Thursday, May 28, 2020

Microsoft Project bricks: Project Online, Project for the web, Home, Roadmap, Project Operations

A new brand area is coming in the Project world. I do believe that the project management paradigm is changing. 10 years back, project managers used to be professional schedulers with certifications, excellent project management skills and a dedicated continuous training and education.
Nowadays project managers are more and more employees who have project management appetence and are coming to this position by seniority after a few years holding other responsibilities. They could be web designers, developers, architects... 
When the traditional Project world (Project Server and Project Online with MS Project Pro) was perfect for the first category with strong scheduling and project/portfolio capabilities, the second category could not fit in it: tooo complex, too many features, too many constraints, training required, etc... 
Project for the Web with Roadmap coming with the CDS and Power Automate bring all together a brand new project management approach: simple, intuitive, full web, no training, drag and drop. No more critical path, just a few columns, you can start just right now to plan your project and activities, using a simple task grid, Kanban or Gantt. You can of course add some information such as effort, % complete, predecessors to make your project plan relevant and gather data at portfolio level using PowerBI. 
My guess is that Microsoft with invest more and more on this approach. Moreover, Project Operations, coming this fall will extend Project for the web using CDS to make it work with PSA service. You can still use Project Online, there are so many organizations using it that it will still remain for at least a decade. And Roadmap helps you consolidating both Project for the Web and Project Online data.
I won't give more technical details about Project for the web since you can already find a lot of amazing things on the web, especially about implementing business rules using Power Automate. 


Below a few screen shots:

In Roadmap you can have a portfolio view adding your Project for the web projects (Déploiement PPM), your Project Online projects (Projet ITSM). You can also add Azure DevOps projects.

Finally in Project Home you can see your roadmaps (portfolio views) and your projects.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

New "decomposition tree" visual in PowerBI!

Do you remember this visual? Long time ago, we used to create nice dashboards using PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer. I think it was part of SharePoint Server 2010. That was really nice for people like me who are not doing any codes such as SSRS reports or .NET. We could deliver to our customers nice interactive web dashboards with drill-down capabilities. Basically I think it must have inspired MS engineers when developping PowerBI.

Here is a vintage article about PerformancePoint (in french).

PerformancePoint most famous visual was the decomposition tree.  It allowed you selecting a data (custom field) then seeing all sub-decomposition along a measure (work for example). So much better than selecting many filters. As a PM, you could see in your department, your project type, your project stage, your project client, the work by phase.
Here was what it looked like:
Since then we have been playing with PowerBI at lot (more than that) but still to such visual. Now it is done! In PowerBI november update, you have this decomposition tree visual. Thanks Microsoft!

Go and play with it!

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

New service: "project for the web"!

It has been a while since we didn't have such a major update in the Microsoft Project World. I would say that the last key change was in 2013 with Project Online, available in MS cloud. That being said, the features were the same as the on-premise version and it was more the subscription model that was changed.
Since beginning of October a new service has been announced by Microsoft, following Roadmap and Project Server releases earlier this year: PROJECT FOR THE WEB (P4W).
I won't describe here this service in detail since the Project community is quite active and already has produced a bunch of nice article. I'll just point to those articles and highlight the most interesting parts.

Basically it is a brand new service, well described by the following diagram.
You see there that P4W and Project Online are 2 separated services. The first one is based on the Power Plateform and use the CDS (Common Data Service) to store data. Project Online is still available, using both web access (PWA) and desktop client (MS Project). Both services can be accessed by Roadmap for consolidation and PowerBI for reporting.

Here are the key feature of P4W:
  • The grid is an Excel like view allowing managing in a simple way tasks, attribute and assignments.
  • Gantt chart allows having a graphical and timephased view of the tasks.
  • The Kanban view brings more agility in the day to day task management.
Note that those 3 views support co-authoring and real-time (no more check-in/check-out, publish). Accesses are managed through O365 groups and you can embed views in Teams. Note also that since this new service is based on the Power platform, there are many opportunities to enhance the service.

You'll find some screenshots in the links I shared above.

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Project versioning and back-up on Project Online: vote on UserVoice!

Since Project Online was launched back in 2013, there is no more back-up and restore feature available.

UserVoice proposed to introduce again this feature strongly used by Project administrators. You can vote here. I had the opportunity to write a review on this idea on Erik's blog. You can find the review here.

I recently added a new idea on the UserVoice page for versioning projects. This is kind of related but the versioning should be accessible to the users (like the sharepoint versioning), not like the initial back-up/restore feature. Moreover the scope should be extended to the new Project Service platform and not only Project Online.

What do you think? Would you vote for this idea?

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Monday, July 1, 2019

Renewed as MVP, 6th time in a row!

Honored to be renewed for the 6th time in a row as a Microsoft MVP in « Office Apps & Services » with a focus on Project and Portfolio Management (PPM).

Since 2014 it is always the same excitement to be part of such an amazing community.

Follow me on my blog to learn about Project Online/Server, PowerBI, Planner, Flow, SharePoint, etc…

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