Microsoft Project Standard 2010
- Microsoft 076-04843 project standard 2010
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- Platform: Windows XP / Vista / 7
- Media: Software
- Item Quantity: 1
Microsoft Project Standard 2010User-controlled scheduling puts you in control and brings together the flexibility and ease of a tool like Microsoft Excel 2010 and the power of the Project scheduling engine.And, with a completely new and visually-enhanced timeline view, you have an easier, more intuitive way to see and share key dates and deadlines.
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Part of my work is as a software trainer. I have been training people from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the use of Microsoft Project since it first appeared as a piece of project management software for the PC to the latest version in which it finally catches up with the other programs in Microsoft Office in being equipped with the Ribbon user interface.
My work on Project for SMEs has been with people who were new to using project management software and lacked the confidence in making a start with Project as otherwise they might have done in getting stuck into Word or Excel, say; or with others who had given Project a go and found themselves in pickle over how to best use it.
Everyone who had tried to represent their own project had failed - in their own estimation - in their use of the software. As it turned out, this failure was not down to anything lacking in Project itself. It was due to lack of users' knowledge of how to set up Project and then how create a workable representation of the tasks and anything associated with those that they needed to include.
To the experienced project manager and user of Project, the software offers great flexibility. To the novice user it is very far from obvious how this flexibility should be harnessed. If you do not understand how to manage Project's default settings, your project's calendar and the nature and application of task dependencies, then you are not going to stumble on a useful representation of your project by trial and error. Giving it an Excel- or Word-type go to see what happens is highly unlikely to yield you an accurate and easy to maintain Gantt Chart.
If you add up the cost of the software, the cost of the time you may waste trying to use it in the first place and the cost of some training when you finally, perhaps reluctantly, come to the conclusion you must have some, then this sum, I maintain, is the one you might truly be facing if you are thinking of investing in the software.
Another warning. Most of the people on my courses said that they bought Project to save them time; a minority that they had secured a big contract and needed a detailed, professional looking printout of work flow for their project that could be presented to their clients and mulled over during project review meetings. Project itself allows you to maintain a lot of detail about your project, if you choose to do so. Maintaining this detail takes time. So plan to avoid what I have seen in some of my training sessions: people looking at each other and asking, well, who is going to do all this then?
And another warning. Microsoft Project may be referred to as project management software, but I maintain that Project does not, and cannot, actually manage your project for you: you manage your project; Project assists you in that management.
For all I have cautioned, above, I like Project. It does what it does well, when used as it is intended to be used. Know how to set up for a new project before you start inputting tasks and you have an excellent way of representing your project in as little, or as much, detail as you choose.
When I was employed as a senior project officer in the early 1980s I was responsible for about eight projects looking ahead for two years, with budgets for each one between £20k and £200k. What I would have given for having Project on my new PC then. Exclamation mark.
I think what you will find is that if you do no more than take a well considered Gantt Chart to a project review meeting, then the effect is that everyone sees clearly where their part fits in to the overall scheme. If anyone negotiates for more time, then they cannot but fail to acknowledge the effect they will have on the project overall. What is happening here is that individuals are more inclined to share in the project as a whole, than just to consider their contribution in isolation, possibly unconcerned about ramifications.
As an SME, maybe you will come to the conclusion that by having used Project to do not more than help foster a team attitude towards your projects is justification enough for spending on the software.
Project 2010 Standard allows you to take an overview of multiple projects by treating each one as a task within a master project. As far as my experience stretches, this feature might well suffice for an SME's use. Beyond that you need to hear from someone who is very used to using the software for multiple projects and who would be able to give guidance as to the conditions under which Project 2010 Professional might be better than Standard.
It is recommended that the book MS Project 2010 Step by Step is purchased as this allows you to down load examples from Micro Soft and to quickly see and use the power of MS project. The book is really excellent and well explained.
The software did load and run ok initially. However, 6 months later when I tried to reload having wiped the PC, it would not authenticate online and so only now operates as a trial version for 30 days. Looking anew at the disc and case, I notice the card insert is too basic and does not have the Project P graphic for instance. Also the disc looks superficially like a genuine disc having metallic edge strip etc but on looking more closely, has other writing beneath "Microsoft". Finally the plastic of the (approx A5) disc case is rather low quality, does not open/ close well and no doubt is not a true Microsoft product. Patterns of scratching around 3 rectangular boxes in the front of the case appear to show where a sticker or some such has been prised off.
This product is not today (Oct 2012) available on Amazon from this seller, and the most recent feedback on their storefront is June 2012 so perhaps Amazon are on to them and have excluded them as a seller. If this is not the case, beware. Their seller rating remains at 4.9 out of 5 stars.
If only this had been available 20 years ago I could saved so much time and avoided so many problems. I bought mine from a Amazon seller at a discounted price and it works perfectly so good to save money!
One criticism is that I have found the Microsoft help system to be wanting. I tried out a colleague's Microsoft text book and wasn't happy with it. Instead I bought Bonnie Biafore's "The Missing Manual" book and found it to be very useful.
I bought my copy of the software through London Radio who delivered very promptly and at a very good price. Even better, the copy I received allows for installation on 2 PCs. I cannot rate them highly enough.
Overall I'm very happy with my purchase and I'd have no hesitation in recommending it to others.
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