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Microsoft Partners with Project Assistants to Deliver Microsoft Project Workshop in Three Cities

Microsoft is partnering with Project Assistants to sponsor an event in the NY, Philadelphia, and DC Microsoft offices to share how great companies derive value from Microsoft Project. The event, Leveraging the Value of Microsoft Project 2013 includes an overview of the Microsoft Project 2013 and Project Online (Cloud) solutions, and two breakout sessions:

  • Revealing the Secrets of MS Project’s Scheduling Engine
  • Driving Organizational Change through Portfolios and Dashboards

They will be hosting three events in three cities next month:

These events qualifies attendees for 3 PDUs.


Leveraging the Value of Microsoft Project 2013

Microsoft Project 2013 provides an improved solution that organizes work, facilitates productivity, and helps companies prioritize ideas and initiatives to drive ROI and innovation.

Project Server 2013 and the Cloud

The Microsoft Project solution (built on SharePoint) has helped organizations drive value from their Projects and Portfolios of Projects. With the release of Microsoft Project Server 2013, Microsoft has provided the option to host the Microsoft Project Server environment off-premises in the Microsoft cloud.

Project Assistants CEO, Gus Cicala, and Practice Director, Jim Colton, will deliver a high-level overview of the tool, and two breakout sessions with more detailed content. The overview will demonstrate capabilities relevant to deriving value from the solution, including:

  • An overview of the Cloud offering
  • A brief overview of Portfolio Management
  • An overview of the Cloud offering
  • An overview of Enterprise Resource Management capabilities
  • A demonstration of the dramatically improved Project Reporting capabilities
  • How SharePoint and the user home page facilitate improved productivity


There will be two concurrent breakout sessions that will provide more in-depth content:

Breakout Session #1:
Revealing the Secrets of MS Project’s Scheduling Engine

In this breakout session, we will demonstrate how to effectively scheduling with Microsoft Project 2013 and Project Online.

The foundation of deriving value from an enterprise solution is having accurate information. Accurate project schedule information including resource commitments, are critical to making enterprise decisions. Schedules change often, so it’s a challenge to keep them timely and accurate.

There are two options for keeping up with how MS Project produces schedules:

  1. Become a PhD in the scheduling engine
  2. Learn how to derive the information from Microsoft Project itself

In this session, Microsoft Project expert and leading author and acclaimed speaker Gus Cicala will provide tips and tricks to achieving Option #2 in order to demystify the process, gain confidence and overcome fear. We will demonstrate the Scheduling engine in action, highlighting the lessons above.

Enterprise Impact

The way to get good at scheduling (and progress towards Enterprise Resource Management) is to understand what inputs affect which schedule outputs. Luckily, there’s a demonstrable logic to determining which processes you need to collect accurate data. This approach will cover how budget and labor are tracked to provide a comprehensive view of the portfolio of projects.

Breakout Session #2:
Driving Organizational Change through Portfolios and Dashboards

Quickly managing and responding to external and internal conditions is crucial to effectively plan and execute against the KPIs of the portfolio. Organizations achieve this ability to adapt to the conditions by determining what projects to undertake and constantly considering whether it makes sense to continue investment. Microsoft Project has powerful capabilities that help facilitate Project Portfolio Management so that your organization can align and support the execution of the organizational mission.

How do you choose the best slate of projects? There is always an initial impetus for projects (e.g.: a problem, opportunity, or lead), but how do we weigh which opportunities are the best to pursue?Jim Colton will demonstrate how Microsoft Project casts these opportunities into a common language. This language facilitates an apples-to-apples comparison to select the best possible investment mix of projects. Once the projects are chosen and underway, the work at the portfolio level isn’t over. Dashboard and reporting capabilities facilitate the governance process in order to sense and respond to the ever-changing realities of project delivery.

Jim will also demonstrate how these dashboards can enhance communication, reduce process overhead and support the facilitation of effective governance.