Inactive Tasks is a powerful new feature in Microsoft Project 2010 Professional that allows you to cut tasks in your projects, while maintaining a record of these cut items. Inactive Tasks allows you to quickly and effectively:
· Manage Scope: As project begins to go over budget or over schedule, inactive tasks should be used to manage the scope of the project and retain a record of the tasks that you cut. Later, if there becomes additional funding or more time, you can re-activate some of the inactive tasks to fill the remainder of the budget or schedule
· Perform What-if Analysis: You may want to experiment with different combinations of adds or cuts to your project. Inactive Tasks gives you the ability to quickly test multiple options by temporarily inactivating certain parts of the project without losing the original data.
There are several ways to inactivate a task:
· In the Tasks tab of the Ribbon, click Inactivate
· Right-click and choose Inactivate Task in the context menu
· In the General tab of the Task Information dialog, click the Inactive checkbox.
· Set the Active field to “No”
You can also perform one of the steps listed above to re-activate an inactive task.
In Task Sheet views, an inactive task will appear crossed-out in semi-transparent gray text. In the Gantt Chart, the task will be outlined and filled with solid white. The task will retain its original duration, start, and finish values. If you do not want your inactive tasks to appear in the task sheet views, you can filter them out. To do this, in the Views tab of the Ribbon, select the Filter “Active Tasks”.
Inactive tasks will not appear at all in the following views:
· Team Planner
· Network Diagram
· Relationship Diagram
Inactive tasks will no longer be taken into account by the scheduling engine. Assignments to inactive tasks do not roll up to the task or resource summaries. Inactive task do not affect resource availability and will not be taken into account by Leveling. Baseline values that have already been taken are retained, but any new baselines taken will not include data for inactive tasks. Tasks with actuals cannot be inactivated.
Inactive tasks will appear in the Schedule WebPart on PWA, however they will be read-only. Inactive tasks are not published, so inactive task assignments will not appear on a team member’s task list.
Inactivating a task that is linked to other tasks has some interesting effects because it is no longer taken into account by the scheduling engine. In a schedule from start project, if you inactivate a task with successors, the successors will be scheduled as if that link does not exist.
It is important to be aware of this behavior when inactivating a task in a chain of tasks. In the example below, notice how Task 3 is re-scheduled now that Task 2 is inactive.
If you wish to retain the link between two tasks after inactivating their connecting task, you will need to add the link manually. In the example above, we would add Task 1 to Task 3’s predecessors.
Using the Created field (that existed in Microsoft Office Project 2007) and the grouping feature, you can quickly see which tasks have been added and which have been cut since the start of your project. To do this, click “Add New Column” and type “Created”. Then in the Views tab of the Ribbon, select the Group “Active v. Inactive”.
To cut large sections of a project, try inactivating a summary task, which will automatically inactivate all of its subtasks.
Later, you can re-activate the entire summary task or selected subtasks. If you activate any of the subtasks, the summary task will also automatically be re-activated.
Projects often have external dependencies that add risk to completing successfully on time. You can use inactive tasks to represent these risks. To see the effects if the risk is realized, you can activate these tasks and see the overall effect on the project. When planning, you should use inactive tasks to schedule both with and without the risks to see the range of time when the project should finish.
· The Inactive Task feature is available in Microsoft Project Professional only. Inactive tasks will appear read-only in Microsoft Project Standard 2010.
· The Inactive Tasks feature is not available while in 2007 compatibility mode.
· If you save to a previous version, the inactive tasks will be deleted completely from the project plan.
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.
Are there times where you wish you could just see all of your time commitments in a calendar view? If so, the My Schedule view in Project Web Access is for you. The My Schedule view was designed to help you plan by displaying your Project tasks and your Administrative time commitments together in a calendar view. This view enables you to focus on what's important for today, this week or this month, in a format this is familiar and easy to use.
In Project Server 2007, you can navigate to this view by doing the following.
Add to Home Page. If you installed Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, you can dynamically display this web part, based on the user using MOSS Personalization via the Audience targeting feature.
In this scenario, you may add this web part to the Project Web Access home page so that the data is front and center. If you choose to do so, it is advised that you use the MOSS Personalization Audience Targeting feature to control which users will see this web part. More information can be found on configuring the MOSS Personalization Audience Targeting feature in this article.
As this web part is targeted to Team Members, Audience enables you to dynamically display web parts on a page, for just those individuals in that role. Note, this assumes your audience group membership matches your Team Member group membership.
Add as a New Quick Launch Option. If you want to add this page as a separate option under My Work, you can create a new Web Part page and add the My Schedule Web part to it. You would then create a new link in the Quick Launch in Project Server 2007 to call the Web Part page.
The My Schedule view allows you to show your tasks and administrative time by day, week or month. Regardless of the time frame viewed, a simple click on the task name or administrative time item name will take you directly to the details view for that item. Below is an example of a task detail view.
This view can also be used to help with Time tracking. At Microsoft, many users use this view to enter their task updates on a daily basis. Each day, they click on each task and enter the updates. This makes task updates easier as you can clearly see what you were working on for a given day.
At the end of the week, two actions are performed to close out the reporting period.
The team members go to My Tasks and do the following to submit all task updates
Once tasks are submitted, the team members go to My Timesheet to initialize and submit their weekly timesheet.
On July 15th, 2008 Microsoft announced the availability of the Infrastructure Update for Office Servers. The Infrastructure Update for Office Servers is a set of updates to improve platform performance and contain several customer driven fixes. The updates are applicable to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Microsoft Search Server 2008 & Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express, Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Project 2007.
There are several noteworthy new features and fixes shipped in these updates for Project Server 2007 and Project 2007; specifically:
Please read Project 2007 Infrastructure Update Release for Server and Client to learn about its content in detail.
The Infrastructure Updates are available as free downloads to customers via the download center on http://www.microsoft.com/download.
Before you install the Infrastructure Update there are some very important things to understand. In this post we'll try to provide you with the resources you need to be successful in your updates. It is essential that you understand the appropriate links, and thoroughly read the guidance and test out the patch in a separate environment prior to a production rollout.
Full installation instructions and guidance is provided in the Knowledge Base articles linked from the download pages for each update along with existing TechNet guidance for patching Office Servers. The links are also included further on in this Q&A, but for reference, the following products require the following updates to be applied.
Read more about the new SharePoint features here
Read more about the new Search features here
Read more about the Content Deployment updates here
Knowledge Base Articles
It is strongly recommended that you install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 and Office Servers Service Pack 1 before installing the Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers (KB951297) and the Infrastructure Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (KB951695).
The installation process will incur server and farm downtime that you will need to plan for - the updates should be installed on all servers in a farm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Office Servers Service Pack 1 (SP1) a prerequisite or installed as part of this fix?A: No. Our supportability commitments to customers include providing the ability to install hotfixes on the two most recent versions of a product, in this case RTM and SP1. So installing these updates directly onto an RTM server is not blocked and will install some of the fixes shipped in Office Servers Service Pack 1, but only those that are contained in files that are changed by the Infrastructure updates.
Q: Can I uninstall the server updates?A: No. The Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers (KB951297) and the Infrastructure Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (KB951695) cannot be uninstalled. Both updates make database schema changes.
Q: Can I install the "Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Project 2007 (KB951547)" Project 2007 client update without installing the "Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers (KB951297)" on the server?A: Yes, the "Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Project 2007 (KB951547)" includes fixes for both client/server communication and local client features, so if you don't have Office Project Server 2007 but use Office Project 2007 client this update can be safely installed and you will be able to take advantage of all the client updates.
Q: Where can I find information on Service Pack 1 for Project Server and Project Professional 2007?
A: Please check the following: http://blogs.msdn.com/chrisfie/archive/2007/12/12/announcing-the-release-of-epm-2007-service-pack-1.aspx
Q: What if I have an issue that isn't addressed by this update?A: If your customer has a specific issue that these updates do not address you should follow the Microsoft Support process to log the issue and request a hotfix.
[Update February 7, 2012 – please check this recent white paper and videos on a similar subject: Leveraging Office 365 for Project Collaboration Success]
We are pleased to announce out-of-the-box integration of Microsoft Project Professional 2010 with SharePoint Online in Office 365! Extend the power of Project to your whole team—no matter their location!
Project managers can 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! Project managers can then easily synchronize and update the project plan from Project Professional 2010. Synchronization is bi-directional, providing greater flexibility for communicating with the team.
Want to see how simple it is to keep your team in sync—from virtually anywhere?
Hi, it’s Jon K again. In this post, I’ll introduce Project 2010’s new Backstage view. The Backstage view is the new experience seen when you click on the File tab in Project 2010. While the other ribbon tabs focus on things you do in your project (add tasks, edit resources, change formatting), the Backstage view is focused on things you do to your project as a whole—for example, save, print, and share.
The Backstage view is new across all Office apps for 2010, whereas the ribbon was a part of other Office applications for Office 2007 but is also new for Project 2010. In this post, Clay provides some background on the thinking behind the introduction of the Backstage view. His comments there apply to Project as well, so I recommend you take a break from this post and go read his post first if you’re new to the Backstage view. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…
OK, welcome back. When you click the File tab in the ribbon to enter the Backstage view, you’ll see a new list of tabs down the side: Info, Recent, New, Print, Save & Send, Help. Additionally, there are single-click “fast commands” for frequent options like Save, Save As, Publish, Open, and Close. Below these tabs you’ll also find a button to configure Project options.
When you first click the File tab in Project, you’ll see Project’s Info tab:
The Info tab is where you can get high-level status about your project and make related changes. A few things to notice:
When you’re connected to Project Server, you’ll see a number of new Info tab options “light up” as shown here:
As you can see, a number of Project Server-dependent features are now shown, such as:
The right-side pane now also lets you control the tracking method, edit custom fields values, and link to related information like documents, issues, and risks.
I won’t go into as much detail on the other tabs here, but here’s a quick overview:
The Print tab is a good example of the benefits of the full-screen experience in the Backstage. Where before you might have had to toggle between setup dialogs and preview, the new print experience lets you change the common settings and immediately see the impact in the preview. So you can easily change your printer, number of copies, page layout, date range, and the like and then hit Print once you’re ready. Here’s what this looks like:
There’s more to discover, but I hope this overview gives you a sense of what’s new with the move to the Backstage view and why we hope you’ll find it useful.
Finally, if you’re interested in programmatically customizing the Backstage view, see here.
Here’s the problem. You’ve created a project schedule, and now you want to send it to a team mate for review. Your team mate is having trouble opening and viewing the project because she has a version on Project earlier than yours. At this point, you have a few options, depending on who has which version of what:
No converter is available. If you received a Project 2010 file that you want to open using Project 2007, ask the person who sent the file to first save it to the Project 2007 file format.
Alternately, you can install the trial version of Project 2010 and then view the file, or save it to the Project 2007 file format.
Project 2007 or Project 2010
There are two possibilities here.
Project 2000 or Project 2002
No converter is available. Ask the person who sent the Project 2007 or later file to save the file first in the Project 2000-2003 file format.
Project 2000 and later versions
No converter is available. Consider upgrading to the latest version of Project, or install the trial version of Project 2010 to try out Project’s enhanced functionality.
Alternately, ask the person who sent the Project 2000-2003 file to save the file first in the Project 98 file format.
Note Project 2007 and later versions of Project do not have the ability to save to the Project 98 file format.
Will I lose my data?
In nearly all cases, no. There can be a few exceptions, however. if you open a Project file created from a later version and save it the file to your current version, you can lose data or formatting in areas where the later versions contains enhanced functionality.
For example, new fields and custom fields Information within new fields from later versions of Project, or any formulas relying on new fields, will be lost. New options that are set on custom fields created in the later version of Project will be lost.
Another example. New calendar exceptions that were added to project and resource calendar functionality (such as monthly exceptions, yearly exceptions, and those with arbitrary dates) will be lost.
I 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
And here’s some template trivia for you:
Welcome to the first office Project “12” blog entry! I am a Program Manager in the Microsoft Office Project team and will be coordinating this blog as a space for the entire product team in Project to communicate with anyone who is interested in Project.
We are going to focus our blog discussions on the new version of Project, currently code named Project “12”. Our goal is to be able to share what’s new in Project “12” and hear your feedback and questions. There will a new posting at least once a week but I’ll try to regularly respond to comments and questions.
I would like to get started by telling you how amazing the Project Conference 2006 was! For those who are not familiar with the conference, it is an annual event where we hold multiple sessions discussing how to solve some project management challenges using Project. This year, we also had a number of partners presenting on their solutions as well as best practices. It was the biggest conference ever for Project with about 1,600 attendees!
Project “12” has some incredible areas of improvements in both the client as well as in the server. I hope to, over time, have some in depths discussions on separate features. For now, I would like to highlight a couple of client features that received a lot of applauses or “Oh my God” reactions from the conference:
Multiple Levels of Undo: There was a post from Dieter’s Project blog about this feature. As he explained, it was an incredibly hard to implement feature but amazingly rewarding to see customers reaction! Project “12” will support multiple level of undo but we have gone beyond that and also support custom batching of VB code. What that means is that you can wrap any VB code with new functions that will become an undoable action. This is great if you have custom Add Ins or have extended applications running with Project.
Task Drivers: Many of our customers had some problems finding out what happened to the schedule, so Project “12” has this new feature called Task Drives. A common question you may have when looking at your project schedule would be “why has a task moved to a certain date?” Now, you are able to select that task and see what is driving that task to be at the state it’s currently in.
There is a very long list of really great client and server features in Project “12” but this is just to get us started.
Dieter, the former Project Group Program Manager, has a Project blog containing a lot of great posts on new features as well as the conference. I highly recommend it if you would like to get more information now: http://blogs.msdn.com/dieterz/. Mostly, new posts will be added to this blog.
Hopefully we’ll be able to build a good community on this blog.
Today, the Office Division announced additional details of the upcoming Service Pack 1 (SP1) here. Service Pack 1 is on track for release at the end of June 2011. It will be available for all of the Office 2010 applications, including Microsoft Project Standard 2010, Microsoft Project Professional 2010 and Microsoft Project Server 2010.
It was about a year ago that we announced that Project 2010 had launched. A number of customers jumped right onto Project 2010 and have shared their experiences here. Since the release we’ve received tons of feedback on everyone’s experiences with Project 2010 through a variety of channels – events, this blog, forums, etc. To everyone who provided positive feedback, that’s great. We’re really excited that you are enjoying 2010 and that it is making you and your company more productive. To those of you who provided more constructive feedback, a big thanks to you. This feedback really helps us to improve the product and we funneled a number of your requests into SP1.
In total, we fixed over 200 issues in SP1 for Project and Project Server. Additionally SP1 is a rollup of all the fixes we’ve previously shipped meaning it contains all of the cumulative updates that have been released to date. I’d like to highlight four of the bigger fixes we made that have all been highly requested by you. In the coming days, we will post additional details on each of these.
Additionally, join us on July 6th for a webcast that covers SP1. We’ll be posting additional information about this on our webcast channel.
And as always, for more information on Project visit www.microsoft.com/project
Ludovic Hauduc – General Manager – Microsoft Project Business Unit
How often are you told that your project will start on date x and then it is moved to date y, maybe date z before it finally gets going?
Now when your project start date moves, you can just update the start date in the Project Information dialog and a lot of dates will update but not all of them (ex. deadlines, constraints, tasks with actual work). If you want those to move you need to go through Move Project.
The advantage of Move Project is that everything in the project is moved with respect to its original offset from the project start date. For example, in this project task b has a deadline 5 days into the project and task c has a constraint to start 2 days after the project’s start date.
Now I select Move Project to update the project start date to 1/12/11.
And everything in the updated plan has the same offset as it had before. Task b has a deadline 5 days into the project and task c has a constraint to start 2 days after the project’s start date.
In Project 2007 and earlier, you can access this functionality on the Analysis toolbar, Adjust Dates but there are a few limitations: deadlines and tasks with non-zero percent complete aren’t moved.
Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Microsoft Project Standard 2010, Microsoft Project Professional 2010 and Microsoft Project Server 2010 has been released to the Microsoft Download Center. SP1 contains a number of products updates based on customer feedback, as described in this announcement last May: Announcing Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Project & Project Server 2010.
Before you install SP1 it is essential that you understand its content described in the links below, and thoroughly read the guidance documented on TechNet and test out SP1 in a separate environment prior to a production rollout.
The following TechNet article provides information on how to deploy Microsoft Project and Project Server 2010 SP1: Deploy Service Pack 1 for Project Server 2010.
We strongly recommend that you deploy the June 2011 Cumulative Update for Microsoft Project and Project Server 2010 when you install SP1. You can download the June 2011 Cumulative Update from the KB Articles from the links below:
The following TechNet article provides information on how to deploy Project Server Cumulative Updates: Updates for Project Server 2010
There will be a webcast on July 6th, 2011 at 8:00 am Pacific Time to give an overview of this Service Pack (which will be recorded for later viewing): TechNet Webcast: Information about Project 2010 and Project Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (Level 200). Please check out these posts for additional SP1 production information: Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 Availability and Service Pack 1 for SharePoint 2010 Products is Now Available for Download.
Finally, our Microsoft Support Team is available to assist should you run into any problems installing these updates; feel free to follow your internal support guidelines to use Premier Support or open up a case directly at http://support.microsoft.com.
Christophe Fiessinger Senior Technical Product Manager, Microsoft Project Blog | Twitter
After you start working with Project, if won’t be long before you get creative and start customizing views, tables, filters, reports, and so on. And it won’t be too long after that when you begin to think about leveraging your creativity by applying it to all your future projects. Welcome to the Project organizer.
The organizer is a dialog box that allows you to copy Project elements between files, or between a file and the global template. What is the global template? It is a special Project template that is associated with every project file that you create.
For example, suppose you customize the Gantt chart with cost columns, then rename the view “Corporate Cost Gantt.” And now you want to use the new Gantt chart in all future projects. Here’s what you do.
Here’s a couple things to keep in mind.
Changes to existing view elements in Project 2010 are not automatically saved to the Global template with this setting. If you’ve changed the Gantt chart and want those changes reflected in future and past projects, then you’ll need to manually copy over the Gantt chart into the Global template, as well as the underlying table.
Changes to existing view elements in Project 2010 are not automatically saved to the Global template with this setting. If you’ve changed the Gantt chart and want those changes reflected in future and past projects, then you’ll need to manually copy over the Gantt chart into the Global template, as well as the underlying table.
Back in October of 2009, we introduced you to a new feature in Project Professional 2010 that allows you to synchronize tasks from a project file with a SharePoint task list called Sync to SharePoint (see the original post for details). One of the caveats of the feature was that you were limited to sync’ing manually scheduled tasks. Based on your feedback, we enabled synchronization of automatically scheduled tasks in Project 2010 SP1!
Let’s see how this works. Here’s the initial task list:
When you sync it to SharePoint you get the following. The tasks look manually scheduled here since essentially they are because SharePoint doesn’t have a scheduling engine like Project does.
So if you update Task1 to be on Thursday instead of Wednesday, the other tasks won’t move out in SharePoint even though they are linked:
But once you sync the task list back into the Project client, the schedule will get updated as one would expect:
If you aren’t familiar with manually scheduled tasks versus automatically scheduled tasks, see this post. You can learn more about Project 2010 SP1 here.
Thanks again for sending all the feedback and we hope that this update helps improve your SharePoint Sync’ing experience.
Many people know how to use bar styles to change the color of the bars on the right side Gantt chart. But I bet you don’t know how to use text styles to change the text on the left side of the Gantt Chart, and other sheet-like views. Let’s take a look at this.
Here’s what my project looks like before applying text styles.
And here’s what my project looks like after applying a green font, underlined, for milestones, with red for critical subtasks.
A big difference. To apply the text styles:
Now, don’t get carried away. More than two colors will invite negative reactions from others who are looking at your project. You don’t want them scratching the eyeballs trying to figure out what’s important and what’s not.
Today, Kurt DelBene announced Office 365, which we believe will define the future of productivity. Office 365 is a new cloud service that brings enterprise-grade productivity to everyone. This is an important announcement for the industry and Microsoft. I encourage you to watch today’s global press conference about Office 365 on the Microsoft News Center (www.microsoft.com/presspass).
I wanted to blog about this news to explain what it means for Microsoft Project 2010. As many of you know, we offer Project Server 2010 cloud hosting through numerous partners that many customers are already taking advantage of today. With SharePoint Online as part of Office 365, we now deliver great collaborative project management in the cloud through the Project Professional synchronization to SharePoint just as we do today for our on-premise customers.
SharePoint Online as part of Office 365
Highlighted features of Project Professional synchronization to SharePoint Online as part of Office 365 include:
For a demo of the Project Professional 2010 collaborative capability see Microsoft Project Professional 2010 SharePoint Synchronization
For more details on Microsoft Project Professional 2010 see Microsoft Project Professional 2010
Download a free trial of Microsoft Project Professional 2010 at Download Center Microsoft Project Professional 2010
Arpan Shah Director, Microsoft Project http//blogs.msdn.com/arpans
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:
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
Hi everyone, Phil Smail from the Project Product Group here. Just wanted to announce the news that I know a lot of you out there have been waiting for. The Project Resource Kit for Project 2007 has released!! It’s available for x86 and x64 in English only
The PRK consists of the following tools:
Full documentation on the tools is expected shortly. In the meantime try them out and feel free to post 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!
For those of you who already read Treb Gatte's blog, this is no big news. We have started a new program to test migration from Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007. Our main goal is to get a good range of test coverage for mitigration to make the process as smooth as possible to customers. We have our own data sets for testing these scenarios but getting real customer data is invaluable to us.
There is some work involved to participate but those who do will have the benefit of getting the results of the tests directly from us. If you are interested in learning more details about the program and how to enroll, please read the full article on Treb's blog: http://spaces.msn.com/evildoctorporkchop/
Treb is also a Program Manager in the Project team. He is responsible for IT governance, Server Side reports among other initiatives.
I've been getting a lot of email lately with some great questions. Rather than attempting to answer individually, I thought it best to give you a forum to ask these questions.
So, to facilitate knowledge sharing, please post your questions as a comment to this post. Assuming it is information we can discuss publicly, we'll give you answers. Also, we can all benefit from the knowledge gained in this dialog.
Many of you have asked me about how to get access Project 2007 Preview version. We are currently planning on releasing a Beta this Spring. This release will be public and you can register to receive a copy at the Microsoft Office Preview site.
Keep in mind that this is a Beta release and there will be no product support for it. Having said that, the product is excellent! I highly recommend signing up. You will get a great preview of what’s coming up.
All versions of Project 2007 will be available through this Preview program (Standard, Professional and Server). If you have any specific questions, please feel free to send me a message.
It’s my pleasure to announce that Microsoft received the highest rating possible in the recently released Gartner Project and Portfolio Applications MarketScope. This report is an evolution of the 2010 Gartner Magic Quadrant for IT Project and Portfolio Management (PPM). Specifically, Microsoft received a “Strong Positive” rating. You can see the full rating table at the bottom of this blog post and download the report at http://www.gartner.com/technology/media-products/reprints/microsoft/vol14/article21/article21.html.
We listened closely to customer and partner feedback and built a high quality PPM stack with Microsoft Project Professional 2010, SharePoint 2010 and Project Server 2010. It’s been one year since we launched our latest software, and it’s great to see this report recognize us!
I urge you to take a look at the full Gartner report linked above. Microsoft is committed to being a leader in the PPM market through continuous innovation. So if you’re looking to deploy a PPM solution, look no further! I highly recommend learning more about our Microsoft Project & Portfolio Management solution at http://www.microsoft.com/project/en/us/solutions.aspx. There you’ll find pointers to product guides, demos and evaluation software.
Arpan Shah Director, Microsoft Project http://blogs.msdn.com/arpans Twitter @arpanshah
The MarketScope is copyrighted 2011 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The MarketScope is an evaluation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the MarketScope, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest rating. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This MarketScope graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research note and should be evaluated in the context of the entire report. The Gartner report is available upon request from Microsoft.
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.
This post is based on a technique presented in an Ed Hanna e-mail and is augmented with items that we are using internally to manage our own efforts. This technique can work, to a certain extent, in Project Server 2003 and will definitely work in Project Server 2007.
There are times where you need to look at several projects at once and you need to gauge the impact of a change to all of the projects at once. In this post, we will use the consolidated project function to create a combined view across multiple projects to re-allocate resources so that any overallocations are addressed.
1. This solution assumes you use leveling. The solution is much less time consuming if you use leveling to move around your resources.
2. In Project Server 2003, you should not save this consolidated project to the server. You can save it locally so that you can access it as needed.
3. This solution works best with enterprise resources. Some parts will work with Project Standard, but not all.
4. This solution also works better if you have leveled the individual plans first. Otherwise, you'll see changes caused by conditions within the individual project as well as across the combined projects. This might make it very difficult to see what changed.
There are several resources who are overallocated as they are shared resources across three projects. As such, adjustments need to be made find and fix the overallocations while determining impact to overall project timelines.
NOTE: I would strongly suggest you (a) backup all of the files involved or (b) make copies/versions of the files which are expressly dedicated for modeling purposes if you are doing this in a production environment.
For this scenario, I created three projects based on the New Product template. I substituted names for resources that were already assigned to tasks. For this illustration, three enterprise projects will be used. However, more projects can be added to broaden the analysis.
From Project Web Access, navigate to Project Center. Select the projects that you want to analyze.
Then select Actions, Edit Read-Only. (You can choose Edit, but then all of your changes are live. We'll discuss that later.)
This will create a new master project containing the selected projects.
Now, we need some additional columns.
To insert a column, select Insert, Column from the menu bar in Project Professional. As we will be switching views a bit in Project Professional, I would also turn on the View Bar (View, View Bar).
In this case, it is assumed that the resource allocation issue is known on these projects. However, it may be necessary to see a consolidated view of resource usage across projects. To do this, do the following.
As these are enterprise resources, the work will be aggregated. In order to find overallocations, switch to the Resource Graph view. My own personal preference is to switch the displayed units to hours rather than look at the percentages. Sometimes, you see overallocations even though the person is only working 6 hours on a given day.
To change the units, right click on the graph and select hours rather than peak units. I also zoom out to the weekly level as I figure that if I give people 40 hours of work, they will manage it on the day by day basis to get it done. There are several views you can use here so I would recommend taking a look at all of them to get a feel for their potential uses.
From the graph below, we see that Razvan is very overallocated with a peak in June. As he is a key resource, we need to change how he is scheduled and judge the impact to the projects. Since there is such a large number of tasks, we will use Leveling to adjust the assignments.
You can combine the two above views by doing the following:
Now, the priorities on the plans will be changed to gauge impact on the schedules. To do this, switch to the Gantt view again.
First, change the Diamond Products priority to a higher priority (i.e. 600).
Now, we will level the consolidated project. Select Tools, Level Resources and the Resources Leveling dialogue will be displayed.
Select Level Now. Immediately the impact of the leveling is seen. As a result, the Metal and Rubber projects have been delayed since they are at a lower priority.
The leveling action is now undone so that another what-if can be executed. From the menu bar, select Edit/Undo Level.
Raise Metal Products to the highest priority (i.e. 999) and perform the Level action again. Now, Diamond and Rubber's tasks are delayed as they now have a lower priority.
Why Not Priority = 1000? 1000 is a special value where leveling doesn't move anything. If you use 999, you are at the highest priority but it allows tasks to still be moved.
Continue the What-If activity in the consolidated project until a satisfactory outcome is found. You may use deadlines for key tasks to monitor impact to key dates.
If you want a full before and after representation, you can use baselines. However, you will need to make a copy of the inserted projects to do this since you will have to open the inserted projects in edit mode to save the baselines. After you build the consolidated file, baseline it and save it (at this point it becomes a master file). Then make your what-if modifications to the master file and then view the before/after comparison in the Tracking Gantt view.
Leveling a Specific Resource. If you wanted to only level a given resource, you can switch back to the Resource Usage view, select a given resource and select Leveling. In that case, it will only level the selected resource, if you choose that option. This can come in handy if you only want to level named resources.
The Resource Graph view can be checked to make sure that none of the resources remain overallocated—even after leveling has taken place. This is possible as Project cannot always resolve all overallocations.
In the example below, it is confirmed that Patrick is not over-allocated. To scroll through the resources, select different resource assignments above. (i.e. resource names will appear in red letters if the resource is overallocated).
WORD OF CAUTION: To this point, this project has been a playground as you have not actually changed the underlying files. This was the purpose of opening these project plans in a read-only mode.
Making It Real. If you change the Subproject read only field to No, the linkage becomes two way. (i.e. changes in the consolidated/master file will change the inserted projects and changes in the inserted projects will change the master file). So as you play in the consolidated/master file, there is the possibility of saving unwanted changes to the inserted projects.
Play Friendly. If you choose to make changes to the inserted projects, you will want to coordinate this with the individual project managers as you will be impacting their schedules and you will have their projects locked for editing.
Taking care of your master. If you are using Project Server 2003, you can save the consolidated file locally (do not save/publish to server)—at which point it becomes a local master file. In Project Server 2007, you can safely save/publish these master files on the server.
You Must Choose. If you do not like what the comparison reflects, close the master file and do not save the changes. If you do like what the comparison reflects, of course, you may (optionally) want to write another baseline (i.e. Baseline 1) and save the master file and all the inserted projects.
If there are satisfied with the results, do the following.
I hope this is helpful in showing how What-If analysis in a consolidated project can help in determining the impact that new projects/proposals will have on existing projects. This is a powerful capability and should be used cautiously—ideally by an appointed Portfolio Manager who has visibility and authority above the level of individual projects.
Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Project Server 2007 , Best Practice , What If , Impact Analysis