All, I’m using Ms project quite often to plan IT projects. I’m not an expert in it but i know quite a lot of its capabilities. Perhaps the suggestions below are already available in the current version of MSP. If that is the case I’m glad to hear this as well. Otherwise, please comment if you think the suggestions would also be interesting for you.
1. Filler or Contingency task
A special type of task which will automatically take all remaining work for the specified resources. Suppose you have 2 resources (Tim & Jane) assigned full time to a project for 3 months. But you can only define tasks for 4/5 of their available effort but you know that you will need them for yet undefined work (contigency). It would be nice to have the possibility to have a Filler/Contingency task that automatically takes up the remaining work for the specified resources (during the duration – start/finish – of the task)
2. Possibility to discard a task from the Critical Path
Possibility to mark a task to not play part in the calculation of the critical path. For instance a generic taks (project management) that will last from the start till the end of the project
Re: 2 – The correct way to remove a task from the critical path is to 1) verify the predecessors & successors in the entire path are appropriate & 2) correct them if they are not. If the activity is showing critical, it is because of the logic (or lack thereof). However, a filter can be used to display a subset of activities based on the filter criteria.
I’d like the ability to change the applied or default printer from within a Print Preview screen rather than having to return to a “default” screen and either enter the Print Set Up or Print window.
Some suggestions for next version of MS project
I would like to see a placeholder where i can record comments/remarks during each Baseline, like what are the major changes done or what phase is complete or what forced me todo this
I would like to see a way to close tasks i.e. no more hours to be charged. We use enterprise edition with the Server to use hours entered for billing purposes. There’s a way to do it but when you use the currently existing method noone can see the hours so far on eth task. We want to be able to close the task so the assigned resouce cannot enter any more hours to it but be able to see it.
I would like the ability to display more items in the the Split Window section. I use primarily Resources, Pred and Succ but we are limited to only dispalying two items.
I would like to see 2 features added.
1. While using Portfolio/program schedule to generate high level executive milestone view, I should be able to drag and drop milestones from all sub-projects. Currently, timeline view can only have milestones from one project at a time. Nice to have: Once the timeline view is added to a powerpoint as an inserted object, the inserted milestones should show the real time date from the local/server schedule, assume I have read access to those schedules on the server.
2. The relationship diagram(View->More views->Relationship Diagram) should be configurable. Meaning I should be able to change what I would like to list in from the task attribute in the relationship box. Currently the it shows the current tasks and its precedecessor task name. I dont see a way to display completion status(%completed or %work completed) of the precedecessor tasks.
In all levels of MS Project the Network Diagram is configurable. Since you are looking for tracking information look at the Tracking formated box style. Right click in the Network Diagram and select Box styles. In the template area you will find one for Tracking.
Keep in mind the high level project center is at the project level and not the task level so you will not be able to get the task milestone report in the Project Center. However, if you add the column called Milestone to the tables in the project details views, you can then filter for milestone reports.
Ellen Lehnert, MVP, PMP
Two thoughts on your second question…. Because your PM line item is the longest path, it fits the definition of a critical path. What I’ve done in the past is to make that duration 1 day less than the true critical path, thereby removing it from the CP calculation. Additionally, what I do to report Top 3 Critical Paths is to perform a “Driving Path Analysis” using a driving path macro by Project Widgets (http://www.projectwidgets.com/products/DrivingPathWidget.cfm) to define my Primary Critical Path, then take that primary end-deliverable and perform a “Sensitivity Analysis” comprised of temporarily setting its deadline to 1 or 2 months earlier than finish date; thereby causing effected tasks to go-critical; Then I perform a “Total Slack analysis”, looking for “families” of tasks with the lowest TS (highest negative TS) and flag them as CP2, etc. Hope this helps!
I would like to see a configuration setting that prevents PMs from adding resources or networking to Summary Tasks. There are better ways (start/finish milestones, Responsibility columns, etc.) to convey the same intent without causing various crazy issues within a schedule.