Tag Archives: project2003

Predecessors in MS Project

Have you ever been annoyed, that MS Project does not list you dates of predecessors in its task form? How do you quickly determine the driving predecessor? If you have many predecessors for a tasks, finding the driving task (without switching views…) can become pretty cumbersome.
Microsoft Project - foo

The solution: add a button to MS Project and run a macro that lists all unfinished predecessors along with its line number and finish date.

Microsoft Project - MSgBOx

No idea, how to use this code? Check out, how to add VBA code to your computer.

Public Sub swaPre()
    Dim t As Task
    Dim msg As String
    msg = ActiveSelection.Tasks.Item(1).Name & vbNewLine & vbNewLine
    For Each t In ActiveSelection.Tasks.Item(1).PredecessorTasks
        ' remove all closed predecessors
        If t.PercentComplete <> 100 Then msg = msg & t.ID & vbTab & Left(t.Name, 30) & vbTab & Format(t.Finish, "dd.mm.yyyy") & vbNewLine
    Next t
    MsgBox msg, vbInformation, "Predecessors, percent complete <> 100 and finish dates"
End Sub

Quality check project plan on the fly with custom fields

I want to ensure that all tasks in my project plan have certain custom fields sets (like team lead, contract id, deliverable, etc.). To spot the tasks that lack this information, I’ll highlight them in my Gantt view.

First step, add a custom field, say, number18 and a formula that checks certain fields and returns

  • -1 for milestones and summaries,
  • 0 for all quality checks ok, and
  • a number greater zero if the quality check fails.
IIf([Milestone]=True;-1;IIf([Summary]=True;-1;IIf([Text7]="";1;IIf([Text15]="";2;IIf([Text27]="";3;IIf([Text28]="";4;IIf([Text16]="";5;IIf(InStr([Resource Phonetics];[Text16])=0;6;IIf([Type]<>2;7;
IIf([Baseline Finish]=projdatevalue("NA");8;0))))))))))

Second step, add a flag, say flag20 to be true if the quality check fails (number19 is greater 0) or false otherwise.


Third step, format the gant chart based on flag20.

How to show trends in MS Project

In short, you can’t ;-). MS Project is good at showing all sorts of info on your project for any given point in time. It does not, however, contain historic data to calculate trends. But there is a workaround. In each reporting cycle (say every week), save your project plan to a new file. Then use Excel and a macro to read all past project plans and chart the trend. Use pivot tables to drill down to deliverable or sub-projects. Here is how to chart work compared to baseline work over time. Continue reading

How to import and export nonworking time in MS Project

Not reflecting holidays in project plans can have many nasty side-effects. Tasks end later than you think because people are not available. If you have longer projects, the number of holiday days, bridging days and other nonworking time add up and can significantly extend your project far beyond your established deadline.

Using “Tools | Change working time … ” in MS Project you can change both the project calendar and the calendar of each team member. However, this process is cumbersome. The following macros update nonworking time from an Excel file. Continue reading

Dump actual work from MS Project into Excel

As you may know, MS Project may occasionally behave divaesque. To make matters worse, older versions (like the one, I’m using) know only one (!) undo step. In order to check if some of my changes have screwed up actual work of the past, I dump all actual work from project start to project finish into an Excel file and analyze it with a pivot table. I can now easily compare actual work before and after I’ve made changes to the project. Continue reading

Set the same text styles in all views for MS Project

Running the following macro from your gantt-like views will standardize the view to use identical text styles.

' works only for gantt like charts
Sub swaMSPSetTextStyles()
    If ActiveProject.Views.Item(ActiveProject.CurrentView).Type = 0 Then
        TextStyles Item:=pjAll, Size:="8", Bold:=False, Italic:=False, Color:=pjBlack
        TextStyles Item:=pjNoncritical, Size:="8", Bold:=False, Italic:=False, Color:=pjBlack
        TextStyles Item:=pjGanttExternalTask, Size:="8", Bold:=False, Italic:=False, Color:=pjGray
        TextStyles Item:=pjMarked, Size:="8", Bold:=False, Italic:=True, Color:=pjNavy
        TextStyles Item:=pjTaskRowColumnTitles, Size:="8", Bold:=True, Italic:=False, Color:=pjBlack
        TextStyles Item:=pjGanttMajorTimescale, Size:="8", Bold:=True, Italic:=False, Color:=pjBlack
    End If
End Sub

How to add VBA code to your computer

First of all, all VBA examples on this website use MS Excel 2003 2010 and/or MS Project 2003 2010. Most of the stuff may run with later versions, YMMV. Also, keep an eye on formulas in Excel: you may need to replace each colon with a comma (or tweak your regional settings in Windows).

Add code to MS Excel

  • I store all my macros in a central place (personal.xls), so that I can use them in all spreadsheets.
  • On my Win7 box, the file is located in %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART
  • Read, how to add macros to your personal.xls.
  • Hide personal.xls when you’re not working on your macros (via Window | Hide).

Add code to MS Project

  • I store all my macros in a central place (global.mpt), so that I can use them in all projects.
  • On my Win7 box, the file is located in %APPDATA%\Microsoft\MS Project\11\1033
  • You can move macros and other settings between different project files and global.mpt using MS Project’s organizer function, see Tools | Organizer.

Don’t forget to backup both files on a regular basis.