In addition to Project’s standard reports, you can print views that contain data you want to incorporate into the end-of-project review, Views are much more flexible than reports-you can add the columns you want and remove columns that don’t provide valuable information
Several views are particularly informative at the end of a project. The Gantt Chart is certainly a good place to start. By applying different tables to the Gantt Chart, you can focus on variances, cost, work, etc. For example, Figure 20.9 shows the Gantt Chart with the Tracking table, and Figure 20.10 shows the Gantt Chart with the Cost table. In both cases, we’ve dragged the vertical split bar off to the right, so only the table is displayed.
When you want a more graphical representation of schedule variances, switch to the Tracking Gantt view. This version of. the Gantt Chart shows both the baseline . schedule and the actual schedule. The baseline schedule appears as light gray bars, and the actual schedule appears as.solid blue bars. In Figure 20.11, you can easily see where the slippages in the project occurred.
Communicating Project Results
After preparing all the project reports .and conducting the protect review meeting, it’s time to make the project results public. Depending on your organization, on the project itself, and on the politics within the organization, communicating project results can mean very different things. For some projects in some organizations, it may mean that you prepare a written report, submit it to your supervisor, and that’s that. Other , situations may call for a more dramatic report of project results. You may be asked to post a report to the company intranet or perhaps give a presentation at the next company wide teleconference
In addition to the wealth of data you can print directly from Project, you can use Project’s export features to respond to just about any request for information that you receive. Table 20.1 lists common requests for information and a recommended method for responding to each request. Chapter 19 gives you more details about how to accomplish any of the methods that involve saving, copying, or using other export methods.
Whether you choose one of these methods of communication or all of them, other people in your organization will generally benefit from hearing about your team’s experience with a project. This is your opportunity to raise expectations in your organization about what quality project management is all about. Wow them with the quality of your analysis about the project’s successes and failures and you’ll set yourself apart from the masses, whose projects generally fade away into nothingness.
Preparing for the Next Project
Project management is a science of experience. Estimating durations is not nearly as hard the second time you plan the same type of activities. Assigning resources becomes much easier after you are familiar with the resource pool and have a sense of the quality and quantity of an individual or team’s work. When you finish a project, try to identify those things that might be use able in future projects. Keep a summary of each project you manage, so you can go back ~nd review the things you learned and the mistakes you don’t want to repeat. Use your experience with prior projects to guide your decision making about new projects you are undertaking.
If you anticipate that you may manage a similar project in the future, you can save the project file as a template (see “Creating and Using Custom Project Templates” in ). When you begin planning the new project, you can open the project template, and a big piece of your work will alteady be done
This chapter ends Part V:Evaluating arid Analyzing Project Data, the last part of the book that is directly focused on the project life cycle. Part VI takes you behind the scenes of Microsoft Project 2000 to teach you how to customize and automate Project to do what.
you want it to do. begins with showing you how to set Project’s options to reflect your needs, customize toolbar and menu bars, create and use templates, and work with Project’s Organizer to copy virtually anything in Project to another project file