Microsoft Project & HP PPM
Are there any enhancements planned for Microsoft Project & HP PPM integration? We do have get queries regarding the integration, and sometimes the association does not work.
e.g. when user changes the location of the mpp file on their desktop, or when the user starts to upload the mpp on sharepoint, or on other DMS. We also received an unique request about having more than one Project stakeholder working on a mpp, which does not allow other users to sync with the PPM project.
Here is my gripe:
I do not like that PPM always provides outline level 1 (the name of the project).
My project leads are required for outline level 1 to be project name + budgetary allocation number
The default supplied outline level 1 simply creates confusion and headaches.
1) When users change the location of the MPP file on their desktop, PPM has no way to know it, and will try to open the file in the old location if you try to open the MPP file from the PPM Work Plan view.
However, the new location will be saved in PPM if the user synchronize the work plan from MSP to PPM using the file in the new location. There will be a warning informing user that this PPM project is already synched with a MPP file located in another location (the old one), but simply continue and the new location will be saved in PPM. Subsequent opening of MPP file from PPM work plan should be successful.
2) Since PPM 9.10, PPM should support opening MPP file located in Shared folder or Sharepoint. What are the exact steps that fails when the MPP file is stored on sharepoint?
PPM indeed automatically sets the project summary task (i.e. the very first root task) to be the PPM Project Name. There is some good sense in this as after all it's called, well, Project Summary Task.
However, in MSP, by default the project summary task is hidden, and the first visible task is task 1, not task 0. You need to go in the MSP options to make project summary task visible.
As a result, would it be acceptable to create the first task (i.e. task 1) in PPM to be the Project Name + budgetary allocation number? It would show up as the first task in MSP by default, and could be considered task outline 1, while Project Summary Task might be considered "Outline 0".
Thank you for responses.
1. I will have users try to sync from new location and see if new location gets saved within PPM.
2. I am currently not working with the customer who had sharepoint issues, but I will have my colleague contact HP with specific screenshots and questions regarding that issue.
I do have following additional questions,
When do they plan on integrating PPM with MS Project 2013? if it is already available which version of PPM?
Some users are still looking for full functionality between PPM and MS Office. Such as the ability to delete, move, edit tasks within MS project and be able to import those types of changes into PPM without errors. Many times we see if we have actuals on the project, above mentioned changes does not sync with PPM. At that point, users lose MPP file, because they could not go back to the version that could sync. Also, at this point, if Workplan from PPM is exported to MPP, the association cannot be established.
We are working on providing support for MSP 2013. We already have an internal version of the plugin in R&D working with MSP 2013 that is undergoing testing phase.
I cannot commit on any specific date for the delivery of it as a patch for the versions of PPM already delivered, but there's good chance that it will be included in the next version of the product (no tentative release date either, sorry).
For your second concern, you can move, delete and edit tasks within MS Project and sync the project successfully to PPM if you do follow some rules, the main one being to never delete a task that has actuals in PPM. I agree that when that happens, the reconciliation process is quite tedious, but if that occurs your users could as well fall back to the backup mpp file that is automatically created upon each successful sync of MSP work plan with PPM. This is enabled by default in the user settings, so if your users did disable automatic creation of backup upon successful sync with PPM, ask them to re-enable it. Note however that the back-up cannot be created if files are not stored on the hard disk (for example if mpp file is stored in Sharepoint).
As a last resort, you can always export the work plan from PPM to a new MPP project, and sync it back to PPM to restore the sync between MSP and PPM. I don't understand why you stated that "at this point, if Workplan from PPM is exported to MPP, the association cannot be established." Could you provide steps to reproduce? If you are in MSP Controlled Mode or Shared Control mode, whenever you try to open the work plan in MSP from PPM work plan page but that the synch'ed MPP file cannot be found, a prompt will be displayed that should propose you to import the PPM project in a new MPP file, and it will link it with the PPM project. So just have your users rename the currently linked mpp file (in case where it's far too modified to successfully sync with PPM), then re-import it in MSP from PPM, and they should get a brand new work plan to work with. Just have them double-check potential discrepency in start/end dates due to out-of-sync resources calendars between MSP and PPM.
Regarding the question in your first post to allow different stakeholders to sync their MPP file with the same PPM project, as far as I can tell this is possible - to an extent. The design of the integration is to integrate only one MPP file with a PPM project, but it doesn't mean that only one person can edit it!
Simply store the MPP file on a shared folder that can be accessed by all the involved stakeholders, and that should do the trick.
Note that allowing to sync one PPM project with multiple MPP files would be extremely delicate to achieve, as multiple project managers would step on each other's feet while maintaining the work plan, each one claiming that their version of the MPP file should be the right one to be reflected in PPM, with no way to change conflicting changes. With one single mpp file on a shared folder, the problem is solved, as only one of the stakeholders can edit the file (and sync it to PPM) at a time.
I hear ya, but I am simply the admin middleman.
Project Leads manage in MS Project and simply publish into PPM.
Monthly all MS Projects are grouped together and archived for audit purposes. They do not like change nor extra keystrokes.
I simply tell them to (task 0 is hidden):
Select task 2 - last task and Outdent
Delete task 1.
Publish the schedule into PPM
Dont save MS Project.
I think it looks great in PPM.
I don't think it's planned, and I don't have the answer on the "why we don't have it".
What is the business need for such a field, what does it have that's so important over the standard "% complete" ?