Martin P Wilson

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Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Insight, IT

Facilitation and Mentoring for Success.

Microsoft Project 2010 Inside OutMicrosoft Project has become the de facto standard software for project management in all but the most specialised organisations. It is now a powerful tool yet many users barely touch its full capability.

With Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out even the most experienced Project users will learn new ways to improve their use of Project. It provides a comprehensive guide to the software and the differences from the previous version. For those new to either project management or Project it will take them through the project management process in a structured way using Project 2010.

Indeed Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out is more than a guide to Project, it is effectively a complete project management course. As a result it may feel slow, initially at least, to experienced Project users who are looking for an update on the new features of Project 2010. That said even experienced project managers will be surprised how much they will learn if they work through the detail. However any reader who perseveres will end up as a Project power user and a well-equipped project manager.

Content

This book takes the reader through the project planning and management lifecycle step by step and shows how Project 2010 fits in with each stage and supports project monitoring and reporting. It is comprehensive and is structured in ten parts:

  • Project Fundamentals
  • Developing the Project Plan
  • Tracking Progress
  • Reporting and Analyzing Project Information
  • Managing Multiple Projects
  • Integrating Project 2010 with Other Programs
  • Managing Projects Across Your Enterprise
  • Customizing and Managing Project Files
  • Appendices (includes index to Troubleshooting Topics)

Frequent and key tasks are explained in a detailed step by step way. They build up to full project plan that provides support for all the back end monitoring and reporting that often gets forgotten or is handled manually. As Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out gets in to the detail of using a project plan it shows how much of the reporting can be automated and integrated with other Microsoft products especially Excel and Visio.

Along the way solutions to common problems and issues are detailed. These also cover instances where the functionality has changed between earlier versions and Project 2010. In some cases functionality has completely disappeared but there is usually a new way of achieving similar results which is explained in detail. There is an extensive troubleshooting index which makes the book an invaluable reference.

For practising project managers it is probably worth buying in ebook form so that they can have it with them at all times either on their PC, laptop or tablet. However, I reviewed it using a Kindle which was not ideal as many of the screenshots were barely readable even when zoomed to full screen. As an online manual on a laptop or desktop computer it would be a useful go-anywhere reference; after all most users will need it alongside their implementation of Project on a proper computer. This is a substantial, and weighty, volume of 1,307 pages so a print copy will tend to sit in a bookshelf and risks not being with the mobile project manager when he or she needs it. It will sit on the same computer as my copy of Project 2010.

A Recommended Read for all Project 2010 Users

Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out is therefore recommended for all project planners and managers working with Project as a useful introduction or refresher course in both project management and the Project software. Or it can simply be used as a comprehensive reference and guide to getting the best out of Project 2010. There will be very few readers who will not get enough out of Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out to justify the purchase. It is difficult to imagine what, if anything, might have been left out.

Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out (2011, ISBN: 978-0735626874) by Teresa S. Stover, Bonnie Biafore, Andreea Marinescu, edited by Kenyon Brown is published in large format paperback by Microsoft Press at £42.50 and as an e-book in most popular formats.

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