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How to use Microsoft Project 2007 in the project…and when?

11 July 2007

This is a Free Tutorial about Microsoft Project 2007 and you find more free tutorials here written by Johan Beijar. More tutorials about Microsoft Project 2007 are frequently added. These tutorials will not guarantee that you will run a successful project or be a great manager but it will increase you possibilities of understanding and work more efficiant with the project management software. The best project management software in the world will not manage the project for you, that is the true and simple fact. Microsoft Project 2007 is one of many tools that can support you in your daily work as a manager or a project manager, if you know when and how to use it.

As you most likely know you can divide the lifecycle of a project into 4 phases; 1. Initialization. 2. Start-up. 3. Execution and 4. Close down.

Realtive usage of Microsoft project during project lifetime

Relative usage of Microsoft Project during project lifetime. 

The main tasks in MS Project 2007 (or any other project management software) in each phase are described below.

Phase 1: Initialization is when you get the need permissions to start the preparations for the project and initial preparations are done. A pre-study might even be conducted in this phase. Microsoft Project 2007 or any other proejct management software is not used much in this phase.  

Phase 2: Start-up is very important phase in which you to 65-70% decide if you will have a successful project or if the project will fail. In this phase you lay the foundation for the project and decide the scope (in a WBS), resources, budget, time-plan, identify external/internal stakeholders, identify assumptions, do your risk-plan, start staffing the project and you also start using the project management software in this phase. I have seen too many project managers that are (they think) ready to start executing the project but they have not done their homework accordingly and they run into problems after a while and many projects fails due bad planning and that they started too early.

Connected to the project management software there are a number of activities that you should do in this phase;

You should at this stage in the project have a MS Project plan that reflects the true picture of your project. Remember that the project evolves over time and you need to keep the information in the project management software (MS Project 2007) updated according to the reality. You will otherwise make decisions based on incorrect information.

Phase 3: Execution of the project. This is the phase in which you utilize all the preparations that you made in the previous phase. As the name says this phase is about executing and not planning, I recommend you to not start any kind of project until the correct preparations for that specific project are completed.

Also here there are a number of more phase-specific activities that you should do;

The main usage of a proejct management software like MS Project 2007 in the execution-phase is provide the project manager with the correct information whenever needed.

Phase 4: Closing of the project. After, a hopefully, successful project you enter the fourth and last phase in the project which is to close the project in a proper way. You can utilise the information in MS Project in a number of different way for this.

Even though MS Project 2007 is a great project management tool it is important to remember that You manage the project and the tool will only support you with with the information that You feed into it.

Good Luck!

//Johan Beijar

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    3 Responses to “How to use Microsoft Project 2007 in the project…and when?”

  1. Geoffrey Says:

    I am using MS Project 2000 for managing ICT projects. I am still familiarizing myself with it, but you lessons above are in reference to Project 2007. What are the key differences between the two versions? Is there anything much I am loosing by using the 2000 version? Are there other versions between 2000 and 2007?

    Hi Geoffray,

    Thank you for a relavent question!

    To be honest I’m not really up to speed on the differencies between MSP 2000 and MSP 2007. I’ll think you do just fine if you just need the basic functionallity for running your work but bare in mind that it differs seven years so I guess that there are major changes.

    Sorry that I can not give you a better answer!

    Good luck!

    BR Johan Beijar

  2. Asit Jana Says:

    Our project in middle stage ,if i incorporate the data in ms project. What type of problem arises?

    Dear Asit Jana,

    It depends on the size of the project and the organisation within the project. A large project will of course require more effort to introduce a Project Mgt tool than a minor project. You also need to consider if you and your project have the correct staffing to cope with the additional workload.

    How long is the project? How much remains…is it worth to introduce right now? Is it a suitable time in the project? Are you close to a deadline or delivery? There are many aspects that you should consider.

    //Johan Beijar

  3. Satya Narayan Dash Says:

    Dear Johan,

    Could you please inform on a good book for getting a quick grasp (I know there are Complete refereces…I am looking for something fast (24hrs-48hrs)). I like your tutorials. However, personally I like hard copies.

    Appreciate your response.

    Bangalore, INDIA

    Dear Satya,

    I would like to recommend “Microsoft Office Project 2007 Bible” by Elaine Marmel ISBN: 0-470-00992-6
    “Microsoft Office Project 2007 Inside Out” by Teresa S. Stover ISBN: 978-0-7356-2327-9

    I hope that this will help you,

    Good Luck,

    Johan Beijar

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