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Planning and tracking a program using MS Project

Martin Vaughan
July 31, 2012

MS Project as a standalone has been around since the mid-1990s and has changed very little since then. Various upgrades have added a new look and new features, but the fundamental tool has remained the same. The advent of MS Project server has provided a substantial increase in capability, but complexity and cost has limited its use in the corporate environment. As a result, the standalone tool continues to be popular among the project management corporate community.

I have been called upon numerous times to advise on using the standalone MS Project tool on a large program of work. Much of the general advice given here is applicable to other tools, while the specifics are applicable to MS Project. It covers the need for standards, rolled up summary reporting, inter-project dependencies and resource management.

Download the whitepaper Program Planning fundamentals using MS Project

This paper captures the proven approach used in such a scenario, covering the key aspects of program scheduling which differ from individual project scheduling. The approach has been developed and refined since first used in the mid-1990s on a large Defence program of work.

Martin Vaughan
Martin Vaughan started his career as a specialist planner/scheduler in construction before moving to defence, then into IT. He progressed through project management and program management into consulting and advisory roles. Meanwhile he maintained an interest in tools and technology, on the way building and managing small businesses and squeezing in some lecturing in IT Project Management at the University of Melbourne. He is now a director and senior consultant at Core Consulting Group.
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