Saturday, December 27, 2014

An approach to demand management using Project Online / Project Server 2013

Demand management have to go through several phases, including submitting the ideas, creating the proposals, selecting the best out of them, planning, assigning resources, and finally managing and executing the approved projects.

In general, managing any work request, whether it’s a new idea, or an IT change request, would have to go through several phases until its completion. The initial proposals and project ideas are generally referred to as demands, and Demand Management is the process for collecting these demands and managing them throughout the entire project life cycle.

The planning and management phases are accomplished by the more familiar project management processes by using Project Professional and Project Web App.

On this blog, sharing a new approach for demand management.

A typical scenario,
1. Resources should have a place to submit their ideas with set of information.
2. Stake holders / Portfolio managers should be notified when the ideas submitted.
3. The ideas must be approved / rejected by portfolio managers.
4. Automatically, the ideas should be converted as Project after the approval
The demands or ideas can be converted as Project only after the stake holder’s approval. 
The person who submits the ideas may or may not have access to the PWA.

1. Create a Sub site under PWA site collection
2. Create a list in that sub site with required columns and appropriate data types
Note: These columns are going to be mapped with PWA custom fields
3. Publish a workflow using SharePoint designer 2013 to push the data from the list to Project Server after the approval.

Steps are described in detail below: 
Step 1. Add a Sub site under PWA site collection
1. Open PWA instance --> Gear Icon --> Site Settings --> Sites and Workspaces
2. Click on Create --> Type a Title and URL according to your naming convention.
3. Choose Team Site as template and "Use same permissions as parent site".
Note: Tested with "Team site" and default permission, it should work with others as well.

Step 2: Create a list with appropriate columns and data types
1. Open that Sub site --> Gear Icon --> Add an app
2. Click on Custom List, give a name and click Create.
3. Open the custom list, click on List tab in the ribbon and List settings, and create columns
For Ex: Idea Name, Description, Region, Proposal cost and duration
Note: The corresponding PWA instance should have equivalent custom fields to capture the information from list, otherwise the application cannot push the data from the list to project server.

Step 3. Create a workflow using SharePoint Designer
1. Open SharePoint designer 2013 à Open the sub site
2. Click on the “List Workflow” and choose the list
Sample workflow:

1. Project managers submit their ideas using the list
2. The workflow associated with the list will send an alert to the stake holder.
3. If the task is approved, then the list item will be converted as project in the PWA instance.

More Info: 
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Project Online (O365) Explained : Microsoft Project Online vs. Microsoft Project Server 2013 On-Premises

Lot of people have confusion about the terminology Project online, hence decided to blog on this topic. This will be useful to the customers who are planning to purchase Project online / Project pro for O365 and provides clear information about the terminology.

What is Project Online?

Project Online is an integrated solution of Microsoft O365 environment for project and portfolio management.  In other words, Microsoft provides "Project Server 2013" to customers through Software as a Service (SaaS), it is basically meant for the customer who plans implement Enterprise project management (EPM).

Microsoft maintains the servers in a highly secured environment on robust servers with high end backup and disaster strategy.

About the License & subscription

Project Online
Server Edition, Web based access (Project Server 2013)
For team members, project participants and business decision makers
Project Pro for Office 365
For project managers, resource managers, PMO, business decision makers.
For project managers, resource managers
Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365
For project managers, resource managers, PMO, business decision makers
Project Lite               
For project team members to manage their tasks and timesheets, and collaborate on projects.

 Project Online Vs On-premise:

Project Online
·         Portfolio managers, project managers, and team members can access Project Online from anywhere with an Internet connection.
·         Users can check the status of a project anytime using online dashboards and mobile devices
·         Servers are deployed in Microsoft data center, hence all operational maintenance activities are handled through the Project Online support team.
·         No upfront infrastructure costs and licenses are purchased as per user basis
·         Customer has to deploy their servers with appropriate network privileges to publish the PWA to internet.

·         Cost involved as it requires additional hardware accessories.

·         Customer has to purchase high end servers and hire support professionals to maintain the servers to get max. Up time.

·         Since it’s a dedicated server, need to purchase the license for Operating System and SharePoint / Project Server 2013

Reference: (White Paper)

Summary: Use this white paper to compare the differences between implementing Project Server 2013 through an on-premises or cloud solution.
This white paper, created by Rob Bowers (Microsoft Senior Consultant), provides guidance and best practices for those who plan to implement Project Server 2013 in their organization. It provides an analytical comparison of both the Project Online solution versus implementing a Project Server 2013 on-premises solution, and describes scenarios in which you would select one solution over the other. The target audiences for this white paper are partners, consultants, decision makers, and technical personnel who need to understand what is required to successfully implement Project Server 2013 in their environment, whether it be an on-premises solution or an online solution with Office 365.

A feature/function comparison of Project Online and Project Server 2013

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