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Using Custom list entries to create Enterprise Projects

I have been playing around with Project Server 2013 for a while now and there is a specific, for the lack of a better term feature (I will refer it as a feature for the rest of this post) that from my point of view is easy to use and can add a lot of value. In Project Server 2013 you are able to make a site and in this site you are able to make a custom list. While that is not that interesting, it becomes a lot more interesting when you know that new items in that custom list can be promoted to Enterprise Projects.

Being able to promote custom list items to Enterprise Projects and able to map these list items to a specific Enterprise Project Type gives an organization a lot of options like:

Idea Center:

Letting employees fill the custom list with ideas that would benefit the organization in some way. When one of these idea’s is chosen to be implemented and is big enough to be a project you are able to easily take that idea and promote it to an Enterprise Project so that a Project Manager can start managing that project.

Proposal Center:

A sales department of an organization can enter all the proposals that are sent out to clients in the custom list. When a client accepts a proposals it can be immediately be promoted to an Enterprise Project.

I think people can think up a lot more ways to use this feature then these two example but it just shows how it can be used in an organization.

So how does it work?

I will start with the immediate drawback. To be able to promote custom list items from a site it needs to be a site that is under the /PWA site collection. The reason why I call this a drawback is that I rather see it being a SharePoint site like an intranet to make it easier for users to contribute idea’s for instances.

The site you create doesn’t really matter and for this example I am using a Team Site.

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When done making a new site the next step is making a custom list. When you created a custom list you can fill it with the columns you need.

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As you can see in the screenshot I created some Project Idea’s. Now if you want to promote a idea to a Enterprise Project select the item in the list and under the tab items select “Create Projects”. You will now get a screen that allows you to map info to custom fields that are present in Project Server 2013. Select your Enterprise Project Type and click on ok.

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Project Server 2013 will take the information you entered and will start making it an Enterprise Project Type and will be creating everything that is defined under that Enterprise Project Type for example: Workflows will be started and the Project Site and Project Plan Template will be created.

When Project Server 2013 is done the Project Manager can go to work on the project like you do with regular projects. This feature gives an organization another option to create projects and works really well and easy to use and I hope most of you will agree.

via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/using-custom-list-entries-to-create-enterprise-projects/

Robin Kruithof
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.

This article has been cross posted from speakingsilent.wordpress.com/ (original article)

Categories: Robin Kruithof, Work Tags:

Per-User Identity for Performance Point exhibits intermittent behavior

This week I had to troubleshoot a strange problem on SharePoint 2010 (But also applies to SharePoint 2013) of a client regarding PerformancePoint. The reason of this post is that it took a while to figure out the resolution and I have seen multiple people asking for a resolution for the same problem without a clear answer.

This specific client uses a lot of PerformancePoint Dashboards showing users their required information. All the dashboards are configured with “Per-User Idenitity” authencation. The reason I tell you this is that “Per-User Idenity” authencation needs to be Kerberos on the SharePoint farm  to function correctly. The client had a double two-tier SharePoint farm. So they had two databases and two application servers that also function as the web servers. All of a sudden out of nowhere all dashboards stopped working.

The client started to see the following errors:

"This action cannot complete because PerformancePoint Services is not configured correctly. Additional details have been logged for your administrator."

This error was displayed on almost all the dashboards. The strange thing is that if you refresh the page, sometimes a dashboard would show correctly. After searching through all the logs that didn’t give me a idea where the problems where coming from I opened one of the dashboards in the Dahsboard Designer and tested the connection there.

My results:

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I tried again:

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Whenever I tested my connection I got a successful connection once and then a error the next try. The above behavior points to a problem with authentication and so I went on a search on the internet to look for what I was missing. I found the following:

When running kerberos the account that run the Claims to Windows Token Service needs the following rights:

  • Local administrator on the application server running PerformancePoint

Local Security Policy

  • Act as part of the operating system
  • Impersonate a client after authentication
  • Log on as a service

As stated above the client had two application servers and there was the problem. For some reason still unknown the Claims to Token Windows Service account had the above rights removed on one of the servers.

I re-added the right for the account on that server, restarted the Claims to Token Windows Service and all the dashboards started working again like expected.

The moral of this story is: Check the configuration of both servers first before going on a wild goose chase.

The reason why the rights for the Claims to Token Windows Service where removed is unknown but it can only be that they have been removed manually or removed via a group policy so check with your IT Department so this does not happen again!

I hope this post helps people with a similar problem in the future as it can really take forever to figure out why this is not working.

via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/per-user-identity-for-performance-point-exhibits-intermittent-behavior/

Robin Kruithof
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.

This article has been cross posted from speakingsilent.wordpress.com/ (original article)

Categories: Robin Kruithof, Work Tags:

Project Professional 2013 Reports Revisit

May 27, 2013 1 comment

A long while ago I wrote about the new reports functionaly avialable in Project Professional 2013. When I wrote that piece I was still working with the preview version now with Project Professional being realease for a while now I just want to quickly revist the report functionality in Project Professional 2013.

 

In Project Professional 2013 there is a new reports tab with quite a few reports that can benefit any Project Manager.

The report tab is divided in subjects with corresponding reports:

- Dashboards (Project Overview, Burndown, ect.)
- Resources (Overallocated Resources, Resource Overview)
- Cost (Cash Flow, Earned Value Report, ect.)
- In Progress (Critical Task, Late Task, ect.)

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As you can see Microsoft did their best to give a Project Manager alot of differant options to report on thier project. These reports are really usefull to share information about your project and the reports are easily custimizable and make them accesable for any project manager.

All reports are easy to copy and past to other office products making it easy to use them for instance in PowerPoint.

If you are still working with Project Professional 2010 and thinking of going to Project Professional 2013 my advice just go for it the new functions and features make Project a lot better.

via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/project-professional-2013-reports-revisit/

Robin Kruithof
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.

This article has been cross posted from speakingsilent.wordpress.com/ (original article)

Categories: Robin Kruithof, Work Tags:

Microsoft releases Project Online

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Last week Microsoft released Project Online. For me it has been a long wait as I have been playing around with Project Online since the preview version was available in July 2012.

So for people that don’t know Project Online it is basically the cloud version of Project Server.  You now have the ability to provision it in the cloud and use it on a per user basis. In my opinion this will make Project Server functionality a lot more accessible and flexible to small and medium sized businesses.

I can image that a lot of businesses in the past didn’t choose for a PPM Solution like Project Server or any other PPM solution because of cost and effort that is needed to implement such a solution. Now with a few click of a button you have your own Project Online environment to support your projects. The per user basis of Project Online gives an organization a lot of flexibility in the use of the PPM solution.

So why should you and your business get excited about Project Online?

Project Online offers a centralized place for all your projects, a centralized resource pool to determine demand vs. capacity within your organization, it offers portfolio management, on demand reports and the list goes on. All you need to guide your projects to success.

In my opinion Project Online is a great step by Microsoft to make a PPM solution accessible to smaller markets. But it doesn’t stop there, it is also a great way for a bigger organizations to support program’s or specific departments. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/project/.

I am looking forward to see how the adaptation of Project Online will be in the coming months and the responds of the business that are using it.

via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/microsoft-releases-project-online/

Robin Kruithof
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.

This article has been cross posted from speakingsilent.wordpress.com/ (original article)

Categories: Robin Kruithof, Work Tags:

The moral of this story is…

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

A nice and quick post on one of my experiences at a client.

This client was having problems with their SharePoint & Project Server 2010 environment. All resources in Project Server where not able to click on Timesheets without the following error coming up:

Snagit1

Now the environment itself was not up to date with updates only running SharePoint 2010 SP1 with the August 2010 CU. Before I could troubleshoot the problem I wanted to get the environment to a decent service level. I chose the December CU of 2012 as it mentioned an issue solved that is very similar to the issue my client is experiencing.

Now I wanted to install the CU and got the following error:

save

I had troubles understanding why this happens until I came across a statement that said the entire environment needs to have at least SP1. Since my last visit the client had installed a language pack which I didn’t know off and the client did not update the languague pack  to SP1. To solve my issues I downloaded and installed service pack 1 for the language pack. Then I was able to run the SharePoint & Project Server 2010 December 2012 CU.

Luckily for me the SharePoint & Project Server 2010 December 2012 CU solved the issue of the view of the timesheet not being able to load. Getting the environment updated and solving the issue is like killing two birds with one stone yeah me!

So the moral of this story is: When installing new components to your SharePoint & Project Server farm always make sure you’ve installed the correct version with the correct updates this also includes language packs!

The next time I am getting the error “The expected version of the product was not found on the system” I will know where to look first.

That is it for me see you next time.

via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/the-moral-of-this-story-is/

Robin Kruithof
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.

This article has been cross posted from speakingsilent.wordpress.com/ (original article)

Categories: Robin Kruithof, Work Tags:

The365project

January 3, 2013 2 comments

the365project.net |

Just a small announcement.

Not so long ago the blog the365project launched. This blog has been created to provide tips around SharePoint, Project and Project Server. These tips are provided by MVP’s and all kind of members of the community  including me.

Every few days a new tip will be posted. There is already a lot of useful tips on there that you can take advantage of. So go take a look if you are interested http://the365project.net/

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via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/the365project/

Robin Kruithof
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.

This article has been cross posted from speakingsilent.wordpress.com/ (original article)

Categories: Robin Kruithof, Work Tags:

England, Project Server 2013 and learning

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Before I begin I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I wish you all a great 2013!

A lot of great things will happen in 2013. SharePoint & Project Server 2013 are out and I will be playing around with that and off course Project Online the cloud version of Project Server is on the horizon. Happy times I would say.

Now in December I had the pleasure of going to England to our Partner/Colleagues Corporate Project Solutions. The purpose of this visit to play and learn everything I could within three weeks of Project Server 2013. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at CPS for this great experience.  It was a honor to work with such a talented bunch of people.

So what did I learn?

I tried to learn as much as I can on some of the below topics:

  • Installing Project Server 2013.
  • Configuring new Exchange features (Task aggregation and Out of Office Sync)
  • ADFS and Office365 integration (Interesting topic with the coming of Project Online)
  • The new Project Server SharePoint Permission Model
  • The Transition from SharePoint Task List to Enterprise Projects
  • New Timesheet enhancements

Off course I did a lot more but these are the highlights. I’ll will blog about all these subjects as soon as I get around to it to give some more insight in the installation and new features.

In this post Ill talk a little about my experience when installing Project Server 2013.

One of the first things I started with at CPS was the installation of Project Server 2013. If you are familiar with the installation of SharePoint and Project Server 2010 you quickly realize that the core installation process of SharePoint 2013 and Project Server 2013 is almost identical.

So I won’t bore you with that except one note. I was building my environment on Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012. Strangely you still need to install the SQL Server Native Client 2008 and SQL Server 2008 ASAMO10 for the cube to build successfully. 

So what else?

Well there are some small changes like when you provision a Project Web App by default it will have the SharePoint Security Model. (I’ll talk about this model in a different post.) It can be turned back to the Project Server classic mode but only via PowerShell.

Project Server Mode (Classic)

Set-SPProjectPermissionMode –URL http://servername/pwa -AdministratorAccount domain\accountname -Mode ProjectServer

And if you wish back to SharePoint Mode. Note: Switching between SharePoint permission mode and Project Server permission mode deletes all security related settings.

SharePoint Mode

Set-SPProjectPermissionMode –URL htt://servername/pwa –AdministratorAccount domain\accountname –Mode SharePoint

With the coming of Project Online Microsoft has chosen to move some of the web functionality from the server setting to SharePoint Central Administration.

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General Queue Settings also have been moved from PWA Server settings to the Project Server Service Application.

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Is this it?

Well from what I learned these are the most notable. Off course there are some other additions but those are more SharePoint related then Project Server.

This is it for now in my next post I’ll talk about the new SharePoint permission model.

As for now I am done, again I wish you a good 2013 see you next year!

via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/england-project-server-2013-and-learning/

Robin Kruithof
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.

This article has been cross posted from speakingsilent.wordpress.com/ (original article)

Categories: Robin Kruithof, Work Tags:

Practice makes Perfect Part 8 – Customizing the Ribbon

November 1, 2012 Leave a comment

I have been working with Microsoft Project for a decent amount of time now and I go to a lot of clients during my Project Server implementations. One thing I noticed with the average Project Manager that they never use the feature to customize their ribbon. For the people that do not know what the ribbon is, it is the action bar where all the buttons reside in Office products.

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While most buttons you use in Project are already present in the ribbon, they sometimes are not in the place you like them to be. It is my experience that when working on your project plan you mostly use the “Task” tab in your ribbon. What I like to do, is to add a few buttons I use on regular basis in the other tabs to have them in available in the “Task” tab.

Because I work with Project Server a lot I always like to have the “Publish” button in my ribbon, the same goes for the “Set Baseline”, “Entire Project” and “Team planner” buttons.

So how do you do this?

That is the easy part. Go to “File” and select “Options”. In the options menu you can find “Customize Ribbon” and “Quick Access Toolbar”. For this post I will only customize my ribbon.

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When you selected the “Customize Ribbon” option you are able to add button to all tabs. Here we will customize the “Task” tab.

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Expand the “Task” tab. Now I advise you to make a custom tab for the buttons you want to add. To do this click on “New Group”.

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So that is the group. Now that we have our group lets populate it with the extra buttons we want shall we.

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Select the button you want to add in my case that is “Publish” and press add. Now select other buttons you want and press ok. Go back to the tab you customized to see the result.

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It is that easy. Above the result. Having these buttons all in the “Task” tab saves me the hassle to go the other tabs for them. Everything you need one click away.

via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/practice-makes-perfect-part-8-customizing-the-ribbon/

Robin Kruithof
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.

This article has been cross posted from speakingsilent.wordpress.com/ (original article)

Categories: Robin Kruithof, Work Tags:

Second session new release of Microsoft Project

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Microsoft Project 2013After a vacation of both authors we are back and recharged and ready for whatever the last two months of 2012 can throw at us. Blogs will start popping up again in a sort of regular fashion. To start this of, I would like to announce that I am again giving a Dutch presentation at Microsoft in the Netherlands about the new release of Microsoft Project on the 1ste of November.

I am really pleased that I can do this again. I will be giving a overview on what is new in Project Professional 2013 and show you the cloud based version of Microsoft Project Server “Project Online” This session will give you a good overview of the new enhancements and features in the new release that will help anyone that works with Microsoft Project.

It is a free session so if you are interested you can sign up at the link below. Please keep in mind this session is in the Netherlands and will be given in Dutch.

First Look new release of Microsoft Project

6864-microsoftlogo450x0

Hope to see you there

via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/second-session-new-release-of-microsoft-project/

Robin Kruithof
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.

This article has been cross posted from speakingsilent.wordpress.com/ (original article)

Categories: Robin Kruithof, Work Tags:

Practice makes Perfect Part 7 – Groups and Filters

September 20, 2012 1 comment

Microsoft Project Pro 2013 Preview Full Serial x86 x64In my post Practice makes Perfect Part 3 – Views I explained how you can make your own  view. In that post I promised to also show how you can make your own groups and filters. While I expect a lot of people find this easy or just use the default groups and filters it is still useful for beginners.

I will also take the time to go trough the default filters and groups and might be useful on a daily basis.

And again I will be using the preview version of Project Professional 2013 for this post. This is not the final product and changes may still occur. If you are curios about the new version of Microsoft Project go here and try it out for yourself.

So where can I find groups and filters?

There are actually two ways to use groups and filters in your project. When you are in you project select the view tab.

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The other ways is in your Gantt Chart and go to Task Name and expand it (Dropdown). As you can see in the image below you are able to select Group By and Filters.

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What groups and filters are there?

There are a lot of built in groups and filters. These are very useful to any Project Manager. Some good groups include: Auto scheduled v. Manually scheduled, Status, Milestones and Complete and Incomplete task. These groups are great way to get the information out of your project plan fast.

Some good filters include: Completed tasks, Critical, Incomplete tasks, Late tasks and Milestones. Like groups this is a great way to filter all the data in your project plan.

Using groups and filters is a timesaver when you are working with big project plans and you have to get to the data you want quickly.

How can I make my own Group?

Go to the view tab and select the groups. Expand it and select “New Group By”.

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In the next screen you be able to make your group. In the image below I made a easy selection. I will group by milestone to see all the tasks that are milestones. In the order I selected descending to force tasks that are milestones to appear on top. I also have changed the cell background to light blue. Here you also have the ability to show the summary task where the milestones resides just to give you more information. As you can see you also have the ability to group the data by more then one field.

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Grouping this way will give you this result.

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As you can see this is a really easy way to group your data really quickly. Making this group took me about 1 minute. And if you are a Project Manager that 1 minute will properly save you 15 minutes if you would have to look for all the milestones in a big project plan. Next how to filter.

How can I make my own Filter?

Making your own filter on the same way you made a group. Go to the view tab and select the filter. Expand it and select “New filter” For this exercise I made a quick filter that filters on my own custom field Progress and show the tasks that equals the value Yellow. This basically filters my project plan on tasks that have a yellow smiley.

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The image below show the outcome of the filter.

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Using Groups and Filters is really easy and can save you a lot of time when working with big project plans. Both the group and filter have been made in about 1 minute.

I hope this post demonstrates how to make groups and filters and how easy it is. When working with big project plans and especially custom fields where you don’t have a filter or group for it is a must to know how to do this so you can access your data fast.

This is it for me. In the next post of Practice makes Perfect will be talking about Costs and Budgets in your project plan.

via SpeakingSilent » Robin Kruithof http://speakingsilent.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/practice-makes-perfect-part-7-groups-and-filters/

Robin Kruithof
I am Robin Kruithof. I am working at CXS in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Project Consultant. My passion lies in Project Management and everything in the Project Management domain.

This article has been cross posted from speakingsilent.wordpress.com/ (original article)

Categories: Robin Kruithof, Work Tags:
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