To manage a project effectively..you’ll ~communicate with the project partial pants formally and informally throughout the project cycle, Informal reporting can be verbal or written, It might require you to take a quick look at your project data, or it might entail sharing information that’s already in your head:
A team member stops you in the hallway and asks wheth~r. the suppliers were able to deliver on time. You run into your boss at the coffee machine and she asks if you’re still within budget. You respond to a team member’s email, assuring him there is enough slack to cover the extra four hours he’s spent on a particular task.
This chapter focuses on the formal reporting required of a project manager. Project 2000 allows you to create reports to fit most any scenario. And, if you’re delivering bad news, at least it will look good
Printing a View
“Using Views’ to Analyze Data,” provided extensive information about creating, modifying and applying views. If you can display the information onscreen, you’re often one click away from putting it on paper. For example, communicating assignments to team members could be as simple as printing the Gantt Chart.
When you print a view (whether it’s a Resource or Task view), the number of columns displayed on the screen is exactly what gets duplicated on paper. Thus, if there are columns in the sheet hidden by the Gantt Chart, they won’t show up in the printed view. To print all sheet columns, choose File >- Page Setup to open the Page Setup dialog box.
Click the View tab and enable the first option to print all columns. Or, as an alternative, enable the second option and choose the number of sheet columns you wish to print. At any point, you can preview how the printed page will look by clicking the Preview button at the bottom of the dialog box.
Most projects have periodic chunks of “downtime.” Although the entire project doesn’t come to a screeching halt, certain resources may not be active on your project during a particular time period. If you’re printing a Resource view, you’ll want to disable the Print Blank Pages feature on the View tab of the Page Setup dialog box so you don’t have pages of blank grid for all your effort!
When you print the Gantt Chart, all expanded tasks print unless you make some adjustments to print settings first. Because a project with more than SO tasks will be too large to fit on one page, Project prints down and across, left to right, starting in the upper-left corner of the view. Each page js numbered ‘in<th~uence it prints. If you’re interested only in printing the first few tasks in the project, you might need to print only two of the pages from Gantt Chart view (the sheet with the first few tasks and the cor respodding chart bars). Click File > Print to open the Print dialog box.
If you’re trying to print a very specific portion of the view, try inserting manual page breaks before and after the section you want to print. (Select the task you want to be first on the printed page, and then ~ick Insert > Page Break.) In the Print dialog box, choose the page(s) you want and make sure that the Manual Page Breaks setting is enabled.
In most cases,’the on screen view settings are duplicated when you print. That means you can apply a task or resource filter to the view to print just those tasks or resources that meet the filter criteria (see “Sorting, Filtering and Grouping VIews” in Collapse the Outline where you don’t need to see the detail behind summary tasks.
Expand the Outline in places where detail is important. Format text and bar styles or apply a custom view before you print to see the exact results you want .
Setting Up the Printed Page
Whether you’re printing a view or customizing a report, layout settings (margins, orientation, header/footer settings, and so on) are found in the same place. For views, click File > Page Setup or, if you’re already in Print Preview, click the Page Setup button on the Print Preview toolbar. For customized reports, click the Setup button in the Custom Reports dialog box. In all cases, the Page Setup dialog box opens, displaying the last tab that was accessed. If you haven’t used Page Setup since launching this Project 2000 session, the Page tab displays, as show
Using Headers Footers and Legends
Usea header and/or footer to print text and graphics in the top (or bottom) margin’ area of every page in a view or report. Use a legend to describe information in ‘Gantt Chart, Calendar, or Network Diagram view (but not in reports). The Legend can print on ever page of the view or on a page by itself. Click the Header, Footer, or Legend tab of the Page Setup dialog box to configure these settings. If the Page Setup dialog box isn’t open, you can click View,> Header and Footer from the menu.
Adjusting settings is’the same, whether you’re working on a header or footer or legend-just make sure that you’re on the right tab of the dialog box before you .start. Then, do the following:
1. Choose whether you want the information at the left, center, or right of the page by clicking one of the corresponding tabs below the preview window,
2. Click in the white space below the tab you selected and type information you want to include, and/or
3. Click one of the header/footer shortcut buttons (shown in Figure 18.2) to insert .page numbers, current date and time, filename, or pictures, such as a company logo. If you want to format the text, select it ‘and click the Format Text Font button.
4. ‘Insert standard information fields such as manager’s name and company name, or select from a list of common Project fields. Choose from the drop-down lists . under the shortcut buttons, and then click the Add button.to the right of the list
Removing a Header Footer or Legend
You cannot “remove” a header or footer from a view-space is always reserved for the header and footer. However} if you delete the text and graphics that appear in the header or footer, the reserved space is blank so nothing prints there. You can choose not to print the Legend by selecting the None option on the Legend tab of the Page Setup dialog box
Options for reporting in Project are seemingly endless. Built-in reports exist for each of the situations mentioned above and dozens more. For those rare occasions when Project doesn’t have a report to meet the needs of your audience, you can build one from scratch
using fields and formatting of your own choice.
In most cases, you’ll follow this simple strategy: Navigate to the view or report that is closest to the information you need. Then, customize the view or report by applying filters, grouping; adding or deleting fields, etc .. ‘ext, format the report so that information you want to emphasize stands out=change the color of bars in charts, highli ht filtered data, add logos, and add pictures and drawn objects where appropriate. Finally, print the view or report you want.
An overview report provides just that: an overview of an aspect of the project at a fixed point in time. These reports work well with managers, team members, and stakeholders alike. Click the Overview button in the Reports dialog box, and then click Select to see the Overview Reports.
Choose the report that best meets the needs of your audience (you can always customize it later). Click the Select button to display a preview of the report. Table 18.1 offers a brief description ~f the Overview Reports
Current Activities Reports
The Current Activities reports are primarily task-focused; but you can add resource. information by customizing. (See “Customizing Reports” later in the chapter.) Click the Current Activities button in the Reports dialog box, and then click Select. You’ll see the six reports we’ve summarized in Table 18.2.