Microsoft at Insight UK

Microsoft Project Server 2010: Top 10 Benefits

Microsoft Project Server 2010 is built on Microsoft SharePoint® Server 2010, and brings together powerful business collaboration platform services with structured execution capabilities to provide flexible work management solutions. Project Server 2010 unifies project and portfolio management to help organisations align resources and investments with strategic priorities, gain control across all types of work, and visualise performance by using powerful dashboards.

1. Unified project and portfolio management.
The best-in-class portfolio management techniques available in Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007 are incorporated into Project Server 2010, providing a single server with an intuitive user interface that offers the right tools to support the entire project life cycle. By combining top-down portfolio management techniques with bottom-up project management capabilities, Project Server 2010 helps organisations identify and select optimal portfolios, and successfully deliver the projects to realise results.

2. Drive accountability and control with governance workflow.
Project Server 2010 workflow capabilities help organisations define the right governance processes to effectively control all types of work—project and operational—throughout the work life cycle. Establishing checkpoints within the process and identifying individuals with the appropriate approval authority helps drive accountability, increases awareness, and provides an auditable record of all investment decisions. The new Proposal Status Page helps the Project Management Office (PMO) effectively communicate the governance processes and educate employees to drive adoption, satisfaction, and compliance.

3. Standardise and streamline project initiation.
Project Server 2010 provides a one-stop-shopping demand management portal to help organisations streamline and standardise the initiation process for all types of work. Centralising project and operational activities in a central system provides organisations with visibility across all requests and in-flight initiatives, so it is easy to eliminate duplicate requests and quickly assess the impact on available resources. The flexibility of Project Server 2010 helps the PMO provide departments with a level of autonomy, while standardising the collection of data to facilitate enterprise reporting.

4. Select the right portfolios that align with strategy.
Gone are the days when projects are funded on a first-come, first-served basis. Project Server 2010 includes best-practice portfolio selection techniques that provide ahandshake between value optimisation—that is, alignment with strategy—and resource utilisation, to help organisations adopt a more rational rather than emotional approach to investment selection. The new portfolio management and analytical capabilities help executives do more with less and objectively demonstrate the investment alignment with strategic priorities.

a. Effectively prioritise and communicate business strategy.
Project Server 2010 helps executives break down their strategy into actionable, measurable, and discrete business drivers. The intuitive pair wise assessment helps to ensure that organisations objectively prioritise business drivers, drive executive consensus, and derive a relative score that is used to measure the strategic contribution of competing requests. Consolidating and prioritising business drivers within Project Server 2010 helps to communicate the strategy in actionable terms, and provide a blueprint that can be understood and implemented by departmental managers.

b. Run what-if analyses under varying constraints.
Project Server 2010 helps organisations prioritise and assess projects from multiple dimensions—strategic value, financial value, risk—to provide objective, apples-to-apples comparisons. The intuitive Cost Constraint Analysis view helps analysts quickly model varying budget constraints and use a sophisticated optimisation algorithm to recommend the project portfolio that best aligns with the business strategy. The Efficient Frontier, Strategic Alignment, and Compare Scenario views provide powerful insights that help executives identify tradeoffs, and evaluate and refine portfolio selection.

c. Proactively reschedule projects to maximise resource utilisation.
The new capacity planning capability in Project Server 2010 helps analysts proactively assess the impact of proposed portfolio on the resource pool, and model scenarios to enhance utilisation across the planning horizon. The powerful Resource Constraint Analysis view provides a holistic portal to help organisations visualise resource shortfalls and under utilisations, adjust project start dates to better utilise available employees, and model headcount decisions to identify optimal hiring strategies.

5. Easily build Web-based project schedules.
Project Server 2010 empowers a mobile workforce by bringing the power of Microsoft Project Professional 2010 to the browser with Web-based project scheduling. Project managers can now take advantage of powerful diagnostic capabilities, such as Change Highlighting and Multi-Level Undo without first opening Project Professional 2010. Web-based scheduling provides occasional and certified project managers with the flexibility to quickly build simple and complex schedules online, and conveniently edit the plan from any location over the Internet.

6. Intuitively submit time and task updates.
Project Server 2010 provides organisations with the flexibility they need to centralise time capture, streamline processes, automate task management, and increase the accuracy of project forecasting. Time reporting capabilities have been further enhanced in Project Server 2010 to provide a new Single Entry Mode to unify time and task status updates. The Web-based user interface for timesheet entry and task management has been standardised to speed learning and enhance user experience. Project Server 2010 connects with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 to ensure that team members can conveniently receive and update their project tasks in Microsoft Outlook® 2010 and Outlook Web App.

7. Gain visibility and control through reports and dashboards.
Project Server 2010 provides a powerful reporting infrastructure coupled with flexible Business Intelligence tools to help ensure that organisations proactively gain visibility across their project portfolios, that they can react quickly, and can generate custom reports. Project Server 2010 uses the Microsoft Business Intelligence platform, including Excel® Services, PerformancePoint® Services, Visio® Services, PowerPivot for Excel, SQL Reporting Services, and more, to provide organisations with a comprehensive solution that will grow with their reporting needs. The solution provides non technical resources with familiar tools to easily create reports and configure powerful audience-based dashboards, while providing technical resources with more sophisticated capabilities to create complex views.

8. Simplified administration and flexibility.
Project Server 2010 is extremely flexible and can be quickly configured to meet an organisation's unique requirements and business processes. Project Server 2010 simplifies administration through an improved console that consolidates both project and portfolio management capabilities. New features including User Delegation and Project Permissions reduce the burden on the administrator by empowering user action. Project Server 2010 helps to ensure that PMOs and administrators can spend less time managing the system and focus more on project and portfolio delivery and performance.

9. Gain additional value from the Microsoft platform.
Project Server 2010 connects with related Microsoft technologies, such as SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, and Exchange Server 2010, to provide a powerful and familiar work management platform. This helps to ensure that team members can choose their preferred productivity tools to easily receive tasks and provide status updates to project stakeholders with minimal effort and administrative overhead. This flexibility helps drive productivity and helps to ensure that project managers and PMOs can effectively gather the required data to drive enterprise reporting and resource management.

10. Extensible and programmable platform.
Project Server 2010 provides an open, extensible, and programmable platform to help ensure that organisations can easily develop custom solutions and effectively integrate with line-of business systems. Because Project Server 2010 is built on SharePoint Server 2010, developers can take advantage of a consistent and robust platform to rapidly build and deploy solutions using familiar tools and services, including Windows Communication Foundation, Business Connectivity Services, Microsoft Visual Studio® 2010, and Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010.