Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Microsoft Innovation Center (Kuwait) :: Enterprise Project Management Deep Dive Workshop


Yes, MS EPM is now hitting hard in Kuwait and a lot wanted to start utilizing the power of it. As a series of increasing the awareness and importance of this solution I have conducted a lot of sessions in different large events in Kuwait

The MS EPM flight is landing in MIC (Microsoft Innovation Center, Kuwait) now and the seats are so limited :)

You can download the invitation letter from my blog (please follow this link to download), fill it and email it back to the email address mentioned in the invitation document itself.

The Workshop title will be :: Your Road Map to Project Management using MS EPM Solution and the workshop will cover the following topics (spanned into 5 days, 3 hours a day, 6-9 PM)

Day 1

Getting Started with Office Project Server 2007

Initiating Projects

Planning Projects—Context and Framework

Day 2

Planning Projects—Scope and Schedule Management

Planning Projects—Staffing Management Plan

Planning Projects—Resource Assignments

Day 3

Planning Projects—Cost, Risk and Other Management Plans

Executing Projects—Processes, Resources, and Deliverables

Executing Projects—Manage Timesheets and Personal Settings

Day 4

Monitoring and Controlling Projects—Context and Framework

Monitoring and Controlling Projects—Tracking Task and Project Progress

Day 5

Monitoring and Controlling Projects—Measuring Performance and Reporting Progress

Closing Projects

Complete Life Cycle case


For more information you can

Call me at +965 7205246

Email me: bilal@arabilla.net

Or post a comment here

Best Regards

Bilal Okour

Sunday, April 20, 2008

MS Project Server 2007 Best Practice :: Forms vs Windows Authentication

I guess so many people are happy with the windows authentication features that comes with MS Project Server and found it very easy to setup and to use. But did they know that there is another way of authenticating users, i am sure that they knew but they never think when and how to use it


First let me focus on facts about each and when each one is recommended to be used?

Windows Authentication

  • It is authenticate users against the AD that the Project Server is joint to. So, it can use only one AD. So if all of your users are belongs to one domain then this will be your right choice.
  • Roles and groups (or any AD classification) are not used in EPM, remember that the title is all about Authentication, not authorization. Authorization is run through the security model embedded with the Project server itself.
  • Project Server users list and the AD users list is not an linked. You need to schedule synch job from within Project Server itself from time to time, this means if user has became inactive then this will not be reflected into the Project Server. (needless to say that if the user became inactive or blocked in AD then he/she will not get authenticated to AD but he can be still used as a resource in Project Server)

Forms Authentication

  • Conceptually, it is very similar to the AD authentication, except that Membership Provider will be used instead of AD
  • More flexible to contain users regardless of the AD they belongs and even if they don't belong to any AD
  • Difficult (or not straight forward to setup) to setup and maintain the users credentials.
  • No synch tool is available out of the box except for the "PjFormsAuthUpgrade" tool that comes with Project server


I will be posting more articles about Forms authentication, be tuned

Best Regards

Bilal Okour

Sunday, April 6, 2008

MS Project Server 2007 Best Practice :: submit, approve, apply and publish

The confusion of how to use the EPM in the right way is common everywhere. The main two player in this environment (Project Managers & Team Members) find sometimes difficult to understand why the EPM is not reflecting the progress information for any published project. To understand this you can take it simply like this

  1. PM :: Publish the project to PWA (Using Project Pro)
  2. Team Resource :: Submit the progress update to his PM (using PWA)
  3. PM :: Approve the updates received by his resources (using Project Pro) 
  4. PM :: Apply the approved updates to be reflected into the plan  (Using Project Pro)
  5. PM :: Adjust (if required) and then Publish the project plan again to PWA (using Project Pro)

The picture below can tell this in a better way

Best Practice

Best Regards

Bilal Okour

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Microsoft Technology Day, Don't miss it next year

  Yes, I mean it, 45 sessions that touched the latest related to Microsoft were shown at the biggest event in  Kuwait. I hope you did attend your favorites topics and get the maximum benefits.

Now back to my sessions, the two rooms allocated for my sessions were full. I was expecting that due to the extensive registrations on my sessions during the registration time. At a moment I said, thanks God, I did good preparation for such an audience. It would have been a big loss if I did not do so.


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The first session were about administrative part of EPM, the 2nd and 3rd were about the best practice  for Project Managers and the other main players in EPM environment.

Last one, it was supposed to be about Monitoring and Controlling, but I was able to cover part of it only, the rest inshalla will be conducted in the future in a separate session

I have announced www.pmroad.com as the first community for Project Managers in Kuwait. also I announced the start publishing of a series about the best practice in EPM on my blog


So, my recommendation for you "From now and over, don's miss any event related to the main communities in kuwait (dotNetboom, ProRangers and msexperts) and expect it to be always BIG by default"

Best Regards

Bilal Okour