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Project Online: Have you seen any of the new bits we have added?

Project Online: Have you seen any of the new bits we have added?

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As we approach the anniversary of Project Online’s release I thought it was worth highlighting a few of the usability changes we have made over the intervening months.  Thanks to the product group for making this happen – but thanks also to our customers for some of the great feedback that has led to some of these changes.  The latest changes first – and we have made it far easier for users of PWA that also have a license for Project Pro for Office 365 to find the download – now we have it right in the Get Started carousel.  This one is rolling out right now – if you don’t see it yet then it should be to your Project Online environment within the next week:

PWA Home page with new tile for download of Project Pro for Office 365

And the hover over tells you what this gets you – richer views and reports!

Get Started Carousel with new download description

If you’ve already removed the Get Started carousel and want to take a new look – then just clicking the Gear icon and the Getting Started menu item will show you the same things.

Get Started Page

And if you want it back on your home page – it is a Web Part so you can edit the page and find it listed under the Project Web App category.

Adding the Get Started web part back

You may have noticed another recent addition in the Get Started carousel too – just to the left of the Project Pro for Office 365 download link – the ‘New to Project Online?’ link.

New to Project Online tile

This will take you to our TechNet page with plenty more useful information to help your journey with Project Online.  If you’ve got this far then you (or someone in your organization) has already carried out step 1 – but steps 2 and 3 will help get people and projects into your new online environment.

TechNet Getting Started with Project Online with Steps 1 to 3 - Sign Up, Add People, Add Projects

What else?  Well sometimes a blank page can be daunting – so we added some guidance if you aren’t seeing any projects to your Project Center:

Empty Project Center dialog - with links to change view or add a project

Clicking ‘changing your view’ will bring the ribbon into play and show you the views dropdown:

View options in the ribbon

Or ‘add a project’ will bring up a wizard to get you started with a new project – Or offer some other ways to get projects into your system:

*** Update 1/23 – even I got caught out with the new stuff here and didn’t have the lastest UI – so swapping out the next screenshot for the new ones.  This is the same experience you will see if you click on the left hand tile in the Get Started carousel – Create or import projects

Tiles showing the available Enterprise Project Types

Here we see the out of the box SharePoint Task List and Enterprise Project – as well as a couple of extra Enterprise Project Types I have added to my system.  I select Enterprise Project and click next:

Entry screen for project details

Then I enter my project name, as well as any other information a different Enterprise Project Type might need in terms of custom fields, then click finish.  It will show working on it…, and then Hold on, creating he project and will then take you to the schedule page to begin entering your tasks:

Schedule web part

end of updated screen shots ***

(We have also added wizards to the New Project experience in Project Center.)

*** Update 4/16/2014 - All fixed up - the new project wizard will be coming back over the next few days or so ***

*** Update 1/23 - There is a slight issue with the New Project experience from the ribbon in Project Center right now, and users may see the 'Working on it..." dialog just carry on spinning.  You should find that if you go to the Project Center it will have actually created your new plan.  Sorry for this inconvenience - I understand a timing issue with some required css updates led to this - but it should be resolved soon. ***

More magic to come – if you are creating a SharePoint Task list project then we take you straight to Edit mode – the original experience didn’t make it clear what you needed to do next.  So you get this:

Task list - ready to edit

rather than this:

Old Task list - not taken in to edit mode automatically

Much better I think!

And there’s more… After you add your first task – it will automatically be added it to the timeline – just so you get the idea how it works and where to go to add further tasks to the timeline.

When the first task is created we add it to the timeline

Another very useful addition to the project site is a way to get back to the Project Center – the ‘Projects’ link in the left navigation pane:

Project Site with link in the left nav back to Project Center

And following that link back we can get to one more of our new additions – more call-outs in Project Center.  Each project now has a quick way to see status, open or share the plan – or a few more quick links to delete, edit the resource plan, build team or go to the project site.

Project Center showing call-outs, which alolow easier access to other features such as deleting a plan

I hope you are finding all these changes useful and if you think we are still missing some tricks then I’d be more than glad to have comments.  Also thinking that we should switch gears and start pre-announcing some of this stuff so you know what is coming.  Thoughts?

Comments
  • Yes please, we need all the info on new features as soon as possible:-)

  • Thanks for the feedback Peter - much appreciated!

  • Brian, pre-announcing is in my mind very important - otherrwise it is very hard to keep on track of the changes and perhaps lead the customers to the right direction.

  • Thanks Brian always good to get the facts and keep up our expert status. I do agree from a previous thread on linkedIn that pre-announcing would be a good idea to help manage change in an organization. Some users get easily frazzled at the funniest things. cheers Ray

  • Great post, would be nice to see this post groing into a serries.

  • These are all great, but we are still on premise due to 3rd part apps (UMT 360). When can we expect to see these changes for on premise deployments?

  • Hi Brian, I have an issue with several of my customers, they cannot use any predecesor type in PWA's Schedule, do you know it there are any solution out there? as this was possible to do in PWA 2010's Schedule.
    (I mean putting predecesors like: 5SS, 5FF + 10d )
    Thanks in advance!

  • Hi,

    I just keep on getting the message that "Hold on, creating the project.." and it takes a whole lot of time almost 4 minutes to move to next page. IS there a way I can disable this new project wizard and go the old way for project creation.

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