Microsoft Project Server 2016 – What's New?

An Overview of What’s New in the Latest PPM 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 

Important news dated September 28th, 2018:
Microsoft unveils product roadmap for project and portfolio management (PPM) – New “Project” Service announced.
Read more about the New “Project” Service in this blog article.
(The article will be constantly updated.)

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.

Image: 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.

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

Here you can find out more about resource management in Microsoft Project 2016.

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.

Image: 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.

Image: Microsoft PowerBI (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?

More information about the technology, availability and support for Microsoft Project versions.

Microsoft Project Server 2016 – Technology, Availability & Support

Microsoft Project Server 2016 is a real SharePoint 2016 service that can simply be activated with the relevant license. You no longer need to install it separately.
The Project Server database is merged with the SharePoint content database. This means you have less administration work when backing up and restoring it. 

This version includes significant improvements to the performance of data queries using oData. It is designed to reduce download times by up to 80% when working with large amounts of data. The improvements are particularly interesting for Project Online users.

Microsoft SharePoint and Project Server 2016

    The upgrade to SharePoint 2016 is only available via SharePoint 2013. Users of SharePoint and Project Server 2010 will therefore need to migrate first to 2013 before they can migrate to Project Server 2016.

    Versions of SharePoint and Project Server can be installed locally. New functions will initially be made available in the cloud versions and subsequently to locally-installed versions using the same code basis. The focus in the near future is on hybrid environments using a mix of cloud-based and local installations.

    For further information see this statement by Julia White (General Manager at SharePoint).

    Support for Microsoft Project Server 2010 and 2013

    If you are thinking about how and when to move to a newer version, please note the support expiry dates for the current and previous versions:

    • Standard support for Microsoft Project Server 2010 expired on October 13, 2015.
    • Standard support for Project Server 2013 does not expire until April 10, 2018.

    For more information, please consult the complete overview of the Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

    If you are still running Project Server 2010, please don’t forget that you can only migrate to the 2016 version from the 2013 version. So why not migrate now and be more productive with the 2013 or 2016 version?

    Free Download
    Why Microsoft Project Server / Project Online instead of Project Standard? Important Arguments
    The advantages of the enterprise-wide solution over the standalone tool
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    Why Microsoft Project Server?
    Important Arguments

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