How to implement Scrum with MS PROJECT – step by step!

Hi,

today I am going to explain the process of implementing Scrum with MS PROJECT. Just to be aware, this can only be done if you have Project online version, and not if you have desktop version like Project 2013/2016/2019.

When you open Project choose Sprint Project:

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and you will get this:

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As you can see, this is Sprint Planning board with all sprints. Let’s say that we want to have five sprints, and each of them should be 3 weeks long. To do that, follow next steps (After you click on Sprint Tab):

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I set Star Date for the first sprint (now it is Monday, 14.10.2019), then I put 3w as duration (length) for all sprints, then I add another 3 weeks long sprint (at the bottom of the screen) twice, and I’ve got:

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When I click on OK, I’ve finally got:

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Now I will add some Tasks, and move them to Sprints:

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As you can see I have some Tasks in Sprint1, Sprint2, no Tasks for Sprint3,  Sprint4 and Sprint5, and some Tasks which are in my board, but they are not in Sprint yet.

This is – overall planning. No, I want to manage each sprint! Let’s say that I’m interested in Sprint 1:

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I can choose this Sprint as Current, or just by it’s name (Sprint1), and I will get:

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Let’s say that I am not happy with this board. I want columns like:

  • Not Started
  • Doing
  • QA
  • Done

I will right click on each column which I want to rename or delete and do it like:

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at the end I will have what I want:

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Now I can move each and every Task where I want, and how I want. Be aware of this. When you change your Sprint board, you change it for each and every Sprint. So, do not expect that have different Sprint Boards for different sprints. And that is OK, because it doesn’t make a sense that you have different views on the Sprint Backlog for various Sprints.

And, yes this is great.

This was all about Boards (Sprint and Sprint Planning). And this is not all what you can do. It is much more there, and I will cover that in my next Posts.

Until then, stay tuned!

Regards!

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Water-Agile-Fall and MS PROJECT 2019!

Hi,

today I’m going to show you how to manage Water-Agile-Fall projects with MS PROJECT 2019! But first thing first. what is Water-Agile-Fall, anyway. It is mixed Waterfall with Agile in which you first prepare fixed project plan, and then conduct the work in sprints. And, therefore, MS PROJECT is the BEST tool for it? Why? Because there are various great tools in the market, but they cover Agile OR Waterfall projects, not both of those two types. For example, you can use Microsoft planner for Agile project, or Trello, but you can not manage waterfall projects (dependencies, and similar thins which characterize waterfall project with this tools)! Be aware that you can manage Water-Agile-Fall Projects only with Microsoft Project online version, NOT with regular desktop version.

OK! Now, first let’s create Waterfall Project:

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As you can see, I have Tasks, dependencies, Resources, and assignments. Now, I want to  put Tasks to sprints. To do that I will open sprint planning board:

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and:

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and I will get:

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I will right click on No Sprint label:

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After I click on Manage Sprints I will get:

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As you can see, I’m defining Finish date of the Sprint 1, and defining start date, and sprint duration for Sprint 2. Do not look ate the dates, because this is just an example, so I randomly picked dates and duration. Finally I will get:

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Now I will put some Task to Sprint 1, and Sprint 2:

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If you conduct those tasks according to Scrum, Task is done or not done (it cannot be partial done to finish the sprint.) If it is not done 100% till the end of the sprint, it should be moved to the next sprint. So, let’s say that Task 1 is done:

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and I will get:

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If I look at the Gantt Chart View, I will get:

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And – that is it! Of course you, and only you are responsible to choose will you manage Water-Agile-Fall project like in my example or you will use some other techniques. The purpose of this Blog Post is to make you aware that you can do it. How will you do it it’s up to you!

Regards.

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How to manage external dependencies between Projects with MS PROJECT 2019

Hi,

lot of my Blog readers are asking how to link Tasks between two or more different Projects, and how to manage them.

I will show you how to do it with MS PROJECT 2019!

As usual, first I will create two simple Projects, and I will save them to my Desktop as Project1.mpp, and Project2.mpp:

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and:

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To make a connection between Tasks among different Project, you should save them first. Let’s say that Task 3 from Project 1 should be predecessor to Task 4 from Project 2, and Task 1 from Project 1 should be Predecessor to Task 6 from Project 2. To get that you should double click to Task 4 (and Task 6 accordingly) from Project 2 and:

image As you can see you should write in the ID column: Project name from which you wish a have predecessor, then backslash then Task ID form this Project (and in my example this is third Task from Project 1). When you click on OK button you will get:

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To connect Task 1 from Project with  Task 6 from Project 2, you should do the same thing, and you will get:

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The final result is:

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Light gray Task are external Tasks.

OK! That was a part about creating dependencies. Now, how to manage them in the easiest way?

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You can see that you can, and should, use this option to see all external predecessors (and successors) on one screen only. Let’s say that you want to “break” connections between Task 6 from Project 2 and Task 1 from Project 1. You can do it easy, like this:

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So, you should first select external predecessor, and then delete the link, and you will get:

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External Task is gone!

Finally, if you look at the Project 1, Task 4 from Project 2 is successor  of Task 3 form Project 1:

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To conclude, when you manage multiple Projects and they are “connected”, use this feature to handle your external successors and predecessors in a right way.

Regards!

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Leveling Gantt view and Leveling Delay field in MS PROJECT 2019

Hi,

today I will explain Leveling Gantt view and Leveling Delay field in MS PROJECT 2019, which are rarely used.

I will crate a simple Project with two resources and they both are going to be overallocated:

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As you can see John and Mary are both overallocated. Notice this:

  • Task 1: Start date 27.08, Finish date 28.08
  • Task 2: Start date 29.08, Finish date 30.08
  • Task 3: Start date 27.08, Finish date 27.08
  • Task 4: Start date 28.08, Finish date 30.08

Now, I will Level all resources like this:

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and I will get:

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Notice that, after leveling, Start and finish dates are:

  • Task 1: Start date 28.08, Finish date 29.08 e.g. Task is moved 1 day
  • Task 2: Start date 02.09, Finish date 03.09 e.g. Task is moved 3 days
  • Task 3: Start date 27.08, Finish date 27.08 e.g. Task is not moved
  • Task 4: Start date 28.08, Finish date 30.08 e.g. Task is not moved

I will now use Leveling Gantt:

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and:

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Finally I will get:

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As you can see Leveling Delay field for Task 1 is 1 eday, and for Task 2 3 edays. Notice that delay is expressed in elapsed days!

On the right part of this view you can see original values – before leveling (marked yellow), and new values (blue lines ) – after levelling.

This view is very useful. Why? Because after leveling maybe the result will not be what you wanted or expected, and you can compare those two (old and new) values here.

Regards!

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Resources with dynamic workload in MS PROJECT 2019

Hi,

today I will show you how to deal with a problem which you will face, almost, in every Project. And that is: “Resources which are leaving Project, and coming back after some time to perform the same Task!”.

Let’s begin. First I will crate very simple Project with one and only Task:

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and I will have three resources available:

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I will Assign John and Mary to the Task:

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As you’ve noticed I am using Task Usage View. Now let’s say that both, John and Mary finished they work ant Monday and Tuesday, e.g. they are 50% done:

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Now we get:

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Now, let’s say that for some reason Mary isn’t available for the Task. And we do not know if she will be back or not. And we need another person to replace her (we cannot assign rest of the work to John). We will put Tim on the Task:

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Now we get:

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At Wednesday John and Tim were working 8 hours and the Task is now 75% finished. When I mark it as 75% completed, I will get:

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TADAAAAAA! Mary is back. So, now we want to replace her with Tim. and we will get:

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Now what? The real life situation is that Mary WILL finish the job at Thursday (instead of Tim), but we cannot replace Tim with her anymore, because she is almost assigned.

Well we can. First of all We are going to modify Mary’s calendar:

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So, Tip #1: Put exceptions for resource for period in which he or she is not available.

Now, let’s use Task Form, and edit workload for Mary and Tim.

Mary will finish her Task at Thursday, 15.08.2019, and Tim has already finished his work at Wednesday, 14.08.2019. In total Mary will work 24 hours (8 at Monday, 8 at Tuesday, and 8 at Thursday), and Tim will work 8 hours at Wednesday:

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The result is:

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This is what we wanted!

Tip #2: Use Task Form, and align the real life situation with finish date!

This is real life situation when you cannot predict if and when your resources will be unavailable, and then again available.

Regards!

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Creating Fixed Duration Task using Task form in MS Project 2019

Hello,

today I’m going to show you how to use Task Form for creating Tasks from the scratch using MS PROJECT 2019!

First of all, let me crate two brand new Project:

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OK. I need John and Mary as Resources, as well:

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OK, now the Task Form:

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Remember the magic formula, the heart of MS PROJECT which is: Work = Duration * Units

Now, I will create brand new Task for which I want to be Fixe duration, non Effort Driven with 5 days of Duration, but I want John to work 16 hours, and Mary 32 hours:

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When I hit OK button I will get:

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Wow! This is now what I wanted. So, this must be a bug. But it is not!

Since I put Duration = 5 days, and Duration is fixed, and I did not put Units,MS PROJECT calculate work, no matter of values in Work field like this:

Work = Duration * Units, e.g. work = 5 days (8 house per day e.g 40 hours) * UNITS form Resource sheet (e.g. 100%), and the result is Work = 40 hours * 100% = 40 hours for John and Mary.

But, I want that in this 5 days John work 16 hours and Mary 32. I have two options to get that.

First one is to change hours like this:

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and I will get:

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Second one is to put right Units when creating a new Task, like this:

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and I will get the same result:

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MS PROJECT will calculate work according to magic formula, like this:

  • John: Work = Duration * Units, e.g. work = 5 days (8 house per day e.g 40 hours) * UNITS form  (e.g. 40%), and the result is Work = 40 hours * 40% = 16 hours
  • Mary: Work = Duration * Units, e.g. work = 5 days (8 house per day e.g 40 hours) * UNITS form  (e.g. 80%), and the result is Work = 40 hours * 80% = 32 hours

Hope this helps.

Regards!

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How to link Tasks with recurring Tasks in MS PROJECT 2019

Hi,

suppose that every Monday you have a meeting with your project team. And after that you are going back to your regular project Tasks. For that case you will have to create recurring in Project 2019 Task for meeting like this:

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and:

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You will get:

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Let’s say that you have Task 1 with 2 days duration, and Task 2 with 3 days duration. And Task 1is about to start after first regular meeting is over, and Task 2 after second regular meeting is over. You will have to find out right predecessor like this:

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When you link Task 1, and Task 2 with right meeting occurrence you will get:

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If you collapse Regular meeting you will get:

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As you can see, on the right part of the Gantt Chart View (graphic part), you cannot see those links.

One more thing. If you make Regular meeting as a predecessor of any Task, like this:

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this Task will start after the last meeting is finished and the link will not be shown on the right (graphic) part of the Gantt Chart View.

To conclude, be careful when you link recurring and regular tasks.

Regards.

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