Not everyone has access to Microsoft Project in order to create their project schedules. As an alternative, PPO supports imports using Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Excel for Mac.
For the above, you can follow this link to access and use the import templates.
If you open the template, you will see it has 3 sheets:
- The "Read Me" sheet contains some basic guidelines on using the template as well as an explanation of the columns on the other sheets.
- The "Project Plan" sheet is where you capture the details of your tasks.
- The "Resources" sheet contains the PPO resources that you want to assign to the tasks. It drives the Resource dropdowns on the "Project Plan" sheet.
Populating the Resources sheet
The Resources sheet contains the PPO resources that you want to assign to the tasks and it drives the Resource drop-downs on the "Project Plan" sheet. If you will be assigning the resources to tasks in PPO then you do not need to populate the sheet.
An easy way to populate this sheet is to run the "Resource Sheet" report in PPO which exports a list of the resources in the format expected by this template. To get to the report, hover over the Reporting main menu and select Reports. For Category, select Resources. Under Report Name, select Resource Sheet and click on Datasheet view. Simply open the report and copy the Name column to the "Resources" sheet on the template.
Capturing your tasks
The “Project Plan” sheet is ultimately where you will build your project schedule. By default, some sample tasks have been populated which you can overwrite with your own tasks. There are however some important points to note:
- The UID column is used to uniquely identify each task and when you import it into PPO is used to populate the TaskCode. It is important that this number should be unique. Once you have given a key to a task, you should not change it as it will result in PPO incorrectly matching to an existing task in PPO if you re-import the plan. If you want to insert a task somewhere in the middle of the plan, you should still use the next available UID. Note that the order of the tasks is determined by the row number and not the UID.
- The Type of the first task in your plan should always be Project Task (this encapsulates the entire duration of your project from Start to End). This task has special significance in PPO and is used in some of the reports in PPO.
- A Start and Finish date must be captured for each task.
- You select a Resource by selecting it from the dropdown. If you do not see the resource you are looking for, update the Resources sheet as described above in "Populating the Resources sheet".
- Optionally, you can specify the Planned and Actual Progress % for each task. Note that if you re-import tasks, it will over-write these values in PPO, if they have been changed in PPO.
Importing your plan into PPO
Once you have finished capturing the details of your tasks, save the file as a .XLSX format. Then, to import the file, you have 2 options:
(1) Click on the Import Tasks action button from the Project View page; OR
(2) Click on the Import Tasks action button from the Task List page.
On the Import Task Wizard View page, select the saved .XLSX file and select the Import button.
Follow this link to access the available import templates.
If you are interested in implementing duration driven scheduling using the Excel template, follow this link formore information.