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Administering Your Enterprise Project Management Solution in Microsoft Project 2010

Standardizing Enterprise Project Elements

As the project server administrator, you have the authority to define customizations needed by your organization and then propagate those customizations to all enterprise projects as the accepted project management standards.

To create and disseminate custom project elements, you use the enterprise global template, also simply known as the enterprise global. You check out the enterprise global and then customize any number of Project 2010 elements as necessary. You can define views, tables, filters, macros, custom fields, and more. When you check in the enterprise global with your changes, the elements you changed become part of all projects throughout the enterprise.

Working with the Enterprise Global Template

When a project manager or other authorized user checks out an enterprise project, the latest update of the enterprise global is automatically attached. The enterprise global is akin to a global template, or the “global global,” over the regular project global template. The enterprise global dictates standards being enforced and customizations made available to Project 2010 interface elements in projects throughout the enterprise.

These standards provide for customization and consistency across all projects in an organization. The standards propagated through the enterprise global template also make it possible for project information throughout the enterprise to be compared and analyzed in meaningful ways.

The following list contains examples of the tailoring and standardizing you might do for projects in your enterprise:

  • Define custom views

  • Design reports

  • Build and apply macros to enterprise data

  • Set up custom calendars

  • Define and customize information tables

Table 23-1 shows the Project 2010 elements that can be modified in the enterprise global and integrated with all enterprise projects. The table also provides cross-references to sections in this book where you can find more information about customizing these interface elements.

Table 23-1 Customizable Project 2010 Elements

Project elements

For more information

Filters

“Customizing Filters” on page 1129

Groups

“Customizing Groups” on page 1124

Macros

“Creating Macros” on page 1171

Reports

“Building a Custom Report” on page 571

Tables

“Customizing Tables” on page 1103

Ribbon

“Customizing the Project 2010 Ribbon” on page 1153

Views

“Customizing Views” on page 1062

Changing the Enterprise Global

By default, only the project server administrator and portfolio manager have the Save Enterprise Global permission which allows updates to the enterprise global.

To use Project Professional to check out and change the enterprise global, follow these steps:

  1. Be sure you’re logged in to the project server through Project Professional.

  2. In Project Professional, on the File tab, click Info, click Manage Global Template, and then click Open Enterprise Global.

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    The enterprise global opens as a special project plan called Checked-Out Enterprise Global. (See Figure 23-15.)

    Figure 23-15

    Figure 23-15 The Checked-Out Enterprise Global is a special project plan you use to standardize elements of all project plans used throughout your organization.

  3. Define and customize Project Professional elements for the enterprise as needed. Refer to Table 23-1 to find specific instructions for customizing a specific element.

  4. When you’re finished working with the enterprise global and you want to check it back in to the project server, on the File tab, click Close.

  5. In the prompt that appears, click Yes to save your changes. The updated enterprise global is checked in to the project server and is now available to all project managers.

Copying a Custom Element from a Project to the Enterprise Global

You might find it a great idea to experiment with certain customized changes by applying them to a regular enterprise project or even a local project before checking out the enterprise global and making the changes there. But you don’t have to make the change twice. You can simply copy the custom change from the regular project to the enterprise global by using the Organizer.

To copy custom elements from a regular project to the enterprise global, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Project Server through Project Professional.

  2. In Project Professional, open the regular enterprise or nonenterprise project that contains the element you want to copy to the enterprise global.

  3. On the File tab, click Info, click Manage Global Template, and then click Open Enterprise Global.

    The enterprise global opens as Checked-Out Enterprise Global.

  4. On the File tab, click Info, click Manage Global Template, and then click Organizer.

    The Organizer dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 23-16.

    Figure 23-16

    Figure 23-16 Copy customized elements from a project and the enterprise global.

  5. Click the tab for the type of element you want to copy—for example, Views.

  6. In the <Element> Available In box in the lower-right corner of the dialog box, click the project that contains the element you want to copy, if necessary.

    (<Element> stands for the name of the current tab). The name of the project from which you want to copy the element might already be showing in the box.

  7. Be sure the box in the lower left of the dialog box is labeled Global (+Non-Cached Enterprise).

    If this item is not currently showing, select Global (+Non-Cached Enterprise) from the <Element> Available In box. This is the name of the enterprise global template.

  8. From the list of elements on the right side of the dialog box, click the name of the element you want to copy.

  9. Click Copy. If an element with the same name already exists in the enterprise global, a confirmation message asks you to confirm that you want to replace the element in the enterprise global. Click Yes to replace the element in the enterprise global with the one from the source project.

    To copy the element with a different name, click Rename, and then type a new name.

  10. Check the enterprise global to be sure that your new element is present.

  11. When you finish working with the enterprise global, on the File tab, click Close.

  12. In the prompt that appears, click Yes to save your changes and check the enterprise global in to the project server.

Customizing Enterprise Project Fields

Another responsibility of the project server administrator is to set up custom fields for enterprise projects as a whole as well as for individual enterprise tasks, resources, and assignments. You can define these custom fields to hold special information, such as a specific category of costs, dates, or text that is not provided by built-in Project 2010 fields. You can also create lookup tables for all custom field types except for Yes/No fields.

You can create a custom field in any enterprise project in Project Professional. You then choose a command to add the field to the enterprise, and it becomes part of the project global template. However, note that you cannot create fields in the checked-out global template itself.

In Project Server, you can create an unlimited number of custom fields for enterprise projects. However, because of the impact on performance and usage, we do not recommend this. Use as many custom fields as you need, but be aware of possible tradeoffs.

For example, you can use the Duration1 custom field to create an enterprise task field. As soon as you add the field to the project server, it changes to Enterprise Duration1, and the Duration1 field in Project 2010 becomes available for another use.

You can define the following custom field types for projects as a whole and for tasks, resources, and assignments:

  • Cost

  • Date

  • Duration

  • Finish

  • Flag

  • Number

  • Start

  • Text

Establishing Custom Fields

For enterprise projects, you can create a wide range of custom fields. There are different sets of custom fields for the different types of project database information, as follows:

  • Project fields Store summary project information. Custom project fields can be viewed as part of the project summary row in an individual project plan.

  • Task fields Store information about the tasks in a project. Similar to the other types of fields, this information can include, for example, cost, date, text, and number information.

  • Resource fields Store information about the resources in a project.

In Project 2010, departmental custom fields are available. Each department can manage its own project, task, or resource custom field. Departmental custom fields can also be shared across departments.

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In Project Web App, you can restrict the access of a user who can edit one department’s custom fields from editing the custom fields of another department.

Custom fields can be defined in Project Web App or Project Professional. To use Project Web App to define a custom enterprise field, follow these steps:

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

  2. Under Enterprise Data, click Enterprise Custom Fields And Lookup Tables.

  3. To create a single-value custom field, in the toolbar above the Enterprise Custom Fields table, click New Field.

    In the New Custom Field page, complete the fields to specify the details for the new custom field. When you are finished, click the Save button.

  4. To create a custom field with a lookup table of multiple values, scroll down to the Lookup Tables For Custom Fields table. In the toolbar above the table, click New Lookup Table.

    In the New Lookup Table page, complete the fields to specify the details for the new custom field and its lookup table. When you are finished, click the Save button.

To use Project Professional to define a custom field for enterprise projects, follow these steps:

  1. With Project Professional logged on to your project server, show a task view if you want to define a custom task field. Show a resource view to define a custom resource field.

  2. On the Project tab, in the Properties group, click Custom Fields.

    The Custom Fields dialog box appears.

  3. In the Type box, select the type of custom field you want to add—for example, Text or Date.

  4. In the Field box, click the next available custom text field—for example, Text1. (See Figure 23-17.)

    Figure 12-17

    Figure 23-17 Use the Custom Fields dialog box to define custom enterprise fields.

  5. Click the Rename button, type a descriptive name for your new custom resource field, and then click OK.

  6. If you want to specify a formula or graphical indicator for the custom field, use the sections in the lower half of the dialog box.

  7. If you want this custom field to include a lookup table—that is, a drop-down list of preset values—click the Lookup button under Custom Attributes. In the Value column of the table, enter the items that comprise the drop-down list. (See Figure 23-18.)

    Figure 23-18

    Figure 23-18 Use the Edit Lookup Table dialog box to define the items that should appear in a custom field’s drop-down list.

  8. Make any other changes you want to the definition of the lookup table for the new custom field, including a default value or the display order. When you have finished, click Close.

  9. In the Custom Fields dialog box, click the Add Field To Enterprise button.

  10. In the Field Name box, enter the name of the custom field as you want it to appear in a table in Project Professional or a custom view in Project Web App. In the Lookup Table Name box, enter the name of the custom field as you want it to appear in a drop-down list of custom enterprise fields. Click OK.

  11. In the alert that indicates that the field has been added to your project server, click OK. The new field does not appear in Project Professional until you restart the application. However, it does become available in Project Web App immediately.

  12. Click OK in the Custom Fields dialog box.

  13. Restart Project Professional to see and use the new field.

Associating Resource Codes with Resources

After you define an enterprise resource custom field, associate the field and its values with enterprise resources by following these steps:

  1. In the Resource Center of Project Web App, select the check boxes next to the names of the resources for whom you want to enter resource custom fields and values.

  2. On the Resources tab, in the Editing group, click Edit Resource.

  3. In the Resource Custom Fields section, enter the appropriate value in the custom resource field.

    If you created a lookup table for the field, click the arrow in the field and then click an entry in the drop-down list. If there is no lookup table, simply type the value in the field.

  4. Click the Save And Continue button.

  5. Enter the value in the custom resource field for the next resource.

    Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you’ve entered values in the custom resource fields for all selected resources.

Creating Calendars to Reflect Nonworking Times

In addition to standardizing elements such as views and fields to reflect the operations of your organization, you can also create enterprise-level working times calendars that dictate how projects and resources are scheduled. By default, resources are assigned to the Standard working times base calendar, which reflects a schedule of Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., with an hour off for lunch. You can customize the Standard calendar to reflect your organization’s holidays, company meetings, offsite conferences, and other events to be sure that project tasks are not scheduled for work during those times.

To change the Standard base calendar that is the starting point for working and nonworking times for all projects in your organization, follow these steps:

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

  2. Under Enterprise Data, click Enterprise Calendars.

  3. Click Standard in the Enterprise Calendars table, and then in the toolbar above the table, click Edit Calendar.

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    The Change Working Time dialog box opens in Project Professional. (See Figure 23-19.)

    Figure 23-19

    Figure 23-19 Use the Change Working Time dialog box to edit the enterprise calendar.

  4. Change the Standard working time calendar by entering exceptions or by creating alternative workweeks.

  5. When you’ve made all the changes you want, click OK. The Standard working times calendar is applied to all enterprise projects and resources. The next time project managers check out any enterprise project that uses the Standard working times calendar, the changes take effect.

You can create a new base calendar that uses an existing calendar as its starting point. In the table on the Enterprise Calendars page, click the name of the calendar that you want to copy, and then click Copy Calendar. Enter a name for the new calendar, and then click OK. The copied calendar appears in the list of calendars. Select it, click Edit Calendar in the toolbar, and make the changes you want.

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You can also create a new base calendar from scratch—that is, with no exceptions or alternative workweeks defined other than the defaults. The new base calendar is essentially the built-in Standard base calendar, with working times of Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., with an hour off for lunch. To create a new calendar, on the Enterprise Calendars page, click New Calendar in the toolbar. In the For Calendar box in the Change Working Time dialog box, enter a name for your new calendar. Make the changes you want, and then click OK.

To assign a base calendar to a resource, follow these steps:

  1. In the Resource Center, click the check box next to the resource to which you want to apply a calendar.

  2. On the Resources tab, in the Editing group, click Edit Resource.

  3. In the Assignment Attributes section, in the Base Calendar box, click the name of the calendar you want to assign to the current resource.

  4. Click Save, or click Save And Continue if you’re editing multiple resources.