Enhancing the User Experience: Migrating to Project Online

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Enhancing the User Experience: Migrating to Project Online

Old Habits Die Hard

While larger enterprises benefit from resources that smaller ones only dream about, they experience challenges of their own. It can be immensely difficult to execute changes – especially ones that impact the entire organization. Because of this, the status quo often endures much longer than it should, making those within enterprise long for the agility of smaller companies.

Those within the Project Management Office (PMO) feel the pains of large, rigid bureaucracies deeply. Many organizations are stuck with on-premises Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions that are outdated, inefficient, and expensive to maintain. Without support from a key stakeholder, the PMO can get stuck in a cycle of software upgrades – hoping that the latest version will solve their PPM woes.

Looking for Improvement

One of our recent clients was stuck in the vicious upgrade cycle itself last year. They were using Project Server 2010 and were planning to update to Project Server 2016 throughout the PMO. Although the upgrade would offer some benefits, it wouldn’t fix some of the enterprise’s most pressing PPM issues.

The PMO was struggling with:

  • Configuration chaos. There were no controls in place to ensure that the system was configured correctly. Multiple admins had been assigned and added to the system; anyone could make significant alterations without approval.
  • Integration headaches. The organization was using an application company-wide that needed to integrate with Project Server, but there was no direct connection to the platform. Instead, users were forced to go through Citrix to access the application indirectly.
  • Manual procedures. To keep a process moving, someone had to push it through the system manually. Every workflow required personal attention, so it was common for processes to stall as they waited for approval to move forward.

New Blood Promotes Change

Fortunately, a new Chief Information Officer (CIO) was hired at the beginning of 2017. He single-handedly spearheaded an effort to cut costs and streamline operations throughout the organization. To prove that he was serious, he halted the PMO’s plans to upgrade Project Server and instead instructed it to migrate to Project Online.

In October 2017, the company reached out to Projility, a Project Online migration expert, to guide them through the process. We began the planning and design phase immediately, working out details and preparing for potential issues.

After a few weeks of planning, the full migration took one week using Projility’s proprietary data-migration tool. In addition to setting up Project Online, Projility incorporated Hammerhead Projects into the organization’s solution. It gives the PMO more options when it comes to integrating third-party software, thanks to Hammerhead’s PPM data warehouse.

Projility addressed challenges and incorporated best practices. We focused on:

  • Structural inconsistencies – Project Server 2010 has a different structure than Project Online. We had to make adjustments during the planning and design phase to ensure that everything would migrate smoothly.
  • Security controls – We set strict security controls in place to ensure that admins could not be added to the system without prior approval. One of our routine deliverables during a migration, a detailed configuration document, serves as a permanent resource if unwanted modifications are ever made to the system.
  • Operational inefficiencies – Instead of having to open a virtual workspace to connect their application to Project Server 2010, the program is now linked directly to Project Online – making users more productive.
  • Process bottlenecks – The enterprise had no electronic workflow in place with the old, on-premises system. We built one for them in Project Online to automate approvals, removing the need for manual authorizations that slowed down the entire process.

A Partner in Migration Success

With direct connections to critical third-party software, the user experience has been completely transformed within the PMO. Over 500 users can now complete tasks quicker with functionality like automated workflows to speed procedures. Projility’s experienced migration experts kept the migration on track and within budget, and helped the PMO improve processes with best practices and enhanced Project Online capabilities.

Change is easy with a trusted partner by your side.


Projility provides expert solutions for effective change. We offer enterprise portfolio and project management solutions based on Microsoft Project Server and Project Online, with tailored dashboard reporting, analytics, and decision-making tools via our Hammerhead technology. Projility also implements professional services automation systems established on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service, and presents cloud-based strategies, migrations, and hosting solutions through Microsoft Azure. Contact us for more information.

By |2018-06-06T11:19:04+00:00January 27th, 2017|Project Online, project online migration|

About the Author:

José Marroig
José Marroig is the founder and chief executive officer of PROJILITY. Under José’s leadership, PROJILITY has become one of a handful of leaders in the project portfolio management (PPM) technology products and services market. A successful operations and strategy executive with more than a decade of experience in the Project Management & Technology arena, he has managed every aspect in both the sales and system development life cycle.

About Projility

PROJILITY is a Microsoft PPM and CRM services leader and product innovator. Our Hammerhead products have helped organizations around the world save hundreds of thousands on Microsoft Project Server training, customization, and support costs.

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