Extending Microsoft Project Server 2010 into a Complete Work Management System

Microsoft Project Server 2010 is a powerful application that many organizations have adopted and deployed to centralize and manage their project schedules. It has a robust database back-end that allows for storing enterprise resources, field attributes, field calculations, and more. Although Microsoft Project Server is a powerful solution for Project and Portfolio Mangement, most organizations find that where there are projects, there is also other work that affects the same resources.  So how do Microsoft Project Server users extend their project platform to not only include all other work that needs to be managed within the organization but expand the use of Microsoft Project Server to a broader audience allowing them to maximize their return on investment?  By connecting PWA WorkEngine 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.  PWA WorkEngine combined with Microsoft Project Server’s technology caters to all users, all work and all processes making any Microsoft Project Server deployment the most flexible and robust system available today.

PWA WorkEngine was designed to leverage the powerful capabilities of Microsoft Project Server 2010 such as portfolio management and schedule management and extend the same value-driven concepts to all areas of the business whether it be traditional projects or the other work that surrounds them, all within one centralized platform.  Project Server users can maximize their return on investment and reduce cost and risk with minimal disruption to their existing processes by leveraging pre-configured SharePoint project templates that best suit any project and work management need.  Project Managers continue to use Microsoft Project Professional and Microsoft Project Web App without any new training or change to their process. 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. PWA WorkEngine 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.

In addition, different types of departments may manage their projects with varying methodologies. Using WorkEngine pre-built site templates, organizations accelerate their Project Server deployments and augment Project Server’s enterprise project types, allowing them to scale to enterprise wide deployments. For example, Software Development Department may use SCRUM methodology whereas the Program Office Department uses PMBOK.

WorkEngine allows teams to truly understand and manage all the work around a project. By connecting Project Server with WorkEngine organizations have the ability to manage all the activities involved with managing a project. Each project workspace comes complete with pre-built templates and a rich set of features and capabilities to help teams effectively monitor, manage, control and execute on all critical business items such as projects, issues, changes, and everyday work actions that impact their projects bottom line. Team members can easily view and update all their activities across projects within one view. Functional managers finally have the visibility to what their resources are working on- all activities, not just the assignments within the Microsoft Project schedule.   Teams can simply work better together with Project Server and WorkEngine.

Click Here to view an OnDemand Webinar on PWA WorkEngine

Microsoft Project Server enhancements include:

Project Management:

– Publish Microsoft Project schedules to a SharePoint list in the Project Workspace
– Publish Project Web App schedules to a SharePoint list in the Project Workspace
– Ability to manage different meta data (outline codes) for different projects based on the project workspace template

Resource Management:

– Resource What-If Modeling on All Work (including Project Server assignments)
– Printable Resource Management Reports (including Project Server assignments)
– Build SharePoint Workflows on Resource Work and Assignments (including Project Server assignments)

Work Management:

– Add any SharePoint Work List to Project Workspace (Issues, Bugs, Actions, Defects, Changes, Service Request, etc…)
– Rollup All My Work in a single list (including Project Server assignments)

Time Management:

– Report Time on any work item (including Project Server assignments)
– Report Time using Work Log feature (including Project Server assignments)


– All Data resides in SharePoint Content DB (Project data, Assignments, Issues, Risks, Bugs, Changes, Actions, etc.)
– Leverage WorkEngine’s pre-built SSRS Reporting templates
– Leverage Silverlight Chart Web Parts for graphical chart reporting
– Take scheduled snap shots for trend reporting


– 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)

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​

EPM Live Gives Back- Bringing SharePoint Project Management to Everyone

It has been a great year for EPM Live! We have so many reasons to be thankful: a rapidly growing client base, healthy and dedicated employees, many noteworthy acomplishments, an endless supply of loyal supporters, and many, many more! It is for these reasons that we are honored every year to give back to our community. EPM Live donates tens of thousands of dollars in software licenses every month to aid non-profit organizations in planning, controlling and executing their projects and work to maximize their contributions to their causes.

Managing projects with minimum resources and little funding requires even more control which is why EPM Live has been supporting non-profits by giving them the tools they need to make their organizations successful. Some of the non-profit organizations that have experienced EPM Live’s give back spirit are listed below:

Operation ShareLove: Support Haiti Earthquake Victims:

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicenter near the town of Léogâne, approximately 25 km (16 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC) on Tuesday, 12 January 2010. By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake; the Haitian government reported that an estimated 230,000 people had died, 300,000 had been injured and 1,000,000 made homeless. They also estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged. EPM Live donated free copies of Project Publisher to anyone that donated at least $50 to the cause.

Special Olympics:

The Special Olympics World Winter Games Committee needed a project management tool that would allow each venue to manage their tasks independently and have the ability to report their project status to one enterprise site. The Special Olympics World Winter Games Committee uses WorkEngine because the solution provides the highest level of capability and flexibility, with the greatest ease of use in functionality and deployment. With WorkEngine’s online Software + Services environment, the solution gave the committee the ability to be up and running within a few business days. “The solution came highly recommended from the team we were working with on our technology infrastructure. We are a sunset organization and did not have much time to implement and configure a complicated EPM solution. WorkEngine allowed us to add as many users as needed and tailor the solution to our unique needs,” said J.P. Benlian, Special Olympics World Winter Games Committee Member.

The Pink Party:

The Pink Party is committed to supporting breast cancer research, patient and family care, education related to environmental/biological causes and the importance of early detection. By bringing the community together to party for a cause, The Pink Party promotes celebration, survival, empowerment and education. The Pink Party used WorkEngine to provide volunteer coordination, event planning and execution, manage all donations and donors as well as establish a portal for all sponsorship communication and correspondence.

Hope for Gavin:

Tay-Sachs is a rare hereditary disease caused by a genetic mutation that leaves the body unable to produce an enzyme (known as Hex-A) necessary for fat metabolism in nerve cells. Without this enzyme, central nervous system degeneration ensues. The disease is named for a British ophthalmologist, Warren Tay, who first described the disease, in 1881, and a New York neurologist, Bernard Sachs, who first described the cellular changes and the genetic nature of the disease, in 1887. Gavin is a 5 year old boy who lives in San Diego, CA. In 2009, Gavin was diagnosed with Tay Sachs disease, a rare and fatal disease. The Hope for Gavin charity was created to provide support for Gavin and support for the Cure Tay Sachs Foundation. The Hope for Gavin team has been using their WorkEngine application to manage all fundraising events, sell tickets, control donations and sponsorships and provide a collaboration environment for all volunteers.

PMI Chapters (Project Management Institute):

EPM Live has been offering all PMI Chapters the online WorkEngine product for over three years. PMI Chapters are using WorkEngine to run Chapter business including volunteer programs, conference planning and execution, board meeting minutes and action items, component dinner planning and execution as well as all other simple to complex project management needs. Because WorkEngine is built on SharePoint, users are able to collaborate easily and efficiently without the need for an elaborate training program. It also gives PMI Chapters the ability to incentivize volunteers by providing top of the line, best practice software to manage all of their programs, offering them the experience they need to improve their project management skill level. WorkEngine’s security is flexible and scalable so Chapter’s can collaborate not only with their individual Chapter but can share best practice information across other Chapter’s in their region as well.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this year a huge success! Happy Holidays to all!

Resource Management in SharePoint

Employees are the most valuable asset and the biggest expense for most organizations. The ability to deploy employees effectively against often conflicting projects and other work priorities enables organizations to optimize their return on human resource investments. In order to maximize both task throughput and company morale, resource and project managers need an efficient system to place the appropriate staff on the right teams at the right time.

SharePoint can help organizations accomplish every stage in the resource management life cycle so that maximum allocation can be reached without introducing risks. The five stages of the resource management life cycle are:

• Resource Capacity
• Resource Allocation
• Resource Work Management
• Resource Collaboration and
• Resource Task Management

Capacity Planning helps to ensure that resource capacity meets current and future business requirements in a cost-effective manner.  In the Capacity planning stage you will need to identify all the roles needed for the given project or work effort at hand.  For example, which organizations or departments will be involved in your project?  This will help you establish the structure for your project and potentially how your tasks will be organized and even identify security constraints.  What disciplines and skill sets are required to complete your project?  Without the proper skill sets and expertise, particular tasks may require more training, longer term times, possibly even result in rework.   Effective resource management relies on the fact that these factors have all been considered prior to selecting your resources. Once you have determined your generic roles, you will need to determine the quantity of each role needed as well as the timeframe.  As this information is obtained, you will then be ready to analyze your plan, make adjustments and prepare for actual named assignments.  Let’s take a look at how you can accomplish Resource capacity in SharePoint.

1)  Build a resource plan directly in SharePoint:

2)  Use a resource modeler to perform what-if analysis, finalize portfolio selection and apply the right sequencing.

3)  Leverage resource capacity reports built directly in SharePoint to analyze your current resource needs and all potential risks associated.

To see how you can leverage SharePoint to manage the remaining four stages of resource management, download our “Resource Management in SharePoint” on-demand webinar by clicking on the link below.

View Resource Management in SharePoint- On-Demand Webinar

WorkEngine's Feature Spotlight

In addition to WorkEngine’s core functionality, WorkEngine has many features that deserve the spotlight from time to time.  This month’s spotlight includes the following features and functionality that add even more value to your SharePoint platform:

  • Work Log:  WorkEngine’s Work log allow team members to enter their Timesheet data from any SharePoint list item.  For example:  If a team member is working on an issue, task or a even service request stored in a SharePoint list, that team member no longer has to leave that item and go to their timesheet to enter how many hours they have worked on that day, they can now simply click the Work Log link in the SharePoint item and enter their time for the day.  They will then see these hours show up in their timesheet when they are ready to submit for approval.
  • Resource Tools: WorkEngine 2010 provides visibility into resource demands across the organization so functional managers can make staffing decisions to support corporate goals and objectives. Understand which projects and types of work are consuming your most valuable resources for effectively and proactively aligning your staffing plan based on changing priorities and budgets.  As you are assigning resources to any item in SharePoint, make sure you use the “Check Resources” or “Find Resources” feature to view availability and current assignments.
  • My Work Reminder Web Part:  My Work is a WorkEngine feature that allows users to view all their work from one centralized location.  The My Reminders Web Part is designed to display the status of such actionable items rolled up from all sites where the work items were created.  The My Reminders Web Part renders the following information on the My Work home page (and can be easily configured to include additional list data as well):
  • Tasks: New Tasks, Overdue Tasks
  • Issues: Active Issues, Overdue Issues
  • Risks: Active Risks, Overdue Risks
  • Actions: New Actions, Overdue Actions

Cost Management for Microsoft Project Server

Microsoft Project Server 2010 provides numerous innovative capabilities across the entire lifecycle of projects to help organizations effectively initiate, select, plan and deliver projects on time and within budget.  It is the perfect tool for managing projects within an organization.  To take a quick look at the top 10 benefits of Project Server, click here.

Now more than ever, organizations are facing the need to tighten their controls over portfolio spending in order to increase their ROI and ensure maximum value to the business.  You’ve heard over and over again the concept of doing more with less, but where do you begin in truly realizing the benefit?  Understanding what needs to be done and where to begin is the first step; however, having the proper tools in place will take you even farther.  So how do you combine the power of Microsoft Project Server and it’s leading project and portfolio management capabilities with the comprehensive financial best practices of a leading cost management technology provider?  WorkEngine announced today its launch of CostEngine, a Project Web App add in that seamlessly extends the Microsoft Project Server solution to enable full cost management controls such as cost categorization, scenario modeling, cost rollups, cost analytics and forecasting.  CostEngine for Microsoft Project Server includes the following capabilities:

  • Full integration with Microsoft Project Server ribbon controls- view
  • Cost visibility across multiple portfolios- view
  • Cost planner with flexible cost category structure- view
  • Cost impact analyzer- view
  • What-if modeler- view
CostEngine gives organizations the tools they need to track ROI by giving them the visibility into both project and portfolio expenditure. With CostEngine’s flexible cost category structure, all cost items can be categorized and accounted for to result in more accurate cost plans and cost forecasts. These cost plans can then be tracked throughout execution to provide valuable insight into cost comparisons including planned costs, forecasts and project actuals. CostEngine aids organizations in greater cost transparency, project control and overall portfolio health.
As with all WorkEngine products, CostEngine leverages a simple, easy-to-use user interface including spreadsheet-like web grids and a complete integration with Microsoft’s PWA ribbon controls.CostEngine promotes better decision making as organizations today are faced with rapidly changing environments; their response to these changes are crucial.  It is critical for management to understand comparisons of quantity and cost value totals for selected projects against targets as well as the effects of cancelling a project or work effort, delaying or advancing it, or the effect of stretching out its duration (thus decreasing the rate of spend).

So as you can see, doing more with less and properly planning and tracking all expenditures is now easier than ever.  To learn more about CostEngine, visit the website by clicking here.

Why Build Your Corporate Website on SharePoint 2010?

The last few years have brought on a whole new set of business challenges for organizations.  Most of these organizations have one consistent challenge among them….the need to do more with less. It is more critical than ever to get the most out of your IT investments.  Leveraging one platform to extend benefits and increase productivity across multiple teams and departments could bring about significant cost savings.  SharePoint 2010 has done just that; offered a platform solution that can be leveraged for all teams and all users across an organization.  What if you could use the same platform to build your corporate website that your PMO uses for project management, your product development team uses for agile development and your service team uses to respond to service requests?  Well, with SharePoint 2010 you can!  Take a look at a few of the advantages that WorkEngine is getting from using SharePoint 2010 as their corporate website platform:

  • Flexible and Scalable- SharePoint is allowing WorkEngine to use the same platform for all departments.  Each department has different types of work, their own methodologies and their own ways of getting that work done.  SharePoint 2010 has the flexibility to easily implement solutions for all work needs without the need to invest in multiple systems.  Not only is SharePoint being used for internal business productivity and running the business activities but it is also being used as an external marketing tool for WorkEngine prospects and consumers.
  • Cost Effective- By utilizing one platform, SharePoint is allowing  WorkEngine to save money on training, IT infrastructure, in-house expertise and all other costs associated with managing multiple systems and silos of data.  The WorkEngine marketing team can now leverage SharePoint to manage campaigns, distribute content, manage messaging and coordinate events all within one system.
  • Easy to Use- Because SharePoint is intuitive and easy to use, website information can be added and modified instantly decreasing production time and allowing the marketing team to focus on programs that will improve business results.

Effective Work Management with Microsoft Project 2010 Professional and SharePoint 2010

EPM Live’s EPM WorkEngine offers expanded Microsoft Project Professional and SharePoint capabilities that give organizations the ability to manage both projects and all other work with one solution.  By providing the proper toolsets to track and manage all work and associated costs, EPM WorkEngine is empowering businesses of all sizes and types to extend their current project management practice into a full work management discipline.

Join us in this half hour presentation to see how you can leverage your current Microsoft Technologies to achieve effective work management across your organization for maximum productivity and increased ROI.

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EPM Light with Microsoft Project 2010 Professional and SharePoint 2010

Microsoft® Project Professional 2010 offers Project Managers a powerful tool for scheduling, planning and assigning project work within their projects and programs.  Microsoft SharePoint® Foundation 2010 provides its users with an easy to use, intuitive platform for effective team collaborationis and continues to be the most widely used collaboration platform on the market today.

Although many organizations leverage both tools for improved business productivity, many times these solutions operate in parallel and therefore aren’t even beginning to scratch the surface for reaching their true potential .

Join us in this 30 minute presentation to see how EPM WorkEngine combines the power of both technologies to provide a powerful EPM solution for effectively managing project, operational, development and all other types of work in your organization.  Join this session to learn how leveraging a common platform and getting more value from technologies you already own, can streamline your operations, save money and have direct impact to your bottom line.

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WorkEngine Announces its Accelerator Marketplace- Prebuilt Templates to Accelerate your Implementation

To help organizations reduce the time to market when implementing an Enterprise Project and Work Management Solution, EPM Live has built a WorkEngine template gallery that will help meet the needs and requirements of almost any organization.  WorkEngine’s Accelerator Marketplace offers powerful, easy to use predefined solution templates, feature templates and WorkEngine Partner’s third party products that optimize the dynamic features of EPM Live’s WorkEngine and accelerate the implementation process.   WorkEngine Accelerators will ensure that your organization’s Solution deploys efficiently and meets specific and unique requirements.

WorkEngine Accelerators significantly improve time-to-benefit at minimal risk. Our Accelerators are built with leading industry and business best practices imbedded in the configuration.  WorkEngine Accelerators enable rapid adoption and standardization of world-class best practices.

WorkEngine Accelerators help organizations:

  • Decrease implementation cost and risk, while increasing ROI
  • Build in and  Standardize best practices surrounding their business processes
  • Ensure Early adoption

To access EPM Live’s WorkEngine Accelerator Gallery please click here.