professional version’s administrative functions related to creating OLAP cubes, managing views, and creating project versions.

Web Elements

Three chapters can be found at this book’s companion Web site, www.quepublishing.com.

Web 1, “Publishing Projects on the Web,” describes how to save views of a project for HTML display on Web sites and intranets.

Web 2, “Using Visual Basic with Project 2002,” is a basic guide for nonprogrammers who want to record and use simple macros in Microsoft Project.

Web 3, “Customizing and Administering Project Server Access,” covers what you need to know about administering Project Server and customizing the Web pages it uses to represent the project data.

White papers and articles, sample Project files, and macros are available to you at the Web site for this book. To access them, visit www.quepublishing.com.

Special Features in This Book

This book contains a variety of special features to help you find the information you need— fast. Formatting conventions are used to make important keywords or special text obvious. Specific language is used to make keyboard and mouse actions clear. And a variety of visual elements are used to make important and useful information stand out. The following sections describe the special features used in this book.

Visual Aids

Notes, tips, cautions, and other visual aids give you useful information. The following are descriptions of these elements.

New features that are introduced in Microsoft Project 2002 are flagged with an icon in the margin.


Notes provide useful information that isn’t essential to the discussion. They usually contain technical information, but they can also contain interesting but less critical information.


Tips enhance your experience with Project 2002 by providing hints and tricks you won’t find elsewhere.


Cautions warn you that a particular action can cause unintended results, some of which may be difficult or impossible to undo. Given the many not-so-obvious calculations that Project processes at every turn, you shouldn’t skip the cautions in this book.

Cross-references point you to specific sections within other chapters so that you can get more information that’s related to the topic you’re reading about. Here is what a cross-reference looks like:

→ To learn more about working with project plans, see Chapter 2, “Starting and Exiting Microsoft Project,” p. xxx.

Best Practice tips from Toby Brown, PMP, will help you learn the ins and outs of effective project management. These tips are related to the project management process recommended by the Project Management Institute. These tips will help you along with the responsibilities of managing projects both with and without software.

At the end of each chapter, a Troubleshooting section highlights anticipated problems you might have and provides possible solutions. The problem is stated in italic type, and the answer or solution follows.

Keyboard Conventions

In addition to the special features that help you find the information you need, this book uses some special conventions to make it easier to read:

Feature Convention
Key combinations Key combinations are joined with the plus sign (+). For example, Alt+F means hold down the Alt key, press the F key, and then release both keys.
Menu commands A comma is used to separate the parts of a pull-down menu command. For example, “choose File, New” means to open the File menu and select the New option.
Special-purpose keys These keys are referred to by the text that actually appears on them on a standard 101-key keyboard (for example, press Esc, press F1, press Enter).

Formatting Conventions

This book uses some special typeface conventions to help you understand what you’re reading:

Convention Description
Italic Italic indicates new terms. It also indicates placeholders in commands and addresses.
Monospace This typeface is used for onscreen messages and commands. It also indicates addresses on the Internet and filenames.
Bold monospace Bold monospace indicates text that you type.

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