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offering two Project Management Training Courses in San Francisco and Houston in
February. Our two-day Project Management Nuts and Bolts is a fun and
dynamic introduction to project management best practices. It is followed
by our Microsoft Project 2000 in One-Day course.
Sign up for one or both courses.
Audience: Managers tasked with small to
Covers best practices of:
· Initiation -- Project
Objective Statements, Project Chartering, Project Organization
· Project Planning --
Work Breakdown Structure, Task Estimating, Resource Planning, Structured
· Leadership &
communication issues underlying good team-building
Bring your own projects to work on as exercises!
The Project Group, LLC
We specialize in assisting corporate and government clients in learning to
improve their productivity while planning and executing projects.
Our three-phase approach yields faster, more efficient project initiation,
planning and execution results.
Enroll In A Class Click Here
month our newsletter will delve into a specific step in the phases of
Initiation, Planning and Execution of projects. Our methodology is
applicable to any project in any industry. Our systematic approach to
Project Management is designed to help your company's projects gain
traction quickly, communicate clearly to all parties and keep them on
track to reach a successful conclusion.
This newsletter focuses
on Process 6: Setting Task Sequence in the Planning phase - Network
· Visualizing Task Sequence
We use a Network
Chart to visualize task sequence. A Network Chart shows...
- Which task precedes another (predecessor)
- Which task follows another (successor)
· Parallel tasks & task paths
· Total Project Duration
· The longest task path a.k.a. The Critical Path
· May show tasks forgotten in the Work
· Reveal previously hidden dependencies
· Are a great team building exercise
· Network Chart Symbols &
To create a network chart, write the task names on Post-ItsTM,
then start placing them on flipchart paper or a whiteboard, going from
left to right. Show the dependency relationships (predecessors and
successors) with arrows always moving left to right.
Predecessor - Task which
comes before another task
Successor - Task which
comes after another task
Hard Dependency - The
only way to do something
Shower then get dressed
Soft Dependency - Optional ways to look at
Drink coffee then shower or
shower first then drink coffee
· Network Chart Tips
- Always have a task
showing project Start.
- Always have a task
showing project Finish.
- Have plenty of work
space horizontally to spread out.
- Use color Post- ItsTM
for different teams or phases.
- Start at the beginning
and work forward (left to right).
- Start at the end and
work backward (right to left).
- Watch for multiple
finish and start paths.
- Draw lines in pencil
until you're sure of dependencies.
- Don't loop; always move
- Don't dangle; every
task has a predecessor and a successor.
- If a task has no
apparent successor, its successor is the project end.
- Leave your network
chart up on the wall or white board for a few days & let team
members make comments on the dependencies with other Post- Its.TM
Click Here to See a Sample Network Chart
· About Software Tools
Don't start entering your project tasks into a software tool
like Microsoft Project until you have gone through this manual process.
Post-ItTM charts give you an overview of the project that a
computer screen cannot.
Many MS Project users find that you can't fit the Network (called PERT
charts) for most projects easily onto a few pages. If you reduce the size
of each node to just one line, you can fit five times as many task nodes
in the same space. To do this:
- Choose View:Network Diagram (PERT Chart).
- Choose Format:Boxstyles, then
Choose More Templates,
- Give the new template a
name like "One Line".
- Click on Cell Layout.
- Reduce Number of Rows to 1.
- Reduce Number of Columns to 1.
- Expand Cell Width to 240%, then
click on OK.
- In the Choose Cells box, type Name,
for the Task Name field.
- Then click on OK, then
You have just created a new template. Now apply it to the
Be sure Critical is
selected in Style settings for.
Use the Data Template
drop down box and choose "One Line".
In Style settings for
choose Noncritical and add the "One Line" template to it.
Now all task-nodes in your PERT/'Network Chart will be very small.
To be able to move tasks around choose Format:Layout
and choose Allow Manual Box
would like to receive a copy of these instructions complete with
Microsoft Project menu screen shots, click on the link below and send us
Here to Send a Request for the Microsoft Project Screen shots
· Next Newsletter
In our next newsletter we will review Part Two of Sequencing
Tasks The Critical Path
Here To View Previous Newsletters