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Q.2 Write a short note on MS projects and explain in brief some of the important terminologies used in MS Project.


Answer:
MS Project is an application which the general MS Office users think to be another common Office application. However, it is very much different from the common Office applications and in some ways, it seems to do things on its own. MS Project is the most narrowly focus of all the Office applications. While the other Microsoft office programs tend to broad and general in their application, MS Project is designed exclusively to manage resource usage and project scheduling. MS Projects help to keep track of the progress of the tasks. It also helps to figure out how much each of the resources is doing on a project.

MS Project is a tool to help you to plan projects, manage and update project information, and communicate the status once the project is under way.
The details of the project tasks and associated resources are entered into the system as a new project. The system will then display the data in such a way that the relationships of the tasks and their time scales can clearly be seen and potential problem areas identified.
Project data can be entered and/or viewed in a number of ways; the three principal formats are charts, forms, and sheets.
Charts can be either Gantt Charts or Network Diagram Charts both of which are a diagrammatic representation of the project data.
You can combine any two single-pane views on the screen to create a combination view. In a combination view, the information in the bottom relates only to the task or resources in the top view. The reason for having combination views is to make the job of entering and analysing information easier.
At the heart of every project management system is a scheduling algorithm. An algorithm is a mathematical or logical equation that solves a complex problem by breaking down the problem into simple steps. When scheduling resources and parameters are entered into it, the scheduling algorithm produces a project schedule that would be impossible for you to produce manually.

Some important terminologies in MS Projects
Actual Usage A measure of the resource expended in completing or partially completing a task.
ALAP Refers to a task that should be started „As Late As Possible, using all the free-float time available.
ASAP Used to indicate a task that should be started „As Soon As Possible, taking into account the start date of the project and its predecessor tasks.
Baseline The original project plan, including the time schedule and resource and cost allocations. The baseline is used for comparing projected values to actuals, and facilitates the tracking and analysing of a projects progress.
Cost Variance A project tracking function recording the difference between the budgeted cost of the work performed and the actual cost. Values below the baseline show an overspend and positive values denote cost savings.
Critical Path The sequence of tasks or activities whose schedules and durations directly affect the date of overall project completion.
Earned Value This is a measure of a projects performance, and is calculated by multiplying a tasks planned cost by the percentage of work completed.
Float (slack) The amount of time by which a non-critical task can be delayed before it affects another tasks schedule.
Gantt chart A graphical representation of a project schedule showing each task as a bar, the length of which is proportional to its duration. Many project management packages use a spreadsheet section to the left of the Gantt chart to display additional information.
Hammock Task A task whose duration is calculated based on the time span between its predecessor and successor activities.

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