Thursday's Microsoft Webinar was the latest event in the gradual unveiling of the future version of Project. It now has a name - Project 2007 - not really more imaginative than the development name of P12 but it does give a clue as to the intended release date. After the news about the postponement of Vista's release date, one can believe that Microsoft would tend towards caution rather than optimism in deciding a release year.
The product itself still shows its credentials as a beta release. The demonstration of the client functionality suffered from a couple of minor glitches. The functions shown include some which will be popular with people who have struggled with some of the constraints of earlier versions of MS Project.
The multi-level undo feature - instead of the current single step undo - gets a lot of attention. It does seem to have been a major technical challenge to provide the function and now one can afford to be a little less careful about keeping track of changes as you go through an editing session.
A neat feature is change highlighting. This is the one that shows what dependencies cause a task date to be the way it is. Useful when you have a lot of predecessors, calendar constraints and other factors.
Anyone who has finally mastered the nuances of Outline codes and custom fields will have a new learning experience. Outline codes are no more. They are just treated as another variants of custom fields with fixed value lists.
And more functions for organisations that track costs - resources can be flagged as budget resources and assigned at the project summary level.
Something that sounds like a good idea but will probably take a bit of getting used to is the notion of team resources. Resources are defined as belonging to a team using a custom field value - and the team resource is assigned to the task. Sounds like you need to be careful about working with max units, particularly if a team member could be on multiple teams.
Plenty to get familiarised - and plenty of time to get familiar before the roll-out.
Labels: events, it-project, learning, microsoft-project-management, people, project-teams, value