Author: Prasanna Adavi

Prasanna Adavi (Project MVP, PMP, MCTS, MCITP, MCT) is a Senior Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Consultant. specializing in helping organizations meet their business needs in the areas of Project Management and Portfolio Management. He is a regular presenter at various Project Server, EPM and SharePoint events across the country, and regularly blogs. He also runs a podcast dedicated to MS Project and Project Server. He has been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award by Microsoft since 2014, for his continued contributions to Microsoft Project Community. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Automating Project Online with Microsoft Flow and Power Apps

Project Management Institute (PMI)® Professional Development Units (PDUs):This Webinar is eligible for 1 PMI® PDU in the Technical category of the Talent Triangle. Event Description: In today’s world of IoT, automation and integration are the mantras everyone is chanting. In any given scenario, it is very likely that the users are using multiple products to achieve their productivity needs. In that context, the only way to achieve efficiency is to be able to integrate and automate between all these tools. However, the integration cannot be so complex that it needs special expertise. It needs to be quick and easy. The same applies to the world of Project Management. There are many tools on a day to day basis that a project manager needs to work with as part of their job. What if we could connect all of them and provide a single interface for the Project Manager to work with? Enter Microsoft Flow and Power Apps… Flow connects to  Microsoft products like Office 365 and OneDrive; third-party platforms such as Twitter, Dropbox, MailChimp, Google Drive, Slack and Trello; and developer-focused options like Github and SQL. Meanwhile, Power Apps helps regular users develop apps quickly that can be used to perform tasks of choice. This session will explore how to use both of these tools together to enable efficiency in Project Management Processes. Presenter Info: Prasanna Adavi Have you watched this webinar recording? Tell MPUG viewers what you think! [WPCR_INSERT]

Automate Project Online Processes with Microsoft Flow

At the end of October Microsoft announced that its end user process automation product, Flow, had gone into “general availability.” Microsoft Flow is a cloud-based service that makes it simple to automate common tasks and business processes across your applications and services, such as Office 365, Slack, Dropbox, SalesForce.com, Dynamics 365 and others. Using Flow, you can write a workflow to automate actions between different services, add steps, conditions and so on. Several pre-defined templates can help you get started using Flow. From a project management tool perspective, Flow offers several actions for automating Project Online. Some of the triggers included for Project Online can take place during these points: When a new project, resource or tasks is created; and When a project is published. Likewise, some of the actions included for Project Online are: During project check-in and publishing; During checkout; While creating a new project, resource or task; and While listing projects or tasks. To learn more about how to work with Microsoft Flow, watch the MPUG webinar, “Automating Project Online with Microsoft Flow and Power Apps,” available on-demand. Putting Flow into Action In this article, I share a simple scenario of how you can set up a quick Flow to add a task to be added to Wunderlist (a personal task management app) for scheduling a project kick-off meeting whenever a project is created in Project Online. To begin, sign-in (or Sign-up), into Flow and click on Create from Blank. In the search bar, type Project and you will see the list of actions you can do with Project. Select an option and you’ll be prompted to sign into Project Online. Once you sign in, you’ll be prompted for the URL of the Project Web Access (PWA) site. Enter the URL and then click on the + icon to add the next action (or condition). The next step is to add the action, create a task in Wunderlist, from the list, and then sign into Wunderlist. You’ll be presented with options for configuration of how you want to create the file. You can use data from the previous step as dynamic variables in the next step. This is powerful because you can add dynamic data between different actions and thereby different apps. As you can see, I’ve added some text for my task and then the variable project name. You can also add additional options to the task, as below. Once you configure the options, give a name for your Flow and click Create Flow. Testing Your Flow To test, let’s create a project in Project Online (note the project name), as below. Now when I go check in my Wunderlist account, I see that the task has been created, as designed. Cool, isn’t it? The possibilities are limitless. Now you can integrate with BOX, Dropbox and many other services. A version of this article originally appeared on “Think EPM,” here. Image Source

Deep Dive: Resource Engagements

Event Description: Resource Engagements is a recently introduced feature in Project Online, and also Project Server 2016. In a typical organization, resource managers and project managers find it challenging to agree on and assign resources for specific projects and tasks. With no clear way to track who is working where, who is over-allocated—and with crossed lines of communication, things can start to break down. Resource Engagements aims to clear the confusion and help streamline this process. This session will cover Resource Engagements feature set in detail, and will try to answer the questions like:• How are Resource Engagements different from Resource plans• What will happen to my resource plans if I start using Resource Engagements?• How can I use Resource Engagements for Support Work?• Will Resource Engagements and Portfolio Analysis work together• How can I report on Resource Engagements? Speaker Info: Prasanna Adavi (Project MVP, PMP, MCTS, MCITP, MCT) is a Senior Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Consultant. He specializes in helping organizations meet their business needs in the areas of Project Management and Portfolio Management. His main focus is on building “business driven solutions” using, MS Project, Project Server and SharePoint Platforms. He is a regular presenter at various Project Server, EPM and SharePoint events across the country, and blogs regularly at prasannaadavi.com. He also runs a podcast dedicated to MS Project, Project Server at msprojectpodcast.com. Prasanna recently organized a global Project Virtual Conference for MS Project, with 60+ speakers, and topics. Contact Details: Blog URL: https://www.prasannaadavi.com Twitter: @prasannaadavi Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/prasanna-adavi-pmp-mct-mcts-mcitp/8/634/919 Have you watched this webinar recording? Tell MPUG viewers what you think! [WPCR_INSERT]

Webinar: Answering the R vs. CC equation with Project Online

Project Management Institute (PMI)® Professional Development Units (PDUs): This Webinar is eligible for 1.5 PMI® PDUs in the Technical Project Management talent triangle category. If you are claiming this session, you must submit it to your MPUG Webinar History after it has been completed in its entirety. Event Description: One of the most common requirements of a PPM solution deployment is Resource Management. While Resource Management could mean many things to many people, the common underlying questions, which every executive wants answered through the tool are: How is my current resource utilization? How does my Requirements vs. Committed Capacity charting look like? Can my organization/group handle the requirements that are lined up for them for the upcoming period? Ironically, while these questions are the most basic and common questions to ask, are also the difficult to answer accurately. These questions touch several areas like the planning of work, estimation, tracking of actual work, and maintenance of the plans. A sensible approach is needed to put the proper framework in place, so that when these questions are asked, you are ready with answers. This session will cover how to use Project Online, and set up the frame work, to plan the work, execute it, track it and provide accurate reporting, from Resource Management perspective. Speaker Profile: Prasanna Adavi (Project MVP, PMP, MCTS, MCITP, MCT) is a Senior Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Consultant. He specializes in helping organizations meet their business needs in the areas of Project Management and Portfolio Management. His main focus is on building “business driven solutions” using, MS Project, Project Server and SharePoint Platforms. He is a regular presenter at various Project Server, EPM and SharePoint events across the country, and blogs regularly at prasannaadavi.com. He also runs a podcast dedicated to MS Project, Project Server at msprojectpodcast.com He was presented the Project MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award by Microsoft in July 2014, for his continued contributions to Microsoft Project Community. Contact Details: Blog URL:         https://www.prasannaadavi.com Twitter:            @prasannaadavi Have you watched this webinar recording? Tell MPUG viewers what you think! [WPCR_INSERT]

Image shows how To access the Site Settings page, click on the gear icon located in the top right corner of the SharePoint site.

Back to Basics: Renaming a Project Correctly in Project Server

I am sure most Project Server users are well versed with the procedures for renaming a project in Project Server. However, this question (or related) comes up pretty regularly in the Project Server Forums, so hopefully this article will serve as a reference for this topic. When you are using Microsoft Project as a stand-alone product, without it being connected to Project Server, then renaming it is the same as renaming any other file, document. However, when you are connected to the server, things are slightly different. These steps are covered in details below. Note: My screenshots show Project Server 2013, but the procedure is also valid for Project Server 2010. Renaming the project from PWA Start by navigating to PWA >>Project Center, and clicking on the project name to open the project in PWA. Make sure the project is in edit mode, by clicking on the Edit button on the ribbon. Then click on the Project Details PDP (or similar one, which has the name of the project field). Make you change for the name and click Save. You will presented with a warning, as below, Click OK to accept and save the change. Once the Save is completed, refresh the page to see your changes.   Renaming the project from Microsoft Project You could also rename the project from Microsoft Project, as below. Start by opening Microsoft Project, connected to the PWA instance that you are working with. Click File >> Open to bring the Open project dialog box. Click on Show me the list of all projects to bring up the list of all projects on the server. Right click on the name of the project that you want to rename, and select Rename. Type the new name and hit Enter. You will be presented with a pop-up box similar to the one below. Click OK. You should see the new Project name displayed. (You might have to close the dialog box and reopen to see the change). Note: When you rename a project with this method, you will need to publish the project before you can see the name update in PWA.   Renaming the Project Site If you are using the Project Sites functionality (a SharePoint site that gets created when you create/publish a project), then it is best practice to rename the project site as well, when you rename a project. Otherwise, the Project Site will continue displaying the old name and URL< which might confuse the users. Renaming a project site has two steps, as detailed below.   Step 1: Rename the Site Start by navigating to the Project Site, by clicking on the Project Site link. Click on the gear icon on the top right corner, and the click on Site Settings in the drop down menu. Under the look and feel section, click on Title, description and logo. Under the Title and Description, change the name to match the project name. Do the same for the Website Address, in case you want the URL also to match the project name.   Step 2: Edit Site Address If you changed the URL of the Project Site in Step 1 of this section, then you will no longer be able to access the Project Site by clicking Project Site in project center. To fix this, follow the steps below. Navigate to Server Settings >> Connected SharePoint Sites Select the site that you just changed the address of, and click on Edit Site Address from the menu bar. On the Edit Site Address dialog box, enter the new site URL, test it to make sure it works and click OK.   That’s it. This is the full procedure for renaming a project, along with the connected SharePoint Sites. Couple of caveats If there are timesheets reported on the project while it had the old name, the timesheets will continue showing the old name, until recalled, deleted and recreated. If there are previous timesheets submitted/approved while the project had the old name, the Timesheet tables in Reporting database will retain the actual values against the old name. So some of your timesheet reports might show both old and new names. If any of your users have pinned the previous site address, you will need to let them know about the new site site URL.

Webinar: Reporting with Project Online Demystified

  Project Management Institute (PMI)® Professional Development Units (PDUs): This Webinar is eligible for 1 PMI® PDU in the Technical Category of the Talent Triangle. Description With Project Online, provided as an Office 365 service, the reporting landscape has introduced a whole new way of Reporting. Because of the ‘shared’ nature of Project Online, the primary method of reporting is provided by Odata, PowerPivot, PowerView, Power BI and so on, in addition to the SSRS capabilities, that will be coming soon. This new ‘suite’ of reporting could be confusing to the traditional Report Authors, who are used to OLAP Cubes, Data Connections etc., in previous versions of Project Server. This session will focus on reporting with Project Online, and its related technologies. Note: Some familiarity with Reporting with Excel, Pivot tables, Data Connections recommended.   Speaker Profile: Prasanna Adavi (PMP, MCTS, MCITP, MCT) is a Senior Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Consultant. He specializes in helping organizations meet their business needs in the areas of Project Management and Portfolio Management. His main focus is on building “business driven solutions” using, MS Project, Project Server and SharePoint Platforms.  He is a regular presenter at various Project Server, EPM and SharePoint events across the country. Have you watched this webinar recording? Tell MPUG viewers what you think! [WPCR_INSERT]

This is a screenshot of a resource assignment view in a project management tool. The view shows the assignments of a resource named "Prasanna Adawi" over a period of time. The resource has a capacity of 168 hours per week. The assignments are shown as bars on the timeline. The color of the bars indicates the type of assignment. In this case, the blue bars represent billable work and green bars represent non-billable work. The view also shows the total number of hours assigned to the resource each week. In this case, the resource is assigned 168 hours of work in the week of 6/1/2014, 84 hours in the week of 7/1/2014, and 4 hours in the week of 8/1/2014.

Where is the Resource Utilization Coming From? – Project Online/Project Server 2013

A Resource Manager came to me years ago with a perplexing issue. When she was looking at the allocation for a resource on a particular project, she could not figure out why the resource seemed allocated – even when the project schedule does not have any tasks assigned to that resource. Long story short, after a lot of head scratching, I figured out that there was a project that was using a resource plan, as opposed to a project schedule to consume the resource’s availability. You can see below a screenshot from Project Server 2010, where there is no indication of whether the utilization was from a Resource Plan or Project Schedule.   If you have been in this scenario, you will know how painful it was to figure out where the utilization was coming from. Either you needed a custom report or you would have had to open each plan/resource plan to see where the utilization is coming from. However, Project Online/Project Server 2013 has a cool feature improvement that will help this, as I describe below. In this example, I built a resource plan for one of the projects. I made sure that I set the Resource Utilization to come from Resource Plan, and published it. Now, when we look at the resource allocations/availability in Resource Center, we can clearly see where the utilization is coming from, as shown below.   A small improvement, but will help reduce confusion, and help the Resource Managers!    

Webinar: Ideation to Completion – Project Lifecycle Management with Workflows

  Project Management Institute (PMI)® Professional Development Units (PDUs): This Webinar is eligible for 1 PMI® PDU in the Technical Category of the Talent Triangle. Event Description: Every organization has a constant stream of ideas/work requests. Often times, these ideas, work, projects and so on all in disparate systems, making it difficult to analyze, approve and monitor the work to completion. With Project Server 2013, no all the elements of a project lifecycle could be handled in one tool. This version of Project includes several exciting features to allow for easier collection of requests, creation of approved work as projects, and by far the best improvement, creation of workflows to govern your demand management Process, using SharePoint Designer. This session will cover in detail and demo, how the new features in Project Server 2013 could be taken advantage of to manage your Projects’ Lifecycle and Governance. Speaker Bio: Prasanna Adavi (PMP, MCTS, MCITP,MCT) is a Senior Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Consultant and Trainer specializing in the MS Project, MS Project Server, SharePoint platforms. His main focus is to help organization achieve value by providing business solutions. He also has extensive experience in leading projects end-to-end in a wide spectrum of domains/verticals including IT, ERP (SAP), Manufacturing, Application Development, Automotive and Creative Services. He is a regular presenter at various Project Server, EPM and SharePoint events across the country, and regular contributor to the SharePoint and EPM Community. He also runs a bi-weekly Podcast (www.msprojectpodcast), mainly focusing on MS Project and Project Server solutions. Blog URL: https://www.prasannaadavi.com Twitter: @prasannaadavi Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/prasanna-adavi-pmp-mct-mcts-mcitp/8/634/919 Have you watched this webinar recording? Tell MPUG viewers what you think! [WPCR_INSERT]

  • 1
  • 2