Thank you for reading my Project Server book. Herein you’ll find a complete guide to implementing Project Server 2002 and Project 2002 Professional Edition as an enterprise portfolio management solution. My goal in writing this book is to provide you step-by-step instructions beginning with the planning and requirements gathering process, and culminating in configuring and using your new system.
This systematic approach is the basis for the topical ordering in this book. Although some topics seem, at times, to be orphaned from their broader subjects, this is because they’re presented as you need them, when you encounter them during the natural setup and adoption process. Those of you using the book as a topical reference should understand the chronological flow of the book. I don’t organize many presentations of the user interface around a page or area itself. In learning about some areas, you’ll approach them several times to perform different system tasks. This way, your knowledge develops in context of actual system activity. Following a path guided by the interface wouldn’t provide as neat a context.
That last comment took a little poke at the software. Let me disclose up front that there are notes of criticism contained in this book. I must also disclose that I now make my entire living supporting Microsoft Project and that I’m a long-time Microsoft fan. I’m an appreciative Microsoft customer who, as a small business owner with many years in consulting, has relied on Microsoft to make technology that was accessible to me. The bottom line is that I’m extremely prejudiced in favor of Microsoft and Microsoft Project.
I’ve been working with the Microsoft Project Server technology since the introduction of Project Central, which was introduced and shipped with Project 2000. Project Central seemed like a trial balloon for Microsoft. It certainly put many of its users on trial. If Project Server 2002 demonstrates nothing else, it shows that the Microsoft Project product team focuses on responding to user requests. Each product release shows innovations and improvements requested by the user community. The upcoming 2003 edition is no exception.
As a Microsoft Project Most Valuable Professional (MVP), I answer many questions each week in the Microsoft Project newsgroups. A person posting in the microsoft.public.project.pro_and_server newsgroup once asked me a question about content I had contributed to Lisa Bucki’s Managing with Microsoft Project 2002. He asked why I hadn’t warned people in the book about an error condition that could arise during a particular step in the installation. My answer to him was that what I wrote was intended to show him how to install the software without encountering the error; therefore, the information shouldn’t be useful to him. Although I say that to you now in advance, I’ve kept this fellow’s comments in mind while authoring this book. I’ve taken the time to point out many of the errors you might see along the way, including an entire chapter on installation troubleshooting, a real sore spot for many. Nothing, however, replaces the troubleshooting resources that Microsoft provides. These should always be your frontline checks.
In the first chapter I raise some heavy topics regarding achieving management competencies as a prerequisite to the effective application of project management tools such as Project Server. I refer to specific standards in this chapter because they’re there in the world to refer to. They aptly describe the management maturities that are required to sustain a managed project practice in an organization. Fortunately, every indication is that a company needs only score somewhere in the middle of the maturity matrix to be an effective tool user. Unfortunately, for many that’s a big leap. Weigh both my comments and the research with the knowledge of your organization only you can possess.
This book contains content applicable to a wide range of users. Technical areas of the book present appropriate technical jargon. To approach the installation content, and indeed installation of Project Server, you should be familiar with Microsoft Windows 2000 Server technology and Microsoft SQL Server 2000. Content written on how to use Project 2002 Professional Edition with Project Server assumes that users already know how to use Microsoft Project as a desktop tool. This book doesn’t cover basic use of Microsoft Project as a planning tool. When I present topics that seem to be delving into this area, it’s because executing them is different in the Project Server environment than it is in the desktop environment.
I hope your Project Server implementation is many ways more pleasant because of reading this book than it otherwise would have been. If you can write to me and tell me that, all the work has been worthwhile.
Take your time with it.