Microsoft Project 2010
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  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Ask a Project PM: Timesheets and Task Status

    • 2 Comments

    Thanks all for your insightful questions on timesheets and task status in Project Server 2007! Project PM Patrick Conlan has some answers for you in this video:


    Ask a Project PM: Timesheets and Task Status

    Many thanks to Patrick for a well-versed interview. Watch for another topic next week!

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project 2010 Session at Tech Ed Europe 2009

    • 0 Comments

    Please find below the list of Project 2010 sessions that will be delivered at Tech Ed Europe 2009 in Berlin in November. We will also have a Microsoft Project 2010 booth staffed by product experts in the Microsoft Product Pavilion so please drop by and ask plenty of questions!

    Session

    Description

    Code

    Speaker

    Date/Location

    Microsoft Project 2010 Overview

    This session provides an overview of the key investment areas and capabilities of Project Server 2010 and Project Professional 2010, including demand management, portfolio analysis, time tracking, and reporting.

    OFS214

    Jan Kalis, Christophe Fiessinger

    11/9/2009 13:30-14:45
    New York 3 - Hall 7-1a

    Microsoft Project Server 2010 for IT Professionals and Developers

    This session provides details of what Project Server 2010 offers IT professionals and developers, including new features for easier deployment and management, and developer-related enhancements across Server and Client.

    OFS206

    Jan Kalis, Christophe Fiessinger

    11/13/2009 10:45-12:00
    London 3 - Hall 7-1b

    Additionally, if you have not done so yet register for these:

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010 Technical Resources

    • 0 Comments

    We are pleased to announce the availability of the following Microsoft Project 2010 technical resources, save these bookmarks!

    TechNet Project 2010 TechCenter

    At http://technet.microsoft.com/projectserver/default.aspx the following areas are covered for IT Professionals:

    MSDN Project 2010 Developer Center

    At http://msdn.microsoft.com/project/ developers will find growing list of resources including Project 2010 Beta Software Development Kit (SDK) as we move closer to Project 2010 Beta in November.

    Project 2010 Forums

    Get all your Project 2010 end-user, IT Professional and Developer questions answered by product experts from Microsoft and the community (Project MVPs):

    Please not this is the first milestone of a journey, new content will continuously to these sites.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010: Introducing Web Based Project Editing

    • 9 Comments

    Have you ever wanted to make edits to a project plan far away from your desktop installation of Project? Perhaps you were in a meeting and pulled up Project Web Access to show project status but hoped to capture updates directly in PWA as the meeting progressed. Maybe you have multiple stakeholders on a plan who want the ability to add tasks even if they aren’t responsible for the entire project schedule and don’t have Project on their desktop.

    Hi, I’m Pat Malatack and today I’ll be introducing you to a new feature in Project Server 2010, web based project editing in Project Web Access (PWA). With this feature, these requests and many others will become a distant memory. Project Server 2010 enables the ability to create projects, edit the plan, assign resources to tasks, and publish the plan, all from the comfort and convenience of your browser. In Project Server 2010 you can expect to edit projects large and small on the server. Additionally, you can move effortlessly back and forth between editing projects in the browser and in the desktop client. This allows users to have the convenience of a browser based project editing solution together with the power of the desktop client.

    Now I know what you’re thinking “Do I need some fancy plugin for this?”, “How does it work?”, “How well does it scale?”, and “How does it differ from Project Professional?” Let’s answer each one of these questions and hopefully many more today.

    -------

    Do I need some sort of fancy plugin for this? Not at all! Web based project editing has been implemented in JavaScript and HTML so all you need is a browser, no ActiveX controls or any other plugin required. Yep you read correctly NO ACTIVEX!!!!!!!

    How does it work? Performing edits to projects in your browser is simple and easy to use. In PWA you can expect to find many of the same great features you are familiar with in the Project desktop. Although we don’t have time in this blog post to walk through each and every feature, I will walk you through a few by starting off with a brand new project plan that I have just created in the web as shown below.

    image

    The first thing to take note of here is the user interface. There are 4 core interface elements that should capture your eye. First, you will see the Fluent User Interface at the top of the page (expanded in the screenshot below). Here you can manipulate the project plan. You are able to perform actions like linking, indenting and marking tasks as complete.

    clip_image004

    Second, you will see a blue information bar. This “status bar” displays information about the current project plan you are working on. In the example below you will see the project was checked out on 10/28 and that I am viewing a “Draft” of the current project plan.

    clip_image005

    Next you will see a grid. The grid is composed of two panes (our final two core UI elements). The left-most pane we will refer to as the “grid pane”. The grid pane is where the end users will complete actions on task level information. Users will be able to edit task names, assign resources and enter various project fields like start date & end date from this pane. As task information is entered we will begin to see a Gantt chart taking shape in the right half of the grid, we will refer to this as the “Gantt pane”. The grid, complete with both panes, is pictured below.

    clip_image007

    For this particular example I will build a project plan for the launch of a new product. I will begin by defining some high level phases. In order to create each task I will start by typing a task name in the empty row on screen with the clip_image008 indicator.

    clip_image009

    When I press ENTER on the keyboard or move to another cell the “new row”, as indicated with the clip_image008[1] icon, will move down one row, giving me another location with which to enter a new task.

    clip_image010

    After a few more edits I begin to see the high-level structure of the plan taking shape. Unfortunately, I have made a mistake while entering the start date of one of my phases. Thankfully PWA has detected this typo and informed me of this error while continuing to allow me to make edits.

    clip_image012

    Once I get a free moment I can click on the error. PWA will do its best to inform me of the problem and allow me to resolve the issue. In this particular case I have entered a value that is not a date for a date field.

    clip_image014

    After resolving the typo I hope to insert some sub tasks in Phase 1. At this stage in the project, Phase 1 is the only phase I have sufficient information for which to plan. All this takes is a simple press on the “Insert” Button in the ribbon or the “Insert” key on my keyboard.

    clip_image015

    After inserting each of my tasks I have a plan that looks something like this.

    clip_image017

    Next I want to indent the newly inserted tasks under Phase 1. To do this I will click in the “row header” region on the far left of the grid pane. I will select each of the rows and press indent in the ribbon (or Alt+Shift+Right on my keyboard if I prefer to use the Keyboard Shortcut Support). This demonstrates the use of full Task Hierarchy and Indent/Outdent support in the browser.

    clip_image019

    Now that I have created a summary task I want to establish dependencies on each of the subtasks. To do this I will select all of the subtasks and link them. In the screen shot below you will note that the tasks have been linked (which can be seen visually in the Gantt chart) but they have not been scheduled. The behavior is similar to that of Project Desktop if “calculate project after each edit” is turned off.

    clip_image021

    Finally we will press calculate which is located in the ribbon and the tasks dates will be updated. You should also note in this picture that the items that were changed as a result of the calculate operation are highlighted in blue. This demonstrates the use of Change Highlighting in the browser.

    clip_image023

    Some other notable features to call out here are support for Multi-Level Undo as well as Cut/Copy & Paste right in your browser (both are shown in the ribbon screen shot earlier in this post). If I had made a mistake in anyone of these edits and wanted to undo it or I wanted add a list of work items copied somewhere like Excel, I would effortlessly be able to do this in PWA.

    Now that I have some tasks created and scheduled I want to go ahead and make some resource assignments, before I do this though I want the resource column to be placed right next to the task name to make assignments easier to see visually. To do this in PWA I simply drag the resource column by clicking down on the column header and dragging with my mouse. A “ghost image” will appear so that a user can see where my column will be positioned, demonstrating the intuitiveness of Flexible View Manipulation in PWA.

    clip_image025

    Together with my colleague Heather I will be “Identifying the Launch Team” as well as “Defining Launch Goals”. This demonstrates browser based support for Multi-Resource Assignment. Heather will be responsible for “Determining Sales Objectives” and I will be handling the other tasks defined. Making the assignments is depicted below.

    clip_image026

    A few more items of interest to mention in PWA are high-fidelity (and colorful) Gantt charts, support for Grouping (as you would expect from Project’s desktop client), and support for User Controlled Scheduling in the browser.

    How well does is scale? Editing projects from small to the very large is supported in Project Server 2010. There are no explicit size limits for browser based editing. Coming soon – a video with a 6,000+ line project.

    How does it differ from Project Professional?

    Project Professional will continue to be your one stop shop for great project planning/tracking features like baselining, leveling and task warnings and suggestions as well as some of the new 2010 features like Timeline View and Team Planner. Features like defining work breakdown structures will only be available in the desktop client, which will continue to be the premium project editing experience. For basic project plan editing and manipulation though PWA will serve as a great compliment to Project Professional for traditional Project Managers and help to expand the use of Project to people within your organization whom traditionally did not use Project Professional.

    To recap here are just some of the features you can expect with web based editing in Project Server 2010.

    Rapid entry

    Multi-Resource Assignment
    Asynchronous editing, validation & error handling Fluent User Interface
    Multi-Level Undo User Controlled Scheduling
    Change Highlighting Keyboard Shortcut Support
    Cut/Copy/Paste Flexible View Manipulation
    Task Hierarchy High Fidelity Gantt Charts
    Grouping Support for Large Projects
    Indenting/Outdenting And many more…

    Remember everything demonstrated in today’s post was done in a browser and is included as part of Project Server 2010. We hope you are as excited for web based project editing as we are and be sure to download the beta when it is made available in November.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010: Introducing User-Controlled Scheduling

    • 17 Comments

    In Project 2010, we have introduced a new concept called "User-Controlled Scheduling". It's a collection of features designed to make Project a more flexible planning and schedule management tool. The idea is that you, as the project manager, can have complete control over when a task should happen. If and when appropriate, you can leverage Project's powerful scheduling engine to help forecast the date of a task based on various factors like dependencies, calendar, constraints, etc. But at any time, you have the flexibility to manually override Project's automatic calculations.

    Ok, what does that really mean you ask? Let me illustrate...

    Say you are planning for a new project. You've just talked to a few key stakeholders to get an understanding of the timeframe and deliverables and now you're ready to start building out a schedule. So far, you know the project will be divided into a couple major phases and you have a rough idea of the list of tasks to be completed within each phase. You don't really have all the specific details for every single task yet though. You need to confirm with Joe over at Sales to see if he can arrange for a customer site visit, then talk to Jane from Engineering to see when they can staff up your project, email Jack from Marketing to see if they can do some market research… You get the idea: during the initial planning phase of a project, things can still be very fuzzy.

    So, how do you capture all of the high-level, possibly vague information and eventually transform it into a well structured, presentable plan?

    With the new release, you can start your planning in Project right from the get-go. Tasks are by default "Manually Scheduled", meaning that you have complete control over their dates. For example, I've just typed in the couple key phases of my project:

    clip_image002

    You'll notice that that the Start, Finish & Duration fields are blank. When tasks are in this "Manually Scheduled" mode, Project will not automatically calculate and fill in dates for you.

    Now let's capture what we do know. For example, we have specific dates for the task "Design" in mind. For "Engineering", we know we have a 2 week budget but don't know the specific date. For "QA", we know we have to be done by 12/1, but not how long it will take.  And for Marketing, we need to discuss the timeframe with Jack:

    clip_image004

    Notice that using Project 2010, tasks do not need to be fully defined - you can leave duration or dates as blank or even type text into those fields. This lets you easily capture uncertainties when planning.

    Next, let's break some of these high-level tasks into smaller work items. There are a couple design-related tasks that I want to group together under the "Design" phase, so let's insert and indent them under "Design":

    clip_image006

    Notice that the "Design" phase, which I had original given 2 weeks of duration, maintained its dates. This lets me plan using a top-down approach, where I can start from high-level dates that may be determined by management or customers, build in buffer for risk management or monitor for potential slippages (as opposed to the bottom-up where I start by defining all the specific work items then work out the roll-up total for each phase). So now I can give the subtasks some specific dates:

    clip_image008

    Note that there is a small blue bar under the summary - this is the roll-up of all of the subtasks. If I update the subtasks' dates, the blue bar will automatically update. This provides a visual way of indicating whether I still have buffer time in my schedule. I can maintain the high-level timeframe while still getting a summary roll-up of subtasks.

    If one of these tasks end up taking longer than expected, and the subtasks end up exceeding the original dates of the summary phase, the roll-up bar will turn red to indicate a slippage:

    clip_image010

    You'll also notice that there are some red squiggles under the dates. Like the spell-checker in Word highlights spelling errors, the ‘schedule-checker’ highlights potential problems with the schedule. And just like the spell- checker, I can right click on the squiggle to see some possible corrective actions. Here I am going to choose the "Fix in Task Inspector" option to bring up a side pane that will tell me why there may be an issue.

    clip_image012

    In this case, I am slipping beyond my original 2 week budget on "Design", so I may have to meet with my stakeholder to see if I can get an extension on the "Design" phase, or find a way to reduce scope. In this case, let's say they agreed to letting it slip by 2 days so I can choose the "Extend Finish":

    clip_image014

    Another example where "Manually Scheduled" mode comes into play is when a task's predecessor slips. Let's say we have underestimated the amount of time the task "Prototype" takes - it's actually 6d instead of 4d:

    clip_image016

    You'll notice that "Review", which is linked to "Prototype", did not get moved out automatically. Instead the red squiggle appears to indicate a potential problem. This gives me, the project manager, a chance to decide on a mitigation plan. If "Review" truly cannot begin unless "Prototype" is complete, I may choose to enforce the link (it's one of the corrective options on the right-click menu). But of course this means that the "Design" phase will slip again and my stakeholders won't be very happy with me. Another possible mitigation plan is to check if my team can begin reviewing parts of the design as originally scheduled on 10/28, before the prototype is fully completed. If they can, then I no longer need to worry about this warning and just like a spell-checker, you can choose to ignore the warning from the software:

    clip_image018

    At any point in time if you wish to have Project calculate your schedule for you instead of maintaining manual control, you can toggle your tasks to "Automatically Scheduled" mode. When tasks are "Auto Scheduled", Project will calculate and update their dates automatically just like it has always done in previous versions. In the above example, if I make all my "Design" tasks auto scheduled, the links will always be respected and the summary will automatically update based on its subtasks:

    clip_image020

    And lastly, if you prefer the existing way of having Project automatically schedule tasks out for you. You can easily change the default task mode to be Auto Scheduled either for the current project, or for the application as a whole:

    clip_image022

    So, that's all for now for this whirlwind tour of "User-Controlled Scheduling". There are lots more to show but I'll leave them for you to explore when Beta comes out!

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Are you Project 2010 Ready? – Announcing Project 2010 Technical Ignite and Sales Training

    • 0 Comments

    If didn’t answer with a resounding yes, check out Christophe’s post on training targeted for Microsoft Partners and Field.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010: Introducing Sync to SharePoint

    • 71 Comments

    Hi everyone,

    I’m Roberto Reif and today I am excited to introduce a new feature that has been added to Project Professional 2010, the ability to: synchronize a tasks list between Project and SharePoint!!!

    A Project Manager (PM) can use all the advanced scheduling capabilities that exist in Project Professional with all the collaborative capabilities that exist in SharePoint.

    Users can now publish a project plan from Project to SharePoint and vice versa.  Any changes made in Project / SharePoint can be easily updated into SharePoint / Project with the click of a button.

    So how does this work?  Let’s assume a PM creates a simple project plan in Project Professional, as shown below. 

    clip_image001

    The PM would like to share the plan with his/her team members via SharePoint.  To do this, the PM clicks on the File tab and drills on to Save & Send > Sync with Tasks List (see image below).  After filling out the required fields, the user clicks on Sync, and in a matter of seconds the project plan has been published to SharePoint.

    image

     

    The SharePoint list will look as follows:

    clip_image001[6]

    Now the team members can view and modify the data in SharePoint, and the PM can synchronize the updates by clicking on the Sync button.  Tip: After the first sync, the Sync button also appears in the Info tab shown below.

    image

     

    If the same data is modified both in SharePoint and Project, the PM will be prompted with a conflict resolution dialog next time there is a Sync operation. 

    image

    A few important things to notice are:

    · Summary tasks are supported in the synchronization

    · Most custom fields can be synchronized, and can be added via the Manage Fields dialog (click on Manage Fields button shown on the image above in the Info tab)

    · This feature only works with SharePoint Foundation and SharePoint Server 2010

    · This feature only works when Project Professional is not connected to the server

    We encourage you to try it out and let us know what you think.  Be amongst the first to download the Project 2010 Beta . Sign up now at www.microsoft.com/project/2010 and be notified when it’s available!

    Update on 5/19/11 - with Project 2010 SP1 you will now be able to synchronize auto scheduled tasks too - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/project/archive/2011/05/18/project-2010-sp1-enhancements-to-sync-to-sharepoint-task-list.aspx

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    New Project Fan Page on Facebook

    • 0 Comments

    In our never-ending quest to spread the word about Microsoft Project 2007 and Microsoft Project 2010, we now have an official fan page on Facebook! Our news feed includes links to articles on MSDN, TechNet, and Office Online, as well as posts on this blog. You can choose to see our posts in your Facebook news feed automatically, or read them only when you want to. Similarly, if you post something on the fan page, you can choose to be notified whenever someone responds to you.

    Here’s a quick walkthrough of how the Microsoft Project fan page on Facebook works:

    Join the Project fan page

    If you already have a Facebook account, sign in, and then follow these simple steps:

    1. Visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Microsoft-Project/95221953802.
    2. Near the top of the page, click the Become a Fan button. 

    image
     

    Browse through Project wall posts

    Once you’ve joined the Microsoft Project fan page on Facebook, you can begin browsing for posts right away.

    To switch the default view to the page wall, click the Wall tab on the top navigation bar near the Project logo:

    image

    You can now see all of the wall posts by the administrator and by other Project users just like you. Wall posts are shown in chronological order and the newest posts appear near the top of the page.

    Join the conversation! Reply to an existing wall post that interests you, or make your own post to start a new discussion or to share something with the other members.

    Hide automatic Project fan page updates

    Depending on when you join the Project fan page, you’ll probably see automatic updates in your Facebook news feed within a few days. If you like seeing these updates, you don’t need to do anything else. Check out the ones that sound interesting and ignore the ones that you don’t care about on any particular day.

    If you don’t want automatic Project fan page updates to appear in your news feed, you can easily disable them by following these steps:

    1. While signed in to your Facebook account, go to the Facebook home page at http://www.facebook.com/.
    2. Scroll through your Facebook news feed (the center column of your home page) and find any one of the Project fan page updates that have appeared.
    3. Move the mouse pointer over the Project post until you see a Hide link show up near the right side of the post.
    4. When you move the mouse pointer over the Hide link, it becomes a button. Click it.
    5. On the mini-menu that appears below the Hide button, click Hide Microsoft Project.

    Facebook will briefly display a yellow confirmation box, informing you that Project updates will now be hidden from view.

    Tip  Even though Project fan page updates are hidden from view in your Facebook news feed, you can still visit the Microsoft Project fan page at any time by entering Microsoft Project into the Search box near the top of any Facebook page and then clicking the search result. It’s a fast way to return to the fan page whenever you want to check for updates on your own.

    Restore hidden Project fan page updates

    If you previously disabled Project fan page updates from your Facebook news feed and you’ve changed your mind about seeing automatic updates, you can easily restore them by following these steps:

      1. While signed in to your Facebook account, go to the Facebook home page at http://www.facebook.com/.
      2. Scroll to the very end of your Facebook news feed (the center column of your home page) until you see the navigation bar in the page footer:
        The bottom navigation bar in the Facebook stream
      3. Click the Edit Options link.
      4. Near the top of the Hidden from News Feed popup dialog box, click the Pages link.
      5. Scroll down until you see Microsoft Project, and then click the Add to News Feed button.

    When you have completed these steps, you will once again see automatic Microsoft Project fan page notifications in your Facebook news feed.

    Share what you know!

    Post to the wall! It’s just a conversation with like-minded people who enjoy and rely on Project in similar ways as you.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    See Project 2010 at the SharePoint Conference

    • 0 Comments

    If you are attending the SharePoint Conference 2009 in Vegas next week, you will have multiple opportunities to learn more about Project 2010.

    Click here to learn more.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Dealing with organizational resistance

    • 2 Comments

    While I’m no project/portfolio management expert, I do know a thing or two about common issues that people tend to encounter in this industry, particularly when rolling out a Project Server implementation. One relatively big issue is organizational resistance. You make this big investment in Project Professional and Project Server, because you know it’s what’s best for your business, and then, once you roll it out across the company, you hear little complaints coming in…”I don’t want to fill out timesheets,” “my Excel spreadsheet is working fine for me, I don’t want to learn a new tool,” and so on. No surprises there…the learning curve is steep for the tool itself, and for the formal process you’re trying to implement. We know that, you knew it when you rolled it out, no big shocker. So given all that, what can you do to ease the transition and help avoid the inevitable pushback from the people you’re asking to use this new solution?

    Again I have to emphasize that I’m no expert, so I’m sure many of you out there have more informed suggestions that I hope you’ll share in comments on this blog post. I can, however, offer these suggestions, gleaned from a decade of documenting project and portfolio management software solutions:

    • Set some expectations. When you tell your organization that you’re going to roll out Project Server, that’s not going to mean the same thing to everyone. Some may have no idea what to expect, while others may have had previous experience with Project Server, or may have heard about other implementations and challenges that their peers in other companies have encountered. Be specific about what Project Server means for your organization. It may mean people will be filling out timesheets for the first time. It may mean project managers will have a more formal reporting structure. By communicating these expectations before Project Server is actually rolled out, you’re giving people a chance to let the ideas bake, voice their concerns, and get some clarity on what these expectations really mean for them.
    • Explain the benefits. Personally, I think this one is (arguably, of course) the single most important way you can prepare your organization and avoid some of that rollout pushback. Think of it this way…you’re rolling out Project Server, and for the first time, you’re asking full-time salaried employees to fill out hours spent on tasks in a timesheet. Something some of your employees may not have done since their summer jobs as fry cooks during high school. People are going to complain, not fill them out, and get their hours in late every week. That’s just the nature of rolling out timesheets. (Did I really just say all of that out loud?) But if you tell them WHY you want them to fill out timesheets (because it helps to accurately predict how much time will be needed for tasks in future projects, for one), and what benefit it offers THEM (maybe it means fewer status meetings with managers, or more evidence of getting work done on time or early come annual review time, that sort of thing), you’re bound to encounter less resistance. I’m not saying people won’t complain, because they will, but at least this way they might be less inclined to complain as loudly.
    • Provide training. The reality is that for many people, Project client and Project Server are really difficult to learn. Even just pointing them to resources like the Up to speed video series or the Project Map can be enough to ease some of the anxiety about learning a new tool. If you can afford full-on in-person training, even better. The more prepared your teams are, the more successful your EPM solution will be.

    These are just a few suggestions for ways you can prepare your organization for what’s to come. I’d love to hear other suggestions, or pointers to resources you find helpful in preparing organizations for new Project Server rollouts. What are your thoughts?

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: Where did my tasks go?

    • 3 Comments

    One problem that often crops up when analyzing task and resource issues with Project 2007 is mishandling filters. After creating a complex filter that spans multiple columns, you may wish there'd be a quick way to turn off the filters for all the columns. Or worse, maybe someone sent you a project with filtering apply, and you can't easily tell which column filters to turn off.

    Simple.

    Click F3. All the filtering is now removed.  And, of course, this works in Project 2010, too.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010: Introducing the Team Planner

    • 32 Comments

    Hello--I’m Jon Kaufthal, Program Manager on the Project team. A key focus of mine for our upcoming Project Professional 2010 release is the new Team Planner, and I’m excited to introduce you to Team Planner today.

    The main idea behind Team Planner is combining the power of the Gantt chart with the simplicity and familiarity of the Outlook calendar. Team Planner lets you:

    1. Easily see your team’s work laid out over time

    2. Quickly spot problems

    3. Drag and drop to resolve those problems

    So, what does this look like in practice? Let’s imagine you start with this in Gantt:

    clip_image002

    To switch to Team Planner, you can click the View tab in the ribbon and then choose Team Planner. At that point, you’ll see this:

    clip_image004

    A few things to notice here:

    1. Each team member’s work is represented in a single row, making it easy to glance across the timescale and see who does what when

    2. Overallocations are highlighted in red

    In the example above, you can see that Jon is double-booked for part of that first week of October. Luckily, we seem to have at least two good options for how to deal with it.

    First, we could move the task in time. In this case, it’s OK for the “confirm speakers” task to happen two days later, so I can simply drag it over to the right a bit. Once I do that, I see:

    clip_image006

    Notice that the row has shrunk down, and the red is now gone. The work remains assigned to Jon, but moves out to happen two days later.

    Alternatively, Brian has some free time and is equipped to do this task as well. It looks like he’s out from Wednesday through Friday of that week, but he has two days open at the beginning of the week. Since that’s all that’s needed for this task, we can simply drag it down one row and a few days to the left. Once I do that, I see:

    clip_image008

    So we’ve now reassigned the task to Brian, and it’s beginning a few days earlier.

    These are just a few basic examples to illustrate the power and simplicity of Team Planner. Making these sorts of schedule adjustments in Team Planner is a simple visual process, letting you focus your attention on keeping your plans on track.

    There’s much more to cover in Team Planner, including:

    · The unassigned and unscheduled zones

    · Automatically resolving overallocations

    · Updating your status directly in the view

    · Customizing the look and feel of the view: colors, sizing, hiding sections, filtering, grouping

    · Seeing/editing more details through tooltips, right-click, double click, and split views

    …but I wanted to stick to the basics for this first post. Let us know what you think!

    Jon

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    See Project 2010 at the PMI Global Congress

    • 0 Comments

    If you are in Orlando next week for the PMI Global Congress, make sure to stop by the Project booth. We’ll be demo’ing Project 2010 and answering your questions about 2010 and previous releases. We are at booth 1205 which, assuming the floor plan doesn’t change, is to your right as you come in the main entrance.

    Here is the schedule of the mini-presentations we’re doing but feel free to stop by any time the exhibition hall is open:

    Sunday, October 11

    Time

    Session Domain

    5:40 PM

    Project 2010 Overview

    6:00 PM

    Planning and Scheduling with Project Professional 2010

    6:20 PM

    Project Professional 2010 Reporting

    6:40 PM

    Enhanced Collaboration with SharePoint with Project Professional–

    7:00 PM

    Unified Project and Portfolio Management in Project Server 2010

    Monday, October 12

    Time

    Session Domain

    11:20 AM

    Project 2010 Overview

    11:40 AM

    2010Team Planning and Coordination with Project Professional 2010

    12:00 PM

    Web-based Editing with Project Server 2010

    12:20 PM

    Enhanced Reporting and BI in Project Server 2010

    2:10 PM

    Portfolio Prioritization and Optimization with project Server 2010

    Tuesday, October 13

    Time

    Session Domain

    9:40 AM

    Project 2010 Overview

    11:20 AM

    Demand Management Overview with Project Server 2010

    Attend a presentation for a chance at winning 1 of 3 16 GB Zune HDs! Hope to see you there!

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Ask a Project PM: Got questions about timesheets or task status?

    • 5 Comments

    This month, I’ll be interviewing Project PM Patrick Conlan about timesheets and task statusing in Project Server 2007. I know there are a ton of questions out there in this area…this is your opportunity to get those questions answered!

    I’ll be doing the interview during the week of the 19th, so keep your questions coming in through the next week and a half or so.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010: Introducing the Timeline View

    • 60 Comments

    In Project 2010, we’ve added a new view called the Timeline view which allows you to easily create a high level view of your project plan that you can then share through other Office applications such as PowerPoint and Outlook.

    The default view for Project 2010 is the Gantt with Timeline so you’ll see the Timeline view at the top of your window the first time you boot Project 2010 but it if isn’t there, you can display it by going to the View tab and checking Timeline in the Split View group.

    Here is the Timeline view when you create a new project. I’ve also selected the Timeline view’s Format tab to show off the commands that go along with the Timeline view.

    image 

    I will demonstrate how in 4 simple steps you can create Timeline view that looks good enough for any status meeting or mail to executives, customers, partners, etc.

    Step 1: Add Tasks to the Timeline

    Simply right-click the tasks you want on the Timeline and select "Add to Timeline”.

    image

    Step 2: Arrange the Tasks

    Now that you have tasks on your the timeline, you can easily re-arrange them so it looks even better. You can drag tasks above or below the gray bar which represents the project to display the tasks as callouts or drag tasks up or down within the gray bar to display the tasks on different rows.

    image

    Step 3: Format the Tasks

    Now that the tasks are arranged nicely, you can make a few tweaks to make the timeline more readable. Through the Timeline’s Format tab, I’ve updated the date format to be more concise, set more text lines to show so you can read the tasks names, and highlighted some tasks with different colors to make them stand out (did I mention Project 2010 now has 32-bit color – yes that means we now have orange).

    image

    Step 4: Share the Timeline

    Finally, you can paste the Timeline into other Office applications such as PowerPoint and Outlook by clicking Copy Timeline on the Format tab and selecting the proper size. When you paste the Timeline view, the items are pasted as individual Office Art shapes, so you can do an optional step 5 like I have and further format the shapes using the graphics power of those applications. Here I have added reflection, a 3-d effect, and further edited the colors.

    image

    That’s not all the Timeline view can do but I’ll have to save the rest for a video…

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Ask a Project PM: Client Reporting

    • 1 Comments

    This month, Project PM Heather O’Cull answers some common questions about reporting in the Project 2007 client. She offers some great troubleshooting tips, and walks through the process of creating a burndown report. (Want more info about creating a burndown report? Check out her earlier blog post on the subject!)


    Ask a Project PM: Client Reporting
  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: Create a report instantly with Project 2007

    • 0 Comments

    It's the end of the month, and you need that project report right away. One handy trick is to copy and paste Project 2007 information into PowerPoint, Word, Visio, an e-mail message, or just about any piece of software that allows an image to be pasted.

     

    1. If you have specific rows you want copied, select those. Or forget this step if you want to copy a picture of the entire project.

    2. On the Standard Toolbar, click the Copy Toolbar button image .

     

    The data is captured in a picture and copied to the Clipboard. From there, you can paste the picture into the other application.

    And if you like this tip, wait until Project 2010! Copying and pasting takes on a whole new meaning. With Project 2010, column and data formatting is retained when you copy and pasting (without using the button) into an Office application--for an instant report.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010: Introducing the Ribbon

    • 4 Comments

    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.

    image

    The Resource tab is where you access commands associated with resources.

    image

    The Project tab includes commands that affect the entire project.

    image

    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.

    image

    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.

    image

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    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.

    image

    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.

    image

    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.

    image

    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.

    image  image

    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.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Back to Basics: Reporting your status

    • 2 Comments

    Here’s the scenario: you’re a team member assigned to some tasks, and (surprise surprise) your manager would like you to provide a status update. What’s more is he wants it done through Project Web Access. You panic a little, maybe break out into cold sweats, can’t sleep a wink, yada yada.

    Well first of all, that’s some serious overreacting to a relatively common request, so you might be due for some vacation time. But in all seriousness, a little panic at a request like that is pretty common. You know what information your manager wants, and you want to provide it, but there’s this tool in the way and you don’t know how to use it. This is not the time to panic. It’s not nearly as daunting as you might think, once you get your bearings.

    There are two ways to report status in the version of Project Web Access that ships with Project Server 2007. You’ll need to talk with your manager to figure out which reporting method he or she is looking for.

    First, let’s talk about simple status reporting. How are you used to reporting your status? In a weekly e-mail message? In a regular meeting with your manager? Regardless of what you’ve been doing, your manager can take the typical discussion points for status reporting and make them into a form in Project Web Access. He or she can set up the frequency at which the team should fill out the form (weekly or monthly, for example), and you’ll receive a request to complete the status report at those intervals. To submit your status, you simply fill out the form and submit it to your manager. Nothing terribly complicated.

    The other method for reporting your status is a little more detailed. Instead of providing a general summary of task status, as you do in status reports, you can use the My Tasks view to provide specific hours and percentages for each of your assigned tasks. When reporting task status this way, your hours and percentages must be approved by the project manager and any other key stakeholders. The approvers can choose not to approve your task status, at which time you might want to have a discussion about the reasons behind the rejection, and how you can help to resolve the issues. Want to learn more about using the My Tasks view to report task status? Take a look at the topics in this area on Office Online.

    Hopefully that helps you get a little bit of footing in how status is reported in Project Web Access, and points you to where you can learn more. Got specific questions? Post them in comments and I’ll see if I can help!

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2010 is announced!

    • 0 Comments

    ConfShotYesterday in front of a very lively audience, Chris Capossela announced Project 2010 and gave everyone the first look at all the new features. As someone who has been working on 2010 for quite some time, it was great to hear applause break out at several points throughout the demos.

    Also, as you can see, with the announcement we’ve update the look of the blog and are going to start posting about Project 2010. Next week check back to learn more about Project’s implementation of the Fluent UI.

    To find out more about Project 2010, check out http://www.microsoft.com/project/2010/

    Above is part of the team that made the trip to Phoenix. Now that the conference is over…. nap time.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: Project sleuthing with Task Drivers to troubleshoot planning woes

    • 2 Comments

    One thing is certain in project management—change. If you're being a good project manager, expect lots of changes to the schedule. You need a tool to help you keep track of changes and to give you back control of your schedule.

    Welcome to Task Drivers.

    In Project 2007, select a task. On the Project menu, click Task Drivers.

    image

    In the left view, you'll see detailed information about the selected task on the right. You'll see the most critical factors that affect the scheduling of the task, such as date and task relationship information.

    Another Tip You can click other tasks without closing the Task Drivers pane. The Task Drivers pane always displays the scheduling drivers for whatever task is selected.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Ask a Project PM: And the next topic is…client reporting!

    • 7 Comments

    Last month’s video interview with Project PM Bonny Lau went really well, thanks in part to your thoughtful questions! This month, we’ll be tackling client reporting with Heather O’Cull. Here’s your chance to ask any questions you have about visual reports, basic reports, customizing reports, or anything even remotely report-related on the client. Post your questions as comments on this blog post, I’ll compile them, and post a video of Heather fielding your questions later this month!

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    10 Days until the Project Conference

    • 1 Comments

    That’s right, in 10 days we’ll be kicking off the Project Conference down in Phoenix, Arizona. The product team has been very busy finalizing our presentations and demos to make sure this conference is the best yet. The entire program management team will be there along with a bunch of developers and testers so you will have plenty of chances to interact with the people behind the software.

    We are all very excited since we finally get to show off Project 2010 after all the hard work we’ve put into it. Don’t worry though, there will be lots of sessions on Project 2007 too where you can learn how people are using Project today to save money, enhance efficiency, and prepare for future growth (yep, took that last part from marketing).

    If you haven’t registered yet, there is still time. Just go to www.msprojectconference.com

    Top Reasons to attend (in my opinion):

    • Learn how to get the most out of Project 2007
    • Be there for the unveiling of Project 2010
    • Giveaways! Everyone who attends will receive a free licensed copy of Project Professional 2010 and free Project Professional 2007 e-learning.
    • The Rodeo Evening Event.

    And in case you are wondering, I will be leading two sessions – ILL 201: Project Professional 2010 Overview on Wednesday (this is a lab session where you will be able to try out Project 2010) and PO 304: Project Desktop Reporting on Thursday. If you are attending and have any feedback about the session, let me know. Well, back to finalizing my demos and figuring out how much sunscreen to pack to survive in the desert…

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: More Keyboard Shortcuts

    • 3 Comments

    Thanks to the users  who suggested that all of us in Project-land should post more keyboard shortcuts. Here are some more. Some of the following come from user comment postings, and some of my own that I use daily.  Please keep your comments pouring in.

    Here you go:

    Indent a task

    ALT  +  SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW

    Oudent a task

    ALT  +  SHIFT + LEFT ARROW

    Scroll  to the beginning of the schedule (timeline)

    ALT + HOME

    Scroll to the end of the schedule

    ALT + END

    Remove all filters

    F3

    And if you missed the previous posting of keyboard magic, here they are repeated.

    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

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project Server 2007 Report Pack II – “The Top Reports”

    • 0 Comments

    Passing along some great info…Report Pack II for Project Server 2007 has been released! This is great news because it addresses A) WHAT reports you should run in your Project Server 2007 environment, and B) WHY you should run them. It includes 40 Management and Governance reports, designed by top Microsoft consultants who deploy and enhance the Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solution for customers regularly.

    Want more? Christophe has a great blog post with more detail here, and there’s an excellent recorded webcast about Report Pack II available here.

    Ready to download? More info and a download link here: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/EPMReportPack

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