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Project Management

­­­This document is intended to act as reference for the operations that a Project Manager will need to carry out.

Managing Projects:

Managing Project Tasks

Project Planning & Scheduling

Project Collaboration

Project Risk Management

Project Controlling

Financial Management of Projects 

Project Portfolio Management

Workflows

Exporting/Importing Project Plans to/from 3rd party tools 

Other Documents and Resources :



Managing Projects

Projects are thought to be "containers" of sub-projects and tasks. You want to set up a new project if you have a new group of people ­collaborating.
Projects are carrying permission information for the tasks below the project. 

List of Projects

A complete list of projects is available from http://[YOUR_SERVER]/intranet/projects. Permission settings might prevent users from viewing or editing projects.

List of projects

Find a Project

The quickest and most convenient way finding a project is probably using the ]po[ Full Text Search. A search box is located on the top right corner of each ]po[ screen.
Alternatively you can go to http://[YOUR_SERVER]/intranet/projects and browse or filter by project name. 

Creating a new Project

To create a new project please use the Admin link "Add New Project" that can be found on http://[YOUR_SERVER]/intranet/projects. Depending on your configuration you might need to set some project attribute values first by going through a 'wizard' before seeing the main creation page.  

A new project can also be created by cloning an existing one. If no clone link is available from a Project Admin Menu, please ask your System Administrator to allow cloning by setting parameter EnableCloneProjectLinkP accordingly.   

Cre­ate new Project from Template

Project can be created using any existing project as a "Project Template". A link is provided in the side bar of a Projects main page:

Clone Project 

A wizard allows a user to choose what elements should be copied to the new project:

Clone Project Wizard 

Adding additional Project Attributes

It is possible to add any number of new dynamic fields (DynFields) to projects. For example, it is possible to add a drop-down field for the project’s Cost Center, or a text field to describe the project risk. For additional information see the DynField Extensible Architecture

Assigning Members to Projects

New members can be assigned using the "Add member" link in portlet "Project Members" that will lead to the following page: 

 

You can either search for a particular user to added to the project or you can select one or more users from the multi-select box. USers can be added as "Project Managers" or "Full Members".

If users get assigned to subprojects or task, the system adds them automatically to their parent elements. This helps Project Managers of the Parent Projects to get an overview of all employees involved in all subprojects. Please do not reverse this automatic assignment. If you want to limit visibility or time sheet tracking on parent elements, please consider adjusting parameters PermissiveHourLogging and TimesheetTaskVisibilityScope.   

Structuring Projects

Projects can be structured by adding Sub-Projects and Tasks to Projects. A link can be found in the sidebar on a Projects Main Page.

Create Subproject 

If this link is not visible, the user might not have the permission to create Sub-Projects or the creation is not allowed in general.    

When to create a subproject?

  • To make the management of larger projects easier
  • If you want to delegate responsibility to a different project manager
  • If you want to separate access to information to different user.
    Example: You probably do not want to let developers have access the contents of the "Acquisition subproject" which might contain sensitive contract and sales information.
­

Delete a Project

In order to delete a project you need to set its status to "Deleted". Projects will be soft-deleted, which means they remain in the system but will be invisible. Deleted projects can be recovered if necessary.

Remove a Project

As an System Administrator you can also dump the project entirely from the system. Please see http://[YOUR_SERVER]//intranet/admin/cleanup-demo/ to get a list of removable items.
Please note that in some cases it might be necessary to resolve constraints to other objects manually to allow removal.

Please note:
Only in few cases you want to remove (nuke) a project entirely because projects might be related to other objects such as logged hours. Removing them would lead to inconsistent data.

You can also use a shortcut to nuke a single projects by requesting (SysAdmin only):
http://[YOUR_SERVER]/intranet/admin/cleanup-demo/cleanup-projects-2.tcl?return_url=/intranet/&project_id=[PROJECT_ID]

Bulk Operations on Projects

Bulk operations on a project's status can be performed in portlet "Project Hierarchy"

Bulk Operations

Managing Project Task

Creating Tasks

Tasks are created within Main Projects or Sub-Projects. 


 

Creating recurring Tasks

This feature is not yet available in ]po[. Please contact us to inquire for sponsored development.

Task Attributes

Time attributes

Tasks are associated with three different measures of time:

  • Extimated hours:
    The PMs estimate how long it will take to complete the task
  • Billable hours:
    How many hours can be billed to a customer.
  • Logged hours:
    The actually spent number of hours logged via the Timesheet module.

Cost Center

The Cost Center field is pre-set with the Cost Center the current user is assigned to.

Materials

Tasks are associated with a single type of service ("material"). Materials are linked with the price list module, so that you can specifiy a price per customer and material.

Gantt Scheduling

Tasks are the base for Gantt scheduling algorithms. Tasks may depend on each other and may have different ways to be started and ended. 

Viewing Tasks ­

Task Home

Comprehensive information about a task are available from the "Task Page":


Information about tasks are made available in several locations: 
  • Project Home:
    This list contains usually the top 25 Sub-Projects and Tasks of a given Project
  • Home Task List:
    Component contains tasks assigned to the current user
  • Project Main Task List:
    Available from the sub menu of the Project's Main Page:

    Task List
  • Task Report:
    Provided an overview of tasks across all projects

Project Planning & Scheduling

Project Planning using ]po[ features

a) Create a new project  

b) Assign resources to your main project

c) Create tasks within you project/sub-project and set task attributes such as 'name', 'start/end date', 'Planned Units', 'Billable Units', etc.

Project planning and scheduling using 3rd party tools MS Project/ProjectLibre/GanttProject

Projects planned using Microsoft Project (MS Project) or other tools can be imported into ]po[. ]po[ also allows you export projects to MS Project , ProjectLibre  and GanttProject 

Advantages of using desktop applications for the planning process a­re the following:

  • Project planning using 3rd Party Desktop solutions is usually more user friendly because of the tools drag&drop features and other amenities a desktop application can provide best
  • Project Managers can keep their their tool of choice for Project Management but the organization can benefit at the same time from a central project repository without the need to purchase additional licenses from Microsoft.

For details please see Exporting/Importing Project Plans to/from 3rd party tools -> How-to & Preconditions


Gantt View

 ]po[ provides basic Gantt Charts in a Portlet Component on the Projects Main Page:

 

 Clicking on the magnifying glass icon you'll get an exclusive view on a separate page:

 

Further clicks on the icon provide you with more detailed information down to Year/Quarter/Month and Day. 

For better results simply export the project to either MS Project, GanttLibre or GanttProject and create a Gantt Chart from these applications. We are currently working on a AJAX based Gantt Editor to be released in Spring 2014.

Milestones

A typical ]po[ configuration implements Milestones as (Sub-) Projects. To set a project as a "Milestone Project", set its type to: "Milestone".
All activities that need to be conducted for a milestone will become 'Tasks' of this project.  Milestones imported from MS Project and other 3td part tools are marked as 'Milestone' in the projects attributes.

Tracking Milestones

http://[YOUR_SERVER]/intranet-milestone/ provides an overview about late, current and future milestones

­Project Collabo­ration

Project Forum

For additional information please see Forum User Guide

­Document Management

For additional information please see Filestorage User Guide

Mail Integration

Mail Integrations allows the assignment of emails to Project. For additional information see Mail Integration

Project Risk Management

Managing Project Risks

Project Risks are managed using Portlet "Project Risks". 

 

In order to to create an Impact/Probability matrix, the project attribute "Budget" needs to be set. The matrix shows the number of risks that exist of a given Impact/Probability combination, wheras the value for 'Impact' scale is calculated as the ratio btw. 'Project Budget' and 'Risk Impact'. 

Creating a new risk

Creating a new risk 

Multiple risks can also be uploaded from a CSV file. For additional information and a sample CSV file please refer to this page.

References:

­Project Controlling

Track Operational Progress

Each task member is given the possibility to report the level of completion on the projects "Task" page. 

TS Task Index

Overall project progress is tracked by the attribute "Percent completed" that is shown in the Project Base Data Portlet on the Projects 'Home' page

Percent completed

Operational Project Progress on a project level can be either entered manually or evaluated automatically based on the "% completed" values of the projects tasks belonging to this project. 

  • Setting Project Progress manually
    PM enter progress manually. Recommended for smaller projects to keep administrative overhead to a minimum

  • Automatic calculation
    Automatic calculation of "% completed" on a "Project" level requires Parameter "AutomaticProjectAdvanceP" set to true. The value will be calculated when tasks attributes "% completed" and "Planned Hours" are set. Please note that manually adjustments to the "% completed" attribute on a Project level value are overwritten when one of the "%-completed" attributes of a child-tasks changes. 

Determine Time, Cost and Budget Deviations

Several Views, Portlets and Reports are available to monitor the progress and evaluate deviations.

Task View

This View is available from the Projects Sub Menu and shows Planned Units, Billable Units, Logged Time and % Completion on a Project level.

 

Reports

The following Reports provide you with the key indicators on a Program or Portfolio level: 

Earned Value Analysis

For additional information please see EVA Portlet Page

­

­Financial Management of Projects

Projects are the base unit for financial controlling. A project should have a quote (external) or a budget attached that define the amount of resources available to spend. On the cost side there are "Provider Bills" (external invoices), "Expenses & Travel Costs" (small external expenses) and timesheet costs (internal costs). ­ For an introduction please see the following PPT.  

­

Calculate Project Margin

Calculation of a project margin is based on the following assumption:
Employee salaries is a fixed cost items, which his means that a costs of an employee hour does not vary among projects. However, sales prices for services provided by one and the same employee might vary from customer to customer. Those prices are managed in the customers price table and used to generate customer invoices. Project margin is by default calculated using the sum of invoices issued, minus the internal (Timesheet Costs) and external costs (Provider Bills, Project Expenses).

Financial Summary
 

Managing Project Expenses

Please see Expense Tutorial
  ­

Creating financial Documents such as Invoices, Provider Bills, etc.

The generation of financial documents (Customer Invoice, Provider Invoice, Quote, Purchase Order) represents a considerable administrative effort in many companies. ]project-open[ provides a number of ways to accelerate this process by taking advantage of already existing information such as customer and provider addresses and already existing quotes or purchase orders.
For an introduction please see this PPT.

­Creating Invoice from scratch

Let's assume you are a freelancer and you have just performed 3 days of training for a customer. You now want to write an invoice quickly and your ]project-open[ has been configured to allow such ad-hoc invoicing. You company is called "Tigerpond Inc.", and your customer is called "ABC Consulting".

  • Go to our http://demo.project-open.net/  demo server
  • Log on as "Ben Bigboss"
  • Go to "Finance" tab
  • Click on "Create Customer Invoice from Scratch"
  • Enter some invoice lines and select "ABC Consulting" as customer and press "New Customer Invoice"
  • Click on the "Preview as HTML" link of the finished invoice to preview the invoice.
  • Click on the "Send Customer Invoice as HTML attachment" link to send the invoice to the customer.

The entire process takes less then a minute if the customer's information already exists.

Please see the Detailed Tutorial for screenshots.

image:tutorial_project_billing_07.gif
(Creating a simple ad-hoc invoice with ]project-open[.)

demo server
  • Log on as Ben Bigboss.
  • Go to the "Projects" tab and choose "Add a New Project" in the page's navigation bar.
  • The screenshot below shows a sample project definition. Please see the Project page for a detailed description of the project fields.
  • Once the project has been created, please go to the "Project Member" plugin and click on the "Add members" link.
  • In the next page please select "David Developer" and "add as Full Member" with the "Notify" field enabled to add David as a project member and to allow him to log hours on the project. David will receive an Email saying that he is now a member of the project.
  • During the next days and weeks, David can log hour on the project by going to the "Timesheet" tab, selecting the day and entering his hours.
  • Once the work is done, you go to the project, select the "Finance" tab (of the project!) and click on link "New Customer Invoice from Timesheet Tasks"  
  • You will then enter a Wizard that helps you to create an invoice based on five different criterias:
    • Planned Units
    • Billable Units
    • All reported Units
    • Reported Units in Interval
    • All unbilled Units

    This screencast shows how to create a project and tasks in ]project-open[. Based on the logged hours an invoice will be created by using a wizard that guides the user through­ the process.


    Project Portfolio Management ­/ Resource Management

    Creating "Project Programs"

    From V4.0 on ]po[ provides support for  "Project Programms". "Project Programs" are a set of several related projects that are related to each other.
    While the concept of "Parent-" and "Subprojects" always requires having the same client, "Project Programs" can be bundled based on arbitrary criteria. 
     
    In order to create a "Programm", a new Project of type "Program" needs to be created. In some distributions this particular Project Type would need to be enabled first.
    Also the DynField "Program" of Object Type "Project" needs to be visible and editable for all users that should be capable to create Programs and assign Projects to them. 

    Workflows

    Project Approval Workflow

    ]project-open[ comes with a pre-configured Project Approval Workflow. ­
    In order to activate this workflow you have to add the string "project_approval_wf" to each "Intranet Project Type" category (String1) this workflow should be trigge­red for.
    (Please note that is not sufficient to set this value for a parent category)

    Exporting/Importing Project Plans to/from 3rd party tools 

    Preconditions

    The feature is provided by package Intranet Gantt Project. It should be pre-installed in all V4.x ]po[ distributions by default. 
    Project Plans can be imported and exported from/to ]project-open[ form the Projects Main page by all users with privilege: VIEW GANTT PROJ DETAIL

    Best practice for round trips from and to 3rd party PM Tools

    a) Create a project in ]project-open[

    b) Assign resources to your project ("Add member")

    c)  Use the "Export Links" on the Projects Home and save the file to your local machine.

    Project Export 

    d) Use GanttProject/ProjectLibre/GanttProject and create additional tasks, dependencies and resource assignments comfortably with the "Drag-and-Drop" features provided by the 3rd party applications

    e) Import the structure back to ]project-open[ using the link "Import from MS-Project, PL or GP"
    ­

    More detailed Information


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