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Planning and Scheduling using Microsoft Print
In his latest title, Paul Eastwood Harris moves from the industry heavyweights Primavera Suretrak and P3 planning and scheduling applications to focus on the equivalent and not so lightweight, Microsoft product MSProject 2000. Author: Paul Eastwood Harris

 

Book review by: Jeb Riordan, PMP


 

Paperback
210mm X 271 mm (just short of A4 size)
Approx 180 pages
ISBN 0 9577783 4 1


 

{mosadsense4joomla ad_layout="A"ad_align=""}This self-teach book follows the same format as the others in the series.
It is well laid out, easy to read, with clear diagrams and screen shots.

The purpose of the book is to provide the reader with a method for planning and controlling projects using MSProject 2000. The book does not cover all aspects of the application, however all main features required to create and report status of a project are described in detail, including;

  • how to create a project plan
  • setting up the software
  • defining calendars
  • adding and organising tasks
  • formatting the display
  • adding logic and constraints
  • using tables, views and filters
  • printing reports
  • recording and tracking progress
  • creating and assigning resources
  • task types including effort driven tasks
  • understanding the different techniques for scheduling

 

Throughout the book exercises called 'workshops' are included to give practical hands-on experience of the feature described in the text.
Model answers to the workshop examples are provided on the pages immediately following the workshop, this is far easier than, for example, having to search appendices to find out how well you performed!

Warnings and tips on specific commands and processes are included at the relevant points. These warnings emphasise the need for special attention and may save valuable time in practice.

After a short introduction explaining the three planning components, time, resources and costs; Paul goes on to explain the importance of understanding the project scope before attempting to create the project plan.
An introduction to planning and scheduling software is then made, including the four levels of complexity;

  • Level 1 - planning without resources
  • Level 2 - tracking progress without resources
  • Level 3 - planning with resources
  • Level 4 - tracking progress with resources

 

including a discussion on calendars and work breakdown structures.

The remaining chapters follow a logical progression of setting up a project, recording progress and then reporting project status.

When it comes to self teach user guides, there are only so many variations on the theme. One book is similar to the next which is probably similar to the manufacturer's own documentation.
However, because of the uncluttered layout of this book and the large clear screen shots all relevant detail is easily seen and reference to it is easy while also working with the MSProject 2000 application on the monitor screen.

Planning and Scheduling Using Microsoft® Project 2000
receives a PROJECTmagazine rating of
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2003 © Jeb Riordan

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