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.
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.
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:
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:
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 http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/office/proj2003/reskit/default.mspx.
Additional Considerations for Enterprise Project Outline Codes
You should take into account several other considerations:
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.
To create new Enterprise Project Outline Codes, follow these steps:
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 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;872819.