Brian Kennemer over at Deltabahn, a Microsoft Partner specializing in Project Server deployment consulting, recently updated his Thanksgiving dinner project plan and we wanted to share it with you all. You can download the .mpp file here. This is just a guide, but a great example of how flexible the tool can be and how it can be used to improve everyday activities. If you don't already have a copy of Project 2010 be sure to download the trial here, give it a try, and tell us what you think! And you can learn more about the US holiday on Wikipedia.
Start with the Resource Sheet view in Project 2010. You may want to track your cooking tools and supplies along with the overall budget. Here's a generic view where "Helper 1" could be your partner, a friend, or even one of the kids.
Inactive Tasks is a great way to think about the unexpected and plan for surprises. Maybe your brother/sister decides to bring a +1 or the kids invite their friends from college.
Notes in Task Information is a great place to keep all your important information in one place. Copy over your planning notes from OneNote and add comments on what to do differently next year.
Special thanks to Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org) for sharing his Project plan with us. Whether you're a seasoned Thanksgiving veteran or hosting Thanksgiving dinner with the family for the first time, a well crafted project plan can help you minimize the stress of organizing such an important event. You can use Project to plan larger scale catering events, festivals, or even a wedding. Unfortunately, you may be on your own with the in-laws. Microsoft Project can only do so much.
We encourage you to share your Thanksgiving plans and experiences with us in the comments. And, if you have other ideas on what we should plan with Project or a template of your own, please share as well. You can "Like" us on Facebook and share your thoughts there, too. Check out an earlier post by Heather on where to find great templates for Project. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us on the Microsoft Project team to you!