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How To Modify Microsoft Project for the Web Using Custom Fields – Transcription

Please find below a transcription of the audio portion of Nenad Trajkovski’s session, How To Modify Microsoft® Project for the Web Using Custom Fields, being provided by MPUG for the convenience of our members. You may wish to use this transcript for the purposes of self-paced learning, searching for specific information, and/or performing a quick review of webinar content. There may be exclusions, such as those steps included in product demonstrations. You may watch the recording of this webinar at your convenience.

Melanie: Hello. I’d like to welcome everyone today to how to modify Project for the web using custom fields. This is a top user frustration answered. So, MPUG sends out surveys to you all and then we come back with classes like this to support you. During today’s session, we’ll be sending an always appropriate, always adorable hug to the audience member that asks the second question today. Please just post questions to the question chat window. You can see an example of that box up on the screen. And I will then present them to our expert today, Nenad. I’d like to welcome back our frequent MPUG expert presenter, Nenad. Nenad is a highly recognized speaker and trainer in Microsoft Project and risk management. His long list of credentials include certified accountant, PMP, PMI, RMP, which is a risk manager professional, MCP, and MCT. Nenad, I am going to hand over the presentation to your capable hands now.

Nenad: Hello everyone. I hope you hear me well. And today I’m going to answer some questions and show you how can you… Okay. Do you see my project screen?

Melanie: It is up. Thank you.

Nenad: Okay. And what I am going to show you how to create a project from the scratch in the proper way and then how to modify it according to your personal needs or your organization needs. For that, I’m going to go to my new project. And now I’m going to go here and I will. Sorry. I have this untitled project and I will say, okay, MPUG project, MPUG project. And let’s say that we are going… Sorry. That’s a little bit slow. And that is all what we need for now. Let’s say that we are going to start at Monday, which is 11th of October, and that’s it. You will see that I have finished the whole duration and the percentage complete here, which is somehow inconvenient because if I want to see those information, I always have to go here to the title of my project or project name and open.

Nenad: For that purpose, I will create a project summary task here, and I will say MPUG project as well. What does it mean? I will leave it as this. I have here some fields which can be added or hided. I will say okay. I have assigned to… I will let’s say here. I have duration. Let’s say that I have start, that I want to see the finish date, and I want to see let’s say effort. Okay. First of all, I will need resources. And for that, I’m going to group members and I will add my existing group, which is always already created, which is blog project for the web. If I don’t do that, if I don’t want to use existing group, I can create my own new group for that particular project. And then I can reuse it for any further project. But be aware once when you assign a group with resources to a project, it cannot be changed.

Nenad: So if you somehow recognize that you made a mistake, in the future, you will be in a problem. So I will choose blog project for that. And I’m going to say that I have four phases. I will say that I have phase one. Okay. And I will immediately say that this is subtask. Okay. So MPUG project is summary task. Under the phase one, I will say that I have let’s say design phase one. Okay. And I will put it as well as subtask. So phase one is now summary task under the project summary task. I will go here and I will say let’s say develop phase one, test phase one. And let’s say that I will say phase one done. Okay. That’s it. Now phase two.

Nenad: And I will go phase two. Now this phase two is under phase one. So I want that phase two not to be under phase one as a task or subtask, but I want to be a summary task. So I am going to promote it. So it will be moved left, and I will have design phase two. And I will now put this task as subtask. So phase two is at the same level as phase one. And all those, both those phases are under the whole project. So I will have now develop phase two and I will say test phase two and I will say phase two done. Okay. And finally, phase three, the same thing. Promote subtask, make design phase three, again make subtask, develop phase three, and let’s say test phase three, and phase three done. And finally, I will say MPUG project, sorry, project done.

Nenad: So I will have a milestone for the whole project and I’m going to promote this subtask. Okay. That now I want to assign those tasks. First of all, I will put let’s say duration. I will say duration is one day, two days, three days, and milestone is zero. Okay. You will see that automatically this task is late because my project start date should start at 11th of October. Today’s 13th of October. And since design phase one was supposed to have duration one day, it is already late. Oh, let’s go here and let’s say this phase two will go quickly. Let’s say four days, three days, two days, and this is zero with this milestone. Now let’s say for example, five days, six days, seven days, zero and final zero. Now I have everything according to duration.

Nenad: Let’s go to assign to. I now will see all people who belong to this group, myself and the people who belongs to my group, which was assigned to that project. So I will say here Ellen and Jim is going to work. Okay. Automatically I will have effort, okay, effort. Since Ellen and Jim are supposed to work eight hours per day, both of them will work one day, eight hours Ellen, eight hours Jim, and it will result in 16 hours. Let’s say here that I am going to use John and Mary. Okay. I’m going to use here let’s say Ellen and no one is going to work in phase one done because it’s milestone. Here I can put as well here let’s say Paula. Here I can put Peter, okay, and John. You will see that everything is calculated. Both of them are going to work three days, so it means 24 hours each and it results in 48 hours.

Nenad: And let’s say now here Mary again. It doesn’t matter who’s going to work. Now let’s go here and I’m going to put Peter. Here I’m going to put Ellen. Here I’m going of put let’s say Jim and Mary. Okay, we are done now. What we don’t have here is we do not have here something which is called relationship. Because if you go here on timeline view, you will see that every single task and milestone is supposed to start at the same day. I can here now make a relationship like here, like this one or this one and this one. Okay. Here I can say, I can do the same thing here. I can put field, which is called depends on, and you will see that task number three has the dependency. So task number four, develop phase one, depends on design phase one and test phase one depends on task four, develop and phase one done depends on test phase two.

Nenad: Let’s say that phase one and phase two can be in parallel. So I will say that here, let’s go to the timeline. It’s better shown here. We will have the same thing. Okay. And if I want to do it here, I will say that let’s say design phase three should start immediately after phase one is done and phase two is done. So I have here task number six and task number 11. I can go here and I can type six or I can type phase and I will see all tasks which start with phase. So I will say phase one done and I will say phase two done. Okay. Here it is. Now let’s go here. And let’s say that this, sorry, this task develop phase three is supposed to start after design is done. And let’s say here that phase three is after develop phase three is done. And finally, this one will be I will not take your time anymore. I’m going here and I will say that this one is connected here.

Nenad: And for specific reason, I will say that the MPUG project done, the final milestone, is considered done when phase one, phase two, and phase three is done. So let’s say that I have here let’s say six then, sorry, six then 11 and then 16. Okay. So I got almost everything. I have duration, I have start, I have finish, I have effort, I have dependency. But let’s go to the board. In the board, I can group boards by bucket, by to whom is assigned to. So I can easily see that unassigned tasks are here, which are all of them are let’s say milestones, that I don’t have any task and Ellen has those three tasks, Jim has those three tasks, and John has those three tasks.

Nenad: So let’s say for example, that I see that I forgot that Ellen should also work on develop phase one. What can I do? Be aware, I can go here and I can add whatever I want. So I can put develop phase one to let’s say Ellen, and you will see that Ellen is now on develop phase one. If I go back to John, it is gone, Ellen is not going to work on develop phase one. But what I can do, if I click here, so I can reassign it. First of all, let me explain that. If I move, drag and drop the task from one person to another person, it means that for this specific case that develop phase two is not going to be performed by John, but instead it is going to be performed by Mary. But if I go here and click on plus sign and I say, okay, I want not Mary, sorry, Ellen. If I want to assign Ellen here, okay, you can see that this develop phase three is going to be here and here as well.

Nenad: Why? Because it was supposed to be performed or John was supposed to work on that specific task. But since I want Ellen to work as well, I will see the same task under John’s name and Ellen’s name. Okay. So each task will be shown below each resource name who is supposed to work on that task. But what I want to do is I want to go to bucket view. You saw here that you can see that I have design, develop, test, and milestones. So I can go to board here and I can say I don’t want to have a bucket like a bucket one. No. I want to say here that this here will be development. Or what do I have? Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. Design, sorry. So let’s go to the board. I will say design. I will say the development. I will say testing. And I can say milestones.

Nenad: What do I have to do? Okay. Here I will drag and drop milestones here. Test is going to be here. Develop is going to be here. Design is going to stay here. Okay. So test here, develop here, design stays here, develop and test. What do I have here now? I have here I can rearrange them so you can see I can have what I want exactly. I can have here, you will see in a moment that I have here arranged my tasks. So I can here see which tasks belong to design, which tasks belong to development, which tasks belong to testing, and which tasks are milestones. I can arrange this board as I want. So it doesn’t have to be design, development, testing, milestone board. But for my project, it makes sense. And I will go here and I will say bucket.

Nenad: Okay. So I can see the design phase, I can see the name of the bucket here. Okay. Those names are copied from here. And now my project looks great. But let’s say one thing. What if I want to know, for example, is some task critical, not on critical path, but critical for any reasons. Let’s say that Ellen is supposed to test here from 14th to 18th of October. And after that, she will take a vacation. Okay. What can I do here? I can let’s say make it as a critical. But I don’t have here column which is called critical. For that purpose, I can use custom fields. I will go to the custom field here and I can choose, once again, add column, new field. And here I can choose. Do I have a text field? Is this text type field? Is it date field? Is it number field, yes/no, or choice? For this purpose, I will say it is yes/no because I want to see if the task is critical. It can be critical or it is not critical. There is no third option.

Nenad: So I will say yes. I will name it as a critical. And I will say create. And now since I create it, I will see that all of them are no. But I will say this one, oh yeah, this one is critical, this one is critical as well, and this one is critical as well. So this is custom field. Let me show you some more custom fields. Let’s say that I want to see some explanation. I can do it in two ways. I can go here in my task here, click on that, sorry, here. And you can see that I can add a note here. So let’s say for design, you need to do blah blah. So I have it here. And now if I add here quick look field, which is not custom field, I will see that I have a note. Okay. But let’s say that I have some text which is specific. Let’s say that I want to say that for my text field, I will need let’s say not department, let’s say whatever, further explanation. I can create it. Okay.

Nenad: I made a mistake, so I will rename it. Not fir. I can update it and I can put here whatever I want here, hahaha, hihihi, et cetera, et cetera. I will hide it. Now let’s say that I want to know to which department belongs which task. Okay. Now I will not use text, but instead of that I will use choice. And I will say that this is department and I will say this is let’s say sales. It doesn’t take sense, but this is just for presentation purpose. Marketing. Okay. And sorry, I have here edit, sales, marketing, department. And I can see here says let’s say, what can, IT. Okay.

Nenad: Now if I want some… By default, I have three choices. If I want fourth of fifth, I can just go to add choice, and I can say my choice. If I want to get rid of it, I can go here in my choice and just delete. Okay, update. So I have here department and I can choose here department which I want to use. So let’s say marketing. But for that purpose, I will say I want to say that for my whole phase, it is phase one is for sales, phase two is for marketing, and finally IT is going to be on phase three. And now the most painful thing. What about costs?

Nenad: In Project Professional version, which is desktop version, you can calculate automatically costs because you can put hour rate for each and every single person. So if I say that Ellen is going to cost me $100 per hour and John is going to cost me $200 per hour or $50 per hour, or let’s say Ellen costs me $100, it will, Project desktop version will calculate one day, eight hours per Ellen, $100 per hour, it is $800. John will cost me $50 per hour. Eight hours multiple by $50 per hour is $400. And the whole task will cost me $1,200. Ellen will cost me $800, $440 will cost me John, and that’s it.

Nenad: Now yet, once again yet, you don’t have that possibility. Microsoft Project for the web is product which grows, grows each and every month. So next time when I will present you something, it will look different. For example, I will show you in a couple of… Yesterday or day before yesterday, they upgrade those all filters, which are beyond the scope of this presentation. But that was not present in my last presentation a few months ago. So I hope, really hope that they will finally in the near future build costs, automatic cost calculation in this product.

Nenad: For now, what can you do? You can go add column. And you can say new field. And you can say that it is number. Not currency because it is not possible to have currency yet. And I will say it is number. So since I choose number, I can have rollup, so no rollup, maximum, minimum, sum, or average. For this purpose, for my project, I want to see how much will it cost me. And I will say sum and I will say costs or cost, whatever you want. Let’s say cost. Now here I have cost. Let me hide. Oh, I don’t have. So I can go here and I can say design will cost me 1,200. Development will cost me 8,000. Testing will cost me 4,000. This phase one done is zero, or I can leave it blank because this is only milestone. Here I can put 8,000, 1,234, 5,655, okay, 7,546, whatever. Okay. Now zero.

Nenad: What will I have here? I will have here that for each of my phases, since I, let’s go here once again, edit, I said that it was… Oh no. I can only update the name. So once again, here I will not save it. When you have number, okay, and you choose sum, then it will be some rollup sum to the summary task. And all summary tasks are going to be summed to the final task, which is project summary task, which I made when I started this creation of this project. So I can see, I can put task by task for each and every task, I can put let’s say costs, and I will see that phase one will cost me $13,200, which is exact the sum of those subtasks under this phase one, that phase two is going to cost me $14,889, and phase three is going to cost me $15,364. And the whole project, which is sum of those three phases or all subtasks, it’s the same thing, will cost me $43,453. Okay.

Nenad: This is great. But what is not so great here? First of all, now I’m going back to the project. Okay. Here. And I will create new blank project. Okay. And I want to go to here and see columns. It takes a while until the project is created. Let’s see. I hope that it will be okay. It’s here. Okay. You can see that I don’t have costs. Why? Because it should be created once again. So for each and every project, when you want to use custom field, you should create them from the scratch. And to be honest, I don’t like it. What can I do? Let’s see if it is possible. I can go here let’s say and say copy project. Now I copied my project. You can see it is MPUG copy. And I will see all my custom fields here. What I have to do is change the name, and I can say second let’s say MPUG project. Okay. Now I have all my fields, custom fields here, but I have also all those tasks, summary tasks, et cetera, et cetera.

Nenad: But if I want to create a project from the scratch with these custom fields, I have two possibilities. First, which was shown, is to create a new project and recreate each and every custom field, which are here, critical, department, costs. Or I can copy project and I can select here. Let’s say phase one and say delete task. Okay. I can delete this one. I can delete this one. And I can delete the last one. And that’s it. Now I have my project. I have to say here that this is, sorry, second MPUG project. And I can start to create my project once again. But it will get the same look as my previous project. So let’s say here that I want to replicate that here and I will here have open second project and here I’m going to open in second tab my MPUG project. Okay. So it has the same look, the same fields. Okay. Either there are custom or non custom.

Nenad: What do I have to do? Let’s say that in my second MPUG project, I don’t want to see let’s say depends on, or I don’t want to see critical, or if I don’t need a critical, I’m going here to the edit field and I’m going to delete this field. So for my second MPUG project, I will not have a critical field at all. So in my MPUG project, I have all those fields. Here I don’t have my critical field because I deleted that field. So to conclude, and I will then let you to ask me questions, you can do a lot. And the painful thing with costs is somehow, just somehow solved because you can create your own custom field, but you should put costs for each task manually. It cannot be calculated. And what the maximum which you can have is that it will be sum for the whole project. But if you want, if you have specific rate for Ellen, John, Mary, Peter, Paula, whoever, and you want to know exact number, then you should calculate it on your own.

Nenad: What you can do is to export the project to Excel. Okay. I will have now Excel. Okay. Sorry. I have another one. And then do you see the Excel? Sorry. Is my Excel file shown on the screen? Melanie?

Melanie: It is up there, yeah.

Nenad: Okay. So I can here see duration. I don’t have to create Excel for a [inaudible 00:35:46]. But I have also here task number, outline number, name, assigned to, and I can see who is assigned to, and I can modify this by put some columns like, for example, rate for Ellen, rate for Jim, and make a calculation. And then I cannot copy these fields again to the project. But what I have to do again is to enter them manually. So yes, this is painful process. But if you want to have rough costs on your project, on your task, for your tasks, then you can use this custom field.

Nenad: I hope and I am 100% sure that it will be built up in the Project for the web the same functionality which is present in the Project desktop application. But I cannot tell you when because when I last take a look at the roadmap, which is available to all of you, then I saw that it is not on the roadmap yet. When it’ll be, I don’t know. But I am hundred percent sure that they are planning, Microsoft is planning to put cost fields and automatically cost field cost calculation in Project for the web. Okay. Back to you. If you have any questions, I am open to answer.

Melanie: So I think you were so thorough today that we had no questions. So you did a great job because it was very clear.

Nenad: I hope so.

Melanie: I think so. And if anyone has a question, you can send them any time and I will make sure we answer you and get them off to our wonderful presenter here today. I am going to show my screen again. And again, thank you, Nenad for today’s wonderful session. And thank you, our audience, for attending live today and choosing MPUG to grow your skills with. We have some great sessions coming up, project task types, a practical perspective. Again, this is based on your frustrations that you spoke to us about. So we’ll be addressing those. And then we have Microsoft Project custom reporting with Excel. And Jeff is going to show you, show the presentation of why he believes you should be using Excel for your reports versus Microsoft Project. So that should be interesting as well. I am going to switch to the slide with the PDU code for today. I will leave that on the screen for you for a bit. And again, thank you and have a wonderful day.

Nenad: Thank you very much. And as Melanie just said, if you will have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I will answer it as soon as I can. It means in a day. So thank you very much for your attention and have a nice day or nice evening. Because here where I live, it is 20 minutes till 7:00 PM. So either good day or good night.

Nenad: (silence)

Written by Nenad Trajkovski

MVP – Project

Nenad Trajkovski was born in Zagreb in 1963. year. After completion of Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Nenad has started on the development and implementation of enterprise systems (ERP) in companies of various areas (banks, card houses, production companies, auto industry, wholesale businesses, oil companies, and others). He has extensive experience in working with business processes, people and knowledge in information technology and financial accounting activities.

Currently, Nenad works as a consultant for the implementation of business systems, and as Project Manager. He is trainer for Project Management and Risk Management in Microsoft Innovation Center in Varaždin. At WinDays08 conference he has been declared as the best speaker, and his session as the best one. He was among TOP 10 speakers in the Microsoft Sinergija 2009 and at the Microsoft Vzija 2009. Shared first place as the best lecturer at KulenDays 2009 and the PMI Forum 2009 in Zagreb. Regular speaker at the Microsoft Community. On WinDays10 conference Nenad was among the top three speakers; at the conference Microsoft Vision 9 in Skopje between the top 5 speakers as well as on Microsoft Synergy 11 which was held in Belgrade. Certified Accountant, PMP (Project Manager Professional), PMI – RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), MCTS – Microsoft Project 2010 (Microsoft Certified Technical Professional).  and MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer).

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