Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Project Time Reporter

Hello All

It is with great excitement that I share that news. rolling drums...

The Project Time Reporter iPhone app is available

This is so great. I had a chance to test it and it looks amazing.

Please have a read to the Microsoft article and download the app
More information on how to get started with the app is available here : Getting started with Office 365 Project Time Reporter

I may update this article later on based on my tests but I wanted to share the big news

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Project SKUs, what you need to know in a nutshell!

Hi Folks !

Quite a long time since I didn't publish a new post, sorry for that! Hopefully my blog mate backed me up on this, thanks Jérôme!

I'd like to share with you today some fresh information about the new SKUs for the Project cloud subscription plans effective August 15th 2016. This article might be updated since we are still on the way to get it fully clear. It also might contain some inaccuracies that I'll be pleased to correct, see the disclaimer at the end of the page. If you do need clear and official information about this plan, contact your Microsoft representative.

You can always refer to those following links from Microsoft to have the clear picture. I'll not repeat what is said on those articles, but give some insights.

Note that there is no deprecation, this is purely a change to licensing. Let's start with the basics, the 3 new SKUs:

Project Online Essentials: it replaces as is the former Project Lite. Same features, same price, different name. You just get access to Project Online via the web app, so no desktop client (Project Pro).

Project Online Professional: don't mix it with Project Professional which is the desktop client. Actually this desktop client coming with the Online subscriptions will now be named "Project Online Desktop Client" so SKUs are self-explanatory. 
This Project Online Professional SKU is actually more or less equivalent to the former Project Online with Project Pro for O365 SKU, meaning that it includes Project Pro (so Project Online Desktop Client if you follow me), but with restricted functionalities. We can mention the new Dashboard app, the portfolio module, resource engagements (approve/reject/modify) : they all are NOT part of available features for this SKU. Note that you can request resource engagements, which seems obvious for a PM role. This SKU is intended to be assigned to administrators.
Talking about price, this SKU has no equivalent in the former model, so tricky to compare, but let's say that at $30, it is still cheaper that the former PO SKU ($33) which was only web accessible (not desktop client) but more features.

Project Online Premium: this is the full license, all included, full package. It comes at $55, so a $3 economy compared to the former PO with Project for O365.

So who should have what? The easiest: team members with Project Lite just need Project Online Essentials since it is transparent. Then the Project Online Professional would be for project managers. The tricky point is that as soon as your PM have an extended role (demand management, portfolio management, dashboard reporting), they'll be out of this SKU's scope and would require the Premium SKU; as well as for the resource managers. Still, it is cheaper than the former SKU. But talking with the MVP folks, we ended up with the conclusion that we would require intermediate SKUs for team leads and resource managers. Those roles usually don't require Project Pro, but do need advanced features included in the Professional and Premium SKUs.

As for the reporting part, users will need the Premium or Professional SKU to elaborate and share reports/dashboards through PowerBI, but the Premium SKU is required for the Project PowerBI content packs. To access those dashboards, users will need at least the Professional SKU (with the Odata feed access).

As additional information, I can tell you that there is no change for on-premise and perpetual plans. Moreover, as for the former plan, the licensing restrictions are not enforced in the application today. Finally, a very fresh information from Brian Smith (he should soon blog about it), beginning in February 2017, due to architectural changes to features in Project Online which impact older versions of Project, Project Online will require the latest version of Project to connect to Office 365. Thus for example, no more Project 2013 for Project Online.

Last but not least, it seems that there will NOT be a Project Pro for O365 subscription anymore. If you require only MS Project Pro (without Project Online), you need to get it through the perpetual license, you won't be able to get it with the former monthly subscription. As far as I understood, if you have now Project Pro for O365, the plan is : you'll be reassigned to the Project Online Professional SKU, so you'll also get access to the Project Online web interface, even if you are just in a standalone mode. 

I'll ask you guys to take carefully this information, like all the content of this article, since all that I share with you is pretty fresh, so I might still need to dig into it and update it based on the regular information we get from Microsoft.

EDIT 2016-08-25: comment from my blog mate: the Pro SKU gives you the ability to request engagement, but not to modify/approve/reject. We are typically in the model of the Pro SKU for PM and Premium SKU for RM.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Office 365 Project Portfolio Dashboard Direct Link

Hello all

I've been playing those days with the Office 365 Project Portfolio Dashboard.

Doing so, I wanted to create a link to the dashboard from the quick-launch menu and from the report library.

Tip 1: The URL of the report seems ugly but can be simplified to

https://<your instance>

Tip 2: Use the new SharePoint style in the Report  library to include the link in your list of reports

Click on new / Link

Enter the above direct link to the dashboard

And here you go, a great link in your list of reports

Happy Dashboarding

pingback : Brian' comment in 
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Access Denied in Office 365 Project Portfolio Dashboard (Project Server Permission)

Hello all

A quick update today on the Office 365 Project Portfolio Dashboard.
Whilst I create the WoW effect in demonstrating the new Dashboard functionality to all of my customer, I recently faced an issue.

Microsoft has released a new version of the Dashboard that I was eager to download (as all new things)

As soon as I installed the latest version I encountered an issue accessing the Dashboard :(

Then, I tried different things, such as verifying that I am in the right Project Server group, reinstalling the app. None appears to resolve the issue.

While showing the case to Microsoft, something in the description of the dashboard jumped out at me:
Can you believe that, while using Project Server Permission mode, users have to be in BOTH Project Server group AND SharePoint group... bad point for the management of the security from my point of view as we have 2 places to manage the security.

Anyway, after adding myself to the Administrator for Project Web App group, I have now access back to the office 365 Portfolio Dashboard 

Side note : I tried to cheat the system to add an AD group to that group but unfortunately, the Dashboard is not picking up those groups.

Happy Dashboarding

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Project Online: Microsoft extends the boundaries!

Today I had in my todo list the task to manually deploy a beta package of the portfolio dashboard application on a customer tenant. That could be the topic of a future intersting article: I had to create a app catalog site, which I never did beofre, in order to upload the app. But I stop there, this is not what we are talking about today!

So back in the Sharepoint admin center, I saw something new. Just see by yourself:

Back in times, the first limitations for PWA instances was 3. Not so many... Then a few months later, the Project Online boundaries were extended and we could have up to 7 instances. So it seems like we can have 9,999 PWAs now! 
You'll say "what are you going to do with 9,999 instances??". I agree, but it could be usefull in some cases and I have experienced some. For large companies where it implies to much compromises to rationalize the PWA configuration and to get all the organization into a unique solution, you could need dedicated PWAs per Business Units. Having a test, training and prod instances for each BU, for 10 BUs you get 30 PWAs... 

Still far from 9,999, but I guess the important point here is that MS continues pushing away the cloud-based solutions boundaries. 9,999 almost means no limit at all, and this is a good message delivered to customers and consultants.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I'm now (again) Microsoft P-Seller for Project!!

Back in 2014, I wrote this post "I'm now a Microsoft P-Seller for Project!!" which was surprisingly one of the most popular on this blog, talking about being nominated as P-Seller Project for Québec province. I don't know if it is due to some spamming on the blog or because there is only a few blog talking about being P-Seller, but anyway, it was a successful article!

Going to the point, back in France, I'm now again P-Seller for South-West French area for Project.

I’ve located this text, which explains the program:

"The Microsoft P-Seller (former VTS-P) is a select group chosen from the elite in Microsoft’s partner community, whose focus is to augment Microsoft’s internal Technology Specialist team. Their primary role is to communicate the value of Microsoft Solutions to customers and to provide architectural guidance for Enterprise Integration solutions. The Microsoft P-Seller program was designed to create a deeper relationship with Microsoft Partners, the Product Teams at Microsoft Corporate, and Regional Microsoft Offices, in order to provide highly skilled solution specialists to Microsoft customers. It is designed to enable a high performance team of partner-based resources to deliver pre-sale activities and resources to empower customers and help them meet their solution and integration needs."

I now get access to information on the Microsoft corporate network such as knowledge bases, technical articles, training materials, and other resources. I also get guest access to Microsoft facilities, and priority for participating in Microsoft marketing events. This is a really great opportunity, I'm proud to be a part of this elite community, and I look forward to all that comes from it. 

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Resource engagement: utilization calcuation setting


If you are using Project Online or Project Server 2016, you might have activated the resource engagement new feature. In case you are not familiar with this functionality, you can read this post I wrote when the feature was released. It comes in replacment of the resource plans. An interesting capability of the resource plan was to set wheither the capacity/resource utilization was calculated from the project, the resource plan or both (specifying a transition date). 

Now where is this parameter? Navigating in the PWA capacity plans from the resource center, I couldn't find it. Got this answer thanks to the MVP distribution list, you have to set it using MS Project Pro, going to the project information. Note that the setting is available only for the published projects.

The "project plan until" still has the same behavior. This will trigger the utilization calculation from the project plan on a short term horizon until the specified date and then from the resource engagements.

Got it?

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