Setting Default Desktop Scheduling Options

One of the takeaways from the recent Construction CPM Scheduling Conference in New Orleans last week (other than a couple of hurricanes on Bourbon street) was an acknowledgement that while Microsoft Project does indeed enable best practice scheduling, by default many of the required features are turned off.  This causes some frustration on behalf of the scheduler who must hunt deep into the Options panel to identify and select the appropriate options for each new project.

To assist in this endeavor, I wrote this little macro.  It basically goes through the options and sets them to optimize the scheduling interface for detailed construction scheduling (and therefore may have to be tweaked to support project scheduling in other domains).  In the past, I’ve triggered this macro whenever I run any other scripts on the schedule, i.e. I’ve written scripts to facilitate the update process….which call this routine up before going into collecting the update data.

Did I forget a key setting?  Let me know and I’ll update it accordingly.

Sub ApplyDefaultSettings()

    Dim Continue As String
    
    Continue = MsgBox("This macro will now apply the standard PMO settings to the project schedule.", vbOKCancel, "Confirm")
    
    If Continue = vbOK Then
        
        
        '1 - Project Settings
        With Application.ActiveProject
            .AutoTrack = True 'Sets the task status updates resource status setting
            .MoveCompleted = True 'Move completed work prior to the status date.
            .MoveRemaining = True 'Move incomplete work after the status date
            .SpreadPercentCompleteToStatusDate = True 'spread %Complete to the status date
            .NewTasksCreatedAsManual = False 'Turn off manual tasks
            .DisplayProjectSummaryTask = True 'Display project summary task
            .AutoLinkTasks = False 'Do not automatically link tasks when added to the schedule
            .MultipleCriticalPaths = True 'Calculate multiple critical paths
        End With
        
        '2 - Display Settings
        Application.NewTasksStartOn (pjProjectDate) 'Sets new tasks to default to the Project Start Date
        Application.DisplayEntryBar = True 'Displays the Entry Bar
        Application.Use3DLook = False 'Turns off 3D which used to cause printing issues
        
        '3 - Gantt Chart Settings
        GridlinesEditEx Item:=12, NormalType:=3 'Set the Status Date line
        GridlinesEditEx Item:=12, NormalColor:=192
        GridlinesEditEx Item:=4, NormalType:=0 'Turn off the Current Date line
        GridlinesEditEx Item:=0, Interval:=3 'Set dotted lines on every third Gantt row
        GridlinesEditEx Item:=0, IntervalType:=3
        GridlinesEditEx Item:=0, IntervalColor:=8355711
        GridlinesEditEx Item:=13, NormalType:=3 'Set dotted lines on every vertical top tier column
        GridlinesEditEx Item:=13, NormalColor:=8355711
        
    End If

End Sub

 

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Setting Default Desktop Scheduling Options

10 thoughts on “Setting Default Desktop Scheduling Options

  1. For Project 2013, the macro got stuck at the first line of the Gantt chart settings, GridlinesEditEx. Might be my configuration or Group Policy, but I wanted to pass it along.

      1. 🙂

        Likely to have ripostes but recommendations have previously been made for Physical % Complete.
        From the object model for 2010 it shows:
        Member name Description
        PercentComplete Value=0.
        PhysicalPercentComplete Value=1.
        Couldn’t locate a lter one. Assume for backward compatibility value defs are the same (hopefully!)
        Cheers!

      2. Per Kermit’s request. EVM folks feel free to add the following line:

        ‘4 – EVM Settings
        ActiveProject.DefaultEarnedValueMethod = pjPhysicalPercentComplete ‘Set EVM to calculate from Physical % Complete

  2. Steve Coda says:

    Thank you for sharing this, I did test the macro in Project Professional 2013 and did not have any problems. Regarding the section in the Gantt Chart Settings, I never thought ‘set dotted lines on every third Gantt row’ would have made a difference to the readability of the project schedule.

    1. Every engineer I’ve ever worked with has insisted on adding grid lines to the Gantt. Not necessarily relevant, but I decided a long time ago to only buy a house from an engineer. They’re much less fault tolerant than, say, your average IT person.

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