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Administering Your Enterprise Project Management Solution in Microsoft Project 2010

Setting Up Project Workflows

Project Server 2010 has integrated the capability provided by Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007 to offer extensive portfolio analysis and project selection functionality.

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In Project Server 2010, the project server administrator and the portfolio manager(s) can configure standard project life cycles, or workflows, for the organization, and they can decide which approvals a project has to go through to reach completion.

Project managers can create projects inside Project Web App that, depending on the project type, follow a specific project workflow. This control ensures that the right portfolio of projects—the one that creates the biggest return on investment—is selected.

The process of gathering and managing all project proposals, from when a proposal is created to when a project is closed, is called demand management. The typical demand management phases in Project Server are Create, Select, Plan, and Manage. Project workflows can be created only by using Visual Studio 2010, through the Project Server Interface (PSI). Although you cannot create workflows in Project Web App, you can configure the following elements:

  • Enterprise project type (EPT) The enterprise project type reflects the project template and a combination of project phases, project stages, a project workflow, and project detail pages. You can create a new enterprise project type from the Server Settings page. Under the Workflow And Project Detail Pages section, click Enterprise Project Types.

  • Workflow phase Workflow phases are categories describing the development point the project is in. In the default workflow provided with Project Server, phases include Create, Select, Plan, Manage, and Finished. Each phase contains a series of steps or stages. You can create new phases from the Server Settings page. Under the Workflow And Project Detail Pages section, click Workflow Phases link.

  • Workflow stage A workflow stage is a subcategory within a phase that describes the detailed condition of a project in that phase. The stage is associated with steps or activities. For example, in the default workflow provided with Project Server, the Create phase includes stages named Initial Review, Define (Major Project), Automated Rejection, Define (Minor Project), Initial Proposal Details, and more. You can create new phases from the Server Settings page. Under the Workflow And Project Detail Pages section, click Workflow Stages.

  • Project Detail Pages (PDPs) The project detail pages are pages in which you can view or enter project information. One or more project detail pages are available for each phase. Examples of project detail pages are the Project Schedule, Project Cost, and so on. You can edit existing pages or upload new pages from the Server Settings page. Under the Workflow And Project Detail Pages section, click Project Detail Pages.

Managing Workflow Phases

To add or edit a workflow phase, follow these steps:

  1. On the Quick Launch, under Settings, click Server Settings.

  2. Under Workflow And Project Detail Pages, click Workflow Phases.

    The Workflow Phases page appears, which lists the following phases by default:

    • Create

    • Select

    • Plan

    • Manage

    • Finished

  3. To define new workflow phases, click New Workflow Phase in the toolbar above the table.

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    To edit an existing phase, simply click its name.

  4. In the page that appears, specify the new workflow phase name and description, as shown in Figure 23-12.

    If you’re editing an existing phase, make the changes you want to the current information.

  5. When you are finished, click the Save button.

    Figure 23-12

    Figure 23-12 Enter the workflow phase name and description, and then click Save The new phase is added to the list.

Managing Workflow Stages

Workflow stages are a set of activities related to a workflow phase. You can add or modify a workflow stage by following these steps:

  1. On the Quick Launch, under Settings, click Server Settings.

  2. Under Workflow And Project Details, click Workflow Stages.

    The Workflow Stages page appears, listing all stages for all phases, as shown in Figure 23-13.

    Figure 23-13

    Figure 23-13 Use the Workflow Stages page to add, edit, or delete workflow details.

  3. To create a new stage, in the toolbar above the table, click New Workflow Stage.

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    To edit an existing stage, simply click its name in the table.

  4. In the page that appears, in the Name And Description section, enter a name and description for the new workflow stage.

    In the Description For Submit section, enter the description users see when the workflow is submitted.

    In the Workflow Phase box, specify the phase this stage is associated with.

    In the box labeled Choose Workflow Stage Status Project Detail Page box, select the project detail page that should appear as the introduction for this workflow stage.

    In the Visible Project Detail Pages, select and add the other project detail pages to be associated with this workflow stage.

    In the Required Custom Fields section, select any custom fields to be used for this workflow stage.

    Select or clear the check box labeled Project Check In Is Required as appropriate.

    If you are editing an existing stage, make the changes you want to the current information.

  5. When you are finished, click the Save button.

    The new stage is added to the list.

Configuring Enterprise Project Types

The project server administrator and portfolio manager typically manage enterprise project types, which are essentially templates for different types of projects. Each template is a project type, made up of project phases and stages.

To add a new project template or to edit a project template follow these steps:

  1. On the Quick Launch, under Settings, click Server Settings.

  2. Under Workflow And Project Details, click Enterprise Project Types.

    The Enterprise Project Types page appears, listing all defined enterprise project types.

  3. To create an enterprise project type, in the toolbar above the table, click New Enterprise Project Type.

    To edit an existing enterprise project type, simply click its name in the table.

  4. In the page that appears (see Figure 23-14), enter the name and description of the project type you’re adding.

    In the Site Workflow Association box, select the name of the workflow this enterprise project type is to be associated with.

    In the New Project Page box, click the project detail page that should appear as the introduction for this enterprise project type.

    Use the Default check box to specify whether this is the default project type.

    In the Departments box, enter the departments to which this project type applies.

    In the Project Plan Template box, click the name of any templates to be used for this project type.

    In the Project Site Template box, click the name of any workspace template that should be used when a project is created using this enterprise project type.

    If you are editing an existing enterprise project type, make the changes you want to the current information.

    Figure 23-14

    Figure 23-14 Use the Add Enterprise Project Type page to create a new enterprise project template.

  5. When you are finished, click the Save button.

    The new enterprise project type is added to the list.