1. Know a thing or two about Project Management
Now I’m not saying that you need to go out and become PMP certified, but unlike Word or Excel, knowing the basic principles of project management will help you when working with Microsoft Project. If you don’t know the difference between the terms Phases and Milestones or Work versus Duration, or if you do not know the definition of the term Critical Path, you are likely to struggle. Also, if you don’t know the concept behind the triple constraint of Scope, Cost and Time, then you need to do a little homework.
2. Gain access to Microsoft Project
Any version 2000 or later will work. What?
Why would I not say get 2007? There are a few reasons:
a. The fundamentals of how to build and maintain a schedule in Microsoft Project have not changed with the 2007 version of the tool.
b. How Microsoft Project “thinks” has not changed either.
c. Older versions of the software are more easily accessed. You may already have Microsoft Project installed on your machine, or you can easily get it.*
d. At this point, you are simply wanting to learn how to properly build and maintain a project schedule using Microsoft Project throughout the life of a project.
*If you are going to have to purchase the software, go ahead and purchase the 2007 version. You will need this version for a later step, and it has a couple of good features that make this version worth purchasing. Not to mention that in a few years, everyone will build schedules using the 2007 version and the software is NOT backwards compatible!**Here is a link to purchase Microsoft Project 2007
**After this article was written, Microsoft released an update so 2007 files can be read with 2003. Find out more here.3. Learn Microsoft Project
Learn how to properly build a dynamic schedule. Then learn how to manage that schedule throughout the life of a project. So how do you do this?
a. Just Do It! – Figure it out through trial and error. Not the best option, but if you are going to try this approach, you will find tips for using Microsoft Project here
b. Purchase a book or books
i. Here is the one we recommend
ii. Here are other books
c. Take a training class
5. Learn the new features of Microsoft Project 2007
Here is a list of the new features within Microsoft Project 2007
8. Schedule your exam
a. Register with Prometric here
b. You are wanting to take exam: 070-632 TS: Microsoft Office Project 2007, Managing Projects
10. Sit for and pass the exam
Best of luck!!