Today, we’re announcing that Microsoft Project 2010 has reached the Technical Preview engineering milestone. The Project team is running a limited, invitation only Technical Preview program. While we’re not sharing Project 2010 details at this point, we did want to give our customers and partners a sneak peek of Project 2010!
What is Project 2010?
Project 2010 builds on the Project 2007 foundation to provide an end-to-end work management platform. The key investment areas are targeted at letting you choose the right tools that can evolve with you:
How can I learn more about Project 2010?
Attend the Project Conference on September 14-17 in Phoenix, AZ! Project Conference 2009 is the biggest public worldwide disclosure event and the best conference to attend to get in-depth, hands-on technical knowledge and training with Project 2010. Learn how the investment in Project 2010 will continue to move your business forward tomorrow and get the most out of your current investment with Project 2007 today.
The critical path…sounds pretty intimidating doesn't it? Like some secret passageway to getting your project done on time that only highly experienced project managers could ever possibly identify. And certainly those experienced project managers are the only ones who could actually stick to the path and get things done as planned.
It's not really as arcane as all that. The critical path is simply the series of tasks that controls the start and finish date of the project. When the last task in the critical path is complete, the project is also complete. Not too terribly complicated.
Here's an example. Let's say I have three tasks:
· Build forms (2 days)
· Pour foundation (1 day)
· Remove forms (2 days)
Each of these tasks depends on the one before it. I can't pour the foundation until the forms are built, and I can't remove the forms until I've poured the foundation. I can set these relationships up in Project using dependencies. (Want to read more about this? Check out Create task dependencies within your project.)
So now, with the dependencies set up and my project start date set to next Monday, my schedule looks like this:
[Insert drumroll here.] And there you have it, that's your critical path for this project. Nothing fancy or overly complicated, just a series of tasks that determine the start and finish date for the project.
What's that? You say you want to see something a little more complicated? Alright, let's say you have another task, Build walls, that can't start until your Build forms task is completed. (Maybe you're using the same resources on both tasks or something, I don't know, just run with me here.) The Build walls task will take two days. Let's see what this looks like in Project:
Now let's look closely at this. Has the critical path changed? There are four tasks now, but the added fourth task currently has no bearing on when the project starts or finishes. That means that those first three tasks are still the only tasks that make up the critical path. You still only need to focus on getting those three tasks done on time in order to finish your project on time.
That gives you the very basic understanding of what a critical path is, but there are a ton of resources out there to help you gain a more thorough understanding. Here are just a few:
· Manage your project's critical path
· Show the critical path
· See what's driving the project finish date (critical path)
· Change when a task becomes critical
You may not be able to speed up time in your project, but you can speed up the timescale-that is, how you use the timescale in views like the Gantt chart. If you've spent any time in Project, you may have wasted a lot of effort either scrolling the timescale or changing its time units. Fiddling with dialog boxes and scroll bars to get the timescale perfect gets old in a hurry.
Fortunately, there are a few keyboard shortcuts that will dramatically speed up your timescale tweaking.
Here is a list of my favorites:
Scroll the timescale left or right
ALT + LEFT ARROW (or RIGHT ARROW)
Show smaller time units on the timescale
CTRL + / (slash on the numeric keypad)
Show larger time units on the timescale
CTRL + * (asterisk on the numeric keypad)
Scroll to a task's Gantt bar
CTRL + SHIFT + F5
. . . And if you like these tips, let us know in the Comments section. We'll start posting more of them.
Alright, so several people have agreed that resource leveling is a hot topic. I’ve lined up an interview with Bonny Lau, a Project PM who has graciously agreed to answer your questions.
That said, I need your questions! Add them as comments to this blog entry, and I’ll compile them for my interview with Bonnie. Questions can range from very basic (“what’s resource leveling?”) to more complex (“how many resources does it take to screw in a light bulb?” …err, wait, no…). I’m excited to hear what you’ve got!
I’ll be gathering questions together at the end of next week, so keep those suggestions coming!
If so, now is your chance to see what we've been working for the next release. We are taking nominations to participate in the Office 2010 Technical Beta program. We expect availability of our first beta release, known as Technical Preview, in the month of July. The team is excited to get feedback from our community that will help us make this a great release. Here is your opportunity to nominate yourself to participate in the program (space is limited). If you are interested in beta testing Project, please complete the following nomination form (you will need to log into Microsoft Connect with a Live ID).
Update - Thanks for all the interest in the Project 2010 Technical Preview! We only have a certain number of slots avialable and are starting to run out so sorry if you don't make it in. If you are having issues or have questions you can follow up with email@example.com
The Microsoft Project Team is pleased to announce exciting updates for the 5th Project Conference in
Phoenix, Arizona from September 14-17, 2009.
Offering 75+ sessions for Project Conference 2009 - view all session details including speakers, titles and abstracts here. Stay tuned for more details on instructor led and hands on labs, "ask the experts" and additional networking opportunities.
No other conference will come close to delivering the quantity and quality of content and experiences found at Project Conference 2009, nor the number of value added benefits and offers that will resonate throughout the year. We're delighted to announce:
· Receive a free licensed copy of Project Professional 2010! The offer is extended to all registered attendees by PMPI, a Microsoft Certified Partner in the EPM Specialization. Stay tuned for more details.
· Receive free Project Professional 2007 e-learning! The offer is extended to all registered attendees by PMPI, a Microsoft Certified Partner in the EPM Specialization. Stay tuned for more details.
· Free certification testing! Take the Project 2007 Technical Specialist exam 70-632 and/or 70-633 for free at Project Conference 2009.
· PMI Credential Holders: earn up to 32.25 PDUs with Project Conference 2009 registration!
· Save over 15%. We've extended our lowest registration offer to make it more affordable to attend!
Project Conference 2009 is the one conference your company should attend this year! Demonstrate the value of Project Conference 2009 to your company by utilizing the attached letter and be empowered to attend.
LEARN what can be achieved today and what's coming tomorrow with the next release.
CONNECT with your peers, industry practitioners, certified partners and the Microsoft Project team to share experiences.
GROW your skills and investments to realize remarkable cost reductions, enhance efficiencies and move your business forward.
For more information, please visit the Project Conference Website at http://www.msprojectconference.com.
Don't miss your chance to attend Project Conference 2009! See you in September!
Questions: Contact the Microsoft Project Conference 2009 Team | firstname.lastname@example.org