Views allow you to examine and work with a project from all different. angles, focusing on the information that is important to you at any given time. But views in Project are not just ways to see the same data. Views come in several varieties: some are used to enter data; some are used to analyze data.
Some views combine different types of data to help you make decisions about the project’s status. Project views can generally be categorized into two primary types: Task views and Resource views. Task views include views in which the focus Is on entering and reviewing task information: tasks, duration, start dates, finish dates, predecessors, and other similar information.
Resource views in views related to assigning and tracking the use of human resources, materials, and equipment used to complete the project.
A resource can be an individual, a company, a department within a company, a team, a piece of equipment, a room, or any other resource you need for the project. Many of Project’s predefined views are available on the View bar.
Use the scroll buttons at the top and bottom of the View bar to scroll through the available views. There, you’ll find five commonly used tasks views and three resource view.
Calendar view is a familiar way to look at tasks. Project displays a traditional monthly calendar, with tasks represented by bars spanning the days on which they are scheduled. Gantt Chart view Is the default view. In Gantt Chart view, you can work with task information in both text and bar graphics format: entering new tasks, establishing relationships between tasks, and assigning personnel and resources to tasks. Network Diagram view, shown in Figure S.4, displays the project’s tasks in a flowchart.
A box or node represents each task and includes several data elements such as duration, start and finish dates, and percent completed. Task Usage view focuses on how much work each resource has completed over time.
In this view, you can also compare actual work and costs to budgeted work and cost. Tracking Gantt view is similar to the traditional Gantt Chart view, but it compares baseline start and finished dates to scheduled-start and finish dates, or to the percentage of the work that has already been completed.
Resource Graph view offers a graphical representation of the way resources, work, and costs of resources are allocated over time. Resource Sheet view provides a summary of information about resources in a spreadsheet format. In this view, you can enter and review information about payment rates.
Resource Usage View, shown in Figure 5.5, groups tasks by resources; and displays the amount of work, work allocation, and work availability for each resource. Additional views are available on the View bar by clicking the More Views button.
This opens the More Views dialog box, shown here. All of the views can be modified to display different data fields and to include filters to focus on just the information you want to see. For more about creating custom views, refer to “Using Views to Evaluate Data.”
In addition to Project’s views. each view has a number of tables to choose from that display different fields of data. For example, the default view is Gantt Chart view and the default table is the Entry table. In the Entry table you have fields (columns) such as Duration, Start, and Finish. If you apply the Cost table to the Gantt Chart view, the fields change to Fixed Cost, Fixed Cost Accrual, and Total Cost. You can change tables by choosing Table from the View menu and selecting a table from the menu.
Getting Help in Project 1000
Although this book is an excellent resource for your Microsoft Project questions, we recognize that we can’t put everything you need to know about Project in a single book.
As experienced trainers, we also know that it is sometimes necessary to hear the same thing from a different perspective before it will sink in. \\nether you are new to Project, new to project management or an old pro at both, you can find something of value in the Project help files.
Project puts six types of help at your disposal:
• The Office Assistant
• Contents and Index
• Getting Started
• What’s This?
• Office on the Web
• Detect and Repair
The Office Assistant
You’ve probably already encountered the ever-so-helpful Otfi.:c· Assistant The Office Assistant is Microsoft’s “social interface” for Project 2000 and other members of the Office family. Modified significantly from Office 97, the Office Assistant is now a separate application called an agent. which Iike SDI windows, operates independently of the open application.
The Office Assistant crosses all applications, and provides help for specific features of each application. You can choose from several Assistants from the Assistant Options. Each has its own “personality.”
The Assistant offers help the first time you, work with a feature and if you have difficulty with a task. Sometimes the offer is subtle: In Figure 5.6, the light bulb over Rocky, one of the characters you can select, means that you can click the Assistant to receive a tip that could save you time and energy.
Other offers of help are a bit more intrusive. If, for example, you open a wizard, the Office Assistant pops up to ask if you’d like help with the feature.
After you’ve worked with Project 2000 for a few days, you might decide that you’d like a little less help from your eager assistant. To change the Assistant’s options, click on the Assistant. choose Options to open the Office Assistant dialog box, and then click the Options tab to display the Options page, shown in Figure 5.7.
When you’re ready to go it alone, you can turn off the Assistant by un checking the Use the Office Assistant checkbox, If you are not quite ready for total abandonment, clear the othercheckboxes to reduce the frequency with which the assistant volunteers help., . If you start to get lonely, click the Microsoft Project Help button or choose Help Show the Office Assistant to Invite the Assistant back into your office.