Program Framework, Project Management Practice, Project Online, Project Planning

Customise Microsoft PPM to your business needs

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We write a lot on this blog about the benefits of project portfolio management and what the right solution can do for your organisation. We usually focus on these positives from a business process point of view: how your project management office can incorporate vital data into its practice; have a broader, as well as deeper, view of a project’s resources; present complex information in a simple to understand visual format. And what that means for an organisation in a very practical way, i.e. how it can affect production, help you budget effectively, and provide a real ROI that will show up on your company’s bottom line.

There were several noteworthy announcements regarding Microsoft Project and Project Online at Ignite, 2016. These included:

  • Seamless integration with other Microsoft technologies, like Power BI, the Internet of Things, bots and machine learning.
  • A better overall end-to-end experience including support for sharing with external users, enhanced support for team tasks, and new Time Reporter apps.
  • Various improvements across Microsoft PPM reporting capabilities, including the introduction of PowerApps integration that enables the creation of mobile experiences.
  • The latest developer opportunities for PPM with the launch of the new Project developer portal and Power BI content pack on GitHub.

In today’s post, we would like to focus on Microsoft PPM from the developer’s point of view. We’ll look at the developer opportunities for Microsoft PPM that were announced at Ignite, centering around the launch of the new Project developer portal and the release of Power BI content pack on GitHub.

All business problems are not created equal

Customisations have always been an important part of creating the right solution for the varying and specific problems individual businesses inevitably face. That’s why it’s important that with Microsoft Project and Project Online, you can quickly and easily create Project add-ins using CSOM and OfficeJS APIs.

An application program interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software. An API indicates how software components should interact. For example, APIs are used when programming graphic user interface. Essentially, a good API is the building blocks needed for a program, and makes it easier for a developer to put it all together.

These add-ins and customisations are vital to the productivity of your teams and to the projects that you undertake. Because, in the end, this is about the custom needs of your organisation. For example, your organisation most likely faces similar obstacles whenever it seeks to build its projects. The ability to customise down to specific detail how your Microsoft PPM solution creates templates or its particular user functions will allow your team get the most out of the solution. It will make it easier to use, remove pain points, and create a higher level of engagement.

The Project developer portal

This is where Microsoft are housing all the resources that a developer needs to create the most appropriate customisations. The Project developer portal is where you can easily build add-ins, find sample code, design an engaging User Experience and submit your add-ins to the Office Store.

Project Online Power BI content pack

The release of the Power BI content pack on GitHub is an expansion on the Microsoft Project Online Content Pack and is designed to enable a quick connection to Project Online in Office 365. Enjoy better exploration and monitoring of key aspects of your PPM deployment, like projects, issues, and risks, as well as the ability to import and analyse data from Project Online in Power BI. The ability to plug Microsoft Project into Power BI is another step forward in the use of Big Data to get the most out of your IT investments by making better, more insightful business decisions. Microsoft PPM is already a powerful tool for planning, building and executing projects of every size. Now with the ability to leverage powerful data visualisation, the PPM solution becomes not only easier to use, but users can gain even better insight into, and control over, their entire project portfolio.

Available on GitHub, you can easily download the code and explore key aspects of your PPM solution, such as projects, issues, risks, as well as much more.

The power of the future

It’s certainly an exciting time for both project portfolio management and Big Data. What’s even more exciting is how they will converge to benefit businesses of every size, and the developer is set to be at the centre of it all. At Program Framework, we’ll certainly be watching with interest.

Program Framework are the Project and Portfolio Management experts. Contact us today to find out how we can help you make the very most from your Microsoft investment, now and into the future.

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