Monday, 1 February 2016

Archiving completed Projects in Project Server 2010 or 2013

Closing a completed Project on Project Server This is bit a process, so bear with me on the lengthy Post.  Before we can start the Archiving of completed projects, there is a bit of work to be done, on existing projects. This will have to be done, otherwise the process will not work.

First Things First :

This post requires a new custom field to be created on Project Level using a lookup table with
 " Registered, In Progress and Completed" as values.

Once the field and lookup has been created follow the steps below.

Please do the following for ALL Projects on the PWA environment.  Navigate to Project Center and click on a Projects Name :
Figure 1: Select Project from Project Center

This will then open the Project Basic Info PdP (Assuming no customization has been done) if there was customization done on the PDP's the field needs to be added to the relevant PDP

Figure 2: Set relevant Project Status

 You will notice a new field at the Bottom labelled “Project Status” For EVERY project the correct value needs to be selected, either, Registered, In Progress or Completed. If this has not been done for all projects the rest of the process becomes Null and Void.

To correctly archive projects please follow these steps :

1.      Open Project Schedule in Microsoft Project
2.      Insert the remaining work column into the current view.
3.      Remove ALL remaining work on the schedule for all tasks (so there must be Zero remaining work on all tasks)
4.      Change to the Resource Sheet view  and Insert the “Booking Type” column
a.      Change the Booking type for all resources to Proposed (This will “release” resource allocations to the schedule)
5.      Change to the Gantt Chart view – and Insert the “Published” column
a.      Change the value of all tasks (Summery Tasks will not change) in the Published column to “No” (This will un-publish all tasks from resources Timesheets)
6.      Open the “Project Information”  Dialog Box from the “Project Tab” on the ribbon.
a.      Change the Project Status field to “Completed” – Click Ok
7.      Save and Publish project as per normal.

If you now navigate to the Project Center and have a look on the ribbon, there are 2 new Views:

Create 2 new views (or 1 new view for the archived / completed projects) You can always edit your existing (All Projects View or Summery view) to show only In Progress and Registered by filtering out "Completed" projects.

Add the "Archive / Completed view and filter out both, In Progress and Registered Projects. (If your security is setup in such a way, you can make this Archive view available to a certain category only like the PMO.

Below is an example of 2 views that has been created.

·        *All Completed Projects (This will show all Projects that have been completed)
·        *All In-Progress Projects (This will show all Projects with the status of “Registered or “In Progress”) Completed Projects will not be displayed in this view.

Figure 3 : New views

trust this well help with the process. If you have questions please drop me a comment on the post.

Monday, 11 January 2016

IT Change Control - But Why

This is not be a huge post on the topic, a very simple post (Rant) on why it is important, for all parties involved. For the purpose of the post, i will break it up into 2 different categories, IT Importance and Client (Business) importance.
Let's start with a scenario, You get a support call from a client, that they cannot create Projects, nor Project Workspaces, in Project Online, after the December holliday break. No one really worked during the holliday's but there are issues on the environment.
So now the consultant has to go out to observe the error and all the broken items in the environment. Once you get there and start troubleshooting, you find it is a feature on a SharePoint Site, that has been de-activated.
The client themselves could not do it, they do not have this permissions, we did not do it, so that leaves, a 3rd Party vendor, in charge of their O365 deployment. Apparently they did n "clean-up" and security activity during the holliday's, and though the Limited -access user permission lockdown mode is Unnecessary and can be switched off!
This deactivation of the feature caused all of the issues in the environment. After switching it on, it works again.
The impact that this unscheduled change had :

IT Impact

  1. 4 Hours of on-site work
  2. No starting point for troubleshooting
  3. No idea why something was changed (the logic behind the change)
  4. No documentation of implemented or proposed changes
  5. No discussion of possible impact to other systems, on change implementation
  6. Unnecessary disruption of service and unnecasary time and cost spent
Yes we can bill for the work, which is not the major issue, but rather the impact on the business affected :

Business Impact

  1. Unnecessary disruption of service
  2. Unnecessary cost impact
  3. No idea of any changes that happened in their environment
  4. End user time impact, their work falls behind which mean projects could potentially be delayed.
  5. "System Confidence", sound rather minor, but a bunch of incidents like this, could very quickly cause users to "dislike" or not "trust" a system, due to the frequent down time. 
So please, for everone involved's sanity levels as well as cost and business impact, follow some sort of change process, and document any changes made. 
To finish off, please find below a good description of a change:
Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system. The purpose is to ensure that no unnecessary changes are made, that all changes are documented, that services are not unnecessarily disrupted and that resources are used efficiently. Within information technology (IT), change control is a component of change management. 
Happy Changing :-)

Monday, 4 January 2016

New Years Changes

Happy New Year!

First off, may all my followers and viewers of my blog, have a blessed and prosperous 2016. May all your wildest dreams come true!

Changes to the blog :

The last month everything was in turmoil, as TPG Africa, whom I worked for, applied for liquidation, and thus leaving myself and a few other people without work.

I was very fortunate to have been approached by Mint Management Technologies, to join their team as a Senior SPS Consultant. I have since accepted and started with them today.

Mint Management Technologies specializes in the following technologies: ECM, CRM and CAM. Thus I will no longer be very actively involved in the Project Server space (for now) and will focus on SharePoint and SharePoint online.

All future posts on my blog will be SharePoint and ECM related.

Thanks for your understanding and your support!


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

SharePoint Online 2013 - ContentTypeHub Issues with Word Templates

ContentType Hub Issues with Word Templates

Recently we had an issue at a client, when using Document Content Types to Propagate a Word Template to Sub-Sites.

What would happen is after we create the content type and publish it, we would see the created content type in the folder structure of the sub-site. But clicking on it, to open the document, it failed.

Clicking "New" gave the option of creating a new document from the content type template. In this case, TestDocContentType

Instead of opening the Word Document in the editor, it gave the option to create a new document (This should NOT happen)  I typed a name and clicked on "OK"

After clicking "OK" this error popped up and the document was not opened.

We did allot of troubleshooting trying to figure the issue out, as it worked for Excel Templates, but not Word. Eventually we logged it with MS Online Support. First level support could not resolve the issue either, so it was escalated to second level support where help was found!

What seemed to be the problem (Specifically for Word Templates) is that for some or other reason you can no longer specify a relative URL to the location of the document template, for example The system will change it into a relative URL (./sites/contenttypehub/wordtemplate.docx)

This ALWAYS worked!!

Specifying a relative URL when creating a content type

The method that should be used (Specifically for Word Templates) is by uploading the Word Template directly to the content type.

Upload Template directly to content type

After uploading and publishing the content type (The Publishing frequency is another sore point for me. There is just no info available on exactly when the publishing jobs run. According to this article, it may take up to 48 Hours to propagate, which i find rather ludicrous. I was lucky and it took about 2 hours before the published templates was available.

This case the Project Initiation Document was selected that was uploaded to the content type in previous steps

The document template then opens successfully!

 Below is the feedback i got from the support engineer. Note the "By Design" in inverted commas. To me, it would seem like this is "Broken by Design", but you will see MS is looking at "Enhancing" (Fixing) the issue

Engineer's feedback

I hope this may help some of you sorting out this issue. Just to re-iterate again, Excel Templates work when specifying the relative URL, not WORD templates


Thursday, 3 September 2015

Project Online 2013: Duplication of Custom Views

Project Online 2013: Duplication of Custom Views

I have come across a bug with Project Online, when creating custom views, this impacts any custom views, like Project , Project Center, Resource Center views.
When saving these views, if you click on the "Save" button more than once when initially creating it will save a duplicate of the view, with the same name.
I logged this with Microsoft and they confirmed they could re-produce the issue.
Duplication in Views
Latest feedback from MS is that they are working on the issue and will revert with feedback.
Once I have any further feedback I will revert on this post.