Tuesday, July 3, 2018

I will not be Microsoft Project (Business Solutions) MVP anymore


Like Jim Morrison said in one of my favourite songs of the Doors, “This is the end, Beautiful friend, This is the end, My only friend, The end”…

But, to quote Microsoft now: Once an MVP, always an MVP! So I’m now proud member of the MVP Reconnect Program. This will allow me to stay in touch with the community and be able to have, among other benefits, an “Exclusive engagement opportunities with Microsoft headquarters and subsidiaries” (no clue what this concretely means J ).


But overall, that’s also an opportunity for me to do something else. When I do something I’m always obsessed, so I will find another hobby and share it with my readers (if any).
Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Enhance the “Track your work” web part


For once, a short article with a quick tip on how to enhance the Track your work web part, on your Project Online home page, by updating some links and changing the colour of the tiles.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Implement your corporate Risk and Issue Management methodology in Project Online

Project Online (or Project Server) should be configured, not to say customized, in a way that it supports your business principles and procedures around Project Management. It should reflect your (probably tailor made) Project Management methodology. The first thing you generally do is to configure your way of doing project plans, by creating your own Enterprise Custom Fields and Lookup Tables that would be used together with your custom views.
Moving forward, your Project Management methodology might contain a method to manage risks and issues. This post is about configuring your own Project Online instance to match your Risk and Issue Management methodology. I choose the Issue list as an example but the same applies to Risks or Documents. Note that identical approach can be used for any custom features such as change requests, decisions log, assumptions and constraints…

Approach
The implementation relies on the usage of SharePoint Content Types. You can find more information on this topic reading: Introduction to Content Types on MSDN. Content Types, being centrally managed, can be easily updated to reflect your methodology changes, and those changes can be applied to any existing Project Site (avoiding to ask you poor dev team to manually update all project site lists after any changes).
The trick is to update the existing Risk or Issue Content Types (or create your own), understanding that Project Online relies on some fields of those content types. It means that you should never delete any of the existing fields. If you remove some fields (aka the trap of the beginner), the publish process may throw an error. Even for SharePoint dev superheroes, it’s very complex to recreate those fields (it’s not just a story of recreating the fields with the same names). You cannot delete fields, but you can create new ones or hide some of the existing.
If you are not familiar with this, here is a step by step procedure to create your own Issue Content Type and use it in Project Online.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Updating the Status Manager, the sleight of hand

The status manager is the resource who is to receive status updates for a task, from any resource assigned to this task. The Status Manager (task field) is described in this page from Microsoft support.

Known limitation
Microsoft Project has a limitation that prevents a schedule owner from setting a task’s status manager to anyone except himself or herself. Hence, if you want to assign another person as the Status Manager to a task within your project plan, you need to ask him/her to edit the schedule in Microsoft Project and assign himself or herself as the Status Manager.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The beginner's guide for Project Server/Project Online reporting using oData

Starting with a definition: OData is a REST-based protocol for querying and updating data and is built on standardized technologies such as HTTP, Atom/XML, and JSON. It is different from other REST-based web services in that it provides a uniform way to describe both the data and the data model.”
Source: webopedia.com

Applied to Project Server (2013 +) or Project Online, ProjectData is the OData service, implemented with the OData V3 libraries, which allow to query project data.

You can access the ProjectData service through a Project Web App URL. The XML structure of the EDM is available from the http://<pwa_site>/_api/ProjectData/$metadata.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The final note on managing Master projects and subprojects with Project Server (and Project online)

This article will describe all the necessary information required to understand how to manage master projects and subprojects within Project Server. Note that the approach is similar with project Online.
For the illustration, I will use a team of 4 persons:
  • Jane Doe, project manager
  • Jeremy Cottino, project manager
  • John Doe, team member
  • Yan Yellow, team member

And I will use the delegation feature to illustrate what other users will see when using the tool.

Create a new master project

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Presenting Office 365 Planner

So, what is Office 365 Planner?

Announced by Office 365 Team, on September 22, 2015, Office 365 Planner (originally codenamed Highlander) is presented as a tool which:
“offers people a simple and highly visual way to organize teamwork. Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files (using Office 365 Groups), chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress.”
Office 365 Planner is available for the following O365 plans:
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E4, E5,
  • Office 365 Education E3, E4,
  • Office 365 Business Essentials
  • Office 365 Business Premium
Microsoft positioned Planner between applications such as Wunderlist (acquired on June 2, 2015) for task management and PPM applications (Project Server or Project Online).

Illustration from Microsoft Mechanics YouTube channel