Q4 Newsletter Is Out!

What’s New for Microsoft Project in 2019!

There are a lot of exciting features coming to Microsoft Project in 2019! Subscribers will get all of the updated features automatically, while non-subscribers must buy the next version to get the features.

1. Link tasks using a drop-down menu is an amazing enhancement that I love. I no longer have to remember or scroll to figure out the task ID. Also, I no longer have to create some strange task name to differentiate types of tasks (e.g. “S-Task Name” to indicate Summary task). Tip –You can use this drop-down feature nearly anywhere that a Predecessor or Successor might need to be entered. 

2. The Task Summary Name field is especially useful in Resource Usage view when you want to figure out “which” task is being listed. To clarify, let’s assume you have multiple tasks in your project with the same name but repeated in different phases. There used to be no way to distinguish those tasks without adding the name of the phase to the task. Now you can simply add the field and see the difference. 

3.Timeline bar labels and task progress are features that customers ask for all the time (as recently as last week)! Now when you present a visual timeline summary of your project, it indicates progress (partial or complete) and can even indicate the audience for which you intended the bar. How I used to do this before the features existed is I would paste the timelines in PowerPoint and then modify them further. I’m happy to be able to skip this step! 

4. The last new feature that I want to discuss are the Accessibility improvements. Project supports Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) which helps Assistive Technology products interact better with the software. As an example, a screen reader software can help explain the screen for a visual impairment. In the past few months, I have worked with several companies who have taken advantage of accessibility features and here are some examples from customers. Tip – Many of these features have been available in previous versions.
a. The color name is given, which is extremely helpful to many colorblind or color deficient users. 

b. Nearly any feature with a color can be changed including text, bars, gridlines, report colors, etc. Project also supports high contrast mode.

c. You can navigate almost anywhere using the keyboard instead of the mouse. For example, click the Alt key and notice the Key Tips that appear for navigation. Sticky keys automatically start when needed to eliminate the need to have to hold down keys.

d. Reports can be zoomed in and out easily to meet the needs of the user. As you can see, there is a lot to be excited about in Project 2019! 

For those of you who are subscribers (Project Online Professional or Project Online Premium), you already have all of these features, and even a few more. I’d love to hear how you are using these new features in your business!

Project Roadmaps

Back in September at Microsoft Ignite, there was an announcement for a new feature for Microsoft Project called Roadmap. Roadmap is a visually exciting way to combine information from multiple Waterfall and Agile projects and share it with co-workers. Per the techcommunity.microsoft.com discussion, rollout of the feature was scheduled for mid-November, but officially: “We will be releasing the feature to our early adopter program shortly. When we all agree it’s ready for all our customers, we will begin rolling it out to the rest of our Project Online customers. Keep an eye out for the new Roadmap!”

Some clients on “first release” of new features have reported to me they have not seen it yet. I would encourage everyone to be patient – check your instance every week or so, but don’t stress out if you don’t see it. Sometimes new features take time to rollout globally.

Another suggestion I have is to prepare for testing. As with everything, I recommend you find a few test users who want to try it out before enabling this for the entire organization. If it seems to add value, be sure to share that message internally so users can get excited about it. It doesn’t hurt to have a few screenshots with organizational data too.

Many have asked what I am most excited about! My response is the one stop location for all of your projects across multiple programs (exact list of programs is pending). Also a way to view projects in a nice, graphic layout.I would love for you to keep me informed! Please share your feedback on how you are using this new feature once it becomes available.

The above screenshot was shared at techcommunity.microsoft.com announcing Roadmaps.

Cool Things I’ve Been Doing

Over the last month, I’ve been to some repeat and first time cities in – California, Michigan, Texas, Massachusetts, and Indiana. I’ve also been doing work with strategic partners including work with a client in Europe.

A fun part of my travel is seeing how scheduling is being used. A sample of industries I have worked with lately include: medical devices, utilities, mining, dairy, casinos/gaming, government/military, and commercial food service. A cool way one client uses scheduling is for customer research projects. As a result of their success in best practices scheduling, they have developed a real-time customer feedback app based on purchase patterns and ratings that customers can review while making a purchase and the company can make real-time changes to production and shipping schedules.

To learn more about best practices scheduling, ask me about my most popular two-day class tailored to YOU!

Come See Me at the Western Michigan Chapter of PMI!

I will be presenting at the WMPMI Chapter Lunch meeting on Dec. 14.

“Agile in Action.” In this session, you will participate in hands-on exercises to learn agile techniques. Non-members welcome! 

Lots of traveling lately! In December she is going to Boston, Arkansas, Atlanta, will be speaking on Dec. 14 WMPMI Lunch Meeting – Agile in Action.

After that, more work alongside a strategic partner for a client located in Europe

Tip Corner

Reduce eye strain and headache by turning down exposure to blue light on your screen. Check out “night light” on Windows 10:
1. Click your Start button and type Settings (gear icon) or click Notifications on your toolbar in the bottom right corner of your screen and choose All Settings.
2. In Settings, click System, then Display.
3. Under Night light, toggle between On and Off.
4.Adjust the Night light by clicking Night light settings. Choose a color temperature that is comfortable for you. Choosing a color temperature on the left side of the slider will be more effective in reducing blue light.Tip – A fast way to access the feature is do a search on Night light.Tip – If you don’t see the night light feature, then you do not have the Windows Creators Update installed.Tip – Quickly turn on/off the night light by clicking the Notifications on your toolbar in the bottom right corner of the screen and click Night light.

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