Questions for PMA1 Feb 2004

Questions from Ray W

Questions and Answers

Inserting tasks on the Network Diagram resulted in a random order on the task sheet  on that page and creating dependencies to preceding tasks. While I thought I was putting them in a particular order, when I switched to the Gantt view, all my tasks appeared in a different order.

When you add a task in the network diagram, the new task will be inserted after the selected task in the Gantt table. To make sure the tasks appear in the order that you want always select the existing task in the network diagram that you want the new task to follow. You can always drag tasks in the Gantt table to a new position. Click in the first column to select the task row you want to move. Then hold the mouse button down and drag the row to a new row in the table.

Dates in MS Project (Marie) If the first task contains the name of your project, it should follow that that task has the longest duration. For example, for my project, I wanted a start date of Feb 6th and a finish date of May 1st. It doesn’t seem to want to work that way!

The first task does not have to be the name of your project. You can insert a zero outline level task which automatically contains the project name. (Do this with Tools -> Options -> View -> Show project summary task. To ensure your project is a certain duration add a span task with the fixed duration as the first task. You can follow this approach with phases. As you add detailed tasks, your schedule will stay fixed until the detailed task schedule exceeds the span task.

Is there a shortcut for a single decision point with numerous dependencies so you don't have to attach all the dependencies to one decision task

I don't know of any more effective alternatives, what do you think?

In what cases would you re-save the baseline?

The baseline is a frozen version of your plan used to compare actual progress against your original intentions. Your 'baseline cost' represents your project budget. Once your project is approved you don't want this changed so be careful about saving baselines. Microsoft has improved protection of the baseline by warning you that when you are about to overwrite the baseline.

When you first save your plan, Project will prompt you "Do you want to save a baseline?". Until your plan is ready and approved you can use the baseline to track the daily evolution of your plan. Once your plan is approved then be very careful with saving the baseline. Save the baseline for selected tasks only when changes are approved for your plan.

  1. Save the baseline for the whole project when the project is approved.
  2. Resave the baseline for selected tasks when the a change in the plan is approved.
  3. You could also take advantage of the multiple baselines and save a different baseline at the end of each phase so you can see how the plan has evolved.
  4. While the plan is under development use the baseline to track changes that you are making to the plan. Resave the baseline at the start of the day. During and at the end of the day, you can evaluate the impact of your recent changes to the schedule, the budget and resource workloads.

How do you remove a start date after you enter it in order to go back to MS Project calculating if for you? 

You need to reset the calculation mode to 'ASAP' to get regular critical path scheduling. Do this in the Task information dialog box. Click on the Advanced Table and select the constraint type to be 'ASAP'. If you have set the Actual Start then you have replace the date with 'NA'.