“Project management is an important part of the senior design process. For the most part, teams manage projects in an informal way: They have a deadline to meet, and they monitor progress of the project as it moves along. However, computer resources are available for managing team projects more formally. This tutorial [Microsoft Word] will introduce you to Microsoft Project, a software package that helps to plan and track projects. You will walk through instructions for project planning, and then for project tracking and finally communicating progress.
In managing projects, there are essentially two steps: project planning, and project tracking. Projects consist of several tasks, each of a certain duration, that are to be carried out in a certain sequence. Project planning happens at the start of a project; at this stage the team identifies the tasks involved, estimates task duration, and guesses at task sequence. As the project progresses, some of this may change: task sequences may have to be altered, and tasks may take longer or shorter than originally planned. Project tracking involves recording these various changes, and making appropriate changes to the proposed schedule; tracking must take places throughout the life of the project.”
Highly recommended reading from the University of Idaho for all senior project managers.