Manage construction, engineering, civils and other contracting-related projects better with smart Microsoft Project tools, techniques, tips & tricks in this training workshop delivered by practicing project managers & accredited Microsoft Project experts.

Workshop overview
Carefully designed to meet the needs of people who plan and manage projects in a contracting environment, this high-impact workshop will show you not only how to plan better projects; it will provide you the skills and knowledge to execute your project more effectively whilst expertly managing the many obstacles to success that real-world projects put in your way. Thought-provoking exercises based on a real construction case study will test your understanding of the concepts, methods and processes taught within the hands-on tutorials.

As this workshop is at an intermediate / advanced level, delegates should have attended one of our Microsoft Project Foundation workshops or have a working familiarity with the concepts discussed within the foundation-level workshops of our Contractor Project Solutions suite.  This workshop also forms segments two and three of our Essential Microsoft Project for the Contractor workshop.

Delivery method
Closed-Company delivery. Two x 4-hour segments.
Learning outcomes
After completing this workshop, delegates will have the key skills, smarts and fundamental knowledge to both plan and execute their projects better. They will:

  • Understand how to navigate Microsoft Project with ease, together with a knowledge of how best to apply the application’s scheduling engine and its underlying database.
  • Understand how to create calendars that match the way that real projects work.
  • Be able to create realistic tender-level projects and report these to meet the needs of a project’s sponsor.
  • Be able to expand a high-level list of 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 work, both by responsibility and also by detailed assignments of work and cost.
  • 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
Initiating the project

This first module explains the fundamental concepts behind Microsoft Project; its database, its scheduling engine, its views & tables & reports, together with the ribbon-based command that controls how it all works. 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.

  • 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
  • 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
Planning the project

Module two 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
Executing the project

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
Closing a project

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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