Tracking changes in Project 2007

I apologize to readers for the delay in posting a new topic. The last few weeks have been busy for us in the product team as we start to get our Beta 2 build completed. The release will be in late spring and I’ll have a dedicated post on how that will work, for those interested in learning more. I have received a couple of questions about it but the details are still not finalized.


This week I would like to show you two new features we have introduced in Project 2007 that will improve Project Managers’ productivity by giving you the ability to efficiently see how changes you make effect the rest of the project plan. In addition, Project 2007 gives you the ability to see what’s driving a task. That is, for example, if you want to understand why a task has pushed out the schedule, you easily can.


Change Highlighting

Project 2007 provides you with an option to view how the changes you make to the schedule impact the rest of the project. Change Highlighting illustrates all that is impacted by your change.


In the example below, I am using one of the new Project templates we are shipping with Project 2007, “Strategic Merger or Acquisition Evaluation”.


I changed task 17 ‘Define Selection Scenario…’ to have duration of ‘4 days’. After changing the duration value, everything that also changed as a result of my extension of the task duration got highlighted: the finish date for my task, the following task that dependent on task 17, the inner and outer milestone summary tasks.

(Click to enlarge)

This feature gives you incredible power to validate the change and helps you answer questions that were harder to answer before: Did this change cause a schedule slip? What other tasks will get impacted by the change? Should I make the change?


The highlighting will persist until you make another change or save the project. Since Project 2007 offers multiple levels of undo, you can use both features combined to do many “What-if” scenario analysis with your projects.


Task Drivers

Another question you may be faced with when reviewing your project schedule may be what is causing my task to be scheduled when it is as opposed to on an ealier date? This can be especially problematic if you are managing a project with thousands of tasks. You may end up spending hours trying to trace back the dependencies, review resource availability, calendars etc. Project 2007 now does the work for you! When you select a task, you can select to view the Task Drivers pane and the information that you need to find out what is driving that task is displayed to you on a pane on the left of the project. You can easily turn on this pane by selecting the ‘Task Driver’ option on the Project menu (new in Project 2007). 


I am using the same project I used above. Once I opened the ‘Task Driver’ pane for task 17, I get all the information I need to see “what are the factors causing the task to start when it is”. In addition to predecessor tasks, you also get a link to the calendar of the resource(s) assigned to the task. This is very helpful if your task is being delayed due to the resource being on vacation.

(Click to enlarge)

Both Change Highlighting and Task Drivers will be the first couple of new features you will immediately notice in Project 2007 and that I personally have become dependant on for my projects.


The screen shots I used are from our latest build but since the product is still the Beta phase there may be some changes to the final version.

Comments (13)

  1. anna adea says:


    I thought you might be able to provide the very basic knowledge about if one can use MS Project software

    with Mac users? I want to use this software to help manage a project for business using all MACS.




  2. LSOUZA says:

    Hi Anna –

    We don’t have a version of Project available for MACs. You could look into using Virtual PC though this is not a configuration that we haven’t tested ourselves (and I know the performance can be a problem).

    If you would like to use Project Server, then the Project web access that your team members would use is supported but the Project Managers of your organization would still require to run Project Professional from a PC environment.


  3. Alex says:

    Is there any changes in risk management in the project 2007?

  4. LSOUZA says:

    Alex –

    Are you referring to Project Professional with the Server? Assuming it is, Project Server 2007 is completely built on Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) technology which enabled us to build a very well integrated Risks, Issues and Commitments solution. And all of this is accessible from Project Professional.

    For example, you can define a risk that’s caused by a task on one of your projects. Once you define that, you can assign this risk to a resource and he/she will get notified of that on their homepage view. The risks, issues and commitments will be integrated into the Project workspace as well, so everyone who has access to that will be able to keep track and be informed of the risks, issues and commitments. Also, all of this data will be available on the Project reporting database and OLAP cubes. So, management will be able to analyze trends across project, evaluate resource overload, etc.

    I hope this answers your question.  This is a great topic! I’ll plan to have a future post on this.



  5. Matthew says:

    Question 1) Is there any Monte Carlo simulation in the Project 2007 standard version.

    Question 2) Schedule date managment & Resource management was always difficult in 2003 with the fact that when you add a resource the schedule moves datewise without the scheduler asking it to reschedule. Is there something to make this easier?

    3) Is there an enhancement to the varaince reporting between a schedule and it’s baseline. The 2003 version could show trending from report to report. Will this be possible in 2007?

  6. Alice Steinglass says:


    Question 1: There is no Monte Carlo simulation built into Project, but there are partner applications that do this with your Project file.

    Question 2: In Project, go to tools->Options->Schedule and uncheck the box "New Tasks are Effort Driven"

    Question 3: This will be the same as 2003.



  7. dmosley says:

    Hi I am having 2 issues:

    1) When I update the % complete of a subtask the roll up task % complete is not updating.

    2) When I change the date or duration of a subtask or a dependent task the dependency does not move out and the roll up task date does not change?  Am I missing something?

    Thanks Donna

  8. Ahmed says:

    hi, i m learning to use the software at university. 1.Can you give me an exact definition of tracking? i know how to track.

    2. What are some of the screens that help summarise a project apart from the Statistics from the project information.

  9. aehm says:

    Hi – I am managing multiple projects and having difficulting keeping track of when I last published updates to a schedule.  Is there any way to see the last published date?

  10. wagnerlcg says:

    Please aehm, someoane answered you about Is there any way to see the last published date?

  11. Jason says:

    Is there a "field" that captures the date the change was made so you can track progress.  For example, if a change was made yesterday and a given task went from 30% to 50% complete, is there a field showing the 20% increase since yesterday or a field that captures that yesterday a change was made.

    Thank you,


  12. nandit says:

    i am looking for tracking in 2010 which is in the tools menu in 2007

  13. Michael says:

    Is there any way that one can access the list of changed Tasks/Fields from a program / add-in?

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