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Managing projects in Project Web App

Project Server 2010

Published: January 10, 2012

Summary:  The third article in a series of eight articles about how to use Microsoft Project Web App to work with Microsoft Project Server 2010 data and to perform project management-related tasks.

Applies to:  Project Server 2010 | Project Web App

In this article:

Introduction to managing projects in Project Web App

Managing projects through Project Web App (PWA) is a key responsibility of a project manager. This article describes procedures that a project manager does when she or he manages projects through PWA, including the following:

  • Creating a new project

  • Viewing and opening a project

  • Checking in a project by using the Forced Check-in feature

  • Setting up permissions to project

  • Editing custom fields

  • Changing ownership of a project

  • Exporting Project Center data to Microsoft Excel

  • Modifying a project plan

Using the ribbon to manage projects

The Project Center enables viewing and actions to the summary level project plan. It uses multiple ribbon tabs, based on the actions that you are taking within the Project Center.

The Projects details tab on the ribbon has multiple parts depending on whether the action involves viewing or modifying project information or the project plan schedule.

The Task tab, under Schedule Tools on the ribbon, enables project managers to edit the project schedule in PWA.

The Options tab, under Schedule Tools on the ribbon, has additional functionality for viewing the project schedule details and linking information to the project site.

The Project tab on the ribbon shows different options when the project is in edit mode. It allows project information to be changed.

The Permissions tab on the ribbon is available when a project in the Project Center is selected and the Project Permissions button is clicked. This allows a user who has the necessary project permissions, generally the project manager, to assign rights for the project and project site to individual users or groups not on the project team.

About the Project Center

The Project Center lists all of the projects that are saved and published to the Project Server database that the current user has permission to view. The default view, Summary, lists basic data about the projects. Other views of project data are also available and custom views can also be created.

In the Project Center, you can do the following:

  • View a portfolio of projects or individual projects. You can see summary information about multiple projects or detailed information about individual projects.

  • Project information can be viewed in a detailed or high-level timescale with the ability to apply filters and grouping to different views.

  • Open a project plan in edit or read-only mode in Project Professional or PWA.

  • Update the project with a SharePoint task list.

  • Build a project team from the enterprise resource pool based on the skill levels required for your project and resource availability.

  • Establish a resource plan associated with a project. A resource plan allows you to plan for resource allocation without requiring you to have specific assignments.

  • Set project permissions for individual resources or groups to view or edit your project.

  • Check in checked-out projects.

  • Close specific tasks in a project to no longer allow updates by team members.

  • Project summary and detail information visible in the Project Center view to the left of the Gantt chart can be exported to Microsoft Excel or printed.

  • Access the project site for your individual project, including creating a discussion board, creating a list of related files and documents, creating and updating issues and risks, and setting up a document library.

  • Show or hide subprojects.

  • Update the enterprise project type associated with the project.

You can group and sort the list of Projects to view various types of rolled-up data about any project that you can view, or you can view detailed information about a particular project without opening Project Professional 2010. You can create, modify and assign resources to a project schedule in the Project Center. Additionally, specific functions for particular projects can also be performed. For example, a project manager can check in a project that was not checked in correctly or an executive can view information about a group of projects.

Creating new projects in PWA

You can initiate new project schedules in PWA. You can now begin your project with a blank project plan or an enterprise template that uses project types in Project Server.

note Note:

It is important to understand that creating a project from a template in PWA includes not only the project schedule template but also the project workspace template. So if your organization uses different project workspace templates, you should create your project schedule in PWA to make sure that you have the correct project schedule template and workspace template.

To create a new project schedule

  1. In PWA, select Project Center in the Quick Launch.

  2. In the Project Center, on the Projects tab of the ribbon, select New, and then select the appropriate project plan.

  3. A Project Details or Project Information web page appears with project fields to be completed. Specify the related project information in the fields, and then select Save.

    note Note:

    Any field name that has a red asterisk (*) next to it is a REQUIRED field and must completed before the project can be saved.

    The project information is saved and PWA opens the Schedule web page. To move between the Project Information/Project Details page and Schedule page, click the link in the left navigation column.

  4. With the Schedule page open, select the Save button on the ribbon.

    A yellow message box appears in the upper-right corner of the project schedule. The box indicates the status of the save operation. After the project is saved to the database, this message will appear: Save completed successfully.

  5. It is important to notice that at this point the project plan is saved in the Project Server draft/working database. It is not visible to others in the PWA Project Center until the project plan has been published. If others must see the plan immediately, select the Publish button in the Schedule Tools tab of the ribbon.

    After the project has been published, a verification message in yellow appears in the upper-right corner of the project schedule: Publish completed successfully.

  6. When you are finished setting up the project plan and have successfully saved and published it, it is time to check in the project plan. Select the Project tab, and then click the Close button. This makes sure that you can modify the project plan in either PWA or Project Professional 2010.

    The Close window appears. Select Yes to check in the project plan.

Viewing and opening projects

You can manage your projects from the Project Center, including tracking associated risks, issues, and documents; linking to the Project Workspace; analyzing and modeling projects; creating to-do lists; and managing Administrative Projects. In addition, you can open projects in Project Professional directly from the Project Center in Project Web App.

note Note:

Information and access to specific features is controlled by a set of permissions that a Project Server administrator manages in Project Web App.

Viewing projects

You can view project data that is published to the Project Server database by using the Project Center in Project Web App.

To view project data

  1. Log on to Project Web App. On the Project Web App home page, click Project Center in Quick Launch. The Project Center displays all of the projects that you have permission to view.

  2. A number of viewing options are available on this page. To change the current view, use the View drop-down list to select a view.

  3. To open the detail view for any project, click the project name. You might have to select the Schedule link in the left navigation column to see the project plan.

    This view resembles the view in Project Professional 2010, and the project tasks can be edited in Project Web App by selecting the Edit button in the Schedule Tools, Task tab. This reflects the most recent publication of the project to the Project Server.

    A number of different views at the task level are available in Project Web App. To switch views, use the View drop-down list on the Data tab of the ribbon to select a view. For example, you can select a Resources Work view.

    The views that are available in the View list are customizable. A Project Server administrator can create custom task, resource, and project views by using the Manage Views section of the Server Settings page in Project Web App.

Using the Filter and Group By options in the Project Center

You can use the Filter and Group By drop-down lists to customize how you want to sort and group projects. The Filter and Group By features are useful when the Project Center includes lots of projects. This feature includes the following options:

  • Filter    Enables you to filter projects by using a custom filter.

    You can use a custom filter by selecting Custom filter from the Filter drop-down list and defining the custom filter to be used.

    You can also choose to auto-filter tasks by selecting the down arrow to the right of the column heading.

  • Group By    Enables you to group projects by specified values. In the Group By drop-down list, either select a single grouping from the available list, which is all of the columns active in the view, or create a custom grouping parameter in the Group by drop-down list. When you create a custom grouping, you can set an additional grouping parameter from the Then by drop-down list. The second parameter filters data within the data that is filtered by first parameter. To remove grouping, select the No Group option in the Group By drop-down list.

Opening projects

You can open projects directly in Project Professional 2010 from the Project Center in PWA as long as all projects that you open from PWA are of the same type (either enterprise or non-enterprise). If you select ten or more projects, you have the option to open them all as either read-only or read/write.

In PWA, click the Project Center link in the Quick Launch to open the Project Center. Select the project plan that you want to open. Select the way that you want to open the project from the Open drop-down list.

note Note:

If you open multiple projects, the projects open in Project Professional 2010 as a consolidated master project.

The project opens in Project Professional 2010.

Opening projects as master projects

Use the Open feature in PWA to open two or more projects in Project Professional 2010 from the Project Center in Project Web App as a master (consolidated) project. You can select projects individually in the Project Center or select them as a group by using the group header in the Project Center. If ten or more projects are to be consolidated into a master project in Project Professional 2010, you have the option to open them in a consolidated master project as read-only or as read/write.

When you are working with master projects by opening them from the Project Center, note the following:

  • You can open any number of projects as a master project. But if you attempt to open ten or more projects, you have to select whether you want to open them all as Read/Write or Read Only. Depending on the size of the selected projects, this action can take significant time. If you select Read/Write, you can change the projects and the projects are checked out to you. If you select Read Only, you can view the projects and associated reports, but cannot make changes, and the projects are not checked out.

  • You can save a master project if you want to refer to it frequently. If you save a master project to the Project Server database, give the project a name that other project managers, resource managers, and team members can clearly identify. By clicking the master plan name in the Project Center, you can view the subproject details in Project Web App.

  • To show subprojects in the list of projects visible in the Project Center, in the Projects ribbon, select the check box for Subprojects.

note Note:

Only enterprise or non-enterprise projects can be consolidated into Project Professional 2010 as a master project by using the Open Project feature. You cannot create master projects that consist of both enterprise and non-enterprise projects.

Open a master project in Project Professional 2010

In the Project Center in Project Web App, select the projects that you want to open in a master schedule. You can select how you want to open them in the Open drop-down list.

Select two or more projects in the Project Center. You can also select a group of projects by using an Enterprise Project Outline Code heading in the Project Center.

The projects open in Project Professional 2010 as a consolidated project. If any of the projects are checked out to another project manager at the time that you attempt to open the consolidated project, those projects will only be available as read-only projects in Project Professional 2010.

Forced check-in of a project

You might have to force a check-in of a project if a project has been left checked out. For example, this could occur if your connection to Project Server 2010 is interrupted while a project is open or if Project Professional 2010 is closed abruptly before you can check in a project. If a project is left checked out, it is displayed as checked out in the Open from Microsoft Project Server dialog box. You can force a check-in of your own projects by using the Check in my projects link in the Project Center.

You must be granted the Manage Check-Ins permission to access the Force Check-in Enterprise Objects page in Project Web App Server Settings in order to force a check-in of a project in Project Web App. You can use this feature only to check in projects that you checked out; you cannot check in a project that is checked-out to any other user. (Only a Project Server administrator can check in a project that is checked out to any user.)

To force a check-in of a project that you have checked out

  1. In the Project Center in Project Web App, in the Projects tab, click Check in my projects.

  2. Select the project that you want to check in, and then click Check-In.

note Note:

If the project is still open in Project Professional 2010, an alert is displayed that indicates the project is no longer checked out and that asks you to either close the project (click OK) or save the project locally (click Cancel, then save locally).

Set up project permissions in PWA

This is a feature in PWA that enables a project manager with access to a specific project to grant groups or individual users access to a plan or project site. This access is generally granted to users/groups that are not a part of the project team, unless it is granted to allow the team member to act as a backup who updates the project plan for the project manager.

After setting up the project plan, return to the Project Center to make sure that stakeholders and management can see the project information.

To set up permissions to a project

  1. Select Project Center quick link, click the cell to the right of the project plan name, and then select the Project Permissions button.

  2. Click the New button to add a user or group to the project permissions.

    The resource pool is too large for the application to return all resources in a list. Specify the name (first or last) in the Name field, and then click the Filter button

    Select the permissions that you want the user or group to have for the project plan and then select Save.

    note Note:

    We recommend that a minimum of the last three permissions be granted to Stakeholders and Management for the project.

  3. The user/group and permissions granted for the project are listed. Review the information to make sure that it is correct, and then select the Close button. If additional users who are not part of the project team need access, the project manager can define the level of access that he or she gives to the individual user or group.

Editing custom fields

You can edit or modify your project's information in the Enterprise Project Custom Fields by opening the project details view in the Project Center in Project Web App. The enterprise custom fields can also be modified directly in Project Professional 2010.

To edit a custom field

  1. In the Project Center in Project Web App, click the name of the project plan you want to open. Select the Project Details view in the Quick Launch.

  2. Click the Edit button.

  3. Modify the information in the custom fields that have to be update or changed. Select Save and then Close to check in the project. Closing the project returns you to the Project Center.

Changing ownership of a project

The member of your organization who first saves and publishes a project to the Project Server database is assigned as the owner of that project. You can later change the owner of a project by using Project Web App.

To change ownership of a project

  1. As the current owner, navigate to the Project Center in Project Web App, open the Project Details view by clicking the project plan name.

  2. In the Quick Launch, select Project Details.

  3. On the Project Details page, select the Edit button. In the Owner field, click the Browse button and find the user to whom you want to transfer ownership of the project.

    When you are finished editing project details, click the Save button and then the Close button, and confirm that you want to Check In the project.

  4. The new owner has to open and publish the project.

Exporting Project Center data to Excel

You can export project data to Microsoft Excel 2010 from Project Web App by using the Export to Excel button. Project Web App also enables you to copy data that is displayed in the Project Web App Grid Control and paste it into applications such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Access.

note Note:

The Project Web App project view has two sections: Project Web App grid data on the left and timesheet data on the right. You have to copy and paste both sections and then align them in the application in which you have pasted the data.

To export Project Center data to Microsoft Excel

  1. In the Project Center in Project Web App, below the grid control, click the Export to Excel button.

  2. A File Download dialog box appears. Select Open.

  3. The Project Center view opens in Excel.

  4. If an Excel message box opens, click Yes to verify the file name extension.

  5. Click Save As on the File menu from Excel if you want to save the data as it is currently presented. You can save the data in any supported Excel format.

    note Note:

    You can also export grid data to Excel by using the Print Grid feature.

Modifying project plans in PWA

Project Server 2010 enables the creation and modification of complex schedules online and assigning multiple resources to each task. The ribbon interface provides a familiar and consistent navigation experience regardless of whether the project manager builds the schedule on a desktop or on the web.

To modify a project schedule in PWA

  1. Open Internet Explorer, and then specify the URL.

  2. The Project Web App (PWA) home page opens. Select Project Center in the Quick Launch.

  3. Locate the project plan, and then click the hyperlink that is the project plan name. The project plan details open.

    Select the Schedule link in the Quick Launch. The project plan schedule details appear.

  4. Click the Edit button to modify the project plan.

  5. Click in the bottom Task Name cell in the row to add more rows to the project plan. Click the Mode drop-down arrow to select Auto Schedule or Manually Schedule for the task mode. Specify the task information. Press the Enter key again to create another new task row.

    note Note:

    You can change the information that is shown with the task name by using the View drop-down list in the Schedule Tools Task tab.

  6. Select the Save button on the ribbon.

    A yellow message box appears in the upper-right corner of the project schedule, indicating the status of the save operation.

    After the project has been saved to the database, you receive the following message, Save completed successfully.

    At this point the project plan is saved in the Project Server 2010 draft/working database. It is not visible to others in the PWA Project Center until the project plan has been Published. If others must see the plan immediately, select the Publish button on the Schedule Tools tab on the ribbon.

    After the project has been published, a verification message in yellow appears in the upper-right corner of the project schedule, Publish completed successfully.

Adding resources to a project plan

To assign resources to tasks in the project, you must create a project team. You can add enterprise resources to a project team through both PWA and Project Professional by using the Build Team from Enterprise feature.

To add resources to a project plan

  1. After publishing the project plan, select the Project tab, and then click the Build Team button.

  2. A large number of resources are shown when Build Team feature opens. To quickly locate the resources that are needed, apply a Custom Filter. Select the Filter drop-down list, and then click Custom Filter. Apply a filter.

  3. When the filter is applied, select the resource that you want, and then click the Add button. The resource name is added to the project team list in the right column. Click the Save & Close button to save the changes and return to edit mode in Project Center.

  4. In the Project Center edit mode, assign resources to tasks, update task-level custom field information and set up the duration and start date. Note that it is now possible in PWA to assign multiple resources to a single task. However, the unit assignment for the resources is 100% on the task.

    note Note:

    After you modify duration, percent complete, link/unlink tasks, and start or finish dates, you must click the Calculate button for many of the changes to be reflected.

  5. You can set up tasks and create project logic by establishing dependencies, insert new tasks, delete tasks, mark percent complete on tasks, and adjust the indentation level of tasks by using the icons in the Schedule Tools, Task tab on the ribbon. These features behave the same in PWA as in Project Professional.

  6. After setting up tasks and creating scheduling logic, select the Calculate button to make sure that all changes are reflected in the task data. Once the project plan is set up, select the Save button and then the Publish button.

    note Note:

    Changes in the project schedule are not visible in the Project Center or on team members' Task view until they have been Published to Project Server.

  7. To close the project plan, select the Project tab in the ribbon, and then click the Close button. The Close window appears. Select Yes to check in the project plan.

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