Monday, February 19, 2024

Management Yogi's Hybrid-Agile (CHAMP) Certification: Customizing Sprint Tools in MS Project Agile

In a recent webinar series on Agile with respect to Kanban, there were discussions on customizing the needed commands for all Scrum or Kanban tools directly in the MS Project Ribbon. This saves time, makes the commands easier to find and operate for beginners, and is also quite useful. 

You can watch webinar series on Practical Kanban below:

The content of this article will be applicable for Hybrid-Scrum, Hybrid-Kanban as well as plain Scrum and/or Kanban projects.

Now, before creating the customized Ribbon for your work, you need to know where the commands are consolidated together in the ribbon! These will be available in Backstage view > Project Options > Customize Ribbon tab > Customize Ribbon. Then select the Tool Tabs from “Choose commands from:”. 

(If low visibility, please click on the images to enlarge)

Sprint Tools and Task Board Tools (Scrum and Kanban)

Now, under the Tools Tab of Customize the Ribbon:

  • For Scrum, you have the Sprint Tools.
  • For Kanban, you have the Task Board Tools.

The following commands are available in Sprint Tools and Task Board Tools. 

As you can see, for Sprint Tools (used for Scrum projects), the commands are:

  • Views group > Task Board, Planning and Sprint commands
  • Sprints group > Manage commands

On the other hand, for Task Board Tools (used for Kanban projects), the commands are:

  • View group > Sheet command
  • Customize group > Customize Cards, Show % Complete Mapping commands 

There are also Task Sheet related tools and commands, however, they are legacy commands. 

Now, we are going to create one custom tab and two custom groups to manage Scrum projects. 

Custom Tabs and Groups for Scrum  Or Hybrid-Scrum Projects

To create the custom tab, you can go to “Customize the Ribbon:” on the right side of Project Options. There click on New Tab command, which will create one new tab with a new group. 

Rename the newly created tab as Scrum Management and the group as All Sprint Commands. Also, add another group under Scrum Management as Other Commands. After you performed these operations, you will have the following view on the right side of Project Options > Customize the Ribbon. 

Add the Necessary Commands

This step is about adding the necessary or needed commands into the newly created groups under the tabs. Under “All Sprint Commands” group, we will have:

  • Planning (from Sprint Tools)
  • Sprint (from Sprint Tools)
  • Task Board (from Sprint Tools) 
  • Sheet (from Sprint Tools)
  • Customize Cards (from Sprint Tools)
  • Show % Mapping (from Sprint Tools)

To add them into the group, use the “Add >>” command in the middle. After you add, you will get the following view. 

Similarly, for the “Other Commands” group, we will add the following commands:

  • Indent (from Task tab > Schedule group)
  • Outdent (from Task tab > Schedule group)
  • Set Status Date (from Project tab > Status group)
  • Entire Project (from View tab > Zoom group)
  • Link Tasks (from Task tab > Schedule group)
  • 100% Complete (from Task tab > Schedule group)
  • Assign Resources (from Resource tab > Assignment group)

After you add all these commands into the “Other Commands” group under the “Scrum Management” tab, you will have the following view. 

Rename the Commands

In this step, we will rename some of the commands, especially the Sprint related ones for better understanding. We will do the following renaming.

  • Planning renamed as Sprint Planning
  • Sprint renamed as All Sprint Boards
  • Manage as Manage Sprints
  • Sheet as Sheet Views

Post it, the view will be as shown below. 

Also, do note that you enable the checkbox for the Scrum Management custom tab. If you don’t, then the custom tab won’t be visible. Did you read the previous two lines? Those are important!

Visualization the (Hybrid) Scrum Management Tab

Finally, when you click OK on the previous window, you will find the newly created Custom Group of Scrum Management available in the ribbon. It’s shown below. If you are doing purely Hybrid-Scrum Management, you can just rename the tab as "Hybrid-Scrum Management".  (click on the image to enlarge)

As shown, we have all the needed commands to manage are in the Scrum Management tab now and all these commands are directly available in just ONE TAB. Is not it easy, convenient?

Managing Hybrid-Agile Projects

I've shown a few frequently used commands in this post. When you manage Hybrid-Agile projects, you may have additional commands needed. These commands can be added into "Other Commands" group. 

As noted earlier, initially it can be a good practice, when you are not very familiar with the location of all the commands available across the various tabs in the ribbon.


[1] Certification Course: Certified Hybrid-Agile Master Professional (CHAMP), by Satya Narayan Dash

[2] Online Course: Mastering MS Project Agile, by Satya Narayan Dash

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