Introducing Microsoft Office Project 2003

Microsoft® Office Project 2003 is the project management program that helps organizations align business initiatives, projects, and resources for better business results. By using its flexible reporting and analysis capabilities, you can be sure that you have actionable information to help you optimize resources, prioritize work, and align your projects with overall business objectives. Enhancements have also been made to Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Project Web Access 2003.

Extending Project 2003

Bullet Copy Picture to Office Wizard     Microsoft Office Project Standard 2003 and Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003 provide the Copy Picture to Office Wizard to make displaying project data as a static picture in other applications in the Microsoft Office System, such as Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003, very easy. You can find the Copy Picture to Office Wizard on the Analysis toolbar.
Bullet Print a view as a report     Print a view the way you want in Project Standard 2003 and Project Professional 2003. A wizard to help you print a view as a report is available in the Report task pane of the Project Guide.
Bullet Resource booking types     To specify resource assignments as proposed (for example, in projects that are still in the proposal phase) or committed, you can assign booking types to resources in Project Professional 2003. A new resource field contains the booking type (committed or proposed) that can be applied to all of a resource's assignments in the project. Booking types are also used in Project Web Access 2003, where a resource manager can use it to staff projects in the new Build Team feature or to assess capacity versus demand in the Resource Availability Graph.
Bullet Multiple resource skills for resources     Project Professional 2003 provides Enterprise Resource Multi-Value (ERMV) fields to include additional resource skill sets. ERMV fields can be used in resource views to maintain the skills inventory of enterprise resources, in the Build Team feature to search for resources with several skills, and in the Resource Substitution Wizard or Portfolio Modeler to consider the multiple skills of a resource.
Bullet Locking of baseline information     In Project Professional 2003, you can prevent others from overwriting baseline information. On the Admin page in Project Web Access 2003, a server administrator can specify who can or cannot save a baseline in Project Professional 2003.

Installed COM add-ins     The following previously downloadable Project Component Object Model (COM) add-ins are now automatically installed with Project Standard 2003 and Project Professional 2003:

  • Visio WBS Chart Wizard
  • XML Reporting Wizard
  • Compare Project Versions
  • Euro Currency Converter
  • Database Upgrade Utility

You can find the Visio WBS Chart Wizard and XML Reporting Wizard on the Analysis toolbar. The other COM add-ins have their own, separate toolbars.

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Extending Project Server 2003


Improved customization and integration     The Project Data Service (PDS) has been improved to support more functions. These functions include:

  • API for Project Data Creation     A programmatic interface for easy creation of the elements of an enterprise project, ranging from a blank project to a project with tasks, resources, and assignments. It supports creation of the minimum required elements for a valid enterprise project through the PDS. It does not provide a Project Server 2003 scheduling engine.
  • API for Enterprise Resource Pool Creation     A programmatic interface for easy creation and editing of enterprise resource pool resources to facilitate integration between other lines of business systems and Project Server 2003. Not supported, however, is the programmatic creation of resource rates, resource calendars, resource availability, contoured baseline rates, and contoured baseline costs.
  • API for Enterprise Custom Fields     A programmatic interface for editing of value lists of enterprise text fields. This functionality enables integration and synchronization of other business systems with Project Server 2003.
  • API for Improved Enterprise Custom Field Editing     A programmatic interface for easy integration of value lists for enterprise outline codes with another business system, like HR or Financial. This feature allows a developer to include a list of hierarchical values and a set of PDS methods for transforming that list into an enterprise outline code value list.
  • API for Project Server User Maintenance     The PDS now has the ability to add and remove users and maintain Project Server group memberships. The new Active Directory Enterprise Resource Pool Synchronization feature relies on five new methods provided in Project Server PDS.
  • Service for Automated Enterprise Data Maintenance     This automated service provides a programmatic interface for easy integration between Project Server and another business system. It uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the PDS for data transfer to Project Server.
  • Support for Multi-Valued Custom Resource Outline Codes     Project Professional 2003 allow users to define and use multi-valued resource outline codes. Four existing PDS methods now include the ability to create, modify, and delete these codes through a programmatic interface without utilizing Project Professional 2003.

Active Directory improvements     Active Directory improvements in Project Professional 2003 allow administrators to implement a service that maps resources from the Active Directory to the Enterprise Resource Pool and that maps Active Directory security groups to Project Server 2003 security groups. This service will run automatically on a regular basis, as determined by the server administrator. This feature does not support two-way synchronization between Project Server 2003 and Active Directory. It supports automated, one-way synchronization from Active Directory to Project Server. You can perform:

  • Synchronization of resources     The new Active Directory functionality lets you synchronize the team members in a particular group in Active Directory to the Enterprise Resource Pool. For example, new team members in the Active Directory Group (or in an included Active Directory Group) will automatically be created as resources in the Enterprise Resource Pool and in Project Server; and resources that no longer exist in the mapped Active Directory Group are automatically deactivated in the Enterprise Resource Pool and Project Server.
  • Security synchronization     The new Active Directory functionality also lets you synchronize the team members in Active Directory Groups to Project Server security groups. Because organizations may organize their Active Directory groups in a way that does not cleanly map to security groups in Project Server, an administrator needs to map Project Server groups to the appropriate Active Directory groups and may need to create specific Active Directory groups for this purpose. If these specific groups contain other groups (such as organizational groups), the administrator can simply place resources in the core Active Directory group and have the new Active Directory functionality automatically map them to the correct Project Server groups.
Bullet Project Server 2003 Web parts     By using the Microsoft Windows® SharePoint™ Services Configuration Wizard during Project Server 2003 Setup, you can install Web parts that allow you to view specific task or project details in Microsoft Office Project Web Access 2003, such as my tasks, my projects, a project summary, task changes submitted by resources, resource assignments, and a Portfolio Analyzer view.
Bullet Improved scalability through database partitioning     Database partitioning increases Project Server 2003 scalability by allowing the database to be divided between two servers by using the linked server capability of Microsoft SQL Server.

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Extending Project Web Access 2003


Timesheet enhancements     The Project Web Access 2003 timesheet has been improved with the following features:

  • Pick-lists and Lookup Tables in Enterprise Custom Fields     To make gathering information from team members easier and more accurate, the Project Web Access 2003 timesheet provides users with pick-lists and lookup tables in enterprise custom fields and outline codes of tasks. Note that pick-lists are not available for project, resource, or assignment custom fields or outline codes.
  • Timesheet Lock Down     An administrator can lock specific time periods in the Project Web Access 2003 timesheet to prevent resources from reporting hours for time periods other than the current time period. Timesheet periods can be locked for projects that are tracked by hours of work per time period. Entering of actuals cannot be disabled in specific time periods for projects that are tracked in any other way, such as by the percentage of completed work or the total hours of actual work. Actuals entered using these tracking methods are distributed over a timephased period according to the usual scheduling rules.
  • Protected Actuals     When enterprise resources use the timesheet to submit actual work on their assignments, the actual work can be protected to prevent project managers from modifying it. Only actuals for enterprise resource assignments can be protected. Project managers will still be able to edit actuals for tasks that have local or no resources assigned. This feature is tightly integrated with the Timesheet Lock Down feature.
Bullet Printing improvements     Print the grid on the Tasks page, Projects page, Resources page, Updates page, Risks page, Issues page, or Documents page. After specifying the view options for the grid, you can use the Print Grid functionality to arrange and format the columns in the grid the way you want, and then print the grid or export it to Microsoft Office Excel 2003.

Build Team feature     For Project Professional 2003, the Build Team feature is available from Project Web Access 2003. This better meets the staffing needs of businesses who use functional resource managers for assigning resources. It provides resource managers with an easy-to-use tool for finding and assigning enterprise resources to selected projects. It also allows resource managers to staff projects from any computer, without the need to have Project Professional 2003 on their desktop.

The Build Team feature allows you to:

  • Search for resources based on their skills     Build your team in the Projects page of Project Web Access 2003 by searching for resources that are available and have the specific skills you need.
  • Enter multiple resource skills for resources     Project Server 2003 provides Enterprise Resource Multi-Value (ERMV) fields to include additional resource skill sets. You can use these fields in the Build Team feature to search for resources with several skills, and in the Resource Substitution Wizard or Portfolio Modeler to consider the multiple skills of a resource.
Bullet Resource booking types     In Project Web Access 2003, a resource manager can specify different booking types for resources to staff them as proposed or committed to projects in the new Build Team feature or to assess capacity versus demand in the Resource Availability Graph.
Bullet Integration with Windows SharePoint Services     Project Professional 2003 integrates with Windows SharePoint Services to provide document management, issue tracking, and risk management. Microsoft SharePoint Team Services 1.0 is no longer supported.

Document management improvements     Project Professional 2003 improves collaboration capabilities with Windows SharePoint Services by adding the following:

  • Document check in and check out     Because Windows SharePoint Services provides check-in and check-out functionality, Project Server 2003 supports the locking of documents. When a document is checked out of a Document Library, it is automatically locked so no other user can make changes to the document until it is checked back in to the Document Library. When checking documents in, you can add comments to describe the changes made to the document. These comments are saved as part of the document's history.
  • Document versions     For comparison and archiving purposes, Document Libraries provide the ability to store multiple versions of a document. When checked-out documents are checked in, a copy of the previous document is created and saved as an earlier version of the document. Documents that are linked to projects and tasks in Project Server 2003 are always the most current version of the document. You can, however, view all versions of a document, restore the current document to a previous version of the document, or delete an archived version of the document.

Risk management capability     Project Professional 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services provide the ability to record and manage risks, such as events or conditions that can have a positive or negative impact on the outcome of a project. Risk tracking can help you with your risk management process of identifying, analyzing, and addressing project risks proactively. It enables you to record, share, update, and analyze project risks. You can also customize risk tracking for a specific project or the entire organization. Risk tracking is implemented in Project Web Access 2003, where risks can be submitted, updated, and associated to elements such as projects, tasks, documents, issues, and other risks.

This new risk management functionality allows you to attach risk assessments to tasks but it does not provide cross-project risk tracking, reporting, or sophisticated risk management, such as Monte-Carlo analysis.

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Integrating with the Microsoft Office System

Bullet Copy Picture to Office Wizard     Project provides the Copy Picture to Office Wizard to make it very easy to display project data as a static picture in other programs within the Microsoft Office System, such as PowerPoint 2003. You can find the Copy Picture to Office Wizard on the Analysis toolbar.
Bullet Microsoft Outlook® integration     By using the Project add-in for Outlook provided with Project Web Access 2003, team members can display the project tasks you publish to them from Project in their Outlook calendars, alongside their other appointments. They can then update progress on those calendar entries and report status on progress to Project Server directly from Outlook. On the Outlook Calendar, tasks can be displayed as free or busy time. Note that Outlook integration allows team members to display task assignments into Outlook as calendar entries only, not as Outlook tasks.

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Upgrading from previous versions of Microsoft Project


Step-by-step instructions and controls

  • Project Guide     Wizard-like instructions and controls are always at hand in the left pane to help you build a new project, manage tasks and resources, specify and change working time, track your project, and report project information.
  • Smart tags     Receive feedback and advice on alternative actions as you delete task or resource names and change resource assignments, start and finish dates, work, units, or durations.

Improvements to views

  • Additional functionality in the Network Diagram view     Group tasks and display graphical indicators.
  • Additional functionality in usage views     Group assignments, roll up grouped timephased information in usage views, and include totals when printing usage views.
  • Timescale improvements     Display up to three timescales in the Gantt Chart and other graph and usage views.

Scheduling and tracking improvements

  • Assign the right resources     In the Assign Resources dialog box, you can now search and filter for appropriate resources and graph their availability.
  • Improved tracking of actuals     Use the status date to view progress more efficiently. This reduces the number of steps when entering actuals, especially when entering percent complete or percent work complete.
  • Reschedule uncompleted work     Constraints remain as you originally set them when you reschedule uncompleted work. Choose any reschedule date you want.
  • Multiple baselines     Set up to 11 baselines for a single project.
  • Baseline data rollup     Control how your baseline data is rolled up to summary tasks.
Bullet Earned value improvements     The earned value set now includes the schedule performance index (SPI), to complete performance index (TCPI), cost performance index (CPI), cost variance percent (CV%), and schedule variance percent (SV%). Choose from 11 baselines to calculate earned value data.

Integration with other products

  • OLE DB provider     The Project OLE DB provider is enhanced with timephased data and additional tables.
  • XML format     XML is now available as a file format for importing, exporting, and saving your files.
  • Improved integration with Excel 2003     Easily import data from Excel. You can use the new Excel Task List template to start a task list in Excel, and then import this task list into Project smoothly, without having to map any fields.
  • Outlook integration     Easily import a task list from Outlook into Project.

Enterprise project management features

The following enterprise project management features require Project Professional 2003 and Project Server 2003:

  • Collaboration menu     Using Project Professional 2003, you can easily access Project Server pages and features to collaborate with your team directly from Project.
  • Enterprise resources     All resource assignments throughout the enterprise are visible to project managers, resource managers, and other authorized stakeholders. This provides accurate information regarding resource availability. Resources can be checked out, edited, and checked in again.
  • Resource Substitution Wizard     This feature analyzes the skills needed by a project, including generic resources, matches them with skills possessed by resources in the enterprise, and determines their availability. This builds an optimized team for a project's assignments.
  • Build Team from Enterprise functionality     Find resources throughout the enterprise who have the right skills and availability to work on your project. Filter and query the enterprise resource database to fine-tune your project for the right resources.
  • Resource availability graphs     Resource availability graphs allow project managers to quickly identify when and why resources might be underallocated or overallocated.
  • Enterprise global template     Tailored fields, calendars, views, modules, and other consistent Project elements are applied throughout all projects in the enterprise by using the enterprise global template. Individual project templates are also available in the enterprise database.
  • Enterprise custom fields     Your organization's project administrator can use enterprise custom fields to create formulas, outlines, and pick lists (for skill codes, for example). Project management efforts can be tailored to the specific processes of the organization.
  • Model what-if scenarios with the Portfolio Modeler     Use Portfolio Modeler to create multiple versions of the same plan, so you can compare, analyze, and experiment with different versions.
  • Document management     Implemented with Windows SharePoint Services, the document library serves as a valuable repository in Project Server for documents generated throughout the project life cycle. You can access the document library through the Documents page in Project Web Access.
  • Issue tracking     Enter issues, assign ownership, track progress, record resolutions, and create related reports and store it all in Project Server. You can access issue tracking through the Issues page in Project Web Access.

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