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

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project Server + PerformancePoint Server


    "How to Leverage Project Server 2007 with PPS 2007 Monitoring and Analytics," is a new white paper just published by Microsoft that demonstrates how anyone running both Office Project Server 2007 and Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 can use the two BI applications together to improve their organization's business model.

    Interested? This white paper is available for download.

    Microsoft has also made a TechNet On-Demand Webcast available for viewing.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Conceptual project management information on Office Online


    Looking for more information about the project management field? Office Online has several resources that may help.

    Getting started

    · Go beyond Excel for project management

    · How your project fits into the big picture

    · A short course in project management

    · A quick history of project management

    Setting up and working with projects

    · Develop practical, achievable, and believable quality standards

    · Drive the marketing and product requirements process

    · Establish and manage the project stakeholders list

    · Tried-and-true techniques for shortening projects


    · A talk with Bonnie Biafore on tracking project variances

    · Leading practices for applying variance data to future projects

    · Determining the right threshold for project cost and schedule variances

    Change management

    · A talk with Lonnie Pacelli on introducing change management to your project team

    · Use schedule buffers to manage change

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution Webcast Series


    From Christophe's blog:

    Starting February 18th, 2009 at 11 am (EST) we will be running a webcast series every Wednesday that will show how the Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution and related Microsoft technologies can be deployed to meet varying horizontal scenarios.  

    Why should customers attend the webcast series?

    • Work Smart - Save time by sending your prospects to a recurring live webcast versus having to deliver the demo yourselves
    • Educate  - Customers will receive a comprehensive overview of each solution and be able to get answers to initial questions
    • It's Live - Send your customers to a live webcast rather than to a recording or click-through demo
    • Better Together - Show the value of integrating the EPM Solution with SharePoint Server and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server

    Please note these webcast are targeted at customers not partners.

    Reduce Costs: Seven Steps to Optimize Project Portfolio Selection

    Microsoft and UMT Consulting Group invite you to join this complimentary webcast to learn how Microsoft's Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution can help identify and select project portfolios that best align with your organizations business strategy whilst optimizing costs.


    Registration and Schedule


    Capital Planning & Investment Control for Government

    Microsoft and Robbins-Gioia invite you to this complimentary webcast to learn how the Capital Planning & Investment Control (CPIC) Solution can help government agencies improve decision making, and effectively control investments throughout their lifecycle.

    Registration and Schedule


    Connecting the Worlds of Project Portfolio Management & Application lifecycle Management
    Microsoft invites you to join this complimentary webcast to learn how integrating Portfolio Management (PPM) and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) processes helps to improve visibility across the entire development lifecycle and in turn connect two disparate worlds.

    Registration and Schedule


    Growth: Transform Your Business with Innovation Management

    You are invited to join this complimentary webcast to learn how Microsoft's Innovation Process Management (IPM) Solution can help organizations to manage the end-to-end innovation process with greater transparency, coordination and discipline.


    Registration and Schedule


    Maximize Efficiency: Drive ROI by Enhancing Project & Portfolio Execution

    Microsoft and Pcubed invite you to join this complimentary webcast to learn how Microsoft's Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution can help organizations to improve project and portfolio execution, eliminate costly overruns and enhance operational efficiency and agility.


    Registration and Schedule


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Adding a red/yellow/green progress indicator


    Hi there! My name is Sonia Atchison, and I write some of the Help content you see over on Office Online. I know this may seem like a silly little blog post to many of you, but I remember when I first started using Project and I figured out how to make a field that showed red/yellow/green graphics to indicate progress, I was pretty happy with myself. So I decided that you know what, I bet there are people out there reading this blog right now that would really appreciate a quick rundown of how to make a visual progress indicator.

    Create a custom Progress field

    First, you have to create a custom field that will hold your status information. On the Tools menu, point to Customize, and then click Fields. Choose an unused text field, and then click Rename. Type "Progress" and then click OK.

    Next, you want to identify the different progress values. Under Custom attributes, click Lookup. Use the table to add three values that correspond to red, yellow, and green. In this example, I'll use "On track," "Issues," and "Blocked." Select the Use a value from the table as the default entry for the field check box, click the value that corresponds with green ("On track"), and then click Set Default. Click Close to return to the Custom Fields dialog box.

    Finally, you need to identify which graphics to use for each lookup value. Under Values to display, click Graphical Indicators. Use the table to set each indicator, as I've done here:


    Click OK when you have the indicators set, and then click OK again to return to the Gantt Chart view.

    Insert the Progress field

    Next, add the field as a column in the Gantt Chart view using these instructions. The process is fairly straightforward…just right-click the column header to the right of where you want the new column to appear, click Insert Column, find the Progress column, and then click OK.

    Use the Progress field

    Once the column is added to the view, you can choose the progress for each task in your project, and the red, yellow, or green indicator will appear in the view. I think this is pretty neat, myself!


    Need more info?

    A video demo of this process can be viewed here, or a Help topic with similar instructions is available here if you need more information!

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Combination Views


    Do you want to act like an experienced project manager, but with little additional effort? Then learn how to split your views by using combination view. Project's split view feature has been around for many versions. The more experienced project manager have learned that it can be a very efficient way to modify task and resource information in one place without rummaging around pressing a number of button to do the same things.


    Here is how to do it:

    1. On the Window menu, click Split. A bottom pane appears. This is a form view. It is very similar to the information dialog. If you right-click in the form, you can select what information is shown in it. There is a resource form and a task form.

    2. If you want to apply a different view, click anywhere in the bottom pane.

    3. On the View menu, click the view that you want to appear in the bottom pane.

    4. If you want to use a view that is not on the View menu, click More Views, click the view that you want to use in the Views list, and then click Apply.

    To close the bottom view, click Remove Split on the Window menu.

    For example, when you display any task view in the top pane and the Resource Usage view in the bottom pane, the bottom pane shows the resources assigned to the tasks selected in the top pane, along with information about those resources. The resource information shown pertains to all assigned tasks for each resource, not just to the tasks selected in the top pane.

    To perform these same actions without a split view, you'd have to click on a task, click the Assign Resources button, and then go back and forth between the dialog box and the view. Or, you'd have to switch  to one of the Resource views. Now you can do it all in one place.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Help update for Project 2007


    If the computer you use to work in the Microsoft Office Project 2007 client is connected to the Internet, you have already see the latest Help files. However, if you work in the Project 2007 client offline, you can download an update to the offline Help files, so that you have more current content.

    You can read more about the Help update here, or download the Help update here.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    EPM 2007 Timesheets with Project Actual Remaining Work


    Hello - Dave Ducolon here.  I have blogged here before and am back to talk to you about the ability to capture actual remaining work in a timesheet and have that recorded in the project task to which you are assigned.  This was a very popular user request and we were able to offer this functionality to users with the Project Server Infrastructure Update.


    Now before you get too excited, this functionality is currently only available when Project Server sites are tracking time through the timesheet only.  This may change but as of this writing (12/15/08) there is no ability to add the remaining work field to views unless you have EPM set to track time from the timesheet only.


    So how does one use this?  It is simple.  You enter total remaining work into your timesheet and on save the information is automatically transferred to the the database table that supports the My Tasks page.   The remaining work value is not stored in the timesheet database tables.  Furthermore, the remaining work value is only read from timesheet lines with the "Standard" billing category. 

    Scheduling Calculation Order Note: The remaining work value is always set on the task assignment before (you import) the actual work from the data in the timesheet.  If you try this emulating this change in Project Professional you’ll notice that the actual work ends up being deducted from the remaining work.  So your remaining work value should also include the sum of any actual work that you are entering.

    If you wish to automate some of these steps I encourage you to have a look at the posting on Codeplex from Christophe Fiessinger.

    In summary here are the steps to use this new feature:

    1. Turn on time entry by timesheet only - Server Settings\Task Settings and Display

    2. Add the remaining work field to your timesheet view(s) - Server Settings\Manage Views

    3. Initialize your timesheet - My Timesheet\Create

    4. Enter the actual hours worked as normal in the daily or weekly columns

    5. For each row of actuals take that total and add that to the amount of work you feel remains to complete the task and enter that into the remaining work field.

          Example: you have a 40 hr task and you work on that for 5 days at 8 hours per day but you feel that you still need 10 hours to complete.  You should enter a timesheet line with 8 hrs on each day and a remaining work value of (8x5) + 10 which is 50.

    6. Save (or Submit) the Timesheet. - remaining work will pass to the my tasks data set.

    7. Navigate to my tasks - Home\My Tasks

    8. Import timesheet - available from the Actions menu or the toolbar if you have that configured to display the actions menu options.

    I have outlined the shortest set of steps to achieve the required reporting of time for this scenario; however, this is not the only way to use this feature.  It is simply the most direct. 

    I hope this clears up any possible confusion and helps make your use of Microsoft EPM that much more enjoyable.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Back to basics: Sharing your project with others


    You've spent hours in Microsoft Office Project 2007 hand-crafting a project plan that you're pretty sure must be glowing because it's so darned brilliant. All of the start and finish dates line up perfectly, your resources are balanced with reasonable workloads, and the costs are well within budget. People are talking about your Incredible Plan, and now Pete, your manager, wants to take a look at this work of project management genius. Your options for sharing your project plan with Pete depend on what he has available for viewing the plan.

    Scenario 1: Pete has Project 2007 installed

    As you might expect, this is the simplest scenario. You created your plan in Project 2007, and Pete has Project 2007 installed. If your organization is using Microsoft Office Project Server 2007, Pete can simply open the project from the server, or, if you're not using Project Server, you can send him the .MPP file as an e-mail attachment. If you think that Pete will want to make changes to your plan as he's reviewing it, you might consider checking the project out and saving it for sharing.

    Scenario 2: Pete has Project 2003 installed

    If Pete has Project 2003 installed on his computer, he can use a converter to open a Project 2007 file in Project 2003. He needs to make sure he has Project 2003 Service Pack 3 installed, which contains the converter. Once that's installed, Pete can open a Project 2007 file in Project 2003 as a read-only file. Here's a big catch though: if your plan relies on any of the features that are new in Project 2007, those features won't be available when Pete opens the file in Project 2003. So depending on how much of your plan's brilliance is being derived from the new Project 2007 features, you may want to go a different route.

    Scenario 3: Pete doesn't have Project installed

    Pete's a reasonable guy. He knows that the project managers on his team rely on Project 2007 for scheduling tasks and tracking resource usage, but he's just not into it himself. If he had Project installed, he wouldn't use it nearly enough to warrant the license, so he's chosen not to install it. In this case, you have to cater to his situation: you've got a project plan that he can't currently open on his computer.

    What's the solution for sharing the plan with him?

    · Project Web Access. If your organization is running Project Server 2007, you could publish your project plan, and then suggest that Pete view the plan by logging on to Project Web Access.

    · Trial version. If Pete doesn't mind temporarily installing Project 2007 for the purposes of viewing your project plan, he can download and install the trial version of Project 2007. Once activated, the trial version provides full functionality for 60 days at no cost.

    · Copy project data. If Pete really just needs to know the basics, you can copy your project data into another Office application, such as Excel 2007.

    · Soft copies. The next section talks about ways to provide Pete with your project information as hard copies, printed out on paper to put on the desk in front of him. For most of these options, you could also choose to provide Pete with soft copies, either attached to e-mail messages, shared on a network, or brought to him using other file sharing means (USB flash drive, burned CD, Windows Mobile device, etc.).

    Scenario 4: Pete hates computers

    Okay so not everyone is as in love with computers as you are, and Pete just happens to be one of those people who prefers good old-fashioned paper trails. That's just're a pro, you can handle this situation too. Your project plan is so brilliant that it glows even on paper.

    Best bets for providing Pete with a hard copy that effectively illustrates your project plan:

    · Printed view. If you really want Pete to see your project plan the way you do, you can print your view for him. For more great information about printing a view, check out the previous blog entry, "Back to basics: Printing your project."

    · Reports. Project 2007 has a number of reporting options: basic reports, custom basic reports, and (insert drumroll here) visual reports (which are particularly cool in a slice-and-dice kind of way). To meet Pete's printed-copy needs, you can simply generate a report on your project data, and then print it for him to review. To learn more about visual reports, check out this article about integrating with Excel, and this article about integrating with Visio. And again, I have to plug the previous blog entry, "Back to basics: Printing your project," because it has some great pointers to more content about printing reports.

    · Pictures. Another option for printing a view is to capture a picture of the view for printing. Using this option, you can limit which rows you want to share with Pete, and you can generate a picture with a resolution that is best suited for printing.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Back to basics: Printing your project


    Okay, so printing in Microsoft Office Project 2007 might be a little more complex than you're used to. We'll give you that. Need some help figuring out how to get your project data printed and looking professional? Read on.

    Printing a view

    The first step in printing a view is to set up the view itself so that everything you want to print is displayed appropriately. This may involve things like showing or hiding columns (video), changing row height and wrapping text, or changing column titles in sheet views. If you want to print multiple projects in a single view, you might try printing a consolidated project, which enables you to sort, filter, or group the tasks and resources across multiple projects, all in one printable view.

    Once you have the view set up the way you'd like it to print, the next step is to adjust your printing options. If you are printing a Calendar view, you'll need to specify the number of months or weeks you want to print. When printing a view, you can choose to print all notes in the project, or even add a header, footer, or legend.

    With your view and printing options all set up, you're ready to print a view. You can even print your project plan to a PDF file, if you'd rather work with a soft copy.

    Printing reports

    Another option for printing your project data is to generate reports and print those. You can create and print a basic report, a custom basic report, or a visual report.

    What's the difference? Basic reports and custom basic reports are generated within Project, and offer a limited reporting experience. Visual reports are generated in Microsoft Office Excel 2007/2003, and Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2007, and use PivotTables and PivotDiagrams to provide a rich, dynamic reporting environment. With this flexibility, visual reports provide a more agile reporting solution than basic reports.

    Visual reports are printed through Excel and Visio. For more information on printing in these applications, see the following Help areas:

    · Saving and printing in Excel 2007

    · Printing in Visio 2007

    Having trouble?

    With so many printing options, it's understandable that you might run into trouble. The following articles may help:

    · What I see on the screen is not what prints

    · It takes too long to print my project

    · Gridlines don't print

    · Columns don't print right

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    New Help Content - October/November


    Check out the new help content that has been added over the past few months.


    The Project 2007 Resource Center includes descriptions and links to three videos that were posted in October:

    · Timesheet Customizations for Project Server 2007

    · Working with the Project Server 2007 Reporting Database

    · Visual Studio Team Foundation Server and Project Server 2007

    Office Online

    Watch this: Up to speed with Project 2007

    This six-part video series is designed to help you ramp up on project management and Microsoft Office Project 2007.

    How your project fits into the big picture

    This article describes how a project relates to other organizational terms, such as phases, processes, portfolios, and products. It also covers a project's deliverables, including products, results, and services.

    Ten Things You Can Learn about Project Management from Britney Spears

    This podcast is a light-hearted explanation of basic project management concepts, using Britney Spears career as an example.

    Video: Connect to Project Server from Project Professional

    This video explains how to connect to Project Server from within Project Professional, and helps to demystify the ambiguities in the process.

    Every Project Plan is a triangle

    This article explains at a very high level the underlying premise of project management-that every successful project needs to weigh three critical things.

    Up to speed with Project [This is a few months old, but has continually been updated, and is now complete with all new videos]

    Take a tour across Project with videos about core concepts.


    Requirements for using SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services with the Project Server 2007 Cube Building Service

    This article provides instructions and guidance to use the Project Server 2007 Cube Building Service with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services. It describes configuration requirements, procedures, best practices, and error messages that you might encounter.

    Resource Management

    This is the newest article in the "From the Trenches - Deploying the EPM Solution in the Real World" column by Chris Vandersluis. Additional articles by Chris Vandersluis can also be found at the Project Server TechCenter (

    Deploy cumulative updates (Project Server 2007)

    This article describes how to install Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 cumulative updates.

    Office Project Server 2007 Technical Library in Compiled Help format (Updated for November)

    The entire library for Office Project Server 2007 is now available as a downloadable .chm file. This download includes all content in the library as of November 6, 2008. This download will be updated monthly.

    TechNet Virtual Lab: Enterprise Project Management and Data Visualization using Microsoft BI Tools and Solutions

    This lab shows you how to leverage the portfolio of Microsoft business intelligence tools and solutions applied-but not limited to-Enterprise Project Management (EPM) data. This lab will also help you discover how to leverage Excel Services in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Office Project Server 2007, SQL Reporting Services 2005, Microsoft Office Visio 2007, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Dashboard, and Project KPIs to provide full-feature solutions to solve customer requirements for Office Project Server 2007.

    Plan for disaster recovery in Project Server 2007

    This series of articles describes best practices for planning a disaster recovery solution for Project Server 2007.

    Planning for fault tolerance and availability in Project Server 2007

    This topic provides planning guidance for fault tolerance and availability in a Project Server 2007 deployment.

    Enterprise disaster recovery for Project Server 2007

    This series of topics describes procedures and best practices for backing up and restoring Project Server 2007 using SQL Server tools.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    PM Boot Camp: Up to speed with Project 2007


    If you're new to Project 2007, or even new to project management in general, the Up to speed with Project 2007 video series might be the basic training you're looking for. This six-part series covers the basic elements of project management and the Project 2007 interface, as well as how to start a new project, create relationships between tasks, use calendars, build a team, identify project costs, check project progress, and generate reports. The entire series can be viewed in less than an hour, providing a quick way to ramp up and get started managing your projects using Project 2007.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Back to Basics: Connecting to Project Server (video)


    If you are a project manager who wants to create a project using Project Server 2007, you have two ways of connecting to it. You can connect directly using a Web browser and a URL given to you by an administrator, or you can connect through Project Professional 2007 on your desktop, which is explained explain in this video.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Back to Basics: Understanding resource leveling


    Resource leveling is the act of taking a project with people assigned to a bunch of tasks, and making it so that they don't have to work overtime. Okay, that might be oversimplifying it a little, but essentially that's what you're doing.

    Seriously, what's resource leveling?

    Let's back up a bit. So you've got a project with several tasks, and resources assigned to those tasks. Some resources are assigned to multiple tasks, which has resulted in a handful of resources being overallocated. That is, the tasks they're assigned to require more time than they have available for work.

    Microsoft Office Project has a cool feature that evaluates your work, generic and committed resource allocations, and adjusts your project so that your resources are no longer overallocated. You simply click Level Resources on the Tools menu, and Project comes up with a solution.

    How does leveling work?

    Okay, so admittedly, Project's resource leveling feature is pretty neat, but it's designed as a tool, not a replacement for an actual project manager. You're going to need to know what adjustments were made to provide an overtime-free work force, and evaluate whether the solution that Project came up with will work for your project.

    When you tell Project to level resources, it does a couple of different things. In some cases, it simply moves the tasks around, so that the overallocated resource works on tasks consecutively, instead of simultaneously. For example, let's say you've got two tasks, Task A has a five-day duration, and Task B has a two-day duration. The tasks are completely unrelated in the schedule, but John is currently scheduled to work on both of them on Monday and Tuesday. image

    There are no restrictions on when the project needs to end, so when you level the resources for the project, Task B is simply moved to begin after Task A.


    In some cases, when you level resources, Project splits a task to make room for the overallocated resource to complete a task during a specific scheduled time. Using this same example, let's say John has to complete Task B on September 2nd and 3rd. When you level resources in this scenario, Project creates a split in Task A, so that John works on Task A for one day, then goes over and works on Task B for two days, then goes back and finishes Task A after Task B is complete.


    Prior to leveling, you may want to do a few things to control how the leveling will affect your tasks. You can set task priorities, to control which tasks take precedence over other tasks, and you can set project priorities, so that if you're working with a common pool of resources among multiple projects, the right projects take precedence.

    Helpful Hints:

    - If you set the priority to 1000, the task will not be leveled.

    - To level only certain resources - go to the Resource Sheet, highlight the resources you want to level, and then click on Level Resources.

    Where can I learn more?

    Learn more about resource leveling in the following articles:

    · Distribute project work evenly (level resource assignments)

    · Goal: Resolve resource allocation problems

    · View resource workloads and availability

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Get quick updates about Project content using Twitter!


    The Project Help team is using Twitter to announce new and updated content, as well as other great resources. Check it out at!

    Not familiar with Twitter? First, create an account at, then go to and click Follow. That's it! You can get updates through, a third-party tool such as Twitteroo, RSS feeds, or even your mobile phone.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Team Member Quick Reference Guide


    Roaming around Project Web Access just got a little easier for team members: the Quick Reference Guide is here! This guide is designed to assist team members (not just project managers) with using Project Web Access to report on the progress of project tasks, view task details, record vacation time, and view other project information. You can download and print  the guide for easy assistance while you work.

    Note: We used Word 2007 to create this document, so you'll need to use that program to view and print the file.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    New Help Content - August/September


    Check out the new help content that has come out over the past month.

    GPS Assistance in Roadmapping an EPM Deployment: How do you create a roadmap for an EPM implementation? This is the latest white paper by Chris Vandersluis in the "From the Trenches - Deploying the EPM Solution in the Real World" column on the Project Server TechCenter page.

    Database maintenance plans for Project Server 2007  This topic describes best practices for creating database maintenance plans for Project Server 2007 databases.

    Project Server 2007 Hyper-V guide This downloadable, 37-page document provides IT administrators with information about how to set up Project Server 2007 in a Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V environment. This guide includes technical information, procedures, and recommendations regarding planning a Project Server 2007 deployment for a Hyper-V environment in areas such as architecture, deployment, configuration best practices, system resource cost, and measuring virtual system performance.

    Create a custom field   Use this article to learn how to create, import, insert, and rename a custom field.

    Watch this: Create a custom field  This video walks you through the process of creating a custom field that is associated with a list, and that uses graphical indicators.

    Work with the Gantt Chart view  This article provides information on how to use each part of the Gantt Chart view.

    Project Server Quick Reference Guide for project managers  This quick reference guide displays all the tasks a project manager is likely to do with Project Server. A team member version is due out soon.

    Podcast: Britney Spears, the ultimate project manager This is a link to an external podcast about Britney Spears as the ultimate project manager. It is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but makes good points about project management skills in general.

    What's all this talk about Web 2.0 This Office Hours article discusses Web 2.0 and software plus services model.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    VIDEO: Review of Project 2007 Task Settings and Display Administrative Options


    This is the beginning of a video series targeted to Project Server Administrators.  These are being done by the Program Managers who own the features and are designed to give you some insight into the what and why of the administrative options.  Consequently, these are NOT professionally produced.

    Note: This video will require the Silverlight plug-in. You should be prompted to install this plug-in automatically.   Video hosting is provided by

    Usage Notes

    Below the video is a toolbar, which enables you to control the video.

    • For better viewing, make the video full screen by clicking the rightmost icon (square with a dot in the upper right hand corner.
    • View this and more original content at
    • The second icon from the right will show you the chapter marks, allowing you to jump to specific places within the video.
    • The regular player and volume controls are on the left of the toolbar.

    As this is an experiment for us, please leave a comment below on your perception of these videos and any suggested improvements.


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Configuring Excel Services with Project Server


    I wanted to call your attention to this new TechNet article on how to set up Excel Services with Project 2007.

    This set up procedure was developed by my Business Intelligence team with the Excel Services team.  One of the items which will make it easier to implement is that this procedure does not require Kerberos for your security setup.  It also enables report creation using a tool that is very familiar to report creators.

    Enjoy this and more original Project posts at our blog:

    In planning your Excel based reporting solution, you may also be interested in this “light” reading list below.

    Once you’ve set up your environment, these sample reports can easily be implemented.  You will need to change the data connection in each report to use the correct Single Sign On(SSO) id that you’ve configured.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Confusion - what is a CU or an IU versus a SP???



    Hello,  This entry in the Microsoft Project blog is designed to inform those of you who need or want clarification between the Microsoft Office Project Server Infrastructure Update (IU) and the current Cumulative Update from the Office Hotfix process.  So if that is you please read below.

    It is recommended for customers to first install the Office Project Server IU before taking on the task of installing the latest CU release.  This only needs to  be done once so if you have installed the IU patch then you can skip the rest of this blog update.  For everybody else still reading, you should follow the instructions as documented for this process here followed by the installation of the CU patch.

    This leads most users to ask WHY?  Well let me tell you WHY:

    With the IU, when you install Project Server’s update you get MOSS, and the Office Servers full set of changes or at least those which you are licensed to use.  The WSS fix is a separate installation but the IU installation notes direct users to install the WSS changes before installing the Project Server (AKA Office Server) changes.  This ensures that everybody has a complete set of changes and a good version baseline.

    With the CU releases customers will only be given the patch if they already have an open service request that is fixed with the CU or if they specifically request the Hotfix patch.  When you receive the the Project Server/Project CU patch no WSS or MOSS changes are included so installation baselines can begin to diverge from a full baseline.  While this is not ideal it also does no harm.  Keep in mind that infrastructure update (IU) is not just bug fixes but also core changes to the product with highly anticipated customer experience improvements. The IU patch can contain changes to Infrastructure code that other applications rely upon.  It is for that reason that we are recommending customers install the IU before the CU.  Therefore, IU does not equal CU and neither of these are full SP releases.  CU is just a grouped set of Hotfixes and the SP is as always a roll-up of Hotfixes with some strategic improvements from the engineering team.  The IU was a hybrid of these so this is a one off release and it comes with a one off installation recommendation.  Normal procedure is to install the latest CU patch and you will get all previous fixes since the last SP where the SP is a broader and will bring deployed systems to a common “baseline” from which Microsoft can continue to provide the highest levels of customer support.

    I trust this clears up the difference between a CU, IU and SP patch.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    New Quick Reference Guide for Project Server


    Project managers now have a new Quick Reference Guide to help them use Project Server 2007  This quick reference guide is designed to assist project managers with using Microsoft Office Project Web Access to view, analyze, and report on information, create proposals and activity plans, and to manage project resources. This Word template can be downloaded and printed out for easy assistance while you work.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Infrastructure Update and Help Articles


    The following Help articles have been updated to reflect changes included as part of the Infrastructure Update.

    Microsoft Office Project 2007:

    · Assign a resource to a task

    · Enter costs for resources

    · Overview of project cost information

    Microsoft Office Project Server 2007:

    · Create or modify a custom field

    · Managing jobs (events) in the Project Server Queue

    · Report the status of my tasks

    · Submit my timesheet

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft Project Infrastructure Update Webcast Slides


    The slide deck with an overview of the Project and Project Server 2007 Infrastructure Update has been posted  on EPMConnect: A briefing on the released Project Infrastructure Update - the quality has just got even better 

    This 53 slide deck contains the following:

    • Introduction
    • Infrastructure Update Walkthrough
    • Known Issues
    • Deployment Best Practices

    The demo image used during the presentation is our standard Project Portfolio Management virtual image (email to get a copy) with the IU applied to it.

    The webcast will be posted within the next two weeks.


    See Christophe's post for more information.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    New Help Content - July/August


    Check out the new help content that has come out over the past month.

    Watch this: Use lag and lead time

    This demo shows how to use lag and lead time to create gaps and overlaps between tasks in a project.

    Watch this: Show the critical path

    This demo shows you several ways to display a project's critical tasks. It also shows how to display multiple critical paths in a single project.

    Create work breakdown structure (WBS) codes

    This topic has been updated with more information about basic view usage.

    Set lead or lag time (float) between tasks

    This topic has had a number of terms added to make it more searchable from the perspective of the PMBOK.

    Use templates in Project 2007

    More information on templates.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project Shortcuts


    Everyone's always looking for shortcuts in life so I figured I'd share some of my favorite Project keyboard shortcut commands.  You have to concentrate a bit at first to use them but once you have them down you will save lots of time not having to constantly switch between your keyboard and mouse.


    Action Keyboard Shortcut
    Indent a task ALT + SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW
    Outdent a task ALT + SHIFT + LEFT ARROW
    Link tasks CTRL + F2
    Unlink tasks CTRL + SHIFT + F2
    Scroll to Task on Gantt Chart CTRL + SHIFT + F5
    Task/Resource Information SHIFT + F2
    Scroll the timescale left ALT + LEFT ARROW
    Scroll the timescale right ALT + RIGHT ARROW
    Insert Row Insert


    For the full list see:

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Back to Basics: Understanding task dependencies


    In most cases, the tasks in a project are related to each other, and the relationships between them drive the schedule for the project. The relationships between the tasks are called "dependencies." In Microsoft Office Project, you can create dependencies between tasks in the same project, and between tasks in different projects.

    What kinds of task dependencies are available?

    Project offers four kinds of task dependencies: finish-to-start, start-to-start, finish-to-finish, and start-to-finish.

    First, let's talk about finish-to-start (FS) dependencies. This is the most common type of dependency and is the default type of dependency that Project uses. In a finish-to-start dependency, the second task in the relationship can't begin until the first task finishes. So, for example, if you were planning a project to make a wedding cake, you might use a finish-to-start dependency between the "Bake cake" and "Decorate cake" tasks. When the "Bake cake" task is finished, the "Decorate cake" task begins.


    Start-to-start (SS) dependencies are used when the second task in the relationship can't begin until after the first task in the relationship begins. Start-to-start dependencies don't require that both tasks start at the same time. They simply require that the first task has begun, in order for the second task to begin. Going back to the wedding cake example, let's say you had planned to make the icing for the cake while the cake is baking in the oven. You can't start making the icing until the cake has started baking, so you might use a start-to-start dependency between the "Bake cake" and "Make icing" tasks.


    If one of your tasks can't finish until another one finishes, you can use a finish-to-finish (FF) dependency between them. Finish-to-finish dependencies don't require that both tasks be completed simultaneously. They simply require that the first task be finished, in order for the second task to finish. The second task can finish any time after the first task finishes. In our wedding cake example, let's say there are some finishing touches to the decorations that you can't finish until the cake is delivered. You can use a finish-to-finish dependency between the "Decorate cake" and "Deliver cake" tasks. When the "Decorate cake" task is finished, then the "Deliver cake" task can be completed.


    Finally, the start-to-finish (SF) dependency is a little tricky. When you use this type of dependency, you are saying that the second task in the relationship can't finish until the first task starts. However, the second task can finish any time after the first task starts. Going back to our wedding cake example, let's say you have a task for billing the customer. It begins when the customer requests the cake, but it can't be completed until after the cake delivery has begun. You can use a start-to-finish dependency between the "Deliver cake" and "Bill customer" tasks, so that when the "Deliver cake" task has begun, it is okay for the "Bill customer" task to finish.


    So when you put the entire plan together, with these dependencies intact, the plan might look something like this:


    How do I create dependencies?

    First, you need to determine whether you want to create a dependency between two tasks in the same project, or between a task in one project and a task in another project.

    If you want to create a dependency between two tasks in the same project, review Create task dependencies (links) within your project.

    If you want to create a dependency between a task in one project and a task in another project, review Create task dependencies (links) across projects.

    Where can I learn more?

    Learn more about task dependencies in the following articles:

    · View and update task dependencies (links) across projects

    · Create and link tasks with Project 2007

    · Watch this: Create a cross-project link

    · Watch this: Link tasks in your project

    · Change or remove task dependencies (links)

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