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

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    The New Project Blog

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    The Project blog has moved! If you’d like to stay informed on the latest Microsoft Project news and announcements, head over to the new Project blog. We also have a new RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date. You’ll still be able to access previous posts here, but as of today, no new posts will appear.

    Special thanks to all our readers for tuning in and hope hear from you on our new blog at http://blogs.office.com/b/project/.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Celebrate the top Project Partners!

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    The 2012 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award Winners were announced for all categories across Microsoft Partner competencies, products and regions by Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft.

    In our category - we recognize the best of the best Microsoft Project partners and award them the prestigious “Project and Portfolio Management Partner of the Year” award! This year - we have seen great case studies and stunning solutions that Microsoft Project partners have built - and all this underscores the great success and power of Project 2010!

    Please join us to celebrate the success of Project and Portfolio Management Partner (PPM) community and congratulate the winner and finalists!

     

    Project and Portfolio Management Partner of the Year 2012 – SharkPro Software!

    SharkPro Software 

    SharkPro Software built a unique solution that reduces the time, cost, and complexity of project and portfolio management deployment – yet by building on top of the Project Server 2010 – customers can seamlessly grow in their Project and Portfolio Management maturity. SharkPro Projects offers flexibility to be easily accommodated to customer business needs and includes on-premise and hosted deployment options. The scale of SharkPro Software extends through PPM Partner community and it’s becoming a world-wide solution for Microsoft Project 2010. Shark Pro’s offering integrates with other Microsoft products – like Dynamics and SharePoint – and thus offering customers a complete platform experience.

     

    Three award finalists


    Brightwork

    BrightWork allows organizations to instantly deploy an initial affordable amount of work, project and portfolio management on SharePoint. This delivers immediate visibility and control and then over time organizations can evolve and mature by adding more templates and dashboards as needed and as ready. This best practices template approach pioneered by BrightWork allows organizations to start small and to grow and mature as ready and as needed. BrightWork uniquely supports the management of the mix of projects (in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Project Server), by aggregating the projects to one central set of dashboards in a SharePoint Portal.


    Prosperi

    Prosperi has been focusing on Microsoft Project Server and SharePoint solutions and Consulting  since 2002. It has an impressive customer list that includes some of Brazil’s most prestigious enterprises and provides tailored solutions to companies in a range of different industries.

    EPMFAST: Project Server configured with project management methodology, carefully crafted to meet the requirements of diverse organizations. EPMFAST Mobile: Project Server dashboard for smartphones. METROwebpart: METRO style menu for SharePoint sites.


    UMT

    UMT has consistently delivered innovative services and products that have helped transform the PPM industry. UMT has gained unparalleled understanding of customer needs by forming enduring relationships with Global 1000 organizations across a variety of industries. In June 2012, UMT announced the availability of the latest version of their financial management solution for Project Server 2010.

    UMT Project Essentials 2012 is arguably UMT’s most ambitious release to date providing powerful new capabilities including multi-currency support, financial snapshots, change request management and workflow design that seamlessly extend Project Server 2010. UMT Project Essentials is already being used by Project customers and partners around the world to gain visibility and control across project and portfolio financials. To learn more about this solution visit www.umtprojectessentials.com

    Honorable mentions solutions

    Number of solutions clearly stood out – some of them are listed below – featuring the Earned Value Management, Mobile Applications, Portfolio Management, Resource Management, Innovation Process Management and Line of the Business Integration. For more please refer to Microsoft Project 2010 Solution Spotlight.

              

     

             

     

             

     

             

     

             

     

             

     

    Honorable mentions case studies

    We have hand-picked 3 case studies in government and manufacturing built by the following partners. Click on the logo to learn more. For more Microsoft Project case-studies, please refer to Microsoft Project 2010 Customer Success.

     

     

     

    Jan Kalis
    http://blogs.msdn.com/jkalis/, Twitter @MeetJKalis
    Product Marketing Manager | Microsoft Project/Visio
    Microsoft Corporation

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Meet the Project 1.0 Creators

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    clip_image002A little while ago the Project development team had the honor of meeting our makers so to say - Brian MacDonald and Jeff Lill. They're the original creators of the first version of Project for Windows which was released in 1990.

    They started as two local kids who grew up just a few miles from the Microsoft campus. In high school they thought it was cool how you could program little LED lights to go on and off. This fascination inspired their future in software development.

    They spent some time attending the University of Washington and while they were there built a spell checker app, Corrector.  Unfortunately it was the third spell checker app to the market and while InfoWorld rated it the best in the industry, they only sold 24 copies. Brian thanks his good spelling today though to having to manually enter the entire dictionary. Jeff even did some internships with Microsoft since they needed money to finance their company.

    After the spell checker app, they started working on a spreadsheet product for Macs called Crunch. Shortly after that, Microsoft came out with Excel and in Brian's words "really just crunched 'Crunch' ". At this time they had a lot of connections into Microsoft from Jeff’s internships and Brian's wife working there. They were at a party with Bill Gates and he mentioned they should stop competing and start working together. Microsoft was trying to recruit developers to make GUI (graphical user interface) apps for this new platform called Windows. They already had a spreadsheet and word processor but were looking for developers to create a database application (which would go on to be Access) and a project management application. Brian and Jeff chose the latter.

    While Brian and Jeff had a lot of passion around software, they didn't have much project management expertise. As Jeff said though, they were arrogant enough to know they could do it. So they dove in and looked at competitors, did a bunch of customer interviews including with another local company, Boeing, read project management books and attended conferences. It was actually while they were on a site visit to Boeing that a light bulb went off and they came to the decision that they wanted to build a toolkit that had a broad enough appeal that anyone could use it for project management. At the time, most project management applications were built by consultants and the software would back up the methodology that the consultant was selling. Most companies though already had methodologies in place and just wanted software to support it. This decision turned out to be a pivotal one and something we still strongly believe to be correct today. In Project 2010, you’ll see that you can manage projects how you want to manage them.

    How does it feel that people are still using the tool you built today for huge projects totaling billions of dollars?

    It feels great! We had always hoped that would be the case. - Jeff

    Anything about people's reactions to it surprise you?

    Right around the time the second version of Project was coming out, Windows started to just explode in popularity and along with it any software that ran on Windows. We initially saw our audience as people who had "Project Manager" in their title but found that the product had a much broader appeal. People were using it to create schedules/Gantt charts to help show their management/team that they had their acts together and were on top of things.  – Brian

    That was very exciting for them and helped the product really take off. They also thank this success to their initial goal of being a toolkit instead of specific solution. This is why features such as the ability to re-title columns were available back in the original release.

    What kinds of improvements did the second version of Project for Windows have over the first?

    Print preview, support for macros, and improvements to the leveling algorithm were some of the top ones.

    Yes, leveling was in v1. According to Jeff - "All the software solutions had it and all struggled with making it work how humans would expect".  We are still trying to make this easier today by adding features like change highlighting in Project 2007 and the Team Planner in Project 2010.

    What do you think of the current version of Project?

    It looks great. A lot looks familiar with the overall user interface but it definitely looks more modern (they were happy to hear that we now have more than 16 colors). Per the timeline view, that was what we were trying to achieve with the Gantt chart (sharing the schedule with stakeholders) but has an even broader appeal. - Brian

    Brian went on then to create Outlook which originally started out with the goal of being a task management application. It was only during coding and after much debate that they decided to add email support to it. We think they made the right decision. Jeff worked on Project a bit longer and then went on to do Team Manager. Today they both work in the Bing organization.

    Some fun facts:

    · There isn't a Microsoft Project 2.0 because someone else had copyrighted Project 2.0

    · Bill Gates tried to convince them to re-write Project in BASIC and they said no.

    · The last bug fixed for Project 1.0 for Windows was around supporting the Gantt Chart view with the Task Form.

    In short, I would like to thank Brian and Jeff for creating this great product that so many of us use every day and rely on to accomplish a wide range of projects.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft at the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit in London

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    Following our time in Maryland last month for Gartner's annual PPM event in the US, the Microsoft Project team will also be sponsoring this year's Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit in London. The two day event represents…

    "Europe's premier gathering of program and portfolio management executives charged with improving how organizations select, implement and manage IT projects and investments. The Summit will help you anticipate portfolio fluctuations, and adapt your programs with a view to reducing risk and fully realizing the value."

    We’re looking forward to hearing from users like yourselves. You can stop by our booth and join us for a panel discussion on Tuesday, plus our presentation on Wednesday.

    Check back after the Summit for an update and event recap. In the meantime you can follow us on Twitter where we'll share the activity from London.

    Tuesday, June 19th

    Time

    Place

    Welcome Keynote

    8:45am-9:45am

    Westminster B & C

    Solution Snapshot

    be there at 10:15am, 10:35am-10:55am

    Showcase floor- Plaza Suites 2 & 3

    Panel Session

    11:00am-11:30am

    Main Auditorium - Westbourne B & C

    Session

    12:25pm-12:45pm

    Showcase floor- Plaza Suites 2 & 3

    Wednesday, June 20th

    Time

    Place

    Session

    10:15am-11:15am

    Westminister A

    Sponsor Session

    11:30am-12:00pm

    Westminister B

    And if you haven't already, be sure to check out the exicting announcement of Microsoft's Surface

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project Conference 2012 Session Recordings Are Live!

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    Today we're excited to share all session recordings from Project Conference 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona with the greater Project community. Over 1250 people from 44 countries made the trip--75% for the very first time. The week featured 94 handpicked sessions with 20 delivered by customers eager to share their experiences. Many sessions were standing room only and from the evaluations, many only wished they could have attended more of them. Zach Heisinger, first time attendee, tells us he's already looking forward to the next Project Conference. His only complaint? "I wish certain sessions could be offered more than once during the conference. That way I wouldn’t have to pick one great session over another great session." So, we're excited to share these recordings with all of you as it represents a collection of the best content out there from our customers, partners, and industry leaders.

    This year's Conference focused on Project 2010 momentum and offered attendees both networking as well as training opportunities. We've said before, 2010 marks the biggest release in over a decade, but product innovation didn't end with its release. You'll find 87 recordings totaling over 100 hours of content. We suggest getting started by viewing both keynotes, first from Microsoft Office Division CVP Kirk Koenigsbauer and then from Microsoft Project GM Ludovic Hauduc. Then jump into some of the top rated sessions at the conference:

    1. Deliver SharePoint Success: Key Steps to Reap the Business Benefits
    2. Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices for Using Project Server 2010
    3. The painters, the policemen and the Pope...understanding task movement in Microsoft Project 2010
    4. Take Your Project Reporting To the Next Level: Dashboards and Other Tools
    5. YJTJ (Your Job Tool’s Job) ™ – Working in Concert with Microsoft Project
    6. Unleashing the Value of Earned Value: Applying Schedule and Cost Controls to Measure Project Performance
    7. Turning Project Data into Real World Reports: An Overview of Business Intelligence Options
    8. Leveraging Project 2010 with Office 365 for Project Management Success
    9. Be Loved By Your Development Teams: Using the Team Foundation Server – Project Server Connector
    10. Microsoft Project 2010 Desktop Overview

    From all the social media buzz (2.5 million Twitter impressions) and excitement, the Project community looks to be growing stronger and stronger each day. None of this would have been possible without each of you and we're thankful for the opportunity to have met many of you in person. A special thank you to those who were able to join us this year. Hope you enjoyed all the parties and the warm weather. We can't wait for the next one! For those who couldn't make the trip this year, we hope you find the sessions informative and enough of a reason the join us next time. Let us know what you think in the comments or via Facebook/Twitter.

    You can view all sessions on the Microsoft Project Showcase Channel

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    You want your team to work on Saturday? Serious?! OK. Here’s how.

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    Work typically isn’t difficult to describe. We all do it, and sometimes wish we had less of it. In Microsoft Project, on the other hand, defining work can get a little tricky, especially when setting up the working calendar for the team in your project schedule.

    Usually, Project considers working time to be Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m ., with weekends off. So far so good, especially the part about the weekends.

    But you can change this to any time you want. If you want everyone to work Saturdays or all evenings, so be it.

    The following graphic will show you how to use the Change Working Time dialog box to change the project work calendar. In the example graphic below, Saturday is made into a four-hour working day with, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m .

    changeWorkingTime_Blog2

    That’s it. And sorry about the weekend part.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Kicks off Project Conference 2012!

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    Special message from Project & Visio Director Chris Crane

    This morning, Kirk Koenigsbauer – Corporate Vice President of the Office Division Product Management Group – kicked off the Microsoft Project Conference 2012 in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with an opening keynote address.  This year’s event celebrates the success of Project 2010 and showcases how it continues to evolve in order to meet the changing collaboration and project management needs within organizations of all sizes.  At the heart of that evolution is Microsoft’s focus on an integrated platform wherein customers are better able to respond to industry trends (i.e. devices and the cloud) and have an opportunity to realize the benefits of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) beyond IT and into all areas of a business including Marketing, Finance and Resource & Development (as seen in Revlon’s example below).

    Since its launch in May of 2010, Microsoft Project has quietly climbed to the top of the Project Portfolio Management market with over 20 million users of the Microsoft Project desktop to date. That’s one license sold every 20 seconds!  And, analysts agree with Gartner giving its highest rating to Microsoft in the latest Marketscope for Project and Portfolio Management.

    But, you don’t have to take our word for it! Eighty-two of the Fortune 100 are Microsoft Project customers and Revlon– a global cosmetics company headquartered in New York City – is one such company.  With an excess of daily meetings, the company found that the productivity of its employees plummeted and, with 1.3 billion dollars’ worth of sales in 2010 alone, it stood to lose a lot due to inefficiencies.  The Revlon IT department was looking for a way to optimize its project planning, reduce the number of meetings and bridge the gap between developers and project managers by improving the transparency of project data. 

    Enter Microsoft Project Server 2010.  Revlon implemented the technology in addition to the Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack.  Bringing both into the organization produced a wealth of improved efficiencies including up to 30% less time in meetings, productivity gains of 2-5% and improved risk management through better data.  Perhaps Jacqueline Shannon – senior planner in program management for Revlon – said it best, “I think Microsoft Project Server 2010 is an incredible tool because it promotes accountability, timeliness and structure allowing us to focus more on our deliverables rather than reporting on our deliverables.”  For more information regarding Revlon’s use of Project 2010 check out this video: http://aka.ms/zdniuj!

    Another reason customers, like Revlon, value Project 2010 is for its improved integration and continuous innovation with Microsoft technologies like Exchange and SharePoint providing people with a familiar user interface and connected platform that they can use to manage all their work from the simplest to the most complex projects.

    • Experienced and/or accidental Project managers can plan and collaborate with teams to share schedule details quickly with Project Professional 2010 and SharePoint Online (Office 365) task list synchronization. Individuals throughout the organization can view the task list and quickly see task status and update progress in SharePoint Online—from virtually anywhere! Please refer to this Project blog post for additional information.
    • SharePoint integration allows professional Project Managers to collaborate with a wider group of colleagues, important participants and “accidental project managers”, who track their tasks and progress through SharePoint.
    • SharePoint 2010 integration brings powerful Business Intelligence capabilities via Excel Services, PerformancePoint Services and SQL Reporting Services, so all Project 2010 users can create enhanced dashboards that give you greater transparency across your many portfolios within the organization. Please refer to this website for additional information.
    • Improved integrations with other proven Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft Exchange means that users can manage and respond to project tasks effectively through Outlook—on their PC, over the mobile phone, or using Outlook Web Access.
    • With the release of the Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack, project managers and software development teams can use the tools that they prefer, work at the level of precision that supports their needs, share information transparently, and each use the methodology they prefer (agile or formal).

    Please check out the Microsoft Project 2010 Customer Success page for more case studies. For more information about the Project Conference and a transcript of today’s keynote, please visit the Project Conference virtual press room.

    Enjoy the conference!

    Sincerely,

    Chris Crane

    Director, Project and Visio Product Marketing at Microsoft Corp.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project Server 2010 and ERP Integration

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    A common ask from customers nowadays is to integrate their Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solution with their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions to achieve end to end visibility into portfolios, projects, resources and finance. Microsoft Project Server 2010 offers an extensive and powerful platform that can easily be integrated with leading ERP, including out of the box integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX and SL. A number of PPM partners have built solutions that connects Project Server with other line of business applications, please check Microsoft Enterprise Project Management Solutions for the latest list.

    In addition we have released the following white paper recently: Microsoft Project Server 2010 integration with SAP. This white paper, written by Advisicon, outlines the benefits and scenarios for integrating Microsoft Project Server 2010 with SAP’s ERP; in particular integrating the actual time reporting from SAP with the time-phased planning and resource forecasting power of Project Server 2010. This white paper illustrates one of the many options & approach to integrate Project Server with SAP. I also wrote this post on the same topic: Integrating Project Server 2010 with Line Of Business Applications.

    Last but not least and to reinforce the points made above, please find below a list of sessions at our upcoming Microsoft Project Conference 2012 that will discuss PPM and ERP integration, don’t forget to register if you have not done so yet!

    • Achieve Complete Project Cost Planning & Insight: Integrating Microsoft Project Server 2010 with financial systems like Dynamics AX
    • Bean Counting in the Cloud: Merging hosted EPM and internal GL data to optimize financial reporting
    • Integrating Data from External LOB Systems (SAP, ClickSoft, etc.) for Strategic Resource Planning & Forecasting
    • Rapid Implementation of the Microsoft PPM solution and SAP-integration in a global Chemical company
    • The comprehensive use of Microsoft EPM, SharePoint and TPG PSLink within the mining industry
    • The Integration of Project Management and Project Accounting with Dynamics SL
    • Project Server and Dynamics AX - Completing the Lifecycle from Project Estimation to Revenue Recognition
  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Finding Project Server documentation on TechNet

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    Need help finding Project Server documentation on TechNet? Watch this video to learn more about where to find Project Server content, what content is available, and how to provide feedback.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project Conference 2012–The Biggest Ever!

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    The Microsoft Project Conference 2012 has the largest Sponsor and Exhibitor momentum in the history of all Microsoft Project Conferences! We’d like express our gratitude to all sponsors & exhibitors who have committed to make this event a great success!

    All sponsors (listed below) and exhibitors will be available in their booths to demonstrate how they contribute to the momentum of Project 2010!

    In addition to standard expo hall hours all sponsors and exhibitors will be ready to greet you at the Welcome Reception Monday Evening – make sure to visit the Expo Hall to enjoy the food, drinks and networking!

    If you have not registered for the Project Conference yet – check the reasons to attend and register!

    image

    The full list of Project conference Sponsors and Exhibitors.

    See you in Phoenix!

    Jan Kalis
    http://blogs.msdn.com/jkalis/

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Nominate a Project Hero

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    Project HeroWe're excited to accounce that we will be giving out full Microsoft Project Conference 2012 passes ($899.00 each) to three deserving individuals who would like to attend Project Conference 2012.

    We want you to nominate someone you know who has made a substantial contribution and gone the extra mile for your organization or the Project community. Think of someone who always puts others first, someone going above and beyond, and someone you feel deserves more recognition--from the "accidental" project manager all way to project management professionals.

    We want to thank your project hero!

    Here is how you enter:

    • Email projconf@microsoft.com with the subject “My Hero Nomination” by 11:59 p.m. on the 7th of March 2012
    • Describe why the unsung hero deserves this prize in 100 words or less.
    • Your project hero’s Name
    • Your project hero’s Email address    

    We will judge the entries and pick three (3) individuals who we will offer a full conference pass to Microsoft Project Conference 2012 (MSPC12).

    We want dedicated and passionate individuals who love to help others.  We want to reward them with the chance to attend MSPC12 in person and see for themselves the passion of the Project community.

    You can nominate up to five (5) project hero! (separate email entries for each please)

    Here are the Official Contest Rules

    Thanks and have fun nominating those who you think have made your life easier or improved our community.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    To All Aspiring Project Ninjas

    • 1 Comments

    From the great food and great people to the keynotes and SharkPro sponsored evening event, there are plenty of reasons to attend Project Conference. But it's the second to none training events that truly makes the trip worthwhile for many of our users and I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on the conference experience for you. Whether you're just starting out with Project or a seasoned veteran, Project Conference is the single greatest opportunity to see how the experts use the tool, share your questions while networking with the community, and grow to master the tool. As much as we'd like to, Project Conference won't be hosted every year and there won’t be another worldwide Project Conference elsewhere, so we encourage you to register for Project Conference 2012.

    We have a ton of great sessions for all audiences, but I wanted to highlight the key sessions that will help our desktop users (Standard or Professional) master the tool. To go along with our instructor led trainings, hands-on labs, and on-site certifications for Microsoft Project Managing Projects 70-178, we have the following sessions dedicated to the client to help train you and the rest of your team.

    Learn more about Project Conference 2012 and follow us on Twitter @MSFTProject

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    "Office 15" Begins Technical Preview

    “Today Microsoft announced limited details about Office 15. For more information, go here.”

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Leveraging Office 365 for Project Collaboration Success

    • 1 Comments

    Update 2/8/2012: You can view the entire video series on the Microsoft Project YouTube channel. http://bit.ly/wUCAYg

    Earlier this month our friends on the Office 365 team shared a link via Twitter to an article by technology writer Will Kelly. Entitled "Microsoft Office 365 for Project Managers", the article surfaced the project management potential in Office 365 and an interesting theme--the "democratization of project management data". Read more about it here.

    Today, we're excited to share a special series on how Office 365 adoption can transform your existing project management capabilities. Microsoft Office 365 provides an infrastructure for collaboration and information sharing. It offers a cloud solution for an organization of any size, whether that organization involves a small business or a small team with members spread across the globe. But best of all, it offers the ease and familiarity you'd expect from Microsoft and its Office products.

    Many enterprises have already had a great deal of success implementing a PPM solution via Project Server 2010. But how about options for smaller organizations or departments just getting started? Microsoft Project is perfect for helping project managers organize schedules and manage budget, resources and dependencies, but what about the rest of the team?  Effective project management begins with team collaboration.  It necessitates a secure and central location for all project documents and artifacts like a site provisioned in SharePoint Online, demands ease of mobile communication you'd find in Exchange Online and Lync Online,  and the great user experience provided by Microsoft Project and Office 2010 when working with project schedules and documents. By themselves, these tools are just tools, but together it opens the door to a unique collaboration experience that any organization can benefit from. And because we've built these products with the user in mind they just work, even across multiple platforms and devices. 

    We've called out a number of common pain points tied to project collaboration--document storage, effective communication, sharing a project schedule, and visual reporting for stakeholders just to name a few. But this represents a small sample of all the great possibilities Office 365 enables for project management and we'd love to hear more from users like you in the comments below or via Twitter and Facebook.

    Download the paper and accompanying video here.

    You can view the full video series on our YouTube channel as well.

    We’ll be featuring a great session around this very topic this March at Project Conference 2012 in Phoenix, AZ. Don't forget to register!

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Add a Buffer Task using a Manually Scheduled Task

    • 2 Comments

    Now we all know that the finish date a project is automatically calculated by Project and might not necessarily be the due date. If the finish date is before the due date, you have some buffer, if the finish date is after the due date, you have a problem. Let’s assume you are in the first case - it is important to track this buffer and I’ve found manually scheduled tasks are useful for this since they won’t automatically move but they’ll warn you when there is a problem.

    Let’s say you have this project (this will work for all projects, just make sure you have a milestone representing the project finish that all task chains are connected to):

    image

    My project finish date is January 9th but I actually don’t have to be done until the 13th so I have a few days of buffer. To represent that I add a new manually scheduled task with the Project Finish milestone as the predecessor and the end date as 1/13:

    image

    You can now easily tell that you have 4 days of buffer.

    Now say that task 4 takes 3 days instead of 1 day. Your schedule will look like this:

    image

    Notice how the buffer tasks didn’t move but you get a warning that there is an issue. Now go in and for the Buffer task, right-click and select Respect Links. This will push the task out. Now you need to decrement the duration until the finish date is once again the 13th:

    image

    So you can now tell from task 4 slipping that you only have 2 days left of buffer.

    I find that manually having to update your buffer task helps to make you more aware of when you are using up buffer. You can use this same technique on individual task chains, etc., if you want. Additionally, if you want to make sure you remember the deadline, you can set a deadline on the buffer task to make sure you always adjust the buffer back to it.

    Learn more about this and other scheduling tips by attending the Microsoft Project Conference 2012 in Phoenix, AZ March 19th-22nd.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project Conference 2012 Full Session List Announced!

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    logo

    Microsoft Project Conference 2012 Sessions Announced

    We’re excited to announce that all session content including titles, abstracts, speakers and learning objectives have been posted to www.msprojectconference.com! Microsoft Project Conference 2012 is your only opportunity this year to see over 90 sessions focused on Microsoft Project 2010 and Microsoft Project Server 2010 in addition to other key products that integrate with our Microsoft Project and Portfolio Management such as SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics, Team Foundation Server and more! Let us know what you’re looking forward to most on Twitter using our new hashtag #mspc12!

    Project 2010 Sessions

    This year’s conference will cover a variety of in-depth topics across three tracks: Business Value & Insights, Product Sessions, and Deployment, Administration & Developer, delivered by customers, industry experts, partners, Project MVPs and the Microsoft product team. Here are just a few highlighted sessions.

    Detangling project demand, resource supply and capacity with Project Server
    Isabel Merlano, AMD Corporation

    Pearls and Pitfalls - Realizing Real Business Benefits with Microsoft Project Server and SharePoint
    Mike Bullard, AT&T Business Services

    Best practices for implementing a successful Enterprise Innovation Program
    Simon Floyd, Microsoft

    Unleashing the Value of Earned Value: Applying Schedule and Cost Controls to Measure Project Performance
    Andrew Lavinsky MVP, UMT

    Leveraging Project 2010 with Office 365 for Project Management Success
    Dux Raymond Sy, Innovative-e

    Resource Management - Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together!
    Collin Quiring, PMP Specialists

    View the full agenda on the website for details on all 90+ sessions.

    Hands-on Project 2010 Training

    There will be valuable computer-based and instructor-led training opportunities on-sight at the conference. Make the most of your investment by attending one of the sessions below.

    Managing your Projects: Come find out how to save over 3 hours a week using Microsoft Project?
    Jacques, MS PROJECT NOW! Goupil

    YJTJ (Your Job Tool’s Job)™ – Working in Concert with Microsoft Project
    Dan Renier, Milestone Consulting Group

    Core concepts: Business Intelligence Reports
    Treb Gatte, msProjectExperts

    Microsoft Project: Inappropriate practices (Level 300)
    John Wagner, Versatile

    Task Types (Level 300)
    John Wagner, Versatile

    Designing with Project’s new manual scheduling type (Level 300)
    John Wagner, Versatile

    UMT Project Essentials Pro – Comprehensive Financial Governance for Project Server 2010
    Ben Chamberlain, UMT

    Sponsor & Exhibitor Momentum

    At Microsoft Project Conference 2012 (remember, #mspc12 on Twitter) you will not only attend rich sessions, participate in hands-on training and network with your peers, but there is a lot to look for in the exhibit hall!

    You can review the list of Microsoft Project and Portfolio Management Partner companies who will be demonstrating industry leading products and services. Check back weekly as we are updating the list as new exhibitors and sponsors join!

    If you are interested in the sponsoring, exhibiting or marketing & promotional opportunities please contact projconf@microsoft.com.

    Join us for a special webcast event with Microsoft Project Director Arpan Shah and hosted by our partner at Innovative-E, Inc., Dux Raymond Sy, next Wednesday at 9 AM PST. More details available on our Facebook events page. We'll be doing a live Q&A about the conference, tweet @ProjConf and include #MSProjectChat.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Share a Schedule without revealing Actual Dates

    • 3 Comments

    One of the questions I get fairly often is that people want to show their project schedules and get feedback on them without including real dates since their project hasn’t been officially scheduled yet. You know once you show someone a schedule with dates, that’s all they can think about and then you don’t get the feedback you want.

    You have three ways of doing this:

    Timescale

    image

    The default timescale setting has it showing real dates. You can update this though by right-clicking on the timescale and selecting Timescale… Then in the dialog, for the tiers that are being displayed choose one of the circled items that uses relative time (ie. the first week of the project is Week 1) instead of calendar time:

    image

    This will update my timescale to look like:

    image

    The only other step you’ll need to do is to hide the start and finish date columns

    Date Format

    For date format (what controls how dates are displayed in the task sheet and throughout Project), Project doesn’t support a relative time format so you have two options which I’ve circled below. To update the date format, go to File – Options:

    image

    You can select to just show time when how tasks line up is important to show.

    Alternatively you can choose one of the W4/4 formats. This date isn’t relative to the first week of the project but instead is based off the calendar (so the first week of January is week 1). Doing this format plus the timescale formatting I mention below will still essentially hide real dates from the people you are reviewing the schedule with. Just make sure to temporarily set your project to start on the first week of the year.

    image

    Then when you know the actual start date of your project, you can use Move Project to adjust the schedule.

    Timeline View

    Last but not least, you can use the Timeline View. Say I have the following Timeline:

    image

    To not show the dates, you need to go to the Format tab – Date Format and un-check Task Dates, Today and Timescale. This will get you:

    image

    Now you still have dates on either ends, to remove those you can either crop the image or paste the Timeline into PowerPoint and delete them there.

    The only problem is that while you aren’t showing dates anymore, now the timeline is kind of meaningless if you want to show anything more than order and relative size of tasks. To get around this you can create dummy tasks to represent generic time intervals. For example, if I create a bunch of week long tasks I can get this:

    image

    I also changed Text Lines to 2 since I just think that looks better. And here’s what I added to my project plan:

    image

    You can choose whatever time interval makes the most sense for your project. Also, don’t forget to include weekends or else you’ll have gaps.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project Conference 2012: Free Instructor-Led Training Sessions, More Customer Sessions and the Wednesday Evening Event

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    Microsoft Project Conference 2012

    Free Instructor-Led Project 2010 Training Sessions for Conference Attendees
    We are excited to announce Instructor-led training sessions by our three validated training partners:

    Milestone Consulting Group
    Global leaders in providing Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) services, Milestone Consulting Group can help your organization gain visibility, insight and control across all work.  With the launch of Project 2010, Milestone expanded their training offerings to include Microsoft’s Certification exams, had them validated by a third party, and made them available through your local software training center.  Make plans now to attend Project Conference and deepen your knowledge on Project 2010 desktop and prepare yourself to take the Microsoft Project 70-178 exam.

    MSProjectExperts
    MSProjectExperts is a Microsoft Certified partner and the global leader in Microsoft Project 2010 and Microsoft Project Server 2010 training, courseware and reference books. MSProjectExperts maintains both the Gold Microsoft Project and Portfolio Management and Silver Microsoft Learning Systems competencies, a rare combination that certifies both its depth in Microsoft Project 2010 and Microsoft Project Server 2010 and its ability to deliver quality training, eligible for Microsoft Software Assurance training benefits.

    The Versatile Company
    The Versatile Company provides expertise in project management, Microsoft Project and Project Server, delivering training, consulting and Project Server deployment. Company founder Eric Verzuh is recognized worldwide for his bestselling book, The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management, the fourth edition which was just released last December.  Sam Huffman, a Microsoft Project Most Valued Professional (MVP), will integrate proven best practices, industry standards, and hands-on learning to create high impact learning experiences.

    We've got Over 110+ hours of Sessions!
    We've added more content since our last blog post - more customer-led sessions! To recap, here are some content highlights over the three tracks (Business Value & Insights, Product Sessions, and Deployment, Administration & Developer):

    • 19 customer-led sessions (representing 10 industry verticals) where customers share personal success stories using Microsoft Project and Portfolio
      Management (PPM), and upgrading to the latest 2010 solutions from prior PPM versions and competitive solutions.
    • Project desktop best practices for scheduling, program management, Earned Value, and more.
    • Project Server best practices for Demand Management, Portfolio Analysis, Resource Management, Time Management, Business Intelligence, and more.
    • Key solutions overviews and case studies for Application
      Lifecycle Management, Innovation Process Management, Product Lifecycle Management, Dynamics AX integration, ERP integration, and more.
    • Technical best practices for IT Professionals and Developers.

    A full list of session titles and abstracts will be available in mid-January on the official conference website.

    Wednesday Event at the Arizona Science Center
    Spend an unforgettable evening at the Arizona Science Center!  Take a trip to the stars in the state-of-the-art Dorrance Planetarium, soar high above the ground on the exhilarating Sky Cycle, climb your way to adventure on the Rock Wall, and immerse yourself in over 300 hands-on exhibits while nestled in the picturesque setting of Heritage and Science Park in historic downtown Phoenix.  Do your own star-gazing on any of the beautifully situated terraces as you sip handmade specialty cocktails and dine on an array of mouth-watering gourmet fare all while you explore the wonderful world of science! This will be a fantastic venue to connect with other Project Conference attendees!

     

    Tell us what excites you about the event on Twitter or facebook.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Actual Work Best Practices Documentation Now Available

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    One of the most important aspects of any Project Server implementation is the ability to accurately record and report on actual work values when they are submitted by resources. The desire to ensure that the integrity of actual work, or “actuals”, is maintained within Project Server is one of the most critical customer requests. When implementing a Project Server based solution for time tracking and progress reporting there are a lot of questions that come up like:

    • What’s the best way to have my resources report time for their assignments?
    • How do I make sure that the resource-reported value and the project plan stay in sync?
    • Where should I retrieve data from if I want to integrate Project Server with an external billing or ticket tracking system?

    Admittedly the breadth of configuration options available in Project Server can create some confusion and lead to solution configurations that are not optimal for the maintenance of actual work values. To help ease the process of recording and reporting on actual work we’ve created the Best practices for submitting and reporting on actual work (Project Server 2010) documentation. To give you a quick preview of what the document contains here are the primary tenets of best practices for actual work integrity:

    1. Use single entry mode
    2. Protect user updates with protected actuals
    3. Use submitted work from timesheets, instead of project plans, for timephased reporting
    4. Use administrative time categories to track non-project work

    You can find more details for each of these best practices in the linked document.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Visio 2010 Add-in for Microsoft Project WBS Modeler

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    Good news for all the Visio enthusiasts out there! Did you know that you could visualize, edit and even create a new project plan in Microsoft Office Visio 2010 (Professional or Premium) and then export it to Microsoft Project?

    Courtesy of the Visio product team, the Visio 2010 Add-in for WBS Modeler enables effective integration between Visio and Project by offering the ability to manage project elements in a graphical view, as well as capabilities to layout a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in Visio.

    The Modeling process in WBS Modeler offers a wide variety of options to manipulate the WBS data and layout. Custom ribbon elements enable intuitive import and export between Visio and Project. Sibling and Child tasks can be added to existing tasks at every level within the project plan. Shape data can be defined and assigned for every element within Visio and this data binding remains in place when exported to project.

    Download the add-in today and get more out of your Visio and Project investments.

    Microsoft Visio 2010 WBS Modeler

    Microsoft Visio 2010 WBS Modeler 

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project Conference 2012: The Can't-Miss Conference of the Year!

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    Microsoft Project Conference 2012

    The Can't-Miss Conference of the Year
    With just 3.5 months before Microsoft Project Conference 2012, excitement over Microsoft Project Conference 2012 has been through the roof! Come celebrate the phenomenal momentum of Project 2010 with us at the conference. There will be a concentration of learning, networking, and growth opportunities you can't get anywhere else. Remember, Microsoft Project Conference doesn't happen every year (the last one was in 2009) so you definitely don't want to miss this. 

    We've got Over 100+ hours of Sessions!
    We received over 170 submissions (note: over 200 hours of great community content!)through our Call for Content. Here are some content highlights over the three tracks (Business Value & Insights, Product Sessions, and Deployment, Administration & Developer): 

    • 15 customer-led sessions (representing 6 verticals) where customers share personal success stories using Microsoft Project and Portfolio
      Management (PPM).
    • Project desktop best practices for scheduling, program management, Earned Value, and more.
    • Project Server best practices for Demand Management, Portfolio Analysis, Resource Management, Time Management, Business Intelligence, and more.
    • Key solutions overviews and case studies for Application
      Lifecycle Management, Innovation Process Management, Product Lifecycle Management, Dynamics AX integration, ERP integration, and more.
    • Technical best practices for IT Professionals and Developers.

    A full list of session titles and abstracts will be available in mid-December on the official conference website

    Get hands-on Project 2010 Training at the Conference
    Whether you are currently using or looking to invest in Project 2010, Microsoft Project Conference 2012 provides awesome computer-based and instructor-led training opportunities. On-site at the conference, you can begin your mastery of Project 2010 and make the most of your investment through:

    • Project Professional 2010 (Managing Projects 70-178) desktop training
    • Project Server 2010 (Configuring 70-177) computer-based training with your Project Conference 2012 registration (Hurry: limited seats are available for this hands-on training session.)
    • Instructor-led training sessions

    Fantastic Sponsor and Exhibitor Excitement
    The Sponsor and Exhibitor momentum has also been wonderful! We'd like to thank these partners for their support and continued dedication to Microsoft Project. Check out the list of sponsors and exhibitors. If you're interested in becoming a sponsor or exhibitor, it's not too late! Contact ProjConf@microsoft.com for details.

    This is the event for You and the Project Community!
    Great content and a wealth of training are just some of the reasons for you to attend Microsoft Project Conference 2012. This is also the key event for the worldwide community to see, share, and evolve. With such richness of expertise and depth of knowledge in the community, you'll be able to discover ways to take your project management success to the next level.

    Tell us what excites you about the event on Twitter or facebook.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Impress the family: Make Thanksgiving Day a success with Project 2010

    • 3 Comments

    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 (briank@deltabahn.com) 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!

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    PCU3ED, TPG and UMT –Three Project Conference 2012 Premier Sponsors

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    Microsoft Project Conference 2012

    Today – we launched the Sponsors & Exhibitors portal for the Microsoft Project Conference 2012 (#PC12). Microsoft Project Conference 2012 is the premiere Microsoft-led event to showcase Project and Portfolio Management best practices and connect with your peers from around the globe - the registration is open now!

    We are proud to introduce three Premier sponsors for the conference – PCU3EDTPG and UMT. These top level sponsors are all Microsoft Gold Partners, trusted advisors and leaders in the world-wide Microsoft Project community. Here they share their thoughts and plans for the conference:

    Pcubed Logo

    PCU3ED are proud to be selected as the platinum sponsor of the Microsoft Project Conference in 2012. PCU3ED is the preeminent, global leader dedicated to Project and Program Management (PPM) delivery and measurement.  From 16 local offices, PCU3ED builds long term relationships with customers by providing the best available mix of project management practices integrated with leading technologies, such as Microsoft Project Server® to ensure programs and projects are delivered on time and within budget. With a vast portfolio of experience and data gained from over three thousand (3,000) successful engagements, Pcubed practitioners provide the heavy lifting to ensure critical work gets done.

    Adrian Balfour – PCU3ED Chairman

    TPG Logo

    After an extremely positive experience of being the platinum sponsor at the Project Conference in 2009 there is no question that we will go for it again! This event is by far the most excellent forum for project and portfolio management based on Microsoft technologies. It attracts customers and partners from all over the globe and provides a unique learning and networking opportunity for everyone in this ecosystem. TPG is a global company with a worldwide partner network and a broad portfolio of products and services. Sponsoring this event is absolutely important to us in order to meet customers and partners and create joint opportunities. We are very pleased about our upcoming sponsoring commitment and look forward to see this tremendous outcome happening again.

    Stavros Georgantzis - TPG Global CEO

    UMT Logo

    The opportunity to connect with Microsoft Project customers and partners from around the world makes the Project Conference a premier event for UMT. Our experience as a solution provider developing Project Financial Server 2010 and Workflow Developer working with many partners globally and our experience as a service provider integrating state of the art MS solutions at the enterprise level with key customers have highlighted the importance of interacting with both customers and partners at this key event. It’s a powerful forum that generates a proven return-on-investment for UMT through reinforcing brand awareness, driving new business and onboarding global Project partners to deploy our software solutions as well as a fantastic learning environment. We are delighted to be a Platinum Sponsor at this important event.

    Gil Makleff – UMT CEO

    Are you a Microsoft Project Partner?

    Looking for sponsoring or exhibiting opportunities? We have designed wide portfolio of options that fit your business needs and deliver remarkable value for your investment! Please send us your enquiry for more details to projconf@microsoft.com.

    Are you a Microsoft Project User?

    Excited to learn about Project and Portfolio Management and connect with your peers from around the globe? Explore more details at http://msprojectconference.com/ and register today!

    Looking forward to see you all in Phoenix! In the meantime you can Search for Project and Portfolio Management Partners, Project 2010 Solutions and Project 2010 Trainings!

    Jan Kalis
    http://blogs.msdn.com/jkalis/

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Templates – We’ve got some, Want more?

    • 0 Comments

    imageI get questions on templates fairly often so I wanted to do a quick post pointing to a previous post we did on this topic.

    Essentially, if you are new to Project or starting a project and want to see a generic plan for how others broke down the work, check out a Project template.

    To access templates in Project 2010, go to File – New – Office.com Templates section. In Project 2007, go to File – New and in the New Project pane either select On Computer or Templates on Office Online.

    Now here’s where you come in…

    We are always looking to add more templates and wanted to get feedback from you. What templates should we add?

    You can either post comments directly to this blog (note they won’t show up right away) or you can send me your thoughts by emailing projrep@microsoft.com

    And here’s some template trivia for you:

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project @ PMI Global Congress 2011

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    We’ll be making a trip to Dallas this year and spending some time with the PMI community. Let us know if you’ll be there! @MSFTProject

    Booth #301 will feature 8 kiosks and a theater filled with product demos and the experts from our amazing Partner Network. Booth #700 will offer hands-on labs continuing our success from PMI GC 2010, so be sure to sign up when you arrive to guarantee your spot. Microsoft is also giving out USB keys to all of our visitors and special prizes including the chance to win a free pass to Project Conference 2012 in Phoenix, AZ! Finally, please join us for three presentations at the product theater:

    1. October 24th at 3:45 PM, Leveraging Project 2010 with Office 365 for Project Management Success with Dux Raymond Sy (Innovative-e, Inc.)
    2. October 25th at 12:30 PM, Quickly Automate Microsoft Project Server 2010 Governance Workflows with Ben Chamberlain (UMT)
    3. October 25th at 3:45 PM, Making Life Simple for Small and Mid-sized PMOs: A Pre-Configured Microsoft Project & Project Server 2010 Solution with Greg Bailey and Tad Haas (SharkPro Software)

    PMI® Global Congress 2011—North America
    October 22–25 2011
    Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
    Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, USA

    Hope to see you there!

    Get a head start and a chance to win some great prizes (more info to come) by registering for Project Conference 2012 now! 

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