Tuesday, 15 December 2009

What Are My Project Costs by Resource Type for Next Period? Part 2

Refer to earlier post for details on how this information can be delivered via Resource Usage view.

In this post, we will look at how this information can be delivered via Visual Reports.

1) Open existing project from the server.

2) Navigate to Report > Visual Reports and launch the ‘Resource Cost Summary’ Report under ‘Resource Usage’ Tab


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Ensure time period selected is weekly.


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3) Select the Resource Usage Tab in the Excel work-book.


4) Update the Fields List for Column, Row and value fields as per example in figure below.


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5) Review the report and adjust/format (for timescales) as necessary.


Visual reports provide a powerful way to analyse project data using Microsoft Excel.

What Are My Project Costs by Resource Type for Next Period? Part 1

I often get asked by Project Managers about ways of extracting project data and this one seems to top the list. This information can easily be obtained via;

  1. Resource Usage View
  2. Visual Report

Let’s review how this can be done using Resource Usage view.

1) Log in to project Professional. Ensure that ‘Load Summary Resource Assignments’ is un-checked if you just want to view individual project data.


2) Open your existing project from the server.

3) Navigate to ‘Resource Usage’ view.


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4) Select Project Grouping ‘Resource Type’.


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Note: Collapse assignments, as required, to show summary by Resource Type e.g. Work, Material or Cost. Right-click in the timephased area of the view and add ‘Cost’ field (remove ‘work’ field if not required).

The figure below illustrates an example of the view showing weekly costs split by Resource types > Resources.


(click picture to enlarge)

The above changes can be made in Enterprise Global so that all users can benefit from standardisation. Alternatively, individuals can create their own local view. Refer to earlier post for creating local views.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Saving Project 2007 Project in other formats – what is lost?

If you save a Microsoft Office Project 2007 project to other older formats such as Microsoft Project 2000–2003, you
can lose data in areas where Office Project 2007 contains enhanced functionality. In particular;

Budget information

Information contained in the new budget (budget: The estimated cost of a project that you
establish in Project with your baseline plan.) fields will be lost.

Deliverables and Dependencies

Information contained in the new, cross-project deliverables (deliverable: A
tangible and measurable result, outcome, or item that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project.
Typically, the project team and project stakeholders agree on project deliverables before the project begins.) and
dependencies fields will be lost. Information contained in task links will not be lost.

Cost resources

Information contained in the new cost resource (cost resources: Resources that don't depend on
the amount of work on a task or the duration of a task, such as airfare or lodging.) fields may be changed,
converting cost resources into material resources. Information contained in other cost fields will not be lost.

Background cell formatting

Sheet cells that have background formatting applied to them will lose their
background formatting. Information in these fields will not be lost.

Assignment owner information Information contained in the new assignment owner fields will be lost.
Calendar exceptions

New exceptions (exception: An instance in which a task or resource calendar differs from
the project calendar. An example is a resource that must work on Saturdays, but for which the project calendar does
not include working time to cover these instances.) that have been added to project and resource calendar
functionality (such as monthly exceptions, yearly exceptions, and those with arbitrary dates) will be lost.

New fields and custom fields

Information within new fields, or any formulas relying on new fields, will be lost. New
options set on custom fields created in Office Project 2007 will be lost, such as the new roll-down setting for
calculation of assignment rows. Task assignment custom field values will also be lost.

Enterprise custom fields Any enterprise custom fields created within Office Project 2007 will be lost.

Something to bear in mind when downgrading your project format.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

SharePoint 2010 - Key New Features & my favourites

Here is a high level summary of the key new features of SharePoint 2010 along with my comments and favourite features in RED.


A new ribbon user interface and Rich Web Editing that makes end users more productive and customization of SharePoint sites easy.




Deep Office integration through social tagging, backstage integration and document life-cycle management.


Built-in support for rich media such as video, audio and Silverlight, making it easy to build dynamic Web sites.

In plain English, it is easy to simply add videos and picture with easy editing/re-sizing capabilities within the web interface.


New Web content management features with built-in accessibility through Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, multilingual support and one-click page layout, enabling anyone to access SharePoint Server sites


New SharePoint tools in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, giving developers a premier experience with the tools they know and trust.


Business Connectivity Services, which allow users to connect to other line-of-business data or Web services in SharePoint Server and the Office client, i.e. show data from another database within a list in SharePoint.


Imagine being able to pull in data from an external database within SharePoint list without coding knowledge!


Rich APIs and support for Silverlight, representational state transfer (REST) and Language-Integrated Query (LINQ), to help developers rapidly build applications on the SharePoint platform


Enterprise features in SharePoint Online such as Excel Services and InfoPath Forms Services, which make it simple to use, share, secure and manage interactive forms across an organization.

The capabilities of Forms services is, in my view, the most powerful offering which mortal users without coding knowledge can make use of. Being able design rich data entry and view forms for use within SharePoint.


The addition of two new SharePoint SKUs for Internet-facing sites, including an on-premises and hosted offer.

10. Large List support!
Yes, SharePoint 2010 supports extremely LARGE lists…the numbers that are being battered around are massive!
SP2010 can support something like 50 million items in a list now. You obviously do not want users to go wild and will want to control the limits via the admin settings (default: 5,000 for normal users and 20,000 for super users).
11. 3rd Party Browser support
Finally users of other browsers such as Firefox etc will be able to work in the SharePoint environment using the tools of of their choice!
I personally use IE8 and combined with Windows 7, is brilliant!
12. SharePoint Workspace
Ever wanted to take SharePoint workspaces/site/content offline. Well, now you can using the new client application that is SharePoint Workspaces (formerly known as Groove).

There are some other features that administrators will find really useful;

  1. Visual Upgrade. This means you can upgrade from 2007 to 2010 without impacting or changing the user interface.
  2. Unattached Content. Imagine the power of this!! being able to recover data from another content DB without having to recovery the whole farm. Wow!
  3. Enhanced Usage reporting and logging
  4. Large List throttling to maintain system performance. Mortal users will be prevented from deleting LARGE lists (millions of items) which could affect the system performance at peak times. This capability is retained with the Administrators.
  5. Advanced workflow management capabilities with SharePoint Designers
  6. Visio Services - Visual representation of data-linked diagrams for users without Visio
  7. and more….

I am personally excited by the fact EPM2010 lives on SharePoint 2010 i.e. uses this as a platform. With the combination of the two, I am like a child eagerly waiting to open my Christmas present!

Hope this helps you in understanding the key features and aids in the decision making process for moving to SharePoint 2010. Let me know your thoughts on what your key feature are, what you think is still missing from 2010 and could be enhanced. I would be interested in hearing from you.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009! continued…

In my previous post I mentioned that there is a Microsoft Project 2010 stand at the SharePoint Conference. Well, guess what? I came across some enthusiastic and friendly faces manning the booth! Some of you may who they are…..


Christophe Fiessinger and Jan Kalis proudly presenting Project 2010!!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009!

The Microsoft SharePoint conference this year is at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas! The unveiling of SharePoint 2010 takes place today at the key note.


The SharePoint partner exhibitors’ booths were just as busy as it was outside in the streets of Vegas!


The number of folks attending this year is phenomenal. Good job I registered in the morning when it was not as busy! Some had to wait a long time for registration and to get their ‘giveaways’.


Some of the exhibitors at the show.



Here is EPMLive’s booth at the conference.


Microsoft Project and Visio also have booths at the show.

More to come. Stay tuned…..

Friday, 9 October 2009

EPM2007 Aug 2009 CU – Services not starting!

When recently setting up a new development environment (with SP2 + AugCU) I noticed that I was not able to save, publish or checkin projects. On investigation, I found that the project server services were not running. If you ever encounter a similar situation, it may be as result of services timing out when starting project server. There are couple of registry changes that can be applied to resolve this issue. Refer to earlier post ‘New EPM2007 Deployment with SP2 – Issues with Services not starting’ for details.

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Fight against Cancer, everyone should! We are all in this together

Like me, you may may know someone close who’s life has been ‘uprooted’ by cancer. Let’s all contribute to a cause that is helping fight this disease. Our day to day life is very hectic and we forget that there are others who need our help! We can make a difference and can help by increasing awareness of this cause and donating.


Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. Their groundbreaking work has saved millions of lives. Further information about cancer and their research.

If you find my posts/articles interesting and is benefiting you and your organisation, then please do GIVE to this charity. Any donation, however big or small, to this charity will be greatly appreciated.  See Cancer Research UK - Donation link on the left hand side. Also, please help spread the word.

Thanks, PJ

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Microsoft Office 2010 – get the insight!

Find out what’s new in Office 2010.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

Microsoft Word 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Outlook 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 Workspaces – work offline!!!

Microsoft OneNote 2010!

Finally, the Office Movie…enjoy

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Project Conference 2009 – Work hard & play hard

After an intense couple of days we were treated to a night out at a rodeo show. Thanks to EPMLive & Microsoft.

WOW! what a night!



(Some of the partners learning to rope)

Here is me getting ready for the show. Strong drink to muscle up the courage to mount the bull!


NOOOOOO it’s NOT me riding the bull…….you kidding! Check out how Apple Mac compares with PC.

PJ Mistry @ Project Conference Rodeo

Now, need to get back to work.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

EPM2010!! – Check this out

Wow! the key note was exciting. The product has moved on from strength to strength over the past few versions. And, this new version is AWESOME!

Reference: Project Server 2010 and Project Professional 2010

Here are some of the key features;

  1. Demand Management (‘Pipeline and Project Initiation’ as we call it back in UK)
    • Unity of Project Server & Portfolio Server.
    • Top Down Portfolio management and Bottom Up
    • Total work management: SharePoint list/activities, Project Pro, Proposals or incidents.
      (click picture to enlarge)
    • Flexible project capture and initiation.
    • Powerful portfolio section analytics
  2. Project Workgroup Collaboration and Reporting
    • Improved reporting via Excel Services
    • Publish Project schedule directly from Project Professional to WSS site and collaborate with Team Members on Task status. Ideal workgroup collaboration solution with or without Project Server.
  3. User configurable Workflows to manage your project lifecycle
    • Enhanced governance through workflow
  4. Enhanced Timesheet and Task Statusing (Tied mode included!!)
  5. On-line web based project editing/scheduling! How cool is that!
    • Create and manage projects using PWA i.e. without Project Pro
    • Edit even projects created from Project Pro
    (click picture to enlarge)
    • Assign multiple resources to tasks
    • create simple task/milestone dependencies
    • Multi-level undo on web edits
  6. Easier deployment and rollout of client apps.
    • No more ActiveX controls.
    • Backward compatibility. Use Project Pro 2007 with EPM2010!!
    • 32 and 64bit client applications available.
    • Exchange server integration; enabling outlook web access task updates incl via Mobile devices
  7. Improved usability of client applications.
    • Ribboned toolbars
    • User Interface (UI) similar to other Office 2007 apps (Excel, Word etc)
    • Grouping of macros
    • Improved copy and paste from Excel! setup your work structure in Excel and simple copy and paste in to Project 2010…and Voila! it retains the hierarchy.
    • Simplified administration; unity of Project Server and Portfolio Server
  8. Delegation
    • Delegate your project(s)/responsibilities to another user say when you are on leave.
  9. Departmentalisation
    • Manage your business projects, resources and reporting by department/division/unit!
  10. Better planning capability in project professional
    • Use Manual/Automatic scheduling of Task. Be in control of how your tasks are scheduled. Setup tasks as manual scheduling to prevent them from being affected by drivers.
    • Task Inspector. 
    • Team planner! Easily resolve resource over allocation allocation on single of multiple projects. 
    (click picture to enlarge)
    • Timeline view. Easily view high level timeline, with user selected tasks and milestone
(click picture to enlarge)

There are many other features and improvements.  Stay tuned for further updates.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Project Conference 2009

Sorry about the radio silence over the past couple of days. I am in Phoenix at the Microsoft Project Conference. WOW! some really exciting stuff coming up!

Stay tuned…….for tomorrow’s update.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Critical tasks – how can I review this quickly? (part 2)

This is a follow on from the previous post regarding Critical Tasks.

Ok, so we now we know the various ways of reviewing critical tasks on our project.

How can I quickly view which incomplete critical tasks my team needs to focus on this week? I have my project meeting every Monday morning with my team and this information will really help my team focus on the key activities in the current week. 

Here are the general steps to getting this information;

First, create a custom Group to collate critical tasks and group them by start date. To do this let’s copy the built-in group ‘Critical’ and name as appropriate for example ‘Critical Tasks by Week’


(click picture to enlarge)

Next, edit the newly created group and add the start date grouping with an interval of 1 week. See steps in the example fig below.


Finally, create your custom view with the newly created group ‘Critical Tasks by Week’ and built-in filter for ‘Incomplete Tasks’. Refer to recommended approach for creating local project views in earlier post. You may wish to incorporate this view in your enterprise global.


The result should like the example in fig below.


Hope this helps!

Checkin My Projects?

Yes, Project Managers (Owners/ Status Managers) can check in projects themselves rather than waiting for Administrators to do this for them. This is done via PWA > Project Centre > Go To > Check in My Projects. See example fig below.


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You will be able to check in any project that you have access rights to whether they have been published or not i.e. existing only in the draft database.

Friday, 4 September 2009

PWA Export to Excel 2003 error

Unable to export list of projects from Project Centre using Excel 2003? 


copy the EXCEL.EXE file from the Program Files/Office11 folder to the Program Files/Office12 folder, creating the folder if necessary.

Note: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Outlook2003 – EPM2007 integration issue for (UK English language)

Yes, there are still some folks using outlook2003. And, often this issue of outlook 2003 integration with Project Server 2007 is experienced. The reason maybe as result of the office 2007 compatibility components are not installed.


(click picture to enlarge)

To fix the issue, a change needs to be made to the registry.

Create a text file (.txt) and copy the code from below. Then, change the file extension to .reg and double click on the file to apply the change. Note: Take a full backup of your registry prior to making any changes to the registry.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

Note: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Critical tasks – how can I review this quickly? (part 1)

As you will have gathered there are different ways of entering and viewing data within project professional. Here are some of the ways to view critical tasks on your project;
    Detail Gantt View
    Gantt Chart Formatting Wizard
    Built-in filter for Critical Tasks
    Built-in Group for Critical Tasks
But first let’s recap on the definition of critical task/Path. This is best understood as “the series of tasks that must be completed on schedule for a project to finish on schedule. Each task on the critical path is a critical task”. If one task on the critical path moves, the end date of the project will move as well.

As you update your project by modifying tasks, be aware of the critical tasks and that changes to them will affect your delivery milestones and project finish date. It is therefore, important to review not just the critical tasks but also the non-critical tasks (with ‘float’) that can become critical as result of some change.

Detail Gantt View

You can access the view that displays the critical path via Views > More Views and applying the Detail Gantt View. See fig below.


(click picture to enlarge)


Gantt Chart Formatting Wizard 

On the View menu, click Gantt Chart, and then click Gantt Chart Wizard  on the Formatting toolbar or right clicking on the right hand side of the splitter bar and select ‘Gantt Chart Wizard’. Follow the instructions in the Gantt Chart Wizard to format the critical path as required.




Using Built-in Filter for Critical Tasks

The alternative to above is that you can apply the built-in project filter ‘Critical’.


Using Built-in Group for Critical Tasks

The alternative to above is that you can apply the built-in project Grouping for ‘Critical’.


Here is a really good video demonstration from Microsoft office online that you will find useful.


Monday, 24 August 2009

EPM2007 – controlling no. of Admin Categories appearing in Timesheet

I had a couple of queries regarding controlling the number of administrative categories that appear in EPM2007 timesheets. This is especially of concern when there are large numbers of admin categories say 10+. The users’ timesheet can appear large and unwieldy especially if they are also working on lots of smaller projects. 

My suggestion would be to set just the main admin categories (which applies to majority of the user base) as Always Display. The others should be left un-checked. See example in fig below.


(click picture to enlarge)

In the above example, Training admin category is setup such that it does not appear by default (i.e. Always Display check box is left unchecked). The example fig below shows default admin categories added when a timesheet is first created.


The user can then add the additional (non-default) admin categories, as required, for the TS week via My Timesheet summary page > Plan Administrative Time and then selecting the appropriate TS period. You can either start adding the committed/planned time within the dialog box for administrative time or simply choose to save and then add the actual time within the timesheet against the non-default admin category that was saved.

Note: You cannot add non-default admin categories from within the already created/existing timesheet.


The resulting example timesheet is shown in fig below.