Jeremy Cottino

Il est bien plus beau de savoir quelque chose de tout que de savoir tout d'une chose. [Blaise Pascal]

Understanding resource engagements

Resource engagements, which is one of the new feature available in Project Online, is the way Project Managers and Resource Managers agree on resource allocations (for more information about new features of Project in 2016, please check my previous blog article: What’s new in Project 2016).
The resource engagement feature substitutes the resource plan feature you might know from the previous version of Project Online or Project Server. Projects’ resource plans will be migrated to resource engagements. It’s important to note that only published resource plans will be migrated, so before you start, publish all your resource plans.

In order to use resource engagement, the feature needs to be activated. When you connect to your Project Online tenant, you see this message (only admins see it):


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What’s new in Project 2016

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During the Microsoft Ignite Conference Keynote Address in May 2015, the Office 2016 Public Preview for Consumers and Enterprise customers was announced. The final release is broadly available since the end of September 2015. So what about Project? Here was the official announcement from Microsoft:
Project 2016 is […] available online as part of Office 365. The new service side features […], are being rolled out into Project Pro for Office365 and Project Online right now. The new […] features will be available to on-premises customers in the spring of 2016 when Project Server 2016 is released.
Let’s see those new features in details:

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Project Virtual Conference 2015 session: Successful business value realization with Lean Startup and Project Online

Friday October 23rd, I had the chance to be speaker at the first Project Virtual Conference
As introduced by the conference team: “Project Virtual Conference 2015 is the first-ever online conference that is dedicated to Microsoft Project, Project Server and Project Online, that will run for a continuous 24 hours”.
The Project Virtual Conference 2015 in numbers is 1400+ registered attendees, from 76 different countries, and 61 sessions (the list of sessions is below).
My session was: Successful business value realization with Lean Startup and Project Online. The idea was to merge Portfolio Analysis with Lean Startup principles.

Here is the session abstract
To develop their business and products, Coltham Metalhead, a beer brewing start-up, has put in place the Lean Startup Method in order to support their fast growing business. They have combine this practice with a Portfolio Management Methodology, based on the Standard for Portfolio Management from the Project Management Institute. Their Project lifecycle starts with demand management and project ideation through their innovation hub, then the portfolio management process helps the decision making process to select the right projects to run and finally project management techniques help ensure projects are successfully delivered. In this presentation, the focus will be on the Portfolio management principles, and how Coltham Metalhead, hence yourself, can apply Project Management Institute’s standards on Portfolio management and lean start-up philosophy within project Online. By creating what if scenarios (based on risks, costs¦), they ensure they are “doing the right work”.

Have fun watching the recorded


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Creating a resource plan

Within Microsoft Project Server, a resource plan is a forecasting tool for estimation, used at the early stages of project initiation. It’s a way to estimate resource capacity where projects are in different state, in other words, it helps you to define high level resource needs for each project or initiative.

Because you can use it during early stages of projects, there might not be any task or WBS defined yet, some projects might be just proposed and not handed over to Project Manager.

More often, resource plan utilize resources that are generic just to get some idea of capacity. Using named resources might also help resource managers to understand their team’s availability and capacity.

Let see how it works:


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Speaking at the PMI Global Congress 2015 - EMEA

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Wednesday, 13. May 2015, I had the chance to be the speaker for the PMI EMEA congress, held in London, UK and the subject was:

The event description I have created to present my speech, was the following.
Understanding the Portfolio Management Body of Knowledge might help you to better comprehend the goals of a portfolio and the advantage in selecting the right one(s). When it comes to life, you need to select the best tool in order to help ensure that those making the decisions, make the right ones. By attending to this session, you will be able to understand a three-step process of portfolio analysis through one PPM software.
After going through basic principles of Portfolio Management, I gave a concrete example of Portfolio Analysis using Microsoft Project Server 2013.

Let me share here this experience, by giving you a copy of the white paper I wrote and the slide deck of my presentation.

Also, we were proposed by PMI to create a selfie video to present our session. That was my first experience doing this, you can enjoy the decor of my living room J

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Register to attend the Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference 2015

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Spreading the Word about the Microsoft Americas MVP Virtual Conference

Hi All – I wanted to let you know about a great free event that Microsoft and the MVPs are putting on, May 14th & 15th 2015.  Join Microsoft MVPs from the Americas’ region as they share their knowledge and real-world expertise during a free event, the MVP Virtual Conference.

The MVP Virtual Conference will showcase 95 sessions of content for IT Pros, Developers and Consumer experts designed to help you navigate life in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.  Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform, Steve Guggenheimer, will be on hand to deliver the opening Key Note Address.

Why attend MVP V-Conf?  The conference will have 5 tracks, IT Pro English, Dev English, Consumer English, Portuguese mixed sessions & Spanish mixed sessions, there is something for everyone!  Learn from the best and brightest MVPs in the tech world today and develop some great skills!

Be sure to register quickly to hold your spot and tell your friends & colleagues. 

The conference will be widely covered on social media, you can join the conversation by following @MVPAward and using the hashtag #MVPvConf.

Register now and feel the power of community!

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How Microsoft Project Server calculate Projects priorities

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Continuing the series of articles I wrote on Portfolio Analysis within Microsoft Project Server 2013, and following my previous article on How Microsoft Project Server calculate business drivers prioritization, this will (should) help you understanding How Microsoft Project Server calculate projects prioritization.
To highlight this calculation, I will reuse the same business drivers I have defined previously:
  • Expand revenue of the Bobby Brown product line
  • Increase product awareness among people between 13 and 18
  • Increase the number of members of the VIP club
  • Introduction of new premium products
  • Reduce employee turn over
  • Reduction of support call waiting time

And same set of projects:
  • Ambush Marketing Reporting System
  • Bamsolcare Service Desk Reorganization
  • Colthan Metalhead Adventure Mobile Game
  • Corporate Tax Returns Process Alignment With SOX
  • Europa Workflow Upgrade to v12
  • Kern Stinger Operating System
  • Mountain Lake Corp Laptop Deployment
  • Travelling Up Europe Marketing Campaign

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Microsoft Most Valuable Professional on Project

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What a great pleasure for me to be awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional on Project! I am really grateful for the recognition. April 1st 2015, will stay a strange April fool’s day for me. When I receive the email from the MVP programme, I did not say anything to any colleagues even to my wife until I receive another email asking me for my shirt size…
I hope to live up to these great names who made me love Microsoft Project: Vincent, Guillaume, Dale, Ben, Cindy, Ellen, Andrew, Prasanna, Gary, Paul, Sam, Bill…

Thank you guys for welcoming me on your family J

Learn more about the MVP Programme

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How Microsoft Project Server calculates Business drivers priorities

As part of a series of articles I wrote on Portfolio Analysis within Microsoft Project Server 2013, there is another topic I was interested to understand. How Microsoft Project Server calculate business drivers prioritization.
To highlight this, I will reuse business drivers I have defined previously for my article on the EfficientFrontier:
  • Expand revenue of the Bobby Brown product line
  •  Increase product awareness among people between 13 and 18
  •  Increase the number of members of the VIP club
  • Introduction of new premium products
  • Reduce employee turn over
  • Reduction of support call waiting time

There are within Project Server 2013, two ways to prioritize business drivers:
  •  A “Calculated” method where an automatic pair comparison of each driver generates relative priority scores (the one we will see here),
  •  And a “Manual” method where users specify priority values for each driver directly.


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Understanding the Efficient Frontier

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The Efficient Frontier is a concept defined by the Nobel Prize winner HarryMarkowitz as part of an article published in 1952 named “Portfolio Selection”. He stated that an optimal portfolio is the one that delivers the best possible return for a given level of risk or investment. Applied to portfolio analysis, the Efficient Frontier is represented as a curve, and plots strategic value (as a percentage) against Portfolio Cost. It might happen, often when you choose to force-out some projects, that the portfolio selection scenarios is plotted under the curve, which mean that the portfolio is not optimal.

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