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12 Tips For Implementing Microsoft Office Project Server 2007

The Microsoft Office Project Server EPM (Enterprise Project Management) Solution provides organisations with the potential to communicate timely, relevant and up to date project information to users across all hierarchical levels, from Team Members at the base of the organization to Executives at the very top.

In addition to this facility, it also invests the organization with the ability to report and analyse project and resource performance by innumerable criteria making project plans a powerful means to report key business critical information. This potential can be both a blessing and a curse to the project managers within an organization.

On the positive side the projects function is likely to acquire a higher profile through the increased visibility of their projects within the organization, on the negative side they will be more accountable and open to scrutiny than before.

Whilst the Microsoft Office Project Server EPM Solution offers these potential benefits, any organization contemplating its adoption should be aware that it is not an instant fix and that in order for the initiative to take root and deliver the anticipated business benefits its adoption needs to be treated as a project in its own right.

Organizations that have leapt straight in and not invested time in preparing for the adoption of Microsoft Office Project Server have learnt some painful and expensive lessons and in some cases have failed to derive any business benefit at all from their investment in the solution.

To avoid you encountering the same problems should you be considering adopting the Microsoft Office Project Server EPM Solution the following have been identified as crucial Success Factors for an EPM deployment:

1. Develop a multidisciplinary team
2. Actively engage the organisation’s executives
3. Develop a strong business case for the EPM Initiative
4. Allocate sufficient up-front time
5. Develop clear and complete business goals, requirements, and usage scenarios
6. Involve representatives  CanadianReporter.ca from all user groups
7. Conduct a multi-staged rollout
8. Provide continuous communication
9. Test the installed hardware and software configuration
10. Prepare the users for the deployment
11. Train users at all experience levels -using customised instructions
12. Prepare to monitor the new environment

1. Developing a Multidisciplinary Team

This is important as the EPM Solution relies upon several different Microsoft technologies, Windows Server, SharePoint, SQL and Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 itself and it is unlikely that a single individual will be expert in all or have experience of all areas. Microsoft Corporation does recommend that you engage the services of a qualified partner to assist in the implementation of the EPM Solution.

2. Actively Engage the Organisation’s Executives

As the EPM initiative can represent a significant cultural change to the manner in which an organisation functions there needs to be high level support and involvement in the initiative from inception to completion. If team members at the base of the organisation do not see leadership by example there can be resistance to change. If an organisation has in the past introduced flawed or failing initiatives an expectation of further failure can prevail without adequate high level support and involvement.

3. Develop a Strong Business Case for the EPM Initiative

Assess your current situation and identify how the Microsoft Office Project Server EPM Solution can deliver real business benefits that will represent a good return on investment.

4. Allocate Sufficient Up -Front Time

Fail to plan, plan to fail -a bit clichéd but anyone with project experience will tell you that
getting ready is the secret of success. Try to avoid being railroaded in to an implementation
before the groundwork has been done.

5. Develop Clear and Complete Business Goals, Requirements, and Usage Scenarios

Having clear requirements and realistic expectations of the benefits to be derived from the adoption of an EPM Solution should help sell t he initiative to the organisation. If there are no clearly defined requirements and objectives the perceived success of the initiative may be open to interpretation. Taking a leaf out of Stephen R. Covey’s book “start with the end in mind”.

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