Welcome to the new Project – getting started Part 2 #MSProject #PPM #Office365 #PowerPlatform #ProjectMangement #ModernWorkManagement #CDS #PMOT #PMO

October 30, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Administration, App, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
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Following on from yesterday’s blog post: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/welcome-to-the-new-project-getting-started-part-1-msproject-ppm-office365-powerplatform-projectmangement-modernworkmanagement-cds-pmot-pmo/ walking through the new Project, here is part 2. In the post we will look at the backend to the new Project and look at two Power BI report packs I released yesterday. Links were in the part 1 but for completeness here they are again:

Power BI report for Project:  https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Power-BI-Report-Pack-4506f183

Power BI report to combine Project and Project Online data (1 PWA instance): https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/and-Online-Power-BI-Report-d1fbca1b

Project is built on the Power Platform’s Common Data Service for Apps (CDS), the data is stored in Entities in the CDS – the same as Roadmap – lots of links about Roadmap here: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/project-roadmap-cds-app-overview-ppm-projectmanagement-msproject-projectonline-office365-powerplatfom-dynamics365/ Let’s take a look at the solutions deployed for Project, to do this I’ve accessed the Dynamics 365 Admin Center from the Office 365 Admin centers which loads this:

D365Admin

Project is deployed to the default organisation, on this tenant I only have 1 organisation – click the Open arrow on the Default org. This loads the PowerApps interface, from here click the Settings cog > Advanced Settings:

PApps

This takes you to the Dynamics 365 Settings:

D356Admin

Click the Settings > Solutions:

D365Settings

This then loads the solutions deployed to this instance:

D365Solutions

You can also see the solutions from the familiar PowerApps interface:

PAppsSolutions

Sticking with the Dynamics 365 Admin interface for the moment, let’s have a quick look at the msdyn_ProjectServiceCore solution:

ProjectSolInfo

We can then view the components that form this solution, I wont go into them all but here are a few. Looking at the Entities we can see the Entities used in this solution, here I’ve drilled down to the fields in the Project entity:

ProjEntity

I will go into more details on the fields via the PowerApps interface. Looking at the Model-driven Apps we can see Project:

ModelApp

Now lets switch to the PowerApps interface (make.powerapps.com) and view some of the entity fields. Click Data > Entities from the left navigation menu:

PAppsEntities

Change the view from Default to Managed in the top right corner and scroll down to Project:

ProjectEntity

Click Project to view the Project entity details:

ProjEntityDetails

Here we can see the fields, relationships, rules, views etc. We can also view the current data stored in that entity:

PEntityData

The current main entities used by Project are:

  • Bookable Resource
  • Project
  • Project Bucket
  • Project Task
  • Project Task Dependency
  • Project Team Member
  • Resource Assignment
  • User

There are others such as Replay Log Section, Work template etc. but those above are where the core data is stored that you see in the UI. Some of these entities are new for Project but some have just been extended or updated to add new components, for example, adding new views or fields to existing entities to support Project. More on the entities later on when we explore the Power BI report pack I created as that is a good way to visualise the data model and the relationships between the entities. Let’s click Apps from the left navigation menu, select Project and click edit:

ModelDrivenProject

This then loads the app designer displaying the new Project app – this is what you see when you are in the Dynamics interface that we looked at yesterday. This shows the components that make up the model-driven Project app – more on this in future blogs posts.

Now lets go back to looking at the entities / data model for Project, for this I will use the Power BI template I published yesterday https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Power-BI-Report-Pack-4506f183 Once downloaded and opened in Power BI desktop you will need to provide the CDSUrl for the parameter. There are several ways to get the correct URL for your default CDS instance. Your Office 365 Administrator can access the PowerApps Admin Center, click Environments, click the default environment which loads this:

CDSEnvDetails

Then click See all:

CDSURL

Copy the Environment URL. Or you can get it from the browser when accessing project.microsoft.com. When accessing that page, open the browser dev tools and access the Network tab then reload the page, look for GetModProdCdsEndpoint then click the Response tab and find the cdsUrl property value:

CDSURLDEVTOOLS

Once you have the correct CDS URL, enter that into the CDSUrl parameter input – minus the trailing slash:

CDSURLPowerBI

Click Load and sign in when prompted. To access all data, the account used here will need Read access at the business unit level to the Project CDS entities used plus the other default roles a normal user is assigned to. If the user account doesn’t have the correct access the connections will fail. You could create a new “project report access” role in the Dynamics 365 instance where Project is deployed if needed. To do that, access the Dynamics 365 admin center from the Office 365 Admin center using the Global Admin account. Open the default Dynamics 365 instance (this is where Project is deployed to) then click the Settings Cog > Advanced Settings. Then click Settings > Security > Security Roles > New. Give the new role Read access at the business unit level to the 8 entities used in the report:

    • Bookable Resource
    • Project
    • Project Bucket
    • Project Task
    • Project Task Dependency
    • Project Team Member
    • Resource Assignment
    • User

Then access the user account that will be used for the report from the Dynamics Security admin in the Users page then assigned the new role to this account using the Manage Roles option. Other roles and role assignments are as per the default settings. I covered this for the Roadmap report pack I released at the start of the year: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/project-roadmap-powerbi-report-pack-ppm-projectmanagement-msproject-projectonline-office365-powerplatform-dynamics365/ – for Project the role needs access to different entities. Once the data has loaded in the Power BI report, click on the Model button on the left navigation menu to view the data model:

DataModel

Click the Manage Relationships button to view the relationship table:

RelationshipTable

Here you can see how the different entities / tables are related.

I also published a report yesterday that combines the Project (CDS) data with the Project Online data (1 PWA instance) https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/and-Online-Power-BI-Report-d1fbca1b This report uses the slightly less CDS entities:

  • Bookable Resource
  • Project
  • Project Task
  • Resource Assignment
  • User

It also uses the following tables in the Project Reporting API:

  • Assignments
  • Projects
  • Resources
  • Tasks

This reporting combines the following tables:

  • Assignments and Resource Assignments
  • Projects and Project
  • Project Task and Tasks
  • Resources and Bookable Resource
  • Resources (Filtered to users) and Users

I will create separate blogs post dedicated to these Power BI Reports in the next week or two but download them and see what you think, hopefully they either give you want you need for reporting or help you build the reports you do need.

Look out for more blog posts and videos on Project in the future!

Welcome to the new Project – getting started Part 1 #MSProject #PPM #Office365 #PowerPlatform #ProjectMangement #ModernWorkManagement #CDS #PMOT #PMO

October 29, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Posted in App, Functionality, Information | 1 Comment
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As you might have seen, the new Project started rolling out a week just over a week ago but the official release is today, here is the blog post from Microsoft: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2019/10/29/new-microsoft-project-rolls-out-worldwide/ If you didn’t see the earlier Microsoft blog post announcement about the start of the rollout it can be found here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Project-Blog/The-new-Project-is-rolling-out/ba-p/909721 In the blog post there are a few links that are worth spending time reading both as Project partner and a Microsoft Project user.

In this blog post we will take a look at the new Project.

How do I access the new Project?

Once the new Project has reached your tenant, creating new projects is via the Project Home, the same place new Roadmaps are created: https://project.microsoft.com/

ProjHome

You can also access this via the Dynamics interface as seen later on in this post.

Clicking the + New blank project button will launch the page:

BlankProj

Building the project schedule

Straightaway you you can start creating tasks on the grid. The first thing to do is give the project a name – click the “Untitled project” and the project name panel will launch:

ProjName

Here you can give your project a name, change the project owner and project start date if required. Click the “Add new task” row and you can enter the the first task:

ProjTask

Enter the tasks as required:

ProjTasks

Hover over the task and you you will see an i icon and an ellipsis, clicking the ellipsis launches the task callout with actions for the task – you can also right click on the task to see the task callout:

TaskCallout

Clicking the i icon or the Open details on the task callout launches the task details panel:

TaskDetails

Build the schedule as needed, here is my simple example:

Tasks

At this point there are no dates associated with the tasks. I will now add some durations as this will add start and finish dates to the tasks:

TaskDurations

TaskDate

So we now have some tasks, durations and dates, what about the other information like task links, % complete etc.? These columns can be added by clicking the + Add column button:

Column

Add in the columns required – notice that Successor and Predecessor have been renamed. Here I have added in the columns I want:

ColumnsAdded

Columns can be reordered by dragging the column to the required position, column widths can also be adjusted as needed too. The columns added here and the ordering is persistent for this project for all users who have access to it. Let’s add some task links. There are several way to do this, from the Task Details panel using the Add dependency button:

AddDepButton

Click it and you can select a task:

AddTaskDep

Now the Task Details panel updates to the show the linked task with the finish date of the linked and a label to show the task is “Driving”, Task1 in this case is driving Task2:

TaskDepDetails

The Grid has also updated to show the task IDs for the task links in the Dependents (after) and Depends on (before) columns:

GridUpdateDeps

You can also create task links by directly clicking in the Dependents or Depends on cells and select the task/s from the list:

DepColsCreateDeps

Or type the task ID or task name in the cell:

CreateDepsByTyping

The other way I want to show you is the slickest way by far, click the Timeline button next to the project name. This loads the interactive Gantt chart:

Gantt

As you hover over a task bar on the Gantt you see controls appear:

GanttHover

Here I can drag the end of one task to the start of another to create the task link:

DraggingDep

The Gantt will then update to move the tasks as required:

TaskLinked

I have now created my simple project task schedule:

TasksSchedule

Assigning Resources

Who used to get fed up having to build the team to be able to assign an enterprise resource? Well not anymore! Hover over the Assign to cell next to the task and click the + person icon:

AddResource

This launches the control to add a resource:

AddResourceControl

Now simply start typing the name of the resource to search the tenant directory and click the resource to add them:

ResSearch

Clicking the user will launch a modal pop up:

Groups

As you can see from the pop up, I firstly need to connect my new project to an Office 365 Group. I can either create a new Office 365 Group or link to an existing one. For this project I will create a new Office 365 Group. Clicking the proposed group name loads the Office 365 Group menu – update as required:

GroupDetails

Then click Create and assign to assign the resource. When adding other resources to the project, you will see another modal pop up:

AddMemberPopup

This is just to warn you that the user will be added to the group and have access to the project data, groups files and Microsoft Teams etc. – more on this in the Project Access Model. One point to note, you can no longer assign anyone to a summary task:

SummaryTaskRes

This was bad practice anyway but it’s great Project now prevents this!

You might also want to plan and manage your plan in an Kanban type task board, this is covered using the Board view, this is accessed by clicking the Board button next to the Project Name:

BoardView

There are different view options available on the menu here:

BoardViewOptions

The default view is the “Group by Progress” view which has 3 fixed columns for Not Started, In Progress and Completed – more on this view when we cover task progress. Switching to the Bucket view, new buckets can be added:

BucketView

Click the “Add Bucket” button to create a new bucket. Task cards can then be dragged into the new bucket/s:

BucketTasksMoved

Switching to Group by Finish Date and you see the Task group in Next Week and Future:

BoardFinDate

Just note, if you drag a task from the Next Week column into the Future column, this will update the task’s and any linked dependent task’s Finish dates to the future. Notice on all of the Board views, Summary Tasks are filtered out.

Project / Task Progress

There are several ways to progress a task in Project. Starting with the Grid view, you can click in the % complete cell and type:

TaskProgress

Click out of the cell and you will see the progress:

TaskProgress1

You can open the Task Details panel and type the progress in the % Complete input:

TaskDetailProgress

In the Board view using the “Group by Progress” view, you can drag a task card to “In Progress” and this will update the task % complete to 50% or drag a task card to the Completed and this will update the task % complete to 100%:

TaskBoardProgressUpdate

You can also click the empty circles you see next to the Task names on all views, when you hover over these you see a tick appear inside:

Tick

Clicking the empty circle marks the task as complete, the same feature that exists in Microsoft To-Do:

Ticked

Project Saving and Editing

The project auto saves so no need to worry about saving and the concept of publishing no longer exists – how cool is that! Need to undo / redo something, just use Ctrl + z to undo and Ctrl + y to redo.

The new Project also supports co-authoring so multiple users can edit the project at the same time!

Project Access Model

The security for the new Project is built on the Office 365 Groups model – just like Project Roadmap. When you assign a user to a task, they are added to the Office 365 Group. All users in that Office 365 Group have edit access to the project. You can check group access very easily via the Group Members button in the top right corner:

GroupMembers

It is a very simple access model, you either can access and edit the project by being in the Office 365 Group or not access to the project at all.

Access via Dynamics 365

As mentioned at the start of this post, you can create new projects via the Project Home but also via the Dynamics interface. Access the Dynamics home https://home.dynamics.com and click the Project app, this will load the Project app:

D365Project

From here you can create new projects or edit / view existing projects, see below my test project opened in the Dynamics interface:

Summary View:

D365Summary

Tasks View:

D365TaskView

I can edit the project directly here or for a better experience, click the “Open in Project” button to edit in the full page experience this post has covered. I will cover more of the Dynamics interface in future posts.

Extensibility Options

As the new Project is built on the Power Platform Common Data Service for Apps (CDS), you have the power of the Power Platform to extend / build on top of Project using PowerApps, Flow and Power BI. I will have many posts in the future for extending / adding features for the new Project, maybe even one or two later this week / early next!

Reporting

All of the data is stored in entities in the CDS so reporting is very simple from tools like Power BI. I do have a Power BI report pack for the new Project, this can be downloaded here: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Power-BI-Report-Pack-4506f183 In part 2 of this getting started series I will cover the Power BI Report pack. Here are some screenshots of the reports:

Report1

Report2

Report3

You can also add Projects from the new Project (I wonder how long I will keep calling it that!) into Roadmap.

I have also created a Power BI report pack that displays both Project (CDS) and Project Online data in the same reports to help with the transition where you might be using both applications side by side, this can be downloaded here: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/and-Online-Power-BI-Report-d1fbca1b The reports look very similar the the Project reports above.

Summary

Well the wait is finally over, the new Project is here, go give it a try! This post covers most of the end user features, in part 2 I will cover the backend. Project Online will still be a part of the Microsoft PPM offering so I will still continue to include blog posts / videos for Project Online. I have also published an intro video here: https://youtu.be/4OeegM8ScMk

Change the default PWA site URL in Project Home for #ProjectOnline #Office365 #PPM #PMOT #PMO #MSProject

February 20, 2019 at 8:57 am | Posted in Administration, Customisation, Functionality, Information | Comments Off on Change the default PWA site URL in Project Home for #ProjectOnline #Office365 #PPM #PMOT #PMO #MSProject
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It is now possible to change the default PWA Site used in Project Home, this will default to /PWA but can be updated using the new “Default PWA site” option on the settings cog menu:

image

Clicking this menu option will load a modal dialog to update the URL:

SNAGHTML23a34649

This input box will list all of the PWA site collections where you have accessed Projects, so if you delete “PWA” from the input box there will then be an option to select another PWA site collection that you have accessed previously (it’s a unique list of PWA site collections for all projects you see in Project Home):

SNAGHTML23a60cfb

If you type the name of a site that doesn’t exist or that you do not have access to, you will see this message then you click Change Site:

image

Select a site from the list or type the name of a site that you know exists then click Change Site, it will check your permissions on this site:

image

Once this passes OK it will update the default PWA site:

image

Now you will find the Create New > Project button and the “Go to Project Web App” link will open in the new target PWA site collection.

Reset to default will update the PWA site back to /PWA.

A great improvement that many organisations have been asking for!

#ProjectOnline PWA Project Details Page integration with Project Roadmap #Office365 #PPM #PowerPlatform #MSFlow

January 16, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Posted in Administration, Functionality, Information, Reporting | 1 Comment
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As you are probably aware by now, the new Roadmap feature is live in Project Home as detailed in this blog post: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/project-roadmap-is-live-ppm-projectmanagement-msproject-projectonline-office365-powerplatfom/ This post covers a new button that would have appeared in your Project Online PWA instance:

image

This new Add to Roadmap button is on the Task tab on Schedule Project Detail Page. This enables you to add published tasks to a project roadmap directly in Project Online PWA without having to navigate away to the Project Home, open the Roadmap then adding the tasks via the Roadmap interface.

When the current project is linked to a roadmap row with at least one task selected (you can select multiple), clicking this will load a modal pop up:

image

You will then need to select the correct Roadmap and Row using the dropdowns. Only Roadmaps and Rows will appear where the current project is already linked. Here is one Roadmap where this project is linked:

image

I’ve selected the Deployment task then clicked the Add to Roadmap button then selected the Roadmap and Row as seen below:

image

Clicking Add will start the process to add the task:

image

Once completed you will see the added to roadmap message as below with a clickable link to the roadmap:

image

Accessing the roadmap will now show the new task added:

image

If you try the Add to Roadmap button for a project that is not linked to a Project Roadmap you will see this modal popup:

image

A great enhancement to Project Online!

#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:

image

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:

image

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:

image

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:

image

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):

image

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

image

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:

image

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):

image

There are lots of exciting changes happening in Project!

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