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I have received a requirement to customize our Project Server 2013 implementation as follows:

  • Several project managers can add tasks to the same project plan

  • A centralized focal point is responsible of auditing and validating added tasks

  • When a project manager adds new tasks, the focal point gets notified by email.

  • The focal point has to approve or reject the added tasks. If he / she approves them, the tasks are published. If he / she rejects them, the tasks are removed from the plan.

Are there any recommendations on the best way to implement these requirements? I have looked into Project Server workflow but they does not seem to support such requirements.

Thanks in advance.

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    Something is wrong with the premise of this question. So long as those tasks support in-scope work, tasks and resources to support those tasks should be added or removed without extensive change control, or any at all, so long as the baseline is not changed. I.E., the PM should have the authority of updating the schedule (not baseline) quickly and without oversight. So is your question about just adding tasks or updating the schedule baseline? A very important distinction. – David Espina Apr 9 '18 at 11:12
  • Hi David, it is related to adding the tasks. The purpose is to have a focal point audit these tasks then accept or reject them for each project. – Mohamed El Hajj Apr 10 '18 at 5:27
  • I don't think there's any reason for this question be closed. – David Espina Apr 11 '18 at 10:51
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Like David, I find your process questionable for a number of reasons. From the way you formulated your question, however, I assume you weren't the one who defined the process that way, so here is the answer you can give to the person who gave you those requirements:

You cannot configure Project Server to do that the way you want to do it. A project manager has control of his project plan. There is no workflow to add an audit, and approve each task individually before publishing it. You can't even track who added which task or made which changes, so if you have several project managers working in a single plan, PM1 could change or delete the task created by PM2. Nobody could find out that PM1 was the one who deleted the task, because that information isn't saved anywhere in the database, and nobody would get an email informing them that such a change happened.

You can't work like that with Project Server. From a technical standpoint, it will not work.

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  • Thank you lgaleazzi and David for your comments. As deduced by lgaleazzi, I did not formulate the process but I am trying to explain to our management that their approach is wrong. I posted the question hoping to receive additional supporting points, which I did. Thank you for the input. – Mohamed El Hajj Apr 15 '18 at 7:33
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I'll answer this question with an answer that does not answer your question. I think you are looking for a solution that is looking for a problem that, if you found one, will create a lot of problems.

A PM must be authorized and enabled to add and delete tasks and move around resources as necessary to deliver the project scope. By adding a layer of control on this normal PM action, then your PM is not really the PM. This signals to me that either you are under hiring your PM and need to raise the requirements for this role or you have a PM maturity capability issue or a cultural one or both.

So long as the added tasks are not associated to scope creep--e.g., your scope is to paint the bathroom but you are adding tasks to paint the living room--then the PM should be able to add additional coats of paint to the bathroom, and commit the paint, the painter, money, whatever else, to complete the painted wall. In this case, the baseline schedule--including its planned value duration and money and hours--do not change; thus, you now have a variance that you must manage. Variances are normal. Trying to eliminate them by control points is futile and will very likely exacerbate variances.

If the PM wants to add the living room to be painted, then this is where your change control process comes in to play, a proper control point. Upon approval, you get a new schedule, new money, new time, and a new baseline and the work continues.

So my recommendation would be to change your requirements and remove this need for a control point under this scenario. Find out why they are requiring it and go fix it. Fixing the root will be much more beneficial than a band aid control point that will likely cause adverse effects.

Good luck.

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