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MS Project: I know the Go Live date. When should my project start?
PMConnection Articles


You know when your Go Live date should be. The question is; when should your project start?

The following solution demonstrates how Microsoft Project can provide that answer in 2 steps.

This article assumes that you already have a Microsoft Project schedule that has been developed following scheduling best practices. This solution works great when using a Microsoft Project schedule template or when you have recurring projects that follow the exact same tasks.

We will work with this Wine Tasting Fundraiser project.

  1. Before we begin the 2-Step process, we must create two custom fields; "Deadline Variance Calculator" and "Target Go Live Date".

    Create the Deadline Variance Calculator field

    1.1 Right click on Predecessor and insert the column Duration2

1.2 Right click on Duration2 column heading and click on Custom Fields

1.3 Click on Rename and input "Duration Variance Calculator", then click on OK

1.4 Click on Formula and input the following formula:

IIf([Deadline]=4294967295,0,(([Finish]-[Deadline])*480))

1.5 Click on >Ok and >OK again.

1.6 Right click on the column heading and click on Hide

 

Create the Target Go Live Date field

1.7 Right click on the Predecessor column and click on Insert Column.

1.8 Select Text1

1.9 Right click on Text1 and click on >Custom Fields

1.10 Click on Rename and input "Targeted Go Live Date", then click on OK

1.11 Click on Formula and input this formula;

IIf([Duration2]=0,"",([Project Start]-([Duration2]/480)))

1.12 Click on >Ok and >Ok

1.13 As a last step, right click on the Target Go Live Date column and insert the column called Deadline

1.14 The view should now show both the Deadline and Target Go Live Date columns

You can see in the schedule above that this project has over 125 rows. It has been developed using Microsoft Project scheduling best practices and the Go Live Milestone is currently at Thur 4/5/18. You can see that there are a number of tasks that are planned to occur AFTER Go Live and the overall Project Finish date is currently at Wed 4/25/18.

But let's say it is 2019 and we want to Go Live on Thur 8/29/2019.

2. Here is the 2-step process to get to the new start date:

2.1 Step 1 – Input the known date for when the project needs to complete into the Deadline field.

Notice that the Targeted Start Date field automatically populated. Take note of this date.

2.2 Step 2 – Input Project Start Date

Click on >Project, >Project Information and input the Start date of 6/13/2019 (this was the Targeted Start Date)

Click on OK

Notice the Change Highlighting feature turned the background of many cells to blue. Note that all dates in your project schedule just changed. The new Go Live Milestone date is now Thur 8/29/19 just as desired. Since the Milestone Finish date is equal to the Deadline date, the Targeted Start Date now displays as blank. All tasks after Go Live also moved out and the overall Project Finish date is now Wed 9/18/19.

Finally, this example used a Go Live date somewhere in the middle of the schedule. As opposed to trying to use the "Schedule From Finish" option in Microsoft Project, I could easily created a Project Complete Milestone and applied the Deadline there. The solution would have worked just as well.



Note:


Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, June 19 @ 22:06:15 CDT (449 reads)
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MS Project: Deadline Variance
PMConnection Articles

Deadline Variance

There is a field (column) within Microsoft Project called Deadline. It is tightly integrated into the tool and performs multiple functions. One of the biggest benefits of this field is that it will allow Microsoft Project to notify you when a Finish date slips past its Deadline date. Let's demonstrate:

In the Wine Tasting Fundraising project below, you will see a Project Complete Milestone at the end of the schedule (Row 137). Notice that this Milestone has 0 days Duration and appears as a black diamond in the bar chart portion of the Gantt Chart view on the right. Friday 4/6/18 is the planned Finish date for this project. You will notice that the Deadline column has been added to this view and it currently displays NA for the Project Complete Milestone.


Let's assume that our project team and all stakeholders agree that this project schedule is realistic and achievable. With that consensus in place, copy the Finish date for the Project Complete Milestone and paste it into the Deadline field.

In the picture above it appears as if the black diamond changed to a green arrow. The truth is; the arrow is actually laying on top of the diamond. The diamond is still there, we just can't see it.

As the project moves forward in real life, the project schedule should be updated to stay in line with reality. After making an update to a task within the Planning phase of this project, all of a sudden a Red diamond with an exclamation point appeared in the Indicator column on the left. This is Projects way of screaming at you; "You have a problem!"


If you hover over that red diamond, you will see that it says "This task goes past its deadline". If you look at the bar chart you will see that the black diamond has now pushed out to the right of the green arrow.

With a little further investigation, we can see that the current Finish date for the Project Complete Milestone is now Thu 4/12/18 and the Deadline date is Fr 4/6/18. The moral of this story is that if you continue to follow this project schedule as it currently stands, you are going to miss the agreed upon Project Complete Finish date.

As the project manager responsible for completing this project on time, the next objective should be to get this project on track. But the question at this point is; how far are we off track? In other words, what is difference between the current Finish and our Deadline Finish? How may calendar/ working days are we off track? There are a number of fields in Microsoft Project that automatically calculate the variance between two fields. But here is the problem; there is NOT a Deadline Variance field. The good news is; we can create a Deadline Variance field. Here are those steps:

Insert Duration1 column


Right click on the Duration1 column heading and click on Custom Fields


Click on Rename, input Deadline Variance and click on OK


Click on Formula and input this formula: IIf([Deadline]=4294967295,0,(ProjDateDiff([Deadline],[Finish]))) Then click on OK 


The following dialogue box will appear letting you know that any existing data in this field will be deleted. Simply click on OK.


We can now see that our project has slipped by 4 days.

As a good project manager your next step should be to work with the team to determine how to reduce the Duration of the critical path by 4 days in order to get the project back on track.



Note:



Posted by webadmin on Saturday, April 20 @ 08:35:40 CDT (444 reads)
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MS Project: Create Tasks in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant
PMConnection Articles


This article will guide the user through configuring a solution that will enable the user to create tasks in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant (or Google Home). Note that this solution does NOT require any custom code, Project Online or the purchase of a third-party add-on.

Watch short overview video here.

This solution does require Microsoft Project, Google Assistant, Trello, Wunderlist, an IFTTT Applet, Microsoft Flow and SharePoint.

The following image shows how the products are integrated and how the solution flows at a high level.


Contents:

Module 1 Create a SharePoint Task List

Module 2 Open SharePoint Task List In Microsoft Project

Module 3 Create Account in Wunderlist

Module 4 Create Trello Account

Module 5 Create Applet in IFTTT

Module 6 Create Workflow in Microsoft Flow

Module 7 Create a task in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant



Note: You may find this of value:




Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, February 27 @ 22:15:24 CST (5253 reads)
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MS Project: Create a task in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant
PMConnection Articles

This is "Module 7 – Create a task in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant", which is part of a series on "Create Tasks in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant".


30. Simply say "Hey Google, add 'determine painter' to My Project"

31. Click on >Save within the Quick Access Toolbar in the upper left corner. Microsoft Project downloads the latest information.

32. The "determine painter" task is then added to the schedule:



Note: You may find this helpful:

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Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, February 27 @ 22:06:48 CST (191 reads)
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MS Project: Create Workflow in Microsoft Flow
PMConnection Articles

This is "Module 6 – Create Workflow in Microsoft Flow", which is part of a series on "Create Tasks in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant".


27. From within Flow, click on Templates and type in "Wunderlist to SharePoint". Click on the option that says "When a Wunderlist task is created copy it to SharePoint online".

28. Click on Continue

29. Configure the flow as follows, then click on Save


See next article: Module 7 – Create a task in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant



Note: You may find this of value: 

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Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, February 27 @ 22:04:21 CST (197 reads)
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MS Project: Create Applet in IFTTT
PMConnection Articles

This is "Module 5 Create Applet in IFTTT", which is part of a series on "Create Tasks in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant".


12. Visit https://ifttt.com (If This Then That) and create an account

13. When asked to choose at least three services, select Google Assistant, Wunderlist and Trello

14. Click on the dropdown arrow to the right of your user name and click on New Applet

15. Click the "+this"

16. In Step 1, search for Assistant and click on Google Assistant

17. The Choose trigger step will appear. For Step 2, click on "Say a phrase with a text ingredient"

18. Within the question for "What do you want to say", input 'add $ to my project'. Within the question for "What do you want the Assistant to say in response?', input 'Ok, adding task'.

19. Then click on Create Trigger

20. Click on the "+that"

21. In Step 3 Choose action service, type trello, then click on Trello

22. Step 4, click on Create a card

22. Within Which Board? Click on the dropdown and select the name of your Trello board (the one with no spaces). For List name, input Inbox

23. For Position, select Top of List. For Title, click on Add Ingredient and select TextField.

 

24. Click on Create action

 25. As a last step, you can change the name of your Applet if you like.

26. Click on Save.


See next article: Module 6 Create Workflow in Microsoft Flow



Note: You may find this helpful:


Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, February 27 @ 21:59:43 CST (214 reads)
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MS Project: Create Trello Account
PMConnection Articles

This is Module 4 Create Trello Account which is part of a series on Create Tasks in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant.


11. Visit https://trello.com/ and create an account

12. Create a board* that has at least one list. In the screenshot below, my board is called "MyTrello" and the list is "Inbox". *Note that my original board name contained a space which caused a problem later. I recommend creating this board name with no space.


 

See next article: Module 5 - Create Applet in IFTTT


 



Note: You may find this helpful: 

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Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, February 27 @ 21:54:20 CST (238 reads)
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MS Project: Create Account in Wunderlist
PMConnection Articles

This is "Module 3 – Create Account in Wunderlist", which is part of a series on "Create Tasks in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant".


9. Visit https://www.wunderlist.com and create an account

10. Your account now exists:


See next article: Module 4 – Create Gmail Account



Note: You may find this of value: 

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Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, February 27 @ 21:50:36 CST (196 reads)
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MS Project: Open SharePoint Task List In Microsoft Project
PMConnection Articles

This is "Module 2 – Open SharePoint Task List In Microsoft Project", which is part of a series on "Create Tasks in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant".


5. From the SharePoint Task list, click on the List tab across the top, then click on "Open with Project"

6. Microsoft Project will open and will sync with the Task List:

7. Click on >Gantt Chart in the upper left corner

8. Place a checkmark in >Project Summary Task option in the upper right


See next article: Module 3 – Create Account in Wunderlist



Note: You may find this of value: 

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Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, February 27 @ 21:43:37 CST (199 reads)
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MS Project: Create a SharePoint Task List
PMConnection Articles
This is "Module 1 – Create a SharePoint Task List", which is part of a series on "Create Tasks in Microsoft Project using Google Assistant".


  1. Open your SharePoint site, click on the gear and choose Add an App

2. Click on Tasks and then input the name of your project. I input "My Project". Then click on Create


3. Your task list will be added to the Site Content. See "My Project" in the list below:


4. Click on the Hyperlink for "My Project". This task list will open:


See next article: Module 2 – Open SharePoint Task List In Microsoft Project



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Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, February 27 @ 21:40:12 CST (199 reads)
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