Why Project Online #1

Why would you choose Project Online?  Let’s assume you’ve made the decision to improve how you manage and approach portfolio / programme / project management (which is a topic in itself).

As an organisation you’re spending time reviewing your processes and working practices, in light of your requirements and aspirations.  Now you’re looking for some tools to help support these changes.

Project Online provides a number of capabilities that can be deployed, preferably through a staged approach.  At a high level these capabilities include:

  • Portfolio Management / Selection & Prioritisation (a very short hand description!)
  • Resource forecasting & management
  • Project scheduling
  • Timesheets
  • Reporting & BI
  • Collaboration across teams

I will be looking at the various capabilities over the coming days and weeks.

In the meantime, using Project Online and working with a suitably qualified Microsoft Partner, can help you deploy the toolset in a shorter timeframe.

This can seriously reduce upfront CAPEX that may be required to get an environment up and running (licenses, virtualised or hardware infrastructure).  At the same time, your  partner should be able to provide an OPEX approach to deployment and on-going support, in the same way that your organisation is obtaining Project Online.



Licenses for Project Online

Office 365 – Do I have to purchase an Office 365 plan in the first instance? No

  1. When you sign-up for Project Online you also receive an Office 365 SharePoint Online Plan 2
  2. You can also add Project Online to an E-Plan (Enterprise) if your organisation has already deployed Office 365

Project Online – Full web based PPM capabilities

  1. If you have used Project Server 2010 or 2013, Project Online is the equivalent of Project Web App (PWA)
  2. If you have already have a copy of Project Professional 2013 installed, the Project Online license allows you to save your project schedules to Project Online and use all the web capabilities.
  3. Project Online is NOT a web-based version of Project Professional 2013

Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365 – Full web based PPM capabilities, the equivalent of Project Web App, plus Microsoft Project Professional 2013 streamed (installed) to your desktop.

Project Lite – a reduced set of web based capabilities, ideal for team members, and again the equivalent of using Project Web App.

Project Pro for Office365 – Microsoft Project Professional 2013 streamed (installed) to your desktop with a subscription to Office 365.  No Project Online capabilities, the equivalent of Project Web App.

Unable to access ODATA via Excel 2013

On April 9th 2014 a number of updates were applied to my laptop and after that I was unable to access the ODATA feeds.  Excel returned the following error: Invalid pointer array

To resolve the issue I had to apply the following hotfix: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2837666

You experience one of the following problems if you have recently applied the October 2013 Cumulative Update for Excel (KB 2825655) or a later version, but you have not updated your version of the PowerPivot add-in:

  • When you try to access data modal from a pivot table, you receive the following error message:
    We couldn’t get data from the Data Model. Here’s the error message we got:
    Invalid pointer array
  • You cannot refresh pivot tables, and no updates seem to occur.
  • You cannot launch the PowerPivot | Manage window from the ribbon.

Project Lite announced

At Project Conference 2014 Microsoft announced that a new license would be made available for Project Online.

Project Lite enables project team members to edit and submit timesheets, collaborate on project related documents, update tasks, log issues and much more – all at a price point of £4.60 per user/month*.


It excludes access to Excel based reports and Resource Center

Project Lite available on May 1