Home > Microsoft Conventions > #SPC12 Sharepoint 2012 Conference–Project Portfolio Management

#SPC12 Sharepoint 2012 Conference–Project Portfolio Management

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).

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