Project Management

Use MS Project to its fullest advantage with these quick tips

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As a project manager, you’re probably swamped with the day-to-day responsibilities of keeping your project on schedule. Because you’re busy, perhaps you don’t know about all the features and extras that Microsoft Project has to offer.

Sign up for TechRepublic’s Microsoft Project TechMail and you’ll be in the know. Below, you'll find several examples of what this TechMail has to offer. The weekly e-mail delivers helpful Project tips straight to your inbox—absolutely free. Sign up for the Project TechMail today!

Analyze this
The Analysis toolbar in Project offers easy access to several cool utilities that can help with scheduling. If this toolbar isn't visible in Project, just go to View | Analysis.
  • Adjust Dates macro: This is a great tool to help you move all of your tasks and assignments forward or backward. It's especially useful if you have a project file that is going to be reused and the dates need to be current. To enter a new start date for a project, click the Adjust Dates button on the Analysis toolbar. The macro will move all the tasks together so that they retain their relationships.
  • Analyze Timescaled Data In Excel macro: This macro helps transfer detailed, timescaled data from the Usage views into Excel. Click on the Analyze Timescaled Data In Excel button and follow the Timescaled Data Wizard through the rest of the process.
  • PERT Analysis macro: This will hide or unhide the PERT Toolbar. This toolbar also provides access to all the tools and forms for using PERT analysis on projects.

Did you resolve to be more organized?
To move different objects between project files, open the Organizer dialog box by going to Tools | Organizer. Organizer can also be used to move tables, toolbars, macros, and so on. And in Project 2000, you can even move field customizations and groups with Organizer.

The Organizer dialog box has two "parts" to it. Each side lists the items of a specific file in drop-down list boxes, so that files can then be selected from any of the project files that are currently open. This is an easy way to transfer objects between any open files.

Simply select the appropriate files from the drop-down list boxes and click Copy. The name of the object now appears in the box on the right.

Be sure to also take advantage of the Organizer's handy Rename and Delete buttons.

You're in the clear
The often-overlooked Clear feature (Edit | Clear) allows you to remove certain parts of the cells you've selected in Project. The choices on the Clear menu include Formats, Contents, Notes, and Hyperlinks. You can also choose to Clear All of the aforementioned choices or Clear the entire task or resource selected.

Clear Formats removes any nondefault formatting from the selected rows, which means that customized colors, font sizes, etc. will be removed. And Clear Notes or Clear Hyperlinks removes entries from those fields.

Be careful when Clear Contents because it clears out not only things such as Notes and custom fields but also Work and Actual Work. Once you choose to Clear All or Clear Contents, then all of those fields are gone. Luckily, if you Clear All or Clear Contents accidentally, these are two of the few actions that can be undone. If you clear these values, replace them by using the Undo command.
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