Monthly Archives: August 2015

Western Michigan PMI Board Listens to Members

As a Director under the VP of Marketing, I had the opportunity to be part of the Western Michigan PMI (WMPMI) chapter board retreat at the end of July. The goal of the retreat was to  make decisions that will make the chapter more valuable to the members. It was nice to see that the board has truly heard what is important to the members such as:

  • Excellent programs and speakers
  • Networking opportunities
  • Good food with the option to purchase a drink of choice
  • Opportunities to maintain credentials and earn professional development units(PDUs)
  • Easy to navigate website
  • Better ways to appeal to and attract sponsors
  • Formats that bring in new and younger members
  • Keeping members current with trends in project management

The most interesting parts of the meeting was where board members would point out that we should stop trying to solve the problem before we identify the problem and have a direction. Just like other project teams I have been on, everyone has an idea, but until you know what your focus is, the ideas are not really useful.  Sometimes even the most experienced project managers struggle to stay focused.

I am excited about many of the things that came out of the retreat and things that all of the members should look forward to:

  • Adjustments to ensure dinner meetings have great food and great speakers
  • Clear chapter message that covers all areas – programs, marketing, education, etc
  • Solutions to problems that organizations want their project managers and potential project managers to be skilled at and ready to handle
  • Better ways to interact with and communicate with our community and the value of project management

Sorry I can’t spoil any surprises, but stay tuned to chapter e-mails and the website for updates (

Overall it was great to connect up all areas of our chapter to come together for a common purpose – value to our members. I’m happy I took the day to attend this retreat and I’m sure when our members or potential members join us in the fall, they will see how the hard work of the board has paid off.



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Building Schedules Quickly in Microsoft Project

When I visit customers using Microsoft Project 2010/2013/2016, or Project Pro for Office 365, I am surprised how many of them are using older and in some cases less efficient ways to build schedules.  When I bring ideas of new ways to work to them, most tell me they never really looked into what is new. Here are a few of my favorite new features to build schedules quickly.

Create a summary task and automatically indent related subtasks all at once –

  • Select all the subtasks and then on the Task tab, in the Insert group, click Summary
  • A row for the summary task will appear and all subtasks will be indented underneath
selected tasks
Selected Tasks in Project
Summary Button
Summary Button
Summary button results
Summary Button Results

Create a space for new tasks in the middle of a task list very quickly –

  • Select the number of rows below the desired new section and then on the Task tab, in the Insert group, click Task
  • Blank rows for each task will appear
Task Button
Task Button


New Task Results
New Task Results

Turn on or off the outline number for the project very quickly –

  • No need to select anything
  • On the Format tab, in the Show/Hide group, click Outline Number
  • The outline numbers will appear next to the task names
outline number
Outline Number Check Box
Outline Numbers Displayed
Outline Numbers Displayed

Note: All illustrations are taken from Project Pro for Office 365/Project Professional 2013.

I hope you give these options a try and see if they may help you be more efficient in building schedules.


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