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Steps for a Successful Project


Steps for a Successful Project – Project 2013 Toolbar


Springhouse is pleased to share its custom Project 2013 Toolbar – Steps for a Successful Project.  Unfortunately, the uneducated user of Microsoft Project® will often create unexpected yet preventable project management issues. Springhouse's Microsoft Project®training provides students with a step-by-step approach that promotes the successful planning and management of project schedules.  This downloadable toolbar guides users through the Springhouse proven technique, a series of steps that build upon each other.

Installation Instructions

1. Click Here to download the toolbar
2. Choose Save As… and save the file locally
3. Open Microsoft Project® 2013
4. Click on File, Options
5. Click on Customize Ribbon
6. On the lower-right portion of the Project Options screen, choose Import/Export, then Import customization file
7. Navigate to the location of the toolbar download, select it, and then click Open
8. If prompted, choose Yes


 9. The toolbar will appear in the right-hand panel with a check mark indicating it has been enabled.


10. When you return to Project® 2013, the toolbar will be displayed; each group of commands/buttons is numbered and aligns to each of the Steps for a Successful Project


Steps for a Successful Project Schedule

The following list of steps should be followed in order to increase the stability and overall success of implementing a project schedule.  Use the information below as a guide.  If you are new to Microsoft Project® and would like to learn more, register for an upcoming class today:

1. Display the Project Summary Task and name your project

    • In section one of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar, check the Project Summery Task checkbox.
    • Select File, Save As, and provide the name of the project file. 
    • When you return to the Gantt chart view, notice how task zero is renamed with your file name!

2. Set the project's start date (ASAP mode) and 'schedule from' setting

    • In section two of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar, click the Project Information button and edit the Start Date and Schedule from = fields.

3. Configure the project's defaults maintaining consistency with peers or with organizational standards

    • In section three of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar,  click the Project Options button.  Be consistent with decimals, date formats, etc.

4. Configure the project's calendar and exceptions

    • In section four of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar, click Change Working Time and modify the Work Time Standard.
    • Consider copying Standard to create others such as '4-day work week' or '30 hr. part-time'

5. Create just the tasks and milestones

    • In section five of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar, use the commands to create tasks and milestones.  Consider creating a WBS (work breakdown structure) to understand the work required.  Enter the summary tasks initially and then the detailed tasks.
    • Review each task's Type for correctness: Fixed Units, Fixed Work, or Fixed Duration.  Consider adding the Type column to your Gantt chart view.

6. Establish task hierarchy through summary tasks

    • Select the names of the tasks to become sub-tasks, then in section six of the "Steps for a Successful Project"  toolbar use the Indent button to establish the task hierarchy.

7. Enter task estimates

    • Use section seven of the "Steps for a Successful Project" to enter task estimates within a project. Either choose to define by duration OR work throughout - and be consistent with all tasks in the project.

8. Link the tasks

    • Use section eight of the "Steps for a Successful Project"  to link tasks together.
    • DO NOT OVER-LINK.  DO NOT LINK TOO LITTLE EITHER.  It is OK to not link tasks if no relationship exists!
    • Leverage the Network Diagram view to determine correctness of links.
    • Consider Leads (-2d or -25%) and Lags (+3d).

9. Set up resources (Work, Material, Cost

    • In section nine of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar, click on Resource Sheet or choose Resource Sheet from left-hand View Bar (if enabled).

10. Configure resource calendar exceptions and working times (personal vacations or absences)

    • Using section ten of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar, click on Change Working Time.  Then choose the correct resource calendar to edit.  You can also double-click the resource from the Resource Sheet view and then, click Change Working Time on the right.

11. Assign resources to tasks

    • Section eleven of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar gives you the ability to easily assign resources. Choose the resource for each activity from the Resource Names field list, or
    • Select the task, then on the Resource tab, click on Assign Resources.  If using this option, select all resources to be assigned to this task first, before you click 'Assign'.

12. Check for errors and over-allocations

    • In section twelve of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar, click on Network Diagram and look for sequencing & logic errors.
    • Use the Resource Views group, click on Team Planner or Resource Sheet and look for red resources.
    • Resolve all Task Inspector issues, then ensure your project schedule plans to meet the project objectives.

13. Baseline the project

    • Using section thirteen of the "Steps for a Successful Project" choose Set Baseline, then Set Baseline.

14. Begin project execution and track your progress

    • Now take your project is being executed and monitored use section fourteen of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar and leverage the Tracking Gantt view.
    • Set the Status Date on the Project tab.
    • Capture actuals from the team.
      • Mark tasks 0%-100% using the buttons on the Task tab, or
      • On the Task tab, select Mark on Track, Update Tasks and enter specific information.
    • Update the project using the Update Project command on the Project tab.

15. Report the progress of your project

    • You can utilize the reports found in section fifteen of the "Steps for a Successful Project" toolbar or create your own.

16. Save your project

    • Choose the File menu, then Save/Save As.
    • Consider enabling the 'Auto Save every # minutes' option.
    • Choose the File menu, then Options, then the Save sub-option, check the 'Auto save every…' and specify the number of minutes.



<p><a href="">​Contact Us</a> today to signup for a upcoming Microsoft Project 2013 class!</p>

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