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Webinar Recap: Agile Series Part 2 – Agile Features & Capabilities in MS Project / Project PPM

Please find below a transcription of the audio portion of Tim Runcie’s Agile Series Part 2 webinar being provided by MPUG for the convenience of our members. You may wish to use this transcript for the purposes of self-paced learning, searching for specific information, and/or performing a quick review of webinar content. There may be exclusions, such as those steps included in product demonstrations. You may watch the live recording of this webinar at your convenience.

Kyle: Hello everyone and welcome to part two of MPUG’s Agile training series. Today’s session will cover Agile features and capabilities in Microsoft Project and project PPM. My name is Kyle and I’ll be the moderator today. And today’s session is eligible for one PMI PDU in the technical category, and the code for claim that is on the screen now, that’s mpugwebnlearn091819. If you have any questions during today’s presentation please send those over at any time using the chat question box on the go to webinar control panel. We do plan to answer those for you as time permits at the end of the session today. And we’ll go ahead and get started.

Kyle: I’d like to welcome back Tim Runcie today. Tim is one of six Microsoft Project MVPs in North America and has held the title for 16 years in a row. Tim works with companies like Microsoft and next generations of project program and portfolio technologies. He’s an accomplished speaker, consultant and educator supporting the project management community for over 25 years. And as the president and founder of Advisor Com, Tim has written over 38 books on PM methodologies and technologies. So welcome back Tim, and I’ll go ahead and hand it over to you to get started with today’s session.

Tim Runcie: Excellent. Thanks Kyle. Welcome everyone back for session two here and glad that you could be here. Hopefully you’ll pick up a lot of great tips, tricks and shortcuts. As always let me actually share my screen, it makes more sense if you can actually see what we have going up on both the live demo today and also some of the details that we go through here. I always encourage people even post session or even later on if you’re watching this recording, reach out. Sometimes I’ve got templates and things that I like to share with people. So really want to help educate you guys, get you going and continue the discussion around Agile.

Tim Runcie: Session two, we’re going to zero in on what we call features and capabilities of project. And this is kind of important because it isn’t just project anymore. If you understand how the engineering Teams are structured, there’s a lot more fluidity between say dynamics and some of the things that are happening there, and the things called common data service. So the idea of Microsoft Project or the new product that’s come out, they’re calling it plan one right now, you’ll hear a little bit more about that today. This is fresh hot off the press, as Microsoft still wrestles with modern project versus legacy product, how they’re introducing this, what is the gap, how does it feel, how does it duress Agile, et cetera.

Tim Runcie: As Kyle has mentioned, I’ve done lots of stuff here, so I always encourage people to reach out again, as I mentioned I’ve been doing this a long time, very passionate about both tools and technology. I think it’s important to understand that kind of a mission statement that we have is technology tools and training to maximize impact, productivity and purpose.

Tim Runcie: And what’s fun about this is that as our company, and it certainly as you’ll run into us in other different places or even just talk to me at conferences, is, there is a constant learning that goes on and if have you have ever looked at Agile or Agile methodologies and the technologies, this is one of the hottest commodities that’s out there. There’s entire companies that have sprung up overnight to teach Agile or to work on Agile pieces. But in many cases what we want to do is understand how do you leverage the best of breed, right? Bringing all the right pieces together. So kind of understanding the benefits, the importance of this, and then getting into really what is the structure that we have around that, where Microsoft’s going. And then I’m going to do a live demo.

Tim Runcie: Today, most of what I want to get into is not so much a slide deck or a methodology, is to start zeroing in and showing you some of the moving parts. This is what’s here today. There is more stuff coming. In fact, like I am literally sitting on things that I cannot show you, but guess what? You’re going to see it in the next couple of months. You’re going to see this coming out at a very fast cadence.

Tim Runcie: And if you haven’t noticed, even project or Planner or Teams or Power BI, literally every week there’s some little tiddle update, things that are popping in that are helping people to evolve and make this better. So we don’t have to wait three years for this. Hence Agile, right? Think about how Agile is being implemented, say at Microsoft or other large organizations, is that they aren’t going to wait to sit on features, they want to get to value as quickly as possible, get feedback and really dig into that directly. So let’s look at what is really the recap of what are the pieces that Agile actually brings to the table.

Tim Runcie: And I took my session from session one here and I kind of studied them and looking at a lot of moving parts that are in Agile. And there’s a lot of little idiosyncrasies that you’ll find in the different methodologies, methods and disciplines around that. But in general, Agile, typically across most, if not all the disciplines, basically zeroes in on these key elements. There’s a lot less documentation and they want to focus on high value first. Really beginning to look at what are we doing, where are we going, what are we trying to accomplish? And not necessarily spending a lot of time documenting things that may be rigid or inflexible. It is designed to be iterative and collaborative, right? Some cases the Agile Teams, the customer has to be embedded. That is a best practice is to be as close to the customer or the person who is actually viewing and defining what is the stakeholder that I want or what I’m representing. We want to keep them as close to the team that’s building.

Tim Runcie: Again, it also assumes that requirements can and will change. And this is important, because if you’ve ever been doing project management before, you’ll find that requirements always change or there’s more that becomes embellished upon that. A lot of times I like to have fun, certainly in doing estimating. So I talk to the technical Teams, I’ll talk the customer and I really have gotten to a place where I like to kind of play devil’s advocate. So somebody tells me what they’re looking for, and I’m thinking how can I deliver this without actually meeting the requirement? Because if they give me an unfinished requirement, I want to ask them, oh, so if I deliver what you just gave me, which might be a requirement, with any possible solution. Remember Agile is the ability to think outside the box and to focus on delivering high value first.

Tim Runcie: But it isn’t necessarily prescribing that the solution is what we’re coming up with immediately, it is that we could come up with many solutions based upon true requirements. And so a lot of times I’ll come back and I’m thinking as hard as I can, how can I actually deliver their requirement without actually delivering what it is? Because I know it’s incomplete. So the idea is that we know that requirements are changing and we’re not going to spend a lot of time on it, but we want to do is get something in front of a customer or a stakeholder as quick as possible. Agile disciplines, they group, they categorize, they prioritize. There’s always some sort of structure. There’s always a process. There’s a series of iterators that goes through, and the important part of that is begin to prioritize those requirements. What needs to happen. So again, the ranking, rating, burned down, velocity, you’ll hear terms that helps us measure story points, whether we’re looking at hours, et cetera.

Tim Runcie: There’s some way that says at some point we’re trying to quantify whether we can actually do this within a limited amount of time. The other part about Agile remember is that it’s also about protecting the team from distractions, so that in many cases the technical resources or the field resources are the engineers that are coming in aren’t being overwhelmed with a lot of dialogue or constant change. They’re really going to be focused and so there actually is boundaries, bounding boxes. Remember if we talk about Scrum, we talk about chickens and pigs and the ability to, Hey look, you’ve got to listen on the sidelines, the team needs to come up with that and then they’ll engage you as they need to. So there is structure, even though it sounds like there isn’t structure, there actually is. And again, there’s a goal, right? We’re going to be testing whether it’s test driven development, a feature driven development.

Tim Runcie: We’re looking at what we’re trying to accomplish in sprints, epics, user stories. So in many cases they start to overlap. And what I like about many of the Agile disciplines that are out there is that you can mix and match between this. This isn’t just one size fits all. It’s like, oh no, we’re doing waterfall or we’re doing prints too. Or we’re doing another project management methodology that we have to stick to. Well, it’s important to have a good process. What you could do is in conciseness, is find What is that best of breed for you that works.

Tim Runcie: So let’s step away from the methodology and let’s zero in on the technology side of things. Where is Microsoft going with Agile? And you’re going to hear more and more of this. In fact, I think I’ve got an entire year scheduled to be speaking and teaching and kind of getting out there helping people begin to digest the changes that are coming in technology.

Tim Runcie: And if there’s one thing I can say about this is that it really is the age of the customer. There is this huge resurgence in the fact that we have the baby boomer generation that’s kind of transitioning out, that grew up on the rotary phone, and long before cell phones were around. And we’ve got vinyl still in our closet, which actually is worth a lot more money now than CDs. I think vinyl’s outselling CDs and DVDs right now in terms of what people are buying and viewing around music. But what’s fun about this is that the millennial generation, the gen X, the gen Ys the gen Zers. And more than that, they grew up on technology. So their appetite and their tolerance factor is actually higher for them to quickly get in and do much quicker turnaround.

Tim Runcie: And so this is actually in a sense is going to provide a strong foundation for ensuring that as Microsoft begins building that Office 365 series of tools and connectedness. And again, not just Microsoft, right? We look at IBM, we look at some of the other vendors that are out there and we’ll talk about a few of those as well. But there are people who are building tools, but they remember the competency of what’s being organized, structured and delivered is on a very different cadence. So where Microsoft is looking at this, is that there’s a lot of tools here. In fact, I think even this picture is even out of date since the last time I popped it in here because we have staff hub now moved into Teams. We see some other things that are shifting, moving around, getting new names.

Tim Runcie: But inherently the idea is that the structure is continuing to evolve and it’s designed to produce value for the customer, get them in, get them out and get them back to work. And in many cases, it’s not one monolithic system that says I can do everything in the kitchen sink, it’s the Swiss army knife. It really is designed to help people understand I can work multiple tools together. Gardener just came out with a report, it was published July 30th of 2019 so if you’re watching this 10 years from now, it’s still a good report. But I’m sure Gardener may have a few of those out there, but it talks about beware of one size fits all in the PPM software systems, and many cases it’ll talk about when you’re beginning to structure what is going on, don’t make your accounting system become your project management system.

Tim Runcie: At the same time, don’t try and make your project management system become your accounting system. And that works doubly if you’re working in a software development environment is that, if you’re going to try and make Microsoft Project become your software developers tool, it’s not a right fit. In fact, in many cases the more things that we bundle in in our Swiss army knife where we try and pack everything in the kitchen sink on a backpacking trip, is that it just becomes laborious and too hard to work with. So in that endeavor, in that drive forward, you’re going to see some things. You’re going to hear something called plan one, plan two, plan three, where Microsoft is restructuring how they’re going to do licensing. I’ll be talking more about this later, but there’s also new technology that’s saying from the ground up, we want to meet the needs where people are at, without necessarily getting rid of old project, right?

Tim Runcie: Legacy Project is powerful. It’s going to be around for a very long time, and it has some great values, and as these new upstart tools or views or reports or we look at Planner, it has a purpose. Power BI has a purpose.

Tim Runcie: Flow and PowerApps, again, important parts of the ecosystem, and they’re evolving at the same time, not that they’ve arrived, but they really have been introduced to solve a particular need. So as we look at this, you’re going to hear things about roadmap. In fact, I’m very excited about the direction Microsoft’s going to be going with a tool called roadmap. And this comes with the Microsoft licensing. So if you have a project, you get roadmap, you’ve got a team members license or a desktop license or you’ve got the enterprise, resource management, the portfolio license or as we’ll talk about license plans, and the names will all change.

Tim Runcie: The key is roadmap is here to stay, and it’s designed to begin start solving things for people, meaning bringing connected systems together. And remember the idea of now that Microsoft has began standardizing the back end of their platforms with data between the different tools, all using the same database structure and also using the same systems, we’re seeing dynamics where Microsoft Project is now going to become the scheduling engine for CRM and certainly other areas.

Tim Runcie: And when I say Microsoft Project it does it today, but we’re talking about something that’s whole new and the idea to be able to get people in and out and not necessarily overburden them with too many hours and tasks and percent complete and then forcing it, there’s going to be kind of an evolution where these tools are going to design to come together.

Tim Runcie: So as we think of that, I want to reiterate the fact that remember in project, program and portfolio management, there are subsets under this that actually were really where the heavy lifting happens, and that is in the work management and task management space. In fact, if you look at the screenshot that I have up here, lower left hand corner is you’re going to see a little Wunderlist symbol, which is really cool. We’re going to talk about Wunderlist a little bit today. In fact, I’m going to take you into something called MS To-Do. I’ll tell funny stories when I get there. But remember, people work with tasks day in and day out. Does it have to come from a project scheduling system? Does it have to come from our JIRA tool? Maybe what we really need to do is think about where is the work being done and how do we bring and present that together?

Tim Runcie: And so what Microsoft’s been trying to engineer is a new way of thinking of how to quickly get to task or how to plan out work without necessarily looking at predecessor or successors. What is your percent complete? Is there a baseline on that? We just need people to check things off to make sure it gets done, do a lot of collaboration, which sits cleanly, cleanly in the Agile space. So as we begin thinking through the Agile tools, project has a role, Planner has a role, we’re going to see some of the differences between modern and legacy project. And the focus of where the effort is with the intent to have these things meet in the middle. And certainly with Power BI, PowerApps and Flow, we’re seeing a lot of connectedness that even if it’s not native today, people are building connections all the time with APIs. And it’s actually gotten a lot easier.

Tim Runcie: So we’ll talk about To-Do, we’ll talk about Teams and there it is in the lower right hand corner, Azure DevOps. For those of you who maybe remember team foundation server, the ability to let my team kind of work and manage tasks and then push and pull it between Excel or project, because project managers in many cases are using other tools and aren’t necessarily trying to roll in and look at your source code that the developers might be checking in and checking out or at least listing requirements. So as we think through some of these, again, roadmap being part of an Agile tool set. Now when you look at roadmap here and just this icon or this picture that I’ve got right now, is that you’ve got kind of a breakdown of information, right?

Tim Runcie: So you think about this, which is okay, high level activity is key milestones, thinking very cleanly about presenting this to an executive body, and they’re thinking through, hey, what’s all the big picture, what’s going on? But remember Agile is also about planning, right? It’s about looking at what are the rolling waves, progressive elaboration of work. And so roadmap being in a place that says, well not only are we talking about looking at what we’re doing or what we’re thinking about doing, but what if we took this and started saying, well what if I actually made this part of my initial planning? Right? It could start at a high level. Look at the epics for the sprints and figure out what it is. And then we’ll let the Teams unpack that or bring in the data from different data sources.

Tim Runcie: So from an Agile perspective, not only from a top down, but then we can flip over to Microsoft Project, which you’re going to see here in just a moment. And we’re going to see some of the task boards, the sprint boards and the ability to say, well look, you like post it notes. And you like the Kanban approach to things. Why we’ve got that right for you. Whether we do it in project or we kick it from project down into Planner, the idea is that we have a seamless flow of what’s the right tool for the team that they’re working with. And so as we start getting in there, I think that becomes very important.

Tim Runcie: All right, so as my wife says, less talking more kisses. So let’s get down to business. Let’s take a look at some of the tools here. So let me bring up a couple things. I’m going to kind of work our way into this so that you can actually see what are the moving parts, how do they work, and how do they work effectively together.

Tim Runcie: So let’s think through a little bit of kind of that whole process of we’ve talked about high level with some of the tools here. Let me start with our fan favorite Microsoft Project. So let me bring up just what I’ve got kind of a mixture here. And whether you’re on Office 365 or let’s say you’re not, remember let’s say that you’ve just got desktop Microsoft Project. You are a MPUG user for 10 years and you’ve got project 2010, and you can do things lethally, Agiley and Mobily. That is great. And part of that is remember that this is a database, right? So if I come in here, I can organize my waterfall schedule and I can embed my Agile development or my 30% design, 60% 90% design. I can do features, I can do a manual task, I can do auto scheduling task here, but we can certainly set up an Agile environment.

Tim Runcie: In fact, I can even go in here and if I want to switch to an Agile table, we’ve got it right here where I can come in and look at my backlog, my sprints. I can have story points. And what I like about this, again, this is all something you could do with every version of project from beginning to end here, is that you can come into this database and say, you know what? Let’s do a little grouping. I just want to take a look at what’s going on in these sprints. And the nice thing about grouping is that I can actually come in here, look at the total amount of cost or effort or work, and all I have to do is add it just by grouping it. Or let’s go ahead and maybe take a look at a burn down, I want to see how we’re doing.

Tim Runcie: So not only do I want to not see anything that’s in a sprint, that’s not in a sprint. I want to see what’s done. And I said, cost. Well, let’s see if we’re tracking cost here we could even literally get right into cost and say, well, gee, look at that. Here’s the cost, the hours, the work, the story points, and I can see what’s done, what’s not done, what’s in progress. Remember, stuff’s supposed to be progress if you’re in a sprint from the next sprint. But inherently, the idea is that you’ve got a database. It’s a great tool to pivot in and out of. And so again, if you want this template, just send me an email, happy to share this with you, because natively you’ve got some great features and views and things that you can do.

Tim Runcie: But let’s talk about what the Microsoft engineering team did here. So if you notice here, I’ve got this a view tab, and when I click on here, this has changed about five times. And every time I come in her I’m like, all right, what’s new? Where did it go? So first off we’ll talk about what is called the boards, right? And by default you’re going to see something called a task board. In our next session that we do in our webinar, webinar session three, I’m going to talk about how to customize this to make it really easy to get in and get out. Because when you guys come in you’ll probably not see natively the sprint planning board, which says, hey, I’m managing sprints. Or, hey listen, I want to get into that task board. But the idea is that I might have a high level timeline here looking at the big picture, but these cards, these features, these tasks that I’m looking at here are just that I’m only thinking in terms of, hey listen, feature five, is that needing a deeper estimate or I need to put in a priority buckets.

Tim Runcie: So I might just say, urgent review right? Add a bucket. And now what I could do is start dragging and dropping these. And what’s kind of fun as I have a touchscreen and so my tablet, I literally will slip here and drag and drop these around and I won’t even have the keyboard on there. But again, if I double click on any one of these tasks, while it’s easy to kind of manage what sits behind the scenes, the full of the Microsoft Project and project online database is all sitting here with the task information, but it allows you to move, think and plan. Drag and drop these through by buckets or by priority. Now, if you’re a definitely doing sprints, like if you’re into the scrum side of things and you’re looking at maybe a blended version of what you’re working on and you will begin to manage that, you switch over to a sprint planning board.

Tim Runcie: And again, I can filter things in and out that I want to see here. So maybe in sprint one or I might even set up a sprint zero, which is a planning sprint, or I might have a retroactive sprint. Is that you can come in here and drag these just like cards, move those around. MPUG’s done a great job showcasing some of these features. And I’ll come back here, but again, remember database is that if I like this and I’ve been trying to make this work somewhere else, why would I put my data in four different places or why would I still stick with the post it notes if I want to quickly get in here? I remember there were some other third party tools that we get into the ability to do brainstorming with. And I was sitting down at a SugarPoint conference and I was really tired, I was just sitting down on a bench.

Tim Runcie: And this lady sat down next to me and she was the VP of sales for basically this company that did brainstorming technical solutions. And I said, “How are you doing enjoying your time?” And she said, “Yeah, I’m tired too.” And so we chatted for a moment. I said, “Well, what do you here for?” And she told me, and I said, “I love your product because it synchronizes in and out of Microsoft Project and basically I can import it in, you can pull a project into that schedule.” And she says, “Well, no, our product doesn’t do that.” And I said, “Yeah, it does, and you’re the what, VP of sales?” I said, let me show you. So I literally just fired up my laptop and I download it live for her and she was blown away.

Tim Runcie: But the idea of a database is that we want to organize that content, we want to assign that to people, and we want to do it in a way that we can measure and see how we’re doing. So if I want to get in here and say, hey look, I just want to look for what’s going on in sprint one or if I want to filter these out saying, let’s look at the development sprints. Or perhaps maybe I’m looking for a certain person. Say maybe I’m looking for Ken and what he’s working on. Very easy to come in here and again, use that database to help you search and find. In fact, if you’re even as lazy as I am some times, I’ll just come in here and say, where is Maria, and there it is. Or if I come in and say, hey listen, I’m looking for the word complete. I want to see anything that’s got this.

Tim Runcie: Again from a planning board is that you’ve got a nice tool, and again, when you’re all done you can pop back into project, and you still have that ability to switch in and out or right click again, toggle over to a dashboard view again. These are just tables, and you could figure out what tables you have. So if you want a printing table where you print everything, you don’t have to reinsert your columns and resize those, you just build a table. So where project certainly has this, remember this isn’t the only place that you’re going to see these boards show up. And that’s important because as we think in terms of how project is set up, and again I’ll go into a deeper of how to make some of these features and functionality work directly.

Tim Runcie: We want to look at what are the other Agile tools in the space that you could take advantage. Project is not always the right tool for the job. Sometimes we’ll get down and we’ll schedule things down to the minute, or I’ll build a class and I’ll outline all the things in project because it’s so much easier and faster than trying to do it in Excel. And I’ll put the minutes and I’ll link them together and looking at it and go, yeah, this is going to run over in time. If this is a two day class or a one day class or a workshop, we can see that. So a lot of power of this database, but sometimes people don’t need all of what comes in here. So if we think about this, let’s just continue going through the process of what else can we work with?

Tim Runcie: So let’s pop back up into a browser view. So I’m going to take us back into Office 365, and I’m going to pop into Office 365 Planner. Now Planner, again, built by the Microsoft Project team. The team that worked on this did a great job. I remember when it first came out, I’m like, how do I sell this? I don’t even know. I can teach this in 30 minutes or an hour, what am I supposed to do with this? And I get the value of really simple stuff. But again, we talk about having these boards, right? And the idea of a board is I can come in, and I can structure and organize this.

Tim Runcie: Now, if you’ve ever heard me talk about the vision of where Microsoft’s going, again, that’s what we’re talking about here is lining this out, is that, wouldn’t it be nice if you could open up a Microsoft Project schedule. And in that Microsoft Project schedule you can pop in here and go, hey listen, I’m going to create a checklist. Or what I’d like to do is I’d like to see a little bit more about what’s going on here. And I want to thread a discussion and I want to check this and I want to embed the receipts from the pizza party that I had for the team meeting. And I’m going to put all my documentation right here.

Tim Runcie: Well, right now if you’re going to legacy world, is you would structure all that data, certainly in SharePoint site, which is linked to a project, but what if I want to right at the task level see what people are working on, what they’re wrestling with here? This is where Planner comes in, and Planner just says, look, I don’t need to know anything weather it is 10 hours done or what percent it is. It’s either started, in progress or completed. And I want to know the priority. I’m going to create some buckets, maybe how I organize this, and I can set start dates and due dates and I can check these things off as I go.

Tim Runcie: I can promote these into new cards, which really are these post it notes behind here. And I have that full collaborative environment where I can nest these together. So again, setting up my Visio diagram for Power BI. Who needs to do this? Let me assign somebody on that. Oh wow. Let’s go ahead and give that to David Lee. He’s going to wonder what I’m assigning him to on here. And [inaudible 00:26:32] all these assignments or my webinars and he’s assigned to this task. And you know what? Maybe I’ll even set a due date because it’s important for me to make sure that this gets done.

Tim Runcie: So hey, why don’t I set a date. Now again, watch this, if I set the due date behind, obviously when I do this it didn’t ask me to save. Did you want to save? Did you want to close? Did you want to publish? None of that. It just updates as we go. We can flag it as a high priority and then I also have to report to the PMO and the compliance team on this activity because we’re talking about process mapping. But now I can come in and my board and I can look quickly across, hey, where’s everybody at? Look at the buckets, what’s ahead, what’s behind, what’s done or not done? And I’ve got this ability to filter the information that I have here, organize it, whether in grouping by bucket or hey, that David Lee guy, what’s he working on? I want to kind of see what people have, here’s Amanda’s work and I want to find out, well maybe I need to give that to somebody else.

Tim Runcie: So I literally could kind of work in a new type of environment, very agily. And again I can even pop into it and look at it in a calendar saying, hey, this is all this stuff that we have going on. And there it is. I schedule that to redo, and I put it in the past so I can kind of see the visualization of this. And whether I’m looking at just one board or I’m looking at a hub of boards using the new security group model in office 365. Or here’s the cool thing is that maybe I want to come in and say, show me everything, regardless of what board I’m assigned to, I want to see this. So think about that. If you’ve got technical Teams, if you’ve got Agile Teams working on things, the marketing team, the finance team, they may not be deep in Microsoft Project, and what you need to do is make sure stuff’s getting done and you might have a high level schedule that you’re going to bring back together.

Tim Runcie: So again, Microsoft’s intent is to continue to say, well let’s organize this in a way you can quickly see your work activities. But as good as Planner is, it is not the final resting place potentially where that information goes. And yes, while we can pop into Power BI and create some of those dashboards, the idea is that that may not be the whole entire place where work is coming from. So we’ve talked about this. Let’s look at another area that’s especially around the JIRA seems to be a real common term with one of the Agile tools. But let’s talk about something called Azure DevOps. So let me hop into, we talked about dynamics a little bit here. Let’s go into Azure DevOps here. So I’m an Office 365 and I’ve got technical Teams and they’re working on projects, and I can look at their backlogs and I can look at their boards and I might want to say, hey, what are you working on? What sprint are we actually loading up?

Tim Runcie: And so what this does is allows you to build your requirements. Notice here I’m sitting here looking at my board where I can resolve it. I can drag things around, I can actually organize that. If I want to take a look at the sprints and see what’s behind it, is there defects, is there tasks being done. What are my user stories that are behind here? This is really designed for both tactical Teams just like JIRA is, is that say, hey look, you can come in here and do the same thing that’s there. But also we can connect this to source code where your developers can check in and check out their source code. We can manage that. And as I’m thinking in terms of the overall picture, or perhaps maybe I’ll even pop out here and just go into a dashboard or look at my analytics, is that this is an environment that is made for developers to be doing task and work management, which usually rolls into a project.

Tim Runcie: So having some of the information that’s looking at views and reports and things that we’re looking at. So if I want to say, hey, let’s pull up all the bugs that I can think of for the entire month, I can look at what fields I need to see or I can start generating reports in terms of all the information that’s there. But more importantly is that we are in a place, that we’re in an area that we can actually look at what’s going on here. And if I want to create a new work item, whether it’s a bug or a business case or perhaps a customer or an Epic or a Feature, we talk about the hierarchy of what we’re doing and how we’re organizing. Maybe you have the Feature is the highest level on you have five Epics to roll out a massive Feature, or there’s three Features that go into an Epic. And all of that leads into a series of user stories and work requests. But the idea is that people can kind of track and manage this.

Tim Runcie: So we’re seeing a lot of non-development Teams that are jumping in here, and they’re using this to organize all the documentation for the information. And here’s the cool thing, remember back when we talked about the roadmap, the ability to connect and pull information in. Well, I can come up here and say, hey, listen, if I want to connect to an item, if I want to add a row here, I can pull it from my Azure DevOps environment. Let’s go get that row. I can pull it in from Microsoft Project. And the idea is that what I’m looking for is, I can actually see this list continue to grow and Microsoft will be adding other non-Microsoft solutions or systems in here because there is such a demand to be able to pull that together, summarize it, or at least do a high level planning as you pull those pieces together.

Tim Runcie: So again, as we start thinking about really what is the new modern experience that we have in project, it’s not about necessarily forcing everything into a single tool, but really about working in that connected system. As we know project, right? Good old project online here, you build a schedule project desktop if you have the Office 365 version, you save and publish into a central version of truth. And we have visibility. But that Agile piece is there’s a lot more going on that we may want to think about and how we bring those pieces together. So whether I’m using locally, just in terms of development tasks or I’m thinking of bringing it together in a bigger picture and say for example, a roadmap environment, the overall idea is that I have that information and it’s accessible.

Tim Runcie: Something else to think about, let me just kind of show you this here, is when we start talking about CRM, the life cycle of a project, a lot of organizations start say, well, hey, I’ve got a customer request come in and we’re going to write a proposal and we’re going to do something, but we’re now seeing that I can actually build schedules and pull templates in, and I can actually see the information that I want build that schedule. I don’t have to go out and build a separate schedule, whether I’m doing CRM or something called project service automation is that I can come in here and use that Microsoft Project experience to say, hey listen, I can keep that together.

Tim Runcie: And the intent is also to make sure that the new version of project is actually the one that you can start with, which is much easier to launch Lift and begin working from. And so we’re going to see an evolution here, which says, hey, at a high level planning, I don’t even have to wait before it drops in my lap to do my demand management and my resource capacity planning or even cost modeling, is that we can actually build the proposal, put that together, and that is exactly kind of what the project will look like. And we keep that as early as possible.

Tim Runcie: So the question sometimes I ask organizations, especially when we’re thinking about Agile is, when is a project a project? Is it when I sign the project manager to it, and then I pop in here and I say, okay, well now I’ve got a charter and I want to go through this whole process, or is there an intake? Do I have an external intake process that begins that a lot sooner? So we’re going to see these begin to start synchronizing and aligning together. And that’s important for us to be thinking about that it’s not just one tool fits all. So thinking again around some of the Agile tools here, let me take us into one that literally I was blown away, when Planner first came out and went, ah, I can see lots of good uses here.

Tim Runcie: But remember this is a work management tool, when I’m coming in here I’m looking at my hub, the activities, what I’m working on, I want to talk about something called task management. And for those of you that have done the mobile experience, there is literally almost four to one mobile devices over laptops or computers. So this whole tablet or mobile experience has now taking the world by storm, and Microsoft acquired a company out of Germany, that had built basically a mobile app and had I think it was about close to 14 million users of this thing called Wunderlist. And all it was, was a great way to actually use your mobile device to track your tasks, what you needed to do to look at your day, schedule things that you want to add. So if I’m going to add a new task, I want to say, feed my MPUG pug which, thank you Kyle. I got that great MPUG pug. My daughter who’s five, just loves to come and just take it, run around with it.

Tim Runcie: So I had to get two of them from the MPUG group because she loves it so much, but if this is my task, I don’t want to schedule it. I want to get into the details. I want to do this from my phone. I want a little due date. I want a reminder, and I want to see this. Well, for those of you that were old school in good old Microsoft Outlook, remember how we would pop into Outlook. Let me just bring up Outlook real quick. And let me bring this over. So I’ll just bring my a live inbox here. Let’s see what kind of fun stuff we’ve got going on here. It looks like we’ve got a nonprofit thing that there’s a donation element going on here.

Tim Runcie: So I’ve got email. But remember what we think about is, hey, where are those tasks? What are the activities that I’m working on? And you’ll notice here as I come in here as, oh what’s this, feed my MPUG pug. I just added that in my mobile app or in my Planner to do or I added it in basically to do. And suddenly I’ll start having this information begin to come together. In fact, you’ll even see your CRM dynamics task starting to fall in here as well. So we think about that end state, that whole trickle down effect, which is if it starts raining on the top of your roof, it runs down the roof, it gathers up speed, it runs down into the gutter and then it runs down into a river, hopefully into your sewer system or into a dry well.

Tim Runcie: But the idea is this rain will collect and the collection point can very easily be if you would like to be Microsoft To-Do. So if I go back to Microsoft To-Do, let’s just kind of pop back over there. I have been totally amazed at how many people in the technology world that have absolutely made this basically one of their favorite tools. In fact, I was at a Microsoft event and I’m not kidding, it was like this tool to them and their excitement was like they solved cancer. I’m like, are you really? Wow. And what I failed to grasp initially was, is that there is such a big leap from simple task management, from a mobile solution, all the way up to project program and portfolio management where a lot of us take this for granted. But that if you think about the work pyramid, the bottom of that pyramid is people just need to make sure stuff gets done.

Tim Runcie: And so I can come in here and I can say, I’ve got an engineering design package. It’s overdue. I need to change that. Hey, listen, let’s open that up in Planner. So now I’m talking about having something on my phone that says, well maybe there’s a Planner board that’s working at it, but I can set up Power BI, I can set up Flow, I can pull information in, I can have alerts or notifications. I can even go to my running to the store list and say, hey listen, I’ve got to get some things for this, before I get home tonight, you can see clearly the things that my wife wants, which is, she wants the organic milk and apples and bananas and what do I have nutty bars and Otter pops for the kids. So as we think about this is that I don’t have to just leave my work element in one area. I can actually bring all the stuff that’s going on from many different places, from Outlook, from Planner, from CRM, from Dynamics to project all coming through there.

Tim Runcie: Now, currently Microsoft Project today doesn’t have a direct feed [inaudible 00:38:19], but trust me you can set up automation here to do that. But think about that for a moment. Just pause. If you’re in an Agile team, you need quick task management accountability. One of the things that we can set up here is we can even invite people or share this list and say, will somebody else go to the store and get apples and bananas. Or I can come back in and look at what’s being planned. What’s currently assigned to me. I can come in here and if I want to, I can play around with my options or hide complete. But this is designed to be really, really simple.

Tim Runcie: And some of that, there’s some exciting things. I think I can talk about this, but again, changing the backgrounds, changing the overall branding, the look, we’ll call it skinning. There’s a lot of things that were in Wunderlist that are now going to start emerging and appearing in here, so that you have a rich experience from a mobile device that says, hey, look, you know what, work in all the different places that you normally work, but guess what in to do, you won’t miss anything. It always will roll down in there. And by the way, if you pop over into Outlook, we’ll help you keep it right in your task list here, which again, this is a very powerful database, which again, we can sort and filter. I can even go back into my inbox and if I decide to flag things.

Tim Runcie: So if I pop over here and just say, hey, let’s take a quick look at some of what’s going on here. And I think I flagged one, here it is, from Leslie. She said, “Hey listen, I’ve got the Washington state chamber of commerce. I need you to kind of do something so I can right click on that, go and do some sort of a follow up.” And when I pop over to my to do environment, let’s pop over here. I can actually come in and say, hey listen, these have been assigned to me or I’ve got my flagged email. And there it is. So again, I could group these together, ensure it gets done. And this is where a lot of the excitement was coming from, say the Microsoft engineering Teams and European and third party vendors is that they’re saying, look, I’ve got all kinds of stuff in email and I need to be responsive to this.

Tim Runcie: But it’s really hard for me to go and create a task and Planner when I can just right click, flag it, drop it in to do. And if I need to kick it over into another tracking tool, I certainly can. But now I’m connecting the tools that I have open all the time, which is my outlook environment. And now I’ve got to do, which I can quickly seamlessly switch in and out. So from an Agile perspective, you’re going to continue to see these elements not only grow stronger together, have a little bit more flexibility, but also they’re designed to be kept simple, where you aren’t trying to over-engineer all the stuff that we’re going to put directly in here or all of the tasks and perhaps where they come from and where they go. We just want to give people a quick way to see this and be able to manage and be responsive to that.

Tim Runcie: And so what I was really excited to hear is that people being much more proactive, much more responsive to communications, they aren’t necessarily on their phone, texting, texting, texting now [inaudible 00:41:04] turn this into a task. Is it revitalizes our ability to capture and track that information and then get back to making sure that it gets done. So we’ve talked a little bit about Planner, we’ve talked about to do, we’ve talked about Project, we talked about Azure DevOps and roadmap. Let’s kind of tie a few of these things together. And I am just so tickled with this application. Again, I have seen the evolution of Skype and Link and certainly go to meeting and go to webinar and that we actually use a couple of different backup systems but Microsoft Teams has really begun to come into its own.

Tim Runcie: And the idea of Teams is that you can set up calendars, you can link files. Behind the whole thing is this SharePoint site. Actually you don’t have to build a SharePoint site. It’s sitting there to help you organize this. And you can create channels that organize conversations about what’s going on and then you can spin up within a channel things that you want to talk about and view the information. Now, right now I’m showing you one here that gives you an example, some threaded conversations, some attached files. And if I want to look at files, well I can come in here and look at a structure where it is or I can open this up in SharePoint. Or better yet maybe I want to spin up a Planner board. And what I can do here is I can begin tracking the tasks that need to get done inside of here.

Tim Runcie: So here’s my backlog. I can grip my sprint boards, I can organize and drag these things around, make sure they get done. Now I’m not just in a single tool as I’m using Teams as a collaboration portal, and when I say collaboration portal, SharePoint used to be the collaboration portal. Now we have SharePoint embedded inside of here. Watch this. So if I come in here and say, listen, I love OneNote we could put a lot of comments. We can organize our tabs, put information in there. OneNote struggles a little bit. It’s not perfectly like Microsoft Word, but maybe I just want to put all the information here, have a friendly conversation about what it is. But let’s just actually go in and let’s just drop the Microsoft Project site. It’s going to authenticate who I am. It’s sending my two-factor right now to my phone, whoever invented two-factor authentication. That was such an annoying thing, but it is so powerful.

Tim Runcie: If you haven’t seen the notifications that are out there talking about 99.9% protection, so it allows you to really ensure that you’re locking out so things don’t get hacked. But look at that. I’m on a site here, I’m in Teams, but what? Wait a minute. This is my SharePoint site. This is how I’m organizing action items and issues and risks around my project site. I certainly could go in and say, well, let’s go and show me my schedule, or let’s put together a Wiki to talk about that. Or, hey listen, what I really would like to see is perhaps my Power BI environment. So again, let me sign in here. This is what happens when you turn off your computer and you go to a conference and you come back and wait a half a day to turn it back on.

Tim Runcie: But I can go in here, and I can ensure that because I am authenticated through Office 365 that even if I invite people, I can control what they can see or what they don’t see. But I want to come in and just go. Yep. I think that’s great. Thanks Barbie. I always love to know that you’re telling me all kinds of fun things I need to do. But now I’m in Teams, right? I’ve got my dashboard here for my team. I’ve got metrics tied to perhaps whatever environment that I want to look at. And this might be my resource planning. I can continue and go through here, but the idea is that as I come in, I can add tabs. Remember we’re talking about Agile again, right? So I think for a moment, Agile, Agile, Agile. Now what’s the biggest kind of Agile tool out there?

Tim Runcie: Well, first thing people don’t think is project. They think, oh, well let’s cheer up. Well, guess what? I can actually embed in Teams elements that help you. In fact, let’s talk about that for a moment. There are, what 30, 32 million Microsoft Project users. We’re going to see some changes in the online story a little bit. But the number one tab that’s added into basically Microsoft Teams is Planner. And I believe there’s a total about 159 million people were using this. We were kind of kicking around stats with the engineering Teams. This is dwarfing the amount of quote unquote Microsoft Project users, but yet we have people doing task and work management directly inside of here. So the idea is that if I’m coming in, I want to do, hey there’s a storm board or I’ve got different apps I can bring in here, you can embed these and you can create that collaboration with your team while you’re still having that threaded conversation or embedding your Planner board.

Tim Runcie: So what’s fun about this, and again is that it’s not just about putting those elements together. Our next session, I’m going to talk a little bit more about saying, well listen, what if I want to not even use any of the scheduling tools, I need to see something that’s a little more time phased. Maybe Microsoft Project’s too heavy for me to do, linking activities together and I’m just kind of scheduling crews that are working. Let’s take a look at something called Microsoft Shifts. Let’s take a peak at just saying, hey look, I’m going to bring a team in. And this is actually a Planner board here. So let me bring one in. I’ve got a Shift that I can sit here and schedule, and I can say, well, gee, when do we want to schedule activities? And so now I’ve got this time phase open activities, things that I want to group and add here.

Tim Runcie: And again, you can group and organize information, but it’s about making sure stuff gets done. Now remember I’m in Teams, right? I’m looking at things that say, well, I want to track my tasks but maybe my tasks are coming from three different sources so I’ve got to do. I’m doing sprint planning in one, I’m doing waterfall somewhere else. And then I’ve got to do my resource capacity planning and project. Why can’t I use those together and be able to shift in and out between the groups of the organization that people usually have to hop through five different tools. Now I can drive that all into one environment. And if I want to pick a quickly get up and get on a call, I can do that. And as you know in Microsoft Project when they started rolling out the ability to say, hey listen, when we connect, I can actually go in here and fire up a quick Skype call, people got really excited.

Tim Runcie: I didn’t have to go to Outlook, send an email, check for something. I could actually open up a chat and have a conversation directly. And that continues to build from the fact that we have these directly, the information’s connected, and now I can go back in my Agile environment, whether I’m looking at a team or a chat or a Planner board as I’m pulling these together, is I’ve got some great flexibility in terms of some of the options that we’re thinking of working with. So again, that one place we’re all looking at adding the tabs that make sense and organizing this in a fashion that says, how do we start thinking through this without having to build these huge SharePoint sites? Yeah. SharePoint’s sitting behind the scenes. It doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of SharePoint and WorkFlow and automation, but what we’re going to do is we’re going to give the end user the ability to quickly get in, get out and get back to work.

Tim Runcie: So, introducing some of the tools. Our next session we’re going to dig into real world scenarios where I’m going to actually take these and craft and show the pieces and how they work together. I’ll talk about connecting a few of these as we work through that. But let’s take a quick peak here. Let me return back to our PowerPoint, and let’s just summarize a few things. I think I’ll take a few questions if we’ve got time, Kyle. And we’ll kind of go through that. So I’ve covered some tools. Are there any questions that maybe I can jump in and for the record we can just maybe answer or if we don’t have the answers, we’ll certainly dig those up and get them back over to you. But this is many cases somewhat cutting and bleeding edge, but again, back to strong foundations of Agile methodology.

Kyle: Thanks Tim. Yeah, we do have some questions and just a remind reminder, if anybody would like to ask a question, you can just chat that over and we’ll take it now. First one came in and I guess it was clarification on what versions of project this is available for?

Tim Runcie: Great questions. So let me show you, and by the way, this is probably one of the most common things that comes up around licensing. So let me pop over to here. So first off, if I was going to an admin center, what we want to do is if you’re getting Project and you want to get the Agile pieces that come in and around with Microsoft Project, you’re going to need to use Project Pro for Office 365. Now they just renamed all the plans they’re going to have new names, like plan one, plan two, plan three. But the idea is if I come in here as an administrator, you’re going to want to get something directly in from a licensing perspective here. If you run down to the local Kroger’s or you rundown to Best Buy or Fry’s. com or wherever you got these. And you bought something off the shelf, that is not designed to necessarily synchronize and update.

Tim Runcie: So if you like what you saw in Microsoft Project here, this is really coming from Office 365. What’s important about this is, I don’t know probably for the last eight, nine, 10 years, Microsoft’s been asking the engineering saying, can we get away with doing an on premise, can we stop doing on premise tool now? Because Word and Excel is all clicked around, you just click on it. It updates and refreshes. We keep it patched, we keep it current. And so while they’ve been struggling at trying to get away from server on premise and now of course you have the Azure environment, we can spin this up pretty quickly and easily. The licensing for Microsoft Project is there. By the way Planner, I know this since I showed a lot of their, some of the things I showed you here comes free.

Tim Runcie: As long as you’re in Office 365 on an E1 license or if you’re in a nonprofit space, I think they call it P1. But the idea is that a lot of these things are just part of that Office 365 experience. And then you’re going to see other elements that will be enabled or turned on in there. So hopefully that just kind of gave you a broad shotgun answer across that. But again, I would really encourage you if you’re wanting to start using the latest Agile features in Microsoft Project or even in some of the other tools that come in that Office 365 space, make sure that you are going directly through there.

Tim Runcie: If you have any questions around licensing or if you’re having a hard time… I think I had a question come in from somebody who said, hey, look, I’m on Office 365 but I don’t see the updates. Sometimes the way that the admin set this up is they’ll set like an annual refresh or a biannual refresh. So you can ask to be put on a more frequent update. But by now all of these things should be in your Office 365 environment. So your Project Pro for Office 365, which is what they called it in the past is not current. Thanks Kyle.

Kyle: Thank you Tim. This one kind of aligns with the first question, I think, for the sprint planning, is that able to be viewed and managed on the web versus using full project desktop?

Tim Runcie: I’m so close here. Let’s just pop into one real quick. All right. So what I’m showing you right now on the screen is our ability to come in, we can actually look at a Gantt chart, or if I want to pop into kind of an Agile approach to what we’re visualizing things here from a task force sprint planning board this currently, and I’ll say currently is in the desktop only. Planner’s on the cloud, you can do that in a browser, but where Microsoft Project is going, remember they own Planner. So when you think about Project, think about having cards in the browser. So they’re doing it now with Planner. They’re doing it now with other tools. This is simply the direction that Microsoft’s going. And so I really encourage you just to be a little patient, but for the web experience, this is really the intent is to drive everybody.

Tim Runcie: In fact, the whole intent of even all of Office is to get away from having anything installed on a desktop. So at some point, years from now, whether it’s five or seven years, Microsoft is really trying to work where they say, hey look, you just need a mobile device and an internet access as all you’re really going to need. Very little [inaudible 00:52:54] stuff to take care of because we don’t need your bandwidth on your mobile device to run the application. That is a wonderful question. Thank you for asking that. Be watching, you’re going to see announcements, you’ll see some screenshot stuff coming out around this whole topic. So, excellent question.

Kyle: Thanks Tim. And I think this one actually builds off that a little bit as well. Just curious, are you able to still access preexisting data across the tools in an offline mode?

Tim Runcie: Yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes and yes, absolutely. You always export data out. So if you’re a Planner or other areas you can export it out. They do have offline mode capability, Project does the same thing. So yes, absolutely.

Kyle: Okay, great. Miles had one. This is a good question. Is there a map of how all of these apps and programs can share data together, and which links the data share and which have to be extracted and are no longer linked?

Tim Runcie: Yes and no. There is OData maps out there that talk about the OData. But I kid you not this stuff is emerging so fast that in many cases it’s going to take a concerted effort to say, okay, let’s put the ecosystem together. What’s important about this is that if you are in Microsoft Flow or you’re in PowerApps and you’re starting to think about this. This is the conversation that people are wrestling with right now, which is okay, how we’re doing it. What’s really fun is, when I talk to the engineering Teams back at Microsoft and say, hey, we’d like to do this. What they do is they actually have a wishlist of stuff that they want to, and so they’ll say, hey listen, we’re going to go talk to the Flow team. We want them to add the following items.

Tim Runcie: We’ll guess what the Flow team’s doing. They’ve got their Planner boards and they’re tracking all the things that they’re trying to do, and they’re prioritizing these work requests, which is the turn on this. So short answer is yes and no. It is so emerging. It’s coming so fast. I know that in some of our classes we actually have 11 by 17 inch Flow charts that we actually have some of the roadmap, the connected pieces that go together. But I know some of this stuff is just emerging fast it’s not just something out there that people are putting it out there, and not even Microsoft has gotten everything out listed. But I’m going to take a little action, that might be a good blog post to do Kyle is to say, hey, here’s what I do know, or here’s what’s current at least what’s out there on the roadmap of connected systems. Thank you for asking that Miles.

Kyle: Thanks Tim. Let me know if need to switch back. We do have a few more questions here, but I know we’re getting close to the end point.

Tim Runcie: Yeah. Let’s go ahead and take another question.

Kyle: Okay. This won’t came from Julie, and she said that, we often work with external partners and those without Microsoft accounts, is it possible to collaborate with them using Teams channels?

Tim Runcie: Yes, absolutely. So that’s a great question. There was a time, wait a minute let me pop over to Teams right now. There’s two things to think about this. Where’d it go? Here it is. I couldn’t find it. What you didn’t use to allow you to invite people that were external. Meaning that if you’re on a Planner hub and you’re kind of building and say, hey, I’d like to invite somebody who is outside of our organization, it didn’t let you do it. Now Microsoft has addressed that. They fixed it. They have a whole blog post on that. However, this is an Office 365 administrative setting. And so some organizations, due to the protectiveness of their environment are not turning that on. So when I come back in as the deep dark admin of Office 365 and I come in here, I have the ability to come in and say, is that something I’m going to allow? So I can pop in here. And that is something that you can certainly ask for because you can invite people externally.

Tim Runcie: We have construction companies that just love Project for the resource planning cost modeling. But then what they do is they have to go and put out to bid for a lot of their organizations that need to come in. And so what they want to do is put the documentation out there. So they’re using Teams and Planner and Office 365 and SharePoint of course, you can share that with anybody, but you’ve got to enable that from the admin portal, you have to go and turn some of that stuff on. That’s a great question, but the short answer is yes. And make sure that that is enabled in your tenant to be able to do that. Otherwise you’re going to have to do something a little bit different than just inviting somebody in.

Kyle: All right, thanks Tim. Maybe we can sneak one more in before we close.

Tim Runcie: Yeah, let’s do it.

Kyle: Can Microsoft Project and Planner share data or is the journey only one way from Project to Planner?

Tim Runcie: Good question. I will be talking about this in session three. So we’ll talk about what the options are. I’ll actually have some answers and I’ll talk about what’s there today. What’s the intent going forward? I don’t own Microsoft and if I did, I probably still would come out and do my MPUG webinars. I love evangelizing out here, but since I don’t own Microsoft, I don’t always have implicit control of what or when we could just surface things that we want. But what I will say is if you haven’t played around with user voice, so let me just bring this up real quickly.

Tim Runcie: If you haven’t seen that in Office where you could go in, into your file and you could go into feedback, is that you can send a smile, send a flower or you can send a suggestion. And the engineering team, the Microsoft Project, engineering Teams, Planner Teams, and this is true in Power BI and other areas. They use this user voice to prioritize the work that they’re doing. So if stuff comes up, you’re not seeing it fast enough. I really encourage you going out there and posting end user voice that gives our ability not only to come in and just leverage, but to use your voice to say, hey, I really want to make sure we have some of that connected systems and what’s the intent.

Tim Runcie: And by the way, the Microsoft engineering team actually does answer. They’ll actually send, if you post questions or comments, a lot of times Jackie, Heather, they will actually send you an email and say, hey, look, you just need to click on that tab or something. So it’s a lot of fun. But those are published in the roadmaps. I’ll talk about that in session three because that really is the question, which is what’s the intent? And then how’s that going to work as you go forward? And I’ll give you guys a good demo on how that works.

Kyle: All right. Thanks Tim. And I guess that’s a good-

Tim Runcie: All right.

Kyle: To close out for today and let everyone know about session three coming up. Next-

Tim Runcie: Yeah, let me do a quick summary and I’ll hand it back over to you. Let’s see here. So again, remember Microsoft Direction is to continue to create the best of breed. And I think this is important is that Agile is certainly in the forefront. I have meetings with strategic planning and I hear the direction, which is we’re going to go after this, we’re going to do this.

Tim Runcie: But remember, Microsoft can’t turn on a dime because their intent is to keep Office 365 moving in lock step together. So in many cases there’s things that they want to do, but they want to make sure they move together. But the intent is Agile and voice of the customer. That whole end user experience is going to be focused moving to a mobile space. So the integration between applications with the common data platform and the common data service, which is now what Dynamics and Project all uses, is really going to open up the back door for things and also allow things to be built. But again, those Agile capabilities are native to Office 365 we talked about it in licensing. So if you’re looking for the latest and the newest, that’s where I recommend you going and getting that.

Tim Runcie: And then remember all of this is a database, right? These really are relational databases, whether it’s JIRA, where you’ve got your own homegrown tool or using another cloud solution. These are relational databases. Sometimes they’re flat files, but in general you can sort filter. And what you want to do is find what is the right, not only tool, but find the right tool that supports the methodologies that go together for you. So again, a lot of experience around the teaching, the sharing. If you have questions, send them over. I really encourage people to reach out on LinkedIn. Just like me, send me a note. If you saw some of the templates I had today, I’m very happy to share with those free, again. I’ve been doing this a long time and hopefully we can find things that through MPUG and other channels to keep you up to date. But at that point Kyle let me turn it back over to you and thank you for your time today.

Kyle: Thank you, Tim. We appreciate it. For those of you claiming the PDU for today, I’ll get that back on the screen for you now. All right. You should see that in just a moment. Activity code for claiming today’s session is mpugwebnlearn091819, eligible for one technical PDU. And we will return for part three as Tim mentioned, that’ll be next Wednesday, September 25th from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Eastern. And that’s where Tim will dive into the best practices and real world uses of the Agile functionality that we covered today for Project and Project TTM. So I just chatted over the link, if you need to register for that session still, it is in the chat box there. You can click that link, register and then we’ll see you back next Wednesday. And with that said, that wraps up today’s session. So Tim, I’d like to thank you once again for covering part two today. Thank you for everyone that joined us live or is watching this session on demand. And we’ll see you back next week for part three of the Agile series. Thanks a lot.

Tim Runcie: Thanks everyone.

Kyle: Bye Tim.


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Tim Runcie, PMP, MCP, MCTS, P-TSP, MVP is one of 6 Microsoft Project MVP’s in North America and has held that title for 17 years in a row.  A seasoned veteran of complex programs, and portfolio management systems, Tim works with companies like Microsoft on next generations of Project, Program, and portfolio technologies.  Tim is an accomplished speaker, consultant, and educator, supporting the project management community for over 25 years. As the President and founder of Advisicon, Tim has written over 38 books on PM methodologies and technologies. Advisicon has recently added a non-profit division focused on helping faith-based and 501-C3 organizations with implementing and training on available business solutions and providing business coaching or process automation with the mission of “Serving those who Serve.”

Free resources are available at www.YouTube.com/Advisicon or on Tim’s LMS, www.Advisicon.thinkific.com

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1 Comment
  1. Great discussion. I would like to get a copy of the charts/presentation that Tim discussed.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Johnny Brooks

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