Setting Up Shop: Determining Dates, Milestones and Tasks
One of the first things you will need to decide when using Microsoft Project 2007 is whether you will be scheduling based off a start date or off a finish date. If you already know when your deadline is, and this deadline is set in absolute stone, you will most likely want to be scheduling off that finish date. If your project is open ended, then you can schedule based off a start date.
Next, you will want to set up the calendar for your project. Specify the general working hours that resources will be hammering away on tasks. If there will be any exceptions to the calendar that you know of ahead of time, enter these in now as well.
Once the calendar has been created, you will want to gather all project-related documents. You want to be ready to attach these documents to the project file by copying them in place using the notes tab for tasks. A second way to attach documents to project files is to hyperlink the file through a task.
After setting up the project parameters in Microsoft Project 2007, you are ready to begin entering in tasks. As mentioned in the section on preliminaries, it serves you well to already know what the tasks and milestones will be. One way to avoid having to manually enter in each task, is to have a Microsoft Excel file with all the tasks ready to upload into Microsoft Project. If you do not have such a list, however, you can still inter the tasks in manually. Working in the Gantt Chart view, you will enter the name of each task in the task name field. Either enter in all the tasks without thinking about the sequence, and then sequence everything in one step, or if you have the sequence drawn out already, enter the tasks by sequence. Once all of the tasks and milestones have been entered and sequenced, then you can order them into a hierarchy – including subtasks.