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Managing Change with Project Server RRS feed

  • Question

  • What are the best practices for managing change with PS??  For example I want to be able to closely monitor whether Baseline Finish milestone dates in project plans are changed or not.  I also need to know when new milestones are added and when existing milestones are removed.  All of this is across multiple project plans and I have several thosuand milestones to keep an eye on!  I do not want to build a programme level plan with linked tasks becuase there are too many milestones to link and then to manage the links.   Currently I am using an Access database to actively track the current agreed Baseline versus the PM's baseline in teh detailed plans.  This works well, however is there a better way to do it in PS? ie PS2010. Is there for example a way I can leverage the SharePoint side of things to have my "Governed PMO dates" versus the live dates in the Published database?

     

    thanks in advance

    Monday, January 17, 2011 2:35 PM

Answers

All replies

  • That's a very broad question indeed.  Let me attack each item individually, and see if that helps:

    1) Baseline Finish for milestones - generally you would track the variance on a milestone.  You could also track whether or not the milestone appears as if it will hit a specified deadline.  Additionally, you could identify 3-4 key milestones per project, that are then rolled up into a key metric about the status of that project.

    2) Determining when new milestones are added/removed - you could take a total of all the milestones in a project and track in a custom column or spreadsheet.  The easier option may be to lock down the baseline, and not allow the PMs to use protected baselines.  You'll know they've added a milestone if a new one shows up without a baseline - which could be tracked using a custom field to give a dashboard view.

    The important thing here is to note what kind of change you are tracking - schedule change or auditing changes made by the PMs to ensure they're following organizational standards.  Those are two totally different concepts with separate implementation paths.


    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP] Twitter: @alavinsky
    Monday, January 17, 2011 6:36 PM
  • Hey Andrew,

    Based on the thread Steve started, i also came across similar queries from customer PMO quite often. The customers biggest concern i received is that how can they be notified change in milestones of the project. Now here are my solutions below which i used to accomplish this need of customer: (and that obviously after deny permission of create/change baseline for the PMs, only PMO can baseline initially and after every approved change request)

    1. Built Project Dashboard reports using SSRS with indicators.

    Drawback: substantial effect in dashboard generation performance due to the calculation for indicators. considering 1 project contains more than 25 milestones, and you have more than 20 projects like this.

    2. Developed a custom solution by over riding Project Publish event. On Publish i compare milestone cost/duration etc. with the baseline corresponding values and generate notification to PMO related to change.

    Drawback: It do not work in a situation where customer is not willing to have custom solution.

     

    Is there any other way you, or you recommend/suggest, to follow? My question is only focused on schedule change, that how can the PMO monitor milestone level changes in project so that he will able to take necessary steps. 

    Any suggestion/ideas/experience you share will be highly appreciated.

     


    | Khurram Jamshed | Follow my blog about Enterprise Project Management Solution | http://khurramjamshed.blogspot.com |
    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 5:35 AM
  • Hi Andrew, thanks for your response,  I am mainly looking to automate a solution that will give me the following answers - which milestones have been added to the project schedule ; which milestones have been removed from the project schedule; which milestones have had their Baseline Finish date changed etc.  The key here is the need to hold a Master List of the "Agreed" items which can then be compared to the data in the schedules as it is not possible to prevent new milestones being added, removed or B/F dates changing or is it?
    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 4:53 PM
  • I read that as saying you don't trust your PMs (or they're outside vendors) to follow a process, hence you want to audit their schedules to ensure compliance.

    How I see this typically done  is to pick 5-6 standard milestones in each project, then have a rollup view or SSRS report that shows the status of each of those milestones on a weekly basis.  That assumes the PM maintains those milestones though - and a certain level of trust.

    Other options:

    1) Lock down the protected baseline.  If they do add a task, they can't change the Baseline Finish without PMO permission.

    2) Periodically audit the Unique ID and Created Date (which I think is in Project) for any of the key milestones that you're tracking.  Anything created after a specific date or Unique ID would flag an alert.  This could probably be done with custom fields I would think - although the PM can always game the system.


    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP] Twitter: @alavinsky
    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 7:24 PM
  • Hi Andrew,  my challenge is that of a simply huge change programme (not a portfolio of like projects) with circa 10,000 resources working to deliver via 3000 key milestones, the herirachy of plan consolidation, politics and low planning maturity means we have to audit the milestone info very forensically not because of compliance but to know that when a milestone goes RED it will stay RED until we sanction the milestone to be re-baselined by the PM.  The £Value of this programme is so high we have to be this rigourous, We have all kinds of reasons why the PMs will deliberately or accidentally rebaseline their milestone dates.  Happy to build an SRS report for any number of milestones but it has to be against a mechansim (seperate table?) that allows me to have an independant version of the agreed Baseline Finish date to compare their Finish date against.   I did look at using the protected baseline but found that I can still (as a PM with PM rights) edit the table directly - it is only the Set Baseline dialog box when used that blocks changing the data.   Other factors against me are that as I am currently working in a non-Project Server set-up, I receive "consilidated" plans which are re-built each week by lower level PMOs and therefore unique IDs and Creation dates don't help.   Whilst my solution is actually working fine, the purpose of this thread is to understand whether such requirements could be met in the future by using Project Server on its own or with an Access database linked in to it which is what I am currently using.  I do appreciate that I would have to make sure I have a more "planning mature" organisation to use this on!  thanks
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 3:24 PM
  • Gotcha - the main solution I see in this case would be to build a solution with SQL and SSRS that takes a data dump at regular intervals and then includes the logic to look for unsanctioned changes.  I've seen clients develop something like this as a custom project - but am not aware of any third party tools that do this.

    A cruder version of this may be to save an approved version of the file and then periodically run the Compare Project Versions against it to establish if anything has changed.


    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP] Twitter: @alavinsky
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 3:43 PM
  • thanks Andrew
    • Marked as answer by Stev Scott42 Thursday, January 20, 2011 3:19 PM
    Thursday, January 20, 2011 3:19 PM