January, 2010

Christophe Fiessinger's Blog
Updates on Microsoft's Enterprise Social Networking (ESN) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) offerings

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    Happy New Microsoft Project 2010 Year

    Since it’s that time of the year, I received this great email from a Brazilian partner: Prosperi using Microsoft Project Professional 2010 due out soon! Original use of the new timeline capability of the product.

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    Microsoft Project 2010 webcasts in January

    Quick reminder that the following Project 2010 webcasts will be delivered by Project MVPs this month, starting tomorrow (audiences are end user, IT Professionals and Developers).  To view all EPM recorded webcasts/podcasts go to the following: http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/epm.aspx


    Tittle Date/Time Description Presenter
    Project Server 2010 Project and Portfolio Management Reporting Wednesday, January 06, 2010 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada) In this webcast, we provide insight on how you can take advantage of the great reporting features in Microsoft Office Project Server 2010 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010. By using Excel Services, Project Server delivers a suite of pre-defined reports out of the box. During the presentation we: · outline how users are able to generate their own reports and report templates. · give an overview on how to manage projects and portfolio dashboards by creating key performance indicator (KPI) reports using PerformancePoint Services. · show how organizations can visualize their project and portfolio management process by generating and integrating a dynamic visual report using Visio Services. · provide an overview of all new reporting features that Project Server 2010 has to offer. Marc Soester, Managing Director, iPMO
    Microsoft Project 2010 Desktop: Tips and Tricks Tuesday, January 19, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) In this webcast, we focus on using some of the new features in Microsoft Project 2010 that help you to build effective schedules quickly. Topics we cover include outlining, building schedules, and making resource assignments. Jack Dahlgren, Consultant, Microsoft Project MVP, P-Cubed
    Microsoft Project 2010 Portfolio Analysis Thursday, January 21, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) In this webcast, we discuss the purpose of portfolio management, detail the portfolio management process according to Project Management Institute (PMI) standards, and explain the benefits of portfolio management and the challenges for the senior management. Discover portfolio management–related concepts and techniques, such as pair-wise comparison, prioritization matrix, and efficient frontier, and understand the benefits of these techniques in project prioritization, portfolio balancing, and optimization. Using Microsoft Project 2010 and applying the portfolio management techniques, we demonstrate typical portfolio management process scenarios. Hilde Corbu, Managing Partner, Trilex
    User-Controlled Scheduling in Microsoft Project 2010 Monday, January 25, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) There are situations when user-controlled scheduling offers an advantage, and there are times when you should turn off user-controlled scheduling. In this webcast, we demonstrate user-controlled scheduling in Microsoft Project 2010 to illustrate the benefits and drawbacks of user-controlled scheduling.   Ben Howard, Lead Consultant, ApplePark, Ltd.
    Microsoft Office Project 2010 Enhanced Project Management Wednesday, January 27, 2010 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada) Discover how you can do more, better, faster, and cost effectively, by taking advantage of the new features in Microsoft Office Project 2010. In this webcast, we discuss how advanced new features in Project 2010 help you to better manage, control, and progress dynamic project schedules with amazing ease and simplicity. Learn how confusion between buttons and toolbars is eliminated in Project 2010 thanks to the Ribbon feature, which adds value and simplicity while greatly expanding customizability. Other Project 2010 topics we cover include: · Core time-saving functional changes. · Converting Microsoft Office Excel super users with top-down and open-ended planning. · Modeling custom lists while retaining planning history with inactive tasks. · New methods for forecasting with additional scheduling engine features. Tim Runcie, President, Advisicon

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    Business Intelligence and Microsoft Project Server 2010

    Timely subject with the following resources recently released on the topic; check out the following to learn more about it:

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    Latest Microsoft Project Server 2007 Books

    18 months ago I wrote this post: Microsoft Project Server 2007 Books,  please find an official TechNet site with the latest inventory of Project Server 2007 books as well as books of other Office products: Office IT Pro Bookstore


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    How to Project 2010: Edit Project Custom Fields in PWA

    Recently got this question on the Project Server 2010 Forums: How can I edit Project custom fields (CF) in Project Web Access?

    Before I give you the answer let me remind everyone that you can do so using Project Professional 2010.

    So let’s assume I have created three Project CF, we will leverage the new Project Detail Pages (PDP) capability to create a custom page and will add a web part that will enable editing these fields:

    The three newly created CF (Server Settings –> Enterprise Data –> Enterprise Custom Fields and Lookup Tables) image
    Let’s now create a new PDP, go to:
    Server Settings –> Workflow and Project Detail Pages –> Project Detail Pages
    Click on Documents Tab, and click on New Document, enter a Name and Select a Layout image
    You should now be in edit mode for this newly created SharePoint page (if not click on the upper right corner under Site Action -> Edit Page) . Click on add web part and select Project Web Access –> Project Fields and add it to the desired zone on you page. image
    Now let’s edit the web part to specify which project fields will be displayed and hence editable.
    Edit web part and select Modify to select the custom fields you want to be able to edit.
    Apply changes to the web part and Stop Editing the page
    Now let’s add that page to the Enterprise Project Type you want to have that editing capability for. Go to:
    Server Settings –> Workflow and Project Detail Pages –> Enterprise Project Type (EPT) and select the EPT, probable the Basic Project Plan in your case. Scroll down to New Project Page/Project Detail Pages and add the newly created page from the steps above.
    Save changes.
    Go back to the Project Center and select the project plan you want to edit, the newly created PDP should now appear on the left hand navigation, click on Edit and voila! image

    This procedure also demonstrates the power and flexibility of the new Project Detailed Page infrastructure combined with Enterprise Project Type!

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    New Microsoft Consulting Services Project Server Blog

    I’m very happy to announce another great blog to the EPM world: http://blogs.msdn.com/wwepmcoe/ contributors for this blog are experts from Microsoft Consulting Services (EPM Center of Excellence) that have been doing hundreds/thousands of deployment since Project Server came out! You will recognize some familiar names I’m sure. In the meantime add it to your favorite EPM RSS feeds and learn from the experts; check out this recent post for instance: Project Server 2010 coexisting in SharePoint Server 2010 Universe and expect a lot more in the coming 2010 exiting launch year!

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    Microsoft Project 2010 Forums

    In case you did not know we have a number of Forums for Project 2010 as listed below. These Forums are monitored by product experts from Microsoft and MVPs so don’t be shy and ask all your 2010 questions there. It’s great to see the feedback so far.

    Project Server 2010

    Project Server 2010 General Questions and Answers

    General questions, comments and discussions on Project Server 2010.

    Project Server 2010 - Setup, Upgrade, Administration and Operation

    Discuss setup, upgrade & migration, administration and operation for Project Server 2010.

    Project 2010 Customization and Programming

    Discuss customizations and programming for Project Web Access 2010, Project Server 2010, Project Professional 2010 and Project Standard 2010. Includes User Interface (UI) customizations, Project Server Interface (PSI) and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Programming.

    Project Professional 2010

    Project Professional 2010 General Questions and Answers

    General questions, comments and discussions on Project Professional 2010.

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    Microsoft Project 2010 Welcomes Project Web App!

    As announced on the main project blog Project Web Access (PWA) now becomes Project Web App: PWA now stands for Project Web App. For more information on what is a web app, check out the definition from Wikipedia: Web Application:

    A sneak peak of the new name in a recent Project Server 2010 build:


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    Announcing the release of the Microsoft Project 2010 Beta Demo Image

    [updated on Jan. 28th, direct download link is now live: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=8e709e2e-c9a1-4c7e-90d6-a52bcc8e5daf]

    As Doug mentioned it just got released today, it’s all based on the Public Beta (B2): Microsoft Project 2010 Beta Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution demo image now available for download

    Happy download (10GB compressed) and Project 2010 demos!

    Partners & Customers - Instructions on how to download the Microsoft Project 2010 EPM Solution demo image, installation instructions and associated presenter’s script by sending an email to the Proj2010@microsoft.com  alias.

    Please note that this is an Hyper-V image and hence it requires Windows Server 2008 as the base operating system for it to run (not to mentioned at least 8GB of RAM, and ideally a Solid State Drive for optimal performance, see this: http://blogs.msdn.com/chrisfie/archive/2009/08/13/the-ultimate-demo-machine-get-ready-to-demo-project-and-sharepoint-server-2010.aspx).

    Demo image contains (SharePoint Server Enterprise 2010, Project Server 2010, Office 2010, Project Professional 2010, Visio 2010, Visual Studio 2010 and more…):

    • PPM Governance: Separate governance workflows for both major and minor projects
    • Demand Management:
      • Major Project business case includes general information, strategic impact, resource plan, cost and benefit templates and risk assessment survey
      • Minor project includes general information and schedule PDP
      • Includes custom workspaces for both Major and Minor projects
    • Portfolio Selection & Analytics
      • Business Driver Library
      • Saved Business Driver Prioritizations
      • Saved Portfolio Analysis to run both Cost Constraint and Resource Constraint Analysis
    • Detailed Planning: During the detailed planning stages the project manager
      • Finalizes the project schedule
      • Finds and assigns named resources
      • Completes a secondary cost assessment
      • Baselines the plan
    • Manage:
      • Team Member: Team member receives and updates tasks and completes timesheet
      • Project Manager: Receives and approves task and timesheet updates
      • BI: Demo includes Corporate, Departmental and Project Level reports
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    Microsoft Project Server 2010 Loves Excel Web App and Excel Services!

    This is a great topic I was planning to write on for a while and now that the Excel team has officially done a great series of posts on the topic, I figured it’s time to give my 2 cents. Again if you have never heard of Web App and in particular Excel please read these few recent posts: http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/

    So how does Excel Web App fit into a Project Server 2010 deployment? Some ideas that spring to mind:

    • capturing financial data
    • capturing metadata (custom fields/ lookup table…)
    • capturing project status (actually use that internally to track customers that are currently deploying Project Server 2010)
    • etc…

    I’m sure you can come up with a lot more scenarios. Typically once the data has been captured you can either “paste” it in a Project Custom Field for instance or use both Excel Services API and the Project Server PSI to automate data transfer/workflow/validation.

    As a reminder Excel Services and Excel Web App are two separate things as summarize on one of the Excel recommended post from above:

  • Excel Services: Version two of our real-time, interactive, Excel-based reporting and dashboard capabilities which ship as part of SharePoint Server 2010. Also included are APIs which enable rich business application development.
  • Excel Web App: The companion to the Excel client which extends the ability to create, view, edit, and collaborate on Excel workbooks using only a browser.
  • How about InfoPath? Yes InfoPath 2010 has great enhancements as well but I think Excel Web App might be a better alternative for some of the scenarios mentioned above.

    Not to mention other enhancements of Excel 2010 such as support for REST, never heard of this? Check out this great post from Andrew Lavinsky - Document Automation with the REST.API. Must read blog post about Excel Services and its extensibility is this one: Summary – new programmability capabilities in Excel Services, just amazing how far you can go and potentially nail you customer’s business needs with a little of code and Excel …!

    Bottom line, similar to all the great reporting options we have in 2010, Excel Web App (in addition to Excel Services which is required in project Server 2010) brings another set of capabilities to a Project Server deployment. Stay tune for more information on this subject (a white paper maybe :)).

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