Project Management

How to Update the Project Schedule Objectively in MS-Project

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website

In the Project Control: The Myth of 90% Complete article, I highlighted the importance of collecting and updating the project schedule with objective data instead of a subjective percent complete. In actual practice, the project manager needs an efficient method to identify incomplete tasks and collect project actuals from the project team.


Task status can be obtained using e-mail, a team status meeting or even using server-based project tracking forms in Project Server 2003 or integrating with MS-Outlook workgroup features. The method a project manager selects depends on the team size and technology available. A simple approach within MS-Project 2000 uses a custom view named Team Status and can be distributed and quickly shared with the project team.


The Team Status view is a custom view that was created by building a custom table and view in MS-Project. Instead of building the view yourself, you can copy the view from the provided template project plan into MS-Project's GLOBAL.MPT file. The GLOBAL.MPT is the default template and exposes MS-Project's options, settings, calendars and views for use with other project files. Once a view is copied to the GLOBAL.MPT file, it is available to other project files on the computer.


To copy the custom Team Status view into your project plan:

  1. Download and …

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