The New Project Blog

The Project blog has moved! If you’d like to stay informed on the latest Microsoft Project news and announcements, head over to the new Project blog . We also have a new RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date. You’ll still be able to access previous posts here, but as of today, no new posts will appear. Special thanks to all our readers for tuning in and hope hear from you on our new blog at http://blogs.office.com/b/project/ .

Project Connect 2010 Administrator Training – 26th July 2012 (£495 + VAT)

When: Thursday, July 26, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (GMT) Where: 1 Shottery Brook Office Park Timothy’s Bridge Road CV37 9NR Stratford Upon Avon United Kingdom Hosted By: Technology Associates Technology Associates is one of the leading IT solutions companies specialising in Microsoft Project and Enterprise Project Management Solutions. Since 1990, Technology Associates have provided deployment, consultancy, development and training services to more than 500 organisations including some of the world’s leading companies, and we have an international presence in countries in EMEA, USA, and APAC.     Technology Associates have deployed hundreds of EPM solutions and deployed more than 2,000 Microsoft Project solutions. The company holds Microsoft Gold Competencies in Project & Portfolio Management, Application Integration and as an ISV, along with eight other silver competencies. With such a stong technical tour-de-force we have built a solid reputation for delivering high quality services and solutions, and providing exceptional value for money. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, with Offices in New York, San Francisco, India and Barcelona, and a strategic partner network covering AsiaPac, Middle East and ROW, we work internationally in delivering IT solutions to our customer base in over 39 countries. Find out more at www.techassoc.com Follow us on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com /TechAssoc   Register for this event now at: http://tapcoadmin260712-rss.eventbrite.com Event Details: Course Content: Understand Project Connect 2010 Administration Concepts & Setup   ·          Understand the different areas of the PWA Home page. ·          Understand how to set up e-mail notifications for users and their teams. ·          Demonstrate how to save Microsoft Project information offline. ·          Demonstrate how to view, edit, and update projects & tasks ·          Understand how to create, and delegate task assignments. ·          Understand how to create and link documents, issues, risks and documents to tasks. ·          Show how to view projects in the Project Center & how to create and maintain the views. ·          Show how to view resources in the Resource Center & how to create the views. ·          Demonstrate how to view resource and assignment data related to one or more projects. ·          Understand how to edit enterprise resource information. ·          View and update task changes to a Microsoft Project plan. ·          View and update calendar changes. ·          Understand Check In/Check Out of Projects, resources and documents. ·          Understand Outlook integration. ·          Understand User Types and what permissions each has. ·          Understand how data is stored in Project Server Databases and in SharePoint. Project Connect 2010 Administration   ·          Understand the different Administration options. ·          Understand the communication and notifications process. ·          Understand the Task Views, Time Periods, Fiscal Periods and options. ·          Describe the provisioning process for creating worksites. ·          Understand how to view and upload documents for projects. ·          Demonstrate searching of documents in the document libraries. ·          Understand how to create and edit an issue or risk. ·          Understand the functionality of Microsoft Project Server (specifically within the Project Connect solution). Describe the differences between Project Connect and the full EPM solution. ·          Understand the responsibilities of an Administrator and adopt best practices. ·          Discuss the various views available, their purpose and how to customize them. ·          Understand the process for time tracking and progressing updates. ·          Demonstrate and understand the significance of Enterprise Custom Fields and Outline code fields at Project, Task and Resource level. ·          Understand the Messaging and the Queue services in Project Server. ·          Describe, understand and be able to apply Multi-value fields. ·          Recognise what the Active Cache is and how it works.

Project and Project Server June 2012 Cumulative Update

The June CU is out for Project and Project Server – and we have the full details posted at http://blogs.technet.com/b/projectadministration/archive/2012/06/29/microsoft-project-server-and-sharepoint-server-2007-and-2010-june-2012-cu-announcement.aspx .  Thanks Rob for the information. A couple of quick points worth mentioning: We have a delay on the roll-up package for 2010 – so if you usually use the roll-up and need to test Project Server fixes you can do this with the individual package until we get the rebuild – hopefully later this week. On the 2007 side the June CU for Project Server does include the fix for the Reporting Publish issue I wrote about at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/brismith/archive/2012/05/23/project-server-2007-reporting-project-publish-queue-job-fails-to-complete.aspx – so if you have been suffering with that one your wait is over.  Sorry for the inconvenience that I know this issue caused many of our customers. Final point – and a frequently asked question – what is the difference between a hotfix and a cumulative update?  In reality nothing – for Office and SharePoint the Cumulative Update is really just a hotfix released on a defined timetable – every other month, around the last Tuesday of the month.  The KB article will always describe it as a hotfix – and it generally does not mention the term Cumulative Update.  The TechNet Update Center is a great place to go for all information on the updates – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/ee748587.aspx .  There is an RSS feed too!

Celebrate the top Project Partners!

The 2012 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award Winners were announced for all categories across Microsoft Partner competencies, products and regions by Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft. In our category – we recognize the best of the best Microsoft Project partners and award them the prestigious “ Project and Portfolio Management Partner of the Year ” award! This year – we have seen great case studies and stunning solutions that Microsoft Project partners have built – and all this underscores the great success and power of Project 2010! Please join us to celebrate the success of Project and Portfolio Management Partner (PPM) community and congratulate the winner and finalists!   Project and Portfolio Management Partner of the Year 2012 – SharkPro Software !   SharkPro Software built a unique solution that reduces the time, cost, and complexity of project and portfolio management deployment – yet by building on top of the Project Server 2010 – customers can seamlessly grow in their Project and Portfolio Management maturity. SharkPro Projects offers flexibility to be easily accommodated to customer business needs and includes on-premise and hosted deployment options. The scale of SharkPro Software extends through PPM Partner community and it’s becoming a world-wide solution for Microsoft Project 2010. Shark Pro’s offering integrates with other Microsoft products – like Dynamics and SharePoint – and thus offering customers a complete platform experience.   Three award finalists BrightWork allows organizations to instantly deploy an initial affordable amount of work, project and portfolio management on SharePoint. This delivers immediate visibility and control and then over time organizations can evolve and mature by adding more templates and dashboards as needed and as ready. This best practices template approach pioneered by BrightWork allows organizations to start small and to grow and mature as ready and as needed. BrightWork uniquely supports the management of the mix of projects (in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Project Server), by aggregating the projects to one central set of dashboards in a SharePoint Portal. Prosperi has been focusing on Microsoft Project Server and SharePoint solutions and Consulting  since 2002. It has an impressive customer list that includes some of Brazil’s most prestigious enterprises and provides tailored solutions to companies in a range of different industries. EPMFAST : Project Server configured with project management methodology, carefully crafted to meet the requirements of diverse organizations. EPMFAST Mobile : Project Server dashboard for smartphones. METROwebpart : METRO style menu for SharePoint sites. UMT has consistently delivered innovative services and products that have helped transform the PPM industry. UMT has gained unparalleled understanding of customer needs by forming enduring relationships with Global 1000 organizations across a variety of industries. In June 2012, UMT announced the availability of the latest version of their financial management solution for Project Server 2010. UMT Project Essentials 2012 is arguably UMT’s most ambitious release to date providing powerful new capabilities including multi-currency support, financial snapshots, change request management and workflow design that seamlessly extend Project Server 2010. UMT Project Essentials is already being used by Project customers and partners around the world to gain visibility and control across project and portfolio financials. To learn more about this solution visit www.umtprojectessentials.com Honorable mentions solutions Number of solutions clearly stood out – some of them are listed below – featuring the Earned Value Management, Mobile Applications, Portfolio Management, Resource Management, Innovation Process Management and Line of the Business Integration. For more please refer to Microsoft Project 2010 Solution Spotlight .                                                                          Honorable mentions case studies We have hand-picked 3 case studies in government and manufacturing built by the following partners. Click on the logo to learn more. For more Microsoft Project case-studies, please refer to Microsoft Project 2010 Customer Success .       Jan Kalis http://blogs.msdn.com/jkalis/ , Twitter @MeetJKalis Product Marketing Manager | Microsoft Project/Visio Microsoft Corporation

Meet the Project 1.0 Creators

A little while ago the Project development team had the honor of meeting our makers so to say – Brian MacDonald and Jeff Lill. They’re the original creators of the first version of Project for Windows which was released in 1990. They started as two local kids who grew up just a few miles from the Microsoft campus. In high school they thought it was cool how you could program little LED lights to go on and off. This fascination inspired their future in software development. They spent some time attending the University of Washington and while they were there built a spell checker app, Corrector.  Unfortunately it was the third spell checker app to the market and while InfoWorld rated it the best in the industry, they only sold 24 copies. Brian thanks his good spelling today though to having to manually enter the entire dictionary. Jeff even did some internships with Microsoft since they needed money to finance their company. After the spell checker app, they started working on a spreadsheet product for Macs called Crunch. Shortly after that, Microsoft came out with Excel and in Brian’s words “really just crunched ‘Crunch’ “. At this time they had a lot of connections into Microsoft from Jeff’s internships and Brian’s wife working there. They were at a party with Bill Gates and he mentioned they should stop competing and start working together. Microsoft was trying to recruit developers to make GUI (graphical user interface) apps for this new platform called Windows. They already had a spreadsheet and word processor but were looking for developers to create a database application (which would go on to be Access) and a project management application. Brian and Jeff chose the latter. While Brian and Jeff had a lot of passion around software, they didn’t have much project management expertise. As Jeff said though, they were arrogant enough to know they could do it. So they dove in and looked at competitors, did a bunch of customer interviews including with another local company, Boeing, read project management books and attended conferences. It was actually while they were on a site visit to Boeing that a light bulb went off and they came to the decision that they wanted to build a toolkit that had a broad enough appeal that anyone could use it for project management. At the time, most project management applications were built by consultants and the software would back up the methodology that the consultant was selling. Most companies though already had methodologies in place and just wanted software to support it. This decision turned out to be a pivotal one and something we still strongly believe to be correct today. In Project 2010 , you’ll see that you can manage projects how you want to manage them. How does it feel that people are still using the tool you built today for huge projects totaling billions of dollars? It feels great! We had always hoped that would be the case. – Jeff Anything about people’s reactions to it surprise you? Right around the time the second version of Project was coming out, Windows started to just explode in popularity and along with it any software that ran on Windows. We initially saw our audience as people who had “Project Manager” in their title but found that the product had a much broader appeal. People were using it to create schedules/Gantt charts to help show their management/team that they had their acts together and were on top of things.  – Brian That was very exciting for them and helped the product really take off. They also thank this success to their initial goal of being a toolkit instead of specific solution. This is why features such as the ability to re-title columns were available back in the original release. What kinds of improvements did the second version of Project for Windows have over the first? Print preview, support for macros, and improvements to the leveling algorithm were some of the top ones. Yes, leveling was in v1. According to Jeff – “All the software solutions had it and all struggled with making it work how humans would expect”.  We are still trying to make this easier today by adding features like change highlighting in Project 2007 and the Team Planner in Project 2010. What do you think of the current version of Project? It looks great. A lot looks familiar with the overall user interface but it definitely looks more modern (they were happy to hear that we now have more than 16 colors). Per the timeline view, that was what we were trying to achieve with the Gantt chart (sharing the schedule with stakeholders) but has an even broader appeal. – Brian Brian went on then to create Outlook which originally started out with the goal of being a task management application. It was only during coding and after much debate that they decided to add email support to it. We think they made the right decision. Jeff worked on Project a bit longer and then went on to do Team Manager. Today they both work in the Bing organization. Some fun facts: · There isn’t a Microsoft Project 2.0 because someone else had copyrighted Project 2.0 · Bill Gates tried to convince them to re-write Project in BASIC and they said no. · The last bug fixed for Project 1.0 for Windows was around supporting the Gantt Chart view with the Task Form. In short, I would like to thank Brian and Jeff for creating this great product that so many of us use every day and rely on to accomplish a wide range of projects.

Meet the Project 1.0 Creators

A little while ago the Project development team had the honor of meeting our makers so to say – Brian MacDonald and Jeff Lill. They’re the original creators of the first version of Project for Windows which was released in 1990. They started as two local kids who grew up just a few miles from the Microsoft campus. In high school they thought it was cool how you could program little LED lights to go on and off. This fascination inspired their future in software development. They spent some time attending the University of Washington and while they were there built a spell checker app, Corrector.  Unfortunately it was the third spell checker app to the market and while InfoWorld rated it the best in the industry, they only sold 24 copies. Brian thanks his good spelling today though to having to manually enter the entire dictionary. Jeff even did some internships with Microsoft since they needed money to finance their company. After the spell checker app, they started working on a spreadsheet product for Macs called Crunch. Shortly after that, Microsoft came out with Excel and in Brian’s words “really just crunched ‘Crunch’ “. At this time they had a lot of connections into Microsoft from Jeff’s internships and Brian’s wife working there. They were at a party with Bill Gates and he mentioned they should stop competing and start working together. Microsoft was trying to recruit developers to make GUI (graphical user interface) apps for this new platform called Windows. They already had a spreadsheet and word processor but were looking for developers to create a database application (which would go on to be Access) and a project management application. Brian and Jeff chose the latter. While Brian and Jeff had a lot of passion around software, they didn’t have much project management expertise. As Jeff said though, they were arrogant enough to know they could do it. So they dove in and looked at competitors, did a bunch of customer interviews including with another local company, Boeing, read project management books and attended conferences. It was actually while they were on a site visit to Boeing that a light bulb went off and they came to the decision that they wanted to build a toolkit that had a broad enough appeal that anyone could use it for project management. At the time, most project management applications were built by consultants and the software would back up the methodology that the consultant was selling. Most companies though already had methodologies in place and just wanted software to support it. This decision turned out to be a pivotal one and something we still strongly believe to be correct today. In Project 2010 , you’ll see that you can manage projects how you want to manage them. How does it feel that people are still using the tool you built today for huge projects totaling billions of dollars? It feels great! We had always hoped that would be the case. – Jeff Anything about people’s reactions to it surprise you? Right around the time the second version of Project was coming out, Windows started to just explode in popularity and along with it any software that ran on Windows. We initially saw our audience as people who had “Project Manager” in their title but found that the product had a much broader appeal. People were using it to create schedules/Gantt charts to help show their management/team that they had their acts together and were on top of things.  – Brian That was very exciting for them and helped the product really take off. They also thank this success to their initial goal of being a toolkit instead of specific solution. This is why features such as the ability to re-title columns were available back in the original release. What kinds of improvements did the second version of Project for Windows have over the first? Print preview, support for macros, and improvements to the leveling algorithm were some of the top ones. Yes, leveling was in v1. According to Jeff – “All the software solutions had it and all struggled with making it work how humans would expect”.  We are still trying to make this easier today by adding features like change highlighting in Project 2007 and the Team Planner in Project 2010. What do you think of the current version of Project? It looks great. A lot looks familiar with the overall user interface but it definitely looks more modern (they were happy to hear that we now have more than 16 colors). Per the timeline view, that was what we were trying to achieve with the Gantt chart (sharing the schedule with stakeholders) but has an even broader appeal. – Brian Brian went on then to create Outlook which originally started out with the goal of being a task management application. It was only during coding and after much debate that they decided to add email support to it. We think they made the right decision. Jeff worked on Project a bit longer and then went on to do Team Manager. Today they both work in the Bing organization. Some fun facts: · There isn’t a Microsoft Project 2.0 because someone else had copyrighted Project 2.0 · Bill Gates tried to convince them to re-write Project in BASIC and they said no. · The last bug fixed for Project 1.0 for Windows was around supporting the Gantt Chart view with the Task Form. In short, I would like to thank Brian and Jeff for creating this great product that so many of us use every day and rely on to accomplish a wide range of projects.

Microsoft at the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit in London

Following our time in Maryland last month for Gartner’s annual PPM event in the US, the Microsoft Project team will also be sponsoring this year’s Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit in London. The two day event represents… “Europe’s premier gathering of program and portfolio management executives charged with improving how organizations select, implement and manage IT projects and investments. The Summit will help you anticipate portfolio fluctuations, and adapt your programs with a view to reducing risk and fully realizing the value.” We’re looking forward to hearing from users like yourselves. You can stop by our booth and join us for a panel discussion on Tuesday, plus our presentation on Wednesday. Check back after the Summit for an update and event recap. In the meantime you can follow us on Twitter where we’ll share the activity from London. Tuesday, June 19th Time Place Welcome Keynote 8:45am-9:45am Westminster B & C Solution Snapshot be there at 10:15am, 10:35am-10:55am Showcase floor- Plaza Suites 2 & 3 Panel Session 11:00am-11:30am Main Auditorium – Westbourne B & C Session 12:25pm-12:45pm Showcase floor- Plaza Suites 2 & 3 Wednesday, June 20th Time Place Session 10:15am-11:15am Westminister A Sponsor Session 11:30am-12:00pm Westminister B And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the exicting announcement of Microsoft’s Surface

Reporting Solution Packages on the TechNet Gallery: "Project Burn and Forecast Report" and the "Project Spend Report"

Just wanted to make you aware to two recently release solution packages that are available on the Microsoft TechNet Gallery: I am pleased to announced the release of two Microsoft Project Server 2010 reporting solutions on TechNet Gallery: Project Burn and Forecast Report and Project Spend Report . Both solutions can be deployed and tested with the Microsoft Project Server 2010 v2 Demo Virtual Machine . These reporting solutions leverages Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services and were created by Emmanuel Fadullon, a Principal Consultant for Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS). The User Guide for the Contoso Project Burn and Forecast Report demonstrates how to use the Project Burn and Forecast Report to estimate the projected spend rate (“Average Monthly Burn Rate”) based on the current spend plan, and it also allows you to forecast a spend plan based on a what-if spend rate in a budget-reduction scenario. The Contoso Project Spend Report User Guide walks you through using the Project Spend Report particularly the use of a key concept — a unifying Expense Code, to track Project Total Actual Cost.  The Total Actual Cost is then categorized into its component costs by project work alongside sustainment and common services activities maintained in associated projects in lieu of Administrative Time and Timesheet entries in order to facilitate cost categorization by Expense Code.  Please note that these reporting solutions are not supported by Microsoft Premier Support and instead are meant to demonstrated the rich reporting capabilities of Project Server 2010. We recommend working with Project & Portfolio Management (PPM) Partners or MCS to modify these solutions to meet your specific reporting needs.

Microsoft Project & Project Server Presence at TechEd North America & Europe 2012

Please find below a summary of the Microsoft Project and Project Server presence at both the upcoming Microsoft TechEd North America 2012 in Orlando June 11-14 and at Microsoft TechEd Europe 2012 in Amsterdam June 26-29. Beside sessions listed below, yes we will have a Project booth staffed by product experts so don’t be shy and ask questions about your favorite Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solution at the booth. Title Description Speaker OSP301 – Turning Project Data into Real-World Reports: An Overview of Business Intelligence Options Learn how Microsoft Project Server 2010 leverages existing SharePoint BI tools to provide elegant reporting options to the enterprise. Attend this presentation to see how Project Server data may be surfaced using such tools as Business Connectivity Services, Visio Services, Excel Services, PerformancePoint and the REST API. Specific reporting examples are provided that may be easily reused at any level of organizational project management maturity. Andrew Lavinsky OSP332 – Best Practices for Deploying Microsoft Project Server 2010 on a SharePoint Farm Are you interested in deploying Microsoft Project Server 2010, but don’t know where to start? In this session we provide you with an overview on how to deploy Project Server 2010 in a SharePoint 2010 Farm. Specifically, we discuss how to deploy Project Server in an existing or separate farm, asses the proper capacity planning, and how to tackle upgrading and migration. Gary Crich AAP313 – Scrum Under a Waterfall It would be so easy if everyone at our companies just used Scrum—or at least Agile. No one would lean on the team for dates and deadlines, and everyone would know that change is a good thing. It’d be one great big happy project management family. But let’s face it—an all-Agile organization isn’t always possible. Maybe you have a Project Management Office (PMO). Maybe you work for a government contractor. Maybe you have regulatory requirements. Maybe you’re the first Scrum/Agile project at your company. Maybe your company simply *likes* it this way. Whatever the reason, Agile teams frequently report into Waterfall organizations. Your team thinks “backlog” and your bosses think “project plan.” How do you make it work? How do you ensure communication and foster trust between the two groups? How do you bridge the project management impedance mismatch? Enter Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Project Server. The chocolate and peanut butter of the project management world. These products integrate and replicate so that the Agile/Scrum and Waterfall groups can work with the tools they want to work with, play nice together, and get what they need to do their jobs. In this session, we not only discuss how to use the TFS-to-Project Server integration but we also talk about strategies to improve communication between the two constituencies. Along the way we discuss some of the difficulties with making Scrum/Agile work in a Waterfall-centric organization and what you can do to minimize the headaches. Benjamin Day OSP02-LNC – Integrating SharePoint and Project Server 2010 – Deployment Approaches, Integration Options and making the most of the SharePoint Enterprise Features The key focus of this session is to understand three popular approaches to implementing SharePoint and Project Server together and the key benefits to each method. In addition you will also learn: •Understanding how SharePoint and Project Server work together •Using the enterprise features of SharePoint to leverage Project Server data •How SharePoint and Project Server techniques differ and can cause issues with implementation Giles Hamson   PS: I’ll personally be attending TechEd Europe.

ANNOUNCING: Microsoft Project Server 2010 Burn & Forecast and Spend Report Solutions

I am pleased to announced the release of two Microsoft Project Server 2010 reporting solutions on TechNet Gallery: Project Burn and Forecast Report and Project Spend Report . Both solutions can be deployed and tested with the Microsoft Project Server 2010 v2 Demo Virtual Machine . These reporting solutions leverages Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services and were created by Emmanuel Fadullon, a Principal Consultant for Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS). The User Guide for the Contoso Project Burn and Forecast Report demonstrates how to use the Project Burn and Forecast Report to estimate the projected spend rate (“Average Monthly Burn Rate”) based on the current spend plan, and it also allows you to forecast a spend plan based on a what-if spend rate in a budget-reduction scenario. The Contoso Project Spend Report User Guide walks you through using the Project Spend Report particularly the use of a key concept — a unifying Expense Code, to track Project Total Actual Cost.  The Total Actual Cost is then categorized into its component costs by project work alongside sustainment and common services activities maintained in associated projects in lieu of Administrative Time and Timesheet entries in order to facilitate cost categorization by Expense Code. Please note that these reporting solutions are not supported by Microsoft Premier Support and instead are meant to demonstrated the rich reporting capabilities of Project Server 2010. We recommend working with Project & Portfolio Management (PPM) Partners or MCS to modify these solutions to meet your specific reporting needs. PS: while on the reporting topic, I also recommend to check Alex Burton’s recent post: SQL Server 2012 & Project Server, Part 2– Business data visualisation with PowerView