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Agile Practice Guide from PMI  

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK 5th Edition 2013

PMP Exam Prep: Rita's Course
Microsoft Project 2016 for Dummies


Microsoft Project 2016

The Ultimate Application Administrators Guide for Project Online

MS Project: How to Download and Install a Trial Version of Microsoft Project 2016
PMConnection Articles

2. Either Sign In or Create your User ID

3. Browse to your Downloads folder. If you click on the Date Modified column, this will bring your most current files to the top. You will find a file with a name similar to this: “Setup.X86.en-us_ProjectProRetail_c41af6dc-fd2e-47fc-b2a4-a9ee0fa11375_TX_PR_”. Double click on this file and Microsoft Project Pro 2016 will begin installation.

4. Once complete, you will receive the following notification

5. Project 2016 will now be available from Start. (Note that I have three version of project installed on this machine)

6. Click on Project 2016. The following License Agreement appears. Click on Accept.

7. Because I want to run previous versions of Microsoft Project along with Project 2016, I select the option to “Cancel and not perform an upgrade at this time”.

8. Project 2016 is now ready to use:

Posted by webadmin on Monday, October 12 @ 12:36:32 CDT (5238 reads)
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MS Project: 422 Microsoft Project® Fields, Terms and Definitions
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Note: You might find this book helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Sunday, April 05 @ 13:44:34 CDT (12996 reads)
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MS Project: Microsoft Project Schedule Templates
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PMConnection is home to over 200 Microsoft Project Schedule Templates.  Search them by name, date added, user ranking or popularity.

See all the MS Project Schedules from here.

Note: You might find this book helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Saturday, February 28 @ 12:05:29 CST (12330 reads)
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MS Project: Screenshot from Microsoft Project 98
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Above is a screenshot from Microsoft Project 98.

Do you miss "Clippy"?  Vote here

Posted by webadmin on Saturday, February 14 @ 23:26:03 CST (5495 reads)
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MS Project: Microsoft Project 2013 Templates
PMConnection Articles

For Project 2013,  there are a number of new templates:


Welcome to Project – This template teaches you the basics of Project including links to help videos. It is great for beginners.


Simple Project Plan – This is a very simple template to help beginners create a plan.


Earned Value – This template helps you create a project that works for earned value tracking.


Agile Project Management – This template is for people who want to use Microsoft Project for agile project management. It has some custom views and filters to help you follow the methodology.


Create a Budget – This template walks you through how to use Budget Resources and contains reports that work with budget resources.


Install Project Server 2013 and Upgrade to Project Server – If you are moving to Project Server 2013, these templates will walk you through the necessary steps.

Note: You might find this helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Saturday, February 14 @ 22:32:03 CST (10661 reads)
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MS Project: How to Highlight Tasks that Start or Finish on the Weekend
PMConnection Articles

How to Highlight Tasks that Start or Finish on the Weekend

This solution involves a Flag field, a formula, a Macro and the out of the box Marked Tasks field.

What you will end with is a schedule in which you can easily see or filter for Weekend Tasks:

Step 1 – Add the Formula

Insert “Flag3″ into your Gantt Chart view, then right click on the column heading and select Custom fields. Click on Rename and input “Weekend Task?”:

Click on >OK, then click on >Formula. Paste this formula into that box:


Click on >OK

Microsoft Project will alert you that any existing data in this field will be deleted. Click on >OK and >OK again.

You now have a field that displays a Yes if that task either Starts or Finishes on a Saturday and/or Sunday:

You could now use the auto-filter on the column heading and filter for just the “Yes” value. Perhaps this is enough. But we promised to Highlight these tasks. On to Step 2:

Step 2 – Highlight the Tasks

To do this, we are going to leverage the out of the box field called Marked Tasks and the Text Styles option.

Click on >Format, >Text Styles, for Item to Change, select >Marked Tasks, for Color change to Maroon, click on >OK:

Step 3 – Making it Work

In order to get the Weekend Tasks to display with Maroon text, we must leverage a macro. I used this code:

I created the macro so it would run with the key strokes of >Ctrl and e:

So now, after adjusting the schedule, I only need to hold down on the “Ctrl” key and hit “e” and my Weekend Tasks are highlighted in Maroon:

Note: You might find this book helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Sunday, October 05 @ 12:52:09 CDT (2585 reads)
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MS Project: Why You Should NOT Assign Predecessors to Summary Tasks within MS Project
PMConnection Articles

Here is One Reason Why You Should NOT Assign Predecessors to Summary Tasks within Microsoft Project:


I needed a schedule within Microsoft Project that I could quickly open and work with to provide a demonstration. I elected to open the “Wine Tasting Fundraiser” template found within Microsoft Project 2010. (Find hundreds of Microsoft Project schedule templates here)

As I started working with this file, I was extremely disappointed to find many best practices of working with Microsoft Project had not been followed. The individual who produced this schedule violated a number of items found in this article: “10 Signs You Don’t Really Know Microsoft Project“.

As I was in the process of fixing this schedule, I got stumped for just a moment. Here is what happened:

As I looked at the Gantt Chart portion of the Gantt Chart view, I was curious how a number of the tasks (6,12,13,17,22) were starting nearly a week later than the first task within the schedule.

I first thought that someone had hard-coded the Start date of these tasks. But upon investigation, all tasks were scheduled to start “As Soon As Possible”.

Then I thought, well maybe the Start date of the project is set to Friday 10/10/14 and task 1 has a constraint. I inspected the Project Start date only to find it is set to Monday 10/6/14.

Next I thought that somehow the person who developed this template modified the Gantt Chart portion of the Gantt Chart view and changed the default option on how the “Link” arrows are displayed. Turns out this was not the case either:

Right click on the Gantt Chart and select Layout. The Layout dialogue box will display:

Next, my eyes catch that there are no Predecessors for these tasks of question:

And then I see it. The culprit! I see the 3 that has been placed within the Predecessor column on the “Planning” Summary Task (#4). This is violation number 5 of the article referenced above.

I removed the 3 from the Summary Task and input that as the Predecessor on those tasks that appeared strange.

The Link arrows are now displayed connecting the Predecessor task to its Successors as it should.

If assigning a Predecessor to a Summary Task caused this much confusion while looking at 25 rows in a schedule, imagine how confusing it would be if there were a few hundred or a thousand rows!

Note: You may find this book helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Sunday, October 05 @ 07:59:45 CDT (5857 reads)
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MS Project: Microsoft Project 2013 Certification Exam Prep Questions
PMConnection Articles

15 Free Microsoft Project Certification Exam Prep Questions

Exam 74-343
Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013

Answer key is at bottom.  No cheating!

1. You would like to add a row at the top of your project schedule that rolls up or sums all the information below.  What is the easiest way to do that?
    a. Insert a Summary Task at the top of your schedule and indent all tasks below it.
    b. Enable the Project Summary Task through the Format tab on the Ribbon.
    c. Insert a task at the top of your schedule and establish the predecessors appropriately.
    d. Enable the Project Summary Task through Project tab and Project Information.

2. You would like to see graphically that your milestones have slipped passed the agreed upon Finish dates.  What should you add to the milestones?
    a. A Finish date
    b. A “Must Finish On” constraint
    c. A Deadline
    d. A “Finish No Later Than” constraint

3. You have a task that spans 5 days in Duration, has only one Resource assigned, and consists of 40 hours of planned Work.  Due to a change in a delivery date, you discover that you now need to complete this task in 3 days or less.  You have an additional resource on the team who could help with this task.  How should you configure this task before adding the second resource?
    a. Set Type to Fixed Duration, and Effort Driven to Yes
    b. Set Type to Fixed Units, and Effort Driven to Yes
    c. Set Type to Fixed Work, and Effort Driven to No
    d. Set Type to Fixed Work, and Effort Driven to Yes

4. You have a resource on your team who is only available 50% of the time.  She is responsible for working on only one task next week.  The original estimate of Work for this task was 20 hours.  She just informed you that based upon some new found information, the task is really going to take 30 hours worth of Work to complete.  There is no one else that can assist with this task.  How should you configure this task before updating the Work?
    a.  Set Effort Driven to Yes, then input 30 hours Work
    b.  Set Type to Fixed Duration, then input 30 hours Work
    c.  Set Type to Fixed Units, then input 30 hours Work
    d.  Set Effort Driven to No, then input 30 hours Work

5. You were just asked to take over a project.  The previous project manager had developed a schedule in Microsoft Excel.  It has 262 tasks, each with Duration in days and Resource Names assigned.  You prefer to manage your projects using Microsoft Project.  What’s the best way to get the information out of Excel and into Microsoft Project?
    a. Use the Gantt Chart Wizard
    b. Select all the information in Excel, Copy and Paste directly into Microsoft Project
    c. Open the Excel file directly from within Microsoft Project, which will convert and map Tasks, Durations, and Resources assigned into Project fields
    d. Create a VBA macro

6. You are in the process of creating a new schedule in Microsoft Project.  You want to ensure that all tasks added to the schedule will be “Auto Scheduled”.  What should you do?
    a. Under Schedule Options, set New tasks created to “Auto Scheduled”
    b. Under Advanced Options, set New tasks created to “Auto Scheduled”
    c. Use the Task Mode field within the Gantt Chart view to change the value to “Auto Scheduled”
    d. Highlight all tasks and use the “Auto Schedule” button

7. You just updated the Duration of a task.  You notice that the Finish Variance at the “Level 0” or  “Project Summary” row is now showing 5 days.  What does this mean?
    a. The project is on schedule
    b. The project is 5 days behind schedule
    c. The project is 5 days ahead of schedule
    d. The project needs rebaselined

8. Working with your project sponsor, you determine that a few tasks are out of scope for your project.  You would like to somehow adjust your schedule to eliminate those tasks, but you don’t want to simply delete them just in case they may be needed in the future.  What should you do?
    a. Move the task to after the end date of the project
    b. There is nothing else you can do but delete the task
    c. Remove the Predecessor and Successor from the tasks
    d. Inactivate the tasks

9. You click on the Resource Sheet view and notice that one of the resource names appears in Red.  What does this mean?
    a. The name is misspelled
    b. The resource is not assigned to any tasks
    c. The resource is over-allocated
    d. The resource has not been properly added to the Resource Sheet

10. You just updated your schedule.  You need a graphical view that shows how your current schedule compares to the Baseline.  Which view should you use?
    a. Detail Gantt view
    b. Tracking Gantt view
    c. Leveling Gantt view
    d. Gantt Chart view

11. You are managing a project to add a new kitchen onto an older home.  The Plumber owns the task of Install Plumbing.  The Electrician owns the task of Install Electric.  Both tasks span a duration of 5 days each.  The initial plan was to have all the plumbing complete before installing the electric.  However, you would like to compress the overall duration of these two tasks, so you talk to both the Electrician and the Plumber.  It is decided that the Electrician could begin his work 2 days before the Plumber is complete.  How would you alter your schedule?
    a. Figure out which day the plumber will be complete, subtract two days, then input that as the Start date for Install Electricity
    b. Establish a Finish-to-Start relationship between Install Plumbing and Install Electricity, and include a 2 day Lag
    c. Establish a Finish-to-Start relationship between Install Plumbing and Install Electricity, and include a -2 day Lag
    d. Establish a Start-to-Finish relationship between Install Plumbing and Install Electricity, and include a 2 day Lag

12. What is the easiest way to show only the Milestones and Summary Tasks within your project schedule?
    a. Click on >View, >Filter, >Milestones
    b. Click on >View, >Group by, >Milestones
    c. Insert the column Milestone, click on the dropdown filter on the column, then choose “Yes”
    d. Using the AutoFilter, filter for “Duration = 0”

13. The PMO manager comes to you because she realizes you have good experience with Microsoft Project 2013.  She is wondering if there is an out of the box view or report that shows Actual Work, Remaining Work and Baseline Work.  Which do you recommend?
    a. Project Overview dashboard
    b. Resource Allocation view
    c. Task Usage view
    d. Work Overview dashboard

14. You are about to begin a new project.  Which of the following Resource Types is NOT available in Microsoft Project 2013?
    a. Labor
    b. Material
    c. Work
    d. Cost

15. You are in the process of updating your schedule.  You notice that one task has 3 days of Remaining Duration.  You speak with the person assigned to this task and they state that the work is complete.  What should you do?
    a. Mark the task 100% Complete
    b. Enter 0 in Remaining Duration
    c. Enter a status date for the task
    d. Reschedule uncompleted work

Answer Key:
1. b
2. c
3. d
4. c
5. c
6. a
7. b
8. d
9. c
10. b
11. c
12. a
13. d
14. a
15. b

Find out more or sign up for this exam here:

Helpful articles, videos and podcasts on Microsoft Project here:

*Our friend Ellen at LehnertsCS.com reminds us that the actual questions for the 2013 exam are even more situational than what we have captured here.  Thanks Ellen!

Note: This book can help you prepare for the exam:

Posted by webadmin on Saturday, August 23 @ 12:02:50 CDT (21229 reads)
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MS Project: Group Tasks by Start Date
PMConnection Articles

Group Tasks by Start Date

Begin with a simple schedule:


Click on >View tab, >Other Views, >Save View


Input “By Start Date” and click on OK


Click on >View tab, >Group by, >New Group by


Input “By Start Date” in Name field and Start within the first Group by field name. (Ensure the “Show Summary Tasks” is unchecked). Then click on Apply.



The tasks will now be grouped by the Start date. Hide, insert or rearrange columns as desired:


To change formatting of the Start and Finish times, click on >Tables, >More Tables;


Ensure By Start Date Table is highlighted, then click on Edit

For the Date Format option, choose “12:33 PM” and click on OK, then Apply.


The “By Start Date View” will now look like this:

Note: You may find this book helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Saturday, June 21 @ 11:50:07 CDT (3156 reads)
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MS Project: Automatically Format Critical Path Activities in MS Project 2010
PMConnection Articles

Automatically Format Critical Path Activities in MS Project 2010

If you are a user of Microsoft Project, then you have probably discovered that to see which task are on the critical path, you can use a filter or grouping option.  Or perhaps you attempt to leverage the Tracking Gantt View to see the critical tasks appearing as red task bars.  Using this option works well if you manage your schedule from the gantt chart portion.  But from my experience, most people focus on the tabular portion of their schedule when modifying activity attributes.  If this describes you, then here is a trick that will help.

It is possible to configure MS Project to automatically format the critical path tasks on the tabular portion of your schedule.  Here are the steps:


1. Click on the Format tab

2. Click on Text Styles


3. Click on the dropdown for the Item to change

4. Select Critical Tasks

5. Click on the dropdown for Color

6. Select Red

7. Select Bold under Font Style


8. Click on OK 

The entire row for all tasks that are on the critical path of your schedule will now appear in Bold Red.

But here is the best part… As you are managing / modifying your schedule, if your change causes a new task to come on the critical path, that task will automatically turn Bold Red!!

Since learning this trick a few years ago, I use it on all my schedules.  During the planning stages, I inspect these critical path tasks just to make sure I’m seeing what I would expect.  Many times I will find simple errors in the logic of the plan that I would not have otherwise caught.  Now before committing to delivery dates, I’m more confident that we have developed a realistic plan.  Using this option during the execution phase of my projects allows me to immediately know if the impact of schedule changes causes a change in critical path tasks.

Note: You may find this book helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Thursday, May 22 @ 18:35:41 CDT (8087 reads)
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