Using Project Management Central in 10 Steps

Starting a new job is always exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I’ve been at Bamboo for just over a month now, and I still end each day feeling like I can’t possibly learn any more than I already have–but I always do, the very next day.

As a technical writer, my job is to write software documentation for Bamboo’s products. Yup, our Product Documentation Online and many of our KBs are written by my fellow hardworking tech writers. My new best friend is Project Management (PM) Central, and my challenge this past month has been to learn PM Central as quickly as possible so that I can start updating and expanding the Product Documentation Online, writing KBs and blogs, and pretty much just tell the world how cool PM Central is.

Of course, once I pulled up the product documentation, I panicked at seeing nearly 70 pages of material. I thought that PM Central must be incredibly complicated to install, set up, and configure. I didn’t think I’d ever learned how to use it, let alone how to write about it.

PM Central is not as intimidating as it looks. In fact, after seeing one of Bamboo’s webinars on PM Central, provided by our own lovely Angela, I fell in love with it. You can start using PM Central to crack the whip on your team members almost as soon as you’ve finished installing it.

Don’t believe me? Then read on and check out Bamboo’s Quick Start Guide to Using PM Central in 10 Steps. We’re also publishing this in the Product Documentation Online, and we’ve got a KB as well that provides screenshots. I know it looks like a lot of text (and steps), but we’re being as detailed as possible for each step. So don’t let all that text intimidate you–this is easy!

For more information on best practices for PM Central, read KB.12367: PM Central Customization Best Practices, or search PM Central’s Knowledge Base.

The PM Central crew is working hard to come up with new use cases too, so stay tuned–and if there’s something specific you’d like to see, let us know by leaving a comment on this blog post.

Quick Start Guide to Using PM Central in 10 Steps

1) Create your top-level, or Portfolio, site.
a. Go to the Site Collection in which you want to create a new top-level site.
b. From the right side of the page, select Site Actions > Site Settings > Modify All Site Settings.
c. Under the Site Administration heading, click Sites and Workspaces. When that page loads, click Create.
d. Fill out the Title, Description, and URL for your site.
e. Select a template for your site from the Template Selection. The two top-level site templates are the same except for their appearance.
f. Click Create and wait while your top-level site is created. Do not manually add data to the Project Summary or the Task, Risk, or Milestone charts. This data is automatically calculated after you create your Project site.

2) Add your resources. Do this first before you create your Project site.
a. After your Portfolio site is created, click the Resources tab, then click Resource Pool > New > New Item. Enter your resources individually.

3) Create your Project site.
a. From your Portfolio site, select Central Actions > Add New Project.
b. Type in the project name and description. Click Create.

4) In your newly created Project site, complete the steps outlined in the configuration checklist. When you update the Project Health information, you only need to enter the project name, project manager and, if necessary, the project type in the Appearance section. The % Complete and Project Start and End Dates are automatically calculated. You do not need to modify them yourself.

5) Add resources to your Project.
a. In your Project site, select Resources > Project Team Info > New > New Item.
b. Add your resources from the Enterprise Resource Pool in the Resources section. Click OK.

6) Set up your tasks with the SharePoint Task Master Web Part.
a. In your Project site, select the Tasks tab.
b. Click the green arrow on the right side of the Web Part to open the configuration tool pane.
c. Add the columns you want to display and set your working hours. Remember that the Task Master does not calculate lunch hours or holidays.
d. Repeat these steps for the All Tasks, Overdue Tasks, and My Tasks tabs.

7) Create your tasks and milestones.
a. In the Tasks > All Tasks tab, create your tasks and milestones.
b. Click Recalculate and assign your resources.

8) Create issues in the Issues tab.

9) Return to the Portfolio site and update the Gantt View Data.
a. At the Portfolio, or top-level, site, finish the configuration checklist. Then select Settings > Update Gantt View Data.

10) Wait 10 minutes for the data to populate from the Project site to the Portfolio site.

Now you should see data at both the Portfolio and Project levels, including charts and reports. You are now ready to begin managing your projects–and cracking that whip!


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