The Project Group, LLC

The Project Group, LLC Newsletter

  Microsoft Project 2000TM Tips

May 2002  


in this issue


The Nuts and Bolts of Successful Project Management

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.

We also offer a one-day class on Microsoft Project 2000TM for users wanting to improve their productivity in using the software.

Microsoft Project 2000TM is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

Find out more....


Project Management Tips
In each issue we pass along tips and tricks concerning Project Management and Microsoft Project 2000TM software. Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to others.





The Single Most Common Microsoft Project Error


The single most common error novice MS Project users make is typing in the beginning or end date of a task. Almost all current Project Management scheduling software shows the cascading consequences of task delays based on project dependency logic. When you type a beginning or end date of a task, you potentially disturb this logic.

Typing a beginning date of a task constrains it. The task is not solely dependent on the logic of its predecessors to drive it but is pinned to a particular date. The task respects the date rather than the project logic to determine its start or finish.

Open a project file, add a task and type in a start date for that task. Then double click on the task and select the Advanced Tab.

The Constraint type says "Start No Earlier than" and the Constraint date is the date you typed in. Start No Earlier than (abbreviated SNET) means that a task could start later, but can't "float upstream". Of the six different constraints it is the most "mild" or least constraining. (How often can you start a task early?)

To remove a constraint, click on the Constraint Type drop-down box, return it to the default "As Soon as Possible" (ASAP), and click OK. Here's how to easily de-SNET a whole project:

1) Insert the Constraint Type column.
2) If the first task in your project is not "As Soon as Possible", make it ASAP in the Constraint Type column.
3) Select the entire column and choose Edit: Fill: Down. All the tasks are returned to being driven by their predecessor logic as opposed to a date you typed in.

Constraints have their legitimate uses but must be approached with "restraint".


Visit Us At The Training Directors Forum in Las Vegas


If you are going to attend the Training Director Forum in Las Vegas let us know. Send an email to or call 415-572-3084 to receive your invitation to visit our hospitality suite.

The Forum is being held
June 9-12, 2002 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas, NV.



The Next Issue


Our June issue will take a look at the lighter side of project management.

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When your team members don't have MS Project and You Want to Communicate With Them


Not all your team members, sponsors or extended team members may have MS- Project much less be able to easily read and understand a project plan you send them. Consider also that good communication is focused. It leads viewers directly to the story you want your data to tell.

You can capture images of you MS Project schedule with the Copy Picture feature, the little camera icon at the right end of the Standard toolbar: It allows you to take a snapshot of any part of your Gantt chart and produce a graphics file you can send independently or create images in desktop software like Word or PowerPoint.

"To make oneself understood to the people, one must first speak to their eyes."

Napoleon Bonaparte

Full story on using Copy Picture in MS Project 2000


Previous Newsletters


A copy of this and previous newsletters may be found online at the link below.

If you are interested in having us present either our Microsoft Project in One Day course or Project Management Nuts and Bolts to employees at your company, please contact us today.

See Previous Newsletters


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