Enterprise Project Management, Microsoft Project Professional and Microsoft Project Server
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BY: Tim Gryder
It has often been told to me that “Project just is too complicated to schedule with” or that “I can’t make project dates ever work right”.
Project is like a violin in a concert performers hand…In the wrong hands it screeches out the most horrendous information or bad information.
Or maybe it’s like flying a complex aircraft which with all the dials and indicators which would crash at the hands of an untrained pilot, but yet with a person trained to use Project…
MS Project really does allow for the business process of project management to capture good information and reschedule our projects. Scheduling can be made easy and much more accurate.
So for the brevity of this blog post, let’s imagine a project to build a storage barn. Pretty simple, right?
Let’s build out tasks, which in project are easy to do, but in order to enjoy simplicity and ease of schedule in the project as it evolves, we must first set it up correctly in the beginning.
So here is our file. (We are using Project Professional 2013.)
Notice that Work Breakdown must be determined in your project structure.
And you must define Task Mode, Type, Duration, Dependencies, Constraints, Resources, and Calendars and a few other assundry items which are a training class in and of itself…. Also remember, here is where it gets interesting. Project schedules differently depending on the task type. Please take note of the impact of task type and calendar and resource understanding required for the project being set up which this blog isn’t going to unearth…but having made a choice on type and other set up considerations… then we get something like this.
Notice now that I have set duration and work calculated via the Duration * Units = Work which again is a whole other conversation and imperative to learning to use Project.
But now let’s update this schedule. Remember that Project recalculates based on status date which can be found in your project information…
First I update my tasks…and with fixed duration I will update duration on all the tasks I have been given information on from my resources. This should be everything to the left of the green line which represents today.
But, as of Tuesday (which is today) the day I am updating my project (the green line)… I have three tasks that are behind schedule and have not been completed.
I do not want to have to manually change the dates on all the tasks so let’s have project reschedule the project tasks for us.
After I have taken updates I now reschedule everything that is past due…because you can’t do work in the past… (I know some of you think you can)
Highlight all of the project tasks or just the tasks you want…and use the update project button on the Project Tab. Picking the date you want to move uncompleted tasks to start after. Note that this will create a constraint on the tasks rescheduled to start after today. This could be alleviated by just rescheduling the one latest task and letting the schedule push the remaining tasks without constraints.
Now, all of my past due tasks have moved forward to today (the green line)…the day I rescheduled. Also note that based on dependencies and all the other constraints and variables set up in the beginning, all future tasks moved as well. So there you go. Have you been moving things around in project and it was wearing you out??? Just spend a little more time on the front end setting the file up correctly and then enjoy letting project do the rest.
This update cycle means that you can now focus on the impacts of late tasks and implications to future tasks. It also means your resources get true corrected dates to work by. Give it a try and see what happens!
BY: Collin Quiring
We recently had a client who uses Project Online request the ability to NOT create SharePoint sites that are connected to the Project schedules directly. They prefer to use their own SharePoint site. First, it is important to note that Project Online is something that Microsoft routinely tweaks and modifies and doesn’t necessarily notify anybody so it is possible that at some point in the future, this might change, but at the moment there is no ability to turn that off. When you create a schedule with Project Online, you will get a SharePoint site in the Project Online instance.
So, what do you do when you do not want to create a SharePoint site online? There are two options – you can create the site and then promptly delete it, or, you can deactivate the site after you create it. Both of these have their own unique issues that arise as a result. This blog will go through the two options.
The first option is to create your schedule and create the Sharepoint site and then delete the site. So as to have better screenshots and a more clear explanation, I will go through how that appears when using Project Professional 2013 with a Project Online instance. This first screenshot is the schedule being published. My test schedule name is “ZZ Test Delete Site”. Notice that I do NOT get a choice – I have to make a site. The “Do not Create a Site at the time” is grayed out. I have to “Create a site for this project”.
Ok, so now that the site is created, I can go to PWA Settings and to the Operational Polices and select the Connected SharePoint Sites. At this point, I see that the SharePoint site has been created..
Just to make sure that no conflicts exist, I closed Project Professional and checked-in the project.
I select the row and select the Deete Site option from the tool bar at the top of the screen. A pop up message appears. (In case you can’t read it, the box says “Deleting this site will permanently remove all documents, issues, risks and deliverables for ZZ Test Delete Site. Are you sure you want to delete this site?”)
Since I do want to delete this site, I select OK. And, while I don’t get another message, I do see now that the site is no longer listed in the Connected SharePoint Sites screen:
Ok, so now I have accomplished my goal of not having a site, right? Well, yes and I have created a new issue. If I go to Project Center and I drill down on the schedule and select the Project Site I get the message that “There is no site configured for this project.”
However, within Project Professional there is an interesting “bug” about this. When I find and open the file from Project Online and check out the schedule all looks well. But, when I go to Publish again, I get the option box again that I have to create the site. It is just like the first time I published the schedule.
This is a nuisance message. This is something you will just have to train your Project Managers to hit the “Publish” button anyway. In all of the testing I did, this did NOT re-create the site. Going back to Project Center and trying to get so the site still says that there is no site configured. And, no site suddenly appears in the sites list.
A KEY POINT: This will become a bit more clear after the second test. It is important to note that the tasks and settings from the schedule appear as expected within Project Online (Project Center, Resource Center, Tasks, etc).
So, this appears to have resolved the problem and you just have to live with the “create a site” box each time you publish.
Now for the second test. In this case we will Deactivate the SharePoint site, rather than deleting it. In this case, the schedule name is “ZZ Test Deactivate Site”. After creating, saving and publishing the schedule, the site appears in the settings. In this case I will select the Deactivate option for the site but I will not Delete the site.
In the Connected SharePoint Sites screen I select the Deactivate option. I then get this pop up box warning me that I am getting rid of the SharePoint site. Which is what I really do want in this case so I select OK. (In case you can’t read it, it says “This will disable the enterprise project features for project ZZ Test Deactivate Site and the SharePoint Tasks List will be enabled for editing. Are you sure you want to do this?”””)
I select OK and now that the site is Deactivated I see the following in the Connected SharePoint Sites screen:
And, all appears well. However, not so much. If you want to use this like a “normal” Project Online schedule with the task, Project Center and Resource Center working as you would expect then we refer back to the KEY POINT from earlier in this blog. By Deactivating the site what we really have done is not get rid of it, we have only gotten rid of the functionality. In the message we just saw when we deactivated we got a hint to this – where the box says that the SharePoint Tasks List will be enabled. What would be nice is if it said that the Project capabilities would be disabled.
Now when you go to Project Center and drill down on the schedule you are actually taken to the Project Site. So, you are not taken to the Tasks list. You are taken to a site that you theoretically just Deactivated. In our case, this is actually the exact OPPOSITE of what we expected. By selecting “Deactivate” what we really did was “stop using Project Online functionality and only use SharePoint functionality”. Which, is not what we wanted. The tasks have been converted to a SharePoint List and is no longer a “task list” in Project Online as the other schedules with normal sites (or the deleted site).
The tasks list is a SharePoint list now, it is not a “project” task list:
And, opening the schedule in Project Professional now brings up all sorts of interesting pop up boxes. The first one is when you open the schedule it syncs to the SharePoint List.
When you try to save the schedule (not even publish, just save) you get this pop up message (In case you can’t read it the box is called Conflict One and the message says “This task was deleted in SharePoint. To undo deletion, click “Keep Microsoft Project Version”, or click “Keep SharePoint Version” to delete the task from the project plan.” and then it shows the task details)
In this case, my goal is to not use SharePoint so I will select the Keep Microsoft Project Version. This pop up appears for each task (unless you select the option to “Keep the selected version for all remaining conflicts in this synchronization.”
Now, another interesting point. I clicked on save to get this. But, when I look at the bottom right of the schedule’s status bar it doesn’t say “Save Completed Successfully”. It says “Publish Completed Successfully”. And, the publish option is grayed out. I do not have the ability to Publish, yet is says that it was just published. Perhaps that is another blog some day about whether or not this actually published or just saved and said it was published or maybe it thinks that because it sync’ed to a SharePoint list that it counts as published?
Therefore, the final conclusion is that if you do not want to have a SharePoint site, you have to publish the schedule, delete the site and train the Project Managers to hit Publish with Create site selected. If you Deactivate the site you actually are doing the opposite of our goal in this case.
BY: Collin Quiring
This came up a while ago with one client and I just wanted to share this issue with everybody. Depending upon how you look at this issue, you can consider it a bug or a feature. It sort of makes sense the way it works but it probably shouldn’t work that way.
This was tested in Project Web App 2010 (Project Server 2010) and Project Web App 2013 (Project Server 2013) and Project Online 2013. I assume this works the same for all date fields that users can enter but I only tested in the Actual Start and Actual Finish date fields.
When you are in the Tasks page in Project Web App and you enter a date (or any text or numbers) into the Date field the system immediately takes that date and background “saves” that update so that the system thinks that you have placed some data there. That is fine in most situations. However, what about when you realize you put the date in the wrong field (wrong date field or wrong task to update or whatever the reason)? Well, you are stuck.
Since the date information you have entered is in the “background” already you MUST have a valid date format Date in that field from now on. You can not delete it and leave it blank. You can not backspace it out. You have to leave a date in the field of some sort. The only way to get out of this is to leave the page and not save the update. Which, in and of itself, is a bad solution unless this is the very first field and the only update that you have done.
If you try to blank out the field or put in a non-date format text into this field you will get the message ‘’is not a valid value for this field .
If you consider this a bug it is due to the fact that you can’t delete it or otherwise fix the error in the field. The only work arounds are to put in a fake date, save it, and then ask the Timesheet Manager/Project Manager to deny the update. Or, you can leave the page (which isn’t practical in most cases). And, another side effect of putting in a fake date is that if it does get approved, it can affect the entire schedule and everybody else’s tasks.
If you consider this a feature then this is just a nasty side effect. The feature is that it “saves” into the background as you type and that is nice and might help you not to lose work.
Join us in Northwest Arkansas June 10 as we kick off the Microsoft Project User Group newest chapter!
BY: Collin Quiring
This post is about a Resource over allocation we discovered in Microsoft Project Professional 2010. To make it simple, this is not connected to Server, not an online instance, just a desktop version of Project Pro 2010. Specifically, this is about a situation where we had a Resource that was clearly NOT over allocated. I have some screenshots below that explain the situation in detail.
We also tested this in Microsoft Project Professional 2013 desktop and had the exact same results. Both the problem and the resolution worked the same in 2013 as in 2010.
So we are all on the same page, what is the definition in Microsoft Project of an over allocated Resource? It is “a resource is assigned to more work on a specific task or all tasks than can be completed within normal working capacity.” In Project the field reference does not have the space between words and is just called overallocated or overallocation.
In this case, we had a Resource that was clearly not over capacity or over allocated. But, in the Team Planner the Resource was showing over – including on weekends. The weekends were NON-working days AND no work was assigned. But, it also shows over allocation on days that are not over allocated.
Here we see in the Resource Sheet that the Resource called Team Lead is showing an over allocation (in red) and this screenshot shows that this is a normal Work Resource with a Standard calendar.
There is no calendar assigned to the Tasks.
The Project Calendar is the Standard Calendar as well so the Resource and the Project calendars are in sync.
This screenshot is from the Resource Usage view which shows that the Resource named Team Lead is showing an over allocation on a handful of weeks. BUT, look at those numbers – the assignments are only 3, .55, .45 or .12 PER WEEK! The Resource has 40 hours a week available. Obvious math shows that this screenshot “is impossible” because the Resource is not over allocated. In fact, it is almost perfectly the opposite – the have a week with less than an hour of time against it so they have over 39 un-assigned hours!!
Here are the overallocations marked in red in the Resource Usage view:
Now, here is another interesting screenshot. In this one, in the Task Usage view (Gantt Chart) we see the little red man indicator that tells us the Resource Team Lead is over allocated. We also see that when we add the column Overallocated, it states that the Resource is NOT overallocated!
So, Microsoft Project is actually giving us BOTH answers at once – the real one that the Resource is not overallocated and that the Resource is overallocated. In fact, hovering over the red man indicator gives us the expected message of “This task has resources assigned which are overallocated. Right-click for options.”
But, we know that it is not over allocated!
After searching Bing and Google we discovered that there may have been some sort of bug prior to SP1. The bug was that if a Work value is less than 1% of the duration of a task, the system wouldn’t correctly calculate the allocation and would end up showing that the Resource was overallocated even though it wasn’t. However, changing the work above the 1% threshold didn’t affect this for us (and, we were on a post SP1 version) so we set it back.
After more searching and experimentation we discovered that the error is related to the Leveling Period for the Project. NOTE – we in no way wanted to or used the leveling from within Project. We merely changed the settings. When you go into the Leveling Options in the Resource tab the default setting looks like this:
The only item that we changed was the “Look for overallocations on a…” basis.
We changed it from “Day by Day’’” to “Week by Week”. AGAIN – we did not actually click on “Level All” or actually ran any sort of leveling! We only changed that drop down setting and clicked on OK.
And, with that one and only change, suddenly, the overallocations disappear!
No assignments changed, nothing else was changed. But, the over allocations went away immediately:
It removed the overallocations in Team Planner as well:
It is all about the calculation method. I don’t think that I would call this a bug. I think this is a bit of weird math that happens when you have certain settings and views combining.
BY: Collin Quiring
In a previous blog we mentioned different versions of Project and Project Server that a new version of Project Online was coming out (http://dld.bz/dh2wF) . That has been released as of today, May 1, 2014. This version is called Project Lite and is for those Team Members that do not need full Project Online functionality. This is only $7 a month per user right now.
Here is the functionality that a Project Lite user is allowed to do in each of three areas:
- Create New Tasks or Assignments
- Reassign Tasks
- Self-Assign Team Tasks
- View and/or Edit Tasks in Task Center
- View Timesheets
- Enter Hours
- Add or Remove Task from Timesheet
- Turn in Timesheet
- View or Update Status, Issues and Risks
- View or Update Project Documents
- View Project Center
- View Project Schedules
- View Project Details
- View Project Summary
- View Resource Assignments
- Create/Modify/Delete links between tasks and items in Project Site (Documents, Issues, Risks)
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.
Date PgMP PMI-RMP PMI-SP PMI-ACP 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
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
TIM Gryder, CPIM, CIRM, MCP, PMP, OPM3, AIM
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.
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).
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!