One of the biggest problem customers of project server 2003 reported that project server 2003 does not provide any infrastructure to record insights of all organizational activities. These activities include Tasks, Proposals, Ideas, ADhoc projects. There was a small solution which involves creating a new version in project server 2003 PWA and save the proposed projects as proposed version. But it seems like it has no effect on the server data other than it can be used as a filter for reporting purpose.
Project Server 2007 now has a new feature called Proposals and Activities. Proposals now enable project initiation on the Web in Project Web Access (PWA). Creating Proposals enables the use of business processes to track potential projects as well as leverage Project functionality to perform what-if analysis prior to approval. Further, storing proposal data along with project data generates the content for better portfolio decision making.
Using Resource Plans in conjunction with Proposals will provide a more accurate view for forecasting required resources and staff training or hiring. Resource Plans provide information about future high-level resource allocation when detailed resource assignments do not yet exist.
To create a new Proposal in Project server 2007 you need to perform the following steps.
Note: These steps are written for project server 2007 beta II. It can change so I do not take any responsibility for such changes.
Login to Project Web Access
Click Project and Proposals
Proposals and Activity Plans
Proposals and Activity Plans as shows by its name consist of two parts.
A proposal is a tentative plan for business opportunity from a prospective customer. You can create a proposal as a Summary of the project plan and later you can turn this proposal to a full-fledged project plan.
- Activity Plan
Many people uses various types of Lists to document their tasks performed. These lists include Task list in outlook or any other email client, SharePoint Lists, To Do list in project web access 2003. Now in project server 2007 you can turn any list into a project using the activity plan. You can import the tasks from the list to organize a project plan.
Here are the steps involved to create a proposal.
- On Proposals and Activity Plans page click New -> Proposal
- On proposal screen enter Proposal title and description. Here you can create a new proposal or plan, or list or you can import it from any other SharePoint site. Now enter the summary information and then click on the Work Details option button.
You also need to select the owner of the plan who will late take control of the project. Here I must mention the difference between project owner and project manager.
Project Owner VS Project Manager
A project owner is a person in Project Server who start a project from scratch and enter the initial project information e.g. tasks, work, generic resources etc. and saves the plan to project server.
A Project manager is a person in project server who opens the project or creates a project from scratch and publishes the project to project server. If the person saving and publishing is same then he will become the owner of the plan as well as project manager.
Project server 2007 now has another new thing; Task or Assignment Owner. In real life scenario when project plan is published to the server, there are few tasks that do not required approval of the project manager or it is now unclear at that time to assign resource on the task. We can use Task or Assignment owner to specify weather the task updates will be sent to project manager or any other person for approval of timesheet. See Project professional 2007 help for more details. (I will try to write on it as well). Coming back to the topic;
When you click the Work details option a grid will be shown to enter the detailed tasks that are required to be performed in this proposal. Enter as many tasks as required. You noted in the above image that proposal end date is grayed out because its end date will be calculated using the last tasks end date.
In the work details section enter the tasks which are required or needed to be done in the project. You can
Indent a Un-Indent Tasks (Select the task and click to create a summary task. To un-indent as task.
Link and Unlink Tasks (Select Two Task and click Link Tasks button on the toolbar.
Link Document to a Task (Only works after proposal is published to the server).
Build Team for proposal (Add Resources to the proposal)
Create a Resource Plan for proposal. (Set Resource availability parameters for ADhoc work)
Proposal works as a normal project plan where you can assign tasks to resources.
After filling this information you need to save the proposal for advance options.
Click Save or Save and Publish to save the proposal. The next page will display the following image
When proposal is successfully saved to the server, open the proposal and click build Team.
Build Team on Proposal
Select the checkbox from the left grid and click Add to add the resource to the proposal. You can use different options like view assignment and availability to see details about resources. You can also use different views like Resources by RBS or group or any other field in your system.
Click Save when you are done.
If you want to include resources in this plan and do not know the details about the activities that the resource will perform you can add resources to this proposal by using Resource plan. As mentioned above Resource Plans provide information about future high-level resource allocation when detailed resource assignments do not yet exist.
Click on the Proposal Work Details page click Resource Plan. (I would recommend leaving this section right now but I will be writing more on that soon).
When you are finished creating assignment click save and publish
Now the proposal is published. It will be available in the proposals and activity plans page as given below.
Upgrading a proposal to project plan
You can see from the image that the proposal is still checked out. Click on the image on the first column of the grid and click Check In to check this project back in to the server.
Select the proposal you wanted to upgrade as project plan. Click Upgrade.
This proposal will not be available to you if you upgrade it to project. Click Yes. The proposal will be upgraded as project in project server.
Click Project Center from the action bar where the proposal will be visible as project, you can now edit the plan as per your requirement.
Viewing updated proposal to project plan
Proposals provide a great infrastructure to record the perspective activities in project server. We can use these proposals for analyses. In future I will write how we analyze proposal data in Project server 007.