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Overview - Best Practices and Discussion

Summary

This article gives background on using Microsoft Project with Planview Enterprise One - Portfolio and Resource Management. It goes over data transfer, how information is treated differently in each application, and compatibility issues.

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You are viewing content for Planview® Enterprise One release 16 – Portfolio and Resource Management and greater.

Discussion

File Preservation

What happens to data that is not mapped (and not transferred)?

    • Planview Enterprise One – PRM: Data not transferred will not be deleted (e.g., inter-project relationships, assignments at Project Planning Level or PPL, and authorizations).
    • Microsoft Project: Storing information within the Microsoft Project file that is not stored in Planview can be done by always starting with the local Microsoft Project file. The update does not overwrite unmapped fields.

 

What gets transferred?

    • Tasks, dates, milestones, and constraints.
    • Calendars—these are synchronized.
    • Requirements, reserves, and allocations:
    • Reserves are not natively supported within Microsoft Project. Set reserves up as separate “cost” resources in Microsoft Project and make the information available in custom columns, as they do not appear as work resources.
    • Custom mappings:
    • Single-select structures and custom fields can be mapped by the Planview administrator.
Tip

See Figure 1 in Data Not Transferred for a chart comparing what is and is not transferred between Microsoft Project and Planview Enterprise One – PRM.

Data not Transferred

What does not get transferred?

    • Bi-directional:
    • Baselines, reserve profiles, notes, multi-select structures, assignments and constraints on PPL (due to restrictions on the Microsoft Project Summary task), authorizations.
    • Microsoft Project to Planview Enterprise One – PRM:
    • Status changes.
    • Actuals (i.e., timesheets will not be created).
    • New/Updated resources.

The Add-In Does Transfer…

The Add-In Does Not Transfer…

Allocations below the primary planning level (PPL); includes profiles

Reserves below PPL

Constraints below PPL

Single-select structures and custom fields an administrator mapped when defining custom field mappings for the add-in

Calendars

Dates

Tasks

Requirements (below PPL; includes profiles)

Milestones

Allocations at PPL

Reserves at PPL

Constraints at PPL

Reserve profiles

Multi-select structures

Baselines

Authorizations

Work status changes

Time reported by resources (Microsoft Project to Planview Enterprise One – PRM)

Requirements at PPL

Notes

Only a portion of a project

Figure 1: Data Transfer Comparison

Microsoft Work Type Selection

The add-in only supports fixed duration. If another work type is selected, dates may change.

The Microsoft Project default task type is fixed work. It should be changed to fixed duration when using the Microsoft Project add-in.

Constraints

Microsoft Project sets task dates to match constraint dates, which can cause backdating.

    • The add-in does not transfer satisfied constraints—e.g., Start No Earlier Than (SNET) that are in the past.

When a Planview Enterprise One – PRM task is scheduled based on the actual start of a parent task, Microsoft Project does not behave the same way.

    • To preserve dates, Microsoft Project will insert a SNET constraint.
    • Planview Enterprise One – PRM does not suppress the creation of the additional SNETs, so the dates match up.
    • The additional SNETs are not reported as variances in the error dialog.

To ensure that you understand the potential changes between the two systems, we highly recommend that Constraint Type and Constraint Date be added both in Planview Enterprise One – PRM column sets and in Microsoft Project columns.

Constraints vs. Relationships

It is possible to have constraints and relationships that are in conflict.

When this occurs, Microsoft Project and Planview Enterprise One – PRM will generally result in date discrepancies, as the scheduling algorithms handle violations in different ways.

Milestones

Microsoft Project allows milestones at the parent level, and they can have durations.

Planview Enterprise One – PRM allows milestones only at the child level, and they must be zero duration.

    • The add-in may create a task in Microsoft Project.

Milestone dates are converted from finish dates to start dates when the parent also has non-milestone tasks.

    • This prevents the parent from creeping to the milestone finish; Planview Enterprise One – PRM has specialized behavior that keeps the parent tasks scheduled to the start date.
    • The variance detection code will not detect this as a reportable change.

Microsoft Project sets milestones at 8 a.m.

    • You can manually modify them in Microsoft Project to 5 p.m. to match the Planview Enterprise One – PRM convention.

Assignments

The Microsoft Project Summary task does not support assignments and constraints, which results in assignments and constraints not being transferred.

Allocations are only allowed at the leaf level in Planview Enterprise One – PRM, while Microsoft Project allows resource assignments at parent levels.

Null Dates in Planview Enterprise One – PRM/Round-trip Processing

It is possible for tasks to have no dates at all in Planview Enterprise One – PRM.

This causes problems for the add-in because Microsoft Project sets default dates, causing date discrepancies.

The defaulted dates will be added to Planview Enterprise One – PRM upon a save to Planview.

Scheduling Differences Resulting in Mismatched Dates

Microsoft Project handles the parents of milestones differently than does Planview Enterprise One – PRM. There will be a variance on parent tasks that have only milestone children.

Closed work impacts schedules in Microsoft Project but not in Planview Enterprise One – PRM. In Planview Enterprise One – PRM, it is perfectly legal to have actual dates but no schedule dates. In Microsoft Project, schedule dates are required. Therefore, Microsoft Project will include closed work in its schedule and Planview Enterprise One – PRM won’t, leading to schedule differences.

Calendars

Microsoft Project automatically creates a calendar for each resource, which appears in the list with the synchronized calendars.

To see the calendars in Microsoft Project:

    • Select Project > Tools > Change Calendars.