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Coming Soon to Project Online – E-Mail Alerts and Reminders

By Dale Howard, MVP, Sensei Project Solutions

Project Server 2010 and 2013 offer a feature known as E-Mail Alerts and Reminders, which automatically sends e-mail alerts and reminder messages to both team members and project managers. For example, when a project manager publishes a new enterprise project for the first time, Project Server automatically sends an alert e-mail to the team members, notifying them of new tasks assigned to them in that project. Microsoft has never included the E-Mail Alerts and Reminders feature in Project Online… until recently, that is.

In the Rolling Out section of the Office 365 Roadmap web site, Microsoft lists Task Notifications in Project Online (also known as E-Mail Alerts and Reminders) as one of the new features it is currently rolling out to Project Online tenants. This will undoubtedly be good news for organizations that previously used Project Server and took advantage of the E-Mail Alerts and Reminders feature.

Although this new feature is not fully active yet, Microsoft has begun laying the groundwork for it. As a result of Brian Smith’s presentation at the Project Virtual Conference, one of our team members discovered that several of the pages needed for the E-Mail Alerts and Reminders feature are now available in our Project Online tenants, although the links for these pages are not yet shown in the Personal Settings section of the PWA Settings page.

The first page available is the Manage My Alerts and Reminders page, used by team members to set up their “subscriptions” for e-mail alerts and reminders, as shown in the following figure. Notice in the page that Project Online will allow team members to set up e-mail alerts and reminders about tasks, status reports, and queue job failures.

Figure 1: Manage My Alerts and Reminders
Figure 1: Manage My Alerts and Reminders

The second page available is the Manage My Resources’ Alerts and Reminders page, used by project managers to set up e-mail “subscriptions” for both themselves and for their team members, as shown in the following figure. Notice in the page that Project Online will allow project managers to set up e-mail alerts for task updates and status report responses submitted by their team members, and will allow project managers to set up e-mail reminders for their team members about tasks and status reports.

Figure 2: Manage My Resources' Alerts and Reminders page
Figure 2: Manage My Resources’ Alerts and Reminders page

Again, let me stress to you that the E-Mail Alerts and Reminders feature is not fully active in Project Online tenants yet. Instead, it is currently a “work in progress.” When this feature becomes fully active, you will be able to enable this feature with an option at the bottom of the Additional Server Settings page in PWA. When it becomes active, users will be able to access the two pages shown using links in the Personal Settings section of the PWA Settings page, such as shown in the following figure.

Figure 3: Links in Personal Settings section
Figure 3: Links in Personal Settings section

Until then, we watch and we wait!

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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