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Assign Departments to Administrative Task Lines in Project Online

By Dale Howard, MVP, Sensei Project Solutions

Did you know that Microsoft recently introduced two powerful new features in both Project Online and in the most recent updates to Microsoft Project Server 2013? These new features allow an organization to do the following:

  • Determine which Administrative time lines appear on each user’s timesheet in Project Web App, based on the Resource Department value specified for the user.
  • Allow a user to insert multiple Administrative time lines of the same type on the user’s timesheet in Project Web App.

For example, suppose that our organization wants members of the IT department to track second-level software support on each IT team member’s timesheet in PWA. In addition, each time a team member provides second-level software support, our organization wants the IT team member to list the occurrence as a separate Administrative time line on the user’s timesheet. Furthermore, our organization does not users in any other department to see the Administrative time line for second-level software support.

The first requirement for using these new features is to populate the Department lookup table with the departments in our organization. Figure 1 shows the Edit Lookup Table page in PWA with the Department lookup table open for editing. Notice that our Project Online administrator initially created six departments for our company: Engineering, Finance, IT, Marketing, PMO, and Quality Assurance. Although our company includes many other departments, these are the only six that use Project Online to manage projects.

Figure 1: Edit Lookup Table page – Department lookup tableFigure 1: Edit Lookup Table page – Department lookup table

The second step is to create the Administrative time categories and tie each of them to a department. Figure 2 shows the Administrative Time page in PWA. Notice that the data grid includes two new columns: the Allow Multiple Lines and Department columns. Notice that I created a new Administrative time category named 2nd Level Software Support, assigned it to the IT department, and checked the option to allow for the display of multiple lines of this type.

Figure 2: Administrative Time page shows new features
Figure 2: Administrative Time page shows new features

Once our organization has met these two requirements, members of the IT department can begin using the new Administrative time category named 2nd Level Software Support in their PWA timesheets. For example, Figure 3 shows the PWA timesheet for a member of the IT department. Notice how this timesheet takes advantage of both of these new Administrative time features. The user is not only entering time for the new 2nd Level Software Support line, but the user has also entered three of these new lines, indicating that he worked three incidents of second-level software support during the week.

Figure 3: Timesheet of IT department user
Figure 3: Timesheet of IT department user

Figure 4 shows the PWA timesheet for a member of the Marketing department. Notice that this timesheet does not display the 2nd Level Software Support timesheet line because this user is not in the IT department.

Figure 4: Timesheet of a Marketing department userFigure 4: Timesheet of a Marketing department user

About Sensei Project Solutions
Sensei Project Solutions, a Finalist for the 2015 Microsoft Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) Partner of the Year, focuses on bringing Instant Productivity to your team. Our mission is to help individuals and organizations be more productive so that they can achieve their greatest potential. As a Gold certified Microsoft Partner and Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) with the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Sensei offers a complete set of services and products for a successful Microsoft PPM deployment. Our guiding principles for Proactive PPM follow best practices and industry standards aligned with the Project Management Institute (PMI) and Gartner, enabling organizations to manage resource demand, obtain business intelligence that facilitates better decision making, increase business effectiveness by easily connecting people, and become self-sufficient with PPM processes and solutions. In short, Sensei helps organizations achieve Instant Productivity.

About Dale Howard, Director of Education, Sensei Project Solutions
Dale Howard is a seasoned training professional who is approaching 30 years of technical training experience. He has taught students how to effectively use every version of Microsoft Project beginning with version 4.0 for Windows 95, and every version of the Microsoft EPM tool beginning with Project Central in the year 2000. Dale possesses the coveted Project MVP title and is one of only 64 Project MVPs in the entire world. He is the co-author of 20 books on Microsoft Project and Project Server. Dale is known for high-energy, highly interactive style of presenting and teaching. He was voted the “Best Presenter” by conference participants at the Project Conference in 2012.

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