Author: Ben Howard

Ben Howard – Awarded Community Leader for his very popular and comprehensive UK web training series and has over 30 years of experience of implementing enterprise solutions for customers worldwide.  During that time, he’s worked for IBM, DELL, and Microsoft, as well as several smaller organisations. He now runs his own consultancy (Applepark Ltd), providing Project, Project Online and Power BI implementation and training services. He has been awarded the Microsoft Most Value Professional award for Project for the last 13 years, blogs semi-frequently at www.applepark.co.uk, produces video training for Pluralsight and his own YouTube channel, and finally was responsible for producing P2O, an application that exports tasks from Microsoft Project into Outlook.  You can catch him at ben@applepark.co.uk  

Microsoft Project 2013 Plain & Simple: Displaying Task Paths

Trying to unravel the complexity of a large project plan can be quite difficult, especially with multiple links between tasks and links that might even disappear from the screen. Microsoft has created a new feature called the Task Path that highlights the successors and predecessors in the schedule. The highlighting is displayed in the Gantt chart, and as the user scrolls through the list of tasks, the relevant task paths are highlighted in the Gantt chart, allowing you to see how the selected task fits into the overall schedule. Even more impressive, Project allows you to select multiple tasks, thereby highlighting the task path for several tasks at once. If a task has multiple predecessors, one or more of those predecessors will directly affect the scheduling of that task; these predecessors are called driving predecessors because they determine (or drive) when the task starts or finishes. Similarly, when a task has multiple successors, one or more of the successors’ start or finish dates will be directly affected (or driven) by the task. These successors are called driven successors because the selected task determines exactly when the successor task is scheduled to occur. The following items can be highlighted using the Task Path. It’s possible to have several items selected at once. Predecessors Driving predecessors Successors Driven successors Display the task path for both predecessors and successors In the Format tab, choose the drop-down menu icon on the Task Path button. Choose Predecessors.   Choose the drop-down menu icon on the Task Path button again and choose Successors. Select one or more tasks in the entry table and review the highlighted task paths in the Gantt chart.   Tips: Use the cursor keys to move up and down the table to review the predecessors and successors for each task in a Gantt chart. Add the driving Predecessors to the Quick Access Toolbar to quickly turn this feature on or off   Read more complete chapters from Ben’s new book, Microsoft Project 2013 Plain & Simple. This article is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Microsoft Project 2013 Plain & Simple. Get 40% off print books and 50%  off ebooks. Order direct from oreilly.com with discount code DSUG. Free shipping within the U.S. for all orders over $29.95. (Offer not valid on print/ebook bundle.)   More Tips from the Project Pro: Ben Howard   Being a Microsoft Project MVP, share with the MPUG community a favorite tip to using Microsoft Project like a Pro? The real trick, for me at least, is to is follow a simple method for creating and updating your project.  Don’t make anything more complex than it needs to be, and don’t be daunted by the MS Project – it’s there to help you, so take time out to learn how to use it. What can readers expect to be able to do better after reading your book, “Microsoft Project 2013 Plain & Simple”?   What is your writing style (i.e. how is this book written to help the audience learn faster, better, etc)? In the book I set out to de-mystify the complexities of Microsoft Project and hence provide readers with a simple to use guidebook.  I do this by laying the book out in the same manner that I user to create a plan.   The whole style of the book is very graphical, it guides readers through each task by breaking it down into each mouse click and displaying relevant screen shots from Microsoft Project – it’s a very visual and bright book, the style is easy to read and very eye catching.  I write in the same way I run courses, hopefully with enthusiasm and a sense of humor!  If a reader already has some knowledge of Microsoft Project, then they can look up what they want in the index and skip straight to the section and item that they are interested in. Do you have a favorite feature of Project 2013 that you can share with our audience? Easy, the best new feature is the re-write of the Reporting section.  You can now create dashboards for each project, each element of the dashboard can show different information, eg the total number of tasks, up-coming milestones, burn down charts etc.  I’ve dedicated a whole chapter to the reporting feature (and run a couple of MPUG sessions on this). If you could turn one feature “off” what would it be? What would I get rid of…  that’s a little more difficult… I think I’d rather add a few more features instead! Managing your consulting company, writing, contributing to the community as a Microsoft MVP and MPUG Leader must be incredibly time consuming.   How do find time (methods, systems, or “mad science”)? Of course it’s very busy, but I’ve managed to find something that I like doing that I don’t really consider to be work, and that’s half of the battle!  The other half of the battle is to remove distractions, so my biggest tip here is to work offline in Outlook.  This way, Outlook synchronizes every 30 minutes, allowing me to concentrate on the task in hand, and keep up on email, without being continually distracted (to do this, add the Work Offline command to the Quick Access Toolbar in Outlook).  I also disable Lync and Skype notifications, and turn my phone to silent when I really need to concentrate. Do you have a motto, credo or general slogan that you live by?  Never eat lunch at your desk, cycle every day and don’t work at the weekends!    

Resetting the Color on the Project Server 2013 Timeline

Project Server 2013 (hereon in known as PS2013) introduces the timeline to the web, which is a great feature – so thank you, Microsoft, for that. Here’s a screen shot of the timeline displayed in Project Web App – each line on the Timeline represents a project. Of course, one of the first things that you’re likely to do is to customise the colours, fonts, etc. (well, at least that’s what I did) – and changing the colour is really easy. To change the colour for a row on the timeline, click on it, and then click on the Theme Colours icon, and select the colour…. The timeline for the project is now displayed in the chosen colour. The trick is now to set the colour back, but alas the default colour is not available to choose in the palate, so you have to type it in.  The colour is #DDF9D4. Click on the up the Theme Colours icon, click on More Colours, and enter #DDF9D4 into the new colour box. Press OK, and hey-presto! Enjoy. Ben.

Illustrates how you can enter cost values directly into the grid in MS Project. To do this, click in the cell where you want to enter a cost value and type the value. You can also copy and paste cost values from other cells or applications.

Using Cost Resources: Best Practice

Cost resources are a very useful feature of Project (and also therefore of Project Server), but there is at least one rule you need to follow.   Rather than telling you how to use cost resources, please read the following Microsoft excerpt to see why costs and resources really don’t mix on the same task. So, now you know what cost resources are, and you are probably thinking that they are really neat, and in truth, they are. Do not mix cost and work resources on the same task However, please be aware that when assigning a cost resource to a task, best practise dictates that cost resources should not be mixed with any other resources assigned to the task (note this is exactly what Microsoft’s blog article does do!)  This is because, if a cost and work resource are assigned to the task, and progress is used to track the task (ie marking it 100% complete), then Project will update progress for the work resource and not for the cost resource.  This is because Microsoft did not want you to inadvertently accrue the cost of the cost resource when progressing the task. If you only have cost resources assigned to a task, then progressing the task (ie marking it 100% complete), will accrue the cost for the cost resource(s) assigned to the task. Obviously the above can (and does cause confusion), hence this best practise blog – I’ll walk you through this.   I’ve set up 3 cost resources with different accrual types (because that’s the way they would generally work in real life, you pay airfares upfront, hotels when you leave, and meals as you go along), and a single work resource.  In the 1st instance, I’ve assigned them as Microsoft’s blog suggests, assigning cost and work resources to the same task (note in the screen shot below I’m viewing two windows in Project, showing you the resource sheet (at the bottom) and a split view showing the Gantt Chart and the Task form (with costs) (at the top).     When I update the Task using the % complete field, only the WORK RESOURCE (ie Ben) is affected.   In order to update the costs on the Cost Resources, I need to manually edit the Actual Cost field in the form.   So, this is perhaps a little too obscure for the majority of users, so to implement this as per the best practise would require splitting the Visit Customer into two tasks. Best Practise – place the cost resources on a separate task This is the same project as the one above, but this time I’ve split out the cost resources onto a separate task (and inserted the cost fields into the table).   Let’s set the status date to Friday the 11th Jan, and status the project (and as usual with my projects, everything is on track!). I’m expecting to have spend £500 on the airfare (accrued at the start of the task), £100 on meals (prorata), and £0 on the hotel (I’ve not yet checked out). I can quickly use the Update Project button to status the whole project, this is my preferred method and then I amend the things that haven’t gone to plan. The project now looks like this.   So, this way, by separating the work resources and cost resources onto separate tasks, everything works as you would expect. Kudos must go to Adrian Jenkins of Microsoft for the explanation of how this works – thanks Adrian, and to fellow Project MVP Nenad Trajkovski who brought it to my attention. Enjoy,  Ben. For more blog posts by Ben, visit applepark.co.uk

Webinar: Using Microsoft Project To Get Work Done

Project Management Institute (PMI)® Professional Development Units (PDUs): This Webinar is eligible for 1.5 PMI® PDU in the Technical Category of the Talent Triangle. Event Description: As our way of saying “thanks” to all of our members and subscribers, we are bringing in some of our best experts to present this exciting exclusive webinar. Three of our world-renowned Project experts will spend 30 minutes each on the following topics to help you utilize Microsoft Project in your everyday life. Reporting in Microsoft Project – Ben Howard, Applepark Overview of the new reporting features in 2013. Customise the current Project Overview report including: Add new textual items Add a new chart Change the theme Add in your logo Print the Report Agile in Microsoft Project – Matt Davis, PM Providers Who says you can’t do Agile in Microsoft Project? While Project is designed to support traditional waterfall approaches to project management and critical path scheduling, it can also support Agile project management methodologies (such as Scrum, Extreme Programming and others) if you know how! Learn how to manage Agile project scheduling data including managing the backlog, sprint scheduling, reporting with burn-down charts using Microsoft Project Agile scheduling techniques. This session will provide techniques and tips to demonstrate how MS Project can be used to effectively and efficiently manage projects in this new environment including: Managing the Backlog Managing Sprints Creating a Burn-down Chart Customization’s in Microsoft Project – Ira Brown, ProjectWidgets   About the Presenters: Ben Howard – Reporting in Microsoft Project Ben has over 20 years experience of implementing enterprise solutions such as MRPII, ERP, and latterly Microsoft’s EPM (Project and Project Server) solution. During that time he’s worked for IBM, DELL, and Microsoft, as well as several smaller organisations. He now runs his own EPM consultancy (Applepark Ltd), providing Project Server implementation and training services. Ben spoke at the Microsoft Project Conference in Pheonix, and his current Microsoft TechNet webcast (User Controlled Scheduling in Project 2010) is ranked in the top 10! He is a regular contributor to the Project Server newsgroups, and publishes a blog based on Project Server scenarios. For his real world knowledge and contributions to the newsgroups he has recently been awarded the prestigious Microsoft MVP award for Project Server. He can be contacted at ben@applepark.co.uk, or read his blog at https://www.applepark.co.uk/ben-howard-blog/. Matt Davis – Agile with Microsoft Project Matthew has been an active member of the Project Management Community for more than 20 years. Mr. Davis has managed development and delivery of PMO’s, EPM deployments, project delivery methodologies, strategic change programs, training seminars, organizational maturity assessments, and other strategic initiatives for clients of all kinds. Mr. Davis has provided consulting services to a variety of well-known companies, including Fidelity Investments, Estee Lauder, Reuters News, John Hancock Insurance, Iron Mountain, Mead Johnson, Mohegan Sun Casino, and AARP. He has also provided consulting services to leaders in the medical and healthcare industries including Smith & Nephew, Biogen-Idec, and Hewlett-Packard Medical Products Group. Mr. Davis is Vice-President for Consulting Services at PM Providers, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP) in Project & Portfolio Management, and President of the Microsoft Project Users Group (MPUG) Boston Chapter. Ira Brown – Customization’s in Microsoft Project Ira is the President and CEO of Project Widgets, a Microsoft Project Partner specializing in add-on products, implementation services, integration, training, and custom software development for Microsoft Project. He is a published author and leader in the field of project management, and is a recognized Microsoft Project expert. He has over twenty years of experience helping organizations implement Enterprise Project Management solutions, and applies his “front line” experiences to ensure the success of every project. Have you watched this webinar recording? Tell MPUG viewers what you think! [WPCR_INSERT]

Automatically Approve Task Status Updates

Project Server 2010 allows for the option of auto-approving task status updates, and since SP1, this has become even more useful as the option to publish the update has been added. However, due to the complexity of setting up the rules and lack of documentation regarding task status updates, PMs have either tended to not use them, or go for one of the easiest options of trusting all the updates from a select few employees (they either sit in the Trust no-one camp or I trust a few people, but not everyone camp). Ive found this slightly limiting, and Ive recently been setting up a system for a client who wishes to manage these updates by exception only, rather than a blanket approval rule for a discrete set of employees. This client manages their plans by monitoring the completion dates of tasks (as oppose to the amount of work performed on a task). To set up this scenario we first need to open up PWA and navigate to the Approval Center. Next, click on the Manage Rules button on the Ribbon. The Manage Rules page appears, and in the Ribbon click on the New icon to create a new rule. Give your rule an appropriate name and description (Note: For best practise I will ALWAYS add the rule I’m testing for in the Name, and then the full description in the Description section. When you have a lot of rules, it becomes much easier to decide which one to edit when they are named and described such). Decide then whether to select the check boxes for Automatically Running the Rule and Automatically Publish the Updates (Note: For best practise I will turn these OFF (i.e., not selected) until I have verified that the rule does exactly what I want.Of course you will want to test these rules on a test project or -even better – a test system before moving them to production). Select the request type. For this we need to check Task Updates, and then the radio button “Where updated field matches a field in the published project”. The trick now is to select the updated fields to test against. For our scenario, we want to perform the following test: Assignment Finish <= Assignment Finish Note: We are testing the updated field against the published field. Once this is completed, it is possible to restrict both the projects and resources that this rule is run for. In our instance, it is left for all projects and all resources. Click on Save. The rule now appears within the Manage Rules screen, and it can easily be seen what the rule does due to sensible naming and the description. (Note: There is no button on the Ribbon to go back to the Approval Center, so select the Approval Center from the links menu on the left-hand side. Test the rule by publishing a test project with several tasks and updating tasks via My Tasks. In order to get the Assignment Finish Date to change beyond the Published Finish Date, you’ll need to update the work values so that they extend beyond the planned work values. You can either do this by changing the start date to to one after the planned start date, or if you are typing in Timephased values (either by tracking time per day or using Single Entry Mode), you will need to enter less work on the planned start date, or any of the planned work dates. This should cause the scheduling engine to move the Assignment Finish Date out into the future, and hence the rule wont trigger. You will also want to test for tasks that are on-track (just update the % complete) and tasks that are early, so that the rule will trigger. Once the updates have been sent to the Status Manager, open up the Approval Center, navigate to the Manage Rules section, and click on the Run All button. The rule should run automatically and can be checked via the History button. When the rule is firing correctly, you can change the rule to Run Automatically. Rules needs to be set up for each PM individually, and alas, there is no way to combine tests across rules. Ideally I would like to have some logical operators (AND, OR) in order to approve an update (e.g., IF (condition X AND condition Y) OR condition Z) is met then approve the update). However, it is what it is, and used sensibly it can save time for a PM, allowing them to concentrate on the exceptions, which should be fewer in number, though not in complexity. Enjoy, Ben.

Exporting Tasks from Project into Your Outlook Calendar

This is something that in the past I have done manually, but due to a discussion on a Web2.0 application somewhere I had the idea that it would be possible to semi-automate this. I guess the first thing to ascertain is why we might want to do this for me it is basically a requirement to view both my programmed work from multiple projects (held in single MPP plans) and Outlook, (where I plan other things such as personal commitments, which in turn often determine which location I need to be in (e.g. I need to be home for certain social commitments)). As a consultant, it’s important to be able to tell a client whether I can be onsite and away from home during a certain period, and if I’m working for multiple clients, then I need to consolidate several schedules. Within each schedule I might be known as Ben, Ben Howard, Consultant or any other such name, and so there would be little consistency for putting them in a Master Plan. Of course, its much easier if I’m driving the schedule, but sometimes I’m just the hired hand when I’m driving all of my schedules, I just stick them in Project Server! So, that’s my excuse for this foray into Project, Excel and Outlook, whats yours? Note that I’m using Project 2010, Excel 2010 and Outlook 2010, but this should work in all commonly used formats. Here is the overall process. PROJECT 2010 The first thing I need to do is to save the file in Excel 2003 format. We need to save it to 2003 format because for some reason Outlook doesn’t have an option to import items from 2010 versions of Excel! Due to the usual security concerns, we specifically need to change the settings to allow saving in an older format. Open up Project, go to the Backstage | Options | Trust Center | Trust Center Settings | Prompt when loading files with non-default file format. The file I’ve chosen to use for this blog is the “Wine tasting fundraiser” template from Office.com. Click on File | Save As and choose Excel 97-2003 format. Saving this to Excel 97-2003 format gives the following warning: Next, you are taken through the Export Wizard. The goal of this wizard is to choose the data to export from Project. We simply need the resource, task name start and finish dates. You can optionally put the work in. I’ll list all the screen shots so you can follow it completely Now we can begin to select the data. We need assignment data, and we will include the headers (titles or column names) in our output. Next, select the fields you want to export from Project. For me they are Resource Name, Task Name, Work, Start & Finish. Suggested names will be created in the Excel field you can rename these as required. Once this is completed, you have the opportunity to save the map you have created this is a sensible idea if you are going to do this more than once! You can see that I called mine Export for Outlook Calendar import So, onto the next stage Excel 2010. I now have an Excel 97-2003 Worksheet, with a single workbook called Assignment_Table1. Opening it up gives the following: I now need some VBA to do the following Remove all the rows (assignments) that are not mine. Add the number of hours work to the task name. This is because Outlook calendars dont have a work value field, and so Im going to add them to the task name so I can have an idea of how much work I have to do. Note that this value is the assignment work so if I have multiple assignments to a task the work value is correct. Split the Start and Finish time values from the start and finish dates so that the appointment is entered correctly into my calendar (08:00, 13:00 etc). The following VBA performs the above actions note that is comes with no warranties etc; and the columns and resource names are hard coded. You will need to modify this to work for your exact map of exported items from MSProject. Sub Format_Dates() Ben Howard www.applepark.co.uk October 2011 Excel VBA to modify our Dim TimePart As String Dim n As Integer Dim rowNum As Integer Dim colNum As Integer Insert a new column to hold the start time Columns(“E:E”).Select Selection.Insert Shift:=xlToRight, CopyOrigin:=xlFormatFromLeftOrAbove Removes rows with the name not equalling Chairperson in column A Set myRng = Range(“A1”).CurrentRegion FirstRow = myRng.Row Lastrow = FirstRow + myRng.Rows.Count 1 For rw = Lastrow To FirstRow Step -1 If Cells(rw, “A”) <> “Chairperson” Then Rows(rw).Delete Next rowNum = 1 colNum = 2 While Cells(rowNum, colNum).Value <> “” contactenate the Name and work value colNum = 2 Cells(rowNum, colNum).Value = Cells(rowNum, colNum).Value & ” ” & Cells(rowNum, colNum + 1).Value split the start and finish time. colNum = 4 n = InStr(1, Cells(rowNum, colNum).Value, ” “) TimePart = Right(Cells(rowNum, colNum).Value, Len(Cells(rowNum, colNum).Value) n) Cells(rowNum, colNum + 1).Value = TimePart colNum = 6 n = InStr(1, Cells(rowNum, colNum).Value, ” “) TimePart = Right(Cells(rowNum, colNum).Value, Len(Cells(rowNum, colNum).Value) n) Cells(rowNum, colNum + 1).Value = TimePart rowNum = rowNum + 1 Wend End Sub (thanks to other at excel.bigresource.com for publishing their code which I have shamelessly copied and modified) Once you have run the VBA, your Excel file should now look like the following The Outlook import needs to find a named range, so highlight the rows and columns to be imported, go to the Name Range cell, and type OutlookImport and hit return. Save and close Excel note for some reason Excel chose to default to 5.0/95 format whilst saving, so you might have to Save As a 97-2003 format. Outlook 2010 Open Outlook 2010, and if the Import & Export command isnt available, then add it either the the Quick Access Toolbar, or put it on the ribbon. Once its on the ribbon, select the Import & Export icon. Its an easy wizard so Ive just included most of the screen shots for you to follow. Choose the file to import, and select your relevant options. Choose the calendar to import the file into. I always set up a new calendar for each project I’m working on. Select the appropriate named range to import. Map the fields from the Excel chart to Outlook. You do this by dragging and dropping items from the left to the right. There is no need to map the hours or name. The items are imported to the calendar with the correct start and finish times and the correct subject. Using Outlook’s Calendar Overlay feature, I can see my normal calendar alongside the project one. I can do this for multiple calendars it really is a great feature. Enjoy, Ben. This article was originally featured on applepark.co.uk.

Webinar UK: Updating the Plan

Project Management Institute (PMI)® Professional Development Units (PDUs): This Webinar is eligible for 1 PMI® PDU in the Technical Category of the Talent Triangle. Description: This session introduces the user to updating the plan during the execution phase of the project.  Users often don’t perform this basic function because it is often misunderstood, so within this session we will demystify the updating process. Sponsored by UK MPUG Group. Content Guide: Simple updates % complete, % work complete, % physical complete Tracking actual time Showing variances Automatic vs manual calculation Products Used for Demo: Microsoft Project 2007 Microsoft Project 2010 (Will be shown at end to highlight any impovements) Speaker: Ben Howard has over 20 years experience of implementing enterprise solutions such as MRPII, ERP, and latterly Microsoft’s EPM (Project and Project Server) solution.  During that time he’s worked for IBM, DELL, and Microsoft, as well as several smaller organisations.  He now runs his own EPM consultancy (Applepark Ltd), providing Project Server implementation and training services. Ben recently spoke at the Microsoft Project Conference in Pheonix, and his current Microsoft TechNet webcast (User Controlled Scheduling in Project 2010) is ranked in the top 10!  He is a regular contributor to the Project Server newsgroups, and publishes a blog based on Project Server scenarios.  For his real world knowledge and contributions to the newsgroups he has recently been awarded the prestigious Microsoft MVP award for Project Server.  He can be contacted at ben@applepark.co.uk, or read his blog.   Have you watched this webinar recording? Tell MPUG viewers what you think! [WPCR_INSERT]

How to Put a Resource Plan to Work in Your Project

In Project Server 2007, Microsoft introduced the concept of Resource Plans in order to help plan and assess resource requirements for work or projects that weren’t fully defined. This article discusses how to use a resource plan in conjunction with a full blown project plan (otherwise known as an enterprise project — one which is edited in Project Professional 2007). The combination enables you to perform rolling plan management. First a few definitions. Rolling Project Plan. One that never finishes, such as maintenance plans on a plant or painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Planning Horizon. The number of weeks or months for which an organisation creates detailed plans. Plans or actions beyond the planning horizon require further refinement. Horizon Date. The date on which the planning horizon becomes effective. Let’s assume our planning horizon is six weeks, and we replan on a weekly basis. We’ll start with a new Enterprise Project, which is as good a way as any. Of course, you could have started with a proposal or activity and then converted it to an Enterprise Project. Step 1 is to create our project plan and assign resources from the Enterprise Resource pool in the normal way. In Figure 1 below, you’ll see that tasks 1 through 10 are well defined with estimates and assignments. We haven’t defined phases 3 through 6 as they are beyond the 6-week planning horizon. We’ve planned for the next six weeks, with assignments, but we haven’t planned in detail beyond that, except to tag some placeholders in the project for phases 3-6, which we expect to take three weeks each. Note that I haven’t placed any dependencies on these phases. This is just personal preference. If I were to do so, I would need to remove them at a later date since they’ll become summary tasks. If we look at the availability for our resources over the next eight full weeks (starting from this week), we see the screen in Figure 2. This nicely shows the demand for the weeks we have planned in detail. Now, we know that we’ll need some more of Brian Johnson’s time for phases 3 through 6; but because those tasks haven’t been planned in detail, I haven’t got anywhere to place the assignments. I could create some “holding” tasks and create assignments against them (and this is how I would have had to do this in Project 2003). However, if I wanted to have multiple resources assigned to a task with some of them allocated at less than 100%, I’d have to create one task for each assignment and then change the resource units in order to show the time properly. In addition, these tasks would be automatically scheduled. Aaaaah, way too much trouble! So, step 2 is to create a resource plan in order to create the demand for the resources for the period beyond our planning horizon, currently for the period after 3/31/07. Within the Project Center, select the project plan. Mine is called Rolling Plan. Click on Build Team to select the resources for the resource plan. I still want Brian Johnson to work on the plan, but I’m slowly going to decrease his work over the next four phases and replace him with David Ahs, who will have a corresponding increase in work. So I select both resources in the team builder menu and add both resources to the Resource Plan. Next, I change the date range to suit so I can plan for so many weeks ahead. The key field here is “Calculate resource utilization from:” Here you need to select “Project plan until:” and then in the calendar field type in the horizon date. What we’re now telling the system is this: Use the assignments from the project plan until the horizon date, and thereafter use the resource plan. You can see that I’ve started to decrease Brian Johnson’s requirement to the point where in the final three weeks of my resource plan, he is at zero, while David Ahs’ requirement slowly increases. I can’t show all the planning periods on the screen but it will become obvious when we view the resource availability. Save and Publish the resource plan and then open up the resource center again to view the availability for the resources. We can see that our resource plan kicks in after the planning horizon date (3/31/2007), and we have resource demand even though we have no assignments on the project. The decreased requirement for Brian Johnson and increased requirement for David Ahs is apparent. A final note: When you are testing this, make sure you work this through with correct dates and other details. Pay particular attention to the date ranges in the resource plan, making sure they correspond to the chosen intervals. If you don’t, you’ll get some data that — while correct — is hard to interpret.

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