Welcome to the second in a three-part article & webinar series exploring the use cases for Microsoft Project for the Web. The previous article focused on the use of Microsoft Project Plan 1, whereas in this article I’ll highlight examples of how you can extend the basic functionality through the use of Microsoft Power Apps.
So rather than focusing on Accidental Project Managers, the focus within this article is on the ‘power’ users, such as those working in PMO’s that need to collect more information around projects and perhaps enforce governance frameworks to support the defined project/programme lifecycles and more!
Microsoft Project for The Web
As mentioned within the previous article, the latest version – Microsoft Project for the Web – is entirely browser-based with a super slick user interface that most people would be able to use without any formal training. It is after all geared towards the Accidental Project Manager when used in the basic ‘Project Plan 1’ guise.
However, Project for The Web has been designed by Microsoft to be customised and extended, and this is made possible by the fact that it is built on the Common Data Service (CDS) platform where the data is stored within a set of entities. Project for The Web comes with its own entities which can be extended, and you can also add your own entities using the Power Platform, and PowerApps and Microsoft Power Automate.
Extend Microsoft Project for The Web
I’m going to provide some examples of the types of entities you can build using Power Apps, however, note that in order to access Project for The Web data using PowerApps connectors or to build/run PowerApps that access Project for the web data you will need the following:
- Project Plan 3 (formerly Project Online Professional) OR
- Project Plan 5 (formerly Project Online Premium) subscription.
- You also need to be a licensed user of PowerApps with a subscription that gives you rights to build the PowerApps you need.
- You also need to be a licensed user of Microsoft Power Automate with a subscription that gives you rights to build the Flows you need. If required.
Once you have a Project, Power Apps entity available – users will be able to access Project for The Web either via the default web URL https://project.microsoft.com or through Power Apps as pictured below:
In the example above, the ‘model-driven’ app is called ‘Wellingtone PWA’. Once in the app, we see a list of the projects within the portfolio – the view itself being highly configurable.
From here, we’ll navigate into the highlighted project; where you see all of the artefacts linked to it. As highlighted within this example, we have the ability to attach relevant meta-data against the project which helps to keep things structured and enables grouping and filtering when reporting or creating views. Aside from this we can also capture financial metrics and associate a governance framework for project managers and other users to follow:
The project plan / schedule from Project for The Web itself is also visible, through the ‘Tasks’ link with the model-driven app acting as a wrapper around it:
Through Power Apps, you can also access RAID logs:
Microsoft Project for The Web for Power Users
As you can see, Project for The Web in conjunction with Microsoft Power Apps delivers a compelling and flexible Project & Portfolio Management solution. It can cater for teams looking for something simple to move away from Excel and Planner, as well as for teams that need a robust and scalable solution to cover the enterprise.
Please register for the upcoming webinar on this topic and look out for next months article on how you can use Microsoft Project for the Web (Project Plan 1) alongside Microsoft Project Online – better together!
If you want to discuss how we can help you to work smarter then contact us.