With EPM Live, Managing Resources has Never Been Easier!

Many times when managing projects, I have needed to manage the list of resources in a spreadsheet from memory based on who I know in the organization, or in a Project Management Software tool that only most of the project team members use. Although it is possible to export my resource list from Microsoft Project to a spreadsheet, it takes time and is not fool-proof, sometimes resulting in duplicate versions of the truth. Therefore, keeping track of resources and communicating tasks can be a challenging, manual process. The problem with manual processes is that some resources may be overlooked, overbooked, or under-utilized. In order to make sure that everyone knows which tasks are due when, it is necessary to spend massive amounts of time sending reminder emails, re-emphasizing timelines in meetings, and tracking down people one at a time to check in on their status or communicate work changes. When managing multiple projects, this ad-hoc and time-intensive coordination requires the need for even more spreadsheets, emails, meetings, and difficulties in keeping track of the resource pool. Some organizations hire a full-time person just for resource management.

 So… that is the long-houred, stressful, and painful way to handle resource management

Luckily, I have happily discovered an easier way. As a die-hard Microsoft Project user, EPM Live’s WorkEngine edition makes it possible to communicate to team members and contributors without the export to a spreadsheet step from Project. All lists and assignment information is online and accessible by everyone saving me lots of time and drastically reducing confusion and mistakes. In WorkEngine, it is so easy to build a team for a new project. I can add people to the resource pool, quickly pull them into my project, see their availability, and assign them tasks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can view and share the list in a Spreadsheet, Gantt chart, or simply online. As the project manager, I can approve or decline resources added by others so security and central management of resources is not compromised. And my favorite feature is that when I assign a task to a resource, it immediately shows up on that person’s workspace page so they can see the task details, priority and due date. Wow- I don’t have to track the person down or send more emails to communicate his/ hers latest assignments. 

I love how the resource lists and charts are included in the same project workspace as the shared documents, announcements, and other great EPM Live tools. The resource management capabilities in EPM Live’s WorkEngine edition make my life as a PM of multiple projects so much easier! 

Enhance Microsoft Project Server with EPM Live

I was recently asked by someone, why an organization would deploy EPM Live with Project Server.  By connecting EPM Live to the Project Server platform, organizations take advantage of all the features Microsoft Project Server offers and tie it together nicely with a flexible SharePoint solution that enables them to manage not only their entire project lifecycle but all of their other work as well.  EPM Live combined with Microsoft Project Server’s technology caters to all users, all work and all processes.

Organizations in the initial deployment of Project Server can maximize their return on investment and reduce cost and risk by leveraging our pre-configured SharePoint project templates, Project Server database, SSRS Reports, etc.  For those already using Project Server looking to enhance its capabilities without costly and risky customization,  EPM Live offers many enhancements that I’ve outlined below.

Pick and choose features that would benefit your organization the most, without disruption to your existing processes.  Project Managers continue to use Microsoft Project Professional and Microsoft Project Web App. Directly accessible from the Project Web App (PWA) interface.  Teams can share all work assignments, priorities, and critical dates with an effective and easy to use collaboration tool, to increase communication and productivity across their projects.  EPM Live with Project Server enables organizations to work better together and allows Microsoft Project Server to reach a broader audience and meet the needs of the entire project team.

Project Management

  • Leverage multiple scheduling methods to determine which method is right for your project.
  • For iterative planning, use the Agile Planner to schedule tasks, user stories, defects, etc.
  • Microsoft Project schedules and Project Web App schedules are published to a SharePoint task list in the Project Workspace so you can easily leverage SharePoint out of box features on your tasks
  • EPM Live’s App MarketPlace offers powerful, easy-to-use, predefined solution templates that optimize the dynamic features of EPM Live products and accelerate the implementation process.

Work Management

  • View, update and manage all individual work assignments from a single location with the EPM Live My Work web part. Roll up any work you are tracking in your SharePoint Project Workspaces to allow Team members to update status in one view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Easily collaborate with the team using EPM Live Comments feature.  Post a comment on any item in the system to centralize discussions and communicate effectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Resource Management: 

  • Provide resource visibility on All Work such as Issues, Risks, Changes, Actions, in addition to Project Server assignments.  EPM Live’s Resource Planner allows resource managers to view resource workload across all work, view resource availability by time-phase, perform what-if analysis on resource assignment level workload and availability, and view resources by various attributes such as department, skill, and role.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Gain valuable insight into resource assignments by accessing EPM Live out-of-box resource reports. Printable Resource Management reports on all work such as Issues, Risks, Changes, Actions, in addition to Project Server assignments
  • Ability to build SharePoint Workflows on Resource Work and Assignments (including Project Server assignments)

Time Management:

  • Report Time on any work item such as Service Requests, Backlog Items, Changes, Issues, Risks, in addition to your Project Server assignments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Report Time using the EPM Live Work Log feature.  Understand the full effort associated with the execution of any work item by quickly logging time within the same status interface that team members use for managing day to day activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Capture Time for Multiple Time Categories.  Create multiple time categories such as billable or non-billable to manage and account for time that aligns with a specific corporate work structure. Categorize time to extend reporting and report on what matters most to the business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portfolio Financial Management:

  • Standardize financial planning by leveraging pre-defined, configurable cost categories such as labor, hardware, software, overheads and contingency to easily plan your project budgets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Leverage unique roll up components to aggregate all project cost data across your portfolio. Built-in cost dashboards provide key performance indicators to drive awareness of cost status.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • What-if Financial Modeling – Analyze your proposed portfolio against defined financial targets to determine alignment and overall financial impact. Compare defined budgets against proposed projects and make adjustments where needed.  Leverage color-coded heat maps to visualize impacts and make adjustments to reduce overages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resource Capacity Planning:

  • Using your Project Server resource pool, estimate role-based resource hours to ensure the resource plan can be fulfilled given current resource workload and availability. For the more sophisticated organizations, our powerful resource workflows allow project management to create resource requests.  Department managers can compare resource availability to identify resource shortages and surpluses and easily match available resources to resource requirements to ensure the right resources are assigned to the right work at the right time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Leverage intuitive color-coded heat maps to view over allocations and modify dates and sequencing to define the most optimal portfolio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reporting:

  • Leverage over 20 pre-built SSRS Reporting templates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Easily build dashboards with EPM Live Silverlight Chart Web Parts for graphical chart reporting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Take scheduled snap shots for trend reporting with pre-built trending reports, such as Burn Down and Burn Up reports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Configuration:

  • Site hierarchy flexibility (Department – Portfolio – Program – Project – Sub Project Workspaces)
  • Publish multiple projects from Project Server into a single Project Workspace (Programs or Portfolios Workspaces)
  • All Data resides in SharePoint Content DB to enable you to easily leverage SharePoint out of box features (Project data, Assignments, Issues, Risks, Bugs, Changes, Actions, etc.)
  • Access to EPM Live web parts for rollups, time management, reporting, ect.

Cross Platform Support:

  • View Project Server data on both PC or MAC computers
  • View Project Server data in Non IE browsers
  • Safari 3.X or higher
  • Firefox 3.X or higher​

Related Webinars/Events:

Case Study – How to Get More Out of Your Project Server Deployment