Maximize your ROI from Project Online

With the onset of Project Online and the ease with which you can subscribe and start using this tool, it’s important that you don’t overlook the requirement to do what’s necessary to ensure you get a return investment for that commitment of funds. This also applies to the deployment on an on premise implementation of Project Server.

Define what aspects of the tool are critical to the organization that will demonstrate a business case for using Project Online.
The following table outlines the capabilities of Project Online.

High Level Capability Areas covered include…
Schedule Management WBS creation Milestone tracking Key Deliverable tracking Variance reporting to Baseline
Resource Management Resource capacity vs. demand Generic vs. named resources Resource planning standards
Portfolio Management Project intakeBusiness driver definition & prioritization Project selection
Time & Task Management Team submission of task status updatesTimesheets Approval of status updates
Issue, Risk, and Document Management Tracking of issues and risks Storing documents
Reporting, BI, and Metrics Dashboards KPIs Project Status Reports
Financial Management Cost structures Cost centers Budget v. forecast v. actual
Program Management Tracking cross-project dependencies Reporting on program status
  1. Create a plan to phase in the usage of tool features to foster use and adoption of the processes and tools. The old ‘walk before you run’ theory.
  2. Map internal Project Management processes to the use of the tool or adjust processes to ensure the tool is providing business value.
  3. Make adoption of the internal processes and proper use of Project Online a high priority by providing role based training to drive proper use and adoption.
  4. Train an administrator to configure your Project Online environment so that it can meet the defined requirements.   Some examples of this are as follows:
    • Create custom Enterprise Project Types (EPTs) that are linked to custom Project templates to enforce consistency across project plans for reporting purposes.
    • Create custom fields to capture relevant Project Information for evaluating new proposed Projects.
    • Create custom fields to define Resource and Task meta-data for reporting purposes.
    • Create a custom costing model with cost resources to capture cost data.
    • Define reporting periods and standards for capturing time and task updates.
    • Create custom Project Sites for gathering additional information on risks, issues, or change requests.
    • Create custom dashboards and KPIs for executive and sponsor reporting.
  5. Ensure senior management demonstrates their support of the tool by using the online dashboards created to view project or program status information. And, if timesheets are being deployed, support for the use of Project Online to capture time.
  6. A careful migration plan for existing project plans that will be brought onto the server.