28
Oct

What's involved in supporting Project Server?

I'm often asked this question, so I decided it would be a worthwhile exercise to list the activities by their frequency to help put a framework around what's involved. The time required, of course, can vary widely depending upon the number of users and the complexity of the implementation.

DAILY

  • Check that the OLAP database was successfully built overnight (if scheduled to do so).
  • Check that Archive Database was updated overnight.
  • Check that the Active Directory Synchronization occurred overnight (if scheduled to do so).
  • Check for MS Project files that have stayed “checked out” for more than a day.
  • Check the Project Serve Queue for failed or blocked jobs and troubleshoot accordingly.

WEEKLY

  • Run the Timesheet Compliance report.
  • Send out reminders to users who have not sent their Timesheet by the deadline.
  • Send out reminders to users who have not approved their Timesheet by the deadline.
  • Resolve any persistently late Timesheets, or Timesheet Approvals.

MONTHLY

  • Validate project last publish date (look for stale data that isn't getting updated).
  • Close Timesheet periods according to policy on how far back users can recall an already submitted Timesheet
  • Check the details of the Cumulative Update release from Microsoft and determine if it should be applied to both Project Server and MS Project on client machines, to enhance functionality or fix issues.

END OF YEAR

  • Edit all Calendars to ensure that statutory holidays for the next year are present.
  • Create the Timesheet Periods for the New Year.
  • Change the Project Start date in the Enterprise MS Project Templates to the start of the New Year.
  • Execute the data retirement strategy to remove irrelevant projects from the server.
  • Execute the recommended Microsoft Database Maintenance Plan.
  • Create a one-time OLAP cube to capture all data from the year.
  • Remove any orphaned Project Sites from the server.

UNSCHEDULED TASKS

  • Troubleshooting – including issues with Project server performance (rare), issues with users’ connectivity (simple), and issues that are not “known”.
  • Create additional Calendars if required, e.g. a calendar with unusual working hours to support tasks that will run during those hours.
  • Add new Enterprise Resources (Generic and real).
  • Inactivate/Reactivate Enterprise Resources (unless AD synch is enabled to do so automatically).
  • Edit resource records, e.g. user may need to be given elevated security permissions, or may be switching from a Contractor to Staff, or role has changed.
  • Add vacation and other personal absence dates to the resource calendars, unless this is to be done by users via their Timesheets.
  • Manage Project Sites and site permissions. (SharePoint Admin would do this)
  • Manage any required changes to Portfolio Management functionality, the Workflow steps, and the content of pages that users encounter throughout the Workflow.
  • Set up Delegation arrangements for Timesheet submissions, and remove Delegation arrangements when no longer required.
  • Cleanse & Import MS Project data files as required.
  • Create additional MS Project Template files as required.
  • Force check in MS Project files for users – users can do this by themselves, but they might not be available.
  • Apply new Service Packs or Cumulative Updates to both Project Server and MS Project on client machines, if deemed necessary to fix issues.
  • Run queries directly on the appropriate database(s) to investigate issues.
  • Create additional security Groups or Categories to facilitate unique requirements, e.g. allowing access to MS Project files that are tagged “Confidential”.
  • Create custom data fields, at the Task or Project level, and any associated Lookup Tables,
  • Creating custom Views, Tables, Filters, and data Groups in either PWA of MS Project.
  • Re-modeling the Resource Breakdown Structure (if in use) to reflect changes in the company’s organizational structure.
  • Delete MS Project files from the databases - “junk” files.
  • Restore a previous version of a MS Project file for user who has saved unwanted changes to current version.
  • Create, configure, and/or delete OLAP cubes.
  • Manage Project Sites (if used).
  • Manage any required changes to Portfolio Management functionality, the Workflow steps, and the content of pages that users encounter throughout the Workflow.
  • Maintain the Development environment to mirror the configuration of the Production environment. (Consider obtaining Fluent Books license for this purpose).