#Microsoft #Project Roadmap product at a glance #PPM #Office365 #Flow #PowerPlatform #Dynamics365 #Azure #AzureBoards

September 26, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Functionality, Information | 1 Comment
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Following on from the announcements on Monday at Ignite from the Project product group, there was a session today on the Project Home and Roadmap products. For those that missed the post on the announcements, here is a link to the blog post that has some notes around this: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/microsoft-project-the-future-ignite-ppm-pmot-workmanagement-projectonline-projectmanagement/

In this blog post I will include some screen shots taken from Chris’ session today at Ignite and mention some of the features that Roadmap has. I wont talk about Project Home here as I already blogged about that previously: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/new-projectonline-project-home-office365-ppm-ui-ux-msproject-fabricui/

So Roadmap is the new product that is planned to be available early 2019. Roadmap is a product that enables organisations to visualise projects from various different tools in one timeline type view. On the first release it will support Project Online projects as well as Azure Board projects (formerly known as VSTS) with a view to supporting other types of projects in later releases such as Planner projects, new Project Service projects etc. To give you some context before we move on, here is a screenshot of a Roadmap from Chris’ slide deck today:

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As you can see from the screen show about, each project is a row, each row has a name (free text – not the actual linked project name) and an owner (free select people picker from the the tenant users – not the actual linked project owner). Then in the details you can add tasks from the linked projects. On the timeline you can add key dates. You have full control over the order of the rows, move these up and down as you like using the Move Up and Move Down buttons.

Roadmaps will be created and accessed in the Project Home product, the Create New button in Project Home will contain the Roadmap option once released. This will load a blank canvas pretty much instantly. The roadmaps can be renamed at any time by clicking the name in the top left corner, that loads a Roadmap panel, here you also set the Roadmap owner:

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To add a new project,firstly you would use the Add row button, type the name of the row and set the owner for the row. You can then connect the row to a Project Online project or an Azure Boards projects in the first release (more project type support to come later). When connecting a row to a project, firstly select whether it is a Project Online or Azure Boards project, then put the correct URL in for that service. Once connected to that service, you can start typing the name of the project you want to connect to then the list of projects will start to appear for you to select. You then connect to that project (using a Microsoft Flow in the background). You can then use the Add Row Item button with that row selected, that will open the add row items panel. Here you can start typing the names of the tasks you want to add then the list of tasks will appear for you to select. Once you have selected all of the tasks (you see a preview table of selected tasks with start and end dates in the row items panel) you then add those to that row. These will be linked to the source project, so as the data changes in the source project, Microsoft Flow will pick up the changes and update the synced data the Roadmap project row is using in the Roadmap common data service (CDS) database. Part of the Flow seen below:

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Tasks in the roadmap can be given a status of either Unset Status, On Track, Potential Problems, At Risk or Done using the task card:

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Setting the status will update the task bar on the Roadmap.

Key dates are added to the Roadmap using the Add key date button, this loads a pop to create the key date and set the status (same status options as tasks):

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For Roadmaps with large numbers of projects added, you can filter by the row / project owner:

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You also have a zoom control to change the zoom of the timeline.

Access to the Roadmap is controlled via the Office 365 Groups via the Roadmap interface, to add users click the Members button and type the users names:

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So each Roadmap will get to make use of all the features Office 365 Groups enables such a SharePoint site, SharePoint document library, Shared Inbox, Calendars etc. Using Office 365 Groups means Roadmaps can either be private or public.

That’s is for now, but I’m looking forward to getting access to this!

Before I finish, another interesting slide Chris shared was the Platform one to give an idea of how things are architected (high level):

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There are lots of exciting changes happening in Project!

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

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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Microsoft’s Work Management vision:

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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 | 1 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:

1_Program
2_Project

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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:

Issues:

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Risks:

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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 | 2 Comments
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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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