At the recent Future Assistant conference we held a session on Project Management for beginners. It was a really popular session and it made me think that we could do a lot more blog posts on project management, particularly as so many of you are working on your own projects and in supporting project teams. So I’m going to start a Project Management 101 series of posts to help you get the most out of your project work. I thought I would start today with MS project. So you might be thinking ‘Eeekkk!! Not another Microsoft platform I have to learn??!” Not exactly, I’m not going to use this post as a place you can learn MS Project because, like Excel or Word or Outlook, you have to get some pretty decent training to be an advanced user. Instead, I’m going to give you a few suggestions for training (free and paid for) and for those of you that are already using it I’ve pulled together a few websites that will help you get to grips with MS Project.
Project Management 101: Getting to grips with MS Project
The first thing to say is that MS Project has a whole load of functions that will help you manage a project. It might be the easiest software to use for projects, but it is the most common in large organisations. Most of you, I imagine, have spent time on MS project, if not using it for yourselves, then certainly trying to figure out how to print off a GANTT chart on an A1 piece of paper (is it just me that struggles with that!?) Here are a few suggestions for those of you who want to learn the basics:
This is a very easy, step by step tutorial for new MS Project users. It takes you through how to set up your first project and some of the basic functionality. This is a good place to start.
This is a brilliant list of 25 hacks for MS Project, which is well worth downloading if you just use Project to print off GANTT charts.
If I want to get to grips with a piece of software I always turn to the ‘For Dummies’ guides first and foremost. This is no exception!
Okay, this course costs money, but it is a pretty intense 9 hour online tutorial that covers all the fundamentals.
GoSkills.com has a free trial offer, so you can do your MS Project Training for free if you manage to watch the tutorial over the 7 day trial.
And of course, there are loads of tutorials on YouTube for free. This one is really popular.
If you are interesting in learning more about Project Management I also suggest you check out a blog I wrote a few months ago called Project Manage like a Pro, which has loads more helpful tips.