Project Planning is an essential skill for many types of jobs. Microsoft Project is a planning tool that produces a project timeline outlining the work to be done for a project. It is used to plan the sequence of work, manage resources, track progress and manage the project budget. Jobs require Microsoft Project skills for many reasons.
A Scheduler will use Microsoft Project to develop, improve and maintain schedules, linking information back to the master schedule. The master schedule will include vast amounts of information including timelines, required resources, the order of needed tasks and the responsibilities of each team member. Schedulers will need to produce reports, get involved in forecasting and assist the team with data and variance analysis as well as frequently updating the daily schedule. Many jobs in project scheduling are in the fields of construction, software development or engineering. The project manager will often work closely with the scheduler to ensure that the required milestones are met within prescribed budget constraints. Schedulers are heavily reliable on software such as Microsoft Project to efficiently meet their jobs requirements.
A Contracts Administrator or a Project Coordinator will need to manage contracts and variations and produce various reports including histograms, detailed progress tables and look-ahead schedules. They play an important role to support the Site Supervisor and Project Manager with understanding, preparing and implementing the project schedule for analysis.
Planning involves determining how to complete a set of tasks within a given timeframe with a set of defined stages. They will also be required to monitor and update projects, ensuring that they each run smoothly and effectively. Planners also have the role of monitoring activity for potential issues that may come up down the road so that they can be avoided. In cases where this may not be possible, the planner will need to devise a recovery and contingency plan. A Planner will need to develop plans and schedules to a high level of detail, track progress for time and cost and draft project status reports. Strong competency with Microsoft Project will assist with the delivery of the project on time, on budget and meeting customer expectations.
A Project Manager is required to assess projects across the organisation and make effective decisions about resource management, cost management and effective delivery of projects in time critical environments. They are responsible for supervising and coordinating the team and contractors onsite, financial management, resource management and safety. All of which can be prepared in Microsoft Project to help them plan and organise effectively. They are often a client representative and have to determine and implement the exact needs of the client. They generally are those with the most responsibility and therefore must keep up with big demands and ensure the project runs smoothly. Microsoft Project is commonly used in order to relieve some of the stress of managing a project as the planning and tracking of the project can be done more efficiently and effectively.
Essentially, companies are looking for a full understanding and working knowledge of Microsoft Project. They seek high proficiency with Microsoft Project as part of your skillset.