What people are asking about Project 2010

project manager imageThere is a lot of information available on Microsoft Project 2010, but it is not always easy to find. As such, I would like to share some useful answers to questions my clients have been asking. This information is all in the public domain.

If you have any other question, please send me an email at reval.maharaj@softchoice.com or leave a comment below.

Can “what-if” scenarios be created with Project 2010?

With Project Professional 2010, you can toggle between Active and Inactive task mode for specific tasks. For tasks designated Inactive, task names and related information will be presented in light gray strikethrough font, and will not be factored into the schedule. Inactive task mode offers a convenient way to temporarily or permanently remove tasks from project plans without affecting the integrity of the entire project schedule.

When toggled to Inactive mode, tasks retain previously recorded schedule and resource data, but this information is excluded from Project 2010 schedule calculations. If you are connected to Project Server 2010, task assignments will automatically be removed from resources when tasks are made Inactive.

This feature allows the creation of what-if scenarios within your project plan. You can make entire sections of a project inactive, and remove their effect on your project schedule, simply by designating the top-level summary task for that section Inactive.

This approach makes it easy to compare and contrast one or more approaches in your schedule by simply toggling comparative sections between Active and Inactive mode.

More information and documentation on Microsoft Project Professional 2010 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/project/en/us/project-professional-2010.aspx

Does MS Project 2010 support graphical Work Breakdown Structures?

For many Project Managers, it is extremely helpful to create a graphical Work Breakdown Structure. This allows a better understanding of the work packages, interdependencies, and priorities, before actually generating a task/activity list in MS Project 2010.

The Visio 2010 add-in for WBS Modeler is intended to improve the project planning process by giving the opportunity to generate project plans from a work break-down structure (WBS) using a graphical representation of elements.

The WBS Modeler can either be used to visualize and edit an existing project plan or to create a new project plan in Visio Professional 2010 or Visio Premium 2010 and then export it to Microsoft Project 2010.

More information and documentation on Microsoft Visio 2010 add-ins can be found at http://visiotoolbox.com/2010/add-ins.aspx.

Can team members provide online Project updates, without implementing Project Server?

With Project Professional 2010 you can automate status updates. You can save projects to a SharePoint Foundation 2010 task list, and then map resource assignments on project tasks to SharePoint users on your team.

Team members can choose to receive e-mail notifications of assignments, or see assignments when they visit the SharePoint Foundation 2010 task list. In addition, team members can directly update their progress and other task information in SharePoint Foundation 2010.

Project managers can choose when to synchronize updates from team members into their project plans. In addition, Project 2010 helps you resolve any conflicts in task information that are identified during synchronization.

More information and documentation on Microsoft Project Professional 2010 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/project/en/us/project-professional-2010.aspx

What happened to Microsoft’s Project Portfolio Server ?

Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server is a server based application, used by organizations for identifying, selecting, managing, and delivering project portfolios that were aligned with their strategic priorities.

The last available version of this product was PPS 2007. The features and functionality of Portfolio Server have now been included with Microsoft’s Project Server 2010. Organizations with Software Assurance on their Portfolio Server licenses and CALs have a specified migration path to Project Server.

More information and documentation on Microsoft Project Server licensing can be found at http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/userights/ProductPage.aspx?pid=130

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About Reval Maharaj

Reval is a Softchoice product specialist, based in Toronto. His focus is on assisting Softchoice customers to leverage and apply technology, to meet their business goals.