Microsoft Project 2010
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  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010: Introducing Demand Management

    • 2 Comments

    Demand Management is about capturing all work proposals in one single place, taking these proposals through a multi-stage governance process, making decisions on which proposals to approve and tracking progress on their execution until the work is completed. A key component within Demand Management is the Workflow governance model we have now implemented within Microsoft Project Server 2010.

    The "Proposals" feature in Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 helps capture demand in one place, but is not flexible enough and does not have a full-fledged governance workflow behind it. The "Builder" module in Project Portfolio Server 2007 is a flexible demand management paradigm, but does not have a familiar Project Server/Office SharePoint Server look and feel and also has some usability, scalability problems. The Demand management functionality in Microsoft Project Server 2010 is designed to be both flexible and usable.

    In project portfolio management (PPM), a project lifecycle is a long-running process that spans various governance phases. Typical demand management phases are create, select, plan, and manage (customers can create their own).

    The "Plan" phase is accomplished by the more familiar project management processes using Project Professional and Project Web Access. Workflow models the governance processes and provides a structured way for projects to proceed through the phases. Workflows, along with other key concepts, are captured and integrated within the demand management feature set, providing a rich and dynamic platform on which customers and partners can build custom solutions.

    The figure below shows the four typical phases of demand management and how they fit together. Within each phase are stages such as propose idea and initial review. Each stage can have an associated project detail page (PDP) in Project Web Access (PWA). The entire collection of stages represents a single workflow that can be linked to an enterprise project template (EPT). More details about these concepts given below.

    clip_image002

    Governance Workflow

    A governance workflow is all about creating a rich life cycle for any proposal/demand that comes into the system. It includes defining the various stages through which the project goes in its lifecycle (for example, Proposal Creation, Proposal Initial Approval, etc), determining what information is required or locked at what stage (for example, budget cost should be locked down after the project is approved), including any manual approval/notifications steps as necessary and adding any business logic to update other Line Of Business Systems (for example, update the SAP system when the proposal budget gets approved).

    The Project Server workflow platform is built on the Windows SharePoint Services 2010 workflow platform, which in turn is based on the Windows Workflow Foundation. Workflow is a key component of demand management.

    image

    A Project Server workflow runs on a Project Web Access site and helps to manage a sequence of activities or alternate sets of activities related to project management such as Check Project Custom Field Value and Publish Project.

    Project Server 2010 workflows use the Site workflow paradigm, which removes the restriction that a Windows SharePoint Services 2010 workflow can be started only on a list item. Project Server workflows are deployed to Project Web Access, and workflow instances can be run only as a project entity.

    The figure below shows the high-level processes for workflow creation, administration, and use.

    Note: Project Server workflows must be created in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. Project Server workflows cannot be created from Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010.

    image

    The administration of Project Server workflows is identical to managing any other Windows SharePoint Services 2010 workflow, thereby providing more consistency between Project Server and Windows SharePoint Services 2010 and reducing redundant work. Workflow instances are created when a project is created and are deleted when the project is deleted/completed/rejected.

    Unlike in Windows SharePoint Services 2010, a user does not start a workflow instance from the administration page that lists all the Project Server workflows.

    Enterprise Project Type

    An enterprise project type (EPT) represents a wrapper that encapsulates phases, stages, a single workflow, and PDPs. Each EPT represents a single project type. Normally, project types are aligned with individual departments, for example, marketing projects, IT projects, HR projects, and so forth. Using project types helps to categorize projects within the same organization that have a similar project life cycle. For a user, the EPTs appear in a drop-down list of project types when the user clicks New Project in Project Web Access.

    clip_image005

    Phases

    Phases represent a collection of stages grouped together to identify a common set of activities in the project life cycle. Examples of phases are project creation, project selection, and project management. Phases do not have any direct technical impact on the behavior of an EPT. That is, changing the order of phases does not affect how the system reacts. The primary purpose of demand management phases is to provide a smoother user experience where users have the option of organizing stages into logical groups.

    Stages

    A stage represents one step within a project lifecycle. A stage is composed of one or more project detail pages (PDPs) linked by common logic or theme. Stages at a user level appear as steps within a project. At each step, data must be entered, modified, reviewed, or processed.

    At a technical level, each stage represents a step where data is manipulated before the workflow can move to the next step. For a single-stage workflow, very little programming is involved. The user enters all of the data in one PDP, and can then work on the project as she normally would. For a multi-stage workflow, each stage is separated by an activity (SetProjectStage) within a Visual Studio workflow diagram. The actual SetProjectStage activity acts as a marker between stages and sets default properties of the next stage. The activities that follow SetProjectStage outline the actions that must take place within the next stage.

    Note   The actual stage itself is not created within Visual Studio. The stage must first be created in Project Web Access. After the stage is created, you can link to that stage within Visual Studio.

    Project Detail Pages in Stages

    A PDP represents a single Web Part Page in Project Web Access. PDPs can be used to display or collect information from the user. You can create PDPs in much the same way you create any Web Part Page in a SharePoint site, where you can add Web Parts that provide the experience you want. You can add individual Web Parts from the standard Web Part galleries to create custom Web Parts.

    Project Server Web Parts and custom Web Parts used in demand management all contain custom fields. Web Parts can make calls to the PSI, query the reporting database, or integrate with external systems.

    The figure below shows the general hierarchy of the parts of demand management in Project Server 2010.

    image

    Workflows are associated with the stages. From a programming standpoint, PDPs are not actually referenced within the workflow. The PDPs simply act as containers to hold or display data. The workflow can however, references custom fields in the Web Parts.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: Deleting summary tasks

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    One nice thing about summary tasks is that changes to them get reflected (or “rolled down”) to their subtasks. This is fine if you want to move summary tasks around, because all the subtasks move with them. But if you want to delete a summary task, then all the subtasks (and any subtasks under those subtasks in a more complicated outline) are also deleted.

    In a simple project, you might notice the unattended deletions, but it is easy to miss this kind of mistake in a more complicated project. If a complicated project is organized using three phases, for example, deleting one phase can delete one-third of your Project’s tasks. Yikes! That’s no way to handle scope issues.

    The solution: Demote the subtasks to the same level as the summary tasks, then delete the summary task.

    image

    To demote (or outdent) tasks in a outline:

    1   Select the tasks you want to demote.

    2   If you’re using Project 2007, on the Project menu, point to Outline, and then click Outdent.

         If you’re using Project 2010, click the Outdent  image  button on the Task tab.

    3   Delete the former summary task.

    Note   Keep in mind that if you have a complicated outline with more than two levels of indented tasks, make sure you’re starting at the lowest level subtasks before you start deleting summary tasks.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010: Introducing Portfolio Analysis

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    In Project Server 2010, a rich set of new Portfolio Strategy features are now available in the core Project Server product serving to more closely unify project and portfolio management. Those familiar with Portfolio Server 2007 will recognize many of these features, but will appreciate the enhancements made possible by rebuilding them on the Project Server platform. Highlights include:

    · UI is now SharePoint-based, making these features easier to use and provides visual consistency with the rest of the app

    · A gateway linking the Portfolio Server product is no longer required, everything resides with one product

    · Full API support now available for these features via the Project Server Interface (PSI), and some integration with the Reporting Database (RDB).

    This seamless unification of two products into one consolidated offering makes end-to-end project and portfolio management easier than ever. In addition to the core platform integration highlights, we’ve adding a brand new Resource Analysis feature that enables portfolio-level project scheduling and analysis based on organizational resource availability.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the Portfolio Strategy feature set, it essentially allows organizations to methodically select projects that will yield the most value for their dollar. By adding intelligent structure to how project investment decisions are reached, executives can minimize the irrationality and fog that comes from making “gut feel” disposition decisions based on limited data and analysis, or based on unqualified or unclear business goals. At a high-level, the feature set works as follows:

    · Organizations define and prioritize their strategic objectives, or business drivers.

    clip_image001[5]

    Drivers can be prioritized using the pair-wise comparison method to reinforce objectivity.

    · Costs and resource requirements are assigned to each project proposal, and a proposal’s impact on each business driver is rated, generating relative project value/priority score across a portfolio.

    clip_image002

    The Resource Plan feature can be used to specify high-level project resource requirements to be fed into the new Resource Analysis feature.

    clip_image003

    Portfolio analysts can review the project-to-driver impact ratings assessed by the project owners and make adjustments if necessary.

    · Portfolios are constrained by cost categories, time-phased resources requirements, and project schedule. The Portfolio Cost Constraint Analysis engine selects projects that yield the most value with the lowest cost, while the Resource Constraint Analysis feature chooses higher priority projects based on resource availability within a planning period’s timeline.

    clip_image004

    Given a limited budget, the Cost Analysis algorithm will select a portfolio that maximizes strategic value while minimizing cost.

    clip_image005

    The new Resource Analysis feature helps you identify gaps in demand vs. availability, favoring higher priority projects for selection.

    · Portfolio analysts can override the software’s decisions, and pull a variety of constraint levers to maximize value based on a given organizational reality. Projects can be forced in, cost reduced, dates moved, resources hired, etc., all in an effort to achieve a plan that maximizes strategic value based on dollars/resources consumed.

    clip_image006

    The tool suggests project selection, but ultimately you are in control and can force in projects for specific user-defined purposes.

    clip_image007

    One of the way the Resource Analysis feature allows you to resolve resource availability gaps is by moving project dates.

    · Final project investment decisions are reached and communicated to stakeholders via reports or through the web interface.

    clip_image008

    New “Committed” fields help communicate the results of selection decisions to stakeholders.

    Again, all of this is done on the shared extensible Project Server/SharePoint platform in the 2010 version, and integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Project features, including the Demand Management feature set and project scheduling/execution.

    From strategy, to selection, to project planning and execution, Project Server 2010 unifies the end-to-end Project and Portfolio Management experience.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers

    • 36 Comments

    We've had a number of good questions come in.  I thought it would be helpful to share these and the answers.  Enjoy!

    --Treb

    Timesheet

    Question: Which is true? 

    Case 1:  Does the assigned timesheet manager approve all tasks in the timesheet (for example, project tasks as well as administrative time tasks) OR

    Case 2:  Does the resource manager (i.e. the assigned timesheet approver) approve administrative time AND the project manager of the project the tasks originally came from approve the project tasks? 

    SUMMARY
    The Resource manager approves all timesheet data.  If the Admin timesheet categories require approval outside of timesheets, those are also approved by the timesheet manager.

    LOOPING THE PM INTO THE APPROVAL CHAIN
    The current timesheet submitter/approver can change the value of the next person to approve the timesheet.  Using this setting, the PM can be sent the timesheet to approve.  As long as the PM doesn't have the category approval permission for that resource, the PM can send the timesheet back to the resource manager for final approval.  One manages actual work while the other manages compliance with company policies.

    Looking at Tasks

    Question:  I'm using Project Professional and I need to answer the following questions:

    • What work items/tasks are due by a given date?
    • What work items/tasks are slated for <x> milestone?
    • What work items/tasks are all assigned to <resource>?

    Items Due This Week/By this date

    In Project Professional, you can define a filter to show you this.  The filter will prompt you for a date so you can use this to see finishing by any date.

    • In Project Professionals, select Project, Filtered for, More Filters

    clip_image001

    • Select New

    clip_image002

    • Define the following Filter and click OK

    clip_image004

    • You will then see this filter in your list of filters to apply.  Project, Filtered For, More Filters, Select the filter and click apply. Once you use it, it will appear in the earlier list so the number of clicks will be reduced.
    • When you apply this filter, it will prompt you to enter the date.  You can enter any date, not just the date for the end of the week.

    What work items/tasks are slated for <x> milestone?

    The way we do this internally is to define a task level custom field.  You would then assign a milestone value to each task. 

    Add a new task custom field to the Project.

    • From Project Professional, select Tools, Customize, Fields

    clip_image005

    • Select the Task radio button,
    • Select a default task custom field that’s not used (in this case, Text 1)
    • Click Rename.  Your screen should look like this:  clip_image007
    • Name the field Milestone Group and click OK.
    • Under Custom Attributes, click the Lookup button.  This will enable you to add values to your dropdown. clip_image009
      • If you want to set a default value, you can select a Milestone value row, and click Set Default
      • If you want to change the display order, expand the display plus and select your option
      • If you want to be able to add new values on the fly, expand data entry options and select Allow additional items to be entered into the fields.
    • Click Close.
    • Your screen should look like this: clip_image011
    • If you need to see this for every assignment, then also select the Roll down unless manually entered radio button under Calculation for assignment rows.
    • Click OK.
    Insert the custom field into your Gantt view
    • You need to add the field to the view to enter the data.
    • You can either select a column header and right click, select Insert Column or you can press the Insert key.
    • You will get this dialog: clip_image013
    • Use the field dropdown to find your new custom field. You can start typing the name to find it.
    • Click OK.
    • Your screen will appear as this: clip_image014
    • You can click on the field, click the dropdown and select the value. 
    • If all of your tasks are in the correct order, you can drag down the value a la Excel style, to fill the cells below.
    Turning on Autofilter
    • To easily filter by Milestone, then select Project, Filtered For, Autofilter. 
    • Now, you can easily filter for a given milestone

    clip_image015

    What work items/tasks are all assigned to <alias>?

    • If you have set up your resource names using the alias, you can use the default filter “Using Resource”. 
    • Select Project, Filtered For, Using Resource
    • Select the resource from the dropdown
    • If you want to filter on another aspect of the resource record, a custom filter can be easily developed.

    Added Bonus – Cumulative Filters

    By the way, all of these filters can be used together.  So, by applying all three filters, I can see for a given milestone, within Milestone 1, which tasks will be completed by X date.

     

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  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Opening Project MPP files from different versions

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    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:

    Which Project version are you using?

    Which file version are you trying to open?

    Things to keep in mind

    Project 2007

    Project 2010

    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 2003

    Project 2007 or Project 2010

    There are two possibilities here.

    • If you are using Project 2003 with SP3, project files from later versions of Project can be opened read-only. Download Microsoft Office Project 2003 Service Pack 3.
    • If you are using Project 2003 without SP3, there is no converter available. Upgrade to Project 2003 with SP3, or 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 or Project 2002

    Project 2007 or Project 2010

    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 98

    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.

    That’s a nice table, but how do I tell which version of Project I have?

    • For Project versions 98 through Project 2007, click the Help menu, and then click About Microsoft Office Project.
    • For Project version 2010, click the File tab, then click Help.

    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.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: Copy custom views, filters, tables, and other elements to other projects

    • 3 Comments

    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.

    1. For Project 2007, on the Tools menu, click Organizer.
      For Project 2010, click the File tab, click Into, and then click Organizer—but see note below for some differences.
    2. In the Organizer dialog box, click the Views tab.
    3. The list in the right box contains the custom views in the currently open project.
      Note    to see Project elements from other projects, you’ll need to open those projects first.
    4. The list on the left contains elements in the Global template (also knows as Global.MPT). Your job is to move the custom element from the right side to the left side.
    5. Select the custom view on the right side, and then click Copy. The custom view will be copied to the Global template and be displayed on the left side.
    6. Now, it get’s a little tricky at this point. If your “Corporate Cost Gantt” view contains columns that you’ve added, then you’ll need to copy over the associated table as the next step. The associated table is the one you specified when you created the custom view in the first place. Typically, this would be the Entry table for chart views. So your next step is to click the Tables tab, and then copy the Entry table to the Global template. Got it? (If not, leave a comment, and I’ll clarify some more.)

      Now all future projects will have the custom view available to them with the correct underlying table (so will all projects created in the past, in case you didn’t figure this out).

           image 

    Here’s a couple things to keep in mind.

    • For Project 2010, the organizer behaves a bit differently. By default, new views are are automatically saved to the global template file and thus are made available to future projects (as are new tables associated with the view). To change this setting, on the File tab, click Options, and then click Advanced. Find the setting in the Display section:

                 image

    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.

    • If you want to copy Project elements from one project file to another file (but not to the Global template), in the availability list, select the second file. The second file needs to be open to do this.

      image
    • Task information cannot be copied over in this way. If you want specific tasks to be part of each project, save the current file as a regular template.
    • Values in custom value lists (i.e. lookup values) cannot be stored in the Global template. Use a regular template for this situation, as well.
  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Publishing – Made Simple

    • 41 Comments

    “What happened to my publishing options?” is one of the frequently asked questions from sharp-eyed project managers who have just upgraded from Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007. The answer is complex enough to deserve this blog entry.

    My design needed to deliver in two areas:

    - Simplicity, our research showed that very few customers understood the nuances of each publish option, especially when combined with the even more hidden Tools/Customize/Published Fields options

    - Scalability, our larger customers were hitting bottlenecks because of the serialized nature of project publish.

    Simplicity

    To address the simplicity I decided to strip project publish to its bare bones, changing from the two dialogs below:

    To the single option, placed next to the Save command:

    It doesn’t get much simpler than that - this should make the publish option much less of a dice throw for most of our customers – however “power publishers” will be asking for more functionality, you should read on to the Power Publishing section for more information.

    Scalability

    History Lesson: Project Server 2003 used a background service called “Views Notification” that was responsible for moving data from the Project client sql tables to the Project Server and Views sql tables in the database. This process was serialized on a single project and the whole process was single threaded, using a single cpu (although later service packs allowed it to be run on multiple servers), as you might expect publishing rapidly became a bottleneck on larger systems. It also had other issues in terms of manageability, capacity planning and availability but more on that in other blog entries.

    The new server architecture has radically changed how publishing works. Publish requests are placed on the Project Queue and are handled by a queue processor that:

    • Is multithreaded and multi-server and serializes per project rather than across all projects
    • Pulls data from the Draft database into the Published database through the MSP_*_WORKING_VIEW sql views
    • Invokes the corresponding Report Publish that handles the transformation of the data into a report friendly format into the reporting database
    • Optimizes (“folds”) multiple publish requests against the same project into a single request

    Even with all the additional work done by publishing (such as moving all custom fields, and serializing data from our internal binary formats) internal tests have shown sustained publishing rates of around 1,400 projects per hour for non-trivial projects on a farm infrastructure.

    And the Project Server 2007 queue infrastructure allows for much improved capacity planning and remote management as it exposes performance counters that the Windows System Monitor (fancy name for perfmon) and MOM can catch and track.

    Power Publishing

    The Project Server 2003 dialogs reflected the relative underlying complexity of the publishing process - much of that complexity was driven by the need to cope with the shared schema (now split across distinct databases) and the need to avoid the performance hit of a full publish. The server now publishes all changed information each time you request a publish operation.

    Changes are tracked using revision counters on our primary entities and their children (for instance Projects own {tasks, assignments, specific custom field values, calendars and local resources} – these counters increment each time the project is saved, deleted rows are tracked in our _SHADOW tables.

    The two main operations a power publisher wants to control are:

    • When a team member sees a specific task assignment (aka “Phasing”)
    • Who approves task progress (especially when the primary project manager is on vacation)

    Both these actions are now controlled through the task sheet where the settings are now visible and editable (Yay!).

    If you add the “Status Manager” and “Publish” fields to the sheet (as seen above) you can control the publishing process. Note that both these fields can be set as a group by filtering then using the mouse to drag the value down to more cells.

    Firstly – use the Publish Yes/No flag to control whether a task assignment is placed in the Statusing (“My Work”) system – this flag can be toggled at any time & the project republished to make it active. This empowers you to publish a project a phase at a time, allowing you to avoid bombarding your team members with future assignments.

    I made the flag at the task level because statusing is all about gauging progress against the whole task - assignment progressing is best managed in the Timesheet sub-system where work can be approved by resource managers rather than the project manager.

    In the reporting database the flag is actually stored on the assignment:

     msp_epmassignments_userview.AssignmentIsPublished

    There isn't a sinister reason for this, it just reflects the order in which we did the development work against a changing schema.

    Note that if you toggle Yes-->No then the assignment disappears from the Team Members My Work (any approved work doesn't get lost though!) so use this power carefully! Also be aware that if the line is already in a timesheet it won't be pulled back.

    Secondly - the Status Manager field has some strange rules (that echo those of project Server 2003) - it can be set to another pre-existing Status Manager on a task in the current project or the current user (ie the person with the project checked out and open) - this allows the value to be set even when the project is off line, and ensures that the Status Manager hhas (at least had) the ability to edit the project so that status data from team members can be applied once approved.

    So if you are going on vacation you'd ask your deputy to open the project, filter on an appropriate time window and set themselves as the status manager for the tasks that will be active while you are out. On your return you can easily find those tasks and reset them back.

    Phew! If you have any questions about other "mysteries of publishing", then please reply to this posting and I'll do a followup.

     

     

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project Conference 2012 Session Recordings Are Live!

    • 1 Comments

    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

    New to Project? Try the Project Management Quick Reference Guide

    • 8 Comments

    It can sometimes be a challenge for new users to find their way through Microsoft Project on their way to becoming project managers.  The Project team has just produced another Help product that will help you understand Microsoft Project-The Project Management Quick Reference Guide. This template can be downloaded and printed out for ease of use. Now you have another tool to help your organization achieve its project goals.

    Note that the guide requires Word 2007.  The guide was written for Project 2007 but it has a lot of information in it that also applies to previous releases.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project Professional 2010 and SharePoint Online in Office 365

    • 0 Comments

    [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?

    Read the related post Enabling Better Collaborative Project Management with Office 365 and Project Professional 2010.
  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010: Introducing the Backstage view

    • 10 Comments

    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:

    clip_image001

    The Info tab is where you can get high-level status about your project and make related changes. A few things to notice:

    • The Backstage view is full screen. Since you’re not working with the content of your document, the Backstage takes over the screen and allows for more screen space to describe the relevant features
    • “Temporary” sections provide status about special conditions such as a Read-Only file as shown above.
    • The info tab also provides:
      • A convenient place to reference the location of your document, and copy it to the clipboard
      • A place to manage your connections to Project Server (if any)
      • A link to the Organizer, where you can move project elements
      • A thumbnail view of your project, which you can click to exit the Backstage view
      • A place to view and edit key properties of your project. For example, you can click on the Status Date to directly edit inline

    When you’re connected to Project Server, you’ll see a number of new Info tab options “light up” as shown here:

    clip_image002

    As you can see, a number of Project Server-dependent features are now shown, such as:

    • A convenient link to your Project Web App home page
    • Date/time of your last publish to PWA, and a button to publish again
    • Buttons to check for updates, manage permissions, and work with the enterprise global

    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 Recent tab provides quick access to your recently opened projects, and lets you pin the projects you want to always keep on the list
    • The New tab brings together a number of ways to start a project, including:
      • Blank new project
      • Recent templates, local templates, and Project Server templates
      • New from existing project, from Excel workbook, or from a SharePoint task list
      • Templates from Office.com, which you can now navigate and open directly in Project without having to open a Web browser
    • The Print tab combines print preview with changing common print settings, providing a convenient all-in-one interface for printing. I’ll come back to this in a moment.
    • The Save & Send tab (this was called “Share” in the Beta) is where you go to publish to Project Server, sync a list to SharePoint, change your file format, save as PDF or XPS, send as an email attachment, and more
    • Project’s Help tab is similar to that of the other Office apps and is described here.
    • Finally, Options takes you to Project’s options interface, which we’ve redesigned for 2010 and perhaps we can cover that in more detail separately.

    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:

    clip_image003

    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.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Back to basics: Gantt Chart view

    • 2 Comments

    The Gantt Chart view is the most commonly used view in Project. It lists the tasks in your project, and illustrates their relationship to one another and the schedule using Gantt bars. Let's look a little more closely at each portion of the view.

    First, let's take a look at the left portion of the view. This portion uses a table format, and is where each of the tasks, summary tasks, and subtasks in your project are listed. You can use this table to enter new tasks, indent or outdent your existing tasks, set task durations, and identify predecessor tasks.

    image

    The right portion of the view illustrates the tasks, dates, and durations across a timeline. You can adjust the timeline units and change the formatting of the bars on the Gantt chart.

     image

    For more information about the Gantt Chart view, see Work with the Gantt Chart view. For more information about other views in Project 2007, see Overview of Project views.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010 SP1 – Enhancements to Sync to SharePoint Task List

    • 5 Comments

    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:

    clip_image002

    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.

    clip_image003

    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:

    clip_image004

    But once you sync the task list back into the Project client, the schedule will get updated as one would expect:

    clip_image006

    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.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project Server 2007 My Schedule View

    • 15 Comments

    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.

    Navigation

    In Project Server 2007, you can navigate to this view by doing the following.

    • From PWA, click the My Work header in the left navigation (All headers are clickable in PWA)
    • Click the Schedule link in the upper right hand corner of the screen

    My Schedule View

    Customization

    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.

    Details

    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.

     Task Details

    Using the My Schedule View with Time Tracking

    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. 

    Submit Task Updates. 

    The team members go to My Tasks and do the following to submit all task updates

    • Select all tasks by selecting the topmost check box at the top of the grid. 
    • Select the Submit Selected button to submit any changed tasks. 
      • Please note, even though all tasks are selected, only the tasks with changes are submitted to the Project Manager for approval.
    Submit Timesheet. 

    Once tasks are submitted, the team members go to My Timesheet to initialize and submit their weekly timesheet. 

    • Team members click the "Click to Create" link for the appropriate timesheet period. 
    • When the timesheet is initialized, all of the team member's task updates are loaded into the timesheet (see below). 
      • This assumes the timesheet initialization default is set to create with tasks
    • Team members enter any additional time
    • Team members select the Save and Submit button to submit the timesheet.

    image

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Announcing Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Project & Project Server 2010

    • 1 Comments

    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

    Ludo.

    Ludovic Hauduc – General Manager – Microsoft Project Business Unit

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: Tweak the Timescale

    • 14 Comments

    You may not be able to speed up time in your project, but you can speed up the timescale-that is, how you use the timescale in views like the Gantt chart. If you've spent any time in Project, you may have wasted a lot of effort either scrolling the timescale or changing its time units. Fiddling with dialog boxes and scroll bars to get the timescale perfect gets old in a hurry.

    Fortunately, there are a few keyboard shortcuts that will dramatically speed up your timescale tweaking.

    Here is a list of my favorites:

    Scroll the timescale left or right              

    ALT  +  LEFT ARROW (or RIGHT ARROW)

    Show smaller time units on the timescale

    CTRL +  / (slash on the numeric keypad)

    Show larger time units on the timescale

    CTRL + * (asterisk on the numeric keypad)

    Scroll to a task's Gantt bar

    CTRL + SHIFT + F5

    . . . And if you like these tips, let us know in the Comments section. We'll start posting more of them.

  • 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

    Tips and Tricks: Contour your work

    • 3 Comments

     

    A typical work week is rarely typical. Yet, you can plan for this with a Project 2007 feature called “work contours.” If you discover that there is a consistent work pattern in your organization where people are assigned to work more hours at the beginning of a task than at the end, you can have Project account for this using assignment contours. Or, perhaps a task requires more work in the middle of it than at the beginning to account for ramp-up time.

    No problem. After assigning a person to a task, switch to the Task Usage view from the Tools menu. The tricky part is double-clicking the person’s name assigned to a task and not the task itself. This brings up the Assignment Information dialog box (which is what you want since you’ll be adjusting an assignment and not the task itself).

                             controudialog

    In the Work Contour list, select the type of work assignment pattern that makes sense for the work that will be performed on the task. Now, in the list of patterns, you may not know the difference between a “Turtle” and “Bell” contour, so it’s best just to apply different contours and see how the hours automatically “shape” themselves in the timesheet portion of the Task Usage view. The view should now look like this:

                            contour

    In the image above, two different contours are used: a “Bell” contour and a “Front-loaded” contour, as you can tell by the icon on the left.

    On the right side of the view, Tom has his work hours shaped, or “contoured,” to reflect a front-loaded work pattern.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: Add miscellaneous costs to tasks using cost resources

    • 1 Comments

    Cost resources provide an easy way of applying miscellaneous or multiple costs to a task, like airfare and dining— in addition to the more commonly applied costs like people’s salaries or per-use costs, such as consultant fees.

    Cost resources don’t depend upon the amount of work done on tasks. Nor do they depend on any calendars used in the project, as do work resource salaries, or rate costs for material resources, such as computer time and rental machinery.

    Let’s look at this a little more closely since cost resources are created differently than the other costs, and they are applied differently as well.

    First, off to the Resource Sheet to create a few cost resources. In Project 2010, click the View tab, and then click click Resource Sheet.

                   image

                  In Project 2007, click the View menu, and then click Resource sheet.

    1. Add a couple cost resources, like Airfare and Dining. In the Type column for each cost resource, click Cost. In the example below, two cost resources have been added below a few people resources and material resources.

       image

      Notice that the cost columns for the cost resources become unavailable for editing. This is because the actual cost value of the cost resource isn’t set in this view, as the other costs are. The cost value for cost resources are set as you assign or apply this cost resource to a task using the Assign Resources dialog box.  Let’s look at this now.
    2. Go back to the Gantt Chart (I assume you know how to get there).
    3. Select the task that you want to apply a cost resource to, and then click Assign Resources.
      You can open the Assign Resource dialog box in a number of ways: 
        image On the Resource tab, click Assign Resources.
        image  Right click on the task, and click Assign Resources.
        image  Double click a task to bring up the Task Information dialog box, and then click the Resources Tab.
        image  For Project 2007, click Assign Resources on on the Standard toolbar.
    4. Select the cost resource that you entered into the Resource Sheet, and then in the Cost column, enter the value for this cost resource as applied to the selected task. After you type a cost value, click Assign to assign the value of the cost resource to the task. Notice when you do this that the cost resource and its value appear with the other resource names on the Gantt bar (and, No, you can’t remove the cost resource name and value from appearing with the other resource names).

       image

      Note   You can keep the dialog box open as you continue assigning cost resources to other tasks. Just click the new task behind the dialog box.

    Keep one important thing in mind as you use cost resources: You can reuse the same cost resource. That is, If two tasks require two different plane trips and thus two different airfares, simply use one value for the cost resource as applied to one task, and a different value for the same cost resource as applied to the other task. Make sense? If not, leave a comment, and I’ll try to clear up any confusion.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Announcing The Release Of Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Microsoft Project and Project Server 2010

    • 13 Comments

    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

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Announcing the Infrastructure Update for Office Servers

    • 12 Comments

    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:

    Project Server

    • Timesheets and My Tasks stability and usability improvements
    • Queue Management user interface improvements
    • Logging Tracing improvements
    • Project Server performance improvements
    • Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007 migration fixes
    • Database performance improvements to enhance the cube building process and Project Professional Save/Publish scenarios

    Project Professional

    • Cost Resources calculation fixes
    • Improved Custom Fields stability
    • Improved local Project Cache stability
    • Fixed Excel Import problem

    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.

    • If you are running SharePoint Server 2007 you should install the Infrastructure Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (KB951695) first and the Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers (KB951297) second.
    • If you are running Project Server 2007 you should install the Infrastructure Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (KB951695) first and the Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers (KB951297) second. You should also then install the Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Project 2007 (KB951547) on all Project 2007 client PC's.

    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

     

    Descriptions    
    Infrastructure Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 KB951695

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951695

    Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers KB951297 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951297
    Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Project 2007 KB951547 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951547
    Fixes    
    Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Project 2007 KB953751 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953751
    Infrastructure Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 KB953749 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953749

    Installation Instructions

    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.

    Downloads

      x64 x86
    Infrastructure Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (KB951695) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3A74E566-CB4A-4DB9-851C-E3FBBE5E6D6E&displaylang=en http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=256CE3C3-6A42-4953-8E1B-E0BF27FD465B&displaylang=en
    Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Servers (KB951297) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=6E4F31AB-AF25-47DF-9BF1-423E248FA6FC&displaylang=en http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3811C371-0E83-47C8-976B-0B7F26A3B3C4&displaylang=en
    Infrastructure Update for Microsoft Office Project 2007 (KB951547)   http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=F385ADB8-0425-4BA4-BECE-7664B8F49D12&displaylang=en

    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.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Welcome to P12!

    • 36 Comments

    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.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project Server 2010 and ERP Integration

    • 0 Comments

    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

    Tips and Tricks for Project Show filtered tasks with other tasks

    • 8 Comments

    Sometimes, when filtering tasks, wouldn’t it be great if you could see filtered tasks with all the tasks, at the same time? Maybe you want to view filtered tasks within the context of all tasks.

    For example, Knowing which tasks have deadlines and which don’t can help you prioritize tasks by deciding, say, where to re-allocate resources on the project as important deadlines begin to loom.

    Welcome to filter highlighting.

    Here are two task lists. The first has not been filtered. The second one has been filtered to show tasks that have a deadline—with the filtered tasks highlighted in blue.

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    Here’s how to create a highlighted filter in Project.

    1. In Project 2007, on the Project menu, click Filtered For, and then click More Filters.
      In the dialog box. select the filter you want to apply (or create a new filter).
    2. Click the Highlight button.
    3. Note   In Project 2010, on the View tab, select the type of filter you want to highlight in the Highlight list:

      image 

    Presto! You’ll see the filtered tasks highlighted.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: Modify the baseline in Project 2007

    • 2 Comments

    Change is inevitable. Adding new tasks to a project that has already been approved and baselined can be troublesome—to you and stakeholders. But don’t fret. You don’t need to set a new baseline to take into account the new tasks. Just update the old baseline. To modify the baseline that has already been set, do the following:

    1. Select the new tasks that have been added recently to the project. This is important.
    2. On the Tools menu, point to Tracking, and click Set Baseline.
    3. In the Set baseline list, select the previously set baseline. It will have a date associated with it.
    4. Here’s the tricky part. Make sure you select the Selected Tasks option. Otherwise, you’ll reset the baseline for the entire project.
    5. Click OK.

     

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    One more thing: Make sure you communicate these changes to stakeholders, if necessary. Some people just don’t like surprises.

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