Do More Than Manage
Gord Schmidt's Ideas for Doing More with Microsoft Project Server
Summary Task

Enterprise Project Templates and the Project Guide

Lots of my clients are interested in using Project Templates with Project Server. I think templates are a great idea. Although they have been around for ages with Microsoft Project, I just think they were not that well known and now with Project Server, a Project Management Office can easily make templates accessible to project managers. Templates offer an organization the opportunity to present project managers creating new project plans with the current best practices. These templates can be improved as projects that were based on the templates are reviewed.

To begin building a real project plan, the project manager picks the most appropriate template and is presented with a set of tasks that provides a good start. What can be done to improve that start?

The Enterprise Templates are, by their nature, static. To improve them, make them dynamic!

The Microsoft Project Guide is the perfect interface for creating a simple wizard to make the process of starting a project plan with an Enterprise Template dynamic. For example, the Guide might gather information about:

Sample Custom Microsoft Project Guide and MSF Template

Based on the answers provided to the Guide's wizard, changes are made to the project plan based on the template.

If the project manager indicates that 4 iterations are required for a set of tasks, the Guide will replicate the appropriate set of tasks 3 times. If the project manager indicates that a specific set of regression tests will not be needed, all tasks related to those tests will be deleted from the plan.

A well written guide of this nature will allow a non-developer to update the Enterprise Template without needing to update the code underlying the Guide.

Posted by Gord Schmidt on Monday, June 05, 2006 | Permalink | Extend