Showing posts with label Knowledge Base. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Knowledge Base. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

EPM2010 – issue with Project Workspaces Links showing in Quick links

Ever come across this issue where all the SharePoint Project Workspaces start showing in the PWA quick links?

image

The resolution is simple.

  1. Navigate to PWA > Server Settings > Quick Launch
  2. un-check the option for ‘Show menu items from Microsoft SharePoint Foundation’. See fig below.
  3. Save changes.
  4. Close browser session and navigate to PWA.
  5. Voila!! the links have one.

image

Hope this helps.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

EPM2010 – Creating Cross-Project Links without saving Master Project

I had a user request about the process for creating links across projects without saving master project. Here are the steps;

  • Firstly, create your projects as normal. In my example figure below, I have two projects ‘001_P1’ and ‘001_P2’.
  • Select the projects in PWA > Project Centre and choose to edit in Project Pro. Alternatively, you can open a blank project and insert the projects.
  • This will open the selected projects in a new blank container project (i.e. master project). Follow best practices e.g. ensuring that the selected projects are in checked-in state prior to opening them in the blank container project.

image.

  • Create cross-project dependencies as you normally would in a standard project. Follow best practice for linking tasks and milestones.

image

  • Once, this is done, close the project and select the ‘Discard Changes’ option. This is so that the blank container (master project) is not saved back to the server. See figure below.

image

  • Next, you will be prompted to save changes to the other embedded/inserted projects. Choose Yes for individual project or Yes to All for multiple projects.

image

  • To check/confirm the changes on individual projects, open the project in Project Pro. Notice the ghost task links (external project task links) in example figure below.

image

Now that the cross-project dependencies have been created, you may wish to publish the individual projects.

Hope this helps.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

EPM/SP2010 – Adding PDF iFilter

Here the steps from Microsoft KB for adding iFilter for SP2010, summarised for clarity.

1. Install PDF iFilter 9.0 (64 bit) from http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=4025 (http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=4025)

2. Download PDF icon picture from Adobe web site http://www.adobe.com/misc/linking.html (http://www.adobe.com/misc/linking.html) and copied at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\IMAGES\

3. Add the following entry in docIcon.xml file, which can be found at: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\XML
<Mapping Key="pdf" Value="pdf16.gif" />

4. Add pdf file type on the File Type page under Search Service Application

5. Open regedit

6. Navigate to the following location:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office Server\14.0\Search\Setup\ContentIndexCommon\Filters\Extension

7. Right-click > Click New > Key to create a new key for .pdf

8. Add the following GUID in the default value
{E8978DA6-047F-4E3D-9C78-CDBE46041603}

  • Restart the SharePoint Server Search 14
  • Reboot the SharePoint servers in Farm
  • Create a Test site (with any out-of-box site template) and create a document library upload any sample PDF document(s).
  • Perform FULL Crawl to get search result.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Project 2010 – strange scheduling behaviour to be aware?

While working on a master program I modified a sub-project. Chose to save the changes etc. I then opened the sub-project and noticed that the schedule was not at all what I had seen or saved in the master project.

image

Checked everything, and all looked ok. The Tasks were set to ‘Auto-schedule’ and Calculation was set to ON.

image

Then, simply hit F9 to force the calculation and Voila!! things changed. image

So, something to be wary about. If the scheduling seems odd, go for the F9 key. Obviously, there is a hidden baguette/issue in Project 2010.

BTW, the version is SP1 + June 2011 CU.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

EPM/SharePoint 2010 – How to display farm version?

use the following PowerShell command to display the Farm version.

Get-SPFarm | Select -ExpandProperty BuildVersion

If you have deployed Service Pack1, then your result should looks like this.

image

If you have deployed June 2010 CU, then your result should looks like this.

image

Hope this helps.

Microsoft EPM 2007/2010 - Don’t Trash the Cache!

Here is a good reminder and advice from Brian Smith (Microsoft Product Team) which I think every should be aware of….

By Brian Smith - MSFT

I was going to use the title asking ‘why are people still deleting the cache?’ until my colleague Corrie came up with this much better one!  Rather than asking why you are still doing it – I am telling you not to!

I know there is a lot of history behind this one, and for those of you that used Project Server 2007 in its early days there were some challenges such as the ‘check-in pending’ saga that got people in to the habit of deleting the project cache.  We fixed the problem, then we fixed it again (and again) and you should not generally be seeing any issues with leaving your cache alone to do its job.  However, many customers I talk to are routinely deleting the project from the local cache before they open it and then again after they close it! Why!?!  Its job is an important one – it saves you having to pull that data from the server again – which will reduce network traffic, the hit on both the web services and the database, which means they can be getting on and doing useful stuff.

I’ll also address a miss-conception here that I have heard from a number of customers – the choice of where to load the project from – cache or server?  You don’t have a choice – Project will load it from the cache if it is there, and then load any incremental pieces it needs from the server, to get you the current version of that plan.  In the screen shot below:

image

the line actually reads ‘Retrieve the list of all projects from Project Server’.  It does not also read – ‘…and open any I might choose after clicking this link from the server and ignore the local cache’.  You don’t get the choice and you don’t need to choose.

I’m sure many of you will not have read this far before clicking the comments option to tell me of all the problems you are having.(and I’m sure some of you are still having problems).  First check that you have the latest cumulative updates and service packs.  If you are still really having issues unless you delete the local cached copy then we certainly need to hear about it so we can fix the problem rather than have you waste your time and system resources doing things that you should not need to do.

I will admit that there can be times when as support engineers we will ask you to remove your local cache to troubleshoot specific scenarios.  The cache itself also has intelligence that allows it to decide that it may have some bad stuff – and it will get a new clean copy of data from the server (symptom of this will be several files in the cache directory with 1,2,3 etc. at the end).  There have also been a few bugs we have worked on recently which ONLY surface when the user has cleared their cache!

So please, if you have been deleting your cache as a matter of routine, then either stop – or speak to your PMO or IT people and ask why they have you do this – and if we need to fix something else then we can take a look.

View this post online.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part10 – inserting/ embedding Sub-Projects into Master Projects

In this post, we will review how we bring everything together i.e. inserting/embedding Sub-Projects into Master Projects.

Once all the projects are published, return to the master project.

  • In the master project, click Insert > Project.
  • Next, select the projects to insert, one at a time. Ensure that each Project being selected is Checked-in and also the option 'Link to Project' is selected. See below for further details. Remember to insert the Projects in the order you want them to appear on the Program schedule.
image

Note: If you don't want to update the subproject with changes from the original project, or if you don't want to show changes from the subproject in the original project, clear the 'Link to Project' check box.

The Master Project/Program structure will start taking shape as you add/insert the Sub-projects. See example below.

If an inserted Sub-project needs to be moved/relocated to another part of the overall WBS, this can be done just as easily as you would move a task/summary task.

image

Critical Note: After the sub-projects are inserted, it is important to expand them so that their data is refreshed.

Configuring Cross-Project Dependencies

Once the sub-projects are inserted in the Master Project/Program, it is important to review and set up (as necessary) the dependencies on the various components that make up the overall Program.

Create dependency links between tasks and milestone across projects as necessary. See example below.

!

Important Note:

  • It is recommended that cross-project dependencies are not created at summary task level.
  • It is recommended that users add associated notes to cross-project linked tasks and milestones for ease of reference.

The procedure for creating dependencies on tasks and milestones across inserted sub-project projects is very much similar to that within the same project. For example, select the tasks/millstones to link and then click the 'Link Tasks' button on the toolbar. Refer to example below.

Linked tasked and milestones can be viewed easily by adding the 'External Tasks' column to your view and then setting auto filter to quickly filter in and out these links.

image

Once the dependencies are created, external dependent tasks and milestones will show up as 'ghost' tasks within the sub-projects. See example below:

image

!

Important Note:

It is recommended that for ease of reference, appropriate task notes are added when external project dependencies are created.

Saving & Publishing Master Project with Sub-Projects

Once all the sub-projects have been inserted and the required dependencies created, it is time to save the projects.

· Expand all sub-projects that have not been expanded since inserting into the Master Project/Program.

image

· Select File > Save

· Ensure that you select 'Yes to All' in the save dialogue to save changes on all inserted sub-projects and the Master Project/Program.

image

· Close the Master Project/Program including associated Sub-project.

Note: If there are some changes pending, the above save dialog box will appear.

image

· Ensure that the Master Project/Program and all the associated Sub-projects are properly checked in prior to exiting the application.

You can review the cache status via the File > Open Dialog box.

image

Setting Baselines (Optional if required)

Open individual sub-projects and baseline as required by your Business Processes.

· Open each sub-project via File > Open

image

· From the toolbar select Tools > Tracking and then select 'Set Baseline'.

Note: User may choose either to baseline the entire project or selected tasks.

image

image

· Save, Close and Check-in the Sub-project.

· Repeat the above steps for each Sub-project.

That’s all for now folks. In the next post, we will review process for updating sub-projects.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

SP2010–Getting to grips with PowerShell commands

Here are some nice Tips from Niklas Goude for PowerShell commands for SharePoint.

In SharePoint 2010 you can manage sites through Windows PowerShell. You can create new sites in a site collection using the New-SPWeb cmdlet

New-SPWeb http://SP/TeamSite -Template “STS#0” –Name “Team Site” `
-Description “Description of Site” –AddToTopNav –UseParentTopNav

You can retrieve an existing site using the Get-SPWeb cmdlet:

Get-SPWeb http://SP/TeamSite

You can configure a site through the Set-SPWeb cmdlet:

Get-SPWeb http://SP/TeamSite | Set-SPWeb -Description “New Description”

And finally, you can remove a site using the Remove-SPWeb cmdlet:

Remove-SPWeb http://SP/TeamSite -Confirm:$false

Setting the –Confirm switch parameter to $false omits the confirmation returned from PowerShell.

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part9 – Creating Sub-Projects

Hope you have been following the previous steps ok. Once the programme is published, it's time to create the projects i.e. ask the PMs to create their individual plans for their work-packages. Do so within Project Professional.

· Create a new project using an appropriate Enterprise Project Template.

image

image

· Update/set the Project Start date and Project attributes as appropriate.

· Create/Add new project tasks in the usual way, as appropriate for the project. There may be some additional activities that you may wish to add, i.e. in addition to those inherited from the Enterprise Project Template. Here is one of the example projects that will be part of the overall programme.:

image

· Build Project Team and assign Enterprise Resources to Project activities/tasks as necessary.

· Save the new Project using the 'agreed' naming convention for the Program and its constituents.

For example, use a common prefix for all components, say Project number or Project Keyword e.g. ‘Gemini Product_00_Program’, ‘Gemini Product_01_Screening’. This is so that all the components of the Program appear together when opening via Project Professional > FILE > OPEN and also with PWA > Project Centre view when sorting by file name. See example below showing Program and Sub-projects;

image

· Then publish the project. On first Publish, be sure to select to provision the Project workspace as a sub workspace of the Program workspace.

image

· Once the Project is published, close and check-in the Project.

· Repeat this for any other projects that are part of the overall Program.

In the next post, we will review how we bring everything together i.e. inserting/embedding Sub-Projects into Master Projects.

Friday, 1 April 2011

SharePoint - Social Tagging; what is it?

I often get asked this question?

This is a new feature of Sharepoint 2010, which takes Sharepoint to a whole new level. social tagging is also referred to as folksonomy.

Tagging of a content is basically assigning description words or categorising the content. There are two types of tagging social and expertise tagging. social tagging refers to content and adds metadata to content, i.e describes what th content is and what it is about. Expertise tagging is related to a person and describes the person. For example skills, projects they have worked on etc.

Social tagging helps users to grow the portals information architecture over time where as expertise tagging helps build relationships and connections to others in the organisation.

Hope this helps.Smile

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part8 – Creating the Program Structure

The following example illustrates the process for creating a Master Project/Program Structure following best practices;

· Login to the Enterprise using Project Professional.

· Create a 'new' Program structure/outline using an Enterprise Template.

Note: the Enterprise template will have all the required default options for scheduling tracking. The Enterprise Template will also have the appropriate Program activities and Milestones.

image

Fig - New Enterprise Templates

image

Fig - select Enterprise Template

image

Fig - New Program activities

· Set Project Start date and appropriate attributes for Program.

· Update Program work structure/activities as necessary.

· Build Team and assign Enterprise Resources to Program activities/tasks as necessary.

· Save Program using an appropriate naming convention.

For example, use a common prefix for all components, say Project number or Project Keyword e.g. P001 Sat Rem Program, P002 Sat upgrade Design. This is so that all the components of the Program appear together when opening via Project Professional > FILE > OPEN and also with PWA > Project Centre view when sorting by file name. See example below, showing Program and Sub-projects;

image

· Next, Publish the Program schedule to the server. This will prompt the creation of a SharePoint Services site/workspace.

Note: If you use WSS for EPM2007, then create the WSS site when you publish the programme. Publishing the Program and then the projects in the right order is paramount so that the project WSS sites can be created as WSS subsites. Note at this stage we've not yet set up any sub projects.

image

In the next post, we will review creation of individual sub-projects.

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part7– Recommended Process for Maintaining Programs/Master Projects

Here are the recommended process maintaining Master Projects/Programs within EPM;

· Open each sub-project, process task updates and update Project Attributes as necessary.

Note: It is recommended that updates are done and processed on individual sub-projects if using collaborative task updates. This would normally be done by the sub-project owner/Project Manager/Team Plan Manager.

!

When working with multiple projects, care should be taken to ensure that sub-projects are appropriately checked-in prior to inserting in Master Project.

· Save each sub-project after above updates and close.

· Open Master Project/Program ensuring that sub-projects are opened in Read/Write mode.

*

Note: User can check the detail view in Project Professional > File > Open dialog box and retrieve the list from the server. The sub-projects will be listed together if the appropriate naming convention is used.

· Expand each sub-project to retrieve the individual project data. The schedule of individual sub-projects will be affected depending on the progress on cross-project dependent activities/milestones.

· Update Master Project attributes as necessary and SAVE ALL changes including sub-projects.

· Publish Master Project/Program and Close.

· Open individual sub-projects, Save, Publish and Close.

The published Master Project/Program and sub-project data will now appear PWA > Project Centre/ Project Details and Data Analysis and custom reports.

Reviewing Team Activities

The Master Project/Program Managers can access the Master Project either via Project Professional or PWA > PC > Project Detail.

Team Managers (for example ,S&A) can review a consolidated schedule of all their team plans via PWA > PC. The team plans will be grouped together via Project Attribute 'Team Plan'. The user can see the individual project details as necessary via Project Detail views in PWA. Alternatively, a consolidated 'virtual' plan can be launched in Project Professional by selecting the grouping header in PWA > PC and selecting Edit. This will launch Project Professional (depending on user access rights) and open the selected/grouped schedules together for analysis.

If you need guidance on access rights on projects, review this post for ‘Multiple user access to common project’.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part6 – Creating & Setting Up

The recommended process for creating a Master Project/Program is as follows;

· Determine the various components that will make up the Master Project/program.

· Using Project Professional create an overall project schedule. This can be created from a 'blank' custom Enterprise Template with say one task, or it can be based on common activities that other sub-projects will depend on. Some users create a list of summary milestones (say by phase), which are later linked to key milestones in various sub-projects representing overall project phases.

Note: Assign Enterprise Resources to Master Project Tasks as appropriate.

· Set the project start date and appropriate attributes e.g. Project_Type = Program and Team Plan = PMO.

· Save the Master Project/Program with appropriate title (see guidance note in earlier section).

· Publish Master Project/Program to the Enterprise and close.

· Create other sub-project Project schedules using appropriate Enterprise Project Templates and adjust as necessary. Set Project start dates and project attributes.

It is recommended that tasks and milestones are setup with the option to start AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. This will make rescheduling and sub-project updates easier. Use of date constraints should be limited.

· Save sub-projects to the Enterprise using the appropriate naming convention and close.

· Open Master Project schedule and insert the sub-projects (with Read/Write option) as desired in the correct order and outline level.

!

Critical Note: A common sub-project should not be inserted in more than one separately published Master Projects/Programs within EPM2007. Refer to note below regarding nesting.

!

Note: Although nested/hierarchical Published Master Project/Program is supported within EPM2007, it is suggested that you try and limit to one hierarchy. When nested Master Projects are used, the user will receive a warning message regarding the existence of the common sub-project in another published Master Project. This is only a warning message and can be ignored.

· Set up cross-project dependencies within the Master Project/Program as necessary

· SAVE ALL sub-projects and Master Project/Program and close.

· Open individual sub-projects and assign Enterprise Resources as necessary (checking resource availability etc.) and set Baseline.

· Save changes to sub-projects.

· Publish sub-project to the server selecting the option to create workspace under the workspace for the Master Project/Program and close.

· Open Master Project/Program, Publish (choose to Save all changes if there are changes) and close.

image

(click picture to enlarge)

The published Master Project/Program and sub-project data will now appear PWA > Project Centre/ Project Details and Data Analysis and custom reports.

In the next post we will review recommended process maintaining Master Projects/Programs.

Friday, 4 March 2011

EPM Project Workspace Missing? Unable to re-create SharePoint Workspace?

You may experience this issue if;

  • The initial project workspace creation failed

OR

  • You copied just the Project Server DBs from production to development environment, without the corresponding SharePoint Content Database and relinking.

As a result, you are not able to create a new workspace when you re-publish the project via Project Pro. The system thinks project workspace exists, but in reality it does not.

clip_image001

(click picture to enlarge)

To resolve the issue, run the appropriate script below against the Published database. This clears the workspace URL part for the project, allowing you to recreate the workspace during the subsequent publish operation from Project Pro.

Note: Take appropriate DB backups and test the script thoroughly prior to applying on your production system.

---To set the SharePoint workspace value of selected project to Null
Update dbo.MSP_PROJECTS
Set WPROJ_STS_SUBWEB_NAME = Null
where WPROJ_STS_SUBWEB_NAME LIKE ‘%xxx%'

----end

----To set all values of WPROJ_STS_SUBWEB_NAME to NULL i.e. update/clean-up the entire Project Server published DB after restoring to Development
Update dbo.MSP_PROJECTS
Set WPROJ_STS_SUBWEB_NAME = Null

----end

Hope this helps.

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part5 - Best Practises, Configuration/Design

The following configuration/design considerations need to be taken into account prior to using Master Projects within Microsoft EPM;

Terminology

The working instructions should clearly identify when to create Master Projects and define what would constitute sub-projects.

Project Naming convention

It is highly recommended that the naming convention for Master Project/Program and sub-projects be agreed in advance so that users can easily identify individual components of the Master Project/Program. In addition, the naming convention should easily help collate the various components when opening within Project Professional and viewing within PWA > PC.

For example, use a common prefix for all components, say Project number or Keyword, e.g. P001 Sat Rem Program, P002 Sat upgrade Design Project etc.

Resource assignments

Procedures should be set up so that assignment of the resources to activities is only done on sub-projects.

Process for managing cross-project dependencies (Tasks and Milestones)

Procedures should be set up such that only Milestones (and Tasks) are linked across projects. It is recommended that these Milestones are appropriately labelled and also notes against the Milestones appropriately define the external dependencies.

Linking of summary tasks across projects is not recommended.

Project Attributes

Appropriate project level Enterprise custom fields should be set up with either Long term program names or values to indicate type of entity. The following attributes are recommended;

- Project_Type (Program, subproject)

- Team Plan (EPS PMO, AS etc).

Baselining

Procedure should be set up such that only the sub-projects are baselined only after appropriate cross-sub-project dependencies are setup by the PMO.

Process for Managing Master Projects/Programs and sub-projects.

The following Post (part 6) with provide further details.

Maintaining WBS and Project Reporting

Procedures are setup such that sub-projects are inserted at the correct outline levels only within the Master Project/Program, otherwise this may affect any existing custom reporting.

Note: Treat sub-projects as if they were Summary Tasks on your standard project. Whatever outline level the summary task would be, insert the sub-project at the same outline level, say for example 'Plan' Phase was originally part of very large project that was split up as a smaller sub-project. In this case, it is recommended that you insert this sub- project in the master schedule/plan at the same outline level as the original schedule.

Updating Views and Reports

The PWA > PC views should be reviewed and updated such that there are Master Projects/Programs and sub- projects mixed in the same views. Certain project attributes such as Cost, Work and Duration are rolled up in PWA view. Consider a scenario where you have Program with projects P1 (cost £100) and P2 (£200). If there is view that shows all three of them together, then you will see £300+£100+£200 = £600.

clip_image002

There is an option to show or hide the inserted projects from within the project centre view.

clip_image004

Other recommended new views are;

- External Milestone Dependency views in Project Professional and PWA > PC > Project Detail

- Team Plans view in PWA > PC. This will group sub-projects by Project Attribute 'Team Plan'. See above.

Security/Access Rights

The access rights for Team Managers (for example, S&A) would need to be set up such that they can only view consolidated schedules of their Team Plans.

Enterprise Project Templates

It is recommended that custom Enterprise Project Templates are created for the overall Master Project/Program.

Additional Enterprise Templates should be created for Phases or Team Activities, i.e. representing constituents of a typical Master Project/Program.

Hope this helps!!

In part6, we will review best practise for Creating and Maintaining Master Projects/Programs.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part4 - Soft Dependency - Deliverables

Most Project Managers want to be in control of their own destiny and do not want their plan/schedule to automatically move as result of a fixed external dependency, as this may have a knock-on effect on agreed milestones, billing, resourcing, costs etc. They may instead prefer to deal with this external change manually, after appropriate deliberations with the project delivery team. The key requirement here is collaboration between the PMs! They want to be armed with appropriate external change information i.e. notification of change so they can manage their project schedules effectively; either working from or to an external dependent project milestone/deliverable.

In contrast to fixed dependencies, 'soft' dependencies can be created across multiple projects. This is done in Microsoft EPM by using the Deliverable feature. Deliverables is a new feature in Project Server 2007/2010, which uses extended capabilities of SharePoint. It allows you to create list items that might be common to multiple projects, and then use those items as logical connectors among other project schedules. These connectors are called Dependencies.

This new feature allows owners of one project to expose key deliverables to their associated workspace, which is then consumed by other Project(s). The dependencies set up on these exposed deliverables are 'soft' and only show as indicators in the other projects, i.e. slippages on the deliverables from one project will not automatically move dependencies created on these deliverable in other project(s). This gives Project Managers/Owners of the other Projects more control over their Project schedules. They can adjust their schedules to meet the deliverable dependency dates as necessary.

See concept illustrated below:

image

(click picture to enlarge)

The executives can also view the Project Workspace showing the deliverables and subscribe to alerts and notification of changes. Different views in the project workspace can be created to show the deliverables as Gantt chart view or simple tabular view etc. Also, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be created to easily identify the slippages on dependent deliverables.

It is recommended that an appropriate task naming convention (say including keywords of the originating project) is used to easily identify the deliverables in other project schedules. later in the series, further information will be provided on the use of Deliverables functionality.

In part 5, we will look at best practices, based on real-world field experience, for Managing Programs/Master Projects within EPM. Then, comes the interesting part…..getting practical with exercises.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part3 - External Project Dependency Management

In Part 3 and 4, we will review the options for managing external project dependencies; Fixed and Soft Dependencies.

Fixed Cross-project Dependencies

Fixed dependencies can be created across projects using the following approach;

· Master Project/Program

· Consolidation of Projects

The key difference between the two is that Master Projects/Programs will be saved and published to the server, whereas consolidation of Projects is a means of viewing multiple projects (say for department, teams) 'on-the-fly' for the purpose of reporting/analysis or creating cross-project dependencies.

Consolidation of Projects

Users can create dependencies across independent and separate departmental projects that may belong to multiple Programs/Master Projects. This is done by creating a consolidated view of projects in a 'blank container’. The concept is illustrated in the figure below.

image

It is recommended that appropriate Project Centre views are created as necessary by reporting entity i.e. departments/divisions/core teams.

The steps for viewing consolidated project schedules and creating dependencies are as follows;

· Select multiple projects in PWA Project Centre view, as required, either by using the CTRL key or selecting the Project Centre view group header

· Click ‘EDIT’ on the view toolbar to open the selected projects in Project Professional 2007.

· View multiple project performance within Project Professional

· Create cross-project dependencies, if required. Note: The procedure for creation of dependencies on Tasks/Milestones across projects is very similar to that on the single project.

· Close and Checkin projects. Choose NOT to save the ‘container’ project. You may wish to save changes on other projects if you have made changes i.e. created dependencies across projects.

Refer to example in the figure below. Once the selected group projects are opened in Project Professional, they can then be re-arranged by simply moving them in the same way you would move a summary task.

image

You may have other reasons to consolidate project files. For example, you may want to combine them temporarily for a quick review or for printing.

Master Projects/Programs

Master Projects are primarily created for the purpose managing very large Projects or Programs. Large Projects and Programs are broken down into individual 'smaller' entities/projects.

For large projects, these are sometimes referred to as work packages managed by Team Managers. For Programs, these individual entities are Projects managed by other Project Owners/Managers. See example below:

image

Master Projects/Programs can be saved and published to the server. A common sub-project can exist in only one separately published Master Project/Program.

Note: Nested Master Project structure is supported in EPM2007. An example of a nested Master Project is as follows: 'Trials – UK Project' > 'Trials – EU Master Project' > 'Trials – General Master Project'

We will later review best practices and Management of Master Projects/Programs.

In the following post, we will look at ‘Soft Dependency Management’ i.e. ‘Deliverables’.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part2 - Key Considerations

The use of Master Projects should be considered when;

- Consolidated schedule status (including Critical Path) reporting is required across multiple 'modular' projects (team plans)

- Simultaneous access to sets of activities by multiple users is required

- Managing very large projects with thousands of tasks/activities

- There is a requirement for managing Project Artifacts (project documents, Risks and Issues) from a common location

- There is a need to collaborate on dependencies across projects or large distinct phases/sets of activities

- There is a need to manage resource overallocation and prioritisation of projects

In the next post, we will review the options for ‘External Project Dependency Management’ within Microsoft EPM.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Microsoft EPM - Managing Programs/Master Projects, Part1 - Background

The term Master Project within EPM is a carryover from the earlier versions of Project. This is sometimes referred to as a program, portfolio of related projects, or simply a collection of projects say for reporting purposes.

There are times where a user may need to look at several projects at once to gauge the impact of a change to all of the related projects in one instance. Alternatively, the user may wish to use the consolidated project function to create a combined view across multiple projects to re- allocate resources so that any overallocations are addressed.

The concept of Master Project for a single user using Project Standard, i.e. with outside the Enterprise, is simpler as compared to when using this feature within the enterprise. An enterprise system is a collaborative environment where there are multiple Project Managers/Owners involved. When using the Master Project concept within EPM2007, certain best practices need to be adhered to. These will be detailed in the following posts. So, stay tuned.

Can Projects be considered ‘Archived’ by simply adding them to a special ‘deny’ Security Category in EPM?

I was asked earlier by an EPM administrator if this was an option to consider. My answer to him was, ‘it depends…..

This maybe an option in very small deployments with limited requirements. If you are planning to use this approach, you need to carefully consider the following;
    This process is not Archiving, but merely hiding projects i.e. making it not visible to users. These projects will still exist in the live databases.
    Build up of Projects, over-time, in the system may start effecting system performance. Conversely, it may be a small deployment but holding few very large projects with extended durations and assignments. If these completed projects are not archived and removed from your live databases, they will start hampering your system performance.
    Your Disaster Recovery will be dependent on the size of your live databases.
    With this approach, the completed projects are hidden, hence there is no instant access to associated project Workspaces i.e. no continued access to important project documents from within PWA environment unless you manually make a note of the URLs.
    Reporting capability will be hampered by the clutter/build-up of completed projects in the live databases over time.
    Admin over-head of manually adding projects to ‘deny’ security category. Or, additional expense of custom code/tool which automates this addition, but still providing limited capability mentioned above.

Hope this clarification helps.