Cheat Sheet

Microsoft Office Project 2007 For Dummies

Microsoft Office Project 2007 helps you keep your projects on track, manage your resources, and post your progress online. With Project 2007, you can create a project plan, manage your human resources, and tighten the timing of a project when things start to slip. As with any program, shortcut keys and helpful Web sites can make life easier.

How to Resolve Human Resource Conflicts with Microsoft Office Project 2007

When a member of the project team is overallocated in your Microsoft Office Project 2007 project, you can take steps to correct the problem using the following suggestions. Keep in mind that the circumstances of your project determine whether a particular solution is workable. For example, you can add resources only if your budget allows it, and you can increase a person’s availability to the project only by checking with that person — and her boss — to be sure it’s okay.

Try these tips to manage the workload:

  • Revise the resource’s availability to the project. For example, change the person’s availability from 50 percent to 100 percent.

  • Modify assignments to take the team member off some tasks during the timeframe of the conflict.

  • Move a task to which the overburdened person is assigned to a later date, or modify the task’s dependency relationships.

  • Add a second person to a task that’s causing the resource to be overbooked. This allows the task to be completed sooner and frees up the primary person earlier.

  • Replace the overallocated person with another on some tasks. Try the Resource Substitution Wizard for help with this.

  • Make changes to the resource base calendar to allow the resource to work more time in a week.

How to Create a Project Plan in Microsoft Office Project 2007

You can use the Project Guide in Microsoft Office Project 2007 to walk you through building a project. However, if you prefer to do things yourself, follow this handy checklist to help you build a Project schedule:

  • Enter project information (such as the start date).

  • Set up your work calendar.

  • Create tasks, entering information about durations.

  • Create milestones (tasks of zero duration) in your project.

  • Organize your tasks into phases, using Project’s outline structure.

  • Establish dependencies among tasks, adding constraints if appropriate.

  • Create resources, assigning cost/rate and resource calendar information.

  • Assign resources to tasks.

  • Resolve resource conflicts.

  • Review the total duration and cost of the project, making adjustments if necessary.

  • Set a baseline.

After you complete these tasks, you’re ready to start the project, track its progress, and report that progress to management by using Project Reports or by simply printing your schedule or sharing it on the Web.

Helpful Web Sites for Working with Microsoft Office Project 2007

As you manage projects with Microsoft Office Project 2007, you can always use a helpful Web site. The following list contains links to some useful project management–oriented Web sites as well as a few sites where you can access Project templates or third-party add-ins for Project:

How to Shorten Project Time with Microsoft Office Project 2007

You estimate the length of a project as best you can, but if your Microsoft Office Project 2007 project is taking longer than you expected, try the following methods to tighten the timing:

  • Modify dependencies so that tasks can start sooner, if possible.

  • Create overlapping dependencies where appropriate.

  • Reduce the amount of slack (but never get rid of it all!) on individual tasks.

  • Add resources to effort-driven tasks to have them finish earlier.

  • Consider whether your project can do without certain tasks (for example, a second Q&A testing phase or a management review of a package design).

  • Outsource a phase of your project when in-house human resources can’t complete it because they’re busy with other tasks.

Microsoft Office Project 2007 Keyboard Shortcuts

Like any good software, Microsoft Office Project 2007 offers keyboard shortcuts to help you manage your projects with fewer keystrokes. Shortcuts you’ll use all the time when building and working with a Project plan include those in the following table:

Keystroke Result
Insert Inserts new task
Ctrl+K Inserts hyperlink
F7 Begins spell check
Alt+F10 Assigns resources
Shift+F2 Opens the Task Information dialog box
F1 Opens Microsoft Project Help
Ctrl+F Displays the Find dialog box
Ctrl+F2 Links selected tasks
Ctrl+G Displays the Go To dialog box
Ctrl+H Displays the Find/Replace dialog box
Ctrl+Z Undoes the previous action
Ctrl+Y Redoes the undone action
Ctrl+P Displays the Print dialog box
Ctrl+N Opens new Project task pane
Ctrl+O Opens the Open dialog box
Ctrl+T Accesses enterprise resource data
Ctrl+S Saves the file
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