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The Project Admin Blog
Jan Kalis & Project Partners
Jack Dahlgren MVP
MS Project Experts
Microsoft EPM Solution, PJ
Imagine that it's 2:00pm on Friday afternoon and you're leaving a planning meeting for the big springtime marketing blitz upon which your company, Coho Winery, is resting its hopes of international expansion. Just moments ago, the team was haphazardly scrolling through a long task list spreadsheet when your boss slammed her fist on the table and declared that you would have a first-class project management solution in place by Monday morning.
Yikes! That's a big job.
Since this project is so important, it's critical that the solution be robust and secure, while delivering as much efficiency gain as possible so the team can get more work done and you don't get buried keeping track of everything. But at the same time, there's not a huge budget for IT overhead and time is of the essence.
You decide to go with Microsoft's Project Pro for Office 365 subscription combined with SharePoint Online and Lync Online, so that Coho's teams can easily communicate in real time and collaborate through shared team sites. With the subscriptions, you pay as you go, never have to worry about setting up IT systems, and can stream the rich Project desktop client to make your work quick and easy.
A quick visit to the Project website confirms your intuition that Project Pro for Office 365 is the right solution for Coho. You click the link to sign up, and a few moments later the account is set up and ready to go.
"Wow," you exhale, "That was easy!"
Soon, you'll find out that the rest of the process for getting Coho's project management up and running is just as easy as it was to subscribe to the service. There's a convenient two-step process to configure your organization.
With options to import users with a bulk spreadsheet upload, it's really starting to look like you might get out of the office before 5:00pm.
A convenient spreadsheet template shows you where to fill in the blanks for your team.
...and upload it into SharePoint to have accounts created automagically.
A quick check confirms that everyone on your team got imported correctly.
You breeze through the next few steps in about two minutes, simply taking note of the passwords generated for each account and selecting the appropriate licenses and permissions for each person. Now it's time to put together the project plan so painstakingly hammered out in the meeting you left just half an hour ago.
Being a rock star project manager, you know that the first step is to stream an installation of the Project desktop client. This is simple with Project Pro for Office 365--just click the Download link from your Office 365 admin page and watch those bits fly!
Seconds after clicking Run on the Internet Explorer download prompt, the Project desktop client is streaming to your PC and you're ready to really start earning your paycheck. But wait! You're pleasantly surprised to see the great templates built right into the startup screen... and there's even one for a marketing campaign plan!
You fire up the template, customize a few tasks to reflect the team's agreed-upon project plan, and start filling in resource assignments.
It takes a half hour or so of applying your tradecraft until you feel good about the v1 project plan and decide to sync it to the SharePoint Team Site. This is as easy as hitting the Save As button and pasting in the web address from your browser.
Project's integration with the Office 365 account service keeps your site secure from any unauthorized publishing to your site--and keeps you safe from accidentally syncing with the wrong site!
You hit refresh on the Coho Winery SharePoint Team Site to see your work alive in the cloud, and can't help but smile as the page loads with a robust cloud-based project plan ready for broad collaboration, work management, and access from virtually anywhere. Beautiful.
The clock on your office wall ticks 5:00pm as you triumphantly hit send on an email assuring your boss not to worry--you've got everything under control.