1 Universiteit Gent Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen Vakgroep Technische Bedrijfsvoering & Universidad de Zaragoza Centro Politécnico Superior Departamento de Ingeniería de Diseño y Fabricación Área de Ingeniería de Proyectos Design of Case Studies for Enterprise Project Management by Dennis Vandenbussche Tutor(s): Prof. dr. H. Van Landeghem and Prof. J. L. Cano Fernández Supervisor: I. Lidón López Thesis submitted to obtain the academic degree of Civil Mechanical and Electrotechnical Engineer (Burgerlijk Werktuigkundig-Elektrotechnisch Ingenieur) Academic year
3 The autor gives the permission to use this thesis for consultation and to copy parts of it for personal use. Every other use is subject to the copyright laws, more specifically the source must be extensively specified when using results from this thesis. De auteur geeft de toelating deze scriptie voor consultatie beschikbaar te stellen en delen van de scriptie te kopiëren voor persoonlijk gebruik. Elk ander gebruik valt onder de beperkingen van het auteursrecht, in het bijzonder met betrekking tot de verplichting de bron uitdrukkelijk te vermelden bij het aanhalen van resultaten uit deze scriptie. 4th of June 2007 Dennis Vandenbussche iii
4 Foreword The dynamic, competitive market of today and tomorrow demands an enterprise to act fast and accurate. For most companies success depends on how good they manage to synchronize their operational process with their strategic targets. To approach this optimal balance, companies manage their activities like projects. This tactic allows them to get a more precise and accurate insight in the performance of every company segment and to take more exhaustive decisions. Therefore the science discipline Enterprise Project Management (EPM) gains more and more attention. Many traditional company managers find it somewhat difficult to change their way of doing business and to implant the EPM philosophy in their organization. This thesis aims to improve Project Management skills by means of two educational laboratories. The first laboratory is a seminar that intentionally focuses on teaching students and professionals with Project Management ambitions how the Microsoft EPM Solution works. The second laboratory attends to a Project Simulation Game that gives an overview about how a project is managed from beginning to end. Both tools aim to give the participants a realistic and accurate image about EPM and to weigh them as a standard training for both students and professionals. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the people who supported me during the realisation of this thesis. First of all my daily supervisor, Prof. I. Lidón López, who was always ready to answer my questions and to help out when problems occurred. Secondly I want to thank Prof. Dr. J.L. Cano Fernández, head of the Project Management Department of the CPS at the University of Zaragoza, for the helpful lectures and tuitions concerning Project Management and to give me the chance to work as an investigator at the department. Also my Erasmus supervisor and thesis promoter in Ghent, Prof. Dr. H. Van Landeghem, head of the Industrial Management Department of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ghent, for his helpful suggestions and support by means of . Further I would like to iv
5 FOREWORD v thank the previous two gentlemen for giving me the opportunity to take part in the European student exchange programme Erasmus. Finally, I thank everybody who helped me by rereading and correcting this thesis. A special thanks goes to Juliet and David Amery for the spelling correction and the helpful suggestions with respect to the contents of this thesis.
6 Design of Case Studies for Enterprise Project Management by Dennis Vandenbussche Thesis submitted to obtain the academic degree of civil mechanical-electrotechnical engineer (burgerlijk werktuigkundig-elektrotechnisch ingenieur) Academic year Tutor(s): Prof. dr. H. Van Landeghem en Prof. J. L. Cano Fernández Supervisor: I. Lidón López Universiteit Gent Faculteit Ingenieurswetenschappen Vakgroep Technische Bedrijfsvoering Universidad de Zaragoza Centro Politécnico Superior Departamento de Ingeniería de Diseño y Fabricación Área de Ingeniería de Proyectos Summary The implementation of the Project Management philosophy in the industry has already started many years ago. Over two decades ago the leading and trendsetting companies of that day introduced the Project Management way of working in their organisations. The success of these companies inspired many others to follow their example and to take their activities and operations on like projects. vi
7 SUMMARY vii Thereafter the scientific discipline Enterprise Project Management (EPM) gained more and more attention. Pure theoretical knowledge of Project Management is needed, but training in reality in this field goes much beyond that. Definitely as important as theoretical knowledge, is the ability to apply these concepts to the practice. Many traditional company managers find it somewhat difficult to change their way of doing business and to implant the EPM philosophy in their organization. Hence there is a considerable demand for training regarding Project Management skills. The field of Project Management education is becoming a big business for both university offices and private organisations. This thesis focuses on two widely used methods of EPM learning. In Chapter 1 a short introduction about Project Management and Enterprise Project Management is given. Moreover it focuses on the existing and future learning tools and methods that improve and train the skills (both soft and hard skills) needed to become a successful Project Management professional. Implanting EPM in an organisation has several implications. One of the main practical problems considers IT management in the company. To install successfully the EPM working philosophy, enterprise-wide network administration and an accurate communication platform are needed. Because of the complex situation in this area, accurate and reliable collaborative software is primary. Microsoft has developed an integral EPM program package which provides organisations with the necessary software to overcome these difficulties. The main part of this thesis consists of the design of a seminar manual, based on case study learning, to teach students and professionals how the Microsoft EPM Solution 2003 works. Chapter 2 describes the different parts of the Microsoft EPM Solution and chapter 3 outlines the main cases and topics of the seminar manual. The entire manual, written in Spanish, can be found in Appendix B. Chapter 4 clarifies the seminar environment and investigates the scientifically and educational value of the seminar. By observing the participants during the actual seminar laboratory and by completing questionnaires, the learning objectives of the seminar are evaluated. In chapter 5 a description of another teaching method, Project Management education through simulation games, is given. The simulation game ProSiGa, developed at the university of Zaragoza, is discussed. Again the learning objectives of the game, considering scientifically and educational value, are analysed and future adaptations are suggested. Chapter 6 contains the conclusions that can be drawn from the results of both educational laboratories. Further an attempt is made to compare both learning methods.
8 Design of Case Studies for Enterprise Project Management Dennis Vandenbussche Supervisor(s): Hendrik Van Landeghem, Juan Luis Cano Fernández, Iván Lidón López Abstract This article discusses the development and evaluation of a case study seminar for Enterprise Project Management education. The educational value of this type of training is compared with other EPM learning methods. Keywords Enterprise Project Management (EPM), Microsoft Project Server, Case study learning, simulation games. I. INTRODUCTION The dynamic, competitive market of today and tomorrow demands a enterprise to act fast and accurate. Therefore it is vital that companies operations and organization are as flexible as possible. Flexibility allows the companies to adapt quickly to the changing needs and demands of their costumers. Company success depends on how good they manage to synchronize their operational processes with their strategic targets. To achieve an optimal synchronization, companies manage their activities like projects. Therefore the scientific discipline Enterprise Project Management (EPM) gains more and more attention. Many traditional company managers find it somewhat difficult to change their way of doing business and to implant the EPM philosophy in their organization. This thesis aims to improve Project Management skills by designing two educational laboratories. The first laboratory is a seminar which initially focuses on teaching students and professionals how the Microsoft EPM Solution works. The second laboratory provides a project simulation game, which gives an overview about how a project is managed from beginning to end. Both tools aim to give the participants a realistic and accurate image about EPM and to asses as a standard training for both students and professionals. II. SEMINAR FOR MICROSOFT PROJECT SERVER A. Environment Implanting EPM implies that a robust enterprise-wide network administration and an accurate communication platform are needed. Because of the complex situation considering IT management, an accurate and reliable collaborative software is essential. Furthermore the international expansion of today s business market requires the system to be available at any given time and from any given location through a simple internet connection. Microsoft has developed an integral EPM program package which provides organisations with the necessary software. In this article the second generation software, Microsoft Project Server 2003, is discussed. This article describes a case study seminar for Microsoft Project Server, held at the University of Zaragoza at the 24th of May 2007 and at the CAI at the 28th and 29th of May In a regular computer laboratory classroom, participants with a considerable interest in Project Management, have taken on the seminar in teams of two persons. Through role-playing of the four typical staff members (Executive, Resource Manager, Project Manager and team member) of a company, five cases are presented to explain the basic tools and possibilities of the MS Project Server environment. The completion of the seminar is considered to take about eight hours. B. Learning Objectives The main objective is make the participants familiar with the MS software about Enterprise Project Management. After the seminar each trainee should understand and be able to use all basic tools explained in the seminar manual. Moreover through a suitable scenario and a clear composition, the seminar manual aims to give the participants a global picture about the structure of a typical Project Management company. By learning the responsibilities of the different staff profiles, the participant gets an inside view of how a company organisation structure could look like. C. Contents of the Seminar Manual The seminar manual Planificación y Control de Proyectos. MS Project Server. Manual de los casos. forms the basis for the seminar. Five practical case studies are used to demonstrate the basic concepts of the Microsoft EPM solution. The most important concepts are: the design of the Enterprise Global Template and the Enterprise Resource Pool, the design and start up of a project, the control and progress monitoring of a project, working with Windows SharePoint Services and the advanced control of a project by the Executive. D. Evaluation of the Seminar The evaluation of the seminar and seminar manual is based on a small amount of 25 seminar participants. It should be noted that such a limited number of participants is questionable to obtain and justify a scientifically correct statistical investigation. Nevertheless there is found that the manual and the seminar improve knowledge and skills of the MS Project Server environment. Moreover it delivers a significant rise of the knowledge of MS Project Professional software. Finally the seminar also improves theoretical knowledge and practical skills of Project Management. It is also important to accentuate that the discovered improvements are found in the case of each participant, independently of its background, initial knowledge or experience. Nevertheless participants with work experience in the field of Project Management gained a lower amount of improvement than colleagues without relevant work experience.
9 III. THE PROJECT SIMULATION GAME PROSIGA A. Environment Simulation gaming as an educational tool is a recent invention. The Project Engineering Group of the University of Zaragoza designed the Project Simulation Game ProSiGa in The game focuses on the start-up of a new factory for all terrain bikes outside the EU. By picking up the role of the Project Manager who is responsible for the installation of a new factory, the participants learn how to manage a project from beginning to end. Like the seminar of MS Project Server, the simulation seminar of ProSiGa is played in a regular computer laboratory classroom. Participants take on the game in teams of two or more persons. The completion of the game is considered to take about eight hours. B. Learning Objectives ProSiGa aims to expand the theoretical knowledge of Project Management by actively teaching participants about the preparation of the project master plan and the development of the project execution to completion. Several, so-called hard Project Management skills, are trained. But even more important, it serves as an exercise to improve and expand skills involved in handling situations that are characteristic of Project Management. The so-called soft Project Management skills are being tested comprehensively within a strictly limited time range. The game aims to improve the ability to apply the theoretical knowledge of Project Management in the practice of a real project, without the risk of failure. Because the game is carried out in groups, it is a valuable learning experience with the goal to develop and motivate team work and decision-taking. By this means the participates have the opportunity to influence the outcome of the process from different points of view and to recognize the effects of individual measures in the global context. Also wide range of communication skills is tested. C. Contents of the Game The game consists of three stages. In this article only the first two stages are discussed. The first stage consists in the preparation of the proposal of the project. This involves designing a master plan by determining time schedules and resources allocations for all project tasks. The participants are asked to place in order and connect 24 given project tasks. Further some tasks need resource allocation. The game parameters in this stage are the project scheduling time and the total cost of the project plan. The second stage attends to the development of the project contract. This concerns managing the project through a series of situations which arise during its development and taking the necessary decisions. The game parameters in this stage are quality, total cost and delay time of the project, group motivation and communication of the project team, relationship with stakeholders, top management support and overall project value. The higher the participant teams score on these eight parameters, the higher will be their overall game score. Both stages are designed to be solved in a restricted time frame. Once the time is expired, it is impossible to make any more changes. D. Evaluation of the Game The evaluation of the game is based on an experimental study of 174 ProSiGa participants performed by the Project Management Department of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Zaragoza and on . By means of questionnaires, before and after the seminar, the learning objectives are analysed. An independent group of observers notes every significant event that occurred during the execution of the game. Analyses of the questionnaires and the comments of the observers gave the following results. First of all a significant difference in simulation performance between participants with and those without Project Management experience is found. Experienced participants score considerably better. However the learning acquisition of nonexperienced trainees is proven to be higher. Group compatibility has a negative effect on the game performance. This may sound like a contradiction because good group compatibility usually leads to improvement of the effectiveness of a group. Nevertheless it is possible that the group as a whole does not obtain a clear view of the project simulation goals. Also the strictly limited time to solve the given questions may negatively influence group performance. Finally feedback provided by the game instructors has been found positive as part of the learning process. Most participants are aware of their own mistakes and are eager to learn from them. IV. CONCLUSIONS Both training methods follow the philosophy of Learning by doing. A philosophy which has proven its usefulness straight from the start of its application and which is, to this day, the best way to improve the ability to apply both theoretical and practical concepts of Project Management to the practice. What you hear, you will forget. What you see, you will remember. What you do, you will understand. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS In the first place, I want to thank Iván Lidón López for the daily support. Furthermore, I thank my supervisors, Prof. J.L. Cano Fernández and Prof. Dr. H. Van Landeghem for guiding me and giving me the opportunity to take part in the European student exchange program Erasmus. Finally, I want to thank everybody who helped me by rereading and correcting this text. REFERENCES  J.L. Cano, and M.J. Sáenz, Project management simulation laboratory: experimental learning and knowledge acquisition, Production Planning & Control, Taylor & Francis Group, 2003, VOL.14, No.2, pg
10 Contents Copyright Regulations Foreword Summary Extended Abstract iii iv vi viii 1 Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Definition of a Project Definition of EPM Experimental learning of EPM The Microsoft Office EPM Solution Project Professional Project Server 2003 and Project Web Access Windows SharePoint Services Seminar Manual for Microsoft Project Server Introduction and Foreword Learning Objectives Design of the Seminar Manual Role-playing and the Philosophy of Learning Description of the Main Aspects of the Seminar Manual Execution and Evaluation of the Seminar Implementation of the Seminar Cases on the Server Testing of the Seminar Pre-Testing Phase x
11 CONTENTS xi Final Testing Phase Execution of the Seminar Evaluation of the Seminar Questionnaires Results Participants Suggestions Observations Conclusions The Project Simulation Game ProSiGa Introduction Learning objectives The Project Simulation Game Environment ProSiGa Stage I: Preparation of the Proposal Master Plan ProSiGa Stage II: Project Development Evaluation of the Learning Objectives of the Game Knowledge Capture Analysis of Learning through ProSiGa Experiment Study Other Simulation Games and future research Conclusions Conclusions 51 A Abbreviations 53 B Manual for MS Project Server Seminar 54 C Preparation Protocols 80 C.1 Caso 1: Personalización de la plantilla información global de la empresa C.2 Caso 1: Asignación de recursos al proyecto C.3 Caso 2: Publicación de Proyectos C.4 Caso 3: Publicación de Proyectos D Questionnaires 82
12 List of Tables 4.1 Average values of initial knowledge Average values of initial knowledge of experienced participants Average values of initial knowledge of inexperienced participants Average values of knowledge improvement in percent Average values of knowledge improvement of experienced participants in percent Average values of knowledge improvement of inexperienced participants in percent Average values of difficulty of the seminar Average values of difficulty of experienced participants Average values of difficulty of inexperienced participants Average values of participants opinions xii
13 List of Figures 1.1 Schematic overview of the EPM tools Communication platform of the Microsoft EPM Solution EPM architecture of MS Project New Project Professional document Microsoft PWA Homepage for a project manager Organization of a typical Project Management company Job flow between the four staff profiles of ProZaC Example of wallpaper for Antonio González Changing the company s work calendar Library of templates provided by default The assignment of a project team Start page of Windows SharePoint Services Brochure of the intensive training for professionals Administration page of MS Project Server Distribution of initial theoretical knowledge of PM Distribution of initial practical experience of PM The logo of the CAESAR project Initial Gantt Chart Final Gantt Chart of a possible solution Staff report of a possible solution The history of the project parameters of a possible solution Final costs report of a possible solution The spiral of effective learning xiii
14 Chapter 1 Enterprise Project Management (EPM) 1.1 Definition of a Project The recent international business climate is becoming increasingly competitive. As a consequence the way an organisation adjusts its resources and activities to the strategic goals of the company becomes more and more vital. Therefore organisations manage all their activities and processes as projects. Management can then follow the performance of every activity from close quarters and take improving business decisions. The definition of a Project used in the context of Project Management is: The temporal organisation which combines human and non-human resources, to achieve a specific purpose by creating a unique product or service. (D. Cleland and L. Ireland) Because of the unique character of a project, the work method of Project Management is exciting, demanding and exacting. Therefore working on projects is non-repetitive with every project involving new experiences. Such a demand requires a solid organisation, reliable work tools and smooth collaboration for managing projects successfully. Every commercial company main goal is creating money and adding value to its business, through maximising the satisfaction of its clients. The success of a project however lies in the precise determination and realisation of customer needs in terms of quality, cost and scope. (H. Kerzner) Therefore project prosperity is a much more tangible affair and the three project parameters (quality, cost and scope) can be precisely and objectively measured. 1
15 CHAPTER 1. ENTERPRISE PROJECT MANAGEMENT (EPM) 2 Figure 1.1: Schematic overview of the EPM tools 1.2 Definition of EPM Enterprise Project Management (EPM) methodology is the application of the Project Management discipline throughout an enterprise. What began as an approach to planning and guiding single projects from start to finish, the focus now is more on the fact that a project is likely to be a separate business in the enterprise. Enterprise Project Management identifies also the inevitable connections between multiple projects. Moreover the accurate implementation of the EPM method may provide the basis for further company s global strategic decisions. Figure 1.1 gives a schematic overview of the EPM tools. The combination of various projects within a enterprise is referred to as a portfolio. Hence the term Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is widely used. PPM includes the creation of various scenarios to decide which is the most optimal portfolio and is the key to constantly scrutinize individual projects according to the enterprise its (human and non-human) recourses. Grouping projects into portfolios provides the Manager or Executive with a global view and an accurate, detailed insight at the same time. The Executive is no longer forced to take the difficult decision between overall view and detailed insight view. Therefore every job or task, large or small, can be executed without compromising the strategic goals of the company. This is one of the main reasons of the recent success of Project Management tools in the industry.
16 CHAPTER 1. ENTERPRISE PROJECT MANAGEMENT (EPM) 3 Figure 1.2: Communication platform of the Microsoft EPM Solution Because the enterprise divides its activities in multiple projects, the EPM philosophy also seems to make things a little more complicated in terms of Resource Management. Businesses are being fragmented, however company resources (both human and non-human) can still be assigned to various project in their appropriate project portfolios. To overcome these more complex issues Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) is introduced. ERM is a planning mechanism that ensures or tries to ensure that the right people are in the right place at the right time to guarantee the smooth and continuous work flow. The same is true for material and financial resources. ERM is often referred as the IT application which implants these theoretical concepts into a practical enterprise environment. Another important aspect of EPM is the way the human resources in the enterprise collaborate and communicate with each other. Today s high-speed demanding, flexible market requires enterprise-wide network administration and an accurate communication platform.
17 CHAPTER 1. ENTERPRISE PROJECT MANAGEMENT (EPM) 4 Figure 1.2 gives a schematic view of such a communication platform provided by the MS EPM Solution. As Figure 1.2 suggests, an easy communication method, in this case provided by MS Project Server, between all company staff is crucial. It not only accelerates the collaboration methods between staff, it also reduces administration work and the probability of losing important information. Of course, communication on its own is not enough to create a working team which acts like a team. Once people are informed, they are supposed to turn to action. Without the willingness, belief and motivation of the staff members no real progress is made. Collaboration begins with accurate communication but it only starts from there. Nevertheless, a robust communication method provides the project leaders with a fast way to detect problems and act to them. It is the job of the Project Manager motivate the team and inform them about the project and to keep team members focused. The Project Manager social and leadership skill are tested to manage a motivated, collaborating project team. If this appears to be insufficient to inspire the project members, external motivating experts can be called in to help. A summary of the possibilities are boundless. For more information specialised companies can be consulted. All concepts demonstrated above imply that, from an IT Management point of view, the situation is becoming increasingly complex. Therefore accurate collaborative and communicative software is needed. In the next chapter an introduction to the Microsoft Enterprise Management solution is given. 1.3 Experimental learning of EPM Because of the increasing interest in the Project Management philosophy of the industry, as noted earlier in this chapter, there is an increasing demand for training in this field. First of all there is a need to establish theoretical knowledge of the subject. The theoretical knowledge base consists of a large set of specific areas. In addition, a thorough understanding of the relevant industry and technology linked to the project and general management issues are necessary. Theoretical concepts of Project Management have been taught for more than two decades in master programmes at most technical universities. The most convenient way to obtain a considerable theoretical knowledge in this field is still by attending classes, using traditional classroom methodologies such as lectures and the use of textbooks. In these classes the tutor handles Project Management topics in a formal, scientific and explicit manner through a process of conceptualization.
18 CHAPTER 1. ENTERPRISE PROJECT MANAGEMENT (EPM) 5 Secondly, the discipline of Project Management is also strongly practice-based. An abstract, conceptual knowledge of Project Management methods and tools is not enough. The Project Manager must also be able to apply this knowledge in complex operating environments. To become successful as a Project Management the need is essentially to combine a strong knowledge base with the ability to effectively apply that knowledge is essential. The challenge is to offer training programmes that improve this ability in a short period of time. To obtain this ability enhancing learning through experimentation is used. This is the process of testing conceptual knowledge by applying it to specific situations. Project Management problems are always different and ask for a common sense approach, therefore education in this area has always tried to offer practical examples as much as possible. Practical training in the management of a project needs to provide ways to experiment, to make decisions, to implement actions and importantly to react positively the consequences. Obviously all these actions should be practised without the risk of failure. Two main experimental learning methods, the classic use of case studies and learning through simulations games, are treated in this thesis. The first method, which is demonstrated in the form of a role-playing seminar for Microsoft Project Server, implies a somewhat passive way of training. This means the decision making aspect during the training is relatively small or even non-existent. The seminar participant plays the role of various staff member profiles of an imaginary company, but has no authority whatsoever to take decisions or actions. The trainee can only undergo the different steps that have been designed by the creators of the seminar. The traditional classroom relationship between student and teacher stays intact. This kind of training is more appropriate to explain practical tools or to test theoretical concepts to the practice, or in this case to explain the Microsoft solution for Enterprise Project Management. The seminar aims to expand and improve knowledge of the Microsoft Project Server environment. To evaluate this learning method, direct questionnaires and observations of the participants during a case study seminar are used. Chapter 4 contains the evaluation of the seminar during two seminar sessions, one at the University of Zaragoza and the other at the CAI building in Zaragoza. The second method, learning through simulation games, is a relatively new, but already widely spread, teaching tool. While playing the game, the participants gain practical Project Management skills. Furthermore simulation games focus on the development of the so-called soft skills. By playing the game in groups of two or three the participants communication and collaboration skills are trained. This means learning through simulation games is a much more
19 CHAPTER 1. ENTERPRISE PROJECT MANAGEMENT (EPM) 6 dynamic teaching method. Chapter 5 investigates the ProSiGa simulation game designed at the University of Zaragoza and also tries to draw some overall conclusions considering the learning acquisition of simulation games based on other games as well. Besides these two teaching methods, there are more techniques to improve students ability to apply their theoretical findings. Some universities oblige students to take on a real project and to test the theoretical knowledge to the practice week after week. This means conceptual and experimental learning methods are used side by side during an entire academic semester. The Project Management Department of the University of Zaragoza has established this form of teaching for some years now by means of the annual course Gestión de Proyectos. This master course is attended by more the one hundred students every year. Divided in more than twenty project teams, the students take on a challenging real-time project in a real company that has to be contacted by the students themselves. By means of weekly report meetings with a tutor, the groups are guided and kept focused on the objectives of the project. For more information about this matter, the reader is referred to . And what does the future brings? It is clear that active learning forms like role-playing and simulation games will become more and more important in the education of Enterprise Project Management. Additional methods, which are supported by multimedia, are currently used to address the specific problems that are often encountered in the business world. A further development of these methods will happen and web-based training with simulation games is already destined for the future.
20 Chapter 2 The Microsoft Office EPM Solution Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, has developed an end-to-end collaborative project and portfolio environment that can be of great aid in coping with these constantly changing and challenging requirements. In this thesis the Microsoft Office Project 2003 version will be used. Figure 2.1 shows the Microsoft Office Project 2003 EPM Architecture. sections four mayor parts of the Architecture are discussed. In the following Project Professional 2003, Project Server 2003 and Project Web Access form the spine of the Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution. 2.1 Project Professional 2003 A Project file can be compared with other Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel or PowerPoint. It provides the user with the necessary tools to create and refine a project and Figure 2.1: EPM architecture of MS Project