The Project Map: Your road map to project management

The Project Map can help you make the most of Microsoft Office Project 2007 and accomplish your project goals by using the accepted standards and practices of project management methodology.

Note   Even if you are using agile project management methodologies, you can still use the goals included in the Project Map to help you manage your project to a successful conclusion.

The Project Map outlines the three phases of the project life cycle: Build a plan, track and manage a project, and close a project. Familiarize yourself with this road map to project management by exploring the goals under each of these phases.

Tip    Click the links below to see broad project management activities, and then click the goal items for detailed instructions on accomplishing each goal in Office Project 2007.

Project Roadmap art

Build a plan

Define a project

Before you can build a project, you need to decide what exactly the project is, what its scope is, and what you hope to achieve by your project.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Initiate a project

During the project planning phase of projects that will span a significant length of time or involve many people, it is important to define the objectives, assumptions, and constraints of the project.

Start a project plan

After the initial planning, you can create your project file, enter your preliminary project data, and attach your planning documents to the file.

Define project deliverables

After you establish the objectives of your project, you define the actual product or service that meets those objectives.

Plan project activities

After you define what your project is, to ensure that your project is successful, explore the major activities involved in it. Many projects fail because a project manager didn't consider, early enough, the full scope of the work involved in creating the project.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Define phases and tasks

After you determine the work involved in your project, you can organize it into milestones, phases, and tasks and enter it into a project plan.

Show the project's organization

After you outline tasks, you can also show the structure of your project by using built-in or customized work breakdown structure (WBS) codes or outline codes.

Estimate task durations

Project 2007 can calculate a realistic schedule for you, often based solely on task durations and task dependencies that you enter.

Schedule project tasks

After you enter the task durations, it's time to address how those tasks are related to each other and tied to specific dates.

Create relationships between projects

By creating task dependencies between the tasks in different projects, you can evaluate the effects of changes and activities in one project on other projects.

Plan for and procure resources

At this point in the project planning process, you have identified the project scope, set up the task list, and estimated task durations.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Estimate resource needs

By now you have identified the project scope, including setting up the task list and estimating the task durations. You can use this information to make preliminary estimates, identify requirements, and start your staffing and procurement processes to acquire the resources that you need.

Build the project team

All of your resources were identified, approved, and procured. Now you can build your team by entering the resource information into the project plan.

Share resources among projects

Project 2007 makes it easier for you to share resources across multiple projects in which the same people, materials, or equipment will be used.

Assign resources to tasks

Now that the resource information has been entered into the project, you can assign resources to the specific tasks you set up as the work of the project.

Plan project costs

Without a solid understanding of what your costs are in a project, the project can quickly fail and become unprofitable. Costs are comprised of all the resources required to carry out a project, including the people and equipment that do the work and the materials consumed as the work is completed.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Estimate costs

Cost estimating is the process of developing the approximate resource and task costs needed to complete the project activities.

Define cost budget and baseline information

After you enter cost rates, you can save them as your budget before you start tracking and managing the plan. Also, you may want to attach important notes about budget decisions, share the budget information with others, or transfer information to other file formats.

Prepare to manage costs

After establishing costs, you can make the necessary preparations for tracking and managing them to ensure that the project stays within budget. You can specify a start date for the fiscal year, control the calculation options, and determine when the costs are payable.

Plan for quality and risks

Quality is a key concern that directly impacts your customers or users. Without a risk management plan, your project can suffer in unexpected ways.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Plan for quality

Before a project begins, identify the quality standards that are necessary to achieve project objectives.

Identify and plan for risks

Identifying, planning for, and reducing risk at various times during a project can help you to keep the project on schedule and within budget.

Plan communication and security

Communication and the security surrounding it are critical aspects of creating a team that collaborates well.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Set up methods for communicating project information

Set up a method for communicating with the project team and keeping the project up-to-date.

Help protect the project information

Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 and Project 2007 offer basic security features that can help protect your project information from unauthorized access.

Optimize a project plan

After your project begins, you may need to review how things are going and fine-tune the tasks, resources, or costs.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Optimize the project plan to meet the finish date

After building your project plan, you can review and fine-tune it to ensure that you meet the scheduled finish date.

Optimize the project plan for resources

After building your project plan, review the allocation of your resources to optimize their workloads.

Optimize the project plan to meet the budget

Review the planned costs in your completed project plan to ensure that they stay within your budget.

Print and distribute project information

Keep stakeholders and team members current on project progress by providing them with access to online or printed views and reports.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Print project information

After your project is scheduled, you may want to distribute printed copies of the most current project information to stakeholders or team members.

Distribute project information online

You can distribute the most current project information online by creating reports to stakeholders and team members.

Track and manage a project

Track progress

Select the items that you want to track and choose your tracking method, and then begin monitoring your project's progress.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Set up a project for tracking

Though Project 2007 makes tracking easy, there are several steps to take before you can begin tracking project progress.

Record progress and respond to updates

After you choose the items that you want to track and the tracking method, you can begin tracking those items.

Manage a schedule

Manage your project by identifying problems, fine-tuning the schedule, and reporting its progress to stakeholders and team members.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Identify schedule problems

As you track the actual progress of tasks, you can review your schedule to identify problems or potential problems with task schedules.

Put tasks, phases, or the project back on schedule

If you identify problems in your schedule, you can use a variety of strategies to manage your project schedule.

Manage resources

Manage your resources by tracking their progress, identifying and resolving allocation problems, managing shared resources, and reporting the project progress to stakeholders and team members.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Track resource progress

The most effective way to gauge the progress of resources' work on a project is to balance their workloads and track the progress on tasks.

Identify resource allocation problems

By reviewing the resource information, such as assignments, overallocations or underallocations, resource costs, and variances between planned and actual work, you can verify that the resources are optimally assigned to tasks to get the results that you want.

Resolve resource allocation problems

To get the best performance and results from resources, you need to manage their workloads to fix overallocations and underallocations.

Manage information about shared resources

After you add enterprise resources, review or change shared resource information to make sure that your project is as flexible and cost effective as possible.

Manage costs

You manage costs by keeping costs within your budget. Costs are all of the resources required to carry out a project, including the people and equipment that do the work and the materials consumed as the work is completed.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Monitor costs

By reviewing the basic cost information for your project on a repeating basis, as well as performing a more detailed analysis of cost information, you can help to ensure that your project's financial success.

Adjust costs to keep the project on budget

Once you identify a budget problem, you can take corrective action by using Project 2007 to fix the problem and to re-optimize the schedule for cost.

Manage risks

Identify potential trouble spots by anticipating risks and responding to risk events, and report project progress to stakeholders and team members.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Identify new risks

Identifying, mitigating, and controlling risk will help you to meet your project objectives.

Control project risks

After a risk event occurs, you may need to respond to the risk in order to control the impact on the project.

Close a project

Review final project information

The end of a project is a good time for stakeholders and team members to come together to analyze what went right or wrong and to produce the final online or printed views and reports.

What do you want to explore?    

Goal

Description

Review final project information

Closing a project involves summarizing and communicating project information, analyzing project effectiveness, and archiving project data.

Applies To: Excel 2007, Project Standard 2007, Project 2007



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