Understanding Project Server and Project Web Access

The concept behind Project Server is that all the projects that your organization manages affect each other, and the need for collaboration on projects is greater than it has ever been. As the number of projects and the size of your organization grow, so does the need to manage the management of projects. Project Server enables you to store all projects and all resources for the organization in one central database on your company's local-area network (LAN) or intranet so that limited resources can be matched to projects. Only the project manager must actually install and use Project Professional. All other resources on the project use Project Web Access, a browser-based product, to view project data that is stored in the Project Server database. Using Project Server and Project Web Access (and without using Project Professional), team members, managers, and executives can accomplish the following:

♦ Enter and view time sheet information

♦ View a project's Gantt chart

♦ Receive, refuse, and delegate work assignments

♦ Update assignments with progress and completion information

♦ Attach supporting documentation, such as budget estimates or feasibility studies, to a project

♦ Receive notices about task status

♦ Perform analysis and produce organization-wide reports

♦ Carry out basic issue and risk management

♦ Send status reports to the project manager

For more detail about the roles of managers, team members, and executives, see Chapters 21, 22, and 23, respectively.

Here's how the process works in general. The network administrator (or someone with similar skills and network privileges) installs Project Server on a Web server or the company's server. The project manager creates a project in Project Professional that is "Web-based." When the project manager is ready to store the project in the Project Server database, he or she publishes the project information. At this point, anyone with Internet Explorer 5.5 (or a later version), access to the Project Server database, and viewing rights can view the project information as it appears in Project Professional by using Project Web Access, the browser-based client side of Project Server.

For details on the hardware and software that are needed for Project Server, see Chapter 18.

Using a variety of tools, the project manager can assign resources to the project using as a company-wide pool of available resources that are stored in the Project Server database. Team members can see, in Project Web Access, the assignments that they have received and use Project Web Access to update work assignments, send status reports to the project manager, and even set up to-do lists.

Note The project manager uses both Project Professional and Project Web Access, but other project resources use only Project Web Access.

Cross-Reference

Cross-Reference

' Using the Outlook add-in that's available in Project Web Access, resources can

' import tasks from Project Server and export work information from Outlook to

Project Server.

For more information on using Outlook with Project Web Access, see Chapter 22.

Project Server enables you to create consistent projects that use the same custom settings. Using the Enterprise Global template, each project that you create contains all the same fields, maps, views, tables, reports, filters, forms, toolbars, groups, and calendars that are stored in the global template file that's included in Project Professional, along with additional enterprise-only fields. Administrators can define whether fields are required and can create look-up tables and value lists for fields. Because the settings are stored in the Enterprise Global template, they can be used repeatedly without having to re-create information.

Does your organization need Project Server? The following is a list of scenarios where Project Server would work well:

♦ You manage many different projects using the same resources.

♦ Your organization is growing and has identified a need for tracking projects more accurately or utilizing resources more efficiently.

♦ Your organization has determined that the time of project managers and resources time would be used more efficiently if resources could record their time directly in the project schedule instead of providing it to the project manager, who then updates the schedule.

♦ Your executives want better organization-wide reporting and analysis tools than you can currently provide.

♦ Your managers need to model if-then scenarios.

♦ Your users need access to project data anywhere in the world.

Project Server was originally designed as a LAN-based product. If your organization uses a LAN and wants one central database to store both projects and resources, Project Server should meet your needs.

Suppose that your organization uses a wide-area network (WAN). You can still use Project Server, but performance will not be as good as the performance that you can achieve on a LAN, unless you use additional software such as Terminal Services, Citrix, or New Moon.

See Chapter 18 for more information related to using Project Server in a WAN

environment.

environment.

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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