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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Do’s and Don’ts: Use the 30 Second Report

Reports, Views, Tables and Visual Reports all give you great options for communicating project information. They also require time to explore and configure. But there is one reporting tool within Microsoft Project designed to give you on-demand status, that requires no configuration and that’s perfect for keeping historical information.

In this blog posting I will show you Project Statistics and how to use it in making a project journal — a readable, visual history of progress and of learning. Find Project Statistics by first selecting the Project tab from the Ribbon, and then Project Information. At the bottom of Project Information, click on the Statistics button. This action brings up Project Statistics for your review. Please note that this information is the current status of your Project file. (See figure below. Click on it to expand.)


Note how much information is listed! While small, this dialog box is packed with information you need to know, particularly if you’re evaluating progress or documenting the evolution of the project. Pasting this information into a word processor prior to entering updates and then again after making updates allows you to easily compare them and evaluate the differences.

To copy Project Statistics into your word processor, you must first copy it onto Windows Clipboard. You copy the dialog box onto the Clipboard by first ensuring Project Statistics is the active window, then by pressing Alt-Print Screen on your keyboard. Paste the data into the word processor with Ctrl-V.

Once the Project Statistics are in your word processor, you can make comments explaining the difference.

I recommend you try this 30-second reporting technique for a new perspective on project documentation. It allows you to easily create and keep a visual running history of your project.

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