EPM, Microsoft Project and You

Enterprise Project Management, Microsoft Project Professional and Microsoft Project Server

  • BY: Collin Quiring

    A few years ago, I posted some information about PMI (Project Management Institute) membership and PMP (Project Management Professional) certifications and other data that they routinely share.  (That post is here: http://dld.bz/dnY2z )

    I was asked if I could update the data and so I did.  The updated information is below.  There is some new data now with the new certifications – PMI-RMP, PMI-SP, PMI-ACP.  And, they discontinued publishing the number of new members per month in 2013.  And, sadly, for myself, as an OPM3 certification holder, PMI doesn’t publish that number in a clear or obvious way.

    As I stated in the previous post, it is always important to me to know if a certification and an organization’s membership are of value in the marketplace.  And one way to know if it is of value is to see if it is increasing, stagnating or decreasing in numbers (which I take as a reference to importance to employers).  It is interesting to me though that there are more PMP certification holders than there are PMI members.  I am not sure what that means.

    I do also understand that when a certification becomes so prevalent, it becomes irrelevant.  A lot of organizations think that if they increase their certification numbers, they then get some sort of relevance or benefit in the marketplace.  However, I have seen where a certification is so common that it no longer differentiates individuals as having a particular value or knowledge over another.  I don’t know if the PMP is heading that way or not, it is just something to ponder.

    This information comes from PMI directly and the caveat is that the month they published it and the month that is listed below for the data is normally one month late.  That wasn’t purely consistent over the years (sometimes PMP data was a week or two old and CAPM was a month or two old).  So, the months represented below are from the month that PMI published the data.


    Here are the numbers that are represented in that chart.

    Date PMPs Members
    Sep-06 206,774 215,367
    Oct-06 212,704 219,322
    Nov-06 216,200 222,734
    Dec-06 221,144 225,432
    Jan-07 212,622 230,825
    Feb-07 217,519 232,756
    Mar-07 223,877 236,871
    Apr-07 228,277 238,565
    May-07 233,330 241,895
    Jun-07 236,996 243,604
    Jul-07 242,991 245,175
    Aug-07 247,537 245,933
    Sep-07 251,782 246,216
    Oct-07 256,184 249,860
    Nov-07 262,860 251,924
    Dec-07 267,367 253,692
    Jan-08 273,547 259,172
    Feb-08 259,694 260,458
    Mar-08 266,146 264,496
    Apr-08 272,032 266,747
    May-08 278,618 269,458
    Jun-08 283,811 271,638
    Jul-08 288,838 275,169
    Aug-08 295,413 277,221
    Sep-08 299,751 280,264
    Oct-08 306,706 283,321
    Nov-08 311,676 285,209
    Dec-08 318,289 287,438
    Jan-09 322,250 293,416
    Feb-09 327,250 296,377
    Mar-09 331,208 302,364
    Apr-09 336,051 305,127
    May-09 346,053 307,180
    Jun-09 359,973 306,980
    Jul-09 360,662 306,111
    Aug-09 364,542 305,191
    Sep-09 364,542 306,180
    Oct-09 350,450 308,485
    Nov-09 356,419 308,102
    Dec-09 361,238 309,715
    Jan-10 367,619 314,721
    Feb-10 371,014 315,106
    Mar-10 375,959 317,962
    Apr-10 381,111 317,787
    May-10 385,096 317,989
    Jun-10 389,726 318,421
    Jul-10 393,413 320,388
    Aug-10 397,378 323,220
    Sep-10 393,413 320,388
    Oct-10 397,378 353,220
    Nov-10 400,059 327,180
    Dec-10 403,220 330,001
    Jan-11 409,159 331,697
    Feb-11 412,503 334,019
    Mar-11 471,475 340,232
    Apr-11 420,602 341,906
    May-11 423,515 346,730
    Jun-11 430,469 349,524
    Jul-11 434,839 353,326
    Aug-11 437,999 357,770
    Sep-11 451,868 362,726
    Oct-11 466,163 366,854
    Nov-11 464,168 368,349
    Dec-11 468,864 370,233
    Jan-12 469,051 370,744
    Feb-12 467,390 371,575
    Mar-12 471,437 377,589
    Apr-12 472,799 378,749
    May-12 472,102 382,210
    Jun-12 477,031 383,118
    Jul-12 479,327 386,545
    Aug-12 474,948 386,235
    Sep-12 484,761 387,199
    Oct-12 487,867 388,276
    Nov-12 482,015 390,279
    Dec-12 494,594 394,851
    Jan-13 500,082 395,965
    Feb-13 510,434 397,453
    Mar-13 546,229 408,465
    Apr-13 521,345 411,928
    May-13 525,341 418,080
    Jun-13 537,413 424,657
    Jul-13 545,098 433,470
    Aug-13 552,977 435,670
    Sep-13 582,224 439,294
    Oct-13 583,806 438,681
    Nov-13 585,040 438,357
    Dec-13 590,416 441,425
    Jan-14 593,074 437,573
    Feb-14 594,603 439,677
    Mar-14 603,216 449,803
    Apr-14 605,909 446,959


    Along with the PMP, the CAPM has been a long term certification and its numbers have continued to grow as well.


    The data behind the chart:

    Date CAPM
    Sep-06 1,438
    Oct-06 1,546
    Nov-06 1,611
    Dec-06 1,828
    Jan-07 1,828
    Feb-07 2,102
    Mar-07 2,252
    Apr-07 2,390
    May-07 2,586
    Jun-07 2,714
    Jul-07 2,872
    Aug-07 3,051
    Sep-07 3,215
    Oct-07 3,366
    Nov-07 3,601
    Dec-07 3,799
    Jan-08 3,988
    Feb-08 4,229
    Mar-08 4,410
    Apr-08 4,695
    May-08 4,971
    Jun-08 5,196
    Jul-08 5,196
    Aug-08 5,708
    Sep-08 5,892
    Oct-08 6,151
    Nov-08 6,428
    Dec-08 6,729
    Jan-09 6,963
    Feb-09 7,207
    Mar-09 7,455
    Apr-09 7,795
    May-09 8,139
    Jun-09 8,139
    Jul-09 9,126
    Aug-09 9,412
    Sep-09 9,619
    Oct-09 9,787
    Nov-09 10,003
    Dec-09 10,263
    Jan-10 10,444
    Feb-10 10,678
    Mar-10 10,970
    Apr-10 11,234
    May-10 11,458
    Jun-10 11,785
    Jul-10 12,111
    Aug-10 12,367
    Sep-10 12,111
    Oct-10 12,367
    Nov-10 12,565
    Dec-10 12,729
    Jan-11 12,925
    Feb-11 13,272
    Mar-11 13,464
    Apr-11 13,678
    May-11 13,969
    Jun-11 14,197
    Jul-11 14,465
    Aug-11 14,781
    Sep-11 15,129
    Oct-11 15,423
    Nov-11 15,695
    Dec-11 15,938
    Jan-12 16,159
    Feb-12 16,491
    Mar-12 16,687
    Apr-12 16,939
    May-12 17,268
    Jun-12 17,568
    Jul-12 17,924
    Aug-12 18,227
    Sep-12 18,591
    Oct-12 18,888
    Nov-12 19,201
    Dec-12 19,542
    Jan-13 19,849
    Feb-13 20,157
    Mar-13 20,447
    Apr-13 20,700
    May-13 20,993
    Jun-13 21,397
    Jul-13 21,915
    Aug-13 22,946
    Sep-13 23,560
    Oct-13 23,699
    Nov-13 23,793
    Dec-13 23,949
    Jan-14 24,196
    Feb-14 24,450
    Mar-14 24,646
    Apr-14 24,789


    The other certifications that were created in the past few years are outlined here.


    The data:

    May-10 421 357 320
    Jun-10 436 393 327
    Jul-10 447 419 341
    Aug-10 460 447 357
    Sep-10 447 419 341
    Oct-10 460 447 357
    Nov-10 478 483 369
    Dec-10 492 516 377
    Jan-11 502 538 387
    Feb-11 511 588 408
    Mar-11 521 622 418
    Apr-11 530 677 426
    May-11 553 741 440
    Jun-11 561 486 451
    Jul-11 575 826 466
    Aug-11 584 884 474
    Sep-11 599 943 494
    Oct-11 606 983 502
    Nov-11 625 1,040 524
    Dec-11 637 1,083 544
    Jan-12 654 1,119 562
    Feb-12 678 1,195 578
    Mar-12 728 1,243 589 542
    Apr-12 774 1,280 611 549
    May-12 771 1,323 632 655
    Jun-12 774 1,372 633 758
    Jul-12 775 1,423 654 892
    Aug-12 787 1,472 672 999
    Sep-12 793 1,529 694 1,141
    Oct-12 805 1,576 720 1,297
    Nov-12 808 1,626 737 1,416
    Dec-12 864 1,696 764 1,611
    Jan-13 823 1,732 780 1,835
    Feb-13 834 1,805 809 2,063
    Mar-13 850 1,864 826 2,276
    Apr-13 852 1,918 846 2,461
    May-13 865 1,969 871 2,635
    Jun-13 875 8,033 893 2,858
    Jul-13 898 2,116 911 3,056
    Aug-13 914 2,222 948 3,249
    Sep-13 939 2,334 981 3,468
    Oct-13 967 2,519 1,037 3,691
    Nov-13 969 2,512 1,033 3,893
    Dec-13 977 2,512 1,033 4,132
    Jan-14 985 2,507 1,036 4,366
    Feb-14 995 2,584 1,090 4,641
    Mar-14 1,004 2,617 1,109 4,825
    Apr-14 1,014 2,638 1,118 5,008


    And, although they stopped giving this information, I always found it interesting to determine how many new members were coming in and how many were leaving.  This may or may not be an indicator of the organizational health or relevance but it is a good trend line to watch.  So, here is the monthly “new members” listing from September, 2006, to December, 2012.



    Once again, the numbers:

    Date New members
    Sep-06 4,025
    Oct-06 3,225
    Nov-06 3,224
    Dec-06 4,301
    Jan-07 3,330
    Feb-07 3,468
    Mar-07 5,635
    Apr-07 3,776
    May-07 3,844
    Jun-07 4,232
    Jul-07 3,949
    Aug-07 4,071
    Sep-07 3,909
    Oct-07 4,018
    Nov-07 4,509
    Dec-07 4,767
    Jan-08 3,213
    Feb-08 3,773
    Mar-08 3,797
    Apr-08 3,989
    May-08 3,613
    Jun-08 4,380
    Jul-08 4,651
    Aug-08 4,358
    Sep-08 4,070
    Oct-08 4,568
    Nov-08 4,500
    Dec-08 6,109
    Jan-09 4,605
    Feb-09 4,305
    Mar-09 5,000
    Apr-09 6,021
    May-09 8,419
    Jun-09 13,920
    Jul-09 689
    Aug-09 2,770
    Sep-09 3,100
    Oct-09 3,102
    Nov-09 3,726
    Dec-09 5,403
    Jan-10 3,714
    Feb-10 3,713
    Mar-10 5,344
    Apr-10 4,718
    May-10 3,985
    Jun-10 4,630
    Jul-10 3,687
    Aug-10 3,965
    Sep-10 8,142
    Oct-10 9,245
    Nov-10 9,719
    Dec-10 9,624
    Jan-11 8,502
    Feb-11 7,803
    Mar-11 11,159
    Apr-11 9,750
    May-11 11,681
    Jun-11 11,372
    Jul-11 12,309
    Aug-11 12,410
    Sep-11 12,265
    Oct-11 10,681
    Nov-11 9,204
    Dec-11 10,013
    Jan-12 8,672
    Feb-12 7,759
    Mar-12 11,034
    Apr-12 10,485
    May-12 13,410
    Jun-12 10,742
    Jul-12 11,662
    Aug-12 9,539
    Sep-12 11,013
    Oct-12 10,885
    Nov-12 10,786
    Dec-12 14,562


    Since they stopped giving new membership information, I went ahead and did some math behind the monthly number of memberships overall to see the overall trendline.  It is great to know the number of new members, but if the number of members leaving is greater than the number of new members, then that might be concerning.  In looking at the data, there must have been some data scrubbing done in October and November 2010 as those two months are wildly out of the normal data distribution.



    And, the data:

    Date Monthly Change
    Sep-06 ———
    Oct-06 3,955
    Nov-06 3,412
    Dec-06 2,698
    Jan-07 5,393
    Feb-07 1,931
    Mar-07 4,115
    Apr-07 1,694
    May-07 3,330
    Jun-07 1,709
    Jul-07 1,571
    Aug-07 758
    Sep-07 283
    Oct-07 3,644
    Nov-07 2,064
    Dec-07 1,768
    Jan-08 5,480
    Feb-08 1,286
    Mar-08 4,038
    Apr-08 2,251
    May-08 2,711
    Jun-08 2,180
    Jul-08 3,531
    Aug-08 2,052
    Sep-08 3,043
    Oct-08 3,057
    Nov-08 1,888
    Dec-08 2,229
    Jan-09 5,978
    Feb-09 2,961
    Mar-09 5,987
    Apr-09 2,763
    May-09 2,053
    Jun-09 -200
    Jul-09 -869
    Aug-09 -920
    Sep-09 989
    Oct-09 2,305
    Nov-09 -383
    Dec-09 1,613
    Jan-10 5,006
    Feb-10 385
    Mar-10 2,856
    Apr-10 -175
    May-10 202
    Jun-10 432
    Jul-10 1,967
    Aug-10 2,832
    Sep-10 -2,832
    Oct-10 32,832
    Nov-10 -26,040
    Dec-10 2,821
    Jan-11 1,696
    Feb-11 2,322
    Mar-11 6,213
    Apr-11 1,674
    May-11 4,824
    Jun-11 2,794
    Jul-11 3,802
    Aug-11 4,444
    Sep-11 4,956
    Oct-11 4,128
    Nov-11 1,495
    Dec-11 1,884
    Jan-12 511
    Feb-12 831
    Mar-12 6,014
    Apr-12 1,160
    May-12 3,461
    Jun-12 908
    Jul-12 3,427
    Aug-12 -310
    Sep-12 964
    Oct-12 1,077
    Nov-12 2,003
    Dec-12 4,572
    Jan-13 1,114
    Feb-13 1,488
    Mar-13 11,012
    Apr-13 3,463
    May-13 6,152
    Jun-13 6,577
    Jul-13 8,813
    Aug-13 2,200
    Sep-13 3,624
    Oct-13 -613
    Nov-13 -324
    Dec-13 3,068
    Jan-14 -3,852
    Feb-14 2,104
    Mar-14 10,126
    Apr-14 -2,844
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  • Tim Gryder and Collin Quiring will be presenting a webinar April 30, 2014, for the Project Management Quality Community of Practice (PMQ CoP) for the Project Management Institute (PMI).

    To sign up go to the PMI website for the PMQ CoP here:


    Here is the synopsis of the planned webinar:

    Project Managers, Resource Managers and other members of the Project Management Office (if there is one) do not work in a vacuum. Even if a PMO exists and all members of it are fully certified in Project Management, the level of project quality in the entire organization will affect their ability to be effective and provide value to the company.

    During this presentation, we plan to give some examples of this type of situation. And, we will highlight how an organization can increase their OPM Maturity and allow the PMO to be more constructive to the entire organization. We will show that Project Management Quality and Organizational Project Management Maturity go together.

    About the Presenters
    A consulting professional with over 20 years in developing new capabilities and platforms within the Operations Management and Project Management space. Exceptional insights toward helping organizations realize their true road map for future business process and systems changes. With specific knowledge in the Product Development, Operational Project Management and Manufacturing realm, we are often helping organizations tie the product development planning and execution into the operational planning and execution. Functional knowledge and a strong background in Operations, Supply Chain, Sales and Operations Planning and Scheduling, Project Management and Scheduling, Organizational Project Management, Business Systems Development and Role development.

    Collin Quiring, MBA, OPM3, PMP, MCTS, MCT, CIRM
    A capable professional with over 20 years of experience in several industries supporting Project Management, Resource Management, Product
    Development, Systems Administration, and Training.
    Specializing in the Project Management Space with extraordinary depth in Project Management and Microsoft Project Server and developing the platform to effective use in many companies.

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  • By: Collin Quiring

    For those using or setting up PWA task updates the question often comes up as to whether or not the Team Members should be updating by percentage or by entering work. There are a couple of questions that come up in relation to this to help decide which to use.

    The first question is:

    Do you care about hours of work or do you just care about how long the job took?

    As in, does it matter that a job took 10 hours to do? Does it matter for your organization’s needs (for projects or accounting or pay or billing) that you know how much time it actually took to do the work? Or, do you just care that a task took five days to complete? Whether the person(s) assigned to the task worked for 1 hour or 100 hours, do you still just want to know that it took a certain number of days to complete?

    The answer to the first question will determine the accuracy of hours that you are trying to track.

    If you just care about how many days a task takes to complete, rather than the exact hours, then you want to enter the percentage. And, more specifically, you want to enter the % Complete field. There is also a % Work Complete field that is available but that is in relation to hours and so that wouldn’t apply to your need. The % Complete field would be the easiest to use because it is based on Actual Duration divided by Duration. So, if a three day task is one-and-a-half days into the schedule, then it is 50% complete. And note, that is 50% complete whether one minute of actual work is done or not (although we would hope that folks are only updating tasks that have work completed against them.

    If you care about hours, and you care about getting accurate hours, then you should have the % Work Complete and % Complete fields where they can’t be edited by Team Members. You should allow the system to calculate those fields for you. What you should have Team Members update is the Actual Work and Remaining Work fields. When the Actual Work field is updated, the Remaining Work field will be calculated. If the Remaining Work field doesn’t match the work that the Team Member thinks it should, then they should update it so as to allow for the dates to better align with the amount of work.

    And, the second question is:

    Do you care when the work is done?

    If your organization has accounting, billing, pay or other reasons to know when work is occurring (whether you are tracking in duration or hours) then there is one other update the Team Member should do – enter the date.

    If your organization cares about when work happens, BEFORE entering hours the Team Member should enter the Actual Start Date. Entering the Actual Start Date will set the timeframe properly. Then, the Team Member should enter the % Complete or the Actual Hours – depending on the method you are using. If the Team Member only enters the % Complete or Actual Hours then the Actual Start Date will be calculated for you. Which, in most cases, will be the date was assigned. And, that is where you can get Actual Dates that are nowhere near the real calendar date – because it uses the originally assigned date (whether that date is in the future or in the past).

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  • BY: Collin Quiring

    When installing Project Server 2013 in house and installing all the required components (like SQL Server 2012 and SharePoint Server 2013), a Web Application and a Top Level Site and Site Collection have to be created along with the Project Site (PWA). While other documents exist to explain the how to part of the installation, this article is about the definitions for SharePoint web and sites and how Project ties into them. Definitions and then some examples are provided below.

    For those using Project Online the ability to modify and setup Web Applications and Site Collections is different and in the SharePoint administration it is slightly different wording. That is outlined at the bottom of this article.

    First, the definitions:

    Web Application: In SharePoint Server 2013 a Web Application is the container (I am trying to avoid the word “site” since it is sometimes used incorrectly here) that holds the Top Level site and any Site Collections and corresponding Sites. The key parts to the Web Application is that it is the IIS Web Site; which for those like me who aren’t extremely technical is where the main URL comes from (yeah, I know you can do things with Alternate Access Mapping and I know that a fancy-pants IIS/Networking guru can use all sorts of things like bindings to make URL’s other things but for our purposes, this is the URL).

    Site Collection: This is the place that has the Top Level Site and any other Subsites. The key point here is that the Site Collection has a Content Database. You can use one Content Database for multiple Site Collections but the important piece to remember is that a Site Collection must have a Content Database.

    Top Level Site: This is the site at the top of the site collection. It is the first site in the collection and it may or may not have subsites. (Often, but not always, during setup, this site is just given the “/” designation by the administrator. The other common designation is “/sites/” for the top level site.)

    Subsites (often just called Sites): This is a bit confusing because Top Level site and site may be used interchangeably because the Top Level site is a site by itself. But, a subsite is a site below a Top Level site.

    Content Database: This is the database that holds the SharePoint information for a Site Collection. It has both the documents and the setting customizations for that Site Collection.

    Project Web App Site: For our purposes, Project Web App Site is often called PWA, sometimes also called the Project Site and is a subsite below the Top Level site.

    Instance: In the Project Web App Site each site is called an Instance. Many organizations have at least two instances in their production environment, a production level development/testing instance and production version on the same web application (this is different than a development or test server or a separate system for development). Commonly, the main production instance is called just “PWA”. Each instance has a separate database table structure, separate schedules on the site, separate resources and so on. For example, an organization that has an IT department that runs projects totally differently than a PMO department may have two instances – one called “IT_PWA” and the other “PMO_PWA”.

    Now for some examples:

    The first one is a basic example – a Web Application, Top Level site, and two subsites with the Site Collection in the red boxed area.


    From the perspective of Project Server this is what that diagram might look like.



    One more example diagram – this time with sample URL’s for two separate PWA instances. The first instance is just called “PWA” and the second one is for a separate department called “ITPWA”. The Web Application is often just the servername so it would be something like http://servername. The Top Level Site in this example is just “/” and therefore the two PWA instances would be: http://servername/PWA and http://servername/ITPWA .


    In the Project Online, Office 365 and SharePoint Online world the terminology is a bit different because the setup is a bit different. The main terms to know here are:

    Tenant: This is your online (or cloud version) subscription of the service you have purchased. It can be a bit confusing since context is everything. You can have a SharePoint Online Tenant or an Office 265 Tenant or a Project Online Tenant. In our case, thinking from the Project Online perspective, you would most likely have a SharePoint Online Tenant and Project Online would be a part of that Tenant. In a non-techy description, basically it means that Microsoft has the uber-Wep Applications and they give us a small piece of the pie. I am not sure who to credit this to since I see lots of websites that explain it something like this – In the United States a person can rent an apartment in a large apartment building. They are a “tenant” of that apartment building. They can modify their own apartment as much as they want but they can’t modify the common areas of the building that are outside of their apartment.

    The default in the SharePoint Online administration screen for those of using it only for Project Online purposes is to have three Site Collections – one for the Website (usually the Tenant), one with the Project Web App Site and one for search. (And, apparently, they use the “/sites/” for the Top Level site for the PWA and “/” for the Search site). And, for the MY Sites (if being used) portion of the SharePoint Online it is using the Site Collection with a “-my” in the URL. In the My Sites section, you would have many potential subsites – one for each person that creates one.

    For example, my Project Online Tenant using SharePoint Online administration looks like this:



    Based on this information, this means that I have three Site Collections and PWA is a subsite in the sites Top Level site. Using the type of diagram we have above for the On Site version, this means that the Site Collection piece would look similar to this:



    I hope this helps to clear up some of the definitions!

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  • BY: Tim Gryder

    Practical use of Microsoft Project Server or Project Online 2013 for Issues Management and Collaboration


    The Problem

    If you’re a project manager running any project of scope, duration and complexity then you know that much of project management constantly deals with Murphy’s law…”What can go wrong will go wrong and at the worst possible time”. These events or “Issues” are often documented, assigned, and managed by the project manager in order to address the issue and keep the project moving. But how can we really drive issue resolution and ensure that nothing is falling thru the cracks?

    A simple solution to keeping up with, and collaborating on Issues can be found in the Microsoft Project Server Platform

    Take for example the image below…a simple project managed in Project Server (PWA-Project View), to build a storage building. As is typical, as tasks are being completed, I have now run into an issue related to the “Budget” task…More funds must be Secured!




    The Solution

    Use Project Server (or Project Online) to document; assign the issue to a task and person, against the task “Budget”. Here is how to assign an Issue to a Task!

    Step One

    Open the Projects view in PWA and select your project and then Select Issues from the Project tab for the Project.



    Step Two

    Select New Item and create your issue.


    Step Three

    Fill out the issues form to define due dates and assignments and dialog on the issue etc.

    Then Save the Issue.



    Step Four

    Navigate back to your project site and select Tasks and then select your task “Budget” to open.

    This is where we now associate the Issue we created above with the task from the project.



    Step Five

    Select “Show More” and then “Add Related Item”


    Step Six

    Select Issues from the left side of the assets available to add which will be underneath your project.

    Take note that each project has its own list of objects that can be associated with a task…

    I could also associate Deliverables and Risks etc…



    Step Seven

    Choose the Issue you created from the Issues List and then select Insert.




    We now have a Task with an issue assigned to it. This can be seen in the task details view in PWA.


    We are also now made aware at the Projects Portfolio View in PWA that this project has an unresolved Issue.


    So now instead of collecting issues into a spreadsheet and hoping you have the latest issues and their status…You can manage these issues in an environment that is collaborative, real time and reportable.

    If this doesn’t get your cats walking in a straight line then I don’t know what does!

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  • Connecting Excel 2013 to Project Online using Odata

    By Collin Quiring

    We have seen issues for some folks when connecting Excel 2013 to Project Online using an Odata connection.  This blog is to give an example of how to get data from that connection without ever connecting to Project Online directly.

    Start by opening Excel 2013 and going to the DATA tab.  Then, select From Other Sources in the ribbon.  On the drop-down, select From Odata Data Feed.



    This will bring a Data Connection Wizard popup.  Put in the Link to your Project Online site followed by


    THIS IS CRITICAL.  So, in our sample, with our Project Online site being at “https://PMPSpecialists.com/sites/Demo7PWA”  the link to enter in the Link option is:  “https://PMPSpecialists.com/sites/Demo7PWA/_api/ProjectData/ “  You may or may not need to enter a sign-in at this point, in this example, we do not need one.











    NOTEBe careful when copy/pasting the URL link.  We have seen where the link will duplicate in the Link of File box (it is hidden at first so we recommend you place your cursor at the far left of the box and do NOT select the entire box but use your arrow key and scroll over to confirm that the URL is only in place one time).

    If the URL (URI) is incorrect, or you don’t have permissions,  you may get any of the following error messages:



    (We couldn’t get data from the Data Model. Here’s the error message we got:

    Invalid URI: The URI Scheme is not valid.)


    (Unable to obtain list of tables from the data source.)


    (We couldn’t get data from the Data Model.  Here’s the error message we got:

    The remote server returned an error: (400) Bad Request.)


    (We couldn’t access the data feed server because the URL is invalid.)

    Once you have connected, after entering the link in the Data Connection Wizard, the second popup titled Data Connection Wizard with the option to Select Tables will appear.




    For our example, we scrolled down and selected Projects as the table to bring back.




    The third box for the Data Connection Wizard appears that allows us to Save our Data Connection.  Note – we are not saving the results, we are saving the .odc file only.  Results are saved from Excel as you would normally save any file.





    gives us the option of which type of Excel workbook we want (Table, Pivot, etc.).  And, we can select the Existing Worksheet or a New Worksheet.

    Clicking OK brings back the Excel file and the data.










    And, here is a small piece of one item from the Project file in a normal worksheet from our Project Online instance:



    And, as an example, the Data Source we saved earlier, is now sitting on our PC for us to be able to use in the future.  The default location is “This PC / Documents / My Data Sources”




    As further proof that the Data Connection now exists, the next time you want to use it, Select the DATA tab from Excel, the Existing Connection option in the ribbon and the data connection you created will be there for you to use!





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  •  MPUGa


    PMP Specialists is coordinating with the Microsoft Project Users Group (MPUG) to start a new chapter in the Northwest Arkansas area.  MPUG is the official user group for Microsoft Project and provides weekly web events, chapters, deep-dive certificates, articles, resources, and community forum.  This chapter will start out meeting once a quarter. 

     There is no fee to attend a chapter meeting.

     Before officially beginning this chapter we are trying to determine the community interest in having a Microsoft Project User Group in our area.  We know that there are many users of Project in our area and we know that these users range from beginners to experts.  The benefit of having a chapter in our area is the MPUG support for everybody as we become better at using the tools that make our work life more productive.

     MPUG meetings will also provide free PDU’s for PMI certifications.

     MPUG chapter meetings are a great way for members to come together to share knowledge, network, expand professional development and have fun. Only at MPUG Chapter meetings can you enjoy engaging presentations from Project experts, share your own Project experiences with other professionals in your field, and enjoy good food and conversations with peers in your local community.

    If you are interested, please send your name and email address to Info@PMPSpecialists.com



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  • By: Collin Quiring

    With the advent of Project 2013 there are a few different versions available and this little post is an attempt to help clarify those differences.  Also, to help clarify things, only 2013 Project works with 2013 (it does not allow 2010 or 2007 connectivity).  You can still open a previous version’s project file in 2013, but only 2013 Professional connects with Project Online 2013 and Project Server 2013.

    The first group we are going to cover are the versions that are installed and used in-house.  This is the more common version that has been used by organizations up until this point.  The server version of the software is called Project Server 2013.  This is the software that has requirements like SharePoint Server 2013 and SQL Server (2012 SP1 if you want SSRS [which we strongly recommend]) to be installed in-house as well.

    To access Project Server 2013 to edit or create schedules you will need to use Project Professional 2013.  This is the client software that allows access to the server.  The only people that really need Project Professional 2013 are those that interact with the schedules as a whole and directly.  There is also a tool that can be used by scheduling professionals that does not use Project Server, and that is Project Standard 2013.  This is the “stand-alone” version of the Project for the client.  At the bottom of this entry is a brief comparison of the Project Professional and Standard versions.

    To access Project Server 2013 in a web-enabled environment you use the PWA (Project Web App) interface.  This is a web page and can be accessed by almost every browser now but is still part of the local organization’s network.

    To clarify, here is a diagram that Darin Brazile worked up to represent how it works:


    The second set of versions that we are going to cover are the Online versions.  These are the Microsoft online versions where the software is somewhere in the world and you access it by your web browser.  This is called Project Online.  This is the web-enabled version of PWA and is called PWA just like the in-house version is called PWA.   This is a fully functional version of PWA and is based on a monthly licensing fee.  There is also a product for users in your organization that are Team Members (the ones that don’t use PWA much and really want to only deal with Task Updates) that is called Project Lite.  This is a monthly fee as well but is less expensive than Project Online.

    Now is when it gets interesting.  To access PWA for Project Online, you only need a browser (just like the way you do it in-house).  However, there are a couple of options if you want to use Project Professional.  You can not use Project Standard so that is not part of the Project Online discussion.  You can purchase a copy of Project Professional 2013 and have it installed on the client machine.  This means that you will use only that client machine (or another one that has Project Professional 2013 on it) to access the Project Online scheduling information if PWA isn’t sufficient to meet your needs.

    The second option is to purchase Project Pro for Office 365 with Project Online.  This is a great solution that allows you to stay in a “web-enabled/cloud” environment and not have to worry about having Project Professional 2013 on your local client machine.  Basically, from a non-technical perspective, the way it works is that when you sign in from a client machine and need Project Professional capabilities you can temporarily “download and install” the Project Pro product.  This allows you to work on any client machine with your Project Online tenant and when you are done the Project Pro is “deleted” from that client machine.  See the table below that explains some of the capability/functional differences between Project Standard 2013, Project Professional 2013 and Project Pro for Office 365.

    And, then there are varied methods on how to make this work as well.  You can have a hosted tenant of Project Online.  You can have a hosted tenant of Project Server that can be a shared or dedicated tenant.  And, the options go on and on about the exact methodology about how you get to those instances but the basic differences of Online and in-house are laid out above.

    The following is the brief comparison from the three Project client versions.  This is directly from the www.Microsoft.com/Project site as of February 12, 2014, for the Project Management options tab on the Choose Project page.  From the Project Management perspective, the recommendation is to have Project Professional 2013.


    Project Standard 2013

    Project Professional


    Project Pro for Office 365

    Quickly start projects
    Quickly focus on what matters with an enhanced visual experience and an array of new project templates.




    Keep projects on track
    Proactively discover critical task paths and resolve potential scheduling problems.




    Easily find and create great looking reports
    Quickly share progress with easily customizable, out-of-the-box reports.




    Explore the Office Store
    Extend out-of-the-box capabilities with flexible apps.




    Easily manage resources
    Visually create the right mix of resources using drag and drop.



    Call or instant message team members from within Project1
    Collaborate with real time file and screen sharing via Lync integration.



    Collaborate with others from virtually anywhere2
    Stay connected to your team and projects no matter where work takes you.



    Grow Capabilities
    Realize the power of unified project and portfolio management.3



    Flexible plans and service updates keep you always up-to-date so you can deliver your best results
    Enjoy seamless updates to always have the latest version of Project.


    Access virtually anywhere with Project on Demand
    Stream the rich Project desktop client onto almost any PC through Office 365 services.



    1 Requires Microsoft Lync Online or Microsoft Lync 2013 (sold separately).
    2 Requires SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2013, Project Online or Project Server 2013 (all sold separately).
    3 Requires Project Online or Project Server 2013 (sold separately).


    And, since we are copying the table from Microsoft, here is their table for which version works best for Project Portfolio Management.  This is directly from the www.Microsoft.com/Project site as of February 12, 2014, for the Project Portfolio Management options tab on the Choose Project page.  From the Project Portfolio Management perspective, the recommendation is to have Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365.

    Project Online

    Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365

    Project Server 2013 and Project Professional 2013

    Flexible online solution
    Easily sign up for flexible online plans that meet your PPM and work management needs.



    Simplify IT
    Get your team up and running quickly with the latest technology and industry standards to separate PMO functionality from IT functionality.



    Get started quickly
    Focus on what matters most – easily aggregating everyday work, project tasks, important details and timelines.




    Take action from more places and on more devices
    Extend PPM and work management to virtually any device.




    Align vision and effort
    Extend PPM and work management to virtually any device.




    Effectively manage resources
    Enhance resource allocation and decision making to by seeing– even when they are managing everyday work or ad hoc projects in SharePoint task lists.




    Strengthen everyday collaboration
    Take advantage of new social capabilities to facilitate discussions, information sharing and your team’s ability to get work done.




    Seamlessly communicate
    Improve team communication with Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange integration.




    Make data-driven decisions
    Discover insights and make better decisions with summary dashboards and self-service reports in Excel.




    Act and innovate with apps from the Office Store or SharePoint Store
    Extend and customize Project with apps to fit your business needs.




    Includes all of the features of Project Pro for Office 365 or Project Professional 20131




    Stream Project Pro for Office 365 directly from the web.

    1 Project Professional 2013 sold separately.




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  • By:  Collin Quiring

    Three of us from PMP Specialists went to the Microsoft Project Conference 2014 in Anaheim, California.  It was a great time for all of us.  We met and got to know some new folks and we got re-acquainted with some friends in the Project community.  There were around 136 sessions and, as always seems to happen to me, I usually wanted to go to two or three in every time slot.  Thankfully, Microsoft is providing “video” from all the sessions from the event for attendees.  (It isn’t really “video” as much as it is “audio with the slide deck/demos” – which is what we really want to see anyway.)  So, I have my work cut out for me in the next couple of weeks as I make time to go back and view some of the presentations that I missed.

    Tim Gryder and I presented on OPM3 (Organizational Project Management Maturity Model) and how Project Online, Project Server, Project Professional was a great tool that tied into OPM3 constructs and actually help to enable more organizational maturity.  We had some great feedback and questions from the attendees and enjoyed our time presenting immensely.

    A couple big announcements were made during the keynote session.  The biggest one, from my perspective, was the ability to use SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) with Odata.  Odata is the methodology by which reporting is enabled with Project Online and having the ability to use the power of SSRS is a HUGE step forward.  There have been some struggles with getting Odata to work properly and consistently in the past but I am hopeful that Microsoft continues to improve its reliability.  Another big announcement was the pricing change coming up for Project Online for what they Project Lite users.  That is a big deal for some of our clients and better matches their needs!

    As always, the evening event was great and Darin Brazile, from our group, tried his voice at karaoke at the House of Blues (thanks Project Hosts for sponsoring)!  (http://ow.ly/i/4zd5a) He did a great job!

    One of the overarching themes from the conference is that everything is moving online and that the future of Project is in Project Online (whether coupled with Office 365 or not).

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  • By: Collin Quiring

    Tim Gryder and I are honored to be presenting OPM3 concepts in relationship to Microsoft Project Server 2013 at the Microsoft Project Conference in California in 2014!  Here is the abstract for our session.

    The Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3) from the Project Management Institute (PMI) is a globally recognized best-practice standard for assessing and developing capabilities in Portfolio Management, Program Management, and Project Management. It is a wonderful tool and process to help understand where an organization ranks in maturity, capability, understanding and capability in regards to Project, Program and Portfolio Management.  This provides an assessment that an organization can use to determine where they should focus future efforts to increase their ability and maturity. The results from the assessment can point to many different areas of the organization that might need some work.  many of those involve business processes that can be directly assisted through the use of Project Server.

    This presentation is an overview of how Project Server accomplishes the implementation of the assessment results of OPM3.  Project Server is a powerful tool that can provide the necessary technology and process so that an organization can implement standardization and processes for improved organizational management.  OPM3 is a great assessment tool and can show an organization areas for improvement but combining that assessment with Project Server capabilities and technology an organization can quickly realize improvement.

    Project Server has the ability to help an organization with all three aspects of the maturity model – Portfolio, Programs and Projects.  By tying together the results from the OPM3 Assessment with the functionality of Project Server an organization can quickly realize positive results.  Project Server allows an organization to set up Portfolio information with drivers and other analysis tools which helps pick the right Programs and Projects to act upon.  And then Project Server allows for the execution, analysis and reporting of the work in the chosen Projects and Programs.

    Part of the OPM3 Assessment is about the documentation from the business process perspective.  This is about having the appropriate documentation that corresponds to a Project or Program.  Project Server is linked tightly with SharePoint Server which allows for the documentation, issues and risks to be maintained.  With the integration of SharePoint and Project Server an organization can be more effective and can become more mature in their organizational abilities.

    We believe that combining the capabilities of Project Server and SharePoint Server with the OPM3 assessment results is a natural fit of technology and process.

    This presentation is an overview of how Project Server accomplishes the implementation of the assessment results of OPM3.

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