The first time you launch Microsoft Project 2000 from the Windows Programs menu (Start >- Programs >- Microsoft Project), Project opens a new project in Gantt Chart view, as shown in Figure 4.1. The timeline in the right pane displays dates, beginning today.
Defining the Project
Leslie are three activities you should complete before you begin entering individual project tasks: setting file properties, entering project working times, and adding project properties.
You can do these activities in any order, but they must be completed prior to other tasks. Although the first one, setting properties for your project file, is optional, you may already be in the habit of doing this when you start a file in other applications.
Choose File Properties from the menu to open the Properties dialog box shown here. Make sure that you’re listed as the Author. Enter a few keywords and a summary if you wish. You’ll find detailed information on file properties in “Building a New Project.”
Establishing Working Times
The second activity is setting the options and working times in the standard calendar that all other calendars use as a default. Choose Tools >- Change Working Time to open the Change Working Time dialog box, shown in Figure 4.2. Make sure that Standard (Project Calendar) is selected in the For drop-down list. .
The default work times are 8 a.m. to noon and.l p.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, fifty two weeks of the year=-eight working hours every day with a nonworking hour for lunch. If this calendar doesn’t reflect the working hours’ for human and nonhuman resources you’ll assign to yo~r project tasks, now is the time to change it.
Click to select an individual day; click the header buttons at the top of the calendar control to select every day in the column. Set selected days as working or nonworking by using the option buttons on the right side of the calendar control. If your organization gives the entire staff Christmas day off, make December 25 a nonworking
day. Project won’t schedule tasks on that day, so you won’t find yourself acting like Scrooge, explaining that your project could have been completed on time were it not for Christmas.
Type times in the From and To boxes to indicate working hours for the selected days. Changing the working times doesn’t necessarily change the working hours in a day. Working from 9 a.m. until noon and then from 12:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. still yields an eight-hour workday. Some offices, however, work ten-hour days or seven hour
days. If you change the number of working hours from the default eight hours, you also need to change the Hours Per Day and Hours Week calendar options. Click the Options button in the Change Working Times dialog box to lump to the Calendar tab in the Options dialog box (see Figure 4.3)
In The Hours Per Day option determines how Project 2000 converts duration. If Hours Per Day is 8, then 2 days is converted to 16 hours. When Hours Per Day is set to 10, Project converts 2 days to 20 hours. Hours Per Week and Days Per Month are also used to convert duration.
After you set working and nonworking days, and change the calendar options (if necessary), close both dialog boxes.
Setting Project. Properties
Choose Project > Project Information to open the Project Information dialog box, shown in Figure 4.4. There are three information settings you’ll want to affirm or change: task scheduling method, priority, and calendar.
A project can be scheduled from the start date until its completion, or it can be scheduled backward from the finish date. For example, you can start scheduling tasks on June 1 -and schedule forward; or start on December 1 and schedule backward, but you can’t set both dates. Project Start Date is the default scheduling point. Project 2000 schedules all tasks to begin as soon as possible. When you choose Project Finish Date from the Schedule From drop-down list, tasks are scheduled to begin as late as possible. Use the calendar control to set the Start Date or Finish Date.
Select the calendar you used for working times from the Calendar drop-down list (refer to Figure 4.4) so it will be used as the project calendar. .
The Priority setting is used to establish this project’s priority, relative to other projects that use the same resource pool. The default Is 500; priority values range from 0 to .If your project is the most important project on the table right now, choose a higher number.