That’s right, in 10 days we’ll be kicking off the Project Conference down in Phoenix, Arizona. The product team has been very busy finalizing our presentations and demos to make sure this conference is the best yet. The entire program management team will be there along with a bunch of developers and testers so you will have plenty of chances to interact with the people behind the software.
We are all very excited since we finally get to show off Project 2010 after all the hard work we’ve put into it. Don’t worry though, there will be lots of sessions on Project 2007 too where you can learn how people are using Project today to save money, enhance efficiency, and prepare for future growth (yep, took that last part from marketing).
If you haven’t registered yet, there is still time. Just go to www.msprojectconference.com
Top Reasons to attend (in my opinion):
And in case you are wondering, I will be leading two sessions – ILL 201: Project Professional 2010 Overview on Wednesday (this is a lab session where you will be able to try out Project 2010) and PO 304: Project Desktop Reporting on Thursday. If you are attending and have any feedback about the session, let me know. Well, back to finalizing my demos and figuring out how much sunscreen to pack to survive in the desert…
The Project 2010 user interface has been completely revamped this release based on the Office Fluent or “Ribbon” UI. The Office Fluent UI represents a dramatic departure from the overloaded menu and toolbar design model of previous Project releases. Project’s extensive capabilities are now organized into logical, easy to find groups that help you accomplish actions efficiently rather than choosing features.
There are several design elements that comprise the Office Fluent UI.
The Ribbon replaces menus and toolbars as the main location to find functionality organized to help you accomplish tasks. Here’s a brief breakdown of each of the tabs across the Project 2010 Ribbon.
The Task tab is where you access commands associated with tasks in addition to commands that are consistently on the first tab in other Office applications. You can think of the Task tab as Project’s home tab.
The Resource tab is where you access commands associated with resources.
The Project tab includes commands that affect the entire project.
The View tab is where switch the view you’re in, edit what data you see and how it is arranged, and setup combination views.
Additionally, each view has it’s own contextual tab, Format, that contains commands used to format that views contents. For example, the Gantt Chart contextual tab contains commands related to bar styles in addition more generic view formatting commands such as text styles and column settings while the Task Usage contextual tab contains commands for editing the details displayed in the view.
At the bottom of the application window is the new Status Bar. The right side of the Status Bar includes convenient controls for quickly adjusting the zoom level of the timescale and switching views.
The left side of the Status Bar includes status items related to what you’re working with. For example, you can see whether the view you are in is filtered and if you hover over the text you’ll even see which filter is applied. Additionally, some of the items are interactive, such as the New Tasks item. If you click it, you can set the mode for new tasks.
In the upper left corner of the application window is the Quick Access Toolbar, into which you can add the commands you use most frequently, eliminating the need to switch to the Ribbon tab on which they are located while creating diagrams.
Finally, we have re-vamped the right-click menus and added minitoolbars. Minitoolbars are just what they sound like and they show up when you right-click any item. Pictured here are the task and resource right-click menus and minitoolbars.
Additionally, along with the rest of Office, Project’s file menu has been re-vamped to the Backstage View. We’ll post about what is unique to Project’s in the future but to find out more about it in general check out the the Office 2010 Engineering post on it – I’ve linked to the first post but there are a number of post about it on that blog.
Note: The images are from a fairly recent build so if you are on Technical Preview, your ribbon will look a bit different.
One thing is certain in project management—change. If you're being a good project manager, expect lots of changes to the schedule. You need a tool to help you keep track of changes and to give you back control of your schedule.
Welcome to Task Drivers.
In Project 2007, select a task. On the Project menu, click Task Drivers.
In the left view, you'll see detailed information about the selected task on the right. You'll see the most critical factors that affect the scheduling of the task, such as date and task relationship information.
Another Tip You can click other tasks without closing the Task Drivers pane. The Task Drivers pane always displays the scheduling drivers for whatever task is selected.
Here’s the scenario: you’re a team member assigned to some tasks, and (surprise surprise) your manager would like you to provide a status update. What’s more is he wants it done through Project Web Access. You panic a little, maybe break out into cold sweats, can’t sleep a wink, yada yada.
Well first of all, that’s some serious overreacting to a relatively common request, so you might be due for some vacation time. But in all seriousness, a little panic at a request like that is pretty common. You know what information your manager wants, and you want to provide it, but there’s this tool in the way and you don’t know how to use it. This is not the time to panic. It’s not nearly as daunting as you might think, once you get your bearings.
There are two ways to report status in the version of Project Web Access that ships with Project Server 2007. You’ll need to talk with your manager to figure out which reporting method he or she is looking for.
First, let’s talk about simple status reporting. How are you used to reporting your status? In a weekly e-mail message? In a regular meeting with your manager? Regardless of what you’ve been doing, your manager can take the typical discussion points for status reporting and make them into a form in Project Web Access. He or she can set up the frequency at which the team should fill out the form (weekly or monthly, for example), and you’ll receive a request to complete the status report at those intervals. To submit your status, you simply fill out the form and submit it to your manager. Nothing terribly complicated.
The other method for reporting your status is a little more detailed. Instead of providing a general summary of task status, as you do in status reports, you can use the My Tasks view to provide specific hours and percentages for each of your assigned tasks. When reporting task status this way, your hours and percentages must be approved by the project manager and any other key stakeholders. The approvers can choose not to approve your task status, at which time you might want to have a discussion about the reasons behind the rejection, and how you can help to resolve the issues. Want to learn more about using the My Tasks view to report task status? Take a look at the topics in this area on Office Online.
Hopefully that helps you get a little bit of footing in how status is reported in Project Web Access, and points you to where you can learn more. Got specific questions? Post them in comments and I’ll see if I can help!
It's the end of the month, and you need that project report right away. One handy trick is to copy and paste Project 2007 information into PowerPoint, Word, Visio, an e-mail message, or just about any piece of software that allows an image to be pasted.
1. If you have specific rows you want copied, select those. Or forget this step if you want to copy a picture of the entire project.
2. On the Standard Toolbar, click the Copy Toolbar button .
The data is captured in a picture and copied to the Clipboard. From there, you can paste the picture into the other application.
And if you like this tip, wait until Project 2010! Copying and pasting takes on a whole new meaning. With Project 2010, column and data formatting is retained when you copy and pasting (without using the button) into an Office application--for an instant report.
Last month’s video interview with Project PM Bonny Lau went really well, thanks in part to your thoughtful questions! This month, we’ll be tackling client reporting with Heather O’Cull. Here’s your chance to ask any questions you have about visual reports, basic reports, customizing reports, or anything even remotely report-related on the client. Post your questions as comments on this blog post, I’ll compile them, and post a video of Heather fielding your questions later this month!
This month, Project PM Heather O’Cull answers some common questions about reporting in the Project 2007 client. She offers some great troubleshooting tips, and walks through the process of creating a burndown report. (Want more info about creating a burndown report? Check out her earlier blog post on the subject!)
Yesterday in front of a very lively audience, Chris Capossela announced Project 2010 and gave everyone the first look at all the new features. As someone who has been working on 2010 for quite some time, it was great to hear applause break out at several points throughout the demos.
Also, as you can see, with the announcement we’ve update the look of the blog and are going to start posting about Project 2010. Next week check back to learn more about Project’s implementation of the Fluent UI.
To find out more about Project 2010, check out http://www.microsoft.com/project/2010/
Above is part of the team that made the trip to Phoenix. Now that the conference is over…. nap time.