Thursday, August 12, 2010

I've Moved

It's been a while since I've blogged. I'm going to start again (hopefully on a more consistent basis) but won't be posting here.

Please find me at instead.

I'll see you on the other-site.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Requirement Gathering

Requirements gathering can be challenging at times. Sometimes discussions just go of tangent. Here are a few of the things I have found helpful.

Pre-requirement Gathering - Prior to engaging users for requirement gathering sessions:

  1. Overview of the solution that they're looking at - applicable if you're pitching a solution and are gathering requirements for it. Give a good overview of what it is capable of and as much as possible, relate to generic challenges faced by most organisations.
  2. Give out an agenda, describing what the requirement gathering sessions are for, how long it will take, any preparation that might be required (current processes, forms, etc.).

Requirement Gathering Agenda - When conducting a session, I find that this is a good guideline:

  1. Introduction - Get the users to give an overview of the company (if you haven't already) and where they fit into the organisation, what their department/business unit does and what their role is within that.
  2. Current state – what their day to day activity might look like, what are the things/processes that they are/business unit is involved in. Sometimes you get some valuable information or can derive certain things, i.e. users are disciplined, quick to learn, tech savy, etc. Not everything that they're doing today is evil or bad! Somethings may require minor tweaks, others revamp/overhaul.
  3. Current problems/issues faced with the lack of process/systems - favourite time where you listen to all the challenges, be careful not to go into solution mode (both you and the user). Just document the issues and problems.
  4. Requirements - What they want in the solution. Gather both functional and non-functional requirements. Try to ensure that users can distinct between 'must haves' and 'nice to haves'. Always validate with users.
  5. Wrap it up - let them know what the next steps are. Whether it'd be a follow on workshop, deliverable document, follow up calls to validate items.

Some of the items here have been incorporated from the Microsoft BVPS engagement model.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Opening the Enterprise Resource Pool from Ms Pro

Really good forum answer that addresses a "mystical" problem I had been facing.

Thanks to Chak from

"Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007 is required for this action. ensure that your copy of Project Professional 2007 can connect to this server. If both of these conditions are true and you still get this message, contact your system administrator for assistance"

FYI, reason beyond the error: MPP file extensions are setup to open with default application MS Project. You have both the versions of MS Project Pro installed on your machine. In your case, your MPP file was setup to open with default application MS Project Pro 2003. (You can verify it by opening the any MPP file from your local machine. You will see the MS Project Pro 2003 will launch by default. But now you may see 2007 as you already fixed the issue.) When you are trying to open resource info from PWA, your machine is trying to invoke MS Project 2003. So, you are seeing the error ""Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007 is required for this action. ensure that your copy of Project Professional 2007 can connect to this server" When you ran the Diagnostics, it re-register the Project Pro 2007 application and sets as the default application as MS Project Pro 2007 to open MPP files. So, now you able to open the MS project 2007 by invoking it from PWA.

For the full thread. Click here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Project Server 2007 Help

Recently I've been looking around for some references, guides and helps for Project Server 2007. Found some of the following resources and they seem quite helpful.

Learn about available roles in Project Web Access

Project management quick reference guide for Project 2007 (note: this is for Project 2007 and does not include working with Project Server 2007)

The quick reference looks neat, if I've got time I'll update it to reflect working on Project 2007 in a server environment.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Archive Database in Project Server 2007

The archive database in project server 2007 isn't really a database that facilitates a functionality of archiving projects. The archive database is the database used to backup projects to and restore projects from.

The projects will still exists in the Draft and Published Databases.Looks like archiving of projects will still need to be done in a way as described in this link.

Another interesting information on the backup of databases is the backup is an all or nothing process but the restoring of a project can be done on an individual basis.

Project Server 2007 Pre-migration Checklist

I've recently been involved in our in house project server 2003 - 2007 migration. Below is a useful list in helping build a checklist and identifying possible issues with migration.

  • Checking for check-out projects
  • Checking for Projects that have been externally edited
  • Checking for projects with pending status updates
  • Checking for duplicate Enterprise Resources
  • Checking for duplicate Enterprise Resource used in projects
  • Project Version should be at least ‘Project Server 2003 SP2A’
  • Enterprise Global should not be externally edited
  • Checking if the Enterprise Global is checked out
  • Checking of the Enterprise Global is locked
  • Checking if the default language on the Web tables database and Project tables database and Project tables database should match
  • Checking if Resources have comma in their names
  • Checking if required enterprise resource custom fields do not have values
  • Checking if a resource custom field has a value which is not in the lookup table definition
  • Checking if Enterprise resources are externally edited
  • Checking if there are Enterprise Resource Duration custom fields with value lists
  • Checking if Enterprise Resource Duration custom fields contain valid values
  • Checking if Enterprise Custom Field names do not contain leading or trailing spaces
  • Checking if the Migration Administrator Account exists in Project Server 2003
More information at the link:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Working with Outlook and Project Server

If you didn't know, you can sync your task in Project Server to your Outlook. The Project Server 2007 Outlook Sync works with Outlook 2003/2007.

So what is new in the Outlook Sync in Project Server 2007.

Outlook Sync for Project Server 2003:

Outlook Sync for Project Server 2007:

So now you can have your tasks sit the the Outlook Tasks instead of cluttering up your calendar! The rest of the options are the same. You can create a task from Outlook and have that created in Project Server, it's still a one way creation of task and you can sync updates and progress of the task back.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Project 2007 Certifications

Recently I attended a Live Meeting on the latest Project Certification offerings from Microsoft based on the new EPM 2007 solution stack.

There's a total of 3 exams to take in becoming a MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional. In short you need to do an exam on Project Professional 2007 and a Project Server 2007 one before doing the final one which is a combination of both on an enterprise level. Below are the links to the recorded webcast and datasheet on the certifications.