Microsoft Project Server 2016 – What's New?

An Overview of What’s New in the Latest Version

The new features of Microsoft Project Server 2016 are mainly in the following areas:
 
Resource management: Resource Engagements
Views: Multiple timelines
Navigation: “Tell me what you want to do…”, as in all Office 16 products
Web add-ins: You can now also enter data in standard fields in Project Professional 

Find more information about the MS Project 2016 technical changes to the setup and the database as well as about availability.

Video: What is new in Microsoft Project 2016 - an overview.

Click here for a > live demo of the new features in MS Project 2016.

Resource Engagements

The new version of Microsoft Project Server 2016 focuses on resource management. This section is about coordinating and committing resources between the project manager and the line-of-business team manager.

Up to now, Microsoft Project has included the Resource Plan function for team leaders, but its benefits were limited. The new version introduces the Resource Engagements function which is designed to support better collaboration between project managers and team managers.
 
The Resource Plan has been moved from Project WebAccess (PWA) to Project Professional and expanded with new functions. The plan allows project managers to view and edit their resource requests and commitments for their current project. The requests need to be entered separately and in parallel to the project plan.

Resource requests and commitments in the resource plan in MS Project 2016 (click image to enlage)
Resource plan in MS Project 2016

Established Solution for Resource Management

Resource coordination between project and line managers can be a challenge for all concerned – and TPG has had a solution to facilitate it since 2010. Comprising TPG TeamManager and TPG TeamLink, the solution is even easier to use than the Microsoft approach. The TPG solution works with the current as well as all future versions of Microsoft Project Server.

Project Web Access (PWA) now provides team managers with new views including an overview of all the resource requests they have received across all projects. They can agree to resource commitments within this view. This is a big step forward making project collaboration much easier.

View of staff workload per project with “heatmap” (click image to enlage)
MS Project 2016 heatmap

You can find out more about resource management in Microsoft Project 2016 from this Microsoft blog post.

Project Online users can activate the changeover from Resource Plan to Resource Engagements themselves. The change is effected automatically during migration from Project Server 2013 to 2016.

View of Actual Resource Workload is Lacking

However, team managers still don’t have an overview of the actual workload of their resources because they are not able to plan for absences and line-related activities – in other words, activities not related to the project – in this view. Team managers will need to continue to do this in team projects using Project Professional.

Team managers can add new resource engagements to an existing project without requesting them beforehand. However, they cannot make resource reservations for upcoming projects that do not yet exist within Project Server.

Line managers can use the improved functionality in TPG TeamManager to resolve these issues. They can load their current project plan into the tool as requests and commit resources to it. In addition, they can plan absences and line-related activities and reserve resources for upcoming projects without needing to enter additional data. The traffic-light indicators give them an at-a-glance view of their resources’ workload alongside the resource requests from project managers. Team leaders can also import resource commitments on priority projects automatically and create hierarchical team structures.

Complete Resource Management from Project Server 2010 Onwards

TPG TeamManager is available starting from Project Server 2013. If you are using Project Server 2010, you can use the TPG TeamManager for Excel / SQL tool.
Contact us today for your free live presentation.

Multiple Timelines

Up to now, only one timeline has been available in Project Server. In the new version, you can define multiple timelines, gaining a compact time-related overview of your project. Each timeline can have its own timeframe, enabling you to show the overall project as well as detailed subsets of it in the same chart.

Multiple timelines can be combined with each other (click image to enlarge)
MS Project 2016 multiple timelines

“Tell me what you want to do” Function

Like the Start menu in Windows, all new Office programs allow you to enter a term and see the corresponding list of commands. This helps you find and execute the command you want very quickly.

Web Add-Ins with Writing Capability

This function is particularly interesting for developers. It enables them to create web add-ins that not only read standard fields in Project Professional but write to them as well. As a provider of solutions based on Microsoft technology, this gives us new ways of implementing features you need.

Reporting with MS Project Server

The PowerBI function allows you to access Microsoft Project Server data directly, without the need for Excel. That means you can create dashboards with drill-downs that provide an excellent basis for decision-making. Find out more about these options in our TPG BI seminars.

Microsoft PowerBI demo (click image to enlarge)
Microsoft PowerBI 2016

Standard Support for Project Server 2010 expired on October 2015. If you are still running Project Server 2010, please do not forget that you can only migrate to the 2016 version from the 2013 version.

So why not migrate Project Server 2010 now and be more productive with 2016 or 2013?

Experience MS Project Server / Project Online live
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