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The Bad and Ugly about Project Server


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Some bad and ugly things about Microsoft Project Server 2003 and 2007 Project Server (EPM)

You can't deploy this system without Microsoft Project Server 2003 training Project Server does not have tools or a methodology to develop consistency or audit the project and collaborative data that is used to make enterprise decisions. You can't deploy this system without Microsoft Project Server training and an educational/performance system.

Enterprise Project Management requires consistency.  Project Management software does not “buy” you this consistency.  Many organizations implement Project Server only to discover they cannot derive accurate metrics. 

Management interaction (decisions) is (are) based on these metrics.  Who is to say they are accurate?  We audit financial systems to ensure accuracy, but no such audit exists for project management audit tools.  Who would certify those companies to perform audits of project server? 

Any audit requires an “audit trail” a key ingredient missing in project server.  I would love to see a complete record of who made what changes when on a project plan.  This is standard in Medical Records software as each change to a paper record requires a signature next to the change.  While not the glitzy functionality of portfolio planning, audit trails for enterprise software (of any flavor) are a must.   

With an audit trail users could learn where they went wrong.   Oh, and a smart audit trail would allow us to “rewind” back and step through changes.  I imagine some intelligent programmer will augment this with analysis and suggestions as my chess software does.  It tells me when I am making a bad move and so should intelligent software.   

Like chess, your project management procedures should dictate intelligent behavior of all Stakeholders.   There are good and bad moves.  Unlike chess in which each side politely moves in turn, project management must be orchestrated and human behavior (consistent compliance of project management procedures) must be managed.   Chess does not require strict oversight to ensure each player moves in turn.  Without this oversight, how do you know you are looking at accurate data? 

Microsoft has communicated to their partners that any functionality not offered in their project management solution is an “opportunity” for their “partners”.  My thoughts are that some opportunities are too large to tackle for project management vendors not to mention keeping pace with a service patches and new releases.     

Project Server or any project management software requires consistent use by each role.  Each role should have clear and concise procedures for interacting with Project Server.

The solution to this bad and ugly reality is that money is better spent on Microsoft Project Server training and education than on configuration and development.


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