using ms-project ...part 2

new feature: the multi-level undo

One of the most useful improvements for the average user in Project 2007 is multi-level undo!

If you understand the complexities of the scheduling engine in Project you will know that is not trivial and why it took some time in coming.

What this does for you is that it makes it far easier to try multiple scenarios or variants of the schedule. You can test different what-if strategies without the fear that you will not get the schedule back how it looked before the what-if.

If you didn't get the sample project from the previous lesson you can download it now:
Systems Analysis Project.

As you can see there is not a great deal of change in the appearance of the project. The guide has been improved to make it even easier to follow the steps required to establish the schedule.

project 2007 schedule

The Resource Sheet is important because it will allow you to assign the resources needed for evey task in the project. Usually, scenarios will involve moving people around on the tasks. It is necessary to have a firm grasp of the resources available before you start to evaluate alternatives. It is very often impossible to shorten the duration of a task without assigning more people to it and you have to know how those people can be made available.

project 2007 resources

Before you start to play with scenarios, here's a detail that can be very frustrating if you don't know about it:
Warning: once you Save the file, you can't Undo anymore!
That's right. If you've done a dozen actions you can undo any or all of them but as soon as you do a Save or Save as ... the Undo becomes unavailable.

One of the techniques I suggest to keep track of your scenarios is to create a Note for every change you may want to undo. That way, every time you try to backtrack the schedule you'll have a reminder of why you did what you did at the time. That can also be useful if you don't use Undo but want to come back to the project at a later date and examine what was changed back when.

project 2007 notes

The Undo list will contain all the actions taken since the last Save. The list is in 'Last In First Out' format and you can undo the last action or a group of actions. It should be obvious that you can't undo an action in the middle of the list.

project 2007 undo