As I promised, I will write about naming conventions, milestones, scheduling, risks in our project, what do we have to know about our tasks, and I will (maybe in the next or some other post) explain calendars.
In your Project you can have a lot of similar tasks! Can you use the same name for all of them? Yes, you can. Is is the best approach? No, it is not! Why? There are various reasons. For example, when you will print “Who Does what” or “To-do” report different people (resource) will have the same task, and that can make a confusion. In our “Wedding Project” you can have two or more tasks with name: “Make the Cake”, since you will have a lot of different cakes in the party. So when you will assign those tasks to the Resource(s), they will ask you: “What kind of cake do I have to make?”. You will have to assign a different material resource to those tasks (chocolate, flour, honey, sugar, etc.) as well.
So it is much better to have a unique name for your tasks (For example, Apple pie, Chocolate cake, The big wedding cake, etc). I know what you are thinking right now. “How would I know exactly what I have to do!? The wedding cake does not mean anything. It can be big or small. It can be chocolate cake, vanilla cake or something else.” What should you do?
There are tree possible options. First one (the BAD one) is to have a task name like this:
It is bad, because your task name will be too long, and the task name should NOT have a brief description. And after all you are limited with number of character with the task name. How long can the task name be? 255 characters!
Second option is to write the whole task description to the Task information. Double click on the task and on the Notes Tab, write a description:
But what if description is too long? You can use some other tool (like MS WORD for instance), and attach the file to your Task!:
If you have your task information somewhere on the web you can “right click” with your mouse on the task and choose Hyperlink:
and after that:
Now you have Hyperlink icon in the Information column:
You can open this hyperlink if you “right click” on the task, and after that choose: Hperlink and Open Hyperlink.
If you need more information about attaching project documentation with your tasks, read my blog post:
Now, something about milestones (you will find another term for the milestone and it is “tollgate”).
Milestone is a task with no duration, and no assigned resources. A milestone is the end of a stage that marks the completion of a work package or phase, typically marked by a high level event such as completion, endorsement or signing of a deliverable, document or a high level review meeting.
In MS PROJECT 2010 you can set the milestone duration greater than zero, but my advice is that you always keep zero days duration for it.
Are the milestones OBLIGATORY for your Project? NO, they are not. But, my suggestion is: Do have at least one milestone for each phase!
Put the cursor on the task (in the task sheet) where you want to inset a milestone, and on the Task Tab, click on the Milestone button, and you will insert your milestone above selected task:
and you will get:
Now you should rename the Milestone like I did:
On the Gantt chart you can see a Diamond sign, and this is default sign for the Milestone.
Another way for add the Milestone is to make a new task, and then in the Duration field put zero!.
I get the same thing!
OK! Who am I? The LIAR! Why? Because I promised that in THIS POST I WILL WRITE ABOUT RISKS! But, I will not. Why? Because Risk Management is very important and it deserves separate post! Which one. NEXT ONE, of course.
And I hope that you will give me some response about my Blog! What do you think, is it bad or good, do you need any further information, is it too complicated or too simple and so on!
All the Best!