Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Project 2007 – Visual Reports, create stunning Project Reports!

Applies to: Project 2007

Struggling to analyse project data? Want to easily extract Microsoft Project data to Excel? Want to create stunning Project Reports?

You can launch Visual Reports via the Reports menu button on the toolbar within Microsoft Project 2007 (standard and professional).

Note: Also refer to my earlier post ‘P2007 – Analysis Toolbar, where is ‘Analyze Timescaled data in Excel’?’.


(click picture to enlarge)


All of the templates you see listed in the dialog are example templates that are shipped to help get you started. If you create a new template and save it in your templates folder it will also show up here. You can even choose to include templates from another location such as a public share. Ideal for setting reporting standards. When you create or edit a template you can specify which project fields and custom fields to include in the template.

The following table shows the list of Visual Reports, grouped by category;


Type Description

Task Usage


Cash Flow Report


This report shows a bar graph with cost and cumulative cost amounts illustrated over time.


Resource Usage


Cash Flow Report


This report shows planned and actual costs for your project over time. Costs are broken down by resource type (work, material, and cost). An indicator shows if planned costs exceed baseline costs.


Resource Availability Report


This report shows the work and remaining availability for your project's resources, broken down by resource type (work, material, and cost). A red flag is displayed next to each resource that is over allocated.


Resource Cost Summary Report


This report shows a pie chart that illustrates the division of resource cost between the three resource types: cost, material, and work.



Refer to example report in my earlier post ‘What Are My Project Costs by Resource Type for Next Period? Part 2’.

Resource Work Availability Report


This report shows a bar graph with total capacity, work, and remaining availability for work resources illustrated over time.


Resource Work Summary Report


This report shows a bar graph with total resource capacity, work, remaining availability, and actual work illustrated in work units.


Assignment Usage


Baseline Cost Report


This report shows a bar graph with baseline cost, planned cost, and actual cost for your project illustrated across tasks.


Baseline Report


This report shows a diagram of your project broken down by quarter, then by task. This report compares planned work and cost to baseline work and cost. Indicators are used to show when planned work exceeds baseline work, and when planned cost exceeds baseline cost.

Baseline Work Report


This report shows a bar graph with baseline work, planned work, and actual work for your project illustrated across tasks.

Budget Cost Report


This report shows a bar graph with budget cost, baseline cost, planned cost, and actual cost illustrated over time.


Budget Work Report


This report shows a bar graph with budget work, baseline work, planned work, and actual work illustrated over time.


Earned Value Over Time Report


This report shows a chart that plots AC (actual cost of work performed), planned value (budgeted cost of work scheduled), and earned value (budgeted cost of work performed) over time.


Note: My example above include only Earned Value and Planned Value.

Task Summary


Critical Tasks Status Report


This report shows a diagram showing the work and remaining work for both critical and non-critical tasks. The data bar indicates the percent of work complete.


Assignment Summary


Task Status Report


This report shows a diagram of the work and percent of work complete for tasks in your project, with symbols indicating when baseline work exceeds work, when baseline work equals work, and when work exceeds baseline work. The data bar indicates the percent of work complete.


Resource Status Report


This report shows a diagram of the work and cost values for each of your project's resources. The percent of work complete is indicated by the shading in each of the boxes on the diagram. The shading gets darker as the resource nears completion of the assigned work.


Resource Summary


Resource Remaining Work Report


This report shows a bar graph with remaining work and actual work for each work resource, illustrated in work units.


Enjoy reporting! You can contact me ( if you have any queries or want a demonstration of the reporting capabilities of Microsoft Project 2007.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

P2007 – Analysis Toolbar, where is ‘Analyze Timescaled data in Excel’?

Users of EPM2003 may have been used to the ‘Analyze Timescaled data in Excel’ functionality in Analysis Toolbar. After upgrading to EPM2007, you may be wondering what happened to this feature. 


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The Analyze Timephased data in Excel is P2003 feature has been replaced by the new Visual Reports in P2007.

Visual reports in P2007 has far reaching capabilities than the single timephased export to excel functionality in P2003. Below is a summary of the key features;

P2003 – Analyze Timescaled Data in Excel

· Single report format.

· Simple export of ‘certain’ standard fields e.g. work, Cumulative work. Does not include Baseline information.

· Simple Graph with no drill-down capability

· Extracted Data cannot be manipulated easily or drilled into

P2007 - Visual Reports

· Multiple report formats. Can easily be standardised by PMO.

· Build Complex MS Excel Pivot Table reports with standard fields including Baseline, Enterprise custom fields

· Graph based on pivot table data which can easily be customised by adding/removing fields

· Extracted pivot table Data can easily be manipulated by adding/updating time periods, rows, columns filters etc.

Visual Reports is a new feature in Project Standard and Professional that allows you to report on your project’s data in Excel using PivotTables and PivotCharts, and in Visio using a new feature called PivotDiagrams (think fancy WBS charts). Using Visual Reports you can now easily create eye-catching reports that are also informative off data from your project using formats that are familiar to your target audience. P2007 has some out-of-box (OOB) Excel and Visio templates. You can also create your own templates that you can share out to others to provide a consistency across everyone’s reports.

More to follow in following post.

EPM/SharePoint 2010 – Reaches RTM!

Great News from the Microsoft product Team! EPM and SharePoint 2010 Products have RTM’ed!


Volume License customers with active Software Assurance (SA) on these products will be one of the first to receive the 2010 set of products. They will be able to download the products in English via the Volume Licensing Service Centre starting April 27. Customers without SA will be able to purchase the new products through Volume Licensing from Microsoft partners starting May 1.

You can expect to see Office 2010 in retail stores in June.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

3 Key Things to Remember when Applying Updates!

Applies to: MOSS; EPM2007

I often hear users saying “I am an administrator and logged with my own windows account to do the upgrade”.

You need to think of the SharePoint Farm Administrator (normally SSP account depending on your configuration) as the ADMINISTRATOR! only. This resolves majority of the upgrade failures to do with access rights.

I would highly recommend keeping these three key points in the fore front of your mind when doing upgrades (applying updates);

  1. Login as the SharePoint Farm Administrator (normally SSP account) to apply updates, when working with SharePoint CA or to run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard (SCW) to join a web server to a existing farm.
  2. Test/validate the Farm first by running the SharePoint Configuration Wizard (SCW) on each Web/App server, starting with the one that is hosting the SharePoint CA.
  3. Ensure you have a bullet-proof and well tested back-out strategy in the event of a failed upgrade.

May the force be with you!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Managing My Custom (Local) Project Pro Settings/views within EPM

Applies to: EPM2003, EPM2007

In the past posts (links below), we discussed the ways of creating local views within Microsoft EPM environment i.e. working with your local custom views/settings that are different to the Enterprise Views. 

The question then arises, as to how these local settings/views can easily be;

  1. Copied and used in other already existing projects, and
  2. Used in New projects 

The solution for the above two scenarios is as follow;

Migrating Custom Local Project Pro Views to an Existing Project

The key to migrating custom local views is understanding the fundamentals of what a view comprises of within Microsoft Project Pro. i.e. a View comprises of [Table] + [Filter] + [Group]. Note: Refer to the earlier post which provides the background.

Firstly, open the project from the server (via Project Pro) which has your local settings/views. Then, open the other existing project into which you wish to migrate the custom local settings/view. Now that both projects are open, follow these simple steps;

1) Select the 1st project which has your local/custom settings/views. You can do this by selecting the project name from Windows button the tool bar.


2) Open the Organizer utility via Tools > Organizer


3) Once the Organizer dialog box has launched, you configure the migration/copy of entities from one project to another. See fig below. I would recommend having your 1st project (i.e. with the local settings/views) on the left hand side and the other existing project on the right hand side. Then, click the appropriate tab for each entity, select the custom entity name and click Copy. Do this for all the components that make up your local/custom view for example Table, Group, Filter. Don't forget to copy the View as well. Remember; a View comprises of [Table] + [Filter] + [Group].


4) Once this is done, Close the Organizer dialog box. Save changes to your 2nd project and check-in.

Using Local Custom Settings/Views for New Projects

Now that you have mastered the process for transferring/copying the local custom settings/views from one project to another, you do not want to keep doing this for all new projects you create in future. The options are;

  1. Get your local custom settings/views incorporated into the Enterprise Templates so that others can benefit. Note: only users with appropriate access rights will be able to do this. This is normally a PMO/Administrator function. You may not have access rights to perform this function, in which case, the following option will be more appropriate.
  2. Create an Enterprise Project (not Enterprise Template) that can be used as your ‘template project’ i.e. cookie cutter for your new projects. I would suggest a naming convention like ‘001_YourName_Template’.
    • Use this project to hold all your custom local settings/views
    • Use this project to create new Enterprise Projects using SAVE AS function.

Note: follow the above steps to migrate your custom settings/views to create your ‘template project’.

Enjoy! create and keep your local configuration which does not clash with Enterprise configuration.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Project Templates for PMO/Multi-user Access

Applies to: EPM2007

My earlier post covered the process for enabling multi-user access for common project. This works fine on a single project, but you do not want to keep doing this every time you initiate a new project. Especially, if you are a PMO member and share the responsibility for managing common projects.

The solution is to prepare a project with the required number of users as Status Managers (following the process in my earlier post) and save this as an enterprise project NOT an enterprise Template. See example in figure below.


(click picture to enlarge)

Note: If you save this project as an enterprise Template, you will lose the Status Managers you have setup on the project i.e. they will be removed/cleaned out.

Tip: Use a naming convention that works for you for these types of enterprise projects.  I would suggest using a prefix for example ‘001_PMO Template1’. This will ensure your ‘template’ project shows up at the top of the list of projects….easier to find.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

PWA Home – Filtering Project Workspaces Based on Attributes e.g. Active, Department etc

I recently had a request from a EPM2007 PMO/administrator for OOB (out-of-box) solution for filtering project workspaces, in the home page, based on attributes such as project status or department. The response was simple…..

After having used EPM2007 for a couple of years you will notice that the list of Project Workspaces, as displayed in your home page, has grown.


(click picture to enlarge)

It gets difficult to assess what is active and what is not. The only default filters that are available with the project Workspace webpart are;

  1. All Workspaces
  2. Owned Workspaces

To access/filter project workspaces, in your home page, based on attributes such as Project Status (Active/In Active), department etc, you can do the following;

  1. Remove the existing/default Project Workspace Shared Webpart from the Home Page
  2. Add ‘Project Centre’ webpart in PWA Home Page
  3. Create Custom (filtered) Project Centre view to show the correct projects list


Set the view to filtered view in the Project Centre webpart, as appropriate.


To access the project workspace, first select the row (edge of the grid) for the project concerned.


Next, click Go To and select Project Workspace from the menu. See fig below.


That’s it! Now you can structure the project workspace list the way you want.

If you are not familiar with removing and adding webparts, contact me ( and I will send you further info.