In Project Management, resources are typically your people, equipment, and materials. Most commonly, and for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on people. But we see many of the same principles used for equipment as well.

This is also the topic of our next free webinar.  It’ll be on Thursday, February 19th, from 2:00 to 2:30 PM (EST).  Click here to learn more and RSVP.

Many companies face the challenge of trying to determine who’s doing what, who’s got too much on their plate, who’s got some extra time to take on more work, etc. Having resources allocated to multiple projects does make it more difficult to manually track their utilization, but MS Project and Project Web App make it very easy!

Once your project schedules have been created, and resources have been assigned to tasks, you can start managing resource allocation and availability in MS Project and Project Web App. Microsoft Project offers standard reports showing resources information such as the Resource Status report below. This report shows when resources are scheduled to start and finish their tasks, and how much remaining work they have yet to do at any given point in time.

There are several different types of resources available to meet your needs:

  1. Individual Resources: an individual person, such as Bob Coppedge, or Patti Smerk
    1. These can be local to one project, or part of an Enterprise Pool, where resource management is more centralized. Project Managers can just access the pool and select who will be on their team, rather than re-entering resources over and over for difference projects.
    2. Generic Resources: Resources by job role or skillset, such as Accountant, Programmer, Electrician etc. These are used for planning purposes when an individual resource cannot be identified.
    3. Team Resources: Tasks can be assigned to a team such as Quality Assurance or Cleveland Testers, and then resources from that team can take the initiative to go claim a task and assign it to themselves.

For the most part, resource management is far more robust when using Enterprise Resources. Not only does it give the Project Manager visibility in to who’s doing what, but it also holds resources more accountable when tasks are assigned to a specific person.

In Project Web Access, there are many views and reports that help the team member (aka resource) as well as the Project Manager.  There’s a great Tasks view that shows a resource all the tasks they have been assigned from all projects. So from a resource or team member perspective, it’s easy to manage tasks across multiple projects, it’s almost like a personal dashboard or to do list for them.

Project Web App also has views to assist Project Managers in Resource Planning. The Resource Assignments view shows each resource’s project assignments, making it easier to identify over or under tasked resources:

The Assignment Resource by Project report is another nice report in PWA showing how much work is assigned by each project. This one is great for analyzing project work across an entire portfolio.


The next Project Management Webinar will be on February 19th at 2:00. We’ll talk specifically about Resources and all the great information you can easily get from having a good Resource Plan in place.

Database performance is a fun topic (read our other blog entry on this by clicking here).  ”I’m running reports overnight.  They take 3 hours!”  Not necessarily the end of the world (the completed reports are still waiting for me in the morning).  ”There’s a customer on our web site.  It takes 15 seconds to see their order status.”  Ok, now we’ve got a problem.

“Sooooo…let’s buy new hardware.”  That’s the quickest and often the easiest (in terms of justifying the expense) sell to management.  Because more…more cpu, more memory, more disk…that’s going to fix it, right?”

Not necessarily.  If you’re not measuring what was actually happening during those 15 seconds, then you don’t know why it took so long.  That’s why we have Performance Counters.  Metrics we can get (in real time, if needed) to tell us what’s actually going on.  Why it took 15 seconds (or 3 hours, for that matter).  And the conclusions we can come to from these metrics?

Welcome to our second monthly Database webinar.  Doug Tombow will introduce you to some key concepts as well as provide some understandable examples of what you should be thinking about regarding the performance of your data.

Topics presented:

  • Why does Data Performance matter?
  • Data Performance is Relative
  • Determining Your Required Data Performance Levels
  • Monitoring Data Performance
When:
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM (EST)
RSVP by clicking here, and you’ll receive connection instructions the day of the event.

The presentation will be aimed at the non-technical level.

And a lucky attendee will get a free copy of Microsoft Office 2013 Professional!

 

Bob here.  Database performance is a fun topic.  ”I’m running reports overnight.  They take 3 hours!”  Not necessarily the end of the world (still waiting for me in the morning).”There’s a customer on our web site.  It takes 15 seconds to see their order status.”  Ok, now we’ve got a problem.

“Sooooo…let’s buy new hardware.”  That’s the quickest and often the easiest (in terms of justifying the expense) sell to management.  Because more…more cpu, more memory, more disk…that’s going to fix it, right?

Not necessarily.  If you’re not measuring what was actually happening during those 15 seconds, then you don’t know why it took so long.  That’s why we have Performance Counters.  Metrics we can get (in real time, if needed) to tell us what’s actually going on.  Why it took 15 seconds (or 3 hours, for that matter).  And the conclusions we can come to from these metrics?

Two words:

It depends

Read on!



This article excerpt, by Robert L. Davis, originally appeared here: http://bit.ly/1ryLksn
When you’re working through some vague performance issues (e.g., “SQL Server seems slow today”), one of the common things to do is to collect some performance counters. If you are collecting performance counters for the first time on the server, you don’t have anything to compare them against. This usually leads to searching the web for resources that will tell you what numbers the counters should be. And sadly, it quite often ends with either misleading advice or with a disappointing message of “it depends.”
There are several reasons why we say that the target values for performance counters depend, and why we say that you need to baseline your systems.
•Workloads and server configurations vary wildly.
•Workloads change.
•SQL Server environments are constantly evolving.
Baselining
So we tell you to baseline to know what your system generally looks like when it’s healthy. If you are baselining, you can compare your performance counters to last week’s numbers or last month’s number or even last year’s numbers. But if you’re not already baselining, and you have an emergent issue that you need to investigate right now, this advice is not going to help with this issue. Most of the performance counters are not going to be very helpful, and you will need to dig into the current activity on the server. Look for obvious things like blocking and extremely high degrees of parallelism. Look at the wait statistics for the currently active requests and try to determine if we have an issue with memory or CPU utilization or other bottlenecks.

We’re happy to announce our February Office Webinar topic:  Visio 2013 Extras

This session is designed to cover more Visio diagrams and features.  We will learn how to create and work with your own stencils.  Create and save background pages and how to apply them to other diagrams.  Did you know you could create calendars in Visio?  How about a project timeline?  Another diagram that is useful is the brainstorming diagram, which utilizes the legend feature.  The legend can be used in a flowchart or any other diagram.

We will learn how to use the container feature.  Create layers in a diagram and import an excel spreadsheet into an organizational chart using the import function.

 We hope you can participate in this part two of “Exploring Visio” to help you with your diagrams.

Join Simplex-IT’s veteran trainer, Michele Bobola, for this one-hour, live streaming presentation.

One lucky attendee will win a copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2013, courtesy of Microsoft.

When: Thursday, February 12th, from 11am-noon

Where:  Online!

How Much?:  Free!

Click here to RSVP

Questions? Feel free to contact us by email at Events@Simplex-IT.com or call 234.380.1277.

Don’t miss this informational, free webinar brought to you by Simplex-IT – your Virtual CIO – bringing Vision, Confidence and Strategy to your Business IT!

Glass is DeadGoogle Glass is dead.

As in Monty Python and the Holy Grail “I’m not dead yet” kind of dead.

As you may have heard, the primary incarnation of Google Glass, the “Explorer” program, was ended last week.  The program is moving to a different division, with different management (more details here).

I’m finally ready to make my opinion officially known about Google Glass.

It failed.

Very successfully.

And somewhere the Apple Newton will have a friend in tech heaven to hang out with.

Confused?

Ok, some history.  The Newton was the first handheld computing device that was introduced into the mass market (by Apple).  Apple started working on it back in 1987 (this info is both from memory and Wikepedia.

It wasn’t really the first PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), but it caught the public’s eye.  A complete reimagination of how the user interacts with their computing device (and application).  Remember this was the late 80’s and early 90’s.  The Internet is at best in its infancy.  eCommerce and the dot com bubbles aren’t bubbling yet.  Even Windows ’95 isn’t out yet.

And Apple wanted to completely rebuild the concept of User Experience with this device.

And it failed, in terms of commercial sales.

But it succeeded in terms of giving the industry a chance to learn from the mistakes.  PDA’s evolved quickly, first adding integration with email and other data communicated through direct connection to the PC and then the internet.  Once the web took off, so did the PDA.  Then we added phone capabilities, and the industry never looked back.  We need to also mention that Moore’s Law had something to do with it (the speed at which computer hardware improves for the same cost).

Who made the most of the opportunity?  You could say the early champion was Palm (remember Palm Pilots?) followed by BlackBerry.  And now Google certainly has at least as much of a foothold in the space as Apple (and the momentum seems to be shifting to Google).

Which brings us to Google Glass.  I think that Google Glass had a similar experience.

First of all there’s the perception.  Google Glass has gone from being a really cool experience in terms of what it promised to almost an object of derision (the term “Glasshole,” started initially as a joke, has grown in popularity).  And the services that specifically take advantage of Glass’ unique user interface have been slow to surface.  But that finally started to change, albeit a bit late (click here).

Now, I want to be clear on a couple of things.  First is I’ve been a “Glass Explorer” with Google Glass since late 2013.  Simplex-IT held our first Lunchinar on Google Glass in the summer of 2013.  So we’ve been keeping an eye on the product for some time.

Second is that in the case of the Apple Newton, Apple was actually a latecomer in terms of learning from their own “mistakes.”  The Palm Pilot (around 96 or so) was the first wildly successful device that learned from both the lessons and mistakes that the Apple Newton experienced.  It really wasn’t until the iPhone (2007) that Apple came out with a true computing device (no, the iPod doesn’t count).  Of course it made up for lost time like a banshee.

So, what’s the final chapter for this story?  Well, obviously it hasn’t been written yet.  The market is starting to see a lot of “wearable computing devices” (a lot of them in the health/wellness vertical).  Google certainly isn’t the only organization developing eyewear devices.  I fully suspect we’ll see more devices in that category.

The question is can Google capitalize on their Glass investment before somebody else does?  The experience from Apple would say “no.”  And the fact that Google doesn’t have a lot of history making hardware themselves is also a bit of a strike against them.

But this is Google.  I wouldn’t count them out just yet.

Hey folks, Brandon here! Something we’ve talked about to for the past year or so is Ransomware, a type of malware designed to encrypt your files causing you to not be able to access them, then demand a monetary ransom to get access to your files again. Every couple of months there seems to be a new wave of these coming out and one seems to have started going out this week……So of course Steve and I decided to download the latest and greatest in Cryptowall and try it out!

So let’s talk about how this new wave of Cryptowall is being distributed and how it works.

Note that this version is using Java to run. When we didn’t have Java installed, the virus couldn’t do anything. Unfortunately, removing Java from all your machines isn’t really a good way to prevent this sort of thing, as it’ll cause new issues. The best thing to do is to keep everything up to date, as companies are constantly releasing security updates.

How it’s being sent

This is being sent to people in an email about new Outlook settings (Subject typically: Important – New Outlook Settings) coming from Administrator@outlook-us.com

Attachment/Link

The email comes with a URL (different URL each time) that appears to change what it’s doing each time you click it. Sometimes it downloads ‘message.zip’ which contains ‘outlook_settings_pdf.exe’ (the virus). Now this is tricky because unless your computer shows file extensions, it just shows as outlook_settings_pdf with a sneaky little Adobe Acrobat icon. Sometimes the site it takes you to loads a blank page. Sometimes it loads what appears to be a…poem? Yeah, a poem. Alaa has actually been reloading the page over and over to make a poem book. We’ll probably put that on Amazon for your Kindle soon.

Bottom line

If you see an out-of-place looking email from anybody @outlook-us.com, you should probably err on the side of caution. As always, clicking on links if you don’t know where they’re from is typically a bad idea. If there’s anything you’re unsure about, ask your IT support! We in IT would rather you be cautious and secure than click-happy and vulnerable :)

That’s really it. If you want the details of what the virus is doing, keep on reading!

What’s the file doing?

If the outlook_settings_pdf.exe gets run, it will show itself as a process as well as 2 process that *appear* to have randomly generated names. They’re definitely noticeable. Here is resource monitor with the processes (click image to see full-size):

Then it gets to work! It’s using the system Cryptographic Services to start encrypting your precious files to hold for ransom:

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I just realized the bottom task got cut off. But it’s the cryptographic service…)

 

Bob here.  I’ve had several discussions with companies about how Microsoft is looking to use Lync, along with Skype, to muscle into the telephony world, actually replacing old phone systems (ie, PBX’s and the like).

This is a good (somewhat techie) article discussing that very process.  However, most of the discussion is centered on the on site Lync implementations.  I think we’re going to see additional movement in late 2015-2016 timeframe where smaller organizations (

This article excerpt, by Kevin Kieller, originally appeared here: http://ubm.io/1AZQH5S


Microsoft Lync has had a good year in 2014, with a reported 5 million Lync voice seats now deployed and an ecosystem expanding around the tool. This isn’t to say there aren’t challenges ahead, though, especially as Microsoft moves ahead on its Skype for Business rebranding initiative. Let’s take a closer look at this year’s highlights and next year’s intentions.

As noted, Microsoft has reported deployment of some 5 million Lync voice seats in 2014. Other voice-related Lync highlights include:

  • Lync ranks third among IP PBX vendors in North America in organizations with more than 100 extensions, as noted by Peter Hale, an enterprise consultant with UK-based telecom and IT analyst firm MZA, at Enterprise Connect 2014 in March.
  • In October, for the first time ever, Gartner placed Microsoft in the Leaders section of the Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony.
  • As part of its report, Gartner rated Microsoft as the seventh-largest global corporate telephony vendor with significant annual growth––of 106%––in 2013.

Along with these rating and deployment successes, the Lync software, hardware and services ecosystem continued to grow:

  • An increasing number of IP phone set device vendors, including Polycom, Aastra, HP, snom, AudioCodes, Logitech and Spectralink, now support Lync.
  • A growing variety of USB audio and video devices support Lync: 34 wired headsets, 34 wireless headsets, 14 webcams and 11 USB speakerphones.
  • 55 SIP trunking service providers are qualified to connect with Lync 2013 (and 57 qualified with Lync 2010).
  • The number of Lync-compatible choices for gateways, survivable branch appliances and session border controllers is growing.
  • Lync Room Systems are now available from Crestron, Polycom and Smart.
  • Microsoft now has 81 certified Lync support partners, including 16 global support partners.
  • Lync functionality is expanding via a growing catalog of add-in applications for contact center, reporting, attendant console, recording, knowledge reinforcement and more (see the Office TechCenter for the most up-to-date list of qualified Lync infrastructure components).

And yet with all of the success in 2014, many enterprise communications managers still aren’t convinced that Lync alone can act as a PBX replacement. Consider these results from an attendee quick poll taken during my keynote for the recent Enterprise Connect/No Jitter virtual event, “Microsoft Lync: What Is the Impact for Your Enterprise?” (available on demand). When asked, “What do you think about Lync as a PBX replacement?,” respondents said:

  • Lync can be a PBX replacement: 38%
  • I would combine Lync and a traditional PBX: 40%
  • I would never trust Lync as my PBX: 7%
  • I am using Lync as my PBX: 15%

In 2014 the challenges associated with implementing Lync successfully remain much the same as over the past several years. These are:

  • Convincing naysayers that Lync absolutely can serve as a PBX replacement.
  • Realizing that implementing quality of service/class of service to prioritize real-time traffic on the network is a must.
  • Assembling a team with network, telecom, application and change management skills.
  • Recognizing that after you build your Lync environment you need the tools and skills to manage it (ongoing support often requires very different skills than design and implementation).
  • Committing to monitoring and driving quality, usage and adoption.

Looking Ahead


On Nov. 11, Microsoft announced that the next version of Lync will be called Skype for Business and is expected for release during the first half of 2015.

While much of the focus has been on the new name for Lync, the transition to Skype for Business is much more than a simple rebranding.

The next version of Lync brings together the development teams and technologies associated with Lync and Skype and in doing so provides unique business-to-consumer opportunities as Lync plugs into the massive scale that Skype has achieved: more than 60 million concurrent users, more than 550 million registered users, and 2 billion minutes of communications per day.

Specifically, Skype for Business will let corporate users directly connect to external parties using their Skype ID … no more complex and confusing process whereby Skype users need to sign in with a Microsoft ID in order to connect. Already we are seeing improved video interoperability between Lync for Windows desktop and Skype.

Skype for Business will provide an improved and streamlined user interface. Blind and consultative transfers will take fewer clicks, a small item but one that has been a top user requested feature. Interestingly, the new Skype for Business client will include both the classic Lync interface and the new Skype UI. IT shops will be able to flip the UI for specific user groups through a central policy. This is one of the ways that Microsoft is trying to help smooth the transition to Skype for Business. The promised in-place server upgrades is a second feature designed to accelerate adoption.

Moving Forward


Looking to another poll from the Dec. 10 Lync virtual event, we see that organizations are at many different points in their UC journeys:

  • We are piloting/deploying UC from our incumbent PBX vendor: 22%
  • We are trying to decide which vendor’s UC platform to select: 15%
  • We have not begun piloting/deploying, and don’t expect to in 2015: 10%
  • We have not begun piloting/deploying, but plan to in 2015: 16%
  • We are piloting/deploying UC from a vendor other than our incumbent PBX vendor: 37%

I suspect that most of the 37% who responded that they are piloting a solution not from their incumbent PBX vendor may be piloting Lync. If you are in the process of piloting or upgrading to Lync 2013, then I would recommend that you move ahead. Being on the Lync 2013 platform will make transitioning to Skype for Business easier when you decide to do this.

Lync continued its upward trajectory in 2014 and so far 2015 is looking good for the Skype for Business nee Lync team.

Inside Sales Position for leading IT Managed Service Provider in Hudson, OH

Position responsibilities include executing an Inside Sales Strategy that will result in qualified appointments with prospective customers and that will explore additional opportunities for existing clients.  We expect you to become knowledgeable on all the products and solutions we present.  This high-energy, self-paced environment with a high volume of phone calls, email, and orders requires associate to handle multiple tasks efficiently. Position requires primarily outbound prospecting and cold-calling.

Salary Compensation: $30k -$35k Base Salary + Bonus (total target annual compensation $40-$45k)

What You Will Be Doing

  • Develop and maintain a marketing/CRM database of prospective customers
  • Contact prospective and existing customers to set appointments
  • Make and respond to new and existing client phone calls/emails
  • Cultivate client relationships by identifying opportunities, marketing our services and solutions, managing client expectations and ensuring client satisfaction
  • Maintain and share knowledge of product capabilities and solutions for client needs/requests
  • Develop and maintain strong awareness of vendor programs and promotions
  • Assist with price negotiations, logistics and technical support needs
  • Accurately enter, monitor, and follow up on client orders
  • Assist with Proposals – Assist with completion of proposal documents and/or client presentations, assist with drop-offs/ mailings
  • Develop and maintain a shared sales pipeline

 

What You Need for this Position

  • 1-3 Years of Inside Sales experience, in a sales role generating technology sales is strongly preferred
  • Excellent written and verbal communications
  • Excellent time-management skills – Self-starter
  • Sense of urgency, ability to constantly prioritize, awareness of timelines and deadlines
  • Detail oriented with prompt administrative follow up and attention to accuracy
  • High energy and drive to achieve results with superior relationship building skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point, OneNote) and in using other computer applications
  • Communication channels are primarily speech through phone and written through email
  • Be comfortable portraying a high level of professionalism and confidence to clients via phone and email
  • Previous experience and knowledge serving/specifying computer and networking hardware and software a plus
Why work for Simplex-IT?
  • 401(k) plan (with employer contribution)
  • Paid sick and vacation
  • Flexible work environment

Apply now!
Send resume and salary requirements to HR@Simplex-IT.com

Simplex-IT is an award winning IT services organization located in Hudson, Ohio (between Cleveland and Akron).  Simplex-IT provides small to medium organizations Vision, Confidence and a Strategy for their Technology needs.  A Managed Services provider since 2007, Simplex-IT is a Microsoft Silver Partner and well versed in strategic concepts such as Cloud, Virtualization, Business Continuity and Bring Your Own Device.

At Simplex-IT, we specialize in sharing our knowledge with several free webinar and Lunchinar events each month on topics such as Microsoft Office, Project Management and Data Practices.  Contact us at Info@Simplex-IT.com, Twitter (Simplex_IT), LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/company/simplex-it) or FaceBook: (http://www.facebook.com/simplex.it)

I usually lead the January newsletter intro with:

  • A summary of the previous year for the company.
  • Some thanks to folks for their contribution.
  • Some idea of what’s up for the new year

Ok, let’s start with the previous year.

Awards!

First of all, we got a lot of awards and recognition.  We already were a Microsoft Silver Partner, but our mix of competencies was added to a bit (some just through changes Microsoft made).

 

 

One of the largest reseller vendors, Ingram-Micro, also recognized us.  In 2014 Simplex-IT was recognized as a member of the “Ingram micro SMB 500.”  We were #172 or something like that, if memory serves.

MSPMentor, a leading site for Managed Services, recognized Simplex-IT for two categories (for a second year in a row)… ”MSPmentor 501 Global Edition” (top 501 in the world) as well as the “MSPmentor 100, Small Business Edition (top 100 in the USA with less than 10 employees).

Then the Hudson Chamber of Commerce recognized Simplex-IT as their “2014 Community Education & Involvement Advocate” award recipient.  That included a signed proclamation from Governor Kasich himself.

Wait, we’re not done.  The final recognition for the year came in mid-December when MSPMentor (you remember them from earlier, right) recognized yours truly as being one of the top 250 in the MSP field.

Events!

We also put on some events:

  • 12 webinars on Office
  • 10 educational lunchinars
  • 2 webinars on Project Management
  • 1 Annual Picnic
  • 1 Geek Raffle (raised money for Hattie Larlham)
  • 1 Farewell to Windows XP Movie Night

Additional Programs!

We’ve added our newest Practice, Simplex-PM with Patti Smerk, PMP who joined us in November.

You’re going to hear soon about our next practice, Simplex-dba with Doug Tombow.

People!

Yeah, we’ve got people.  Here’s a picture at our annual Holiday Brunch of employees and family members:

(well, almost all.  Alaa and our Marketing intern Elizabeth couldn’t make it, but you get the idea…there’s a bunch of folks that make Simplex-IT what it is.  So don’t blame just me!)

But big thanks out to everybody that made Simplex-IT a success in 2014.

We’re already underway with changes that will make 2015 an even greater success.  New programs, additional features with our existing ones.

New Stuff!

Starting in February we’ll have *4* free monthly educational events.  3 webinars and 1 lunchinars.  I don’t know any company in any field that is doing as much free educational content without hooks.

We’re also completely revamping our ticketing system, which will create a greater level of definition for both us and our customers (Michelle Brugmann will be spearheading that).

We’re in the process of adding additional security tools and controls on our clients that our Gold and Platinum coverage (Kevin Dutkiewicz is behind that).

We’re also increasing our knowledge base, with a lot of work over the past several months on cloud strategies focusing on Microsoft Azure (Steve Buchwald is the primary chap with that).

Techs Alaa Hamdan, Jeff Buskirk and Brandon King are keeping the day to day operations of our clients going.  Intern Freddie Bracken is working with them.

John Harrow is working on increasing our Office 365 practice to new levels.

Michele Bobola has been great in developing and presenting our monthly Office webinars.  Sarah Dutkiewicz has helped out with occasional development assistance.  And Cyndee Duhon has been helping with Marketing.

And finally, my lovely wife Julie Coppedge has been putting up with me.

What have I been doing?  Do you have any idea how long it takes to catch up on some of the series that NetFlix has online?  Sheesh!

Finally!

Thanks to everybody out there who supported us through 2014.  Our customers (who are growing in numbers), thanks for giving us a chance (and supporting us as we develop and improve).  Our vendors (who listen to us moan and ask for product improvements).  Our friends (we have many), our families (who put up with a lot of evening and weekend interruptions).

Let’s do this again.  But more!

Sincerely,

Bob Coppedge

CEO and Grand Poobah

Project Reporting

Patti here.  The reporting capabilities within MS Project Online, Project Web App, and MS Project are extremely valuable for analyzing project information. There are a number of existing reports that can be accessed within any schedule, as well as the capability to create customized reports. We’ll go in to more detail at the free Webinar on January 15th, but we wanted to provide a brief overview to introduce you to the basics.

With the right project information, project reports can answer questions such as, “Is everyone fully utilized? Is there room to shift work around? Where can I find extra time in my project to make up for delays, will my project complete on time? Within budget? Are there trends throughout all the projects in my organization? What about John Doe, I know he is already working on a few projects, does he have time to take on another one?”

Depending on a number of factors such as the nature of your projects, your organizational structure, and the audience you are creating reports for, there are several levels of reporting information you’ll want to consider and become familiar with. Typically these are referred to as Project, Program, or Portfolio level reports. According to the Project Management Institute (www.pmi.org) a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. A program is a group of related projects, subprograms, and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually. A portfolio then is the projects, programs, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objects. This structure is a key concept in project management, as well as project reporting. Think of it like a hierarchy, there are the projects, the groups of projects (programs) and then all the projects regardless of similarity (Portfolio).

Burndown Report

Regardless of whether you want to report at the project, program, or portfolio level, you have many different types of reports to choose from. There are budget reports, resource utilization reports, schedule reports, and many more. MS Project does a great job of providing project information on one project, however if you require program or portfolio level reporting Project Online has some more robust capabilities. Check out this Burndown report (first example) from MS Project showing the number of tasks completed vs. the number remaining. It also show the hours worked vs. hours remaining on a project.

Assignment Work by Resource Report

With Project Web App, you can view the overall health of all the projects within your organization in one central location, and analyze the distribution of tasks across the project team. The second sample report shows the amount of hours each team member is assigned throughout the life of the project.

Portfolio Cost Report

Portfolio reporting is also a breeze in Project Online, the third sample is an example of a portfolio cost report.

 

If project reporting interests you and you would like more information, please join us for this month’s free webinar on Thursday January 15, 2015. We’ll demonstrate some common reports, and discuss best practices for getting the most out of your project schedules.