We get asked many questions about Microsoft Project Server and Server Online from customers around the world. Check back here frequently to see if your question has been answered. Submit a question via our Contact Us page.

In general the less complicated the department structure, the better. Try to keep the department look up table to one level and try to keep the number of departments small. To understand why, let’s take a moment to consider what makes the department field different from other fields.

The main thing that makes the department field different is that it drives certain associations, including the following:

  • When creating projects, users can only see Enterprise Project Types with no department or with the same department as that associated with the user.
  • A project Enterprise Custom Field that has a department associated with it will only be visible (both in PDPs and in the “Project Information” dialog in Project Professional) for projects associated with that department.

This means that if you have a lot of possible values for the department, each time an enterprise project type (EPT) is created, you need to consider a lot of possible departments to associate the new EPT with. If a new EPT is missing a department value that it should have, then people who should be able to see that EPT when creating projects will not be able to see it. Conversely, if a new EPT includes a value a department that it should not have, then people who should not be able to see that EPT when creating projects will be able to see it.

Also, higher levels in a department look-up table do not inherit the visibility of the lower levels. So if you have a user whose department is “IT.Apps”, he or she will not be able to see EPT associated the “IT.Apps.Support” department.

If there is an anticipated need to capture a hierarchical department structure for reporting purposes, a custom field associated with a lookup table that contains that structure is probably a good idea. If the anticipated need is security based, the RBS field and associated lookup table might be the appropriate mechanism to leverage.

The answer depends on the behavior you are looking for when scheduling project work. Please consider the following table:

Desired Behavior

Work scheduled to be performed during the resource’s time off should be automatically pushed into the future.

Suggested Approach

Maintain individual resource calendars.

Desired Behavior

Work schedule to be performed during the resource’s time off should make the resource appear over allocated.

Suggested Approach

Maintain a “Non project work” schedule intended to consume resource availability. Consider including a “Time off” task in that schedule. Assign resources to that task, and maintain their allocation in a Task Usage or Resource Usage view. Be sure to maintain the allocation in the time-phased portion of the view!

Unfortunately you cannot filter tasks on the timesheet the way you can on the task page. The projects and tasks populate your timesheet based on the ‘Timesheet Settings and Defaults’. While you can delete a task that is not needed, once the timesheet is created there is no filter functionality. You can, however, use the ‘group by’ feature to increase the readability. If further filtering is needed it may be necessary to look into a custom solution which will include customized filters, groups, etc.
This is a common question for organizations using Project Server for the first time.

A user has some level of access to the system, but cannot be assigned to a task in a project. This could be an administrator or an executive that would need access to PWA but would never be assigned actual work in the system. The user entity is also where security is applied.

Resources are sometimes mistakenly considered people alone. A work resource could be a person, team, or a role. You could also have material and cost resources. The point is even if you are talking about personnel resources they don’t necessarily need access to Project Server.

The easy answer is to simply drag and drop the web parts to their desired locations on the page in ‘Edit’ mode. Another thing you can do to increase your layout options is create a new web part page and select from the available web part templates. Some will give you additional areas which will help in displaying your web parts the way they were intended.