Project Server’s core functionality provides a cyclical assignment and update process between project managers and the team members working on their projects. This workflow is the heart of the management system. Work assignments flow from the plan to resources performing the work and resources report progress data back to the plan.
Project managers and/or planners create project plans in the usual way except that they now build project teams from the enterprise resource pool and they now save plans to a single database repository. Once a manager has created a project plan, work assignments get sent to resources through Project Web Access. A project manager has complete control over the assignment process with the ability to selectively publish or republish assignments as necessary. When a manager sends a work assignment to a resource, Project Server acts like a messaging service. The assignments populate to assignment tables in the database and, if the option is selected, Project Server sends an e-mail notification to the resource with an embedded link to Project Web Access.
Upon receiving the e-mail notification, a resource clicks the link provided in the e-mail and is automatically logged on to Project Server. A personal home page displays a summary status of the user’s current activities in the Project environment. This summary includes notices such as the number of new tasks assigned, the number of active issues the resource is responsible for, and reminders about upcoming or overdue status reports. Once notified of new assignments, the resource navigates to the task area to a timesheet view that displays all current and new tasks. The resource then has the option to accept, reject, or delegate the task assignment. Resources also use this view to send progress reports containing completion percentages and/or hours worked based upon the reporting method and periodic basis set for the plan or organization. Resources typically report progress weekly.
Once a resource sends a progress update, the ball is back in the manager’s court. The system stages reported data in separate tables pending manager approval. It’s important to note that these updates may be flowing to multiple managers if the resource is working on multiple projects reporting to multiple project managers. Managers may approve or reject progress data from team members. Tools provided in the update interface also allow managers to create automation rules for performing these updates. Once accepted by the manager, the progress data flows into the project plan.