Salvantra Associates

By: Tony | December 22, 2016


As a project manager, there are many times that you have to draw up a schedule from scratch.  Sometimes, you may be stuck as to how to go about the schedule or not but often you will be handed a a schedule and told to just use this as a template.  (Note: I use template in his article for schedules from previous projects and also standard departmental issued templates.)

This may seem like a great idea at first because a lot of the stuff is right there for you.  All the tasks seem neatly laid out.  You think to yourself: This is just what you needed.  This will save a whole lot of time.

But beware.  Not everything is as easy as it seems.

Here are just a few reasons as to why you should not automatically take that schedule and run with it, tweaki...

By: Tony | July 05, 2016

So, you're not a Project Manager and you know a lot about how to use Word, Powerpoint, and Excel but you keep hearing about this other program, Project, and you keep wondering, “Why do I need to know about this program?”.

Well, I am here to provide you with 5 reasons why you need to learn even the basics of Microsoft Project even though you are not a Project Manager.

Reason #1: You Can Review a Project

You may be sitting in a project review or a contractor may be giving a presentation on the status of the project. You may believe the statistics that are provided in the presentation but you want more proof that the project is not headed for trouble. Being able to review the Microsoft Project schedule, you will be able to determine wha...

By: Tony | June 30, 2016

Let's Decode the Microsoft Project Formula

Within their support web page, ( Microsoft put the following formula as an example (I think we should decode it to find out what it really does.):

When added to a custom text field, the following formula returns a value of "No baseline," "Overbudget by 20% or more," or "Under budget":


Switch(Len(CStr([Baseline Finish]))<3, "No baseline", ([Cost]+1)/ ([Baseline Cost]+1)>1.2,"Overbudget by 20% or more", ([Cost]+1)/([Baseline Cost]+1)>1, "Overbudget",True,"Under budget")


The CStr function in the above formula...

By: Tony | June 27, 2016


Projects Fail… It's a fact of life. Well, at least sometimes...

Sometime throughout your career, you will find that your project has failed and it was beyond your control as a project manager. Well, you are not alone. There are many studies out there that point to anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of project fail. This post will discuss what are the most common reasons for failure. But first we need a common definition of what is project failure.


Project Failure: We can consider a project a failure if the project is canceled prior to completion or delivered and never used.

So, we are not considering projects that are eventually delivered sometime very late or run way over budget. Those may be considered failures for the organ...

By: Tony | June 19, 2016


Planning where to put your people is probably the toughest decision facing companies especially small consulting firms. Usually, companies are asking themselves:

  • Do I have the right people available for this project?
  • Do I need to hire people or bring on temporary employees?
  • Where do I place the people from this project after this project winds down?
  • What if my resources are needed immediately on another project or emergency issue?
These questions are typical in any organization dependent on its resources.  The resources do not necessarily have to be people.  They can also be other things such as material and facilities.  I would like to address the best method to address this in a typical scenario.

Typical Resource Problem

Its best to start o...

By: Tony | June 07, 2016

There are time that you may want to have one task take place on the last day of some sort of activity.  For instance, you may be building up an area with cement and during the previous days you were doing framing and other activities.  Also, you may want to account for the costs of that last activity separate from  the previous activities.

Well, the best way to do this would be to create a separate activity apart from the others but have it with a finish to finish relationship.  This may be used especially if you want to account for the costs separately for that one activity.  For example, let's look at this one relationship: