Microsoft Project Online

What is Microsoft Project Server?

Microsoft Office Project Server is a project management server solution from Microsoft. It uses Microsoft SharePoint as its foundation, and it works with either Microsoft Project Professional as a client application, and/or a browser connecting to its Project Web App (PWA) component. It stores project information in a central SQL Server database, and  provides project management, work management, and portfolio management capabilities.

Within Project Server, the Project Center allows for reporting across an organization, and allows managers to drill down various levels of detail. Resource workloads can be analyzed by project and by resource in the Resource Center, allowing organizations to forecast resource requirements etc.  And each project can have a Project Workspace  – a Microsoft SharePoint Teamsite, that allows the project team to share documents, issues and risks.

So what is Microsoft Project Online?

Project Online is the name/branding that Microsoft has created for their own cloud-based hosted version of Microsoft Project Server (rather than you hosting it using your own hardware.)  The functionality is almost exactly the same, but new features are sometimes released for Project Online before they are made available as Project Server upgrades.

How do I implement Microsoft Project Online?

Project Online is very flexible, highly configurable, and has a wide range of functionality.  Many organizations do not use all the capabilities of the product, particularly when they are getting started.  At Key Consulting we take a structured approach to determining an organization’s needs and then planning and implementing an appropriate solution, as follows:

Phase 1 Requirements and Configuration Mapping

  • Kick off meeting
  • Gain system access
  • Audit/validate existing installation and configuration
  • Stakeholder identification and role-based user mapping
  • Project Life-cycle mapping
  • Discuss MS Project features for possible use

Deliverable: Initial requirements document

Phase 2 Configuration and Workflow Requirements

  • Conduct stakeholder meetings to establish configuration and workflow requirements

Deliverable: Workflow documentation
Deliverable: Configuration requirements document

Phase 3 Configure

  • Implement configuration
  • Set up workflows
  • Build resource pool
  • Setup role-based security and permissions

Deliverable: Configured system
Deliverable: Phased implementation plan

Phase 4 Pilot Implementation

  • Build Project Center views and project detail views
  • Build dashboards
  • Build resource allocation views and reporting
  • Implement system for pilot projects/portfolios
  • Use case testing and system adjustments

Deliverable: Pilot users using system for pilot projects/portfolios

Phase 5 Implementation Expansion

  • Expand system implementation to wider groups of stakeholders

Deliverable: Expanded user base

Phase 6 Training

  • Conduct admin training
  • Conduct project manager training
  • Conduct resource manager training
  • Conduct training for other Web Access users

Deliverable: Trained users