#Microsoft #Project – the future #Ignite #PPM #PMOT #Workmanagement #ProjectOnline #ProjectManagement

September 24, 2018 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Functionality, Information | 2 Comments
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From the session today for Project Online, 3 key points:


All project work management experiences from the Project Home that was recently released – this is now live: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/new-projectonline-project-home-office365-ppm-ui-ux-msproject-fabricui/

From the Project Home you will be able to create different project artefacts, such as a Roadmap (see below) or a new project.

New feature for Project is the Roadmap product – first release early 2019 calendar year, a visual tool that lets you visualise projects on a timeline view with a row per project. On each row you can display tasks from each project added to the Roadmap. This will allow you to see projects from Project Online, Azure Boards, Planner, the new Project Service (see below) etc. Security backed by modern Office 365 groups. Connections to these projects are based on Microsoft Flow, data synchronised using Microsoft Flow. Some screenshots below:



Another new feature is the new Project Service – first release during 2019, this is not Project Online but a new Project product written from the group up. This has a lot of focus on being a modern UI with a great user experience, being simple to use yet powerful. Under the covers all of the great scheduling features are there, it’s a revamped scheduling engine that is used today in Project Online – but re-engineered to be scalable and optimised. Lots of changes such as no need to build team anymore, you can just type user names from the organisation into a people picker, these are added into the resource pool.

Screenshot of resourcing:


Co-authoring possible in the new project and no check in check or save / publishing actions required.

The new Project Service will make use of the Universal Resource Scheduling service to enable better resourcing across the organisation, here is a Dynamics 365 link to this service: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crm/2018/05/07/whats-new-in-universal-resource-scheduling-for-dynamics-365-may-2018-update/

Project Desktop is still a first class citizen in the new Project if project managers wanted to continue using the Project Desktop tool.

New Project feature is built on the Power Platform backed by the CDS which means making use of Microsoft Flow and Power Apps very simple! Power Apps for Project Online is something I spoke about at the Project Virtual Conference: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/getting-starting-with-projectonline-and-powerapps-pvc18-presentation-links-ppm-pmot-apps-office365-msproject/ – this becomes very simple and a lot more powerful in the new Project service! The same goes for Microsoft Flow: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/tag/flow/  – the potential and power to build awesome apps for Project will be very simple!

All new services for Project (Roadmap, new Project Service etc.) are built on the Common Data Service for apps. Details on the CDS can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/common-data-service/data-platform-intro

Modern Work management eco system:


Microsoft’s Work Management vision:


Project Online will continue to get security and performance improvements.

Organisations will be able to run both Project Online and the new Project Service side by side and pull data in to a Roadmap from both. There will be some form of migration from Project Online to the new Project Service but details are still to be confirmed.

Exciting times ahead for the Microsoft Project space!


#ProjectOnline Supporting Projects and Programs Part 2 #PPM #MSProject #Office365 #PMOT #PMO #SharePoint

September 21, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting | Leave a comment
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In part 2 of this mini series of blog posts we will look at the configuration on the Project Sites to support projects and programs. For those of you that missed part 1, see the post here: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/projectonline-supporting-projects-and-programs-part-1-ppm-msproject-office365-pmot-pmo/ 

As the Project Site are SharePoint sites, this also has many configuration options but this needs to be considered careful based on your reporting requirements. Whilst all of the data in SharePoint is accessible for reporting not all data on the Issues and Risks lists is available in the Project Online OData Reporting API. Only the data from default list columns Microsoft include on the Issues and Risks are included in the Project Online OData Reporting API. Other data from custom columns on the lists is accessible but only via the SharePoint list REST APIs but this can be tricky to report on for a cross project report. Here is an example for accessing this data in Power BI reports: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/want-to-query-cross-project-site-sharepoint-lists-in-projectonline-projectserver-powerbi-powerquery-bi-office365-excel-ppm/ As we want to keep this as simple as possible, we will ensure the data we need in synchronised to the Project Online OData API. The Category column on the Issues and Risks lists is the ideal default column to use for our requirements. By default this contains the following values:

(1) Category1
(2) Category2
(3) Category3

We will update these values for the Category columns to match the lookup table values we created for the Project Plan Type and Escalation Level PWA custom fields:



This is done on each list, for example access the Risks list, click the List tab then List Settings. Scroll down the page to the columns and click the Category column and update the values. Repeat for the Issues list then repeat for the other project sites. You need to be careful updating some of the default Issues and Risks columns as you can break the synchronisation processes to the Project Online reporting schema which the OData Reporting API uses. If you do break this sync, you will see queue errors in the PWA Manage Queue page. Changing just the choice values as I have will be fine and not cause sync issues but fully test changes to ensure the data syncs as expected with no queue errors. As the Issues and Risks use a list content type, these change need to be made in the site template so new project sites get new values and manually or via code in the existing project sites but that is beyond the scope of this post but here is a post that might help get you started: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/access-projectonline-project-sites-using-powershell-and-sharepoint-csom-office365/ or https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/projectonline-projectserver-project-site-provisioning-using-office365-pnp-remote-provisioning-sharepoint-powershell/ When updating existing project site lists, you will need to consider existing data on those lists as they might be using values you are wanting to remove.

Now our project sites have the correct Category values for Issues and Risks, we can tagged the items as needed as seen below on an example project:





You could also update the Risks and Issues view to and views that filter to just Program or Project or group by Category etc. Now the project sites are updated, when Issues and Risks are created these can be tagged with the correct category to make these visible in Program level reports.

In the final part of this blog post series we will look at using this data in example Power BI reports.

#ProjectOnline Supporting Projects and Programs Part 1 #PPM #MSProject #Office365 #PMOT #PMO

September 19, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting | 1 Comment
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Microsoft’s Office 365 PPM tool, known as Project Online is a very flexible tool in that it is fully configurable to support your organisations PPM requirements. An intro to some of the configuration options can be found in my getting started guide I wrote a few years back: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/getting-started-with-projectonline-round-up-ps2013-office365-project-ppm-sharepointonline-pm-sp2013/ 

In this mini series of blog posts we will look at an option for supporting a simple project hierarchy of projects and programmes – known as programs across the pond. Due to the flexibility Project Online offers, there are several ways this can be done – there is no right or wrong way. The right way is the way that works for your organisation. In this example we will use custom fields to support projects and programmes, these will be at the project level, task level and also the issues and risks lists. But you could do this with Enterprise Project Types (EPTs) with different project site templates and custom fields but for the purpose of this blog post we will just use the fields and all projects are under that same EPT. In this series of posts we will look at the minimum required PWA configuration, the SharePoint configuration and then finish off with some simple example reports making use of the configuration changes we implement.

Firstly we will look at the PWA custom fields then the Project Site columns. In PWA navigate to PWA Settings > Enterprise Custom Fields and Lookup Tables. I created a new lookup table to hold the following values to determine the level, I called this Project Plan Type:


I created another lookup table called Program to list the programs used in the organisation:


As you can see, I just created two test / example program values just for the purpose of this blog post. Next I created two project level custom fields, one call Program linking to the Program lookup table and one called Project Plan Type linking to the Project Plan Type lookup table:


These are used to tag the projects with the correct project type and associate the projects to the correct program.

I also created a task level field called Escalation Level and linked that to the Project Plan Type lookup table:


This task level field is used to escalate / highlight tasks or milestones from the project plans up to the program level if needed.

These are the only fields I need to add to support my simple project / program scenario.

Next up I will configure a Project Center view to support my projects and programs, in PWA Settings navigate to Manage Views and create the new view/s as required. In this example, I copied the default Summary view, called it Programs. I then edited this new Programs view to include the two new project level fields – Program and Project Plan Type. I then added a grouping to group by Program then by Project Plan Type and sort by Project Plan Type:


Which results in – these are just test projects for the purpose of this blog post:


This view enables us to easily see the project and program data as well as aggregate the data to the summary grouping rows where applicable.

I then updated the Task Summary Project view to include the new Escalation Level field so that this new field can be used in PWA. It could also be added to an Enterprise Global view so that it was available by default in a Project Desktop client view/s. The updated view can be seen here:


Next, ensure the two new Project level fields are present on a Project Detail Page (PDP) so that users can set the values as needed.


We are now able to capture the schedule data required to support this simple scenario for projects and programs. The details for each project are managed as normal in the “2_Project” type projects, any tasks or milestones that need escalating to the program would be tagged correctly and viewed in reports. Program level activities are managed in the “1_Program” type project, all of the program level summary details such a Status Summary as seen on the PDP image above are added to the program project. In the next post we will look at how we can support this on the Issues and Risks lists on the Project Sites.

#ProjectOnline data flows diagram #Office365 #PPM #MSProject

August 23, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
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I have put together a very simple diagram to describe some core data flows in Project Online / Project Server for actions like opening projects, save a project on a PDP etc. This high level diagram can be seen below:


Click the image to see a larger version.

There are probably some scenarios where this image isn’t 100% accurate but it gives you a good starting point for most core scenarios / data interactions with Project Online and Project Desktop.

I hope that you find it useful – happy to extend it / update it with more Project Online data entities if people find it useful!

New #ProjectOnline #Project Home #Office365 #PPM #UI #UX #MSProject #FabricUI

August 20, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Posted in Administration, App, Functionality, Information | 2 Comments
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Recently you may or may not have seen that Project Online has a new Project Home page to improve access and navigation to the projects that you need access to. Those of you that navigate directly to your Project Online PWA URL probably won’t have noticed the new feature, those of you that use the Project app from the app Office 365 app launcher / waffle might have seen this if your Office 365 tenant has been updated.

Access Project from the Office 365 App Launcher:


Or from the office.com site (click Explore all your apps):


This feature is currently rolling out, at the time of writing clicking the Project app on my tenants just directed me to the default /sites/PWA site as it always has done since Project Online was launched. Whilst this feature rolls out fully you can still try and access the new Project Home by navigating directly to https://project.microsoft.com if this has reached your tenant yet. If the feature hasn’t rolled out to your tenant yet, you might see a message stating that you don’t have access to this page.

On one of my demo tenants I can access this:


When you first access the Project Home app, you will see the placeholders for the projects if you have no data there, you have a favourites sections and a Recent section. Here is the page after accessing a few projects on my demo system:


I have 4 projects in my recent list as seen above. You can hover over the project row in the Recent list to add a project as a favorite using the star icon or click the ellipsis to see a menu and use the the Add to favorite menu option:


This then pushes the projects to the favorites section:


You can then click the ellipsis on the card to remove a project as a favorite:


Clicking the project card or project name row in the recent list will navigate you to the project detail page (PDP) – the last PDP you accessed just like it does from the Project Center page as this uses the projectdrilldown.aspx page which will load the last PDP you accessed for that project.

The recent project list will contain projects from multiple Project Web App (PWA) instances on the same Office 365 tenant to give you that central Project Home page for all projects you accessed. By default you will see 8 projects on the recent list ordered by the last accessed time, once you reach more than 8 project, you have the Show more control:


This will then display the next 8 projects, keep pressing Show more until all are displayed, you then see a Show less control:


You have the same feature on the favorites section too:


Also on this page you can use the Create New > Project feature:


This will launch the Create a new project wizard page on the default PWA instance on the tenant – the default instance is /sites/PWA:


You also have the ability to navigate to the the default PWA instance (_sites/PWA) homepage using the “Go to Project Web App –>” link:


Or the Project link on the top nav bar:


On the settings cog you have the license information:


This loads a license page that displays the licenses for the 3rd party software packages / libraries used in Project Home.

Great to see a new look and feel for Project making use of the Office Fabric UI React components.

Reporting on #ProjectOnline Resource Cost Rate Tables #Office365 #PPM #PowerBI #Excel #PowerQuery #MSProject

August 10, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting | 1 Comment
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The resource cost rate table details are not available in the Project Online / Project Server OData Reporting API (_api/ProjectData) but they are accessible using OData but from the CSOM REST API (_api/ProjectServer). In this blog post, I will walkthrough getting this data into an example Power BI report. It wont look pretty, that’s not the idea of this post!

To get this data you need to use the _api/ProjectServer API as seen below in the example for cost rate table A:


Which gives the detail:


To get all of the resources different cost rate A details, you would need to dynamically pass in the RESGUID. In the steps below we look at doing this in Power Query so this would work for either Power BI or Excel but for the purpose of the blog post, I’m using Power BI.

In Power BI, create a new OData connection using the Get Data > OData option. Use the following URL:


Update with the correct PWA URL and a valid resource GUID from that PWA instance. Edit the data so it loads the Power Query Editor:


I renamed this to fn_getResCostRateA as this will become a function. Open the advanced editor:


The code needs to be updated to:


Click done and you will see the following:


No need to do anything with the parameter or buttons. Now we need to add another data source in for the resource metadata. Add a new new OData data source in from the Power Query Editor window and use the following URL:

{PWAURL}/_api/ProjectServer/EnterpriseResources?$Select=Id,Name&$Filter=ResourceType ne 3

Update with the correct PWA URL. This will get the list of resource GUIDs to pass into the function and also the resource name to be used in the report. I renamed the connection to Resource Details – Cost Rate Table A:


Once you have edited the query as required a new custom column needs to be added to invoke the function created earlier. Click the Add Column tab then click Custom Column. Give the column a name such as GetCostRateADetails then enter the following: fn_getResCostRateA([Id]) as seen below:


When clicking OK, this might take a while depending on how many resources you have as this will invoke the function for each project and call the REST API, passing in the Id for that row and bring back the cost rate A table records. Once completed you will see the tables as below in the new custom column:


Now the column needs to be expanded, click the double arrow in the custom column heading and expand the cost rate fields:


Click OK and the data will refresh / load then display the data for the cost rate fields:


Notice for those resources with multiple cost rate table entries there are multiple rows per resource. These are just resources from the Microsoft Project Online demo content with updated cost rate entries.

That’s it, now load into Power BI and create the report – a basic table example below:


For other cost rate tables, repeat the process but replace the A for the other cost rate tables such as:


This dynamic function process is the same process I’ve used and detailed before in previous blog posts for Power Query such as this one: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/projectonline-powerbi-report-include-html-formatting-ppm-pmot-powerquery-odata-rest-part-2/

#ProjectOnline PWA Stats with Snapshot #JavaScript #jQuery #PPM #Office365 #PMOT #MSProject

July 2, 2018 at 10:55 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting | Comments Off on #ProjectOnline PWA Stats with Snapshot #JavaScript #jQuery #PPM #Office365 #PMOT #MSProject
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Want to view simple PWA stats and capture the data to then build simple trend reports? This simple JavaScript and jQuery solution starter might be a good starting point. The output can be seen below:


Each PWA entity can be expanded to see the stats:



Then each week or month etc. you can take a snapshot of the data using the Snapshot button, this creates an item on the snapshot list:


The solution starter code has been published for download. The code expects the SharePoint list to already exist but that is covered in this blog post. The solution starter code can be downloaded from the Microsoft Gallery using the link here: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Online-PWA-Stats-and-eb56e6bb

The code does make use of jQuery and jQuery UI, these are loaded from the jQuery CDN but you might want to download them and store them locally etc.:


The code expects a list called PWASnapshot in the root PWA site collection:


This can be updated to a different target list in the root PWA site collection, just change the listTitle variable as seen above. The following columns are required to already exist on the target SharePoint list in the PWA site collection:


They’re all default column settings apart from DateCaptured, this defaults to Today’s Date. If you do not need the snapshot capability, you could just comment out / remove the snapshot button from the code.

Create a new page on the PWA site to display the PWA Stats data, I created a new web part page in a library called “Pauls” in the root PWA site – this is on my test PWA site, hence a library called Pauls!


Download and update the solution starter as required – remember it is a solution starter so it could do with some code optimisations and better error handling etc. Upload the solution starter JavaScript code to the PWA site, in this example I uploaded it to the same library as the new PWAStats page. Edit the new page and add a Content Editor Web Part, update the Content Link to add the relative URL path for the JavaScript code as seen below in this example:


Update other web part settings as required then click Apply then click OK and stop editing the page.

As the data is loaded, the SharePoint modal dialog will appear:


This will close once all the projects are loaded as on my PWA dataset, the projects data is the largest.

Clicking the snapshot button will also load the SharePoint modal dialog:


This will close when the item is added to the list, then a message will display below the button to state the item has been added:


Trend reports could easily be created using Power BI consuming the snapshot list data to see how the data changes over time.

This could easily be extended to bring in additional PWA stats. I will probably write a blog post in the future to extend this to capture additional PWA stats.

The solution starter file contains HTML, CSS and JavaScript in the same file, for production you might want to split out the HTML, CSS and JavaScript into the separate files, reference the JavaScript and CSS files in the HTML file and link to the HTML file in the content editor web part but as this is so small having one file will be fine and is easier to manage.

Fully test on a DEV / TEST PWA instance first before using in Production. The script is provided "As is" with no warranties etc.

I hope you find it useful Smile

#Project #MVP Award #ProjectOnline #ProjectServer #MVPBuzz #Microsoft #MVPAward #MSProject

July 1, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Posted in Information, Personal | 10 Comments

I had some great news today – I was renewed as a Business Solutions – Project MVP for 2018 – 2019. This is the 6th consecutive year after first being awarded in April 2013. I am really grateful for the recognition, especially as I still enjoy helping out the Project and Project Server / Project Online community so much.


Thank you Microsoft!

#ProjectOnline Export Capacity Planning data to #Excel issue #PPM #PMOT #Office365 #MSProject

June 30, 2018 at 7:44 am | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Fixes, Functionality, Information, Issue | Comments Off on #ProjectOnline Export Capacity Planning data to #Excel issue #PPM #PMOT #Office365 #MSProject
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Just a quick post to highlight an issue I came across that I thought might be worth posting about in case anyone else runs into the same issue. In Project Online, in PWA you can export most of the grids to Excel. I was testing something in PWA and came across an issue exporting the Capacity Planning grid to Excel, I clicked the button but nothing happened, the details grid would flicker when the button was clicked but nothing after that. Opened the browser debugger and tried again, no console errors but looking at the Network log an error 500 was thrown for the ProjectServer.svc:


Looking at the response I could see a general unhandled exception was thrown caused by a key not being present in the dictionary:


Looking at the request payload I could see two resource GUIDs were included:


Looking at the grid data there was only one resource present:


Looking back in the Resource Center, I did have two resources selected:


One being a Cost resource, I deselected the Capex resource and tried the Export to Excel from the Capacity Planning page and all worked as expected.

If you do run into the issue with exporting the Capacity Planning grid to Excel, check the resource types you have selected, deselect Cost and Material resources then try again and hopefully that will resolve the issue for you. I will mention this to the Project team at Microsoft to see if this is something they are already aware of.

Getting Starting with #ProjectOnline and #PowerApps #PVC18 presentation links #PPM #PMOT #Apps #Office365 #MSProject

June 14, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Mobile | 1 Comment
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Last week I had the pleasure of presenting at the awesome Project Virtual Conference 2018. During my session I referenced existing blog posts and code samples that I had previously published on my blog. As promised in the presentation, here is a blog post containing all of the relevant links to help get you started using PowerApps for Project Online. A link to my session is here: http://projectvirtualconference.com/sessions/getting-started-with-project-online-and-powerapps/

Firstly here is a link to the official PowerApps site: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/build-powerapps/

The first example app we looked at was a navigation PowerApp for Project Online, this made use of the SharePoint Online connector in PowerApps. As discussed, you would need a process to get the required Project Online data into the target SharePoint list for this approach. Here a link to an example solution starter PowerShell script that will do just that: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/03/01/projectonline-powershell-to-keep-ppm-data-in-sync-on-sharepoint-list-pmot-o365/

Once the data is available, here are the two links that walkthrough creating this example navigation app:

Part 1: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/projectonline-powerapps-example-office365-ppm-pmot-apps-msproject-part1/

Part 2: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/02/24/projectonline-powerapps-example-office365-ppm-pmot-apps-msproject-sharepoint-part2/

The next example PowerApp we looked at in the presentation made use of the Project Online connector in PowerApps to give examples of using some of the actions available in the connector. This works directly with Project Online so does not require any background process to get data into SharePoint. As mentioned in the presentation, the properties available are fairly limited, hence for the navigation app I had to get the data from Project Online into SharePoint list first as I needed the Project Site URL which is not in the Project data set in the Project Online connector for PowerApps. This example app did make use of the Project Online connector in PowerApps: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/connectors/projectonline/

Here are the three links that walkthrough creating this example app:

Part 1: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/projectonline-powerapps-using-the-project-online-connector-ppm-apps-msproject-o365-part1/

Part 2: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/projectonline-powerapps-using-the-project-online-connector-ppm-apps-msproject-o365-part2/

Part 3: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/projectonline-powerapps-using-the-project-online-connector-ppm-apps-msproject-o365-part3/

As mentioned in the presentation, you can create a PowerApp that make use of both the SharePoint connector and Project Online or any number of connectors available for PowerApps – there are lots!

PowerApps are a great way to build business applications without having to write any code!

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