Archive for 2009/05/18

Microsoft Project tutorial Part 22 – Formatting your process diagram

In Microsoft Project, there is a view called the Network diagram. In earlier versions of Microsoft Project, this view was called the PERT diagram. Independent of which version, the view looks something like this:


If you switch to the Gantt Chart, you would (if you had the same network diagram) find a Gantt chart which looked something like this:


So, if you make a Gantt chart, you get a Network diagram and the opposite is also true. But, we’ll switch back to Network diagram to start decoding the boxes.

These are the heading tasks where the red belong to the critical path (see specific blog post about critical path) and blue does not. By clicking the little box in upper left corner, you can hide and view the subtasks of heading tasks.


On the left, normal tasks and on the right a milestone task (this is explained in blog post covering Duration) and again you can see the difference between critical tasks and non critical tasks. Well, critical according to Microsoft, anyway.


As can be expected, the network diagram comes with a bunch of settings. First, you can head to Format—>Box styles. Here you can edit all the different box styles. In the bottom part you can control shape and colors but you can in Data Templates choose which data is shown for that specific task type. If you don’t like the templates as is, you can click More Templates.


Select the template you wish to modify and click Edit. Here you can change the name and by clicking the cells in the middle grid, you can choose which field is shown in that position. On the bottom, you can change fonts and alignment. If you want to change number of cells to work with, click Cell Layout.


Here you can change the grid:


Observe that you can also select a specific box and select Format—>Box. Here you can make the same changes, but only to that specific box.


Another nice place to go is Format—>Layout. Here you can enable manual moving of boxes, how they are arranged automatically, if summery tasks are visible, if critical path is visible and how links are displayed.


In the next session, I’ll go into how you create a process diagram from scratch.