Before I start my explanation on how MS Project 2010 works I have to tell you some more things about Project itself, as well as some things you should pay attention to in your projects. In many books and articles you can find something called “ the triple constraint” or “the project triangle”.
It says that each and every problem has tree constraints: Time, Costs (or Resources) and Features (or Scope). This is somewhat true. Every project also has other constraints like quality, communication, risks, etc. Some constraints can be fully tracked with MS Project (like time, costs, and resources), some can be partially tracked (like risks and communication), and some cannot be tracked at all (like quality, and change request approval).
So, you must have other tools and techniques besides MS Project to track and
Every project is undertaken for some reason, whether it is for a bigger profit,
better position in marketplace, saving the earth or just for the fun of it
(like: “I want to build and live in the biggest house in my town). Regardless
of why a project is undertaken, you must know that project sponsor and your
customer will have requirements and expectations. Many people think that those
two words have the same meaning. Well, it is the biggest mistake you can make
and it can cause the project failure.
Requirements are customer’s wishes which he or she will tell you! For example: “We want a new ERP system with modules: purchase, sale, invoicing, marketing, production, human resources, fixed assets etc.” To get the requirements you have to ask: “What do you need?”. Very simple, isn’t it?
On the other hand, expectations are unstated wishes! Your customer can have a requirement like this: “I want a new ERP system with (by the others) vendor ledger!” and the expectation that one person will be able to record 10.000 vendor invoices in one hour. To get the expectations you have to ask: “We have all your requirements! What exactly do
you expect from this project? What is your measure of success?”.
When you get the customer expectation you must make a decision: “TO GO OR NOT TO GO!” also called “GO – NO GO” decision. If you know that your customer’s expectation
is unreachable no matter what you do, DO NOT START THE PROJECT. If you do, you
will get unsatisfied customer even if you fulfill all the requirements. YOU will be the one responsible for the project failure. And after all, this is unethical Project Management because you have started the Project for which you knew that it wouldn’t be successfully
completed, and that you would end up having unsatisfied customer.
And for the end of this post one joke from the internet. Project phases:
Enthusiasm, Confusion, Loosing Illusions, Nerves breakdown, Panic, Looking for “the Pedro”, punishing the innocent team members, Looking for trade-off, Giving the reward
to the people who have never been involved in the project.