Thursday, 21 May 2009

Where have my changes gone? Creating local project views

Have you every inserted a column/field in ‘Gantt Chart’ view within Project professional only to find that this no longer exists next time you re-open your project from project server? If you spent a couple of hours configuring a project view and this happened, then you may not be pleased! Perhaps you may vent your frustration and anger on your computer……

The reason this happens is because Enterprise Views such as ‘Gantt Chart’ can only be modified by the administrators who have access rights to modify Enterprise Global.

If you want to keep local project configuration changes i.e. for views, tables filter and groups, you must ensure that these local project entities are named differently to Enterprise entities. For example create a copy of the Enterprise Table ‘Entry’ and rename to ‘Contoso_Entry’ before modifying.

How do I create a local project view?

It is important to remember that a View comprises of;

1. Table

2. Group

3. Filter

(click picture to enlarge)

Some users do not appreciate this and simply create a custom view not understanding that the associated Table is still an Enterprise Table.

Recommended steps to create local project views

Here are recommended steps for creating a new local view from scratch. In the example below, we will create a custom view for scheduling timephased costs for cost type resource ‘Consultancy’.

Step (1): Make a copy of an existing Enterprise Table for example Usage.

- Navigate to View > Task Usage View

- Select ‘More Tables’ from View > Table menu

- Select ‘Usage’ and Click ‘Copy’

- Name the new Table appropriately.

- Tick show in menu

- Within Field Name you can insert new fields or remove existing fields. Note: I prefer to do this after the table is created and associated with the new view. See step (5) below.

- Click ‘Ok’

Step (2): Make a copy of an existing Enterprise view for example Task Usage.

- Navigate to View > Task Usage View

- Select More Views from View menu

- Select Task Usage and Click Copy

- Name the new View appropriately.

- Associate the new table created in step (1) above.

- Leave default Group ‘No Group’. See note below.

- Select a built-in filter for example ‘Incomplete Tasks’. See note below.

- Tick show in menu

- Click ‘Ok’

Note: just as you can create a custom table, you can create a custom filter or group. I will post some additional info regarding this later.

Now we are ready to make some finishing touches.

Step (4): Select newly created view from the View menu.

Step (5): Modify newly created view and associated table

- Right click on field/column ‘Work’ and click ‘Insert Column’.

- Within the ‘Column Definition’ dialog box select field name ‘Cost’

- Align Title and Data as required.

- Click ‘Ok’

- Next, we need to add timephased assignment field ‘Cost’. This is done by right clicking on the right-hand side of the splitter bar and then selecting ‘Cost’

That’s it!! We can now start adding timephased costs for Cost Type Resource e.g. ‘Consultancy’ in our newly created local custom view.

Save and Check-in your Enterprise project.


It is important to remember that a custom local project configuration will remain with the Enterprise project. This will not be available to other users or your other projects unless you choose to copy this configuration from project to project.
If there is a requirement to share the best practice configuration then the options are;
1. Migrate/configure the required view in Enterprise Global. Note: If you do not have appropriate access right, then pass on your local project file copy to your administrator to migrate the configuration to the Enterprise so that others can benefit.
2. If the above option is not feasible simply because there will be very many Enterprise views and/or different nature of works undertaken by various divisions, then the alternative is to migrate or create the local view within divisional Enterprise Project Template(s). This way, only the projects created from the divisional template will inherit the division specific project pro views.

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