Project Outline Codes

Enterprise Project Outline Codes provide a set of customizable hierarchical fields that you can use to model your unique project data requirements. These hierarchical attributes can be later assigned to individual tasks, resources, or projects in your portfolio.

Planning Enterprise Project Outline Codes

This section discusses some planning considerations for Enterprise Project Outline Codes.

Organizational and project portfolio reporting requirements should be always on your mind when it comes to Enterprise Project Outline Codes.

You may start with a look at your reporting requirements first and then work your way back to define a set of outline codes and custom fields to support your organizational reporting requirements.

Begin with the planning and design of Enterprise Project Outline Codes. Organizations that have a small number of projects in their corporate project portfolio compared to the number of their enterprise resources might find them easier to relate to and define than Enterprise Resource Outline Codes.

If your organization has a sizable portfolio of projects, it is best to find an approach that minimizes the number of future changes needed to be made to the Enterprise Project Outline Codes. The following example will help you better understand why.

The Enterprise Resource Pool allows you to manage all your enterprise resources centrally. If you need to make changes to 3,000 resources in your resource pool, you can do this in a single placethe Enterprise Resource Pool. If you have 1,000 projects in your corporate project portfolio, it may take a long time to change a single required Enterprise Project Outline Code for all your projects. If your organization is experiencing problems with a particular required Enterprise Project Outline Code, change that Enterprise Outline Code to a nonrequired code first before removing it completely.

To establish a set of project attributes for your organization, you first need to determine all information that needs to be reported about projects.

Consider a short example of how you might establish the Enterprise Outline Code requirements. BBBpm Consulting has offices in Denver and Toronto. Some projects are located in Toronto, and some are in Denver. BBBpm Consulting also has many other clients and several project sponsors overseeing the projects. Based on this information, BBBpm Consulting can consider the following three Enterprise Project Outline Codes: location (includes country, state, and city), client (the clients), and project sponsor (the project sponsors). In addition, BBBpm Consulting wants to be able to group and filter its project portfolio by project priority and project status. For each task, BBBpm Consulting decided that project tasks will have billing code information attached.

The design of your Enterprise Project Outline Codes determines to a large degree your project portfolio reporting capabilities. Part of the EPM solution design is a design of custom reports and views. Views enable sophisticated and flexible project portfolio reporting. Enterprise Project Outline Codes enable you to use custom filtering, sorting, and grouping as part of your custom views used for project portfolio reporting.

Project Center views can use the Enterprise Project Outline Codes to filter, group, and sort projects by location, status, sponsor, or other information defined as Enterprise Project Outline Codes.

PAGE 209.

You also need to think about how and where you develop and define your Enterprise Project Outline Codes. Your Enterprise Project Outline Codes may already be defined in other enterprise systems. Perhaps your accounting system already has project attributes, such as project location and status defined, and you can integrate your accounting system with Project Server 2003 and use the codes already defined in your accounting system. To integrate with other enterprise systems, Project Server 2003 provides the Project Data Service (PDS) interface.

PAGE 793.

The other, more often used option is to define, develop, and maintain your Enterprise Project Outline Codes in the Enterprise Global template.

Defining Enterprise Project Outline Codes

The capability to perform effective resource assignments and enterprise reporting are the two primary features driven by the Enterprise Resource Outline Codes.

You are now ready to define your Enterprise Project Outline Codes based on the business requirements you previously identified.

Before you can define your Enterprise Project Outline Codes, make sure that the following actions are completed:

  • Identify your company's business requirements.

  • Plan the Enterprise Project Outline Code implementation.

  • Establish the Enterprise Project Outline Code utilization guidelines.

  • Define and develop the custom filters, views, and reports that will use the Enterprise Project Outline Codes.

  • Review the project portfolio reporting requirements.

Enterprise Project Outline Codes have a major impact on your overall EPM solution usability. Proper definition and use of Enterprise Outline Codes make project portfolio management tasks easier and reduce the overall time required for EPM system administration.

Another benefit of well-designed Enterprise Project Outline Codes is that they can help you with standardization of your project portfolio management processes.

An Enterprise Project Outline Code should be defined as a required code only when there is a good reason to ask all project managers in your organization to use it. Consider the following scenario. Projects managed by your IT Infrastructure team may have different requirements than projects managed by your Marketing department. If any Enterprise Outline Code is defined as a required code, the Marketing department will need to specify a value for the outline code even if it is only relevant to the IT Infrastructure team.

Rules for Defining Enterprise Project Outline Codes

Consider the following general rules based on recommendations from the Microsoft Project Server 2003 Application Configuration Guide when defining your Enterprise Project Outline Codes:

  • Use names that are clear, concise, and unambiguous to other members in your organization.

  • Use names that match names used by related systems or systems that may be a source of datafor example, external Human Resources systems or Microsoft Active Directory.

  • Avoid special characters such as / " ; : < > | [ ] , . ' ? ~ ` ! $ % ^ & * ( ) - + = { or } when naming Enterprise Outline Codes; these may cause errors when generating the OLAP cube used by the Microsoft Office Project Web Access 2003 View tables, Portfolio Modeler, and Portfolio Analyzer.

  • If an Enterprise Outline Code data is located in some form of external data, it can be extracted and used to define a lookup table (only after the code mask is defined) by copying and pasting the data into the lookup table directly.

  • You can also use the PDS application programming interface (API) to automatically populate Enterprise Outline Codes from other systems. The Service for Enterprise Data Maintenance in the PDS can simplify the maintenance of lookup tables associated with Enterprise Outline Codes.


For more details about the rules for planning and defining Enterprise Outline Codes, review the Microsoft Project Server 2003 Application Configuration Guide, Chapter 5, "Working with Enterprise Outline Codes," available from

Additional Considerations for Enterprise Project Outline Codes

You should take into account several other considerations:

  • Consider establishing an Other, NA, or Unspecified entry for each Enterprise Outline Code. Enterprise Outline Codes are defined in advance, and users should be allowed to select a "fallback" code lookup table entry if they do not find an appropriate code lookup table entry to use.

  • Codes are alphabetized within each outline code level during selection of values. If you want to force a different, nonalphabetical order, prefix the code values with a number (01) or a series of letters (AA).

  • Making an outline code a required code is the best way to ensure that project attributes are consistently applied to all your projects. A project manager cannot save a project without entering a value for a required Enterprise Project Outline Code.

Using Enterprise Project Outline Codes

After you define your project outline codes, it is time to take a closer look at their use. Table 9.1 provides an example of project attributes used for Enterprise Project Outline Codes.

Table 9.1. Project Attributes Example

Project Attribute















































Los Angeles


San Francisco








British Columbia



Project Sponsor

List of sponsor names

To create new Enterprise Project Outline Codes, follow these steps:


In the Project Professional client select Tools, Enterprise Options, Open Enterprise Global Template.


To display the Customize Enterprise Fields dialog box, choose Tools, Customize, Enterprise Fields from the menu.

PAGE 163.

To attach an Enterprise Project Outline Code representing a project attribute to projects themselves, the project manager specifies the outline codes upon saving the project schedule the first time.


If the Enterprise Outline Code was configured as a required code, and your users experience difficulties with the use of the code, remove the required flag first, making the outline code optional, before deleting the outline code completely.

If you define any Enterprise Outline Code with too many entriesthousands of entries and many hierarchy levelsit can negatively affect the performance of the Project Professional and Project Web Access (PWA) client when you view project data organized (filtered or grouped) by that Enterprise Outline Code. For more details, review the Microsoft knowledge base article 872819 available from;en-us;872819.

    QuantumPM - Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Unleashed
    Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Unleashed
    ISBN: 0672327430
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 227
    Authors: QuantumPM LLC © 2008-2017.
    If you may any questions please contact us: