bad and ugly things about
Microsoft Project Server 2003 and 2007 Project
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.
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.
(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
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.