Q3 Newsletter Out! Product Review: Project 2 Outlook, Project Virtual Conference & Microsoft Inspire Conference Reviews and More!

Product Review: Project 2 Outlook

I had the opportunity to review an add-on product to Microsoft Project prepared by another MVP in Project – Ben Howard out of the UK.

Shows P2O in MS Project
Shows P2O Dialog Box
Shows P2O Dialog Box with Export Results
Shows P2O Results
Project 2 Outlook (P2O) is a product that allows you to take Microsoft Project tasks to Outlook and have them automatically configured into appointments in your calendar. This solution solves a need where resources have to manually do the scheduling in Outlook themselves. You might be curious why this isn’t a feature built into the software by Microsoft.

My opinion is that this could be very frustrating if all of your tasks automatically fill out your calendar with no input from you. Also, a typical schedule has multiple resources working on tasks and you would only want the tasks you choose to be added to Outlook.

I was quite happy to discover that when I imported a new Ribbon customization that the P2O application still worked without any problems.

This application is less than $30US per user which makes it an easy application to recommend.  Especially when other applications that I have reviewed run closer to $1,000 per user.

For anyone who relies on Outlook to schedule their activities, this is a great solution to meet that need.

To obtain a free trial or to learn more https://applepark.co.uk/product/p2o/.

Project Virtual Conference ’18

Project Virtual Conference 2018 was held June 6-7 and it was a one of its kind online conference dedicated to Microsoft Project, Project Server and Project Online, that ran for a continuous 24 hours. Organized by few volunteers from the Project MVP community, this was the second PVC after the previous conference in 2015 that was a huge success with more than 800 people attending.

I was a volunteer, moderator and presenter with the conference, and here are highlights from my session 10 Tips for Scheduling Success:

  1. Know your value discipline – Product Leadership, Operational Efficiency, or Customer Intimacy
  2. Define your planning approach – waterfall, agile, mixed mode, and guidelines around preparing estimates
  3. Identify your level of detail – follow PMI standards, 1 to 10% guideline, or something else
  4. Make the schedule logical – requires a human review to confirm
  5. Standardize your approach – tools, templates, level of effort for scheduling, required customer interaction
  6. Train your best practices – teach people how to be productive with what matters in scheduling
  7. Identify your business critical path – what tasks define success including those that are not on the critical path
  8. Define your resource capacity – should daily operations be excluded from capacity and how do we identify project capacity
  9. Gather the “right” status details – ask for actual duration values instead of percent done for example
  10. Audit your schedules – validate what you want as an output and audit for that.

Final Note: I would encourage you to check out the keynote titled “The Evolution of Technology, People and Processes and the Next-Gen Project Management Office” by Cory Sauls who is Sr. Director of PMO at Trane Commercial Systems. You can see my video, Cory’s keynote and the rest of the sessions here: http://projectvirtualconference.com/view-recordings/.

Microsoft Inspire Conference July 2018

Microsoft Inspire is where partners and Microsoft meet to connect, learn, and collaborate to accelerate the digital transformation and success of our customers.

Prospective and active Microsoft Inspire partners, as well as Microsoft employees and industry experts. Held in Las Vegas, I wasn’t able to attend in person, so I attended virtually. Below are some key takeaways I wanted to share:

  • Companies are choosing Microsoft solutions to run their competitive businesses and some of Microsoft’s key strategic partners include GE, Walmart, Campbell, and Carlsberg (brewery). Some of the partnerships include those that benefit our planet including partnerships with National Geographic (Artificial Intelligence for Earth) and Disney (Smart Birdhouses).
  • Their Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) workplace solution has been out for a year now with 135 million users, and in an effort to promote people working together, their product Microsoft Teams is now available in a free version.
  • Microsoft Whiteboard is now available to Windows 10 users.
  • Enhancements to Azure (cloud storage) and Power BI (reporting and analytics) continue to be at the top of Microsoft improvements and customer requests.
  • Microsoft continues to assist customers with achieving value out of their solutions. Just introduced is Workplace Analytics and My Analytics to help address productivity,  effectiveness, and engagement.

Read more and watch Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO at  https://news.microsoft.com/inspire2018/#news

Special Announcement 

I am thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected as a Microsoft MVP for the 6th year in a row!
It is an honor to be among this group of professionals. Grateful for all of your support!


Tip Corner

Trying to get some work done or giving a presentation? Be sure to turn off notifications! Here’s how:
Windows 8.1 (from the desktop) slide your hand from the right side of the screen and click on Settings and then click Notifications to hide for the designated time period.
Windows 10, right click on the Notifications icon in the lower right corner of your screen and click Focus Assist. You can choose Priority Only or Alarms Only.

March –  May 2018 

I have been in Washington State, Wisconsin, Georgia, all over Michigan, and middle of California (this is a big state) and speaking engagements for MPUG and Project Virtual Conference.

June – September 2018

Speaking engagement for WMPMI and PMI Thumb Chapter in October.

Traveling to California, Missouri, Colorado, Georgia, and Texas for client engagements

Let’s Connect!

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cindy@4pillarsofsuccess.com EMAIL
616.446.8569 CALL/TEXT
@LewisCindy TWITTER


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