Managing Resources with Microsoft Project
Microsoft Project is the Project Management Software developed and distributed by Microsoft. Since its release, most organizations have been using MS Project for their project management needs. As more and more organizations started to do their work on a project basis, the popularity of MS Project began to grow rapidly.
MS Project had a very humble beginning in the mid 80s. One of the project managers in Microsoft wanted to create a DOS based software that can be used to keep track of the projects that were being taken up by Microsoft. The work of creating project management software was actually outsourced to a different company in Seattle. Soon Microsoft saw the potential of the software and bought it from that company.
A project manager's main objective is to complete a project within the planned budget and time but also retain good quality. In order to work around these constraints, project managers need a tool to accurately capture the planned resources and the resources that have been consumed so far and the remaining resources. These resources are usually available in the form of human resources, machines and the office space required to complete the work.
The major resource is the human resource. Microsoft Project provides a resource leveling feature to the project managers. Using this feature, the project manager can allocate the available human resources to the various tasks created in MS Project. All the tasks are actually grouped under a milestone, which is nothing but a major task. By seeing the resource distribution in MS Project, project managers can distribute the work uniformly to all the resources in the project team. This prevents the overloading of tasks to a certain individual and also plans for the release of resources when the assigned task has been completed.
With MS Project the project manager can export the data into other Microsoft products such as Excel. By importing the reports in Excel, the information can be shared with the other project members. MS Project has the capability to create charts such as Gantt charts, which shows the amount of work that has been completed with the available resources and the amount of work that needs to be done.
Based on this data, the project management team can make a call whether the available resources are sufficient enough to complete the task within the stipulated time. If not possible then the project management team has to escalate the issue to higher management regarding the need for additional resources. They have to send the Gantt chart reports to senior management so that they also come to know about the problem situation quickly.
Claire Jarrett runs Marketing By Web and is writing on behalf of Computer Training Solutions who offer Microsoft project training courses and ms project training