Understanding the Project Center

The Project Center is a core part of the EPM solution because it truly reflects the concept of visualizing all aspects of projects. Project Center provides access to all projects, including project data, robust reports, views, modeling, and analytical tools.

Project Center displays project information defined by your administrator; this includes data columns, views, and the Enterprise Outline Codes created during configuration.

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You can access Project Center through PWA (by selecting Projects in the top navigation menu), as shown in Figure 16.1.

Figure 16.1. Project Center provides a comprehensive view of a portfolio of projects.


Project Professional has collaboration functionality built in that allows you to see PWA Project Center (and other PWA screens) within the Project Professional frame. To view PWA Project Center within PWA, select Tools, Collaborate, and then Project Center.

Project Center performs six main functions:

  • View Project in Project Center Provides high-level dashboard analysis of all projects in the Project Server database and allows you to review, compare, and analyze project progress, cost, variance, and other defined information. This option also provides you with the ability to view details of a specific project, various views, filters, and grouping and sorting options, and to change the type of data displayed in the columns of the view.

  • Analyze Projects in Portfolio Analyzer Allows you to analyze project data stored in the OLAP cube for better understanding of your entire portfolio. The OLAP cube contains all the information available from the published projects and is created on an impromptu basis or on a scheduled basis by your administrator.

  • Model Projects with Portfolio Modeler Allows you to model your future implementations or proposed changes to observe the effect they may have on your Project Server implementation. This option allows for execution of what-if scenarios without having an impact on the real data in the system.

  • Manage To-Do Lists Allows you to create, modify, and maintain personal to-do lists. To-do lists can be used for smaller personal tasks that do not require formal scheduling.

  • Check-in My Projects Allows you to release database locks on checked-out projects left open due to network or other technological problems. You need to have proper permissions to use this function.

  • Managing Administrative Projects Allows you to manage special projects created to track time spent on tasks that do not belong to projects that deliver goods and services. The administrative projects require different scheduling, actual time reporting, and resource usage.

The Project Center allows everyone with the appropriate permissions to drill into project data without having Project Professional installed on their desktop. Your project's status may be displayed here based on selected reports and fields. Your executives may use an Executive Summary Report, where they can see each project's budget and schedule status at a glance. A financial manager may have a Financial Report, where she may view each project's financial health in relation to strategic initiatives within the organization.

As a project manager, it is important that you understand that the Project Center brings visibility to your project. You need to keep your project's status and data up-to-date and as accurate as possible according to the processes set up in your organization.

The following sections discuss these and other functions of Project Center in more detail.

Using Project Center Views

The Project Center lists all the existing projects in the database that you have permission to view. From this view, you can select a project to work with in several ways. Project Center contains various prebuilt views that you can use to display the specific data you are looking for. Views can be a powerful tool when used for an at-a-glance look or a high-level summary perspective. Views can also provide the detailed information for more in-depth analysis.

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Project Center views are displayed in the Choose a View list in the top-right corner of PWA, which allows you to view information about your project in various ways. You can select any view you want to apply, and the page reloads displaying the requested data.

Many organizations allow their project managers to view only their own projects or those they are assigned to as a team member, whereas other organizations allow the project managers to view all corporate projects. Team members see only the projects to which they are assigned unless additional permissions are provided.

Your organization may create a custom view for you or others in the organization that can be used to analyze data in relevant ways for the organization, an example of which is shown in Figure 16.2.

Figure 16.2. Project Center displaying a custom view called A. Datum Executive Summary of all projects (A.Datum is the prefix used in this database example for naming views).

This could be a useful view for portfolio managers and executives who need to have a complete view of the organizational portfolio of projects.

View Options

The View Options tab is located above the content window with the list of projects (or tasks if you are in the detailed project view) in Project Center. View Options allows you to specify the level of detail you want to apply to the current view. View Options changes slightly depending on whether you are looking at the project portfolio or project detail view.

From the Portfolio view of Project Center, View Options provides the following selections as shown in Figure 16.3:

  • Show Time with Date Displays the date and time for the Finish and Start dates of each project.

  • Show To-Do Lists Displays any existing to-do lists for all listed projects.

  • Show Outline Level Allows you to select the level of detail you want to see. For the Portfolio view, the outline level does not serve much purpose; it is a lot more useful when the project displayed contains levels (for example, the Detail view with the list of summary and regular tasks).

Figure 16.3. The View Options tab allows you to customize the current view even further.

From the Project view of Project Center, View Options provides the following selections, as shown in Figure 16.4:

  • Show Time with Date Displays the date and time for the Finish and Start dates of each project.

  • Show Summary Tasks When selected, this displays all summary tasks in the project schedule. You may want to remove the summary tasks to see just the actual tasks without the "tree" structure.

  • Summary Rollup Rolls up the summary data for the displayed project.

  • Show Outline Level Allows you to select the outline level to which you want the task list compressed/expanded. For example, all outline levels display the expanded list of all tasks. Outline level 1 reduces the list of tasks to the top summary task (generally the same as the project name). Outline level 2 displays the next level down from outline level 1, so it shows the summary task level below the main summary task. This expansion continues until all the tasks in the list are displayed.

Figure 16.4. View Options allows you to customize the detailed Project view.

Filter, Group, Search

The Filter, Group, Search tab is a powerful tool for presenting projects in different sorts and groupings. You can use this feature based on the parameters (columns) present only in the grid, as shown in Figure 16.5.

Figure 16.5. You cannot filter, group, or search for projects based on attributes not present in the Project Center grid.

Using Filters

You can use the Filter options provided in Project Center for filtering the displayed list of projects by various criteria. Project Center provides three types of filters:

  • Filter The drop-down box provides two options: All Projects and Custom Filter. If you select the Custom Filter option from the drop-down list (or by clicking the Custom Filter button), the More-Filters pull-down is displayed at the top of each column.

  • Custom Filter Provides three criteria to filter the projects by. This allows for further customization and limiting of the data displayed, as shown in Figure 16.6.

    Figure 16.6. To apply the filter, select the field, condition, and value to filter by. You can filter by more than value by selecting the And or Or option.

  • Autofilter Displays drop-down arrows at the top of each column in the current view. When Autofilter is selected, it allows you to filter by a specific field within that column.

Using the Group Functionality

The Group By function in Project Center allows you to organize the displayed projects into groups. The Group By function in Filter, Group, Search is useful for showing the rollup for projects based on different conditions. In the example shown in Figure 16.7, the Group By function displays projects by location. You can change this grouping quickly and see a new report in seconds.

Figure 16.7. Project Center displaying projects grouped by location.

The administrator may set a special default grouping for your projects. You can change the grouping for the view. If you want to return to the default grouping, click Revert. Using Revert causes Project Center to display projects using the predefined view chosen.


It is not possible to group on any field not currently defined for the view in the Project Center grid. If you want to group, filter, or do a search in a view with fields that aren't currently defined for the view, ask your Project Server administrator to modify or create a view for you.

Using Search

The Search function in Project Center provides you with the ability to quickly and efficiently locate the desired projects. Search allows you to search by all fields currently displayed in the view. You can use the Find Next button to move to the next item in the list that meets your search criteria.


If the field that you want to search by does not appear in the Field Name drop-down list of the Search function, make sure that this field is available in the current view. If the field is not available, find a view that contains the appropriate fields.

The Magic of Portfolio Management

Now that you've seen the functionality of views, options, and Filter/Group/Search in Project Center, portfolio management is more easily achieved. Portfolio management is viewing projects in collections aligned to your business processes. First, you need to choose a view that contains the columns of information you want to group on, such as A Datum Budget Summary. It is usually correct to include the Enterprise Outline Codes created during configuration because these are directly related to business processes.

Next, select the Filter/Group/Search button and select the business process to group on, such as Location. If you are the manager of the San Jose office, you now have a collection of projects for your office with the rollup cost and budget data you want in the columns, as shown in Figure 16.8. In this way, you can begin to analyze the importance, variance, and status of the collection of project making up your portfolio. There are many ways to analyze collections of projects against your business processes; this is just one example. Attention to detail is important when initially creating the Enterprise Outline Codes that describe the business processes for which you choose to capture data.

Figure 16.8. An example of a portfolio based on budgets and location.

Using Save Link to Create Custom Personal Views

The Save Link button allows viewing, filtering, sorting, and grouping formatting options to be saved as a customized view. As you find desired views in your day-to-day work, you can save these links as your own personal view.


Saved links are specific to your Project Server profile. They are not visible as enterprise views to the rest of the organization.

To save a link associated with your profile, select all desired view options and click Save Link. A dialog box displays, and you are prompted to enter the name of the view you want to save; then click OK.

You see a link created in the upper left of the side pane under Saved Links, as shown in Figure 16.9.

Figure 16.9. Create a unique and descriptive name for the view you are creating.

The Saved Links link does not display if you have not saved any links. To access any of your saved custom format views, click on this link. From here you can delete or rename your links as well. To do this, click on Organize Your Saved Links under Actions in the side pane. The Organize Your Saved Links page displays only if you have saved links, as shown in Figure 16.10. Select the link and either click Delete or Rename depending on the function you want to perform.

Figure 16.10. Select the link you want to change and click Rename to change its name, or click Delete to completely delete the link.

Using the Build Team Function

Assigning resources to tasks allows the project manager to track the resources' progress in completing the task. However, to assign the resources, the project and/or resource manager needs to build the project team first and look into Proposed versus Committed resources. The Build Team feature is a web-based version of the Build Team from Enterprise feature in Project Professional.

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Build Team in PWA does provide handy matching, searching, and analytical features, but it is recommended that you use the Project Professional full-featured Build Team from Enterprise to perform any advanced additions, matching, and assignments. Build Team in PWA is a light feature for quickly adding resources to your project. Build Team can also be handy for resource managers, who can still manage resources on different projects without having Project Professional installed on their desktops.

If you have appropriate permissions, you can build the project team from the Enterprise Resource Pool by adding enterprise resources to your project team in PWA. From the action bar in the Project Center, select the project you want to build the team for and move resources from the Enterprise Resource Pool to the project team.

You can also indicate whether a resource is committed to the project, or still is in a proposed state. You can view availability information for the proposed team members to help you decide whether they should be changed to Committed status for the project.


Project 2003 Professional allows you to change the booking condition of project resources.

All resources, by default, are assigned using the Committed status. This indicates that the individual resource has been confirmed as a working resource to the project.

If the project manager did not receive authorization yet to assign that resource to a particular task in his project, the project manager changes the status of booking to Proposed.

The main difference between the two types of bookings is that Committed resources receive task timesheet notices and can submit timesheet updates to the project manager, whereas Proposed resources do not receive task timesheet notices, so they cannot submit actual work to the project manager.

The primary benefit of this Proposed, soft booking, type is to allow project managers to simulate the resource loading and cost impact of selecting specific resources as part of the project team.

For example, if you are a project manager who is negotiating with resource managers to use certain resources for your project, you can use the Proposed type of booking for the resources to simulate the effects on your project and the workload on those resources. You then use the simulated soft booking analysis as a basis during your negotiations with appropriate resource managers. After the resources are confirmed to work on the project, you can change the resource booking type to Committed.

In organizations with both resource and project managers, the project managers use Project Professional to build the project schedule and assign generic resources to the specific tasks. An example of a generic resource may be a senior C++ developer, or an IT specialist. In this case, the resource manager uses the Build Team function in PWA to replace the generic resources with real people, based on resource availability and other characteristics. This allows for smooth resource allocation process and also does not require resource managers to have Project Professional installed on their desktops.

To build a team for a specific project, follow these steps:


Highlight the row containing the project.


In the top navigation menu, click Build Team.


The Build Team page is displayed.


The Project Center Build Team function attaches resources to a project but does not generally assign those resources to individual working tasks.

The Build Team page consists of three main areas:

  • Filter Enterprise Resources Allows you to apply a custom filter in searching for appropriate enterprise resources that meet your criteria to be added to the project, as shown in Figure 16.11.

    Figure 16.11. The filtered resources are displayed in the Filter Enterprise Resources box under Build Team.

  • Build Team Allows you to add, remove, replace, and match the resources for your project, as shown in Figure 16.12.

    Figure 16.12. The Build Team displays both enterprise resources available in the Enterprise Resource Pool and already assigned project resources.

  • Project Detail Provides a detailed project schedule with the list of all tasks and other important project information, as shown in Figure 16.13.

    Figure 16.13. Scroll down to see each level of tasks available in the selected project.

The Build Team feature is used to find, match, and acquire the appropriate resources for your project. The main functionality included in Build Team is add, remove, replace, match, view availability, and change the booking type of resources.

Filter Enterprise Resources

To view all resources available from the Resource Pool, select View All. All resources display on the left side of the screen.


If you cannot see any resources available for assignment to a project, make sure that the Filter Resources box is cleared.

You can also use the filter to bring up all resources in the Resource Pool matching custom filter conditions defined. For example, you might filter resources for a particular skill or department. Filter conditions are based on Resource Outline Codes available. The Filter Enterprise Resources feature provides four selections: Enterprise Outline Code, Test, Value, and And, as shown in Figure 16.14.

Figure 16.14. Enterprise Resources displays filtered resources that belong to the Development Department with C++ Developer skill set.

Enterprise Outline Code is a drop-down list that retrieves all resource outline codes available in Project Serverfor example, department, skill, RBS, and so on. The Test field is automatically filled in, depending on the Enterprise Outline Code you have selected. For example, if you select Department, the test is "equals," if you select Skills, the test value is "contains," and so on. The Value field retrieves available values for the selected Enterprise Outline Codes. The And field is used as a connective to combine more than one search criteria, if applicable.

You can also use the Match function under Build Team to achieve similar results, which is discussed in the next section.


The resource must meet the exact criteria set selected for Project Center to return the appropriate results.

You may insert additional rows by clicking the Insert Row button. You can also delete rows by clicking the Delete Row button.

Adding Resources to a Project

The Add button adds the selected resource in the Filtered Enterprise Resources box to the Resources in the Project box with a Committed booking type. You may change the booking type of the resource by selecting the resource name and clicking the Change Booking Type button.

Removing Resources from Project

The Remove button allows you to remove a resource from the Resources in the Project box.


The Remove button permanently removes resources from your project, but it does not delete them from the Enterprise Resource Pool. If you accidentally remove a resource, you can add it back using the Add button.


The PWA Build Team function does not allow you to remove resources that have actuals associated with them. When you attempt to save your changes on the Build Team page, it will display an error message. To properly remove the resource from your project, use Project Professional.

Replacing Resources

The Replace function allows you to select a resource in your project and replace it with a selected resource in the Filtered Enterprise Resources box. This function is especially handy because it performs the removal/addition of resources in one step.


The PWA Build Team function does not allow you to replace resources that have actuals associated with them. To replace a resource with existing actuals, use the Assign Resources feature in Project Professional. This retains the original resource's actuals and assigns the remaining work to the replacement resource.

Matching Resources

The Match function allows you to find a matching resource to your current project resource. To match a primary skill, make sure that the appropriate generic resource is selected in the Resources in the Project box, click on the Match button, and the individual resources with the matching primary skill will display.

To look for a match based on a skill of an individual resource who is already a member of the project team, select the individual resource in the Resources in the Project box on the right side, click Match, and all other enterprise resources with the same skill will be displayed on the left side in the Filtered Enterprise Resources box. This function is especially useful when you need to replace a resource on your team, but you may not have a specific person in mind who is able to perform the task. The Match function matches up the resource skills, languages, and any other attributes your resources may have and provides a list of people who match the resource who requires replacement.

The Match and Replace features of both PWA and Project Professional support the resource change problem by allowing quick resource matching and substitution. For example, one of the current resources on the project team has a family emergency and has to take a month off. The Match and Replace features can be used to substitute that resource for someone else with a matching skill set who can fulfill the task commitments.

Changing Resource Booking Type

You may change the booking type of a resource in your project by selecting the resource name and clicking the Change Booking Type button. When the resources are first added to the project using the Build Team function, their booking type is set to Committed. If you are a resource manager and the resource added to the project needs to be approved by the project manager, you may choose the Proposed booking type. The Proposed booking type does not "assign" the resource to the project but rather suggests that this particular resource should be used. To assign a resource to tasks within the project, the booking type must be set to Committed.

Viewing Resource Availability When Building a Team

In many cases, you may want to view the resource's availability before making the resource part of the project team. You can do this with the Build Team feature in both PWA and Project Professional.

The Project Center Build Team function provides a quick link to view resource availability from where you can select one or more resources from the Filtered Enterprise Resources and Resources in the Project boxes, and then click the Availability button to see a forecast of time the resources can work.

The Availability page displays all selected resources, allowing you to view them all together or separately by selecting or clearing check boxes next to their names. The Availability page also provides multiple views such as Assignment Work by Resource, Assignment Work by Project, Remaining Availability, and Work. These four views provide the flexibility to view and analyze specific resource availability information whether you are looking at a certain project, work in general, or remaining availability. The View Options button is also available that has the same functionality as the View Options button on the Project Center page.

Edit Projects in Project Center

The Edit function in PWA allows you to edit Enterprise Project Outline Codes assigned for the project. The fields not displayed in the PWA Edit Project Detail view can be modified by using the Project Professional, Project, Project Information menu. To edit a project, highlight the cell (do not click the project name hyperlink) of the project you want to edit and select Edit from the top menu. The Project Details screen is displayed and allows you to edit and save the available project information, as shown in Figure 16.15. Click Save and Close to save your changes, or select Go Back to Project Center to return to the Project Center View Projects page.

Figure 16.15. The changes you save using the Project Details screen in PWA are saved to the database and are reflected in the Project Information window within Project Professional.


You must have sufficient permissions to save the Enterprise Outline Codes in Project Center. If you do not have enough permission and you believe that you should have the right to change and save the outline codes for the project, contact your Project Server administrator.

Open Projects from Project Center

Project Center also has a functionality built in that allows you to open project plans in Project Professional from PWA. This feature allows for easy access to the desired project without having to look for it in a Project Professional list. For example, if you are using PWA to filter for projects that are behind schedule, you can select the specific project and open it in Project Professional to further analyze the reason for the project being late. To open a project in Project Professional, highlight the row containing the project you want to open and click Open in the top menu. This opens the project plan of the selected project in Project Professional, as shown in Figure 16.16.

Figure 16.16. Project WBS in Project Professional.


To open a project from Project Center using the Open button you must have Project Professional installed on your machine and also have sufficient permissions to open the selected project.

You may also use this function to open multiple projects at once, as discussed in the next section on master projects.

Master Projects

Project Center allows you to open several projects at one time for analysis and reporting purposes. You can see several projects in one master project (also known as a consolidated project). To open such a project, highlight all the projects in the Project Center that you want to see and click the Open button in the action bar. A project opens in Project Professional containing all the projects that you selected, as shown in Figure 16.17. You can click on the plus sign next to the project name to display each of the project's details.

Figure 16.17. Selecting multiple projects in PWA.


If you want to pick multiple projects, hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard while selecting the project row with the mouse. Each mouse click selects or clears an item from the project list.

You can also select multiple projects by using the PWA Group and Filter functions to cluster projects within a header group. If you select the header group, all projects within that group are selected, as shown in Figure 16.18.

Figure 16.18. When multiple projects open in Project Professional, each one of them is shown as a one-line summary.


You need to close Project Professional before you can open a master project.


When you try to open more than 10 projects at a time you get a caution message that allows you to control how the projects are opened for Read/Write editing or just Read-Only review. If you open many projects for Read/Write, processing may take several minutes to check out each project from the Project Server repository and deliver it to your Microsoft Project 2003 Professional session. Use the Read-Only mode if you are reviewing multiple projects and you do not want to save changes. If you select Cancel, the projects are not opened, and you are returned to the PWA Project Center.

Gantt Chart Zoom Icon

Zoom In and Zoom Out is a feature that allows you to increase or decrease the time periods shown in the Gantt Chart view. This can be useful for viewing graphical details of a project schedule, as shown in Figure 16.19.

Figure 16.19. The Zoom Out feature allows you to view the high-level Gantt Chart view for the summary information, and Zoom In allows you to see the more intricate project schedule details.

Gantt Chart Go to Task Icon

The Gantt Chart view in Project Center also contains the Go to Task icon, which allows you to move the focus of the chart to the specified task. Use the Go to Task icon to bring the beginning of the Gantt bar for a specific project into view. To do so, highlight the project (do not click the project name hyperlink because that will bring you to the project detail screen) and click the Go To Task button, as shown in Figure 16.20.

Figure 16.20. Concentrating on a specific area of the Gantt chart allows you to better analyze the graphical representation of the project schedule in respect to other projects in your portfolio.

Project Center Printing

The Print Grid feature allows you to view a printer-friendly version of the current view. This option eases the printing process by removing unnecessary objects that are hard to print, such as the PWA frame, as shown in Figure 16.21.

Figure 16.21. All project data is displayed in an easy-to-read format.

Project Center Export to Excel

Project Center also allows you export the detailed data into a Microsoft Excel worksheet. When you click the Export to Excel link, Microsoft Excel launches, and the data details are automatically exported to a new Excel worksheet, as shown in Figure 16.22. This feature may be especially useful if you want to take a snapshot of the current portfolio status, manipulate data using Excel functions, or take the snapshot offline for further analysis.

Figure 16.22. Excel preserves the data format of the Project Center and adds a user and date and time stamp for historic purposes.

Viewing Project Details

In addition to being able to select different views to consider all displayed projects, Project Center provides a detailed view of each specific project you choose. From the Project Center, you can select a project to work with in several ways. The Project Detail area contains the detailed work breakdown structure that allows you to see all project tasks. This option is particularly handy because you can view the project plan and look up specific tasks that, for example, require new resource assignments without having to open Project Professional. You may use the Print Grid and Export to Excel functions directly on the Project Detail.

Each project name listed is an active hyperlink that opens a page listing that project's data, as shown in Figure 16.23. This detailed view displays project schedule detail, related tasks, important task indicators, and other detailed information.

Figure 16.23. Project Center allows you to view a specific project's schedule.

The View a Project page also contains the Choose a View selection, which allows you to view specific reports matching the ones on the Project Center project portfolio page.

The detailed project view allows you to perform other activities, such as linking risks, issues, and documents to a specific task.

To link a risk to a project task, follow these steps:


Select the task you want linked by clicking on its name in the cell.


To link a risk specifically created for that task, you need to create it. To do so, click the New Risk button and follow the instructions. Click the Link Project Risks button to link a risk submitted for the entire project and not a specific task.


If you are linking a project risk, select the desired risk from the list of risks associated with the project.


Identify the relationship description between the linked items, as shown in Figure 16.24.

Figure 16.24. The Relationship Description specifies the effect the risk and the task will have on one anotherfor example, if the risk is going to affect the task or if the task is going to trigger the risk.


To create this link, click the Save Changes button.

To link documents and issues to a specific task, follow the steps described for risks and substitute Link Project Risks with Link Project Documents or Link Project Issues, respectively. Collaboration using the Project Center is also discussed in more detail later in this chapter.

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Collaboration Using Project Center

Project Center supports the powerful collaboration functionality of Project Server using risks, issues, and documents. Project Center collaboration allows you to

  • Track project risks Links you to the Risks page for the selected project

  • Track project issues Links you to the Issues page for the selected project

  • Manage project documents Links you to the Documents page for the selected project

  • Go to selected project workspace Opens the Windows SharePoint Services site for the selected project, which allows you to manage risks, issues, documents, and other project artifacts that support team collaboration


If you receive the message "The documents, risks, and issues features in Project Web Access use Windows SharePoint Services. A Windows SharePoint Services site needs to be created for your project before you can share project documents or track project risks and issues. Site creation takes a few minutes, so if the project was just published, wait a few minutes and then visit the page again. Otherwise, contact your server administrator." while trying to access risks, issues, documents, or the project workspace, that means that the project you selected does not have a Windows SharePoint Services site associated with it. Contact your Project Server administrator and request a new site to be created for that project.

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Track Project Risks

The Track Project Risks function is located in the left pane under Collaboration. To track project risks, follow these steps:


Highlight the project row for which you want to track risks.


Click the Track Project Risks link under Collaboration in the left pane.


The Risks page for the selected project is displayed, providing you with a summary view of all risks currently entered for the project, as shown in Figure 16.25.

Figure 16.25. The Risks page allows you to create, modify, delete, and edit risks for the project.

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Track Project Issues

The Track Project Issues link is available in the left side pane under Collaboration and allows you to view, modify, and create issues for a particular project. To track issues


Highlight the project row for which you want to track issues.


Click the Track Project Issues link under Collaboration in the left pane.


The Issues page for the selected project is displayed, providing you with a summary view of all issues currently entered for the project, as shown in Figure 16.26.

Figure 16.26. The Issues page allows you to create, modify, delete, and edit issues for the project.

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Manage Project Documents

The Manage Project Documents function is available in the left side pane under the Collaboration menu and allows you to control the document libraries and document artifacts for your project.

To manage documents, perform the following steps:


Highlight the project row for which you want to manage documents.


Click the Manage Project Documents link under Collaboration in the left pane.


The View and Upload Documents page for the selected project is displayed, providing you with a list of all document libraries available for the selected project, as shown in Figure 16.27.

Figure 16.27. The View and Upload Documents page allows you to create, upload, organize, and edit documents in existing or new document libraries for the selected project.

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Go to Selected Project Workspace

Go to Selected Project Workspace is a feature that takes you to the Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) home page for the project. The project manager may list announcements and events here; you may store your project's directory; and you can also go to issues, risks, and documents for the project from that workspace. The project team may use this workspace for many functions to store information and communicate about the project. Figure 16.28 shows a snapshot of the project home page.

Figure 16.28. Each project has its own project workspace created.

A useful feature available on this WSS home page is that the project manager may insert additional web parts. You can insert standard web parts from PWA or from other areas. You can also insert links and pictures as needed, and you can add announcements and events. Included in the Events section is the capability to establish attendees and objectives, and to use templates to create a meeting agenda. There are many more features similar to this Events feature, which you and your project team will want to explore.

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Analyze Projects in Portfolio Analyzer

The Analyze Projects in Portfolio Analyzer feature allows you to analyze the project schedule, resources, work, costs, and other variables that affect a project during its life. Portfolio Analyzer is a useful tool that provides project and resource managers valuable insight into project details, allows them to examine unfavorable situations, and helps them determine the potential problems early in the project life cycle. You can access Portfolio Analyzer by clicking the Analyze Projects in Portfolio Analyzer link under Actions in the left side pane.

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Model Projects with Portfolio Modeler

The Model Projects with Portfolio Modeler feature allows you to exemplify specific scenarios for your projects. This feature can be used for modeling situations such as resource assignments to see their effects on project cost, schedule, resource availability, and other project variables. Portfolio Modeler can be accessed by clicking the Model Projects with Portfolio Modeler link under Actions in the left side pane. The Portfolio Modeler page displays all the models currently available as well as allows you to create new models for your specific scenarios.

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Working with To-Do Lists

To-do lists are an easy and informal way for Project Server users to manage their responsibilities by creating electronic lists of tasks. From these lists, the list owner can assign tasks to others, and progress can be tracked. You can keep the to-do list to yourself, or you can share it with other resources using the Project Server. Project Center provides the following functions when working with to-do lists:

  • Create a New Personal or Shared To-Do List Allows you to create a personal or public to-do list by supplying a name, resources associated with it, and specific tasks for it. The actions provided on the Create a New Personal or Shared To-Do List page are the same actions you see on your PWA Tasks page.

  • Manage My To-Do Lists Allows you to view the existing to-do lists, manage tasks, and view the schedule details.

  • To-Do List Options Allows you to administer options for a specific to-do list, such as transfer list ownership to a different resource, promoting it to Project Professional, and so on.

Create a New Personal or Shared To-Do List

The Create a New Personal or Shared To-Do List option allows you to create a new to-do list; create new tasks; and assign resources responsible, dates, notes, and other features similar to project tasks.

To create a new to-do list, follow these steps:


Highlight the project row of the project for which to create the to-do list.


In the left side pane under Actions click the Create a New Personal or Shared To-Do List link.


Enter the to-do list name and select the list visibility, as shown in Figure 16.29. The to-do list visibility includes the following:

  • Anyone Any resource with access to PWA has permission to view this to-do list.

  • All Resources Who Are Assigned Tasks from This To-Do List Allows only the resources that you assign to tasks within the to-do list to see it.

  • Me (only) Creates a completely personal to-do list, not visible to any other resources in Project Server.

Figure 16.29. To-do lists can be used for small tasks such as organizing larger meetings to ensure that all needed information is available for the meeting.


After you select the visibility options, click Next. On the Create a New Task page, enter the tasks that you want to include in the to-do list. For each task specify task name, assigned to, priority, start and finish dates, % complete, and any additional notes.


When you finish entering all desired tasks, click the Save Tasks button.


The Manage My To-Do Lists page is displayed showing you the details of the to-do list you just created, as shown in Figure 16.30.

Figure 16.30. The Manage My To-Do Lists function provides similar functions to those available for projects in Project Center, such as creating a new task.

Notice that only core fields are available for each to-do task. There are two main reasons for this:

  • To-do lists cannot support fields with calculated entries.

  • A to-do list is specifically designed to be simple to use.

To-do lists are identified in the Project Center by a clipboard icon located in the Indicators column of the project grid.

Manage My To-Do Lists

To-do lists can also be viewed in the Manage My To-Do Lists page. To edit your to-do lists choose Manage My To-Do Lists on the navigator pane to the left of the task list. From here, you can view and manage those lists. The page is available only to the to-do list owner, not to-do list resources. If the Assigned To field is left empty, the task is assigned to the creator by default. The owner of a to-do list task can view his tasks from the Tasks page. You can perform various functions on a to-do list:

  • Delete Allows only one task to be deleted at a time. The summary task representing the to-do list cannot be deleted here.

  • Insert Notes Clicking the Insert Notes button launches a dialog box for typing a text message. The name of the user adding the note is appended to the beginning of the text message.

  • Adding New Tasks Clicking the New Tasks button takes you to the Tasks page for entering new to-do list task information.

The Manage My To-Do Lists page also provides the functionality available on the Project Center Home page, such as View Options; Filter, Group, Search; Zoom; Go to task; Print Grid; and Export to Excel.

To-Do List Options

The To-Do List Options page allows you to set some general options for individual to-do lists. To access the Options page, select To-Do List Options in the left side pane under Actions. The To-Do List Options page provides the following options, as shown in Figure 16.31:

  • Choose a To-Do List Provides the drop-down containing all existing to-do lists, where you are the owner.

  • Rename This To-Do List Allows you to rename the to-do list.

  • Transfer This To-Do List Allows you to "delegate" the to-do list to a different owner.

  • Promote This To-Do List to a Project Allows you to convert a to-do list into a project schedule within Project Professional.

  • Permanently Delete This To-Do List Deletes the to-do list.

  • Change Viewing Permissions for This To-Do List Allows you to modify the visibility of your to-do list.

Figure 16.31. The To-Do List Options page allows you to manage more high-level general settings of individual to-do lists.

Check in My Projects

Sometimes, a project you checked out for editing in Project Professional gets stuck in a checked-out state due to technical problems or network outages. If you checked it out, you can check it in yourself using the PWA Project Center Check in My Projects feature. To check in a project, you must be the project manager of that project or have equivalent permissions.

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You may not use the Check in My Projects feature if the project you need checked back in was checked out by another project manager. In this case, you need to contact your Project Server administrator and request her assistance. Even if the project is checked out, you can still open the file by clicking on the Read-only option, which does not allow you to save any changes.

To check in a project, select Check in My Projects in the left side pane under Actions. The Check in My Projects page displays, as shown in Figure 16.32.

Figure 16.32. You can check in only your own projects.


The Check Out? and Checked Out By fields in the Open dialog box within Project Professional help you determine whether the project has been checked out. If it is checked out, you cannot update the project unless you save it to a new file, or until it is checked in.


Checking in a project causes all changes since the last Save operation was performed to be lost.

Managing Administrative Projects

Administrative projects are a special kind of project that allows a resource manager or administrator to create a schedule that gathers data for future time off for team members and records actual work hours spent against administrative or other types of nonproject tasks.

Many organizations use administrative projects to account for nonproject time instead of using resource calendars for that purpose, as shown in Figure 16.33. These projects are usually created based on consensus and managed by resource managers and/or administrators to allow resources to enter their own vacation or other nonproject time. The project manager reviewing allocations for a resource can see whether the resource has planned to take time off for this administrative project.

Figure 16.33. Administrative projects are an easy way to account for nonproject time.


Unlike a resource calendar, however, Project Professional may schedule a resource during the time off creating overallocation of a resource.

After the resource has proposed future time off, managers and/or administrators can view availability information in PWA and Project Professional to see that the resource is not available during the proposed time off.

Team members enter requests for time off first and then use tasks defined in the administrative project to record actual work in the Tasks page.

Many organizations choose also to plan and capture time for any work-related activity in the organization. As such, an organization may face the situation where work activities can be divided into following categories:

  • Pure project work

  • Administrative type of activities, such as vacation, sick time, and so on

  • Planned maintenance type of activities, such as scheduled system updates, planned routine system checkups, and so on

  • Unplanned activities, such as emergency shutdowns for unplanned system upgrades in response to the emergence of an Internet virus

If your organization wants to capture all time spent by its employees for different activities, make sure that you create appropriate types of projects.

The Manage Administrative Projects link in Project Center allows you to add new or modify existing administrative projects, using Project Professional, as shown in Figure 16.34.

Figure 16.34. Click Add Project to create a new administrative project or click Modify Project to modify the existing selected project using Project Professional.

PAGE 240.

    QuantumPM - Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Unleashed
    Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Unleashed
    ISBN: 0672327430
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 227
    Authors: QuantumPM LLC

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