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Showing posts from January, 2009

Quick Resource Levelling with Microsoft project

This tip is for those times when you are messing about with your MS project plan, with tasks already allocated to resources, and you are trying to resolve resource conflicts.

I currently maintain a resource plan of 45 resources in MS project so I have become quite practiced at doing this exercise, below is the fastest way I have found to tackle it.

First tip is, I would never leave it up to MS Project to resolve resource conflicts for you, it will not optimise the use of people’s time as it can't swap resources on tasks and so will push your date out too far – to the horror of your business sponsor. It’s usually better to attempt to level resources yourself.

Perform these steps to "set-up"

If you are levelling resources you will need to flick back and forth between the resource usage and Gantt chart view several times, easiest way to do this is to select View > View Bar. This gives you the view icons down the left pane (see pic), and moving between views is one button cli…

Some General MS Project tips

I’m a self-taught MS Project user and certainly no expert, but I do know that it’s a good idea to spend the least amount of time using the tool as possible; here are some simple things that help me do that:1. A general MS Project planning tip is to have a good old pencil and paper with you, jot down the things you are trying to do and work through them sequentially whenever you update your plan:e.g. - Allocate next phase dev tasks- Add dependencies- Include new Change Request- Add Julian's training leave- Update % Complete on regression testBecause it’s such a fancy tool, it’s easy to become distracted, go off on tangents and forget to do basic things, so a systematic approach (I find) helps. If something occurs to you while you are say, identifying tasks, e.g. you notice a dependency crop up, then write it down on your paper and come back to it, best to finish identifying all of your tasks first.2. When ever I start a new plan I do the following things:Google for public holidays …

Alexandra Stokes' Software Misdemeanours

I arrived with a jolt in the IT industry on April the 21st 1997, I had finished my final year of university as an exchange student in Nottingham, UK (from Monash University in Australia). I was culturally enriched from my UK Uni experience, it was a time of great partying, house sharing, fun and music and ‘Brit Pop’ was peeking. I could fake a neat English accent, I was ready to work and too broke to buy a ticket home.

I got a job as a analyst programmer for a UK consulting company (now US and called ‘Keane Ltd’) and worked on a couple of Workflow and Imaging projects. My first big project where I had to produce some code of substance was a traditional waterfall project at British Airways, and it had lots of other characteristics that made it a disastrous prospect - it will no doubt feature as it’s own article on this blog- at the time I recall it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

Now as a crusty sage with 12+ IT years under my belt I can look back and pin-point the reasons why it was a mes…