When you create a new project in Microsoft Project, it is best practice to set all of your project settings and options before entering data into the Entry form. Here are the steps you should take to define a new project:

A good place to start is to use the already built in Definition ribbon. The Definition ribbon is a good template as to what tasks need to be completed to define a project.
Definition Ribbon

  1. Set the project Start date
    The start date is important because the entire project schedule will be based off of this date.
    Project Start Date
  2. Set the Project Properties
    The Summary tab of the Project Properties dialog box should be filled out, because Microsoft Project automatically populates headers, footers, summary tasks, etc. with this information.
    Project Properties
  3. Display the Project Summary Task
    This is not a default setting, however, it is best practice to display the Project Summary Task. This will help you to see the project start and end dates, duration, and costs of all of the rolled up scheduled Summary Tasks, Tasks, and SubTasks.
    Project Summary Task
  4. Assign the Project Working Schedule
    1. Change a default calendar or create a new calendar that includes all of your company holidays and schedule time off that applies to the entire organization.
      Change Working Time
    2. Apply the updated or new calendar from the step above as the calendar used for the project.
      Set Project Calendar
    3. Apply the updated or new calendar from the step above as the calendar used for the Nonworking Time Calendar
      Set Nonworking TIme
  5. Set the unique Project Options
    1. Set the default Task Mode if not already selected (usually Auto Scheduled)
      Task Mode
    2. Set any unique Project Options that are specific to this project
      Project Options
  6. Save your project
    If you are saving the project for the first time, the Save As dialog box will automatically display. Make sure to use your company’s file naming standards when saving your project.
    Save As
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