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Periodic Tasks for Project Server Administrators

As a Microsoft PFE supporting Microsoft Project Server, I often get asked what Project Server administrators should do as part of their regular job. Here’s my suggested list.

Daily

  • Check the queue for Failed and Blocking jobs.
  • Review the errors related to failed and blocking jobs to troubleshoot.
  • Check for nightly cube build failures.
  • Cancel Failed and Blocking jobs.

Weekly

  • Review application and event logs on web front end (WFE) servers, APP servers and the SQL Server.
  • Use the Unified Logging Service (ULS logs) as needed, based on the finding in the application and system event logs. Use Merge-SPLogFile PowerShell cmdlet to filter output from all servers: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607721(v=office.15).aspx
  • Check Active Directory synchronization jobs to ensure they were successful.
  • Update Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) values for new users. Newly synched users won’t have an RBS. Note: This may be the job of the PMO.
  • Clear any overly long delegation sessions in Server Settings | Delete Enterprise Objects | User Delegation.

Monthly

  • Provide timesheet training to new users.
  • Provide project manager training to new project managers.

Quarterly

  • Close timesheet periods for the previous quarter plus one or some similar period. For example, if you are in Q4, close the timesheet reporting periods for Q2. The interval will be based on business or reporting needs.
  • Check with the project manager first, then close tasks to updates on projects that are complete or mostly compete or that have older tasks.
  • Archive and delete projects/sites for old completed project plans. (But first create an archive plan that is documented and adhered to.)
  • Generally speaking, don’t ever delete any resources from Server Settings | Delete Enterprise Objects.
  • Delete timesheets from the past. Again, this will be defined by a policy that is based on business needs for reporting timesheet data.

Yearly

  • Create fiscal periods for the next calendar year.
  • Create timesheet periods for the next calendar year. The prefix might equal “Week.”, starting at 1, and the suffix might be the calendar year, such as “.2016”. Week 1’s period will show as “Week.1.2016”.
  • Consider deleting timesheets for long-ago periods.

Do you have your own schedule of administrative tasks? Share them with the MPUG community in the comments below.

A version of this article originally appeared on Brooks White’s TechNet blog.

Brooks White
Written by Brooks White

Brooks White is a Senior Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft supporting SharePoint. He has worked in the collaboration space for 11 years, helping enterprise companies of 100,000-plus users upgrade their SharePoint and Project Server farms. He approaches these large and complex upgrades by tackling each component separately and creating “how to” documentation throughout the process. Long before joining Microsoft, Brooks served as a classical ballet dancer. Now he’s a bicycling enthusiast. Reach Brooks through LinkedIn here.

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7 Comments
  1. I like your list and think it is a good start. Some other things I like to watch is keeping the enterprise resource poo valid. For example, if a user hasn’t logged in to PWA for 60 days find out why. Have they left the company, unaware of PWA, wrong person, etc.

    Another example, any users in the ADMINISTRATORS group that should be removed. Project managers, etc.

    Reply
  2. Keeping on eye on the resource pool is an excellent addition to the list! Accounts that exist as resources or users in PWA will be counted as needing licenses, which can impact the cost of maintaining Project Server.

    Reply
  3. I have a onsite install that I use for development and training. Every time I open it I fear for my life. Will I have to spend hours debugging / updating SQL, Sharepoint, or MSP? I never know, and I spend more time maintaining this beast than I do getting work done with it.

    I’m moving to Project Plan 365, I’ve had it 🙂

    Reply
  4. Great article. Solid and timely recommendations that should be followed by all PWA Admins.

    Reply
  5. Very good tips in this. I really like the idea of adding a task of monitoring the Enterprise Resource Pool also, for last log-in and for other changes.

    If the organization does not have a formal PMO to monitor resource assignments and allocation, it’s a good idea to run the Resource Allocation / Capacity Planning (depending on version) reports once a month too.

    Thanks for the effort you put into this.

    Reply
  6. Great tips Brooks! For Project Online, the list will be a bit shorter since ULS logs and event logs are not available and there are also no OLAP cubes to take care off.

    An additional suggestion I have is to check whether there are cumulative updates (2 monthly basis) which might solve possible issues.

    Also it might be useful to have a few meetings, once per half year or quarter for instance, with key users, to discuss their wishes, comments, remarks, reporting requirements etc. and check if additional configuration or some changes in Project Server / Online might be useful.

    Concerning the timesheet periods, I always create them slightly different compared to your concept. Depending on the week count in a year, in bulk, I create 52 or 53 new entries, starting on the week start date of the first week and first weekday of the year. I use the format / syntax of “Week YYYY-NN”. In my scenario, the prefix is “Week ” (including the trailing white space), followed by the year and “-“. I keep the suffix empty. Afterwards I put a leading zero to the weeknumbers of periods 1 up to 9 to have a right alphabetical order when sorting rows in a report by timesheet period. The result for 2017 for example will be:
    “Week 2017-01” … “Week 2017-02” … up to “Week 2017-09” … “Week 2017-10” … up to “Week 2017-52”, starting on January 2 2017 (Monday, first day of the week in ISO Week) and ending on December 31 2017 (Sunday, last day of the week in ISO Week).

    Reply
  7. André Stolk,

    You are correct that the Project Online list will be a little shorter. I have written for both and I am including the MSFT official links below.

    The Project Server administrators link is here – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt784086(v=office.16).aspx

    The Project Online administrators link is here – https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Periodic-tasks-for-Project-Online-administrators-f7de04cc-9850-466c-920a-dd1ab593154e?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

    Reply

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