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Chapter 24 identifies several roles for users of Microsoft Project Professional 2003, including portfolio managers, project managers, resource managers, and executives.
This section describes how executives, portfolio managers, project managers, and others use Project Web Access Portfolio Analyzer and Portfolio Modeler functions to analyze project data and provide answers to business questions such as the following:
Through Project Web Access, a user can see the project and resource information for which he or she has the appropriate permissions.
When reading about the Project Center analysis functions, keep in mind the following:
The primary difference between the Portfolio Modeler and the Portfolio Analyzer is that the Portfolio Modeler provides a broad view of the portfolio data, whereas the Portfolio Analyzer provides the detailed data required to "slice and dice" the portfolio data to the level of detail required. Table 26.3 lists additional differences between the Portfolio Modeler and Portfolio Analyzer.
Table 26.3. Portfolio Analyzer and Portfolio Modeler Comparison
See "Building OLAP Cubes and Updating Resource Tables," p. 994 , for the parameters that are available when creating OLAP cubes, and see "Creating New Portfolio Models" p. 1056 , for the parameters available when specifying portfolio models.
Analyzing Projects in the Portfolio Analyzer
The Portfolio Analyzer gives executives and managers easy access to summary information about the Published versions of projects and resources. The data can be grouped in a variety of ways, and the user can choose which data and which grouping to display in the view, by using PivotTable controls like those in Microsoft Excel.
Before you can look at a Portfolio Analyzer view, the administrator must first create the view.
The data and functionality available in each Portfolio Analyzer view depends on the data and options that the administrator has allowed when creating the view. Your ability to alter Portfolio Analyzer view also depends on having an Office 2003 family application installed on your system. The examples within this section assume you have sufficient privileges to modify view formats within the Portfolio Analyzer and that you have an Office 2003 family application installed on your computer.
To demonstrate the power and value of the Portfolio Analyzer, this section continues using the Microsoft-supplied sample database that can be easily installed by using installation wizard on the Project Server software media.
Let's assume you are an executive and you want to evaluate how projects are performing to projections within the Information Technology organization. You are particularly interested in workload projects versus budgeted work for projects during a certain fiscal quarter.
You can begin understanding how the projects are performing by using the project Web Access Project Center, Analyze Projects in Portfolio Analyzer function. When you select the view called IT Workload Comparison to Plan, you see a graphic chart similar to the one that appears in Figure 26.15.
Figure 26.15. You can use the Portfolio Analyzer to examine portfolio data.
Using Portfolio Analyzer Views
Before we begin understanding what the data in Figure 26.15 tells us, let's discuss various features available on this screen.
Changing Portfolio Analyzer View Content
When you use the Portfolio Analyzer to view project information, you can manipulate certain viewing formats if the Project Web Access administrator has given you permission.
For example, if you start with a Portfolio Analyzer view like the one shown in Figure 26.15, then you can add or remove data fields. Follow these steps to show additional information within the IT Workload Comparison to Plan view:
The pivot table data shown in Figure 26.17 allows you to better understand the workload characteristics of the projects within the Corporate Information Technologies group in the USA West sector. If you select the PivotTable and Chart viewing option, then you can see the graphic chart and numerical data within the same window as shown in Figure 26.18.
Figure 26.18. Use Portfolio Analyzer views to analyze complex project performance information.
Changes you make to the Portfolio Analyzer view information are not permanent. By default, the columns and viewing content are reset to the original format when you re-enter the Portfolio Analyzer functions. Use the Save Link function to create a shortcut that recovers the viewing format you modified.
Using Portfolio Analyzer to Assess Projects
Managers who have permission to view Portfolio Analyzer data can use the available views to assess how projects are progressing compared to projections. Access to this type of data is a powerful management tool that enables organization management to better predict problems in the future.
Let's return to the scenario we started at the beginning of this section: You are an organization executive who needs to determine conditions about Information Technology projects. We can use Figure 26.18 as a reference for our analysis.
So what are some of the conclusions or questions we can derive from reviewing data in Figure 26.18?
Clearly, the Portfolio Analyzer views provide managers a great deal of information and ability to predict future problems. When problems are spotted early in the project or budget lifecycle, solutions can be determined before the problems turn into disasters.
Modeling Projects with the Portfolio Modeler
With portfolio modeling you can interactively simulate changes to projects or resource staffing and immediately view the impact of those changes on a group of projects without altering the actual schedules involved. This is known as modeling changes to schedules. See the section, "Transferring Portfolio Models to Actual Schedules," later in this chapter, for information on how to alter actual schedules to match results of modeling simulations.
For the purposes of this chapter, portfolio modeling is defined as creating information about a project schedule or group of schedules from data about those schedules. Applying user-controlled parameters to test the effect of the changes on the models can simulate changes to overall duration and resource usage.
For example, one model might show the results (in terms of schedule duration and resource utilization) if Project ABC is the highest priority in the portfolio and the other projects are of lesser priority. A different model might show the results if Project XYZ is the same priority as the other projects in the portfolio.
Modeling different project and resource scenarios provides a fast and powerful way to find overallocated resources, determine the schedule feasibility of new projects, and identify the best staffing strategies to support projects across an organization.
You can use the Portfolio Modeler to answer questions such as
To answer these questions, you can use the following general approach to analyzing portfolios of projects:
You can access the portfolio modeling features by logging in to Microsoft Project Web Access, clicking Projects, and then selecting the Model Projects with Portfolio Modeler link.
Any existing portfolio models are listed on the initial Portfolio Modeler page, as in the Figure 26.19 examples.
Figure 26.19. List of defined models within the Portfolio Modeler page.
From this screen you can add, open , modify, analyze, delete, or unlock portfolio models. Each of these functions is described in the following sections.
Creating New Portfolio Models
When you look at the list of projects by using a typical Project Center Gantt Chart views, you can see the current schedules for the each project. How viable are these schedules?
To find out how viable these schedules are from a resource allocation perspective, you can create a new portfolio model containing a set of projects you want to analyze.
To create the new portfolio model you need to follow these general steps:
You can now use the new model to analyze project performance and compare against other models you may create.
Opening Portfolio Models
To open an existing portfolio model, select the Project Center Projects tab, then Model Projects with Portfolio Manager. Next, select a model and click Open.
As shown in Figure 26.23, the opened model screen displays projects using color-coded Gantt Chart bars to identify the degree to which project resources are overallocated. The Gantt Chart bars can display red, yellow, or green to show the time periods where the total resource demand meets or exceeds the available capacity. For each time period
Figure 26.23. Example of Manufacturing High ROI Projects model showing resource overallocation Gantt Chart.
You can analyze or modify a portfolio model from the initial Model Projects with Portfolio Modeler screen, but you must open a model before you can use the Compare function or use the Model Property toolbox.
The Portfolio Modeler toolbox allows you to modify some of the model's parameters without going through all the screens associated with modifying a model. See the section, "Using the Portfolio Model Toolbox to Change Properties," later in this chapter, for details.
When you open a portfolio model, you see a portfolio model Gantt Chart and you also see a Resource Assignments chart, as shown in Figure 26.24.
Figure 26.24. Analyze projects and resource allocation.
The Resource Assignments for Selected Project chart displays resource availability for one project only, the project selected in the Gantt Chart, and not for the portfolio of projects in the model.
Each graphic bar in the Resource Assignments chart represents one resource or more resources, and the scale used on the chart's vertical axis represents the total number of work hours, based on the timescale .
The Timescale drop-down list box controls the units for each period on the graph. The options are Day, Week, Month, Quarter, Year, and Auto. The option that is selected defines the timescale at the bottom of the chart. The Auto option allows the Portfolio Modeler to determine which of the timescale options provides the best view and granularity.
If you use the mouse pointer to hover over graph bars in the Resource Assignments chart, a ScreenTip window displays detailed information about the resource represented by a graph bar, as shown in Figure 26.24.
The block representing each resource for a time period can appear in red, yellow, or green, to show the time periods where the demand for that resource meets or exceeds the resource's available capacity, usually the Max Units setting. The color coding is the same as the color coding used with the Portfolio Modeler's Gantt Chart.
Using the Portfolio Model Toolbox to Change Properties
The advantage of using the Portfolio Model Property toolbox is that you can bring up the toolbox while you have a model open, make changes to a project in the model, and then view the changes you have made immediately after you apply the changes. The disadvantage is that you can't modify all of a model's parameters with the toolbox.
To use the toolbox, open a portfolio model, select a project, and then click the Toolbox icon. Figure 26.25 shows the portfolio model parameters that can be changed via the toolbox. Each of these parameters is described in detail in the section "Creating New Portfolio Models," earlier in this chapter.
Figure 26.25. When you click the Toolbox icon, the Model Property Toolbox is displayed, prepopulated with the model's current parameter values.
Click Apply when you have finished making changes in the toolbox to see the changes applied to the open model.
Comparing Portfolio Models
After you create portfolio models, you often want to compare models to see what effects changes produce.
To compare models, you need to open a portfolio model and click the Compare icon. Figure 26.26 shows an example of two models selected for comparison.
Figure 26.26. Two portfolio models are selected for comparison.
The order in which the portfolio models are selected is the order in which they are displayed.
After you have selected the models to be compared and their order of display, click OK to see the portfolio models compared.
When you select individual projects within the compared models, you can see the resource workloads within the bar graph as shown in Figure 26.27. Select multiple resources from the list and click Refresh to view a composite graph with each selected resource.
Figure 26.27. Review workload for multiple resources.
Figure 26.27 shows several resources that are overallocated for the indicated calendar times. Figure 26.28 shows how the comparison model used substituting new resources for those that were overloaded, so the workload has been redistributed. Notice how two new resources, without highlights in the list, have been selected to work in place of overloaded resources.
Figure 26.28. Workload can be redistributed to new resources.
Modifying Portfolio Models
After you have created a portfolio model, you might want to change its parameters or create a new model, using the parameters of an existing model.
There are two ways to modify an existing portfolio model: by going through the Model Projects with Portfolio Modeler screens again or by using the Toolbox property (see the section "Opening Portfolio Models", earlier in this chapter).
The model-modification process prompts you with the same configuration screens that are used to create a model (see the section "Creating New Portfolio Models," earlier in this chapter), with the current parameters remembered .
You can modify the desired parameters as you move through the model definition screens to generate a model with the same name or a different name.
Using Portfolio Model Analyze Feature
You can use the Portfolio Modeler's Analyze feature to quickly and easily identify resource availability and bottlenecks for projects in a portfolio model.
Don't confuse the Portfolio Modeler's Analyze feature with the Portfolio Analyzer (see the section "Analyzing Projects in the Portfolio Analyzer," earlier in this chapter).
Selecting a portfolio model and clicking the Analyze icon displays the details of the selected model. The model analysis screen provides useful information about the model you are working with. It also provides a chart that plots resource demand, capacity, and utilization for the entire model over time, and it tells you the scheduling options used per project to create the model.
The model analysis screen consists of four parts :
Use this information as the basis for discussion with project managers regarding detailed changes needed within affected project schedules.
Transferring Portfolio Models to Actual Schedules
Portfolio Modeler results are a starting point for making detailed changes to each project schedule. The project managers can use the general portfolio model information to change resources by using the Microsoft Project 2003 Professional Resource Substitution Wizard.
Table 26.4 compares the Portfolio Modeler and Resource Substitution Wizard tools.
For information on the Resource Substitution Wizards scheduling options, see "Using the Resource Substitution Wizard," p. 1110 .
Table 26.4. Comparison of Portfolio Modeler and Resource Substitution Wizard Scheduling Options
Refresh Portfolio Modeler Views
Figure 26.29. Caution message during Refresh action request.
If you select Yes then modeling conditions for the selected model are saved, recomputed, and updated to the Project Server database. This update involves opening the projects and resources within the model and using that information to recompute the entire model view.
The model refresh action is computer intensive and may take several minutes to complete the update. General Project Web Access users may see a system slowdown during the update timeframe.
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