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The Project Admin Blog
Jan Kalis & Project Partners
Jack Dahlgren MVP
MS Project Experts
Microsoft EPM Solution, PJ
In project management, a project life cycle can be a long-running process that spans several phases. For instance, new R&D projects need to go through several phases, including creating the proposals, selecting a subset of them, planning, assigning resources, and finally managing and executing the approved projects. In general, managing any work request, whether it’s a new idea, or an IT change request, would have to go through several phases until its completion.
The initial proposals and project ideas are generally referred to as demands, and Demand Management is the process for collecting these demands. Typical demand management phases are create, select, plan, and manage. The planning and management phases are accomplished by the more familiar project management processes by using Project Professional and Project Web App. Selection is accomplished with the Project Portfolio Analysis features.
Project Server Workflows provide a structured way for projects to proceed through the phases. A workflow includes definitions of the lifecycle stages through which the project progresses, for example, proposal creation and initial approval. The workflow sets the information that is required or locked in each stage. For example, a workflow can lock budget cost after the project is approved. A workflow can include necessary manual approval or notification steps and add business logic to update other systems. Or, a workflow can update an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system when the proposal budget is approved.
In Project Server 2010, Project developers were empowered to create governance workflows in Visual Studio that enabled complex lifecycles for the demands. We have taken major steps to significantly improve this experience in the 2013 release:
The diagram below shows the steps to create Project workflows from the first steps in PWA, all the way to the end:
The very first step in defining workflow controlled projects is to define the enterprise custom fields. Custom fields are like SharePoint list columns for Project entities. They capture metadata about a given entity such as "Location" or "Department", and can even be configured to track status using formulas and graphical indicators. For instance, you can define a “Sample Proposal Cost” custom field to track the cost of every project proposal. You can find more details on how to create Enterprise Custom Fields here.
Project Detail Pages (PDPs) are the collection of web parts where users can edit and/or view Custom Fields. Some of the commonly used PDPs, that are shipped out of the box, are the Project Details PDP (which contains all the Project Custom Fields), and the Project Information PDP (which contains the more common project fields). If you'd like to modify the existing PDPs, or define new PDPs, you can do so in PWA Settings > Project Detail Pages. More details on how to create PDPs are given here.
The next step is creating workflow stages in PWA. Each stage is a step in the lifecycle of the project or proposal, and is composed of one or more Project Detail Pages linked by common logic or theme. At each stage, data may be entered, modified, reviewed, or processed. More details on how to create a stage is available here.
We're now ready to define a simple 3-stage Project workflow that determines the fate of a proposal based on its proposed cost:
This will inject the Project Name into the task title string.
Your workflow will now look something like this:
At this point, the workflow is ready to go. All you need to do is to hit the “Publish” button in the ribbon, and the workflow will be available in PWA after that.
SharePoint Designer also lets you view this workflow in the “Visual Designer” view mode if you have Visio Professional installed. All you need to do is to click on the “View” dropdown in the ribbons and select the “Visual Designer” view. For instance, below is the Visual Designer view of a 5-stage workflow. You can continue editing your workflow in the Visual Designer view, and also copy-paste any piece of this Visio-based view into any other Office app.
You can find more details on creating, editing and viewing workflows with Visual Designer and Visio here.
Now that you have defined and published the workflow, you will need to define an enterprise project type based on this workflow, from which, one can create workflow projects.
This last step completes everything required to set up workflow controlled projects. Now, all you need to do is to navigate to the Project Center, and from the “New” dropdown, select the Enterprise Project Type that was associated with the workflow. This will create the workflow controlled project, and you can navigate through the stages of the workflow similar to Project Server 2010.
In this sample workflow example, we showed how you can use the “Wait for Project Event” action to move between different stages; however, that’s not the only PWA action available in SharePoint Designer. In order to enable common workflow scenarios, other PWA-specific actions are also available in SharePoint Designer:
In this blog post, we mostly covered designing Project workflows using SharePoint Designer. If you’d want to stay up to date on the new features in SharePoint Designer 2013, make sure you visit SharePoint Designer blog as well.
We are excited about all these improvements this release, and how they will empower you to take advantage of workflows. We look forward to hearing your feedback and comments!
Hello everyone! My name is Sam Chung, and I am a Program Manager for SharePoint Designer. I’d like
In case you have attended the New Project Ignite – you might be looking for the Next Steps and Links
Please refer to the "Configure Windows Azure Workflow to work with the SharePoint Server 2013 farm" section of this MSDN article: technet.microsoft.com/.../jj658588(v=office.15)
Here are some good sites with more information:
Getting started developing Project Server 2013 workflows:
Workflow development with SharePoint Designer or Visio 2013
Let’s imagine you are a program or project manager who is using Project Web App (PWA) to manage projects
In Project Server 2010, Project developers were able to create Project Workflows using Visual Studio
Please check the Workflow Resource Center for SharePoint 2013: technet.microsoft.com/.../jj556245.aspx
В управлении проектами жизненный цикл проекта — это долгосрочный процесс, который может состоять из нескольких фаз. Например, новые проекты НИОКР состоят из нескольких этапов, включая составление предложений, выбор подмножества предложений, планирование
We love Project IT Pros. Always in the trenches and getting their hands dirty with the latest technologies and improvements, IT Pros are the engine that keeps many project management offices running. With the release of the new Project, now there are