This post continues to discuss six more Microsoft Project templates described in previous posts, Custom scheduling tools and databases – Part I
and Part II
. These posts are about using your scheduling software as a database to create custom tools needed to plan, execute, monitor, and control your projects. The advantage is that it keeps your project data in one place while associating the data with the appropriate tasks and resources.
Next on the list is an expense and capital cost estimating template PMO_Costs, Fig. 1. This template is for estimating project costs by inputting optimistic, expected, and pessimistic expense costs then calculating an amount based on the equation described below.
Fig. 1 Microsoft Project template PMO Costs screen shot
I’ve noted Custom Fields with a (CF) notation. Reviewing the definitions for each column going across are:
Task Name – Regular WBS Task Name
Cost Assumptions (CF) – Captures assumptions and inputs used to generate the costs.
Cost Optimistic, Expected, Pessimistic (CF) – Range of potential costs. Good practice is to ask others who have completed similar tasks and determine typical costs required to complete the task. This will provide a best, worst, and average to use for input. This should be done for each task that will generate an expense toward the project. Highly recommended for tasks with a wide degree of variability.
Cost Most Likely (CF) – Calculated using (Optimistic+(4x Expected)+Pessimistic)/6
Cost Capital- Fill in with best estimates of cost to obtain capital goods. Can usually be done via quotations.
PMO_Costs is formated to print on 8.5″x11″ (letter) sheet for comments and review.
Fig. 2 Microsoft Project template PMO Progress Rollup-Inputs screen shot
Fig. 3 Microsoft Project template PMO Progress Rollup-Report screen shot
Next on the list are the PMO_Progress Rollup-Inputs, Fig. 2 and PMO_Progress Rollup-Report, Fig. 3 templates. Purpose of these templates is to communicate project status. With PMO_Progress Rollup-Inputs you choose which tasks either individual, summary, or milestone you want to report on by placing a value, typically 0% as a starting value, in the Last % Complete column. Once you’ve chosen the individual tasks, summary tasks or milestones to report on you then chose PMO_Progress Rollup-Report view to condense the chart to only those tasks. This allows you to pick and choose ANY item in your WBS to report on. This is much more flexible for reporting than trying to use MS Projects built in filters where you only get milestones, or critical path, or incomplete tasks, etc. You can then take a screen shot and copy the results into report or presentation. Refer to screen shot above. Custom Fields are noted as (CF).
– The Indicators field displays indicators that give different types of information about a task. Go to the link for more details.
Task Name – Regular WBS Task Name
Last % Complete (CF) – Any task that has a value placed in it will condense down to only those tasks when the PMO_Progress Rollup-Report View is chosen. This allows you to choose individual or summary tasks or milestones to report on for management or status updates.
% Complete – Current % Complete value based on the amount of work completed. Once you’ve generated the report the first time all values on the Last % Complete field will typically be 0%. For second and subsequent reports copy and paste the % Complete values into the Last % Complete field. That way when you run the next report the older values will already be there.
PMO_Progress Rollup-Inputs and PMO_Progress Rollup-Report are formated to print on 8.5″x11″ (letter) sheet for comments and review.
Fig. 4 Microsoft Project template PMO Task Risks screen shot
Fig. 5 Microsoft Project template PMO Task Risks Report screen shot
The next two views are Risk Management views. Use PMO_Task Risks Inputs, Fig. 4 to capture risk related information for specific tasks and PMO_Task Risks Report, Fig. 5 to condense only those tasks having information in a risk field. The purpose is to scan the WBS and determine what tasks have risks worth capturing. It is not the intent to describe a risk for every task. Your experience should help in identifying tasks with higher severities or probabilities of occurence. This view can be copied into a report, presentation, or all-encompassing Risk Management file for further analysis.
The following is an explanation of each field. Custom Fields marked with a (CF) notation.
Task Name – Regular WBS Task Name
- Risk Cause (CF) – Identification and description of the cause of the Risk.
- Risk (CF) – Description of the risk, e.g. cost risk, testing risk, resource risk. Be descriptive so management and outsiders can understand.
- Risk Effect (CF) – If this risk event occurs what happens to what?
Risk Ranking (CF) – Estimated risk based on your ranking criteria. You could use Low, Medium, High, a Likert scale of 1-5, or something else. The goal is to be consistent.
- Risk Trigger (CF) – What is the event that will cause the risk to transpire?
- Risk Mitigation (CF) – Describe what actions, if any, can/will be done to lessen the severity or probability of this risk occurring.
- Risk Owner – The person who will monitor and determine if the risk trigger has occurred.
PMO_Issues Tracking is formated to print on 8.5″x11″ (letter) sheet for comments and review.
Fig. 6 Microsoft Project template PMO WBS Dictionary screen shot
The last View described in this post is the PMO_WBS Dictionary, Fig. 6. This should be filled in as or as soon as the WBS is created to capture the intent and scope of the task. This is helpful in describing, scoping, and level setting what work will be performed and a description of the deliverable, possibly even a description of the acceptance criteria used to measure if the work is properly completed. During one project we had to describe what WAS and WAS NOT included in any particular task because we were condensing several tasks into one task so it was necessary everyone understood what the task entailed. It should not be necessary to provide a definition for every task but those tasks that may be confusing or involve many steps. This should be used as an addendum to your project plan.
PMO_WBS Dictionaryis formated to print on 8.5″x11″ (letter) sheet.
This post captured six more views discussed in this series. We’ll wrap up the last views in the next post which will be final part of this series.
If you would like the MS Project file with all views already included send me an email with your request to email@example.com and I will forward a copy to you. Any feedback you care to provide is greatly appreciated.
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