Tips & Tools
Scroll this page for useful tips, tools and videos for using Microsoft Project.
Use the menu buttons below to quickly jump to a specific section.
Schedule Outline Tips
Learn tips for structuring tasks and creating your schedule outline.
Below are helpful keyboard shortcuts for using Project and navigating views and windows
Tips for Creating the Schedule Outline
Below are some helpful tips for creating the schedule outline and structuring tasks
Check Your Schedule Outline
Step 3 in the B.A.S.I.C.S. 6-step schedule process is to Structure the Tasks to create your schedule outline.
As you structure the tasks, it’s helpful to check your project outline to ensure that summary tasks and subtasks are properly aligned. A handy way to do this is to use the Show Outline command. This feature lets you specify the outline level of the plan you want to view. Also, with larger projects, you can collapse the outline to specific levels of the project and expand only the sections that you want to work with.
To use the Show Outline command:
Select the View tab. In the Data group, select the outline level you want to view from the Outline command picklist.
It's also helpful to use the Add New Column field to add the "WBS" to the Entry table.
Display the WBS Codes and Outline Numbers
Another handy way to check your project outline and ensure the tasks are structured correctly is to display the WBS and/or Outline numbers in your schedule.
Here’s how to do it:
Display WBS Codes
Add the WBS field to the Entry table of the Gantt Chart view. A good place to add the file is next to the Task Name field.
- Right-click the Task Name field header. Then, select Insert Column from the picklist.
- Type and select WBS to insert the WBS field into the Entry table.
Display Outline Numbers
Display the task Outline Numbers with the task names.
- Select the Format tab.
- In the Show/Hide group, select the Outline Number checkbox. The task outline numbers will display next to the task names.
Work Flow Tips
Below are some helpful tips for making your workflow easier
Confirm the Settings
Assigning Resources in a Simple Schedule
Hide the Timeline View Panel
Add Reports to Combination Views
Below are videos with helpful tips and software demonstrations on how Project handles cost
How Project Calculates Overtime Costs
In Chapter 16 we discuss how Project tracks project costs. When you build a Detailed schedule, Project calculates the cost of tasks by multiplying the Standard rate of pay of the resources assigned to it by the work required to complete the task.
DID YOU KNOW… Project DOES NOT calculate the cost of additional work hours (Overtime) by using the overtime rate that you entered until you specify those hours as overtime work? For example, if a resource is scheduled to work 8 hours a day and they enter 12 hours of actual work, Project doesn’t automatically consider the additional 4 hours as “overtime work” and won’t use the resources overtime rate until you tell it to.
Here’s how to do that.
- Go to the Task Usage view.
- Change the table to the Work.
- Add the Overtime Work column to the table.
- In the Overtime Work field of the resource’s assignment for which you want to enter the overtime work, enter the amount of overtime work for the resource.
* Add the Overtime Cost field to a task view to view the overtime costs.
Watch this video to see a demonstration on this feature.
More Videos & Tips and Tools Coming!
Check back soon for more videos, software demos and useful tips for using Microsoft Project.