Project 12 and Project Server

Project Standard improvements are very uninspiring basically it is focussed on the following areas:

  • Easy to get started
  • Great looking reports
  • Connected to your business,  eg integrate with accounting system

Enterprise Project Management seems more driven around issues with previous product:

  • Resolve existing pain points
  • Scale up to programmes, shared dependencies, resources etc
  • Support all types of work, 30–50% of the work is project work, so how do we manage the rest of the work, so we get a complete view of the work in the organisation
  • Connected to your teams,  better integration with WSS
  • Connected to your business, integration with SAP etc and the different views of WBS and Cost collection

Project Standard, includes some minor usability improvements

  • Multi-level undo, lets project managers try different ideas and easily
  • Task drivers, let you see everything that is driving the state of a task, for example calendars, predecessors
  • Recalc change highlighting, ie when you change a cell all other cells that were affected also change, and indicators flag major impacts
  • Calendar view will be improved so it looks like Outlook calendar

and some simple reporting improvements:

  • Gantt view improvements
  • Excel and Visio reports provided as standard, can be customised
  • These reports are for an executive review audience

and some simple financial reporting changes

  • Budgets can be allocated for different activity types, for example HW, SW, labour
  • Tasks can have their costs allocated according to these budget types

Enterprise Project Management

  • EPM is about meeting the needs of different stake-holders.
    • Functional Managers
    • Team members
    • Project managers
    • Executives
  • Project server interfaces:
    • Visual Studio
    • Outlook
    • Project
    • Project Web access
    • Project server – web interface
  • Project now works better in on-line and off-line mode,  like Outlook cache model, ie Office Pro thinks it is always online, sync is asynchronous.  All traffic is encrypted and over http
  • Project server can now run on the same servers as other Windows SharePoint servers,  allowing portals to be built that contain features from all of the server types
  • A new reporting database is provided that allows thousands of projects to be reported against
  • OLAP cubes are also improved, and risks and issues data from WSS is promoted into the cube as well

EPM areas

  • Much better reporting over collections of projects,  eg show me all late tasks on all projects
  • Much better roll-ups across sites that map to projects in a programme for example roll up risks, issues, changes etc
  • Commitments have been added that are a high level abstraction above the level of tasks,  these commitments are a Windows SharePoint list.  All of the commitments in a programme can be rolled up.
  • As projects get started, you can start to link tasks to commitments
  • Commitments from one project can be associated with tasks in other projects.  You can be warned when a commitment you depend on changes.  Commitments upon which you depend do not automatically cause slips in other projects, but under the project managers control they can do
  • Resources working on your project are not available 100% of the time on project work.  However you can list the activities that these people are working on even though these are not being managed in a project.  These activities are visible in EPM and can be included in reports etc,  but they don’t need project client and the UI is much simpler
  • Resource plans can also be created that provide a high level way to reserve resources for different types of activity
  • A new time sheet application has been created, that allows you to report time on particular activities that are important to financial systems,  this data can flow through to task reporting
  • Tasks in project can flow into outlook either as tasks or as appointments
  • Better support for the life-cycle,  for example resource management and allocation, project management, task management

Personally I think the most relevant work will be the support for real change, issue and risk management list templates in WSS (hopefully these will be extensible) and the ability to aggregate these and the ability to model the programme at a high level as a set of commitments which I like a lot! 

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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