Practice makes Perfect Part 3 – Views
This post in the Practice makes Perfect series is about views. The reason behind it is that I myself when starting to use Project for my Project plans always used the default view of Project to edit and view my Project Plan. I sometimes switched to the Tracking Gantt or resource sheet but that is about it.
Great view isn’t it!
Only when I became a Project Consultant and had to know a lot more of Project that I realized I was missing out on something really easy but with so many benefits.
For this post I am again using the Project Professional 2013 preview version. This is not the finally product so things might change.
While the default view of Project Professional gives you access to create a project plan quickly it lacks in certain areas when it comes to update your plan or being more specific to the data you need/want to see.
To change this you can do two things:
- Add/remove new columns.
- Or make a new view.
Why would I make a new view if I just can add/remove columns?
This is a good question. Add/removing a column might be easy but it can also create a lot of columns you don’t actually need all the time. Working with views gives you the ability to quickly switch between data you want to view. Instead of adding and removing columns every time.
So what kind of views can a make?
For instance like shown in this post you can make a view what make it easy for every Project Manager to update their plan with % Complete, Work, Remaining Work. Other example might be a view with your RAG (Red, Amber and Green) indicators (RAG indicators will be covered in a different post), Resource information displaying names, work and actual work. I could go on but it all depends on what you as Project Manager want to see. As shown in this post making a view depending on the depth will only take you between 5 > 30 minutes.
So how do I make a view?
The first thing you need to know that a view is built up from 3 components. Were two are optional (Filter and a Group) and one is not (Table).
We are going to start making this view by making a table. In Project Professional go to View > Tables and select More Tables in the dropdown menu.
Here you can choose to create a new table.
For the purpose of this post I am going to create a view that makes it easy to update the status of a project.
In the image below I made a table with fields like % Complete, Remaining Work, Work and Start and Finish as an example.
You properly will be playing around with the alignment of the data and the width of the columns but when you are done you can press ok and you are done.
Now the next thing we can do is define a filter or group this is optional and this post I am not going to make use of them (Filters and groups will be discussed in a new post).
Now that I have my table I want to start using it in my own view. In Project Professional go to View > Other Views highlighted in the picture below.
Select New to create your view.
Give your new view a name and a screen you want to use. There are a lot of options here and I would go through them all to see what you find useful. If I only want to see data a good screen to take is the Task Sheet. This will leave out the Gantt Chart and basically only show you the columns.
To make a view you are required to always choose a filter or a group. If you do not want a filter or a group you will need to select No Group for the Group and All Tasks for the filter. These are the default options if you don’t want a group or filter interfering with your view. When done you can see your new view in the views bar. The images below are the results.
This view is created in about 5 – 10 minutes. Some more complicated views might take longer but this gives you a fast way to make a view, to view the data you want. In this instance updating % Complete and Remaining Work.
As always you have to experiment with making views but I can promise you that it is definitely worth it. This creates standardization on how you view your data in your project plan. Views themselves can even be used as a report for your management. The great thing about views is that once you make them you can use them for every project.
Making views makes your life as a Project Manager much much much easier. Don’t take my word for it start playing around with it yourself.
via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/practice-makes-perfect-part-3-views/
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.