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MS Project 1
This document investigates the features of MS Project 2007 (MSP) using as an example the garage building project from Lock (Lock D. Project Management. 6th edition. Gower 1996).

The Blackboard site also has copies of the MS Project file as it should appear at various points during the exercise, so you might, for example, wish to download a sample copy of garast4.mpp before starting section 4.

As you work through these notes, make a note of any features you find puzzling or difficult, or any features you would like to have seen which appear to be absent, as there will be an opportunity to discuss these in the coursework.

1.LOADING TASKS, DEPENDENCIES AND DURATIONS

0.1Start
0.2Finish
1.0Doors
1.1Make and prime door frame
1.2Position door frame
1.3Make doors
1.4Prime doors
1.5Hang doors
2.0Roof
2.1Cut roof timbers
2.2Fit roof timbers
2.3Fit roof sheets
2.4Fit gutters and pipes
2.5Seal roof
2.6Fit fascia boards
3.0Walls
3.1Dig foundations
3.2Concrete foundations
3.3Lay bricks
3.4Case lintel and build parapets
3.5Fit RSJ lintel
4.0Painting
4.1Paint
5.0Drains
5.1Dig soak away
5.2Lay rubble and drain
5.3Fill in
5.4Make good concrete over trench
6.0Floor
6.1Lay floor base
6.2Lay floor screed
Figure 1.1 WBS for garage construction project
Each task in a project should be identified by a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) code. A WBS is a tree or hierarchical structure which is one of the foundations of a project plan. MS Project refers to the tasks at the top level of the hierarchy (such as 5.0 Drains) as ‘summary tasks’ and lower levels tasks as subtasks. MS Project will assign WBS codes for you, but we will set it up ourselves. The WBS for the garage construction project is shown in Figure 1.1.

Start your browser and download the file Garast1.mpp from the module web page and save it onto your disc. This file contains most of the task data for the garage project (to save you the typing).

Load MS Project and open up your copy of Garast1.mpp. You should see the presentation shown in Figure 1.2.

Figure 1.2. Plan for garage construction project (incomplete) Try out the option view/view bar which removes and replaces the menu of views on the left of the screen.

Click on Tools/Options.../View and check that the dates and currency are in UK format. Check the following:-

change the date format to 28/01/02
change the Currency symbol to GBP
the currency symbol should be £

Add the rest of the tasks to the plan, as in Figure 1.3.
WBSTask NameDurationPredecessors
182.2Fit roof timbers2d15,3
191.5Hang doors1d12,16,10
202.3Fit roof sheets1d18
212.6Fit fascia boards1d18
222.5Seal roof2d17,20
232.4Fit gutters & pipes1d21,7
244.1Paint3d19,23
250.2Finish0d24,22,14

Figure 1.3 The remaining project tasks.
Click on Project/Project Information... and set the project start date to 02/01/12.

Click on Project/Project Information/Statistics ... and have a look at the finish date. It should be 02/02/12. If it isn’t then carefully check the details of the new tasks you added.

Try some of the ways in which the project plan can now be displayed, by clicking:-

View/Calendar
View/Gantt to show a cascade bar chart.
View/Network Diagram to show a network. Note that the critical path is shown in red.

Rather than clicking View/Calendar and so on, you can click the view you want on the view bar at the left of the screen. Click View/View Bar and try it.

Save the project file as Garast2.mpp.
2.SETTING UP THE SUMMARY TASKS
MS Project allows you to group a set of tasks together to form a summary task. This allows you to decide what level of detail to display: if you want a review of the whole project you can display just the summary tasks; or, if you want to see all the details, you can display both the tasks and the summary tasks; or you can display the tasks...
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