#AmazingPM, PPM, project management, PS+, solutions

Time to Take a New Look at Today’s PPM Solutions – Extending Microsoft Project Online, Part 2

In our last blog post, about using market-leading Microsoft-aligned products to enhance the OOTB functionality of Project Online, we talked about the benefits of using these products, and spotlighted a few of such products that your organization might be able touse, or might already be using.

We wanted to mention at greater length another solution that can vastly improve your OOTB Project Online experience to give you #AmazingPM: PS+.5580_CPS_PS-US-Web-Banners-x-2_262x450

PS+ is a pre-configured, best-practice solution to enhance Project Online by improving visibility and transparency into projects and portfolios for decisionmakers, and improving ease-of-use for users. The folks who made PS+ won the 2016 Microsoft Partner of the Year award for this solution, which seamlessly integrates with Project Online to bring better navigation, clearer data for better reporting and analysis, preconfigured templates, and other productivity-boosting features.

Innovative-e is the premier US partner for PS+, which you can test drive for free and with no risk or obligation (drop us an email if you want to know more!).

When examining the PPM solution you have in place, consider PS+ to augment Microsoft Project Online to accelerate your PM, make it easier for stakeholders to look at the big picture, and make it easier for users to use.

Watch the 3-minute video about for a quick overview of what’s now possible with PPM solutions.

#AmazingPM, PS+

Easy OOTB Lessons Learned #AmazingPM

ll1Most organizations that conduct projects repeat the same general steps to manage that work, steps some might call a workflow.  Ideally, a project initiation or proposal workflow includes a risk review (to the company, to the customer, to the project etc) as well as a benefit forecast so organizations can decide how to best allocate their scarce resources efficiently and productively.  Microsoft Project Online can easily help manage risks and issues as lessons learned.

ll2Use built-in Project Online functionality to define workflows and project detail pages (PDPs) where you can define the data that users must provide as they navigate a workflow.  It is not difficult to use in terms of programming or engineering skills needed.  You will need to take the time to think through, and document, how you want your workflows to work before setting out on the journey to modify your PPM environment this way.

ll3Add-ins such as PS+ automate methods of capturing data needed from workflows out of the box (OOTB).  Again, this technique is not difficult.  It does require PS+ (click here  for more information on PS+ or to set up a free trial).  Your simplest answer is to create a plain and simple #AmazingPM OOTB workflow in Project Online using this checklist:

  1. Define workflow discrete steps followed
  • Determine what must be included and which parts happen sometimes
  • Decompose steps into data points – determine when data needs collecting (inputs) and when it needs disbursal (outputs)
  • Put pieces into phases and stages – for more defined modelling and potential interaction with other work flows
  1. Define custom PWA entities such as data content type and format
  2. Build, test, and deploy in PWA – modify existing objects to leverage Project Online’s power

Use the OOTB issues management capability from Project Online to create a lessons-learned database.  A workflow analysis shows three major phases of leveraging lessons, learning lessons, and listing lessons.  After we modify the OOTB issue category list to accommodate a “lessons learned” category, we can use the OOTB filter on the Issues page to create a view or report of the lessons learned.

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So, in effect, only change two OOTB features slightly and get a powerful tool to improve an organization’s project and program management by actually learning from previous project issues.

To revise the OOTB settings needed, follow these steps:

  1. On the project site issues page, click the List Settings icon in Settings section of the List ribbon.
  2. Click Category and then, on the category column settings page, in the Type each choice on a separate line: field, enter the label you wish to use for lessons learned and click the OK button.
  3. When closing out projects (or at whatever frequency you think useful) identify lessons learned on the Issues page of the project site by setting the Category to the lessons learned choice.

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Use the Category field to sort or to filter and you can easily find actual things that happened on projects that you’d like to pay attention to when planning activities that could be impacted by new, similar issues or by issues that repeat themselves.  Project Online is a powerful tool that can help you build #amazingPM and even more powerful tools to improve your PPM success.

project management, PS+

Innovative-e shares its PM solutions for healthcare professionals at HIMSS event in Atlantic City, NJ

The New Jersey and Delaware Valley chapters of HIMSS (Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society) are holding their 9th Annual Event, “The Essential Role of Technology in Population Health,” at Harrah’s Resort Hotel and Casino October 19-21. Innovative-e is happy to be a sponsor at the event, at Booth 110. We have a proven history of helping healthcare organizations implement industry-specific solutions to solve the complex set of project, process, and change management challenges project managers in healthcare organizations face.

Eoin at HIMSS.jpg
Innovative-e’s Eoin Callan is ready to see you at the 9th Annual HIMSS event in Atlantic City! We’re at Booth 110.

Innovative-e is pleased to be the premier US partner of  PS+, an award-winning, pre-configured, best-practices solution for Project Online. PS+ is a key component of our solutions to help customers extend the out-of-the-box capabilities of Microsoft Project Online and transform their project management into amazing experiences that support executive buy-in, sustained user adoption, and wider visibility and transparency for decision-makers into projects and portfolios.

Innovative-e’s solutions are tailor-made for customers across a variety of industry verticals. We have proven experience and success helping customers in healthcare, manufacturing, and government transform their project management into continuously amazing project management experiences with exceptional insight, agility, and value.

project management

Become One with PS+ and Project Online

This blog series explains how PS+ helps people be effective as shown by Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The sixth habit, to Synergize, says we find strength when we learn to collaborate. Just as geese leverage the efforts of one leader for the easier flight of the flock, users of PS+ and Project Online, no matter the role, and with little effort or training, follow the path of someone with deep project management experience built-in to an easy-to-use solution designed to deliver very productive results.

Synergy consists of getting bigger and better results from combined efforts than could be accomplished by either party alone. PS+ takes advantage of the best project management functionality on the market in the form of Microsoft Project put in to the Cloud (or on-premises with Project Server) and enhances it with intuitive means of tracking project details easily.

Some ways Project Online and PS+ combine to produce better results together include:

  • PS+ Reports: Each task and resource has hundreds of data fields associated with them and the built-in, out of the box PS+ Reports leverages those to produce Highlight Reports, S-curve Reports, Pie Charts, and several other report types.
  • PS+ Navigator: Combine efficiency with knowledge of Project Online infrastructure and the result is the PS+ Navigator, an easy-to-use tool that helps users jump directly where they want to go inside PWA.
  • PS+ Dependency and PS+ Sequencer: When working with related projects in a coordinated manner in order to achieve benefits not otherwise possible, use the PS+ Sequencer to create unique IDs for each project in the program. PS+ Dependency creates and manage links between tasks in separate project schedules. Never create a Master Project again unless you want to!
  • PS+ Milestone Gantt: Simplify portfolio or program schedules to a single view that shows not only the overall duration of each included schedule, but also the significant events during each timeline relative to today!

A rising tide floats all boats and PS+ helps raise the water level for every role in your organization. Synergize today by signing up for a risk-free PS+ subscription now so you and your team can benefit from purposeful and powerful collaboration with PS+ without further delay!

project management

Innovative-e partner PS+ wins Microsoft Partner of the Year for 2016!

We’re so pleased that our partner, PS+, is the Microsoft Partner of the Year 2016 winner for Project and Portfolio Management! They took the prize with their multi-award-winning solution, PS+, built on Microsoft Project Online. PS+ won this honor amid a field of more than 2,500 global Microsoft Partners who entered to win. PS+ is recognized by Microsoft as “demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.”

Innovative-e is proud to be partnered with winners like PS+! We’re proud to be the only US distributor of the prize-winning PS+ solution. Want to know why PS+ has won multiple awards? Learn more about this exceptional solution and what it can do to accelerate your PPM.

PS Plus POTY graphic

 

project management

Gaining Project Wisdom and Sagacity from PS+ and Project Online

This blog series explains how PS+ helps people be effective as shown by Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The fifth habit, to Seek first to understand, then be understood, speaks to the power of patient wisdom and judicious sagacity. Wisdom comes from experience, knowledge, and good judgment, while sagacity demonstrates shrewdness and keen mental discernment. Users of PS+ and Project Online, no matter the role, deliver very productive results with little effort or training because of the deep wells of project management experience built-in to a solution designed to assist everyone’s mental discernment.

Both wisdom and sagacity require information to begin with since one cannot be wise about nothing. But having data isn’t enough. To be wise and sagacious, one must also use data to make shrewd decisions showing sound judgment.

Some ways Project Online and PS+ help decision-makers with such judgment include:

  • Portfolio Analysis: Use either costs or resources to optimize a constrained group of work to accomplish goals that are important to your company! Model different project portfolios to see which configuration provides the best results and when you might need to plan to hire more resources…
  • WorkViewer: PS+ provides pre-configured generic resources you can use straight out of the box (OOTB) to understand the workload demands of your portfolio. Immediately see where projects have resource bottlenecks and chokepoints, and see which project managers are demanding the most resources!
  • Risk Matrix: Understand at a glance which projects threaten your portfolio the most!
  • Financial Manager: get a handle on project spending by understanding with ease where every penny goes whether for direct, project costs or for Capital Expenditures!

It’s not often that a product makes everyone in an enterprise wiser, and PS+ does it transparently. Seek first to understand, then be understood by signing up for a risk-free PS+ subscription today so you and your team can share decision-making data now!

project management

PS+ does not stand for “Post Scriptum”

This blog series explains how PS+ helps people be effective as shown by Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  Being effective requires vision of the ultimate goal so one may decisively act (or NOT) based upon how those actions might impact that goal’s accomplishment; Covey calls this the second habit, to Begin with the End in Mind.  If you don’t know where you want to go, then a map won’t help.  Effective people choose to use PS+ because it makes using a project management information system easy AND productive.  Easy is important because people will choose the path of least resistance when asked to adopt new technologies.

PS+ was built by people who were frustrated that the best-in-class project management solution, Microsoft Project Online, was not the easiest to use out of the box.  The outcome is a product that improves the results that every role wants from a PMIS, out of the box, with no need for training.  PS+ apps benefit people who look for the output of the data they and others enter to track project progress.

Some ways to see this in PS+ include:

  • PS+ Navigator – right from the very beginning, on the PS+ home page, PS+ makes it easy to use Microsoft Project Online with a pop-up menu to jump immediately where you want to go to manage your project!
  • PS+ Reporting – Any authorized role can find out what they want to know about their projects, immediately out of the box! The PS+ Highlight Report helps Project Managers present what Executives most want to know.  The PS+ Issues Report collates across projects so you can see if anything happening in one project may impact another!
  • PS+ Project Types templates – Each of the PS+ OOTB project types uses a WBS appropriate for that project type. Why create new schedules with blank tasks unless that’s what you want?  PS+ standard project types include PMI, agile, Prince2, SharePoint task list, and blank.
  • PS+ Project Sites – the quicklaunch bar gets configured according to the project type when created (e.g. PS+ PMI project types quickbars link to Change Requests while Agile project quickbars link to the Product Backlog). You and your team can collaborate immediately OOTB!