locked
what happened to activity plans in Project Server 2010? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Project Server 2007 had the concept of an activity plan which was, best I can tell, a light-weight project, and was useful for allocating resources to non-project work.  So, for example, if I have a team of people, each of which spend 50% of their time on operational (i.e. non-project) work and have, at most, 50% of their time available for project work, you were able to create an activity plan which would absorb the operational time for those resources and reflect the 50% available capacity for scheduling on projects.

    Best I can tell, this functionality has disappeared in Project Server 2010.  Is there an analog?

    Or, better yet, is there a best practice that can be applied in Project Server 2010 to accomplish this objective?

    Thanks for your help!

    - Geof

    Friday, October 22, 2010 2:13 AM

Answers

  • Hi Geof,

    The old activity plan / proposal component of PS2007 whilst met your specific requirements could also be very limiting in other scenarios. Personally I think the move towards web based editing and the EPT infrastructure is a much more complete implementation.

    With regards to your answer, you are correct you would need to set up a BAU/ Non Project work which you allocate resources to. This needn't be a big undertaking, as the EPT infra will allow you to set up projects that just take a Project Name, Owner and then use the Web based project editing to create the schedule, with the full richness of multi level undo, cut & paste, change highlighting and most importantly without the limitations of the old implementation (different predecessor types, task enterprise fields, more than one resource per task), a massive improvement on the PS2007 proposal / activity plan editing.

    I hope this answers your question.


    Alex Burton
    www.epmsource.com | Twitter
    Project Server TechCenter | Project Developer Center | Project Server Help | Project Product Page
    Saturday, October 23, 2010 6:47 PM

All replies

  • Good question, it gets a lot better in 2010 with the notion of enterprise project type (EPT) and potentially associating them with their own specific workflow. We have plenty of documentation on the topic, a good started point is this: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/projectserver/ff899331.aspx and this http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/project-server-help/overview-set-up-and-submit-project-proposals-HA100315228.aspx
    Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Project Server TechCenter | Project Developer Center | Project Server Help | Project Product Page
    Friday, October 22, 2010 2:23 AM
  • Thank you, Christophe, for your prompt reply.  I guess what I don't understand, if I am understanding you correctly, is how proposal functionality relates to what it is I am trying to accomplish here.  I don't see the relevance to my problem at hand.  Am I missing something fundamental?
    Friday, October 22, 2010 2:27 AM
  • Christophe's point is that you can leverage the EPT infrastructure to create any type of project and to capture (almost) any type of information you'd like. So you can create a project type (EPT) called 'Activity Plan' and then create/add the proper Project Detail Pages (PDPs - basically web part pages) to customize the UI and data capture forms to your requirements.
    www.umt.com | www.projectfinancialserver.com
    Friday, October 22, 2010 5:57 PM
  • Thanks, Catalin, for your response.  I see your point, yet I still don't understand the relationship between the new functionality that you describe and "what was" in prior versions.  And it feels "overengineered" to solve what I would imagine is a common problem for MS Project users-- and one which MS solved in PS2007.

    Simply stated, I need to "reserve" portions of individual resources for non-project work so that they are not 100% available for scheduling and assignment to project work.  An activity plan let me do this effectively, without the visibility of a project.  It seems like the only way to accomplish the same in Project Server 2010 will be for me to create a "dummy" project for non-project work and assign portions of resources to that project.  I feel that there must be a better way.  In my relatively uninformed opinion (w/r/t PS2010), I don't see how this need is satisfied through the EPT infrastructure.

    Friday, October 22, 2010 6:03 PM
  • Hi Geof,

    The old activity plan / proposal component of PS2007 whilst met your specific requirements could also be very limiting in other scenarios. Personally I think the move towards web based editing and the EPT infrastructure is a much more complete implementation.

    With regards to your answer, you are correct you would need to set up a BAU/ Non Project work which you allocate resources to. This needn't be a big undertaking, as the EPT infra will allow you to set up projects that just take a Project Name, Owner and then use the Web based project editing to create the schedule, with the full richness of multi level undo, cut & paste, change highlighting and most importantly without the limitations of the old implementation (different predecessor types, task enterprise fields, more than one resource per task), a massive improvement on the PS2007 proposal / activity plan editing.

    I hope this answers your question.


    Alex Burton
    www.epmsource.com | Twitter
    Project Server TechCenter | Project Developer Center | Project Server Help | Project Product Page
    Saturday, October 23, 2010 6:47 PM
  • Hi Geof,

    if your main goal is to reserve, say, 30% of a resource capacity on non-project work and have the residual capacity  (70%) available for project work, you should consider to define some detailed Resource Availability periods, using the "Resource Availability" table  you see double-clicking a resource name in  Project Professional, Resource Sheet > "Resource Information" dialog > tab "general".

    This way you can still track the residual 30% work, educating your team member to use timesheets for tracking any residual non-project-planned work on custom administrative times of type "work", for example called "Post-release fixing" or "BAU maintenance" or whatever category you are interested to report on. 

    Otherwise you can create fake projects with "proxy" tasks, possibly spanning a whole fiscal year, for "BAU maintenance", "Product xxx fixing" , or whatever you need; in this case team members must track their work as any other project-planned work. 

    I prefer the first approach, because reporting is easier (not using tasks names) and smooth across any fiscal period.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010 5:34 PM
  • Thanks Alex.

    Please pardon my being dense here.  In my test PS2010 environment, I have created a new EPT ("Sample EPT").  I have then create a project using this EPT.  Then, I find myself doing what I was hoping not do to-- that is, creating dummy tasks like "November Support" and allocating my resources accordingly so that I can reserve their support capacity, have it reflect in the enterprise resources, and then know what is available for other project assignment.

    Is this what I "should" be doing in this scenario?  If so, what's the difference between this new EPT and a standard project?  While the end result might be the same, what's the difference between creating a "maintenance" project as a new project rather than having a separate EPT?  You follow me?

    - Geof

    Friday, November 5, 2010 4:49 PM