Uncategorized

Auto Calculate is switched off by mistake (CTRL-F9) Recently one of my customers was having an issue with Project not "behaving"correctly.  As I was demonstrating how Project works, he was doing the same but without anything updating on his project.  I don't often see this problem...

Changing the Permissions Mode in Project Online Introduction This is really the briefest of blogs to let you know of a UI change away from SharePoint to Project Online.  Permissions Modes Since Project Online came into being there have been two permissions modes, the default SharePoint one, and the...

Managing Sprints and Agile in Project Introduction This is the second in a two part series covering the Agile capabilities of Microsoft Project. In the first article, we discussed Kanban boards. Now we will look at Microsoft’s Scrum implementation, or, to use the Microsoft terminology, Sprint Projects....

<Tuborg> Using Kanban Boards in Microsoft Project Introduction There has been a lot written over the last year regarding Microsoft’s foray into the world of Agile Project Management by way of new improvements into Microsoft Project. This article provides an update based upon one of the latest versions,...

<G&T> Modifying Microsoft’s #ProjectOnline #PowerBI Content Pack to Support Your Language - Polish, Russian and now Polish. <180822 - Update> A quick note of thanks to Bartek from Poland for his Polish contribution - the download is still available from here. <\180222 - Update>   This article shows you how to...

<G&T> Modifying the Menus in Project Over the years I have run hundreds of training courses and one of the issues I often hear from people is the complexity of the ribbon, because there are simply too many icons, and people aren't sure which ones to use...

<soup> Creating a Date Table in Power Query Simply because this asked for recently, here's some M-code that you can paste into Power Query to create a data calendar - please note no warranties etc are implied by publishing this code.   /* Power Query Code (M-code) to create date...

<Flat white> Modifying Microsoft’s #ProjectOnline #PowerBI Content Pack to Support Your Language This article shows you how to modify Microsoft's standard Project Online Content Pack to support additional languages. Content Pack Overview If you are using Project Online (PJO) then you are probably using the OData feed for reporting...

<Tetley Tea> Project Online Work and Capacity Graphs in Power BI - solution starter A lot of my work now revolves around producing Power BI reports using the Project Online oData feed (you can find my reporting pack for Project Online here) , and of course one...

<flat white> Creating Resource Work and Capacity Graphs in #MSProject A customer posed the challenge earlier this week of producing a work and capacity report using the Reports feature in MS Project.   Using the existing Resource Overview Report I was happy with getting the total work per resource from...

<tea> European SharePoint Conference 2017 At the back end of last year I was honoured to be able to speak at the ESC2017, the second time I've spoken at the ESC.  The title this year was taking Project Online from 0-60 in one hour...

<coffee> Microsoft have very recently released their latest content pack for Project Online and details can be found on the Project Support Blog and the Tech Community Blog. Whilst the new content pack is a big improvement on the previous one, it still...

<tea> Microsoft Project has long been considered as a tool that can only be used with structured , rigid tasks.  Typically this type of project is known as a Waterfall project (despite various blogs showing you how you can use Project to manage an...

<tea> There has been some speculation that Microsoft might provide a link between MS Project and Microsoft Planner for quite some time, and now it seems that they’ve done it. From the Task tab, you should be able to see the Link to Planner button (highlighted below). You...

<Nothing more interesting than tea…> I’m really pleased to announce that I’m presenting at the Power BI World Tour at the London event on 23-24th August 2017. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Power BI and to mix with your peers and industry experts. ...

<East London Brewery Jamboree> If like me, you’re based in the UK and you deal with organisations based in Scandinavia  (and others of course) you cannot fail to notice that our Scandinavian colleagues tend to specify dates using the day (Monday = day 1, Tuesday =...

Happy to note I’ve been re-awarded as an MVP for Microsoft Project again, for the 9th year running :) ...

<ice cream> I’ve been meaning to write about Durations for a while, and was inspired to get a move on when I read fellow MVP and cousin Dales Howard’s blog on trusting the schedule. During every training session and Project Online consultancy engagement I always talk about...

<white cappo> One of my customers recently commented that his projects always had a start date of 12th October 2009… After some investigation it became apparent that it was the way he was creating the project file.  Most people will just open Project and a new file...

<coffee> Take Project Online from 0-60 in 1 Hour I’m delighted to say I’ve been selected to speak once again at the European SharePoint Conference which is being held in Dublin during 14-16th November 2017.   The session overview is below Take Project Online from 0-60 in 1 Hour Getting started...

<frothy coffee> One of the nice things about the Project Online licence model is the occasional new feature which magically appears.  As of this morning when I was updated to the Version 1704 (April 2017 for those who like long names) I’m now able to use...

<mineral water> I was lucky enough to be invited back to Kyiv by fellow MVP Oleksiy Prsonitskiy to present at the Ukrainian Project Conference.  If you’ve never been to Kyiv, it’s worth the effort with some great sights and great food. https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/PublicProfile/4032153?fullName=Oleksiy%20%20Prosnitskiy http://www.project-conference.com.ua/ I presented on two topics, Microsoft...

<coffee> One of my customers recently wanted to calculated %Planned for each task (and therefore each project).  They had done a little research on the net but the formula they found didn’t work in Project Online, only MS Project. So what is %Planned? In it’s simplest form, %Planned...

<tea> Some of the clients I work with are really big, and some are really small.  The smaller ones tend to want things that are really simple and I wanted a quick way to ensure that they can only select a single EPT in order to...

  It came to my attention recently that my previous post on Gantt Charts in Power BI needed slight modification in order to display the correct length of the Gantt bar.  In the post I used the ProjectDuration to display the duration on the Gantt bar,...

<Coffee> Introduction Over the months and years I’ve seen a tonne of issues regarding the ability, or inability to edit Enterprise Calendars.  I started a blog about this a while ago http://www.applepark.co.uk/issues-with-multiple-project-server-accounts/ which provides some troubleshooting issues.  This blog is an update to that and I’ll try...

Over the last year or so Power BI has made a real charge to become THE reporting tool for many applications, including of course Project Online.  There are lots of great things about Power BI (and some not so great too!), including the very quick...

<coffee> I recently ran an MPUG session integrating Project with Excel.  Part of the presentation was using the Visual Reports feature and exporting the data to Excel, and I had one of those questions which caught me out (though it shouldn’t have, I’d just had a...

<baileys> Typically I don’t blog about service packs, feature packs, CUs, PUs and anything else release related, however, this time I’m making an exception because Microsoft have now officially released Microsoft Planner!  Planner can be used to create plans, and organise and collaborate on tasks, and...

<jana mineral water> I’m delighted to be have presented at the SPC Adriatics 2016 on a couple of topics regarding Project Online, and decided to record the sessions so I could share them to a wider audience.   Alas I only remembered to record part way through...

#ProjectOnline #ProjectServer #PowerBI #PowerQuery #BI #Office365 #Excel #PPM <tea> Just a quick plug for an article I recently wrote for the TechNet UK blog – it’s an expansion on a previous blog and works as an introduction to PowerBI with Project Online and is available here… http://blogs.technet.com/b/uktechnet/archive/2015/12/29/is-power-bi-the-christmas-present-you-were-waiting-for.aspx Whilst I’m...

<Frothy Coffee> Recently I’ve been working with a customer on getting a simple way of displaying resource information.  In truth I started with manipulating data in Excel using VBA, but quickly realised that there was a better way to do this using PowerBI. The end result (or...

<ice cream> In this series of blogs, I’m going to try list the differences between Project 2013 and Project 2016 – I’ll be comparing the Professional versions so if you’ve got the standard version then not every change will impact you.  Also, I’m not...

<tea> It’s a bit of a mundane topic this one, but like all of my topics, it’s soooo real world! I have a customer (okay, so I’ve got lots, not just the one!) and this particular customer is only using Project Online, and not Project Pro for...

<Early morning coffee> When it comes to Risks and Issues, I find that many of my customers wish to transfer their existing Risks and Issues Matrix, often held in Excel , directly into the pre-existing SharePoint lists on the project site.  Excel is an excellent tool,...

The Project MVP community is hosting the 1st ever Project Virtual Conference.  Running for 24 hours on the 22nd October, it encompasses the truly global nature of the MS Project Community, with speakers from the US, UK, Australia, Russia and many points in between.  We’re...

[Coffee] Modifying an existing project site, saving it as a template and then associating that template to an EPT is something that I’ve been doing for many years in one form or another with Project Server systems (prior to 2010 there wasn’t an EPT construct, but...

<homebrew, tea, wine, coffee and several other beverages – this blog was written over several days!> I’m currently helping manage a multiyear schedule and the client wishes to plot Planned Value vs Earned Value charts each month as a way of tracking “progress”.  This is a...

<merlot> I came across an issue the other day whilst dabbling in a demo project update.  The issue was that I couldn’t set the actual start date on a successor task that was before the predecessors finish date; effectively the dependency was overriding the ability to...

<San Servolo, Tanqueray & Red Wine – this has been written over a long duration of time!> I was thinking about the top 5 Reasons why my customers, over many years, have deployed Project Server.  Just as every organisation needs standardised ways to perform HR, Payroll...

<Ožujsko> So perhaps the title of this blog is a little over the top, but I had a customer recently who needed help when their .mpp file became corrupt due to a VPN issue (I think the file was left open on the file server when...

Update – 140717 – The recordings of the sessions are now available on Microsoft’s channel 9 (here and here) and in case they go “missing”, here and here too!  They are labelled PC301 and PC232 when searching in the folder. <Decaf coffee> I was lucky enough to...

<latte> It’s been a while since I last discussed Teams and Team Resources, and having learnt something new recently (kudos goes to Eric Uyttewaal who is always very willing to share his expertise) I thought it was time to re-visit the topic. Introducing Teams The Team feature was...

<chimay> Back in March this year, I presented a webcast for Microsoft called Sharing and Collaborating with Microsoft Project.  If you’re interested in watching it, it’s available here, and the slides can be downloaded separately from OneDrive if you want to re-use them (please credit me...

<A beer in London - £4.30!> Most problems (or opportunities of course) arise from customer queries; really, if it wasn’t for you guys keeping me on my toes I would just spend everyday cycling….  Some days I combine Project and Project Server with cycling…. Anyway, I digress;...

<Decaf coffee> I was lucky enough to attend and present at the Project Conference 2014 in Anaheim, California.  This is the bi-annual Project “love-in”, comprising a mixture of customers, Microsoft folks, partners and  MVPs, and the 4th or 5th that I’ve attended (and spoken at).  There...

<Earl Grey> Change highlighting is beautiful, but there are times when you do not want to display it, for instance when you want to print the view.  Now, of course, you can just hit CTRL-S to save the schedule, and of course that removes any change...

<thé> As usual, most of my posts are inspired by customer requests (I don’t sit at home thinking up scenarios to blog about regardless of what my wife thinks!), and this one turned out to be surprisingly easy to resolve, even though I initially went about...

When I review the statistics on my blog, one of the most popular ones is Exporting tasks into Outlook - http://www.applepark.co.uk/exporting-tasks-from-project-into-your-outlook-calendar/.  I’m not sure how many people have implemented the solution outlined, but I suspect those that have implemented it have done so on a...

<Affligem> When you first open Project 2013, you are presented with a series of templates…  this is a new (and on the whole pleasant experience) which should make using Project easier, especially the Get Started template which walks you through some of the nice new features...

<London Pride> These days we are presented with different options and price points for utilising on premise or on line services, and as a consultant, I’ve been using different versions of hosted Exchange for the last eight years (my mantra is stick to what you know!);...

<tea> In case you missed the announcements, TechED Europe is happing in Madrid from the 25-28th June.  Though I’m not speaking this year, I will be on Microsoft’s Project stand, and will also be signing my book at the O’Reilly stand.  I’ve a tonne of discount...

<macchiato> Promising to keep the blogs going, but with a bias towards Project and Project Server 2013 (check out the book here…), I thought I’d blog this little issue. Project Server 2013 (hereon in known as PS2013) introduces the timeline to the web, which is a great...

<Double expresso> If you didn’t already know, Microsoft provide an out of the box solution to integrate Project Server and Team Foundation Server called “Team Foundation Server Extensions for Project Server”.  I’ve dealt with several organisations who have the requirement to track their agile development (managed...

<Expresso> [UPDATE] – the link to view the recording of the presentation is here <Haagen-Dazs ice cream> Save the date – 6th March 2013 Microsoft have kindly asked me to give a presentation on Project 2013 Reporting – I did one for the MPUG before Christmas, so I’m excited...

<Cafe creme> Cost resources are a very useful feature of Project (and also therefore of Project Server), but there is at least one rule you need to follow. Rather than telling you how to use cost resources, I’ll point you at the an article from Microsoft which...

One of the greatest things about Project 2013 is the new reporting section.  The old tabular reports have been pulled, leaving us with Visual Reports (which were first introduced in Project 2007) and the new reports feature, called, wait for it, “Reports”. I’m going to concentrate...

I’ve recorded my experience of installing Project Pro for O365 using click 2 run (C2R) over a public WIFI (<2mbs) – parts 1&2 of this video are available on YouTube below. <120818> UPDATE – part 2 of the video (installing Project Pro for O365 using click...

Update – just so you know I was there…     Just to say I’m going to be at the “ask the experts” stand at TechEd, answering questions on Project, Office and O365.  It would be good to put some faces to names, so please drop by to...

Just to say I’m going to be at the “ask the experts” stand at TechEd, answering questions on Project, Office and O365.  It would be good to put some faces to names, so please drop by to say hello. http://europe.msteched.com/ Enjoy,  Ben....

<ipa> The majority of projects I’m involved in concentrate more on people and process than anything else (some customers really want to think “tools, tools and tools” and I need to reset their thinking in order to increase the chances of a successful implementation).  If analysing...

<Tazza (and Led Zeppelin (Dancing Days) on the radio, thank goodness for BBC 6 Music)> So, you know who you are, and I said I’d write this up…  For everyone else, this is a simple formula with graphical indicators to show the “Deadline cushion” between a...

<Earl Grey> Project Server 2010 allows for the option of auto-approving task status updates, and since SP1, this has become even more useful as the option to publish the update has been added (see here). However, due to the complexity of setting up the rules and lack...

<Guinness> This is something that in the past I have done manually, but due to a discussion on a Web2.0 application somewhere I had the idea that it would be possible to semi automate this. <Update 8th October 2014 – this is now available as a fully...

<flat white> I’m starting to see this small issue more and more, as Project Server deployments become global in nature.  The issue is around the display of dates, specifically (for my customers at least) the difference between US and European dates when displayed in the short...

<Leffe Blond> This requirement came from a customer more as a general query rather than a full demand, but I thought it should be an interesting enough problem to invest some time in. Changing the font, colour, or any of the other options available under Format |...

<Cool cold water> I seem to spend quite a bit of time, during training courses, explaining (in some depth) how Project Server security works.  People generally understand Groups pretty easily, and then global permissions, but really struggle with the concept of categories, their relationship to groups...

<Yorkshire tea!> I rarely re-blog existing blogs, but I thought this one was worth it.   MS have just released the grandly named Microsoft Project Server 2010 Administrator’s Guide.  It’s a weighty tomb of 302 pages, but it does a good job of filling part of the...

<Youngs bitter> A customer on a recent training course asked if how he could create a view that didn’t display dates, but rather showed the day number from the project start date, that each task started on. Depending on whether you want to include working days or...

<baileys> Resource Departments In my last blog I introduced the concept of departments.  Let’s now look at how departments can be used with resources.  When project server is installed an Enterprise Custom Field is created called Resource Department, and this is associated with a lookup table called...

<decaf coffee> Introduction This is an introduction to Departments, where they are used and how they are set up.  I intend to follow up this post with a drill down into the specific use areas of departments over the next few posts. Departments are a really useful new...

This is a nice little trick, that I've used several times at client site to slow both optimistic and/or pessimistic durations on a single gantt chart.   This really is a great view to help senior management understand what might happen on a project, and we can...

<coffee> Apologies for those who've read my blogs before, but as I've created a new web site I wanted to make sure all my blogs are in one place, so I have replicated them here.  All future postings will be here only.  Please bookmark or set...

<earl grey tea> When I talk to customers about Project Server and task management, one of the things that really catches their eye is the ability to synchronise tasks to Outlook, and this is certainly one of those marketing ideas that looks a great idea.  So,...

After presenting and helping co-ordinate MPUG (Microsoft Project User Group) meetings in Manchester and London, UK, we’ve decided to widen our potential audience to WW by presenting the next two topics over the internet as part of MPUG’s WebNLearn series.  The two sessions being delivered are...

<Earl Grey> This is off-topic for my normal postings, but I just wanted to congratulate MS on the ease, over the last year or so that I’ve migrated my laptop to from Vista etc… I’ve currently got a Dell Latitude D830, which is 2.5 years old.  I...

<Pinot Grigio – it’s been a long day!> As previously blogged, I was recently invited to speak on Project 2010 at the Microsoft UK TechDays event in London.  The video of this even it now available on the web, so I’ve linked it in here -...

<cup of tea> MS UK recently held a week long series of events here in the UK called techdays - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/techdays/.  I was given the opportunity to present on Project 2010 (what else!), and I gave a cut down version of one of Eric Zenz’s presentations. ...

<hot water and lemon> I’ve been troubleshooting an existing PS2007 implementation recently (obviously not one that I set up!), and the customer was having problems with Qs entering the sleeping state (I know that feeling).  This was only on their development environment, their live system was...

<dry and feeling much better for it – thanks for asking> So, on 25th Jan I ran a webinar for Microsoft on Project 2010, and some of the features around User Controlled Scheduling.  We had over 100 people logged on, and the feedback score was a...

This is oldish news, but I didn't see it on any other blogs, plus it gives me a chance to direct you to my own contribution, so click here to learn lots about Project 2010...

G&T (Gordons) with a slice and ice…. If you’re using assignments for team members, you’ll have noticed that completed assignments still appear on the My Tasks page, even when the resource has updated the task and the task is 100% complete.  This causes confusion for resources,...

<Tea> Over the summer I spent a couple of weeks in Mallorca on holiday, and whilst there prep’d up moving SQL servers (who needs a holiday when you work for yourself!).  Prepping all this was because one of my customers wanted to migrate all of their...

<just coffee> So here I am, sitting Pheonix, AZ at the Project Conference 2010.  I’ve been working with Project 2010 for a while now, but under NDA, so I’ve not been able to blog about it, but as I type, it’s being demo’d publically for the...

<Sauvignon Blanc Semillon> Several weeks ago a customer of mine was getting a fatal error with Project Professional 2007 when connecting to the server.  This was only happening on a single machine, and the usual re-installs/repairs didn’t fix a thing.  It so happened that the security...

<home made banana milkshake> Just found out Microsoft have awarded me MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for Project - nice one!   https://mvp.support.microsoft.com/communities/mvp.aspx?name=ben+howard    Cheers,  Ben....

<dry – watching Wimbledon> Just a quick reminder that if you’re struggling with getting Analysis Services to build successfully one of the errors you might see is …. Failed to build the OLAP cubes. Error: Analysis Services session failed with the following error: Failed to connect to...

The following blog details the settings and email formats behind the task alerts and reminders page.  I originally wrote this in word using lots of tables and it hasn’t transferred very well to the web, apologies for that! Setting Up Task Alerts Each resource is able to...

Just to let you know there are two MPUG events happening in the  UK.  The first is in London, and the second Manchester.  Details are below… Tuesday 28th April MPUG London Presents: Networking and Best Practice Presentation Members and non members are welcome at this event!! 3:00PM: Welcome...

<Wolf Blass & Baileys!>   Every now and then something nice happens in EPM, something that makes life simpler!  This happened to me before Christmas (where did the last 8 weeks go to?) so figured I'd blog this now...

<Brakspear Oxford Gold> If you've been looking out for training for Project Server or Portfolio Server training, there are now a few options...

<dry again> Status reports have been around since Project Server 2003 (or even in 2002? - I can't remember), but I do know that I've had various problems with them in 2007, but haven't been able to specifically reproduce them in order to get a bug...