Microsoft Project 2010
The official blog of the Microsoft Office product development group. Learn how to manage your work effectively

March, 2011

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Using Project to Create Meeting Agendas


    *** Update on 4/5 - I attached the project file that I used for this blog post to help you get started on your meeting agenda. It is available at the bottom of this post.

    If you think about it, meetings are a lot like projects. They’re for a defined amount of time with the goal of getting something accomplished. All good meetings have a defined agenda just like all good projects have a detailed schedule. Since you can use Project to create schedules, why not use Project to create your agendas?

    Now this is probably overkill for your one hour meeting where the agenda is three bullet points but if you are trying to plan a multi-hour meeting where a variety of speakers have to present and you need to stick to a timeframe – Project can definitely help.

    I recently had to plan a meeting that had some complexity and using Project saved me time. I knew that we had four hours available and had to get in seven presentations plus an intro and conclusion. I started by just dividing the time out and giving everyone the same amount of time but then all the speakers were saying they needed extra time or didn’t need that much time. If I had been in Excel or Word I would have had to manually update all the time slots and then constantly be checking to make sure everything still fit. Since I was in Project, I could make use of links and deadlines to automate this. This was especially handy after I made what I thought was the final schedule and someone pointed out I should probably add some breaks seeing how it was a four hour meeting – whoops.

    The below timeline is the final result of my planning and made for a great agenda graphic in my meeting request:


    How did I do this:

    1. Create a new project.
    2. Go to the Project tab – Project Information and set the project start date to the exact date and time of the meeting. Ex. 3/23/11 1:00 PM.
      1. If your meeting goes over lunch or outside normal working hours, also make sure to set the Project Calendar to the 24 hour calendar so it doesn’t affect your agenda.
    3. Go to File tab – Options.
      1. On the General tab, set the date format to HH:MM
      2. On the Duration tab, set Duration is entered in Minutes (or Hours if that works better for you)
    4. Now add your agenda items in the order you’ll be presenting. Feel free to use summary tasks to help organize the topics – I did.
    5. Select the last meeting item and go to the Task Information dialog – Advanced tab. Set the deadline to be the meeting end time. This way you’ll get an indication if you go over time.
    6. Now link all of the tasks by selecting them and clicking Link Tasks on the Task tab.
    7. You can now start playing with different durations to build a meeting agenda that will work. Don’t forget breaks!
    8. When you are done, you can create an agenda timeline by right-clicking the tasks and selecting Add to Timeline.

    Here’s the actual schedule that I created:


    Happy meeting planning!

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Next Project Conference – March 19-22, 2012




    Microsoft Project Conference 2012 will be held in Phoenix, Arizona on March 19 - 22, 2012.

    • Registration will open May 2011

    • Sponsorship & Expo information will be announced in May 2011

    • Add yourself to the keep me notified list at

    Project Conference is the premiere Microsoft-led event to share Project and Portfolio Management best practices and connect with your peers from around the globe. Join customers, partners, industry-leading experts and the Microsoft Project team to learn about their success with Microsoft Project and how you can take your success to the next level.

    Stay connected for future announcements on Conference Registration, Call for Content , Sponsorship Opportunities and Agenda. Add yourself to the Keep Me Notified list at

    We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix next March!

    Project Conference 2012 Team |

    * On a side note, the average weather for Phoenix in March is 70F/21C  and Sunny!


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010 Help Content – Now Available for Download


    You can now download a bunch of help content around Getting Started with Project 2010. This content includes a guide to the ribbon, information on what’s new in 2010, and a PowerPoint you can use for training people on 2010:

    • Basic tasks in Project 2010.html
    • Getting_Started_with_Project2010.wmv
    • Project2010Guide.exe
    • Reference_Project_2007_to_2010.xltx
    • Training Presentation - Getting started with Project 2010.pptx
    • What's new in Project 2010.html

    Link to download location -

    Additionally, you can find that help content and much more posted here -

    As always, let us know if you have any feedback on the content or have requests for future help articles.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    New Feature Pack from Visual Studio Improves Project Management and Software Development Team Collaboration


    *** Update *** June 28th, 2011 – Please note the following resources are now available:

    We are excited to announce the release of the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack which further strengthens Microsoft’s Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Solution. The integration between Project Server and Team Foundation Server is a considerable advancement for organizations that want to bridge the collaboration gap between the Project Management Office and software development teams. The Feature Pack will enable teams to work together more effectively by:

    • Providing up to date insight into portfolio execution, alignment with strategic objectives, and resource utilization of software development projects by leveraging the quantitative data stored in different systems.
    • Automating the exchange and sharing of project information across teams and improving coordination between teams using disparate methodologies, like waterfall and agile, via common data and agreed upon metrics.
    • Enabling development and project management teams to collaborate and communicate project timeline and progress using familiar tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio, Project, and SharePoint.

    Our Microsoft IT team has been using the Feature Pack internally for a while. As in many organizations, the software development teams and the project management teams weren’t collaborating as effectively as they could. Tools, even methodologies, were different and didn’t talk to each other. Now after implementing the Feature Pack, developers don’t have to spend time getting status updates, there is much better schedule alignment between teams and there is better visibility and clarity overall!

    "By sharing data more efficiently, the team was able to reduce weekly time spent in status meetings to two hours from 20 hours. Now developers and project managers can focus on their work instead of spending hours each week in status report meetings, and managers can make better, data-driven decisions. In addition, managers and developers have streamlined access to information they need and have better insight into the entire ALM process.” - Michael Lucas, Senior Program Management Lead in Microsoft IT at Microsoft

    One of our partners in Brazil that has the Microsoft ALM competency, TechResult, has also deployed the Feature Pack with the following the results:

    “Team Foundation Server provides visibility and traceability all over my Project. Project Server provides governance across my organization. By integrating them I can extract the best from an ALM platform.” - Daniel Franco Abrahão de Oliveira, ALM Team Manager, at TechResult

    Now, you can download the Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack from MSDN download center. We will continue publishing additional resources in the coming weeks, such as a demo Virtual Machine with a presenter script, additional case studies, and more- so stay tuned and we’ll let you know via this blog when they are available! Below are some of the key resources available now:

    I urge you to take a look at connecting your software development and project management teams with today’s release.

    Questions and Answers

    Q. Is there a demo virtual machine (VM) with this feature pack and sample data I can use?
    A. We are working on a demo VM that will include the RTM version of the feature pack (along with all the pre-requisites) that will showcase the integration between Project Server 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010; this VM will includes detailed demo scripts. Expect a release around the April 2011 timeframe. Until then you can use the CTP demo VM released last July 2010.

    Q. How does this Feature Pack differ from the out-of-the-box Team Foundation Server and Microsoft Project add-in?
    A. The Microsoft Project add-in allows project managers to use Microsoft Project to connect to Team Foundation Server to collaborate and participate in the planning and execution of software development projects. The Feature Pack enables integration between Team Foundation Server and Project Server and allows planning and status information to be synchronized between the two systems. Please read this article Operational Differences in Managing Projects Using Team Foundation and Project for more information.

    Q. Are there any prerequisites or dependencies for this Feature Pack?
    A. Dependencies are:

    For a detailed description of dependencies and prerequisites please check this MSDN article: System and Setup Requirements to Support Integration of Team Foundation Server and Project Server. Please check out Brian Harry’s post for additional information: VS/TFS 2010 SP1 and TFS-Project Server Integration Feature Pack have Released

    Q. What MSDN Subscription level is required to download the Feature Pack?
    A. This Feature Pack will only be available to Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN subscribers (go to your MSDN download center, you should find the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack as an available download). An organization must own at least one license of Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN.

    Christophe Fiessinger
    Senior Technical Product Manager, Microsoft Project
    Blog | Twitter

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