Microsoft Project Server ConsultingMicrosoft Project Server is a work management platform designed to help businesses of any size to deliver critical projects on time and within budget. Project Server centralizes, streamlines, and enhances an organization's ability to prioritize, track, schedule, staff, control, and complete programs managed by Microsoft's Project Professional and Project Web App (formerly Web Access) clients. Current releases of Project Server incorporate or integrate with a wide range of Microsoft technologies that together create a powerful platform capable of handling anything from simple project management through project and portfolio management (PPM) and up to Enterprise Project Management (EPM). Project Server is essentially an on-premises equivalent to Microsoft's cloud-based Project Online service, which is available on a subscription basis. Project Server initially featured some additional capabilities compared to Project Online, notably in the area of business intelligence (BI) reporting.

Current versions of Project Server are built on SharePoint Server to provide extensive features for supporting workgroup collaboration and reporting, enterprise search, workflow-based document review, and web-centric communication via wikis, blogs, forums, and My Sites. Project Server is tightly integrated with Microsoft's Business Intelligence (BI) platform to facilitate the creation of management reports and dashboards using Excel Services, Visio Services, and SQL Server Reporting Services. Microsoft Project Server also incorporates the techniques of Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007 to provide unified project and portfolio management capabilities in a single server. Enhancements such as new demand management and capacity planning modules offer fast return on investment by providing customizable workflow controls, project prioritization based on strategic business value, and optimal resource allocation and scheduling.

Progent's Microsoft-certified engineering team can provide expert remote and onsite consulting services for all versions of Microsoft Project Server as well as for Microsoft platforms that integrate closely with Project Server. Consulting support offered by Progent includes Microsoft Project integration, SharePoint Server planning and deployment, Microsoft SQL Server expertise, Exchange Server integration, Office Excel and Office 365 Excel application support, plus PowerPoint and Visio live online training. Progent can provide Cisco-certified network engineers to help you optimize your infrastructure to support local, branch office, at-home, and mobile workers so they can use Project Server to collaborate securely and efficiently. Progent's certified security experts can help you plan and enforce security policies that protect sensitive project information without interfering with the productive sharing of authorized data.

Enterprise Project Management
Microsoft's Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution is a unified PPM platform based on Microsoft Project Server and Microsoft Project Manager Professional or Project Web App client software. The Microsoft EPM Solution automates key work management processes: Demand Management, Portfolio Analytics and Selection, Resource Management, Schedule Management, Financial Management, Issues and Risk Management, Time Reporting, Team Collaboration, Business Intelligence and Reporting, and Program Management.

Project Server 2010 Enterprise Project Management Consulting

Project Server provides extensive support for each of these capability areas:

Demand Management: This process covers building governance workflows for all types of project requests, collecting data efficiently in standardized formats, and creating visibility for all requests in a central location. Features of Project Server that support Demand Management include:

  • A Proposal Stage Status Page for consolidating workflow information and identifying deliverables
  • A Workflow Approvals View for publishing workflow notifications and approving or rejecting projects
  • A Project Center View for creating centralized demand management scorecards to capture work requests
  • Enterprise Project Types (EPTs), templates to standardize types of work within a portfolio
  • Project Detail Pages (PDPs), custom online forms that support Web parts to collect or display project data
Portfolio Analytics and Selection: This process refers to the use of structured portfolio selection techniques for defining strategic business goals and evaluating proposed projects based on their business value and their intelligent utilization of resources. Features of Project Server that support Portfolio Analytics and Selection include:
  • Incorporation of Project Portfolio Server 2007 techniques, eliminating the need for an extra gateway server
  • The New Business Driver form to capture project impact statements and other metadata for publication
  • The Project Strategic Impact form to gather impact ratings for projects to derive a strategic value score
  • A new driver prioritization module to support executive workshops to discuss project prioritization strategy
  • The New Portfolio Analysis wizard to guide analysts through Project Server's portfolio selection methodology
  • A Strategic Impact matrix to show how competing projects support collectively defined business drivers
  • A Cost Constraint Analysis view to provide what-if analysis for optimizing project portfolios
  • The Efficient Frontier chart to identify diminishing returns and perform portfolio benchmarking
  • The Strategic Alignment chart to help assess how well a project portfolio supports business strategy
Resource Management: This process includes gaining visibility of an enterprise-wide pool of resources, comparing resource capacity vs. demand in order to schedule and staff projects for maximum productivity, matching skills to tasks, and managing resources efficiently throughout a project life cycle. Features of Project Server that support Resource Management include:
  • A Resource Center view to centralize an inventory of resources described by standardized metadata
  • A new Team Planner tool to help manage project-level resources and reallocate resources as needed
  • New Departmental fields to allow resources to be associated with business units for filtering and sorting
  • A new Capacity Planning module to help spot resource overloads and shortfalls throughout the planning horizon
  • Resource Assignment and Availability views to locate resources and change date range and time granularity
  • A new Build Team view to identify all resources associated with a task and reassign tasks dynamically
  • A Tasks view to display all tasks assigned to each team member and accept status updates from members
Schedule Management: This pivotal area covers the creation and sharing of work timelines via informative charts to track the progress of a project, visualize dependencies, and manage changes. New and enhanced Schedule Management features in SharePoint Server include:
  • A new Excel-like interface to provide a familiar and simple environment for entering and formatting data
  • Enhanced Web-based project editing to break the old 100-task limit and eliminate the Active-X download
  • The new Task Inspector to replace Task Driver for highlighting scheduling and resource conflicts
  • A new Multi-Level Undo tool to simplify reverse edits and to speed up recovery of previous states
  • A new Change Highlighting function to identify visually all tasks impacted by amendments to schedules
  • A new Inactive task mode to support what-if analysis by instantly removing or restoring tasks
  • An improved Compare Projects function to visualize the impact of changes in tasks and resources
  • A new Timeline view to supplement Gant charting and create simpler overviews of tasks and milestones
  • User-controlled scheduling for informal manual scheduling as well as top-down and rolling-wave planning
Project Server 2010 Manual Scheduling

Financial Management: This process covers the accurate capture and the standardization of costs and benefit estimates, project life cycle cost accounting with accommodation for changes in project scope or execution, management reporting and analysis, and integration with line-of-business (LOB) application software. New and enhanced features of Project Server that support Financial Management include:

  • A Portfolio Analysis Engine, described in Portfolio Analytics and Selection, to identify optimal project portfolios
  • Project Professional workflows for Budget Resources, Cost Resources, multiple billing rates, and EVM metrics
  • Custom KPI fields to track overall financial performance as well as specific data points
  • SharePoint Server BI support to build project-level reports and dashboards to drive funding decisions
  • The Project Server Interface (PSI) to provide an API for collecting financial data from LOB applications
Issues and Risk Management: This area covers the methodologies for defining standardized risk ratings, documenting strategies and financial value for assessing projects, centralizing the capture of risk data, publishing mitigation processes, and centralizing the capture and publication of actual project issues as they arise. Features of Project Server that support Issues and Risk Management include:
  • InfoPath Forms Services to define online risk assessment forms for scoring and weighting project risks
  • A Risk list in the Project Site template to provide a set of common fields for risk identification and management
  • An Issues list in the Project Site template to help review issues, assign support, and set resolution deadlines
  • SharePoint workflows and email alerts to escalate risks and notify key individuals to engage as necessary
Time Reporting: This area covers time and task management activities and includes the capture and reporting of time spent on assigned projects as well as non-project time, status updates for tasks in order to analyze and anticipate project performance, time and task approvals, and interfacing with related line-of-business applications such as payroll and cost accounting systems. Features of Project Server that support Time Reporting include:
  • An improved interface to standardize Timesheet and Task views and streamline time and task updates
  • Multiple assignment update tools to support the Web-based Tasks view, Outlook, or Outlook Web App
  • An Exchange Server connection to publish tasks to Outlook or Outlook Web App without an Outlook add-in
  • The Tasks view to show work assigned to individuals and support sorting, filtering, and grouping
  • A new Single Entry Mode to provide a unified timesheet interface for collecting time information
  • The Timesheet view with entry lines for both work and non-work categories to consolidate timesheets
  • A dedicated Approval Center to simplify timesheet review, task updates, and approving time requests
  • Configurable approval workflows to handle administration time, pre-approvals, and multi-level hierarchies
  • Flexible approval routing to help managers select appropriate levels of review and control
  • A new Web-based Approval Preview feature to visualize the impact of changes prior to task update approval
  • Expanded timesheet reporting database with more details about timesheet data for compliance and reporting
  • Timesheet summaries for export to LOB applications via Web services or by direct schema access
Team Collaboration: This covers a variety of areas that facilitate productive teamwork and includes creating and managing centralized repositories for team members to share project information, standardizing team processes based on best practices, and establishing a framework for team communication. Project Server is built on SharePoint Server to provide a best-in-class platform for Team Collaboration by offering features that include:
  • Project Site templates with preconfigured and customizable Web parts to address different types of projects
  • A default Project Site with Documents, Issues and Risks, Deliverables, Team Calendar, and Discussions
  • Enhanced Enterprise Content Management (ECM) to manage documents, records, metadata, and web content
  • An advanced search engine to provide visual tools to mine project and portfolio data and artifacts
  • Social computing and communication support via wikis, blogs, discussion forums, Project Sites, and portals
Project Server and SharePoint Consulting

Business Intelligence and Reporting: This area involves collecting project information and performance criteria from an assortment of sources, organizing project data into standardized categories and formats, and displaying aggregated information so that it reveals meaningful relationships and trends that can drive business decisions. Features of Project Server that support Business Intelligence (BI) and Reporting include:

  • Online Project Center, Resource Center, and Portfolio Analysis views to provide visibility across all projects
  • A dedicated reporting database to centralize access to the most current data about projects and portfolios
  • A new BI Center Reports Library with preconfigured best-practice report templates such as Timesheet Actuals
  • Microsoft BI platform tools like Excel, Visio, and PerformancePoint Services, Excel PowerPivot, and SQL SRS
  • Reports Library updates can be published by Excel Services and integrated in dashboard views via a Web part
  • Dynamic content filtering and audience-based Web parts to share information based on a team member's role
  • Office Data Connections (.odc) files to aggregate realtime data from reporting databases and LOB applications
  • New departmental cubes with Departmental fields for filtering project data and resources by line of business
Program Management: This broad area refers to the overall process of planning and controlling project portfolios from demand management to project delivery. The combination of Project Server and Project Professional provides a world-class platform for maximizing an organization's ability to execute projects on schedule and within budget. Project Server's Master Project tool allows a program manager to oversee a portfolio of projects and to identify at a glance key tasks and dependencies.

Project Server 2010 Master Schedule Consulting

How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Microsoft Project Server
Progent's Microsoft-certified experts can provide affordable online consulting and support for all technologies associated with Microsoft Project Server. Progent can help you manage your existing Project Server environment or upgrade to the latest release of Microsoft Project Server and Microsoft Project Professional. Progent's SharePoint Server consultants can show you how to optimize your Project Server solution by planning and implementing the deployment of SharePoint's advanced collaboration tools including My Sites, wikis, and forums, and Progent can help you design management reports that can be created and distributed automatically.

Progent can help you integrate Project Server and Project Professional with other Microsoft applications including SQL Server, Exchange, Excel, Word, and the Microsoft Dynamics product family. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers can assist you to design and build reliable infrastructure to support your Project Server environment and to make it easy for remote workers to access Project Server. Progent's certified IT security engineers can help you follow best practices to define security and governance policies that protect your Project Server data and help you meet regulatory requirements. Progent's webinar specialists can create customized online training classes to bring your IT managers and end users up to speed quickly on Project Server.

Contact Progent for Microsoft Project Server Consulting Services
If you need the help of a Project Server consultant, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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