For this phase of project creation, you need your list of project tasks, resource references such as an employee directory and/or materials list, and the estimated costs for resources.
Entering the Task List
Enter your project tasks roughly in order (although you can drag and drop tasks to ‘ rearrange them later) in Project 2000’s Gantt Chart view. To enter a task, either click in the Task Name text box and enter the task’s name, or double-dick in the Task Name text box to open a Task Information dialog box, shown in Figure 4.5. Enter the task name on the General tab.
If you are entering tasks directly in Gantt Chart view, you can adjust the Gantt Chart task columns, as you would with columns in Excel or Access, by pointing to the right edge of the column header button. The pointer changes to a column adjustment tool. Drag to the right to widen the column, or double-click to have Project size the column to fit the contents. Drag the vertical gray bar between the task columns and the Gantt Chart to display additional columns of task information.
Outlining Tasks Noise project managers begin by entering all the lower-level tasks first; others enter summary tasks, and then insert the sub tasks and work packages . Use the Indent and Out dent buttons on the Formatting toolbar to indent selected.
lower-level tasks in relationship to the higher-level summary tasks. Tasks are displayed in the Gantt chart with blue bars, whereas summary tasks are represented by a black bar with black triangular terminators. Figure 4.6 shows a project Gantt with summary tasks and lower level tasks.
TiP The Task Information dialog box has a Notes tab, which you will use a lot, beginning in the project design phase. The Notes tab is the ideal place to record customer specifications, quality measurements, and general information related to a task. You can also attach related documents such as Word documents or Excel spreadsheets that support the task in some way.
Entering Task Durations
Duration is the result of the formula work divided by assigned units, where work is the time required to complete the task and assigned units are the resources you apply to the task. With the exception of milestones, discussed as follows, every task has a duration: the number of days or hours that resources will be employed on the task.Project 2000’s default (duration is an estimate of one day. You know it’s an estimate because Project appends a question mark to the duration. You can enter duration’s in minutes
(rn), hours (h), days (d), weeks (w), or months (mo). Type a number and then enter the abbreviation for the time unit in the duration column of the Gantt Chart: 4h for 4 hours, 5d for 5 day; If the duration still needs fine-tuning, type a question mark after the
time unit abbreviation, or enable the Estimated check box in the Task Information dialog box. You can’t enter durations for summary tasks; Project calculates summary duration from the duration of the summary task’s sub tasks. Asyou set task durations, Project 2000
redraws the bars in the Gantt Chart to reflect task duration, as shown in Figure 4.7.
A milestone is a significant event in your project. Enter milestones as you would other tasks. Mark the task as a milestone by setting the task duration to 0, either in the third column of the Gantt Chart view or in the Duration text box in the Task Information dialog box. Or, mark the task as a milestone by selecting the Mark Task As Milestone checkbox on the Advanced tab of the Task Information dialog box.
Setting Task Relationships
If there’s a dependency between two or more tasks. you need to reflect it in your project file. The links between tasks are the heart of project scheduling. There are four types of links in Project 2000:
• Finish-to-Start (the default): Task A must be finished before Task B can start.
• Start-to-Start: Task A must start before Task B can start.
• Flnish-to-Flntsh: Task A must finish before Task B finishes.
• Start-to-Finish: Task A must be started before Task B can be completed. You can set task relationships by linking tasks as you go along; or wait until you’ve entered all the tasks and outlined subtasks, and work packages before linking tasks. We recommend waiting, particularly if you’re creating the project file during the project design phase for use in the Project Summary. It’s chaotic enough already-you don’t need , to have extra practice removing and adding links as new tasks get added to your list. i-: To link tasks, hold Ctrl and select the tasks you want to link, in order. Hold Shift, and click to select consecutive tasks. For example, choose the Post To Intranet task and then the Follow-up task. Click the link Tasks button on the Standard toolbar. (If you choose Follow-up with Employees first, the link indicates that you will follow up before you post the test.).
As you add links, the Gantt Chart task bars adjust along the timeline to’ create the project schedule. Indented subtasks are already related to their sumnwy tasks, so they can’t be linked, but you can link subtaks within and t>etWeensumm!l’Y.tasks. Figure 4.8 shows linked tasks in the XYZ-B01rlilroject file.To unlink previously linked tasks; select tlne linked tasks and then click the Unlink ~~ Tasks button on the Standard toolbar .