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C/D/H: Excel to Project in 5 Easy Steps
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C/D/H: Excel to Project in 5 Easy Steps


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  • 1. When do you Need Project? The main issue we are addressing is how to easily create a project plan in MS Project. The ultimate goal is for the project manager to be able to utilize unique features within the Project that Excel itself does not allow. C/D/H consultant Doug MacNEIL presents Excel to Project in 5 Easy Steps at PMIGLC 2014 Symposium
  • 2. Why Choose Excel over Project? End users utilize Excel as the starting point for a work breakdown structure, or task list. Converting from Excel to Project allows the project manager to use the end user’s preliminary list and simplify the conversion to MS Project. (i.e. no re-entering data!)
  • 3. What are the Benefits? Project managers are overburdened and under loved. MS Project reduces PM time moving data from one app (Excel) to the other (Project).
  • 4. Going from Excel to Project • Direct conversion to and from Project • Allows you to share with “accidental” Project Managers • Project can open and save files in the following file formats: Microsoft Project Plan (MPP) Microsoft Excel Microsoft Project Template (MPT) Microsoft Project 2007 file Microsoft Project Database (MPD) Microsoft Project Exchange (MPX) Microsoft Project 2000-2003 file Microsoft Access Database (MDB) Portable Document Format (PDF) Microsoft Project 98 file Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) XML Paper Specification (XPS) Text-only or ASCII Comma-separated values (CSV) Extensible Markup Language (XML)
  • 5. Excel to Project: In 5 Easy Steps Open File Import Wizard Import Options Task Mapping Finish
  • 6. Step 1 – Open Project • Open Project • Change File type to Excel Workbook from Project
  • 7. Step 2 – Import Wizard • Follow import steps • Map – Aligning fields from Excel to Project using: • New • Existing • Specify import mode – New project – Import (add into an existing project) – Merge (append to end of existing project)
  • 8. Step 3 – Import Options • Import options – Data type (the data type may be specified as one of the following) • Tasks • Resources • Assignments • All
  • 9. Tips and Tricks for Importing • Use no spaces in Worksheet names • “2014Testplan” not “2014 Testplan”
  • 10. Step 4 –Task Mapping • Excel options – Whether content should include field headers or not – Whether tasks should have assignments
  • 11. Step 5 – Finish • Finish • Save Map – Should the process ever need to be repeated, Save Map allows you to use these specific steps on future projects.
  • 12. Project Management – WBS Work breakdown structure • Done in Excel – Can be a list of activities that need to be accomplished • Done in Project – Manageable and can be used as a tool in Project Management – Can be done with “Cut and Paste”
  • 13. Work Breakdown – Excel
  • 14. Work Breakdown – Project
  • 15. Project Management – Tasks Task assignment • Done in Excel – Lists resources that can be applied to a task • Done in Project – Manageable and can be used as a tool to track and monitor resource utilization
  • 16. Task Assignment – Excel
  • 17. Task Assignment – Project
  • 18. Project Management – Resource Scheduling Resource scheduling • Excel – Great spreadsheet program but it is not made for planning and scheduling – Limited Gantt Chart development • Project – Allows visibility into task calendars and resource allocation
  • 19. Resource Scheduling – Excel
  • 20. Resource Scheduling – Project
  • 21. Project Management – Critical Path Critical path analysis • Series of tasks (or even a single task) that dictates the calculated project start or finish date • If a task is late on the path, the project will be late • Excel – Allows listing of tasks but offers no assistance with identification and tracking of critical path • Project – Allows visibility into the critical path – Highlight the critical path – Show only the critical path – Show a single critical path for multiple projects – Calculate multiple critical paths
  • 22. Critical Path – Excel
  • 23. Critical Path – Project
  • 24. Project Management – Costs Cost estimating • Excel – Allows cost rollup and what if scenarios with extensive development • Project – Allows presentation of costs and budgets from stock reports and offers multiple rates and overtime rates
  • 25. Cost Estimating – Excel
  • 26. Cost Estimating – Project
  • 27. Cost Estimating – Project
  • 28. A Tool, a Process, or Both? Both! • This is the application of a process using the tools provided within MS Project.
  • 29. Get Started! • Ask me how to sign up for a free trial!