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It's not a bug, it's a feature!
 

It's not a bug, it's a feature!

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The curse of Project is that it’s functionalities seem intuitive and we believe we know what they mean and how to use them implicitly. Yet, although logical when you know them, Project features are ...

The curse of Project is that it’s functionalities seem intuitive and we believe we know what they mean and how to use them implicitly. Yet, although logical when you know them, Project features are numerous and quite a few are complex. In addition, almost all Project/Project Server features require that you follow at least some procedure to be able to use them effectively. The curse ends with many people running Project/Project Server at least once, some using it for basic initial schedule development and a very few using it in the full capability. Being human, we tend to blame it on the tool so – it must be a bug!

The goal of this presentation is to alter the negative usage statistics for Project – at least for those of you who will attend! We will identify five simple but key areas; technical or procedural – that are typically misused or are not used at all due to the misconception. For each of those we will shortly show what exactly is a problem and propose the solution. Among the five areas, we will be discussing effects of dynamic scheduling, options for re-planning, options for automatic resource scheduling (or lack of those) and options for tracking and reporting on task progress.

This session is for everyone who uses Project (with or without the server component) or needs to support others using Project in their organizations. Those of you who have conceptual complaints about some Project/Project Server features are welcome to share them (I cannot promise to answer them but I will for sure use them in consecutive presentations).

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    It's not a bug, it's a feature! It's not a bug, it's a feature! Presentation Transcript

    • It’s Not A Bug. It’s A Feature! IGOR SLIŠKOVIĆ, PROTERON CONSULTING SHAREPOINT AND PROJECT CONFERENCE ADRIATICS 2013 ZAGREB, NOVEMBER 27-28 2013
    • sponsors
    • About The Presentation • Motive: experiencing the same pattern over and over again – MS Project is used for developing initial schedule and is later forgotten (apart from printed Ghantt chart over PM’s desk) • Diagnose: Key MS Project features are contra intuitive. • Prescription: Show and teach a few basic principles in schedule development and tracking that represent the best practice • The Goal: give you more time managing your project and less time managing MS Project • KPI: never to hear from participants of this session the sentence so common –” MS Project doesn’t calculate correctly when …”
    • Sequence Of Activities WBS Development Task Entry Task Sequencing Assigning Resources Tracking Actuals Tracking Project Status Closing Project
    • BAD HABITS 1 – TASK CONSTRAINTS
    • Theorem We will let Project do the scheduling. We will just provide necessary information.
    • Flexible Constraints And Deadlines • Three types of constraints: • Flexible (As Soon As Possible, As Late As Possible) • Semi Flexible (Start No Earlier Than, Finish No …) • Inflexible (Must Start On, Must Finish On) • USE ONLY FLEXIBLE CONSTRAINTS: setting fixed date on the task in your schedule doesn’t help it to happen in reality. Actually, it makes your schedule static and increases the risk of missing some dates • Deadlines: compromise for the fixed data problem • Clear indication that we are late • Keeping the schedule dynamic • [GO BACK TO DEMO AND SHOW HOW IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE]
    • BAD AND GOOD HABITS - RESOURCES
    • Resources • Never change start and finish date of a task because of the resource availability or over allocation • Use • Resource Calendar • Leveling delay (indirectly used with MS Project commands) • [Semi Best Practice] If possible, use one resource one task rule • Yes, in Project Server environment, resource calendar exceptions can be integrated with HR or other applications managing resource availability. • Even Exchange Out Of Office can be used as a source of exception!!
    • Tracking Progress - Introduction • What are we tracking? • Hours spent by a resource on a task • How close are we to finishing the task • Do we track when exactly the time was spent on the task? • What “how close to finish means” • How many days will it take? • How much work will it take? • What are we measuring success against? • Baseline • What does % Complete field mean?
    • TRACKING PROGRESS
    • Tracking progress • Don’t use % Complete as your standard • Doesn’t set Actual Start other than planned • Cannot show the task is late • Might use it as a shortcut • Always have at least 2 baselines: initial and current. Saving new baseline is done as a part of the controlled process. • If you use Project Server use Work done per period (timephased) • Keep your schedule neat – no remaining work in the past and actual work in future.
    • Reporting On Progress • What if you notice that: • You are under budget? • More resources have been used on your project than planned by that day? Is it a good or a bad thing? Dont’ know – use Earned Value
    • EARNED VALUE – (IF TIME PERMITS)
    • questions?
    • thank you. SHAREPOINT AND PROJECT CONFERENCE ADRIATICS 2013 ZAGREB, NOVEMBER 27-28 2013