Community Updates – January 2015

Hello, Microsoft PPM Community.

I wish you a fantastic 2015 with a lot of successful projects.

This is our monthly blog post about what is happening in the PPM Community around the world.

This means webcasts/webminars, PMI and MPUG chapter events, and all about what you need to know to stay up to date about Microsoft Project, Project Server, and Project Online.

Microsoft Project Webcast Series

Project Online/Server 2013 Workflows
January 20 @ 12:30pm – 2:00pm EST

Learn how to meet your organizations needs for business process automation and enforcement of Project Portfolio Management governance through the powerful new workflow capabilities in Project Online/Server 2013. During this webcast recommendations and demonstrations will provide you with the steps for designing, building and implementing Project Server workflows for Project Online/Server 2013.
Presented by Jacques Goupil and Scott Clausen - PPMworks Inc.


Portfolio Management made easy with Project Online/Project Server 2013
February 17 @ 12:30pm – 2:00pm EST

Is your organization running the correct portfolio of projects? What value are your projects producing for your organization? Which projects give you the most value? Come learn the Portfolio Management benefits of Project Online and walk away with a plan to get there.

  • Benefits and Challenges of Portfolio/Demand Management
  • Project Online/Project Server 2013 Overview
  • Understanding project selection
  • Resource utilization and capacity/demand tracking across your organization
  • Scenario based analysis
  • Increased flexibility with Scheduling
  • Gain insight on resolutions to your portfolio management challenges
  • Ask Questions and understand how you can get to Portfolio Excellence

Presented by Jacques Goupil and Scott Clausen

MPUG Events

[Recorded] New Year’s Resolution: Use Project Like a Pro!
January 07 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST

Join Microsoft MVP Ben Howard and spend an hour of your time learning to use Project like a Pro.  Ben will show you a mixture of tips and trips, shortcuts, and best practises that he uses to ensure that you can create and manage a project schedule with the minimal of hassle and fuss.


Microsoft Project 2013 Certification: What You Need To Know
January 21 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

For over 20 years, IT professionals have been pursuing a wide variety of Microsoft Certifications to reflect their mastery of Microsoft applications and solutions. For Microsoft Project, there are two exams you can take to achieve your Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist (MCTS) – one for Project Server, and the other, for Project.
In this January 21 webinar, we will discuss the MCTS exam on MS Project, 74-343 and seek to provide answers to the following questions you might have:

  • What certifications are available from Microsoft for MS Project?
  • Why would I want to achieve these certifications? How is the achievement recognized in industry, compared to the PMP and other Project Management certifications?
  • What types of jobs does the certification prepare me for?
  • What are my options for preparing for the exam? EX: Self-study, webinars, live courses, etc.
  • How rigorous is the test? What types of questions are asked? How many questions?
  • Have any advice on how to best achieve this, and what pitfalls to avoid?


“EVM” Part 2 – Earned Value Management – Not Just Another 3 Letter Acronym!
February 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

Due to a great amount of interest from our previous session, John will be hosting a second session on this topic to answer more questions and present more information.
Members can access the recording of Part 1 here:
Earned Value Management (EVM), can provide a picture of project cost and schedule status. However, what do you require to implement this capability using Microsoft Project or Project Online? This interactive session will outline the steps needed to support EVM and understand the elements and techniques needed to incorporate EVM into your project and portfolio scheduling

MPUG Certificate Series

Certificate Series: Agile Delivery using Microsoft Project

Event Description:

How can we deliver Agile projects using Microsoft Project?

In this course, we will explore how Microsoft Project can be used to support the delivery of Agile projects. Key Agile principles such as Stories, Story Point Count and Velocity are supported using Custom Fields, and Agile techniques such as Backlog Grooming and Iteration Planning are supported by Custom Views, Filters and Groups. Finally, key Agile reports such as Burn-down and Burn-up Charts are provided using the reporting capabilities of Microsoft Project.

Course Format and Credit

The course is comprised of 3 sessions of 2 hours each. MPUG Certificate upon completion of series and opportunity for six hours PMI® PDU credit.


Steve Caseley, PMP/PMI-ACP/PMI-SP, Scrum Master

Principal Consultant Sensei Project Solutions

Steve has worked in the project management field for over 25 years, and has a wealth of practical experience in successful project delivery. As a result, he has many battle scars, but none have been fatal. Over the years, Steve has helped a wide range of companies implement PPM Systems and Best Practices and has practical, hands-on PM experience in a wide range of industries, project types and sizes. Steve’s passion is working with organizations to improve overall project delivery efficiency through the implementation and adaption of Industry Best Practices in Project and Portfolio management and implementation of effective PPM tools supporting these best practices. Steve has presented at international PM conferences and Microsoft Project User Groups over the years.

Course Overview

This course will review a project management framework that will support your project team as they plan and execute on the agile rituals which are critical for ensuring that your projects are effectively managed.

This approach ensures that a repeatable management process is applied, thereby ensuring consistency with Agile development methods, while at the same time expanding on the traditional use of Microsoft Project to maintain the all-important User Story and a flexible iterative development approach. In this course we will review both an Agile Management Framework and a Sprint Framework for managing the User Stories for delivery in Releases and Sprints.

Reporting on the status of the Agile project is provided with a complete suite of Agile reports to provide the necessary “information radiators” for managing both the project and the individual sprints with resource management and burn-down chart graphical reports.

The overall goal is to teach project managers a practical approach to ‘how’ they can use Microsoft Project to deliver Agile projects consistent with the industry best practices defined by the Agile Alliance and Scrum.Org. Participants will get access to best-practices documentation, templates, compliance filters and checklists to support Agile delivery using Microsoft Project.

You Will Learn:

Upon completion of this course, the participants will:

  • understand agile development practices
  • understand the Sensei agile process flow
  • be able to apply and use the agile template
  • be able to create and maintain Stories using Microsoft Project
  • be able to support agile processes and reporting using Microsoft Project
  • customize the custom fields/forms/views and reports used by the template

Who Should Attend

Program and project managers, resource managers, PMO staff, project sponsors, team members and anyone responsible for or participating in the successful delivery of Agile projects.

Course Outline

Session 1 – Introduction to Agile Principles and the Agile Process Flow

  • What is Agile
  • Agile management requirements
  • Why Microsoft Project for Agile Projects
  • Agile Process Flow

Session 2 – Story Creation, Maintenance and Backlog Grooming

  • Story Creation
  • Story Maintenance
  • Backlog Grooming
  • Agile Process Validation

Session 3 – Agile Project Delivery

  • Agile Process Support
  • Release and Iteration Planning
  • Agile Reporting

Partners Events

How to Choose A Plan That Aligns Investment Decisions With Strategy In 2015
January 27 @ 1:00 pm EST

Compare how project-based and capabilities-based investment approaches help unleash maximum project value
Many organizations fail to realize the anticipated results from their investments in projects and programs. The key to deriving maximum value is choosing a planning approach that aligns investment decisions with strategy. So what planning approach is best for your organization? Many choose a project-based approach, while others opt for a more top down approach with an emphasis on business capabilities.
This webinar will explore the relative merits – and potential shortcomings – of both a project-based and capabilities-based approach to managing enterprise investments. Tune in to discover which approach:

  • Helps better align execution and strategy
  • Results in a stronger set of programs and projects
  • Leverages techniques to drive multi-year plans and roadmaps
  • More effectively aligns operational and discretionary investments with strategic priorities


Deliver winning Projects with Microsoft Project Online
January 27 @ 12:30 GMT

Easily plan projects and collaborate from virtually anywhere with the right tools for project managers, project teams and decision makers. ?Join us to find out how to:

  • Get up and running with reliability and zero up-front infrastructure costs.
  • Add teams and projects within minutes with a web-based portal.
  • Immediately glean insight about your portfolio with new point and click reporting capabilities.
  • Get Team Members to clearly see all their tasks in one place, across multiple projects.
  • Use the new visual tiles to quickly begin or flex project portfolio management capabilities.
  • Enable your teams to work within a familiar environment. Project Online includes SharePoint Online and comes to you through Office 365.


Why upgrade from Microsoft SharePoint 2010 to 2013? The Top 10 new features (features 1-5)
January 28 @ 12:30 GMT

The move from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 can seem like a large and daunting task. Is it worth the effort?
In this session we will demonstrate the first 5 of our top 10 features we feel are worth upgrading for and how they could improve any SharePoint implementation by increasing productivity and user adoption. We’ll also go through the major gotchas and risks to an upgrade with tips for making it as smooth a transition as possible.
Your host, Phillippa Ritchie has over 8 years SharePoint/Office 365 Consulting experience and is passionate about providing clients with solutions that make their lives better.


Business Intelligence with Project Online
February 4 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EST

Using Project Online, this session will dive into extensive BI capabilities to augment the planning, controlling, monitoring and execution already used by your organization. Executives, resource managers, project managers and team members alike will benefit from this exploration of reporting technology. We will take a holistic look at incorporating the report subject, e.g. project status, as well as the beneficiary of a report, e.g. a director, rather than simply looking at a list of top 10 reports. Because every project and organization is different, we will describe various standard use cases and align them with various reporting options provided by Project Online while giving insights on potential constraints of the reporting options in Project Online. Use Cases:

  • Where’s my budget (gone)? - Single Project Reports for the Project Manager role
  • What is the project’s status? - Project Status Report and Milestone Trend Analysis App for the Project Manager/Executive Role
  • What do we do next week? - Dashboard/ Reporting for the Team Member/Resource Manager Role
  • What’s the Big Picture? - Portfolio Dashboard/Reporting for the Portfolio Manager/Executive Role


Unlock the Strategic PMO Inside Microsoft Project Online
February 12 @ 12:30 pm EST

Despite receiving significant investment, traditional PPM tools and processes are simply not delivering the anticipated results. In fact, UMT360 research suggests that companies are missing out on up to 46% of planned business value from their project portfolios.
What’s driving this lack of performance? PMOs who fail to recognize that projects are strategic business investments and therefore miss the opportunity to effectively integrate financial management with PPM. As a result, they are unable to proactively gauge the economic impact of poor project performance and take timely corrective actions.
Join us for this webcast to learn how to easily unlock the strategic aspects of Microsoft Project Server with UMT360 and gain complete financial intelligence across project portfolios. Learn how to:

  • Eliminate the need for Excel and standardize investment governance controls across the PPM lifecycle
  • Streamline capital planning and build stronger business cases
  • Automate financial tracking and variance analysis, helping you dynamically reallocate funds to maximize ROI
  • Establish a benefits realization framework and measure results

The webinar includes a live demonstration of UMT360, the only Enterprise Portfolio Management solution built on SharePoint that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Project Online.


Why upgrade from Microsoft SharePoint 2010 to 2013? The Top 10 new features (features 6-10)
February 18 @ 12:30 GMT

In part 2, Phillippa covers off the second five of our TOP 10 SharePoint 2013 features including:

  • Search
  • SharePoint App store
  • Business Intelligence
  • Task Management
  • Workflow

Phillippa will also explain the major gotchas and risks to an upgrade, with tips for making it as smooth a transition as possible. This will be followed by a Q&A session at the end, to ask our SharePoint expert any questions you may have.


?Microsoft Project Made Simple: Understand the power of the solution.
February 24 @ 12:30 GMT

This live webcast will show you a new place to work. Project Online delivers a multitude of benefits to organisations and this session will explain how.

??Join us to find out how:

  • Portfolio Managers can simply prioritise initiatives to maximize the return on investment
  • Resource Managers can easily manage resources that assign the capacity to deliver maximum value
  • Project Office Managers can effectively implement a project lifecycle and simple templates to ensure delivery is assured
  • Project Managers can quickly build schedules, manage resources, share project artefacts and create reports
  • Team Members can clearly see all their tasks in one place, across multiple projects.

If you are aware of some event that will occur this month and it is not listed here, please, leave a comment with the link

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