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  1. #1
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    Will Project (2003) cope? (Project 2003???)

    We bought Project 1998 several years ago, but hardly used it at that time.

    We now have a requirement to start using project planning software on a more regular basis, and I am considering deploying the current version of Microsoft Project in our Operations Department.

    I have a vague recollection of one shortcoming with the old version, and wondered if anyone can advise me whether the new one handles this adequately:-

    We quite often have to work unusual and irregular shift patterns - for example every other Saturday off, or sometimes patterns much more irregular than that.

    Can the new version cope well with irregular shift patterns?

    If the shift pattern has to change mid-project, can the software cope with this and re-work the rest of the job accordingly?

    2 more quick questions to aid my buying decision:-

    When is the next (Vista) version likely to be released?

    Should I buy (at much greater expense) a licence for Project 2003 now, which includes a free upgrade to the Vista version, or is the upgrade not likely to be that significant? (I realise that the Vista Office suite due next year is going to be a major upgrade, and we are considering upgrading our current Office 2000 suite to the new version, if it lives up to the hype).

    Many thanks in anticipation.

    Neil

  2. #2
    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Will Project (2003) cope? (Project 2003???)

    I'm not going to answer about the calendaring aspects of Project, since they seem pretty much unchanged to me.
    But the biggest improvement in my mind between 2003 and '98 is the ability to create calculated fields. Uses for calculated fields seem to crop up everywhere.
    Other than that, your biggest decision will be whether you plan on purchasing Project Standard or Professional.
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
    WebGenii Home Page
    Moderator: Spreadsheets, Other MS Apps, Presentation Apps, Visual Basic for Apps, Windows Mobile

  3. #3
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    Re: Will Project (2003) cope? (Project 2003???)

    Project still handles scheduling with the various calendars. You have to create a valid base calendar for the overall project, then use Project Base calendar as the base calendar for your resources. You can then define the appropriate schedule options using the resource calendar for each resource, this will accomadate any shift pattern. You also have the option to use a task calendar to schedule a particular task around a particular schedule. Calendars are dynamic in that if one of the elements of projects scheduling formula work = duration * units then one of th two remaining elements will recalculate. So if you make a change in resource schedules mid project then Project will make changes for you. Your challenge is to insure it makes the changes you want. Usually the biggest problem is users do not have a good understand of how project calculates and recalculates resource assignments and do not understand how the various calendars effectively.

    I attended a seminar where I saw the 2007 version of Project a couple of months ago and did not see a lot of changes that would encourage me to spend the money for the new product. I saw the Office Suite changes that will offer the new menu and toolbar changes and I don't think this was included in the new version of Project. The most interesting change I saw was they now have a feature that when you make an edit to the plan it will highlight everything that will change in the plan as a result of the edit. It is a nice feature for new users because one small change can affect the entire project plan. They have also made a lot of additions to the help features in an effort to help users understand how the product works.

    One thing I would consider when purchasing is if you are planning on eventually using the Server based product for collaboration. The server based product does not work with Standard edition Project and requires I think at least the 2002 Professional version. I did not see a lot of what I would think to be significant changes to the standard product from 2000 to present. The addition of the task pane and some additional help features are about it.

    Carla

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    Re: Will Project (2003) cope? (Project 2003???)

    Carla

    I've been out of the office for a couple of days, so have only just seen your reply.

    Many thanks for your trouble. That was very useful.

    Neil

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