Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out – #bookreview

Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out
By Teresa S. Stover, with Bonnie Biafore and Andreea  Marinescu
(Microsoft Press, $54.99, paperback)

Project management is not quickly mastered, and neither is feature-rich Microsoft Project 2010.

A new book from Microsoft Press, Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out, bills itself as the software package’s “ultimate, in-depth reference.”

Indeed, there is a lot of information packed within this 4.5-lb., 1,307-page behemoth paperback, including step-by-step procedures, screen shots, time-saving and effort-saving software tips, plus some how-tos for project management.

An online link from Microsoft provides access to the book’s sample files in Project, PowerPoint and Word formats.

Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out likely will deserve some bookshelf space in your office, but don’t try to lug it around in your computer bag. Instead, use the online copy that is accessible free via Safari Books Online once you’ve purchased the paperback. (A Safari Books Online coupon is located inside the rear cover flap of a new copy.) The book also is available in a Kindle edition.

On the back cover, Microsoft rates the book specifically for “Intermediate/Advanced” computer users who manage projects. Yet, inside, the book states: “If you are completely new to project management and Project 2010, this book will give you a solid grounding in the use of Project 2010 as well as basic project management practices and methodologies.”

Meanwhile, if you’re experienced in project management but new to Microsoft Project 2010, “this book integrates common project management practices with the use of the software tool” and shows you “how you can use Project 2010 to carry out the project management functions you’re accustomed to.”

If you already use Project 2010, you likely aren’t using all of it and may want some help in learning how to use several features.  This book can help you plunge in, step by step, with illustrative examples.

One hallmark of good project management is good organization abilities. This book is well-organized and is split into nine parts, with 32 chapters, three appendices, an index to troubleshooting tips, and a 48-page book index.

The structure is as follows:

  • Part 1: Project Fundamentals (Chapters 1-2)
  • Part 2: Developing the Project Plan (Chapters 3-10)
  • Part 3: Tracking Progress (Chapters 11-12)
  • Part 4: Reporting and Analyzing Project Information (Chapters 13-14)
  • Part 5: Managing Multiple Projects (Chapters 15-16)
  • Part 6: Integrating Project 2010 with Other Programs (Chapter 17-21) – (including Microsoft’s Excel, Visio, Outlook and SharePoint).
  • Part 7: Managing Projects Across Your Enterprise (Chapters 22-27
  • Part 8: Customizing and Managing Project Files (Chapters 28-32)
  • Part 9: Appendixes – Installing Project 2010, Online Resources, and Keyboard Shortcuts

Two of the book’s authors are certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs). The lead writer, Teresa S. Stover,  is a Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist (MCTS) who is a long-time consultant to the Microsoft Project Team.

Despite potential confusion over whether this book is or is not for project management beginners, get it even if you are just beginning to contemplate Project 2010. In the sink-or-swim world of contemporary business, you won’t have time to remain a beginner for long.

Si Dunn

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