After you’ve entered tasks, allocated resources, established a timeline, and entered periodic progress data, you’ll find that even the smallest project can generate mounds of information! Finding ways to view data that is – relevant this minute, while ignoring pieces you.don’t immediately need, is essential. This chapter focuses on how to look at project data in ways that are meaningful, while avoiding information overload.
“Working in Project 2000,” presented a brief look at views and introduced the two main view categories: Task views and Resource views. Each view can have one qr two panes and up to three different elements (worksheet table ssgraphical representations, and entry forms). Choosing and customizing views may seem overwhelming at first because there are hundreds. of options available in Project 2000. But stick with it and remember, customize only if it helps you interpret your project data more easily. If a default view works for you-leave it be.
Calendar view, a member of the task view category, focuses on task dates and deadlines. Simply click the Calendar button on the View bar to see tasks displayed as bars spanning the days on which they are scheduled. Figure 17.1 shows the March 2000 caieTidar for the Decentralization project
Choosing Dates to Display
Display any month in the Calendar view by clicking the navigation arrows at the top right of the calendar or by using the horizontal scroll bar below, Use the vertical bar to display another set of dates, beginning tn one month and ending in another. office screen tip as you scroll; release the mouse button wnen the tip shows the dates you want to view,
If you wish to see more weeks within the calendar window, drag the horizontal line between each calendar week upward. This allows you to see a larger portion of-the project timeline, but some of the tasks may be hidden. You’ll see a downward pointed arrow (called the Overflow Indicator) on any date when there are tasks you can’t see. Double click the Indicator to display a dialog box showing all tasks for that day, their d1.Mations, and start and end dates.
For times when you wish to specifically focus on a particular week or two weeks, drag the horizontal week separator downward to display fewer dates, with more detail for each date
You can also choose how to display month, week, and day names; whether you want ‘Sdayor 7-day weeks; and myriad other options. From Calendar view, click format >- Timescale to open the Timescale dialog box .
On the Week Headings tab, choose the formats you want to use for Monthly, Daily, and Weekly titles. Then, choose whether to display a S- or 7-day week. Enable the Previous/Next Month’s Calendars feature to see a 30-day thumbnail of the preceding and following months
On the Date Boxes tab of the Timescale dialog box, you can format each calendar day to look , the way you want it to. Choose the type and style of information you want displayed at the top right and top left of each row. Then, choose a pattern and color to shade the top of each calendar day. You can also format the bottom of each square, but in order to display a pattern and/or color, you must first change one of the Bottom Row (Left or Right) default settings to something other than None.
On the Date Shading tab of this dialog box, you can choose specific patterns and colors for certain types of days. By default, all working days show up white and nonworking days are shaded gray. Change the defaults for the standard project calendar, the 24-hour calendar, or any of the resource calendars. (See Chapter 6, “Building a New Project,” for more information about different types of calendars.)
Formatting the Calendar
The default Calendar view shows the task names and duration for all types of tasks except summary and milestone tasks. Those task types don’t list durations by default. .But all the calendar settings are customizable. If there is a certain type of project information you wish to display on the calendar (such as resource names, completion percentages, ejc.), you can add it to the task bars. You can also make all tasks of a certain type stand out by changing the default formatting of the bars. From Calendar view, choose Format ~ Bar Styles to open the Bar Styles dialog box .
You can see a list of the task types at the left of the Bar Styles dialog box. Choose the task type you want to format and then do the following:
1. Set your shape options by choosing a bar type, pattern, color, and split pattern.
2. If you choose Bar as the bar type, you can enable the Shadow option if you wish.
3. Enable the Bar Rounding feature if you want to show bars across a full-day. Enabling or disabling this feature does not affect the actual duration of a task, only the way it is displayed.
4. Using the Fields drop-down list, select the fields you want.to appear as text on each bar. To choose more than one field, select the first field, type a comma after the first field name, and select the second field.
5. Position the text within each bar using the Align and Wrap options.
Figure 17.2 shows one week of a project with summary tasks displayed as a line. In this figure, we chose to left-align and wrap the text within each bar.
Other Task Views
Task views all have one thing in common: you can use them to enter project tasks. Some of the. task views lend themselves to a different level of detail in task entry. For example! you could create a simple project in Calendar view by entering each task and its duration. However, as you learned in Chapter 7, “Entering Project Tasks,” more complex projects requite additlenal detail that may be easier to enter in another view. This section . focuses on uses and formatting options for other task views
Gantt Chart View
Gantt Chart view is the default view you see when you open Project 2000. In this view, you can work with task information in both text and bar graphics format. The left side of . the Window shows the Project 2000 fields for entering and modifying task names, duratlom;
start and fln~h dates; and so on. The right side of the window gr:q>hicallydisplays each task, Its duration, .and sequence relatl~e to the other tasks.
Display more of the existing fields In the task list by dragging the window divider to the right, effectively shrinking the size of the Gantt Chart window. Widen the graphical portion of the Window by draggtng in the opposite direction .
Customizing Gantt Chart view
Just as you did with the calendar, you can format the bars in Gantt Chart view so that certain types of information stand out. For instance, you might want to highlight bars corresponding to tasks that are behind schedule. Or, maybe you want to italicize all summary tasks in the task list. There are numerous options for formatting both the Ii~t and graphical portions of this view
Formatting the Bars
In this example, we’ve formatted: the Gantt Chart bars so -that on Normal tasks, the resource name is displayed inside the bar with the percent completed displayed to the right of the bar. We omitted progress lines and formatted the bars to gray, rather than the default of blue. From Gantt Chart view, click Format >- Bar Styles to open the Bar Styles dialog box, shown in Figure 17.3
The fields of data displayed are listed in the Name column of the dialog box. To delete information from the Gantt Chart, click one of the fields listed in the Name column, and then click, the Cut Row. button at the top of the dialog box. Add data fields in the blank rows at the bottom of the list. If you wish to add the field in the middle of the list, click in the row below where you want the new field added and click the Insert Row button.
Type the name of the field In the Name column. Then, choose one of the Show For options from the drop-down list that appears when you click in the third column. Choose the bar ‘formatting you want for the field by using the drop-down lists shown on the Bars tab of the dialog box. The Start and End settings are optional; use them if you want to display a symbol at the start or end of the bar, representing the field you’re formatting
Configuring the Gantt Timescale
Earlier in this chapter, you learned how to format the timescale in Calendar view. Gantt Chart view also contains features to format timescale. Once again, choose Format > Timescale (from Gantt Chart view this time). If you prefer, you can double-click the existing timescale to open this dialog box.
There are two parts to consider when formatting the timescale. The Major scale (usually the larger time increment such as weeks or months) and a Minor scale (smaller than the major unit, such as days or hours). To format the timescale, follow these steps:
1. Choose a unit of time for each scale. Check the Preview pane at the bottom of the dialog box to confirm that you’re actually making the modifications you intend to make!
2. Choose a label for each unit.
3. Select an alignment option for the labels of both scales, and disable the Tick Lines feature if you don’t want divider lines between each unit on the scale.
4. Adjust the Count spin box to determine the interval between unit labels .on each scale. For instance, if the unit is weeks and the count is 2, then you’ll see a label every two weeks.
5. Configure the General timescale features. Change the Size spin box to make the scale larger or smaller, thereby showing less or more time in the same amount of space. Disable the Scale Separator if you don’t want to see the horizontal line between the major and minor scales.
6. If you wish to adjust the appearance of the nonworking time on the Gantt Chart, click the Nonworking Time tab of the Timescale dialog box and choose your options there.
7. Click OK when you’re finished