Developing a strategy for implementation and configuration

Project Server isn't the type of software that you install and then immediately start using. To make your implementation successful, you should plan it as a phased process.

Consider first creating a prototype of the system, and from your requirements document, identify a few projects and project teams to participate in the prototype test. Make sure that you select users who represent all the various roles that were identified earlier so that you can fully test the system. Also, select projects that don't depend on other projects that won't be a part of the prototype. Design and develop the prototype system, and demonstrate it to the implementation team. Make modifications to the prototype design based on input from the implementation team, and demonstrate the prototype to senior management. Again, make changes as needed.

Don't assume that project managers who have been using Project Professional for years can build plans that are suitable for the enterprise. For portfolio analysis and resource management to have meaning across the enterprise, plans and resource management must be consistent and standard across projects.

Once you complete the prototype, you need to develop training materials and, once again, select projects and project teams that represent each of the roles that were identified earlier to participate in the pilot phase. Reset the Project Server database, and load the pilot projects. At this stage, you should include at least one project that has external dependencies to another project to test that aspect of usage, and then make adjustments as needed. Train the pilot group, and allow them to use Project Server for at least four reporting cycles. Be sure to solicit feedback so that you can address all the issues that arise.

Identify groups to which you can open the system, and plan the timing of each group's introduction to the system. As you introduce each group, you need to add their projects to the Project Server database and provide training to the group. Allow enough time for each group to get up and running before introducing the next group.

Once you're satisfied that you've ironed out any kinks that were identified during the prototype and pilot phases, expand the user base of the system again, adding projects to the Project Server database based on the groups that you identified, and train the new group that is to begin using the system. Allow each group to work through at least three reporting cycles before you add additional groups. Remember, as you add new groups, you must provide training to users.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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