The concept that collaborative planning is vital to successful development is gaining momentum, causing a shift away from traditional, top-down hierarchies toward collaborative team structures and dynamic methodologies like Agile. Microsoft Project Server, the web-based companion to Microsoft Project, provides tools that support collaboration among teams and workgroups, using the accessibility and availability of information to promote broader participation in planning and to provide unprecedented visibility to project information.
Improving productivity by involving everyone
Microsoft Project Server facilitates clear communication of project data both up and down the management chain and allows project managers to draw on the expertise of resources and team members. This is achieved by providing workers at all levels of the organisation with up-to-date project information and a means for input to the project manager — even for users with limited knowledge of project management methodology and no familiarity with Microsoft Project.
Microsoft Project Server offers unique benefits to users performing varied roles in the organisation, including:
- Project managers Those responsible for planning and scheduling and for maintaining the project plan in Microsoft Project. When using Microsoft Project Server to involve the workgroup, project managers retain complete control of the master project plan; however, they also benefit from the increased involvement of others within the organisation, leading to more synergistic planning and more informed decision making.
- Team members Workers identified as “resources” within the project plan. More and more frequently, resources are expected to participate in planning tasks, estimating work, and tracking status. Microsoft Project Server provides a customisable, easy-to-use tool that enables team members to keep track of their own tasks and to see their work in relation to the entire project.
- Resource managers and team managers Those responsible for assigning resources to projects or tasks a project and/or for assessing organisational staffing needs. Microsoft Project Server helps these managers ensure efficient use of existing resources and anticipate future demands for staffing or headcount. In addition, it provides features that enable assignment and delegation of work among functional teams in support of a larger, multidisciplinary project.
- Senior manager/stakeholders Anyone with an interest in the status of one or more projects across the enterprise. Microsoft Project Server provides these individuals with concise and pertinent information that shows at a glance how the organisation’s projects are performing against time and budget.
A model for collaborative planning
In the Microsoft Project Server collaboration model, the project manager creates and maintains the project plan and schedule in Microsoft Project. The project manager makes information available to users by publishing data from Microsoft Project to the Microsoft Project Server database, which is stored and maintained independently of the project plan.
Microsoft Project Server enables team members to participate in planning tasks, estimating work, and tracking status. Users submit updates and proposed changes as messages delivered to the project manager’s project inbox. The project manager reviews messages from team members before approving the changes, acting as the interface between the master project plan and Microsoft Project Server. Depending on options set and permissions allowed to the Microsoft Project Server users, Microsoft Project Server can automate acceptance of project updates, schedule reminders, and compile status reports, freeing the project manager from the burden of many routine administrative tasks.
The Microsoft Project Server administration module enables an extremely detailed degree of control over the information and authority granted to each user or group of users. Depending on the size of the organisation and the project manager’s comfort and familiarity with the tools, the project manager may function as the project administrator or rely on IT (information technology) staff to oversee the installation and configuration of Microsoft Project Server.
- Status Reporting Microsoft Project Server includes the ability both to design templates for text-based status reports and to send status requests to workgroup members. Completed status reports can be reviewed and edited in Microsoft Project Server and compiled to include information for the entire team in a single report.
- Message Rules To expedite acceptance of task requests, delegations, and task updates received from team members, the project manager creates rules that automatically accept specified changes when they are run on a set of messages. Microsoft Project Server includes highly detailed criteria for developing rules; rules can be applied to individual users, to groups of users, to specific actions, or only to actions with a specified impact on budget or schedule.
- Task creation Allowing resources to propose tasks and subtasks is the key to implementing bottom-up scheduling scenarios. In addition, it allows team members a clear way to communicate additional work or to propose adjustments when the project plan doesn’t accurately reflect the team member’s assessment of work scope.
- Task updates Microsoft Project Server ensures accurate tracking by making it easy for resources to enter their actuals and submit this information directly to the project manager. When team members estimate percent complete or enter actual hours spent on an assigned task, the remaining work for the task is calculated automatically, and an update message is sent to the project manager.
- Task delegation When enabled by the project manager, task delegation allows a Microsoft Project Server user to assign a task to another resource and sends a message to the project manager indicating that the task has been reassigned. Delegation enables the project manager to make effective use of functional managers or leads, who can delegate a group of assigned tasks to their own team members or direct reports.
- Presentation features Microsoft Project Server’s rich presentation features ensure that users always know what’s going on, even if they don’t have Microsoft Project on their desktops. Users can view project information in custom ways and at varying levels of detail, depending on their own preferences and the information made available to them by the project manager or administrator. Team members can manage their own time more effectively, keeping track of their own tasks and viewing their tasks in relation to the projects or projects, while resource managers and business development managers benefit from a concise, action-oriented view of project information, which facilitating organisational planning at the highest level.
- Integration with Microsoft Outlook Microsoft Project Server enables users who rely on the Calendar and Tasks features of the Microsoft Outlook® messaging and collaboration client for managing their day-to-day schedules to participate fully in the collaborative planning environment. Microsoft Project Server can capture a user’s Tasks list from Microsoft Outlook, combining it with project-related activities to present a single to-do list. Or, users who prefer the Microsoft Outlook interface can display the Microsoft Project Server task views within Microsoft Outlook, creating a single application home for e-mail, tasks, schedule, and schedule tracking.
In addition, Microsoft Project Server users can import schedule data from their own Microsoft Outlook Calendars, informing the project manager of all scheduled meetings, time off, and any outside commitments or potential conflicts. The project manager can add these exceptions to the resource calendars in the master project plan, ensuring greater accuracy in resource allocation by taking into account both project-related and non project-related time commitments.
A platform for development
Microsoft Project Server provides an ideal platform for development of custom planning, scheduling, and project management solutions. Developers can access application services programmatically to create custom applications or to extend the functionality of Microsoft Project Server to meet the specialised needs of the organisation.
Programmers familiar with basic Web development should have no difficulty modifying the Microsoft Project Server interface by adding text, images, or other elements; or incorporating the Microsoft Project Server data objects (for example, Gantt Charts and task views) into their own Web pages or HTML interfaces.
Developers can also access the business logic behind Microsoft Project Server and use the Microsoft Project Server ActiveX controls to create solutions that combine the functionality of Microsoft Project Server with a separate Microsoft SQL Server™ or Oracle data source. Such solutions could include adding new fields or tables to the Microsoft Project Server database, or adding new databases, with corresponding updates to the query engine and business logic.
Collaboative and Scalable Project Management
As a companion to Microsoft Project, Microsoft Project Server enables organisations to adopt a truly collaborative approach to planning and scheduling. And only through effective collaboration — both the involvement of resources in planning and tracking and communication up and down management chain — can organisations remain competitive in a dynamic business environment. In an era when timely access to information is vital to success, Microsoft Project Server ensures that the critical information is available to everyone in the organisation.
Software requirements for Microsoft Project Server 2016
In previous versions of Project Server, Project Server was installed separately after you installed SharePoint Server, as SharePoint Server was a requirement. Project Server 2016 installation is now a part of the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 Enterprise installation process (the installation files for Project Server 2016 are included in the SharePoint Server 2016 Enterprise MSI file, and it is installed along with it).
- Project Server 2016 can only be enabled on the Enterprise version of SharePoint Server 2016.
- You will not be able to enable Project Server 2016 on SharePoint Server 2016 with a Standard license.
Since Project Server 2016 is part of the SharePoint Server 2016 installation, requirements for Project Server 2016 (including supported browsers, operating systems, and database servers) will be the ones specified for SharePoint Server 2016.
Some of the key software requirements for SharePoint Server 2016 are:
|Supported Server Operating Systems :||Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 R2
|Supported Database Server :||Microsoft SQL Server 2016 RTM
The 64-bit edition of SQL Server 2014 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)
SQL Analysis Services must also be installed if you are using the Cube Building Service in Project Server 2016.
|Supported browsers :||Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Internet Explorer 11
Microsoft Internet Explorer 10
Google Chrome (latest released version)
Mozilla Firefox (latest released version plus immediate previous version)
Apple Safari (latest released version)
You can connect to Microsoft Project Server 2016 with not only Microsoft Project Professional 2016 and the Project Online Desktop Client, but also with Microsoft Project Professional 2013.
Also note that you will be able to use Project Professional 2016 and the Project Online Desktop Client, as well as Project Professional 2013, to connect to Project Server 2013
|Project Server 2016||Project Professional 2016
Project Online Desktop Client
Project Professional 2013
|Project Server 2013||Project Professional 2016
Project Online Desktop Client
Project Professional 2013
|Project Server 2010||Project Professional 2010
Project Professional 2007 with Service Pack 2
Project Professional 2007 with Service Pack 2 can only connect if Backwards Compatibility is enabled on Project Server 2010
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