Introduction to Project Scheduling with Microsoft® Project®

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Duration: 1 day (7.5 Technical PDUs)

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Course Overview

The Project Management Institute (PMI)® presents industry-standard techniques for project scheduling in the Project Time Management chapter of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Taught by experienced Project Managers - all PMP® certified - this course will introduce you to these techniques, enabling you to plan and manage any standalone project. These techniques will be illustrated using hands-on exercises with the Microsoft Project package.

Our goal is to equip project managers with scheduling skills that they will be able to apply with the help of Microsoft Project. In other words, this will not be merely a guided tour of the software package.

For whom is this course suitable?

This course is designed for a person who has an understanding of project management concepts, who is responsible for creating and maintaining project schedules and who needs software support to manage their project schedules. Please note that the course assumes no prior knowledge of Microsoft Project, so anyone experienced with the package may find this course too basic.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Navigate the Microsoft Project software package comfortably
  • Set up initial, project-wide functions, such as project calendars and the project start date.
  • Use the Work Breakdown Structure to format the overall schedule
  • Define tasks by breaking down Work Packages in the Work Breakdown Structure
  • Create basic tasks, summary tasks and milestones in a schedule
  • Establish relationships and dependencies between tasks
  • Estimate the resources and durations associated with basic tasks
  • Manage constraints on the schedule, using techniques like resource levelling.
  • Represent the schedule using both Network Diagrams and Gantt Charts
  • Baseline the initial schedule
  • Track and report progress against the schedule

Course Content

  • Introduction to Microsoft Project
    • Basic navigation – making sense of the screen layout and introducing the key views, i.e.:
      • Gantt Chart
      • Resource Sheet
    • Initial set-up
      • Setting system values – e.g. auto scheduling and effort driven
      • Creating project calendars
      • Setting project start date
  • Scheduling steps
    • The five steps to building a project schedule
    • Manual and automatic scheduling
  • Defining activities
    • The Work Breakdown Structure
    • Work Packages
    • Decomposing the Work Packages to identify tasks
    • Basic tasks
    • Summary tasks
    • Milestones
  • Sequencing activities
    • Finish-to-Start, Finish-to-Finish, Start-to-Start, Start-to-Start
    • Lags and Leads
  • Estimate activity resources
    • What are resources?
    • Assigning resources to tasks
    • Using the Resource Sheet
  • Balancing resources and time
    • Resource availability
    • Dealing with resource over-allocation (task inspector)
  • Estimate activity durations
    • Estimation types: Analogous, Parametric, Three-Point
    • Assigning task durations
  • Develop schedule
    • Critical Path Method
    • Identifying float (slack)
    • Network Diagram and Gantt Chart views
    • Resource levelling
  • Schedule compression
    • Highlighting the critical path
    • Compression techniques: crashing, fast-tracking
  • Setting a project baseline
    • Is the schedule ready? (checklist)
    • Baselining
  • Recording and tracking progress
    • Calendar and task sheet views
    • Entering actual durations
    • Comparing planned vs actual – variance table
    • Dealing with late tasks

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