Project Management Program
Planning is part of the Project Management Program, which relates to the use of schedules such as Gantt charts to plan and subsequently report progress within the project environment.
Initially, the project scope is defined and the appropriate methods for completing the project are determined. Following this step, the duration for the various tasks necessary to complete the work is listed and grouped into a work breakdown structure. The logical dependencies between tasks are defined using an activity network diagram that enables identification of the critical path. Floater slack time in the schedule can be calculated using project management software. Then the necessary resources can be estimated and costs for each activity can be allocated to each resource, giving the total project cost. At this stage, the project plan may be optimized to achieve the appropriate balance between resource usage and project duration to comply with the project objectives. Once established and agreed, the plan becomes what is known as the baseline. Progress will be measured against the baseline throughout the life of the project. Analyzing progress compared to the baseline is known as earned value management.
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Core Microsoft Project (MSP, MSOP or Win Proj) is a project management software program, developed and sold by Microsoft, which is designed to assist a project manager in developing a plan, assigning resources to tasks, tracking progress, managing the budget, and analyzing workloads.
MS Project was the company’s third Microsoft Windows-based application, and within a couple of years of its introduction it became the dominant PC-based project management software.
Although branded as a member of the Microsoft Office family, it never has been included in any of the Office suites (like Visio). It is available currently in two editions, Standard and Professional. MS Project’s proprietary file format is .mpp.
Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project Server are the cornerstones of the Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management (EPM) product. Microsoft Project 2010 features the Ribbon user interface.