Save Time by Using Project Templates in MS Project

If you find yourself creating projects on a regular basis, you should consider creating your own project template, or customising the default MS Project template. It is easy to do and will save you loads of time in the long run.

This tutorial will begin by showing you what a template consists of, and how to save one. This approach is best if you require multiple templates. For example, specific templates for specific clients or specific templates for specific types of job.

This tutorial will then show you how you can customise the default MS Project template. This will be the best option if you just need one template for all your projects.
Continue reading

5 Reasons for Using Custom Fields in Microsoft Project

Custom Fields in Microsoft Project allow you to define your own fields (columns) for data that meets your organisation needs.

By creating your own custom fields you can display information on the project plan that is tailored to your requirements.

This tutorial looks at 5 reasons you may want to set up custom fields in Microsoft Project including creating drop down lists and using formulas in fields.

  1. Create a drop down list
  2. Display multiple fields next to task bars in Gantt Chart
  3. Sum the total duration of tasks
  4. Change colour of task bars dependent upon conditions
  5. Using graphical indicators in custom fields

Continue reading

Automatically Format the Colour of Task Bars in Gantt Chart

I am often asked in Microsoft Project courses how to automatically change the colour of the task bars in a Gantt Chart dependent upon the tasks resource, or location.

The truth is that this can be a complicated process, but once it is set up it is good to go. Save your view and you will never have to worry about it again.

In this example I plan to format the colour of the task bars by the resource group. I want the colour of the bars to indicate the team that are working on that task. When someone assigns a resource to a task, Project will automatically format the task bar colour in the Gantt Chart.

Continue reading

Create a Drop Down List Field in Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project contains many fields for storing information about the tasks and resources of your project. So much so that it can be hard to imagine what else you would want to know.

However there is usually a desire to create your own custom fields to display other information in your different views and reports. You can create your own fields to store text, dates, cost and other types of data.

To assist data entry, a field can be created with a drop down list. You can look up the value that you need in a list making data entry easier and more accurate.

Continue reading

Outline Tasks in Microsoft Project

Outline tasks in Microsoft Project to organise your list of project tasks and make it more readable. Creating an outline requires indenting tasks. The indented tasks are known as subtasks and the task above them a summary task.

These groups of tasks can then be collapsed and expanded making the list of tasks easier to work with.

There are many approaches to organising the tasks in your project. You may decide to group tasks by the phases of the project, the teams who will be doing the work, or in the case of manufacturing a product the different parts that make up the product.

As well as making the list more readable and easier to use, the summary tasks also provide project data at a glance. Information such as the start and finish date of that project phase, its duration, cost and variance is made easily available. Continue reading