Microsoft Project 2010
The official blog of the Microsoft Office product development group. Learn how to manage your work effectively

December, 2008

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Help update for Project 2007


    If the computer you use to work in the Microsoft Office Project 2007 client is connected to the Internet, you have already see the latest Help files. However, if you work in the Project 2007 client offline, you can download an update to the offline Help files, so that you have more current content.

    You can read more about the Help update here, or download the Help update here.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    EPM 2007 Timesheets with Project Actual Remaining Work


    Hello - Dave Ducolon here.  I have blogged here before and am back to talk to you about the ability to capture actual remaining work in a timesheet and have that recorded in the project task to which you are assigned.  This was a very popular user request and we were able to offer this functionality to users with the Project Server Infrastructure Update.


    Now before you get too excited, this functionality is currently only available when Project Server sites are tracking time through the timesheet only.  This may change but as of this writing (12/15/08) there is no ability to add the remaining work field to views unless you have EPM set to track time from the timesheet only.


    So how does one use this?  It is simple.  You enter total remaining work into your timesheet and on save the information is automatically transferred to the the database table that supports the My Tasks page.   The remaining work value is not stored in the timesheet database tables.  Furthermore, the remaining work value is only read from timesheet lines with the "Standard" billing category. 

    Scheduling Calculation Order Note: The remaining work value is always set on the task assignment before (you import) the actual work from the data in the timesheet.  If you try this emulating this change in Project Professional you’ll notice that the actual work ends up being deducted from the remaining work.  So your remaining work value should also include the sum of any actual work that you are entering.

    If you wish to automate some of these steps I encourage you to have a look at the posting on Codeplex from Christophe Fiessinger.

    In summary here are the steps to use this new feature:

    1. Turn on time entry by timesheet only - Server Settings\Task Settings and Display

    2. Add the remaining work field to your timesheet view(s) - Server Settings\Manage Views

    3. Initialize your timesheet - My Timesheet\Create

    4. Enter the actual hours worked as normal in the daily or weekly columns

    5. For each row of actuals take that total and add that to the amount of work you feel remains to complete the task and enter that into the remaining work field.

          Example: you have a 40 hr task and you work on that for 5 days at 8 hours per day but you feel that you still need 10 hours to complete.  You should enter a timesheet line with 8 hrs on each day and a remaining work value of (8x5) + 10 which is 50.

    6. Save (or Submit) the Timesheet. - remaining work will pass to the my tasks data set.

    7. Navigate to my tasks - Home\My Tasks

    8. Import timesheet - available from the Actions menu or the toolbar if you have that configured to display the actions menu options.

    I have outlined the shortest set of steps to achieve the required reporting of time for this scenario; however, this is not the only way to use this feature.  It is simply the most direct. 

    I hope this clears up any possible confusion and helps make your use of Microsoft EPM that much more enjoyable.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Back to basics: Sharing your project with others


    You've spent hours in Microsoft Office Project 2007 hand-crafting a project plan that you're pretty sure must be glowing because it's so darned brilliant. All of the start and finish dates line up perfectly, your resources are balanced with reasonable workloads, and the costs are well within budget. People are talking about your Incredible Plan, and now Pete, your manager, wants to take a look at this work of project management genius. Your options for sharing your project plan with Pete depend on what he has available for viewing the plan.

    Scenario 1: Pete has Project 2007 installed

    As you might expect, this is the simplest scenario. You created your plan in Project 2007, and Pete has Project 2007 installed. If your organization is using Microsoft Office Project Server 2007, Pete can simply open the project from the server, or, if you're not using Project Server, you can send him the .MPP file as an e-mail attachment. If you think that Pete will want to make changes to your plan as he's reviewing it, you might consider checking the project out and saving it for sharing.

    Scenario 2: Pete has Project 2003 installed

    If Pete has Project 2003 installed on his computer, he can use a converter to open a Project 2007 file in Project 2003. He needs to make sure he has Project 2003 Service Pack 3 installed, which contains the converter. Once that's installed, Pete can open a Project 2007 file in Project 2003 as a read-only file. Here's a big catch though: if your plan relies on any of the features that are new in Project 2007, those features won't be available when Pete opens the file in Project 2003. So depending on how much of your plan's brilliance is being derived from the new Project 2007 features, you may want to go a different route.

    Scenario 3: Pete doesn't have Project installed

    Pete's a reasonable guy. He knows that the project managers on his team rely on Project 2007 for scheduling tasks and tracking resource usage, but he's just not into it himself. If he had Project installed, he wouldn't use it nearly enough to warrant the license, so he's chosen not to install it. In this case, you have to cater to his situation: you've got a project plan that he can't currently open on his computer.

    What's the solution for sharing the plan with him?

    · Project Web Access. If your organization is running Project Server 2007, you could publish your project plan, and then suggest that Pete view the plan by logging on to Project Web Access.

    · Trial version. If Pete doesn't mind temporarily installing Project 2007 for the purposes of viewing your project plan, he can download and install the trial version of Project 2007. Once activated, the trial version provides full functionality for 60 days at no cost.

    · Copy project data. If Pete really just needs to know the basics, you can copy your project data into another Office application, such as Excel 2007.

    · Soft copies. The next section talks about ways to provide Pete with your project information as hard copies, printed out on paper to put on the desk in front of him. For most of these options, you could also choose to provide Pete with soft copies, either attached to e-mail messages, shared on a network, or brought to him using other file sharing means (USB flash drive, burned CD, Windows Mobile device, etc.).

    Scenario 4: Pete hates computers

    Okay so not everyone is as in love with computers as you are, and Pete just happens to be one of those people who prefers good old-fashioned paper trails. That's just're a pro, you can handle this situation too. Your project plan is so brilliant that it glows even on paper.

    Best bets for providing Pete with a hard copy that effectively illustrates your project plan:

    · Printed view. If you really want Pete to see your project plan the way you do, you can print your view for him. For more great information about printing a view, check out the previous blog entry, "Back to basics: Printing your project."

    · Reports. Project 2007 has a number of reporting options: basic reports, custom basic reports, and (insert drumroll here) visual reports (which are particularly cool in a slice-and-dice kind of way). To meet Pete's printed-copy needs, you can simply generate a report on your project data, and then print it for him to review. To learn more about visual reports, check out this article about integrating with Excel, and this article about integrating with Visio. And again, I have to plug the previous blog entry, "Back to basics: Printing your project," because it has some great pointers to more content about printing reports.

    · Pictures. Another option for printing a view is to capture a picture of the view for printing. Using this option, you can limit which rows you want to share with Pete, and you can generate a picture with a resolution that is best suited for printing.

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