When to use Fixed constraint and Resource Calendars in MS PROJECT 2019

Hi,

as you know there are three types of constraint in MS PROJECT 2019: Flexible, Semi flexible, and Hard. I wrote about those constraint long time ago (https://ntrajkovski.com/2011/04/12/constraints-and-deadline-in-ms-project/)

Today I will show you to use it in real life. Let me setup the Scenario. Let’s say that you need a Training for MS PROJECT and I am your Trainer. And the Training will be held USA, and I have to travel from Croatia (my homeland) to USA to train you. OK! We agreed that the training will be held from January, 20th (Monday) till January 24th (Friday). I’ve got my airplane ticket, and hotel booked, and – that’s it. No change in schedule. Here is the Project:

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As you can see, Training is just a part of a Project. There is a Task before the training, and after the training. I want to make sure that, no matter what will happen with Tasks before the Training task, my training does not move! First of all I will make it Fixed duration (because that’s what it is – duration is fixed):

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Now, I will create some Resources:

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OK! Now, let’s say that Mary suddenly finds out that she is going to be off at January 21th, and 22th (Tuesday and Wednesday):

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One last, but very important thing, I must mark the Training Task with Must Start on constraint, because, I as a trainer am going to start the training at Monday, January 21th no matter what. There is no postponing:

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and:

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OK! Now one final thing: assign Resources to the Task:

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If I switch to the Task Usage View, I will see:

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As expected, Mary will miss Tuesday and Wednesday for the Training.

What if Task Something before the training will be longer that planned (let’s say 10 days):

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and I will get:

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Everything looks great! Or not? Well, Since the Training is supposed to start after the Task: Something before training, and it will not, and since the training should not be postponed (for the reasons already mentioned) – you have a problem. Not MS PROJECT! You! And that is something which you should solve. And this is organizational, and not MS PROJECT problem.

Regards,

Nenad

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Columns in Grid View–Project for the Web

Hi,

today I will explain all fields available for Columns in Grid View in Project for the Web.

First of all I will crate a simple Project with some Resource assigned to Tasks:

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I’ve created the Schedule as well, using Timeline View:

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Here I can see (visually) the Gantt Chart, and relations between Tasks.

I can adjust Columns in Grid View:

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For this post I will add them all:

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Now let me explain those fields one by one:

  • Duration – Task duration. It can be entered or calculated according to Effort. For example, if I put effort for Task 1 = 24 hours (instead of 16), Duration will be 1,5 Days. Calculation is: 24 hours / 2 Resources = 12 hours per Resource, and 12 hours per Resource / 8 hours per day = 1,5 day!
  • Assigned to – Resource(s) to whom the Task is assigned
  • % complete – How much of Task is completed. I can put it, or it can be calculated by Effort completed. For example, if I put for Task 1 Effort completed = 18 hours, % completed will be 18 hours (Completed) /24 hours (Effort) = 0,75, e.g. 75%
  • Depents (after) – simply – Successor(s)
  • Bucket – in Which bucket is this Task (for example – Sprint 1, or Automation). If you need further explanation to Buckets, read some of my previous Blog Posts
  • Depends on – simply – Predecessor
  • Effort – total hours for all Resources on Task. Look in Duration above for explanation
  • Effort completed – how much of effort is already done. I can enter value here (see % completed), or it can be calculated if I enter % completed
  • Effort remaining – Effort – Effort completed
  • Finish – Task Finish date. For example see Task 1 and Task 2:

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Task 2 has Finish date – 01/10/2020. If I change it to, for example 01/13/2020 (Monday), I will move Strat date for Task 3, and the whole Schedule, as expected:

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  • Start – Task Start Date. It is Calculated, but If I change it, the whole Schedule will change, as well.
  • Of course, you don’t have to put all those fields in Columns, just one that you really need.

Hope this helps.

Regards!

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Can we Scrum with Project for the Web?

Hi,

Project for The Web has Boards, Grid and Timeline. But, the question is: “Can we manage Project in Agile, to be more specific – SCRUM Projects?”. The answer is – YES. Of course, in limited way, but still well enough!

I will first Create New Project called: Scrum

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As you already know, to assign Resources I have to create a Group, and I did it – also called “Scrum”.

In Scrum there are two Backlogs: Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog.

First of all I will create Features:

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And, this is my Product Backlog.

Now I will create Sprint Backlog boards:

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As you can see I have four Buckets: Backlog, Sprint 1, Sprint 2, and Sprint 3.

Features will never have Resources assigned to them. On the other hand, Tasks will always have! Let’s say tat I have Sprint Planning, and that we broke Feature 1 and Feature 2 to Tasks, and then those Tasks are going to be part of Sprint 1.

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and I will add one Task:

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I will repeat steps above and when I’ll finish I will have:

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Now I have two possibilities. If I switch to Boards I’ll see:

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I can Move Feature 1 with Task 1, 2 and 3 (which belongs to this Feature) to Sprint 1, and Feature 2 with Task 4, 5, 6 and 7 (which belongs to that Feature) to Sprint 1 as well:

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You don’t see Task 6 and 7 because they didn’t fit to my screen Smile

Other options is to Make Features as Summary Tasks:

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and then I will get:

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When I jump to the Boards I will have:

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As you can see Feature 1 is gone! This is because Summary Tasks are never showed on any board, only Subtasks are!

OK! Now let’s look on Kanban Board (or Group by Progress):

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Let’s say that John takes Task 1. I will Assign him to that task And I will move it to In progress Bucket:

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As you can see, I’ve assign John to the Task, and I also put that this Task is 25% completed, and Remaining work is 16 hours. But since Task is 25% completed, Project will put 4 hours in Completed Effort, and 12 hours in Remaining effort:

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We all know that in Scrum theory there should be no dependencies between Tasks. But, in real life, they exists. Let’s say that Task 1 is something like Install operating system to the Laptop, and Task 2 is Install MS PROJECT 2019 to the Laptop. I will put dependency between them:

image   and I will get:

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Finally, let’s say that Task 1 is finished:

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I can see it in Sprint 1 Bucket like:

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By default, all completed Tasks are hidden, but I can see them if I choose to.

To conclude, you can Manage Scrum with Project for the Web in very efficient ways. What you cannot do is calculate Capacity and Velocity. If you need those two, that move to the Azure DevOps, TFS, or something similar.

At the end, Happy new your my dear Blog Readers. I wish you Happy New 2020 year.

Best Regards,

Nenad

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How to use Boards group by Bucket in Project for Web

Hi,

in my previous post I’ve explained how to use Microsoft Project for the Web, using Board – Group by Progress.

Today I will show you how to use Board  group by Buckets.

OK. I have a Project, which looks like this:

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I will now switch to Group by Bucket:

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What is this? Let me explain this Board by example. Let’s say that you are working on Software Development Project. And each and every Task should be analyzed, then developed, then tested,  and then it is done. Pleas do not kill me because I know this is old way of developing software, but I promise you that in one of my next posts I will show you how to do Scrum in Project for Web.

OK! First I will rename Bucket1 with Analyzing:

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and then:

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Now I will add (using Add bucket) button, Developing, Testing and Done buckets:

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OK. Now, let’s say that Task 1 is Analyzed, and it is moved to Developing. I will drag it from Analyzing bucket and drop it to Developing:

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Be aware of this: When you move any Task from bucket to bucket, % Complete wouldn’t change. Obviously since Task is analyzed, and moved to development some work is already done. I can use many was to change % Complete. First is that I can click on this Task and put, for example 25%:

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Or, I can go to the Board – Group by Progress, and change it there:

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As you can see, Task 1 I moved to in Progress, because I put 25% in % Complete (in board – Group by Bucket!)

Now I will move form this board Task 2 to in Progress, and it will be automatically marked ad 50% completed:

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As you can see, Task2 is 50% completed, but it is still in Analyzing Bucket. Why? Because from here you are tracking progress, not phases (Analyzing, Developing, etc.). Task 2 is marked ad 50% completed. But, let’s say that it is also 25% completed, and it has to be in Developing Bucket. Can I do it from Group by Progress bucket? Sure I can. I will click on this particular Task and I will put 25% at % Complete, but I will also choose Developing bucket:

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and I will get:

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IF I switch to the Group by Bucket board, I will see:

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Now, let’s say that Task 1 was passed Testing phase, and it is Done. I can move it to the Done column in this Board, but it will not be in Done column in Group by Progress board, unless I mark it like 100% done. So I’m going to do it:

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Finally I will click on Task 1 and put 100% in % Complete field and I will get:

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Task 1 is disappeared, because it is done , but if I click on Completed (see the picture above), I will get:

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If I go back to Group by Progress board, I will see:

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Remember this. No matter in which board am I, if I put 0% Complete Task will jump into Not started column. If I put value greater than 0% and less then 100% it will jump in In Progress column. If I put 100%, then it will  jump in Completed column.

To conclude: Group by Progress Board is not editable (e.g. you cannot change bucket name, or add a bucket). It is here for Tracking purpose only, e.g is any progress according to time done (25%, 37%, etc.).

On the other hand: Group by Bucket Board is fully editable, and you can add buckets. It is here for organizing purpose. Imagine that I have 1300 Tasks. Some of them may be Architectural, some may be Constructional, etc. Let’s say that I’m tracking Constructional project, and I am going to track building a house. Some Tasks ca be related to ground floor, some for the first floor, some for roof, etc.

OR! Sprints! And that is what I’m going cover in ma next post!

Regards!

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How to use Boards group by Progress in Project for Web

Hi,

In my previous Posts I’ve created a simple Project for Web:

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This is View in Grid. Now let’s see Board Tab:

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All tasks are here! In the upper right corner I can choose between three type of Boards:

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So Board can be grouped by Buckets (as you can see in the picture above), Progress or Finish Date. I will now switch to the Progress and I will get:

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Here are three Buckets: Not Started, In Progress and Completed. And, basically, it is Kanban Board. And in this View there is no possibility to add/edit&remove any bucket.

Now I will drag and drop Task one to the In Progress bucket, and I will get:

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Automatically it is 50% completed! But, let’s say that it is 75% completed. All I have to do is to click at that Task and I will get:

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As you can see, when I put 75% in %Complete field, automatic calculation is made like this one:

  • Nenad and John were supposed to work on Task which have 1 day Duration, e.g. 8 hours Nenad + 8 hours John = 16 hours – Total
  • Task is 75% Completed, e.g. 16 hours * 75% = 12 hours – Completed
  • 16 hours – Total – 12 hours Completed = 4 hours Remaining

With this screen I can do many other things and that is going to be explained in separate post, but for now, you should know That moving to In progress Bucket means that some work has to be done. If I put 0% in the % Complete field, Task will automatically “jump” into Not Started bucket.

If I move Task to Completed bucket, I will get:

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As you can see, Task is marked as Completed 100%. If I put in % Completed field value other than 100% then Task will “jump” into In Progress bucket (if % Completed is greater than 0%), or in Not Started bucket (if % Completed is equal 0%).

In my next Post I will when and how you how to use Group By Bucket View!

Stay tuned, and Best regards!

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How to assign Resources to Tasks, and examine Task details using Grid Tab in Project for Web

Hi,

After I’ve created Schedule in my Project for web, it’s time to assign resources to Tasks. First of all, Project for Web is part of Office365 family. So to assign any resource to any Task this resource should be an Office 365 user, like in my tenant:

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Notice, that the picture above doesn’t show all users.

Now, let’s go back to my Project:

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Let’s say that I want to assign myself to the Task 1, and John as well, Mary to Task 2, and Peter and Ellen to Task 3.

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and then:

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and when I choose myself I will get:

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This is important. Unlike in Project for desktop version, in Project for Web, resources which are going to be assign to this specific Project should be all members of the Group. And here I have two possibilities: to create a new group, or use existing one.

If I want to use existing one (which I do not) I should choose it from here:

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So, I am going to create new Group:

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I added Description for this group, and it will be Private, so only team members in this group will be able participate in it.

After I click on Create and assign, the Resource (in my example – myself) will be assigned to the Task. Now I will assign John to the same Task:

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and:

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and John will be assigned to the Task. I will now assign Mary, Peter and Ellen to their Tasks, following the steps above, and I will get:

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OK! Now I want to see details for Task 1:

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and I will get:

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Let me show you right part of the screen and explain it:

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As you can see, for specific Task I can:

  • Add or remove Resource (the procedure is same as I described above)
  • Change Start and/or Finish date of the Task
  • Duration
  • %Complete
  • Bucket (I will explain this is one of my next Blog post)
  • Effort! You can see the Remaining work is 16 hour, because John and I are supposed to work at this specific Task. It has duration 1 day, and since there are 8 hours per day per person, the total of Remining hours is 16 (8 hours for me, and 8 hours for John). Completed work is blank (e.g. 0 hours), because now work has done at the Task. Total hours are sum of Completed and Remaining hours.
  • Add dependency. Here you can add dependency for this Task.

Let’s look at Task 3:

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  • Duration is 3 days
  • Remaining work is 48 hours (Peter 3 days * 8 hours = 24 hours + Ellen 3 days * 8 hours = 24 hours –> 24 + 24 = 48 hours)!
  • As you can see Predecessor for Task 3 is Task 2. If I want, for example, make Task 1 as Predecessor, I should follow this steps:

I should click to Add dependency and I will get:

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So, I have suggested Task, but I can type Task name or part of it (as I explained in my previous post) and I can choose whichever Task I want.

Did you notice that Finish is marked red? This is because this Task is late. It should be finished at 11/11/2019, but today is 11/20/19 (I’ was writing this post at that time).

And, that is it.

Hope you like it, like I do.

Regards!

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How to create Schedule using Grid Tab in Project for Web

Hi,

I’m going to continue with Project for Web. First Tab which you are going to find is Grid Tab:

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As you can see, here I can add Tasks. Default columns are: Name, Assigned to and Duration. But if I need you can add some other columns as well:

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For now, I will just add Depends (after) and Depends on (before), but be sure that I will show you how to use all of this fields in my next posts. After I add those two fields as columns I will get:

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Now I will add some Tasks. Let’s say that I want to add Summary Task, three Subtasks and Milestone:

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How did I put those Tasks? Just go to the Name field and in Add new Task click with the mouse and write the Task name. As simple as that.

As you can see Subtask are not indented. To do that I have to selected (in my example) Task 1, 2 and 3, and Milestone as well and to right click with mouse and I will get:

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and I will get:

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I get what I want.

OK, now let’s say that Task 1 will have 1 day Duration, Task 2 will have 2 days Duration, Task 3 will have 3 days Duration, and Milestone will have 0 days Duration. I will just put those values into Duration field for each subtask:

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Of course I could put weeks, minutes, months, not only days. To do that, for example to put 3 weeks to some Task, I just have to type 3 w, and I will get it.

Now, I have duration, and I want to create dependencies. Let’s say that Task 2 will be linked to Task 1 (remember that only Finish to Start relationship is possible at the moment).

I can type in Dependents (before): Number 1, and I will get:

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and I will get every single Task which has number 1 in it’s name.

I can type, for example, sk and I will get:

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and I will get every Task which has sk in it’s name. You get it! you can find your Task in easy and effective way. BUT! You cannot put dependencies using Task ID. S

So I will now create all dependencies and I will get:

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As you can see, Dependents (after) is Successor in “old” Project, and Dependents (before) is Predecessor.

One more thing. If Task has more than one Predecessor or Successor I can put all Tasks as that. For example, I will make Task 1 as predecessor got Task 3, as well:

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OK, now I have my schedule. Now is time to assign resources to specific Tasks. And that is topic for my next Post.

Until then,

Best Regards

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