What s New in Project 2002

What’s New in Project 2002

If you’re a current or former Project user, you will be pleased with a number of new and improved features in this version. The team that created Project 2002 focused on improving the program’s ease of use and enhancing the collaboration and enterprise functionality. They also added software features that users of prior versions of Project requested, and made Project more compatible with Microsoft Office XP applications.

Table 1.2 shows some of the key differences between Project 2000 and Project 2002. Additional details are discussed in the following sections.

Table 1.2: Comparison of Project 2000 and Project 2002

Feature

Project 2000

Project 2002

Usability

  

Microsoft Office XP interface

 

Yes

Integration with Microsoft Excel and Outlook

Yes

Improved

Project Guide

 

Yes

Smart Tags

 

Yes

New Project Wizard

 

Yes

Calendar Wizard

 

Yes

Tracking Setup Wizard

 

Yes

Import/Export Mapping Wizard

 

Yes

Safe Mode

 

Yes

Office Watson

 

Yes

Project Management

  

Project templates

Yes

Improved

Print view totals

 

Yes

Network Diagram view

Yes

Improved

Usage views

Yes

Improved

Project Management

  

Timescales

Yes

Improved

Flexible tracking methods

Yes

Improved

Uncompleted work rescheduling

Yes

Improved

Earned value calculations

Yes

Improved

Cross-project critical path

Yes

Improved

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Yes

Improved

Baseline rollup

Yes

Improved

Multiple baselines

 

Yes

Multiple managers

 

Yes

Safe Mode

 

Yes

Resource Management

  

Resource leveling

Yes

Improved

Resource assignment

Yes

Improved

Resource import

Yes

Improved

Material resources

Yes

Improved

Generic resources

 

Yes

Enterprise resources

 

Yes (Pro)

Enterprise resource pool

 

Yes (Pro)

Enterprise Global template

 

Yes (Pro)

Enterprise custom fields

 

Yes (Pro)

Resource Substitution Wizard

 

Yes (Pro)

Built Team from Enterprise

 

Yes (Pro)

Portfolio modeling

 

Yes (Pro)

Portfolio Analyzer view

 

Yes (Pro)

Resource Center view

 

Yes (Pro)

Resource availability graph

 

Yes (Pro)

Server version

Project Central

Project Server

Programmability

  

Visual Basic for Applications

Yes

Improved

OLE DB provider

Yes

Improved

Data access pages

Yes

Improved

XML file format

 

Yes

Project Guide customization

 

Yes

Ease of Use

One of the most important improvements Microsoft made to Project 2002 was to make it easier to use by adding new, improved components. These new components include:

  • Use of the Office XP interface, including adaptive, task-specific task panes.

  • Project Guide, shown in Figure 1.1, which is a new view that includes options for Tasks, Resources, Track, and Report. When an option is selected from the new Project Guide toolbar, a sidebar pane is displayed (on the left side of the window) with a list of Help topics for the selected option.

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    Figure 1.1: Project 2002’s new Project Guide makes the software easier to use.

  • Smart Tags, which are pop-up help-type boxes that provide more detailed information or alternative operations for the task at hand.

  • New Project Wizard, used to create new projects in step-by-step fashion.

  • Calendar Wizard, used to create new project calendars.

  • Tracking Setup Wizard, used to track the progress of existing projects.

  • Import/Export Mapping Wizard, which replaces the old Import/Export Mapping dialog box, and is used to open and save projects from and to non-Project file formats.

  • Safe Mode, which activates when you run into problems when launching the program. It lets you start a stripped-down version of Project so you can continue to work on your projects while troubleshooting problems with the software.

There were several other minor usability improvements made to Project 2002, including the addition of drag-and-drop functionality for Project’s columns; adding recently used files and templates to the File Open/Save dialog boxes; changing the Del key to clear only the selected cell; providing the ability to group projects on assignment fields; and including the Office Watson utility to help you troubleshoot any problems with the program.

Collaboration and Enterprise Functionality

Ease of use aside, the most important changes from Project 2000 to Project 2002 involve workgroup and enterprise project management. Previous versions of Project were standalone applications—that is, they didn’t allow for project management across the organization. With Project 2002, Microsoft creates a complete enterprise-wide project management solution. This enterprise functionality is accomplished via new features in Project Professional, and enabled by the installation of Project Server—which replaces Project 2000’s Project Central component.

 Pro  The following lists the new collaboration and enterprise features of Project Professional and Project Server:

  • Web Access, which enables all team members to access and update project data over the Web (or the company’s intranet), using a standard web browser.

  • New generic resources that support skill-based resource assignment and replacement.

  • Additional enterprise resources, stored in the new enterprise resource pool. This provides a single repository for all company-wide resources used with Project Server.

  • The enterprise global template that stores standardized data for the entire organization. You can also create enterprise custom fields within this template.

  • The Resource Substitution Wizard, used to assign and replace resources based on the demands of tasks in multiple projects.

  • Build Team from Enterprise, a wizardlike function used for selecting resources from the Enterprise Resource Pool either before or after a project plan is built.

  • Portfolio modeling, used to interactively model changes to projects or resource staffing, and then view

  • The Resource Center which provides a view of the enterprise resource pool available in Project Server.

  • A resource availability graph that helps you choose one or more resources and view their availability.

  • Multiple manager support that eliminates the dependency on the project manager name to identify a project, and enables you to assign more than one manager in a number of different scenarios.

In addition to these enhancements, Project 2002 includes a new Collaborate menu, shown in Figure 1.2, that replaces Project 2000’s Workgroup submenu which was located on the Tools menu. This menu features new commands that facilitate use of Project Server’s team-based features.


Figure 1.2: Project 2002’s new Collaborate menu

 Server  Probably the most important improvement in enterprise-wide functionality comes with Web Access, which is part and parcel of Project 2002 Server. Web Access replaces the old Project Central component and provides a number of additional features and functions. There’s a non-project to-do list, document library, issues tracking, and integration with Microsoft SharePoint Team Services. In addition, Web Access has a simplified, better-organized look and feel from the Project Central interface. As you can see in Figure 1.3, Web Access looks much like other Microsoft web-based applications.

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Figure 1.3: The new look and feel of Web Acces

Note 

Learn more about Project Server in Chapter 21—and more about Web Access in Chapter 22.

Changes to VBA

Microsoft has also made numerous changes to Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), the built-in programming language you can use to develop custom Project applications. Project 2002’s VBA editing environment includes an improved code editor, new event handling functions, and increased security levels. There’s also a CommandBars object model for a menu and toolbar interface that is consistent with other Microsoft Office programs. In addition, Project 2002’s VBA replaces the previous OLE custom controls with more versatile ActiveX controls.

Note 

Learn more about Visual Basic for Applications in Chapter 26.