when you have tasks for your project, you have to arrange them. How? It’s up to you. The best approach, from my point of view is to make Phases.
I will explain how can you arrange the Wedding in Croatia.
First, you can make a deal with a Restaurant Management that you will bring your own wine, spirit, or any other beverages. You can also arrange to bring your own cakes. Of course, if you will have a music, you can arrange it to. Sometimes the Restaurant will charge you some extra fee if you will bring your own food and beverages.
When you are defining the scope of your Project you can have a “top down” or “bottom up” approach.
With the top down, you will first determine Phases. For example, you can have a “GETTING THE WINE” Phase. After that you will have tasks under that phase like: Visit the wine-cellars, Testing the wine, Choose the wine, Buy (and pay) the wine, arrange shipment for the wine (from the wine-cellar to the restaurant)
With the bottom up, you will do the same thing in the opposite way. So, you will first determine the tasks, and then make a phase.
You can, and you SHOULD combine those approaches in your project. Why? Well, you will have enough information about the tasks for one phase (I mean for all, or almost all tasks), and for that phase you will take a bottom-up approach. For the other phase you will now that you need it (for example, Choose the cakes), but you will have only few information about the tasks for that phase (or none). You should take a top-down approach, and enter the tasks for that phase after you will have more and more information.
In my trainings, about MS PROJECT 2010, my students often asks me the same question: “What if we do not have ALL tasks for our Project? Should we wait, until we collect them all, and after that use the MS PROJECT?” The answer is “NO”! You should use MS PROJECT from the very beginning of your Project! Put everything you know as soon as you discover! With that approach, you and your team will have a better preview of your Project, and it will be much easier to find out if you forgot something.
Another question is: “When do we have to use Manually Scheduled tasks?”. The answer is: “When you are in early Planning stage, and when you do not have accurate data for the duration, start or finish date!”
In MS PROJECT 2010, you can write the name of the phase (it is called SUMARRY TASK), and then tasks for that phase:
Now, I will make a phase from GETTING THE WINE task. First, I will mark (or highlight) all subtasks for that phase (to do that highlight the “Visit the Wine-cellar” hold the SHIFT KEY and click on the row six, in the row heading on the right side of the screen):
Then on the Task Tab, click on the “Indent Tasks” button:
and you will get:
You can see that “Getting the Wine” is Phase (or Summary task) now, and it is converted from Manually to Auto scheduled! This is because MS PROJECT assume that it will do all the calculation for you. If you want to change it back from Auto scheduled mode to Manually scheduled mode you can do it:
and you will get:
Now, you have a possibility to put Duration, Start and Finished date in your manually scheduled task. BUT, MS PROJECT 2010 will make calculation about duration, and other things for that phase, so you have a great possibility to compare planned vs. actual data for the Phase.
For the end of this post I will explain how can you insert a brand-new phase.
You should put the mouse cursor BELOW the row in which you want to make a new phase,and on the Task Tab click on the Summary button:
and you will get:
Now you should rename the summary task from “New summary task” to the right name for the phase.
Do not forget: “DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!” So, if you are going to taste a various wines in the wine-cellar, you should take a cab, or let someone who does not drink to drive. And you can put that information in the “Testing the Wine” task. The shortest way to do it is to double click on that task, and on the Task Information window, choose the Note Tab, write the note on then click on the OK button.
On the Information column, you will see the Information sign, and if you put the cursor on that sign you will see the information:
That’s all for this post. In my next post I will write about naming conventions, milestones, scheduling, risks in our project, what do we have to know about our tasks, and I will (maybe in the next or some other post) explain calendars.
Now, it is the time to swim in the Adriatic see
So, BEST REGARDS FALKS!