Friday, March 27, 2009

Portfolio server and Groups

Another thing I ran into when I started w/ Project Portfolio Server 2007 was that I couldn't populate the 'Project Initiators', Contributors and 'project Managers' groups. The answer is actually pretty obnoxious. You have to create very specifically named groups that contain the users you want to be available in these boxes. There is a similar issue with applications and portoflios. To see the 'magic' group name that will allow these to be populated, you need to dig into the aspx. Open WWWROOT\default\project.aspx. About 30 lines down you will see the following 3 lines:
cell position="1" usergroup="GRP_INITIATORS" label="Project Initiators....
cell position="2" usergroup="GRP_PROJECT_MANAGER" label="Project Manage....
cell position="1" usergroup="GRP_CONTRIBUTORS" label="Contributors" ....

I have snipped the end of the lines for display purposes. Drop the GRP_ from the name and that is your necessary group name. In this case, "Initiators", "Project Manager", "Contributors".

You have 2 options. Create a group called Initiators and populate it or you can rename the usergroup attribute to be whatever your group is called. For projects I created the groups. For applications, my application initators were the same as my projects 'Initiators'. So I changed the line:
cell position="1" usergroup="GRP_APPLICATION_INITIATOR" label="....
cell position="1" usergroup="GRP_INITIATORS" label="....

This allowed my users that were considered project Initiators, to be selected as application Initiators.

This is only necessary due to the, IMHO, serious oversight of allowing users to belong to only one group.

Note that I tried to just set all 3 groups to GRP_CONTRIBUTERS but there seems to be internal logic preventing this.

A corollary issue I ran into was that some of my users would be project initators on one project buy project managers on another. Or contributors on one and project managers on another. Since I can't have users belong to more than one group, This presents a problem. A work around I found, but that I am not really satisfied with, was to assign people to different groups at different levels of the org.

Our organization structure has three levels
- Corp
-- Local Business Unit
--- IT Operations
--- QA, etc
I can assign users to be Project managers at one level and contributors at another. They then show up in the project bubbles for each type. Note that this gets into sticky issues with permissions, hence why i don't like the solution.

I am also likely going to need to narrow the number of groups. I have a small enough team that some of the portfolio managers are going to be Project managers and contributors. I can use the org trick a bit but not if I have to manage 9 different groups.

Cant wait for office 14, probably the first place that will be fixed.

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