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#SPC12 Sharepoint 2012 Conference–Project Portfolio Management

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Finally, the wireless connectivity got fixed so Christophe Fiessinger and Pradeep GanapathyRaj had a chance for a good demo.

I’ll be honest – I’ve never liked Project and care even less for Project Server with PPM.  For most of the projects I’ve done, I always found it easier to manage a task list in daily meetings than manage a MPP file with Project.  I’ll admit I’m old school in this. I’ll also admit much of my dislike for Project is based on intimidation – it just always struck me as vastly complex and really bad at reporting.

It seems some of these problems are fixed in the newest release and I am forced to admit that the integration with Sharepoint is…wait for it…great.  The basic approach seems to be to allow you to start with basic task lists in Sharepoint supplemented with the new timeline control.  Then, when the workstream becomes more complex, you can easily create a full blown project plan manageable via Project by clicking a single button.  You don’t have to store the MPP file anywhere – all the data is stored automatically back in Sharepoint.

Once this project is created, it’s now exposed to the entire organizational project portfolio so you can examine resource load across all projects, report across all projects and make investment decisions on what projects to do.

The last part is critical to the point of the session.  By using PPM, you can set up complex scoring systems that allow you to rank projects so you can look at an entire set of proposed and existing projects and make decisions to start them or kill them.  Combined with the extraordinarily improved reporting engine in the Project client (and the server based reporting that has gotten very nice), this really gives you some interesting and methodical insight to your level of commitment and resource capability.

For a consulting company, PPM has no obvious (at least to me, yet) place.  We don’t make decisions about what projects to take on – we take them on as fast as we can provided our team can, in any way, service them well.  So, the consolidated view is great but we’d never use PPM functionality.

As a last comment, I was really impressed – again – with both the sophistication of the PowerView reporting tool in Project AND the commitment MS has made to integrate all this stuff with Sharepoint (including providing much better collaboration facilities into Project).

#SPC12 Sharepoint 2012–New Stuff in Enterprise Content Management

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Yawn.  Seriously, who the hell cares about ECM?

Apparently, me, Jim Mason, Tejas Mehta (both MS presenters) and about a 1000 other people crammed into a man-scented sweaty ballroom at #SPC12.

I’ve been working with ECM inside Sharepoint since the last release and really thought it a good step up.  Centralized taxonomy was solid, content types were good if not quite as integrated to Document Center and workflow as I would have liked and the combination of taxonomy with folksonomy and the use of termsets in navigation really jumped us up a level.

The next release is a mountain of gold better than that.  Here’s what I liked:

  • Hash tags becomes first level content and can be profiled to associate them with a termset member thereby allowing for a strict correlation between tags users enter (folksonomy) and the centralized term store (taxonomy – which reflects the site content organizing principles)
  • The new “drag and drop into a library” feature (direct from the web page) allows inline mass editing of the added documents.  Maybe I should write this as “the finally made list act like Excel and you can really edit the crap out of them.  YAAAAYYYYYY!!!”
  • Team sites can have Exchange inboxes.  Pretty cool.  But, even cooler, you can hit them with Outlook like they are your mailbox, send email to them, drag docs into them and even promote an email into the documents folder for the site by dragging it from an email.  Epic.
  • All conversations (newsfeeds, etc) become first level content for ECM so they can be managed and searched.
  • But, a really cool idea:  Take your termset.  Make it your navigation element for the site.  Then, rather than having the termset nav element return a specific page (for say “marketing”) have it return a page with a content query that uses Search to return everything associated with the element of the termset tied to the navigation bar.  This way, you get ALL content associated with the term (video, power point, conversations, etc) and you DON’T HAVE TO CREATE SEPARATE PAGES!

 

They then went on to talk about eDiscovery but I didn’t listen as I was deep in a reverie about how to redesign our corporate site.

Man, I love technology.

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