Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Shifting dependencies and task timing
Time is a project manager’s greatest enemy. There’s never enough time, and
what there is gets eaten up like a bag of chips in a room full of hungry Little
Leaguers.
Here are some ways you can modify task timing to save time:
Delete a task. You heard me. If a task represents a step that could be
skipped, just get rid of it. This doesn’t happen often, but sometimes —
on rethinking your project — you realize that a few things aren’t
necessary or have already been handled by someone else.
Adjust dependencies. Couldn’t the revision of the manual start a few
days before all the feedback comes back? Could the electrical and
plumbing go on at the same time instead of one after the other (assum-
ing that the electrician and the plumber can stay out of each other’s
way)? Use the Predecessors tab of the Task Information dialog box
shown in Figure 15-7 to modify dependencies. In the Lag column, you
can enter a negative number to allow tasks to overlap.
Figure 15-7:
Review a
task’s
dependencies here
and modify
lag to allow
tasks to
overlap.
Modify constraints. Perhaps you set a task to start no earlier than the
first of the year because you don’t want to spend money on it until the
new fiscal year budget kicks in. To save time, consider whether you
could allow it to start a week before the end of the year but bill the costs
in January. Examine any constraints such as this — specifically, those
created to verify the timing logic.
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