How To Create a Project In Microsoft Project 2013

What is Microsoft Project and its uses?

In simple words, "Microsoft Project is designed to assist a Project Manager in developing a plan, assigning resources to tasks, tracking progress, managing the budget and analyzing workloads"

This article will help you learn how to start your first project in Microsoft Project without any version of the software.

There are no prerequisites to learn about Microsoft Project. There are only two things that you need to know before starting to create your project using Microsoft Project Application.

  • How to start Microsoft Project on your machine.
  • On activities that need to be created in project.

See my previous article, How to Install Microsoft Project Online and run it on your machine.


Open your Microsoft Project 2013 app from your Start menu, as shown below.

The following window is displayed on your machine.

Here, your profile will be connected to your local machine (Computer), which means whatever projects you create, they will be saved on your local machine itself.

Next, click OK to proceed further.

Once we click on OK button, the above screen will appear on our machine. For now, select the "Blank Project" and proceed to create new schedule for your project.

Now, it’s time to create activities. Let us consider 5 simple activities, as described below.

Software Development (Project Name)

  1. Kick-off Meeting
  2. Requirement Gathering
  3. System Analysis & Design
  4. Implementation
  5. Testing
  6. Deployment
  7. UAT

I just took some activities to create the projects. Now, type all the activities in Microsoft Project, as shown below.

I just typed in all the activities under my project called "Software Development".

The first column you can see, is TaskMode.

If you click on this blue pin, then all the tasks are pinned for manual schedule, else if it is pinned as below, then all the tasks are set to automatic.

You can ask a question for how to put automatic and manual option in the above diagram.

Refer to the below screenshot to clear up your doubts.

So, now you can ask me another question like: What is the difference between Manual & Automatic?

That’s the real magic here that we can see when you change the Task mode from manual to automatic.

When you type in the Activities, start and finish dates are empty, as shown below.

But when you change Task mode to automatic and apply it on all the tasks, then there you can see that all the tasks get filled with start and finish dates automatically.

That’s all. Now, let's make Software Development as Project Summary Task.

To do so, click on "Format" option from the top menu and select "Project Summary Task". You will see the changes.

As soon as you check the box, you can see the changes in the schedule, as shown below.

A new item is added to your schedule. Well, it is nothing but a project name.

Now, let’s make the changes to duration. I gave some dummy duration values, as shown below.

Remember, don’t change the duration at summary task which means at Project 1, when you update the duration in below tasks, the project summary is changed automatically, as shown above.

Now, let’s save the project. Click on File -> SaveAs, give the name for the file and save. That’s it.

In my next article, I will show you how to baseline the schedule, how to build resources, and how to view the availability of resources.

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