I am really getting into how Project Web App (PWA) could be the central place that we could run projects and keep a track of the many antics of the team. Here is some more that I have learned. Please note that this information relates to the Project Online version of PWA.

Licencing

I’ve been looking into the minimum licencing we can get away with to get team members submitting timesheets (in particular) and providing progress updates:

  • We have 5 Dynamics Customer Engagement licences through our Action Pack. Each of these can get full access to PWA.
  • For one additional user, I’ve found the cheapest way was to assign an Office 365 E1 licence and then a Project Plan 1 licence.
  • Once your user base begins to grow, it is likely to be cheaper to assign a Project Plan 3 licence for one user and then Project Plan Essentials for subsequent users. There must be a Project Plan 3 or 5 licence in use before Project Plan Essentials licences can be utilised.

Getting PWA to play nice with MS Project

  • Getting %Complete showing in PWA. If you are editing your project schedule in MS Project, you’ll need to ensure that the %Complete column is visible. Then, when you save and publish the schedule, the %Complete of the project should flow through to PWA.
  • Getting the Resource Capacity function to display hours burned in timesheets. Ensure that when projects are edited in MS Project, that the Actual Work column is shown. Then hours recorded in timesheets should flow through to the Resource Capacity function.
  • Stop hours auto-populating in timesheets. This happens because of 2 qwerks of Project: 1) by default, %Complete and %Work Complete are linked (ie updating one on a task will automatically update the other to the same value); and 2) setting %Complete to 100% will always set %Work complete to the same. To get around this, 1) unlink %Complete and %Work Complete by going into Project, then selecting File | Options | Schedule. Scroll down to Calculation options for this project. Uncheck Updating Task status updates resource status. Then Save the Project and re-Publish; 2) When a task is complete but all hours aren’t yet booked, set %Complete to 99%.

Issues and solutions

  • User can’t access timesheets. This is usually due to an issue with the way in which their account was setup. The easiest way to resolve this is to delete the user and then re-add. If you have followed the instructions in my previous post to setup users, then deleting a user is a 2 step process: 1) Make the resource inactive, and then go to Delete Enterprise Objects (in PWA Settings) and delete the user from there too.

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