Depending on the organization and its approach to project management, a single executive might be responsible for a portfolio of dozens or even hundreds of projects, often for a whole department or a region of the organization. Executives require visibility into all of these projects so that they can make sure that the work is aligned with the strategic goals of the organization.
In larger organizations, the Project Management Office (PMO) usually manages a portfolio of projects. Nevertheless, executives typically work very closely with the PMO to make sure that the goals of the organizations are understood and met, and that the projects are aligned with these goals.
This article describes the activities that are available to you as an executive in an organization that uses Microsoft Office Project Web Access. It presents a broad overview of Project Web Access from the perspective of an executive.
Depending on the security group to which you are assigned, you can work with Project Web Access features by using Project Web Access, Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007, or both.
What can you do with executive permissions?
Work from the Project Web Access home page
The Project Web Access home page is the primary entry point for users who work with data saved to the Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 database. When you log on to Project Web Access, pending items that might require action (such as task updates that must be approved) and items that have changed since the last time that you logged on are displayed. From the home page, you can access Project Web Access features, including Tasks, Project Center, Resource Center, Updates, Status Reports, Documents, Issues, and Risks pages.
Note: The content that appears on the Project Web Access home page is determined by the features that are available on the server, the role of the user, the permissions that are assigned to the user, the security categories to which the user belongs (including the projects and views assigned to that security category), and any customizations that were configured for the home page.
Project Web Access home page activities
Integrate with Outlook
Project Web Access integrates with Microsoft Outlook to enable team members to update their tasks by using Office Outlook 2007, 2003, or XP. In order to use any Outlook integration features, team members must:
Have a valid user account for Project Web Access to access the page from which the Outlook integration features are configured.
Use Office Outlook 2007, 2003, or XP.
Download and install the Microsoft Office Project Add-in for Outlook.
Work with resources
You can use the Resource Center in Project Web Access to view, modify, and analyze information for one or more resources who are assigned to tasks in projects that are published to the Project Server database. The Resource Center displays a list of the resources in the enterprise resource pool; permission to view items in the Resource Center is granted by the Project Server administrator.
Manage resource information
In the Resource Center, you can view and edit information about resources, such as their e-mail addresses, account information, and groups to which they belong. You can also view their assignment and availability information.
Note: Some resource attributes, such as their calendar settings, can only be changed by using Project Professional 2007.
Resource information management activities
You can use the Build Team feature to build teams for projects based on many different parameters, including resource skills and resource availability, although this task is usually performed by project managers. You can use the Resource Center to review who is assigned to projects across the organization.
Consider the following when you use the Build Team feature:
Managers might not be able to see all resources, or they might not be able to assign all of them to projects.
In order to find or review resources that have the necessary skill sets, your organization must apply Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) and other enterprise resource outline codes that are used to define various skills and resource relationships within the organization.
You can assign tasks to a team of resources; individual team members can then select those tasks that they want assigned to themselves.
Managers can use both proposed and committed booking types for resources. By assigning resources to projects without committing them, managers can track potential resource assignments for proposed new projects. Service organizations, for example, often use proposed booking so that they can compare various assignment scenarios and manage both proposed and approved assignments. Resource managers in organizations that use a centralized resource pool and project managers who do their own staffing use proposed booking to track and manage staffing requests.
Note: Some resource attributes and settings, such as calendar settings and substituted resources, can only be changed by using Project Professional 2007.
Project staffing activities
To find the best resource for the job to help determine whether the organization is understaffed, you can use the skill scheduling features that are available in Project Web Access and Project Professional 2007 as part of your organization's Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution. Mangers can use the Resource Substitution Wizard within Project Professional 2007 to replace generic resources with actual resources. Use the Build Team feature in Project Web Access to build find resources with the correct skills for the job.
Note: Some resource attributes, such as calendar settings and the resource substitution wizard, can only be changed by using Project Professional 2007.
Skill scheduling activities
Work with vacation and other nonworking time (administrative time)
Project Web Access enables you to track nonworking time (administrative time), such as vacations, team meetings, training, internal projects, and other nonproject time. Team members enter administrative time on their My Timesheets pages.
Your organization should track administrative time if:
You are integrating with an accounting system that requires data on exceptions.
Your management team wants to see reports on exceptions.
Project managers or resource managers want team members to enter out-of-office time so that the time appears as unavailable for project assignments.
Administrative time management activities
Work with projects and portfolios in the Project Center
The Project Center provides a convenient way for project managers, team members, and other project stakeholders to view detailed information about individual projects, project proposals, and reporting statistics about a portfolio of projects projects across the organization. Any user who has permission to access the Project Center in Project Web Access or Project Professional 2007 can use the Project Center to work with any project to which they are assigned. Only projects that are published to the Project Server 2007 database are available in the Project Center.
Project Center activities
Analyze data and create reports
By creating accurate reports, you can clearly communicate the success of your organization's overall approach to project and resource management.
Project Web Access provides many reporting options to help your team collaborate in the most efficient ways. Resources can create status reports to report how their tasks are progressing. In addition, a project manager can create detailed online analytical processing (OLAP) reports.
Note: Keep in mind that some tasks can only be performed if a user belongs to the Project Web Access administrators group. If you don't see the Server Settings link in the Quick Launch of Project Web Access, then you don't belong to the administrators group, and cannot perform actions such as customizing views, setting up reports, setting up timesheets, or deleting projects.
Manage status reports
Status reports describe the progress on assigned tasks. You can automate the process of requesting and receiving status information; they can send team members status report requests, and team members can then respond to them by providing the information requested. Team members can also initiate the submission of status reports. Project managers can configure status reports so that they receive individual submissions and a merged report that consolidates responses.
Status report management activities
Work with OLAP reports
Managers at various levels can use a variety of reports to analyze project and resource performance within a project or across multiple projects. You can use PivotTable and PivotChart views if you want to work interactively with the reports and change some of the fields that structure them. All these reports help you understand the health of your organization in terms of project and resource performance.
Note: Some reports, such as visual reports, can only be created and viewed using Project Professional 2007.
OLAP report management activities
Collaborate with others in your organization
Project Web Access has many features to help your organization's resources collaborate on project tasks, issues, risks, and other areas that affect the success of the project.
Project Server 2007 users can take advantage of Windows SharePoint Services to collaborate on projects. Every project that is published to the Project Server database can be associated with a site on a server that is running Windows SharePoint Services. This site can contain multiple document libraries and a single list of issues and risks, which you can use to store and track project-related documents, issues, and risks.