Manage R&D, IT, marketing, and other corporate or public sector projects and programmes 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 for people who plan & manage people and work organisation-wide, this high-impact workshop will show you not only how to plan better projects and programmes; it will provide you the skills and knowledge to execute these more effectively whilst expertly managing the many obstacles to success that the corporate or public sector environment puts in your way. For users of Microsoft Project or Project Online, thought-provoking exercises based on a real-world 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 Corporate Project Solutions suite.  This workshop also forms segments two and three of our Essential Microsoft Project for the Corporate workshop.

Delivery method
Closed-Company delivery. Two x 4-hour segments.
Learning outcomes
After completing this workshop, delegates will have the skills, knowledge and smarts to plan and manage projects, programmes and work schedules 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 and articulate the concept of multi-project programmes and shared resource pools.
  • Understand how to create calendars that match the way real projects, and their people work.
  • Be able to create realistic pools of individuals and role-types that will perform the work scheduled within the projects.
  • Be able to create accurate high-level projects and then expand top-level deliverables into a tasks and work that accurately describes the scope of the project.
  • Be able to correctly schedule work and resource effort that depicts the reality that the project seeks to plan.
  • Understand the concepts and intricacies of resource optimisation and accurately apply tools and techniques to match resource supply with demand.
  • Have a toolset to produce meaningful reporting – to all levels of project stakeholder.
  • Understand project update cycles and baselining techniques, all to provide a vital mechanism to ensure projects stay on track.
  • Be able to accurately update date, time and work ensuring the project correctly reflects the environment that it works within.
  • Be able to analyse work, cost and date variances thus providing early warning for any project-related risks and issues.
  • Be able to share resources between projects, balancing and optimising work across the programme.
  • Be able to manage a master project / subproject structure, removing any unnecessary scope duplications and schedule conflicts.
Project Manager, Programme Manager, Resource Manager, Project Office Administrator, Project Coordinator, Programme Coordinator.
Workshop detail
Initiating projects and programmes

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. To ensure every project can achieve its objectives, project-specific and enterprise-wide resource pools are introduced, together with how best to optimise the use of both role-type resources and individual people.

  • Programmes and projects within a portfolio
  • Resource sharing across a project portfolio
  • 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
  • Adding resources to the project
  • Understanding project options
  • Creating a list of project deliverables
  • Top-down task scheduling
  • Intelligently using milestones
  • Creating a high-level project timeline
Project and programme planning

Module two is all about creating robust and workable project plans that correctly describe a scope of work, balanced against an ability to meet required timescales. High-level deliverables are expanded to form detailed tasks and milestones, which are subsequently defined, linked to one another, and then scheduled. Task criticality is examined, together with how recurring work can be planned. Real-world techniques for assigning work to tasks are introduced, with emphasis on how to accurately model utilisation of people and effort to correctly fulfil resourcing requirements for the project. Reporting to project sponsors is considered, together with reporting styles that match the needs of the recipient, all sliced-and-diced by meaningful project metadata. Finally, processes for placeholder assignment replacement, automated resource levelling and interactive resource optimisation are used to ensure the organisation’s people are used expediently and efficiently in delivering organisation-wide benefits.

  • Expanding deliverables to create a project outline
  • Intelligently using task duration and work values
  • Displaying levels of outline detail
  • Creating dependency links between tasks
  • Resolving scheduling inconsistencies
  • Inserting a subproject schedule
  • Combining subproject detail
  • Manage project data with the use of tables
  • Manage project schedules by reviewing task criticality
  • Adding recurring tasks to the schedule
  • Views and dashboards for project sponsors
  • Setting up the printed page
  • Understanding effort-driven scheduling
  • Understanding task type scheduling
  • Defining and scheduling assignment work.
  • Assigning expenditure values to tasks
  • Viewing & editing task usage
  • Viewing & editing resource usage
  • Replacing placeholder assignments
  • Setting resource leveling options
  • Reviewing the effect of resource leveling
  • Interactive resource optimisation
Project and programme execution

Module three provides an intensive walkthrough of techniques to balance work, time and deliverables within a project’s most risky phase, execution.  Project governance processes are explored, ensuring that all project stakeholders have accurate and timely access to a single version of the truth.  Straightforward and practical ways to progress work, expenditure and dates are then investigated, together with how tasks and people can be scheduled against immovable dates; plus, how incomplete work can be correctly scheduled from the past into the future.  Progress reviews enable the revision of project scope, task sequence, and resource work schedules.  Detailed project updating is then examined, 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 resource work is performed.

  • One version of the truth
  • Setting a project’s 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 update statuses for tasks and resources
  • Visualising project status using dashboards
  • Revising, adding or removing project scope items
  • Adding work and cost to fulfil scope revisions
  • Modifying task and resource schedules
  • Adding new scope to an existing project baseline
  • Detailed task and assignment updating
  • Rescheduling all outstanding work
  • Using tables to analyse schedule and baseline performance
  • Using custom fields for performance analysis
  • Analysing project performance within dashboards
  • Optimising task schedules
  • Optimising resource schedules
Managing the programme

The final module expands the project universe to encompass a portfolio of initiatives, work and people across the organisation.  The concept of a shared resource pool is explained in detail, together with role and organisational breakdown (OBS) definitions.  Portfolio-wide resource availability is examined, together with its impact upon the schedule of the portfolio’s projects.  Inter-project task linking is also investigated to ensure efficient work handovers between project participants.  Finally, the project portfolio is optimised to remove any duplication of work or deliverables across interrelated subprojects.

  • Resource creation within a shared pool
  • Resources and availability
  • Resources and calendars
  • Resource cost profiles
  • Understanding shared metadata
  • Sharing resources from a common pool
  • Reviewing work schedules for shared resources
  • Optimising work schedules for shared resources
  • Linking a subproject to a master project
  • Integrating the subproject within the master project
  • Investigating scope duplications
  • Revising task and work schedules across a programme

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