Features of Project 2013 - dummies

By Cynthia Snyder Stackpole

Project 2013, which is a scheduling tool, helps you organize, manage, and control defined variables, as identified in the preceding section. The program indirectly helps you manage undefined variables as well. You can use Project to organize and manage your work, create realistic schedules, and optimize your use of resources.

Take a moment to look at some of the wonderful ways in which Project can help you organize, manage, and control your project. Now that you have, or your company has, bought Project and you’re investing your time to understand how to use it, you can enjoy these benefits:

  • Use built-in templates to get a head-start on your project. Project templates are prebuilt plans for a typical business project, such as commercial construction, an engineering project, a new product rollout, software development, or an office move.

  • Organize your project by phase, deliverable, geography, or any other method. The outline format allows you to progressively elaborate the information in greater granularity depending on how detailed you want your plan to be.

  • Determine costs by your chosen method. Examples are time period, resource type, deliverable, or cost type.

  • Organize resources by resource type. Level your resources to avoid overallocation, or determine the impact on the duration of a task based on a change in resources.

  • Calculate costs and timing based on your input. You can quickly calculate what-if scenarios to solve resource conflicts, maintain costs within your budget, or meet a deliverable deadline.

  • Use views and reports with the click of a button. A wealth of information is now available to you — and those you report to. You no longer have to manually build a report on total costs to date to meet a last minute request from your boss.

  • Manage complex algorithms (that you couldn’t even begin to figure out on your own) to complete such tasks as leveling resource assignments to solve resource conflicts, filtering tasks by various criteria, modeling what if scenarios, and calculating the dollar value of work performed to date.

No matter how cool the tool, you have to take the time to enter meaningful data. Great software doesn’t ensure great outcomes; it only makes them easier to achieve.