When you are ready-to start entering information about a new project, click the New button on the Standard toolbar or choose File> New and click OK to open a Blank Project template. Project opens a Project Information dialog box, shown In Figure 6.1
in which you can enter details about the project.
The Project Information dialog box identifies key dates and calendars that are used to track project status.
Establishing Start and Finish Dates
Project has two ways to calculate project dates: It can calculate from a specified start date or from a finish date. If you know when a project can begin, choose the Start Date option. As you enter tasks into the project, Project calculates the finish date of the project based on the start date.
Scheduling Forward from the Start Date
The Decentralization project is scheduled to start the week of January 3, 2000 (refer to Figure 6.1). When you select Project Start Date in the Schedule From field, the Start Date field is active and the Finish Date field is dimmed. Because no tasks were entered, the
Finish Date corresponds to the Current Date. When you enter all the tasks required to complete the move, Project Will tell you the projected Finish Date.
Scheduling Backward from the Finish Date
If,.Instead of a start date, you are given a finish date when the project should be completed, you can choose Project Finish Date in the Schedule From field shown in Figure 6.2. When you enter all the tasks for the project, Project calculates when you have to start the project to complete it on time, and assigns the As Late As Possible constraint to each task. If, for example, you were told that the office move must be completed by June 30, 2000 and you can start any time after the first of the year, Project would calculate the start date of each task to begin as late as possible to still be completed on time. For more about constraints, see
Setting the Current Date and the Status Date
The Current Date>field in the Project Information dialog box automatically defaults to today’s date. In most cases, you do not need to change this date. However, Project uses the current date to calculate variances, such as in the Earned Value table, that help you track the costs of work performed. If you want Project to use a different current date in its calculations, you can change the date in the Current Date field by typing a date or clicking the down arrow to open the date navigator.
Project uses the current date to calculate variances unless there is a date in the Status Date field. If you want to calculate reports from a specified date (for example, the last day of a fiscal year), you can enter a date in the Status Date field. You can change this date at any time during the course of a project to sea different status date.
Selecting a Project Calendar
The project calendar is an essential tool in managing a project. The project calendar is used by Project to calculate how long a project will take to complete. Project provides .three default calendars:
• Standard is the workday calendar that is set by default to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
• Night Shift covers the hours from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m., Monday through Saturday.
• 2~ Hours includes hours around the clock, seven days a week.
Choose the calendar that most closely mirrors the schedule that work will take place toward the completion of the project.
The project calendar can be changed at any time to reflect the actual working hours of people and other resources on the project (for mere about defining the project calendar, see “Defining the Project Calendar,” later In this).
The priority of the project is a subjective ranking of how important this project is’ when compared to other projects. You can choose a number between 0 and 1000 to rank its relative importance. Using a priority is important when you track multiple projects that share the same resource pool. Higher-priority projects receive first consideration when allocating resources to a project (for more about resource allocation, see and Sharing Resources and Tasks among Multiple Projects”).
When a project moves into full swing, click the Statistics button on the Project Information dialog box to take a quick look at the way things are going. The data available in this dialog box is view-only-you cannot change any data here. Figure 6.3 shows the Project Statistics dialog box.
Project statistics include current, baseline, actual, and variance information about the project’s start and finish dates; and current, baseline, actual, and remaining information about the duration, work hours, and costs. You can also easily see the percent complete for duration and work. These percentages tell you how far along you are in the project.Click Close to close the Project Statistics window and the Project Information dialog box.