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PMOs are responsible for planning the data, processes, and roles necessary to capture, report on, and analyze project and resource information in the enterprise. The goal of planning is to enable the gathering and reporting of the information the organization wants to use and report on.
A good place to start your planning is with business questions. When you know the questions that the business needs answered , you can determine which data is required from Microsoft Project Server 2003 to help answer those questions. Key business questions might be
Answering these questions requires that accurate, timely , and consistent information be available to the business leaders in an organization.
A business typically charters a PMO to establish and manage the planning, roles, rules, and processes associated with enterprise-level project management and the business questions your organization needs to have answered.
Planning Enterprise Roles and Group Responsibilities
The capabilities and functions of Microsoft Project Server 2003 are associated with a default set of user groups and roles. The variety of capabilities and roles can be overwhelming at first. Microsoft Project Server 2003 is most easily understood if thought of in terms of capability and group roles, as described later in this section. The list illustrates the correlation between the various capabilities or functions and the major user roles.
The roles shown later in this section may or may not fit your current organizational language or operating structure. After reading through this chapter, you might want to consider your organizational structure in order to refine or improve the roles defined.
Keep the roles in mind as you are reading Part VIII. They will help you understand how the various capabilities are used and when and by whom they are used.
Microsoft Project 2003 predefines seven distinct Project users, known as groups:
Each of the seven groups has unique responsibilities associated with setting up and using Microsoft Project Server 2003. The roles listed in the preceding list are the Microsoft Project Server 2003 defaults. In this book, all examples use the default roles and groups.
It's important that you assign people to their proper groups. Keep in mind that people can hold multiple roles. For example, if someone holds both team member and team lead responsibilities, you should assign him/her to both groups.
Planning Enterprise Project Management Processes
In addition to planning the roles that your organization needs, you need to define and implement the key project management processes and deliverables needed to support portfolio management. For example, many organizations are creating a front-door process for projects. The purpose of the front-door process is to make sure that a project does the following:
Another key process that many organizations struggle with is the project progress tracking. Creating viable plans and schedules through a front-door process is a good start, but a month after a project begins, you need to think about some other issues: How much progress has been made? Is the project ahead of or behind schedule? Is it above or below budget? How is the project doing in terms of resources required and resources actually working?
Reporting accurate project progress information in a timely manner is a prerequisite for providing business leaders with the data required to manage the business. Microsoft Project Server 2003 provides the repository, user interface, reporting, and analysis mechanisms required to support all of these processes and more. However, Microsoft Project Server 2003 cannot improve an organization's project and portfolio management environment by itself. Each organization needs to establish or adjust the infrastructure mechanisms around Microsoft Project Server 2003 in order for the tool to truly benefit the organization.
Planning for Enterprise Projects
The project managers of an organization will create project schedules based on the standards and processes set up by the PMO. It is important that these projects are set up in some consistent fashion so that the data is accurate and reflects similarly across all projects. The best way to do this is to set up enterprise project schedule templates for the various kinds of projects in your organization. Resources should be consistently applied from the resource pool. The project managers need to consistently baseline, publish, and update their schedules as necessary. However, to make sure these schedules reflect the reporting needs of the organization, Microsoft Project Server 2003 uses project attributes, known as enterprise project outline codes, and the project manager will assign these project outline codes to each of their projects. When the enterprise project outline codes are assigned to projects, project data can be viewed and analyzed in a variety of ways, using the Project Center, Resource Center, and Portfolio Analyzer.
Planning for Enterprise Resources
The resource manager and/or the portfolio manager will establish the resources available as team members for projects. They will assign the attributes to each resource (such as rates, employee type, or skill set). Attributes are defined via enterprise resource outline codes. These resources are added to the resource pool, a repository of resources, available in the enterprise global area of Project Professional. The resource manager and/or portfolio manager will also help the organization decide if they want to use only actual resources or establish generic resources (such as a "programmer" or "tech writer" that can be assigned to a task prior to knowing who will actually work on it). Also, they would want to define whether local resources (resources added to a project schedule, but not from the resource pool) are acceptable to indicate contractors or temporary workers in the enterprise environment. They will need to define the processes around proposed (a resource that may possibly be used on the project) versus committed (the resource is definitely assigned to the project) resources on a project. They will also need to decide whether the enterprise should use resource calendars or some other way to account for a resource's non-project related time.
The last item you want to consider is the kinds of reports you want to see. Although much of this will be discovered in your analysis meetings as you discuss enterprise project and resource outline codes, you will want to discuss the kinds of problems you want to be able to analyze so that you can decide what kinds of data and reports you need to create. Besides creating project or resource outline codes, you may also need to create custom codes to capture other data important to your organization. Some examples of how you might use enterprise outline codes or custom fields for reporting are
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