Thursday, November 23, 2017

OneNote and Project Online - Add Efficiency to your Meeting Minutes and Improve Collaboration

Hi All, 

Recently, I had to help a client use the Notebook which is part of the Project Site by default on any Project Online tenant having at least an Office 365 license. you will know if you have access to that if you see this link in your Project Site:

I would like to share with you a nice way to use the notebook embedded in the Project Site to improve the collaboration and information sharing within your project team.
first things first, when clicking on the Notebook link, OneNote Online will open and you will be able to edit the workbook online. as soon as you do this, everyone who have access to the site can see and collaborate in the notebook

Whilst this is already a great feature, let me tell you how powerful is the integration with the overall office suite. Here is the scenario. As a project manager, you setup a meeting that you would like the minutes to be shared across your team.

the first thing you will have to do is to open your notebook using OneNote 2016. while clicking on the Open in OneNote link, on the above screen, OneNote will automatically open and create a link for you to the notebook in the project site. just click on the below and that will be done automatically.

The notebook then opens in OneNote.

Now jumping in outlook, you can now create a meeting invite and include a link to the notebook clicking on the following link

You will have to select the synchronized notebook

That will include this link in the invite that will allow the users (who have access to the Project Site) to access to the notebook from either their OneNote 2016 or from OneNote online.

From that, the magic happens. a new page is created including your meeting attendees and notes that were in the invite. you can now use either the online or the local version of OneNote to provide update and insert minutes or other information. see below the (almost) simultaneous edition of the notebooks from OneNote 2016 (left) to OneNote Online (right)

Obviously, you can also access and edit the information from your phone

I love this functionality. Do you?

Admin Challenge

I encountered a challenge when setting up a new project site template on the notebook name. Indeed, the notebook name on project site created using the new template will use the template's notebook name (Project Site Template in my case which was the name of the site).
Two solutions from ther
1. Renaming the notebook after it is created. thanks tom for these instructions
2. Rename the Project Site Template notebook with a generic name like NoteBook that will be used in all newly created sites

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Configure rollup of timephased reporting data in Project Online

Recently the product group has made some improvements to optimize Project Online performances. I particularly think about the project center updates and the EPT configuration to store the project sites out of the PWA site collection.

The last feature, currently being rolled up, is the ability to configure the rollup level of timephased reporting data, used through ODATA, with PowerBI or Excel.
Here is the Microsoft article:

Basically, you'll find a new entry in your PWA server settings, enterprise data section. You'll be able to choose if you want to rollup timephased data at daily (current), weekly, monthly or at fiscal period level.

A few aspects to have in mind:
Any changes require to republish the projects.
  • For new instance (created after the rollup), NEVER will be checked, meaning that this is one of the first parameter to configure for a new instance using odata reporting. You can keep is like this is you don't need timephased reporting data, it will improve your queue performance.
  • For existing instances, DAILY will be selected, which means that it will have to impact on existing reports.

We strongly advice to first change the parameter on a test environment to check that the reports still work. For example, Ion the dashboard I usually deploy, the capacity reports use a weekly or monthly timescale, so I'll have to readjust them.

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