Let accredited project experts teach you invaluable skills, techniques, tips and smarts on this Microsoft Project training course.

Workshop overview
For people who plan and manage projects in a contracting environment, this high-impact workshop provides the best of both worlds. Not only does it teach core Microsoft Project knowledge and techniques, but it also provides the smart skills required to analyse, debug an optimise a project’s schedule across all phases of its lifecycle. Anyone who works on projects in a contracting environment will benefit from the real-world learning within this objectives-focused workshop.

Delivered in bite-sized segments, this workshop combines our 4-hour Microsoft Project Foundation and 8-hour Microsoft Project Planning & Execution workshops to deliver a comprehensive understanding of the Microsoft project toolset. Hands-on tutorials and thought-provoking exercises based on real case study projects will provide you with the skills and the smarts to deliver quality projects on time and on budget.

Delivery method
Closed-Company and Public Schedule delivery. Three x 4-hour segments.
Learning outcomes
After completion of this training, delegates will:

  • Be able to find and use day-to-day Microsoft Project commands with ease, together with a knowledge of how best to apply the application’s scheduling engine and its underlying database.
  • Be able to create new projects and calendars that match the way that real projects work.
  • Be able to list, scope and schedule tasks that describe and match a project’s objectives and report these to meet the needs of a project’s sponsor and associated stakeholders.
  • Be able to expand project deliverables into a workable set of tasks and milestones that accurately describe the scope of the project.
  • Be able to accurately estimate and schedule tasks to make the project plan a workable entity.
  • Proficiently analyse a project’s schedule, determining task criticality and removing logic inconsistencies along the way.
  • Have a toolset to produce meaningful reporting – to all levels of project stakeholder.
  • Be able to schedule project work by responsibility and also by detailed assignments of work and cost, for both internal workers and external contractors.
  • Understand project update cycles, version control and baselining techniques, all to provide a vital mechanism to ensure projects stay on track.
  • Be able to update project progress in the most efficient and accurate manner so the project correctly reflects the environment that it works within.
  • Have a robust skillset to determine project variances, providing a detailed understanding of project performance and in turn enabling effective task and resource replanning.
  • Be able to forensically analyse a project, comparing one version with another and have a toolset to pursue realistic Extension-of-Time claims.
Project Manager, Contracts Manager, Site Manager, Project Coordinator.
Workshop detail
Segment 1. Foundation – Initiation

This initial workshop section explains Microsoft Project from first principles; the database, the scheduling engine, the views & tables & reports, together with the ribbon-based command structure. Within this section, you will also learn how to create a new project, set its fundamental options, define project calendars and resources, and create the project’s top-level structure of key deliverables.

  • Project for the desktop’s user interface
  • Ribbons, tabs, groups and commands
  • One database with multiple views
  • Multiple views and shared tables
  • Projects and Excel-friendly dashboards
  • New projects, existing projects and templates
  • Adding definitions at the project level
  • Saving your project
  • Defining your project’s working day
  • Adding nonworking time to your project
  • Defining your project’s resource pool
  • Reviewing your project’s options
  • Planning your project from the top down
  • Managing key project events with milestones
  • Top-level project reporting for stakeholders
Segment 1. Foundation – Planning

Section two is all about creating a well-defined and realistic project plan. You will learn how to expand a project’s outline into tasks and milestones, which in turn you will specify and schedule. Intelligently using views and tables, you will review and optimise your project, in preparation for reporting this data to your stakeholders with insight and clarity. As work and cost are key tenets of a workable project, you will also gain an understanding of how your project’s plan can best model the real world.

  • Breaking down your project’s outline
  • Scoping tasks with duration values
  • Scheduling tasks with dependencies
  • Managing dependencies between manually-scheduled tasks
  • Reviewing task structure and sequence
  • Changing timescale displays for charts
  • Tasks that drive end dates and those with spare time
  • Applying views and tables for schedule analysis
  • Changing relationships between tasks
  • Views and Reports for project stakeholders
  • Assigning people to tasks
  • Entering task cost values
  • Reviewing work and cost values
Segment 1. Foundation – Execution

Section three is all about managing the course of a project during its riskiest phase, execution. You will learn how to set realistic targets with baselines, update progress around as-of dates and fix tasks to stakeholder-driven schedules. You will also learn the importance of rescheduling remaining work into the future and how your project’s current work/cost/time model can be analysed and (where necessary) replanned using views and tables within the Microsoft Project toolset.

  • Creating and displaying update boundaries
  • Updating task progress
  • Setting required task start dates
  • Setting deadlines against tasks
  • Rescheduling incomplete work
  • Reviewing baseline performance
  • Reviewing schedule performance
  • Reviewing work and cost performance
  • Getting back on track: Reduce the project’s scope
  • Getting back on track: Change how work is performed
  • Getting back on track: Change how tasks are scheduled
Segment 1. Foundation – Closure

Section four closes off a completed project. You will learn how views, tables, filters, and reports can be used to analyse project performance, thus gaining invaluable lessons that can be applied to future projects.

  • Analysing your project’s successes
Segment 2. Planning & Execution – Initiation

This first Planning & Execution module confirms the fundamental concepts behind Microsoft Project that drive how the software works and how you communicate with it. Creation of new projects is explained; including project templates, calendar settings & scheduling defaults, together with project metadata to aid in business intelligence reporting. A tender-level project is created to test overall project feasibility, together with high-level task and timeline reporting.

  • Custom views, tables and reports
  • New projects, existing projects and templates
  • Project-level definitions
  • Saving a project for the first time
  • Understanding the global project template
  • Understanding demand for and supply of time
  • Understanding custom calendars
  • Understanding project resource pools
  • Understanding project metadata
  • Understanding project options
  • Creating a list of project deliverables
  • Defining manually-scheduled tasks
  • Intelligently using milestones
  • Creating a high-level project timeline
Segment 2. Planning & Execution – Planning

This next module is all about creating a robust and workable project plan that correctly describes the scope of the project and its ability to meet a required timescale. High-level deliverables are expanded to form detailed tasks and milestones, which are subsequently scoped, linked to one another and then scheduled. Task criticality is examined, together with an understanding of why tasks occur when they do, followed by a detailed analysis of dependency logic; all ensuring a realistic representation of what needs to be done and when. Reporting to project sponsors is then considered, together with reporting styles that match the needs of the recipient, all sliced-and-diced by meaningful project metadata. Finally, tasks are assigned to individuals, role-types and subcontractors to ensure that project work reflects its overall scope and the capability to deliver it.

  • Expanding deliverables to create a project outline
  • Intelligently using task duration values
  • Displaying levels of outline detail
  • Creating dependency links between tasks
  • Resolving manually scheduled task inconsistencies
  • Inserting a subproject schedule
  • Integrating subproject detail
  • Using tables to manage project data
  • Applying views to analyse task criticality
  • Analysing task dependency drivers
  • Finding task logic inconsistencies
  • Managing task dependency detail
  • Views and dashboards for project sponsors
  • Setting up the printed page
  • Assigning tasks by responsibility and units
  • Assigning tasks with work, unit and schedule detail
  • Assigning costs to tasks
  • Viewing & editing task usage
  • Viewing & editing resource usage
  • Work and cost dashboards
Segment 3. Planning & Execution – Execution

Module three provides an intensive walkthrough of multiple techniques to manage a project’s plan within its most risky phase, execution. This commences with the need for effective version control, baselining methods, update cycles and stakeholder reporting, all combined to provide effective project governance. Effortless ways to add progress to a project are then explored, together with how constraints fix tasks against a timescale and how incomplete work can be correctly scheduled into the future. Elementary progress reviews enable the revision of project scope, sequence, weekend working and resource schedules. Detailed project updating is then explored, relative to change-controlled baseline revisions. Detailed analysis of variances and flexibilities within the project’s schedule provide the opportunity to make intricate changes to when tasks occur, and how resource work is performed.

  • Update cycles and project versions
  • Setting a project’s master baseline
  • Establishing and displaying the project’s status date
  • Keeping all your stakeholders informed
  • Entering percentage task progress
  • Constraining when tasks start
  • Constraining when tasks and milestones finish
  • Rescheduling individual tasks
  • Visualising task update statuses
  • Visualising project status using dashboards
  • Revising, adding or removing project scope items
  • Integrating new scope within existing tasks
  • Assigning work and cost to fulfil scope revisions
  • Reviewing resource schedules
  • Optimising resource schedules
  • Creating lookahead reports for stakeholders
  • Multiple baselines and rebaselining techniques
  • Entering actual and estimate-to-complete values
  • Rescheduling all outstanding work
  • Using tables to analyse schedule performance
  • Using tables to analyse baseline performance
  • Using custom fields for performance analysis
  • Analysing project performance within dashboards
  • Using tables to manage task constraints
  • Managing negative slack
  • Applying calendars to affect schedules
  • Managing resource schedules
Segment 3. Planning & Execution – Closure

The final workshop module covers techniques (including Extension of Time Claims) that are often overlooked within a project, that of forensically analysing how and why things happened when they did and applying this understanding to make future projects more and more successful.

  • Comparing project versions
  • Applying lessons learned to future projects

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