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Fine-Tuning Task Details in Microsoft Project 2010

Key Points

  • By using a combination of task relationships plus lead and lag time, you can more accurately model when work should be done.

  • When entering lead time between a predecessor and successor task, entering a percentage lead time value offers some flexibility because Project recalculates the lead time value whenever the duration of the predecessor task changes.

  • Think through the effects of semi-flexible and inflexible constraints on your schedules, and use them sparingly.

  • You can often set a deadline date for a task instead of applying a hard constraint, such as Must Finish On (MFO).

  • You can interrupt work on a task by splitting it.

  • You can record any fixed cost value you wish per task, and it is not associated with resource costs.

  • For tasks that must be completed at times other than of the project’s normal working time (as specified by the project calendar), you can create a new base calendar and apply it to the task.

  • The critical path indicates the series of tasks that determine the project’s finish date. Project constantly recalculates the critical path, which may change as the details of your project plan change.

  • Set up a recurring task for activities, such as status meetings, that occur on a regular frequency.

  • You can enter a manual duration on a summary task in addition to its automatically scheduled duration.

  • In Project Professional, inactivate tasks used in “what-if” scenarios or otherwise no longer needed in the project plan but that you don’t want to delete permanently.