This one thing is going to change your Microsoft Project schedules forever. Get ready!

Synchronizing project tasks with MS Project means you're getting live input from actual employees using your schedule. Are you ready for that?

Your schedule is going to radically change. Not only will you get time and materials used on the project, but you will get project tasks too. And, you will get task updates that change milestone dates, delivery dates, ship dates, and project completion dates. Everything you thought about your schedule could change, because now your employees are contributing real info from their timesheets and project lists.

 

 

I'm going to try to describe a situation or issue that you may have seen with Microsoft Project. Let's say you're a project manager and you've created a nice project schedule; 100-200 tasks all completed out. You've got summary tasks, you've got the end task, the activities people are going to perform; assigned to people, maybe a dozen or so people, resources. And it looks beautiful, it forecasts this project out weeks, months, years, whatever. And it's just wonderful.

You print it all out, you hold a meeting. You hand out the schedule and you say this is what we're going to work on. Everyone goes to work and in a week it's obsolete. Your like, what happened here? I've spent all this time on this schedule. You go around and start talking to people.

You start realizing those tasks didn't really work for me so I worked on these other ones. Or I just created a completely different one, I had completely different work I did, that didn't represent what I was doing. The other thing is you may not be getting actual hours back from those employees, on how long things actually take. You've got a task set up for 100 hours, took 20. Another you've got set for 40 took 80.

These are the kinds of things that affect your project schedule. And turn it from a static document into a real living entity. I'm going to show you how to address this issue with actual work and actual tasks that come from the end users, the actual boots on the ground that are working on the project. We're going to take a look at MSP and see how this issue can be solved.

Here in Microsoft Project we see a project schedule that we've seen in other videos where we've synchronized time and materials down to Standard Time®. In this video we'd like to take a look at how new project tasks that are created in Standard Time can come up to MSP.

That turns your static schedule into a dynamic document that is changing daily. You've got input from employees that are actually working on the tasks, creating new tasks that will come up into MSP. So the project manager now has a better idea of what the project is doing. You're getting time, materials and the tasks from the actual boots on the ground.

We see a little project that is has two tasks. A roofing project, a shed and a house. You see the two tasks here. We're going to bring one more task up from MSP. Let's click on the project tab and then click the sync with Standard Time button over on the right hand side. There should be noted that there is actually a console application that does this as well; so you don't actually need to use this button if you don't want to. You can sync nightly with a little console application.

Let's click this button and so the synchronization has occurred, all of these tasks are down in Standard Time. We'll go over and take a look at that; we see the tasks here in the timesheet. Employees are going to enter their time here; that time is going to go up to MSP and that turns that project schedule into a dynamic document that's changing every day.

But employees may also want to go over to the project tasks tab, if they have rights to do that, and create a new task that represents the job they're doing. Let's go to the insert menu, choose new project task and we'll type in a new task and give it 6 hours.

We've now got that new task and we can switch over to the timesheet and we see it there. Let's go ahead and put some hours into this. So we had a 6 hour task we put 5 hours into it. Now we want to synchronize that with MSP. We're over in Project, we're in the project tab and we click the sync with Standard Time button. Now we see the new task show up it is 6 hours work and 5 hours actual work.

Go to the view menu, click task usage. You can see the new task here, the assignments. And you can see the 3 hours and 2 hours totaling 5 hours of actual work against the 6 hours.

This really changes your project schedule and allows those employees to have the input that affects the projects they're working on.

 

 

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