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Critical Path 2.0

The content of this article is a brief preview from Eric Uyttewaal’s new, upcoming book, Forecast Scheduling with Microsoft Project 2010, which will be published in the summer of 2010. The first version of the Critical Path Method (CPM 1.0) is soon celebrating its 60th birthday. It was just about 60 years ago — during…

Ask the Experts: What’s Going on This Week?

Roger from New York asks: Has anyone ever written a process/macro/view/something whereby I can produce a timesheet of sorts that tells my resources what tasks they’re to work on this week, possibly using the Gantt view? Answer: This is something that many people have asked me about, and there are several solutions available depending on…

Ask the Experts: Printing Notes in a Project

Amit of Boston, MA asks, “During class you are encouraging us to use the three sets of notes in Microsoft Project to help journalize information of how a project was performed. Is there a report to print these notes in a format that’s easier to read?” Answer: Good question — and a good idea. Printing…

Ask the Experts: Applying Two Constraints on One Task

Adenor from Oakbrook, IL asks: I have a task in a schedule that must start after an unknown date and must end on a specific date. I’ve tried to enter a start and finish date on the task, but it doesn’t seem to be working for me. After the task starts, it’ll take nine days…

Ask the Experts: When Linking Summary Tasks Makes Sense

Ron from Cleveland, OH asks: Is it a good practice or bad to link summary tasks? Answer: In general I don’t believe that it’s a best practice to link summary tasks within a work breakdown structure (WBS). Here are some of the reasons: It’s the detail tasks and the milestones that move a schedule ahead…

Ask the Experts: Building What-if Slack Time into Your Schedule

Casper of Dallas, TX asks: Our projects are subject to the weather for our installations. We build into our schedules and contracts at least 30 days of weather cushion (about one per week). What would be the best way of handling this in a project schedule? Please keep in mind that this is a cushion…

Ask the Experts: How Resource Sharing Works in a Master Project

Shelley asks: I am working with a resource pool that has about 30 sharer files. How can I work with resources from the pool along with some resources that are only working on one project? I have set the workgroups for the “local” resources as “none” (as you would if you were using Microsoft Project…

Ask the Experts: Making Interim Plans Work for You

Ammar of South Africa asks: Using Microsoft Project 2007, can I view and display interim plans in a Gantt chart view? Also, how can I display interim plan data on other views? Answer: Great question! This is a feature that has been with Microsoft Project since at least level 4.0 from what I can remember. It’s…

Ask the Experts: When % Complete Won’t Calculate

Nancy asks, “I have been a project controller for about seven years. I have a problem that I cant figure out. My % Complete column has stopped calculating. Also, the Actual Duration and Remaining Duration are not being updated either. Actual Duration is always zero even though its well into the task. So Remaining Duration…

Ask the Expert: Optimize Microsoft Project Performance

Joseph McDowell writes, “Microsoft claims Microsoft Project 2007 has the capacity of up to 400,000 tasks. However, we have a number of projects that when they get to about 1,000 tasks, things start to slow down, and when you get to 4,000 to 6,000 tasks, things slow down drastically. We’re running Project 2007 Professional on…

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