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How to Use ProjectManager.com to Manage IT Projects

Projectmanager.com is an easy-to-use project portfolio management application, which allows Information Technology (IT) to track the status of major IT projects. It has a look and feel like MS Project and is located in Pepperdine's hosted web environment at Projectmanager.com.

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Best Practices

Users can create meaningful dashboards of IT projects by learning five basic features in Projectmanager.com:

  1. Login to Projectmanager.com
  2. Create a project
  3. Move your project into your department's project group
  4. Email tasks to your project team members
  5. Review Dashboards

Users should update their projects at least once a week in Projectmanager.com.

Please follow the documentation for these five features below. If you need additional support or clarification, it can be found by clicking on the "support" icon in the upper right corner of most Projectmanager.com application windows.

Login to Projectmanager.com

After your supervisor authorizes your Projectmanager.com user license, Pepperdine's administrator will send you an email from Projectmanager.com, which will provide you with your User ID and password-creation instructions. Please create a password that is unrelated to your Pepperdine University domain password.

Create a Project

  1. There are at least three different ways to create a project:
    1. Via the "Welcome" tab
    2. Via the "New" tab
    3. Via the "Circle Menu"

      Also note that the "Help" or "Support" icons are conveniently located on the upper right corner of most pages
      step 1
  2. After clicking on the "create a project" icon, you will be taken to a project information menu where you will fill in some of the details of your project. Mandatory fields are: Project Name, Description, Project Manager's Name, Priority, Status, and Short Name of your project. Other fields are optional or should be discussed with your supervisor.

    Mandatory Fields

  3. To edit the names of project managers or to add a PM that doesn't appear in the drop-down menu, click on the "pencil" icon adjacent to the project manager field. This will open the "Edit Project Managers" menu.

    Edit Project Managers

After you fill in the project details page, you will be automatically sent to an MS PROJECT-like interface or "Task List" where you will be prompted to enter the first task of your project. After entering your project tasks and clicking on the "save" icon, you can view a dashboard of your project by clicking in the dashboard icon. You can come back to the task list page or edit your project's tasks at any time. Below is a sample Task List:

Sample Task List

To back-up your project to another location: Open your project's task list; click on the "Export" icon located on the right side of the top horizontal menu and select your preferred export format from the "Export" pop-up menu. You will then be prompted to save it to your desktop or other preferred location. Although Projectmanager.com backs up their servers daily, we should back-up our projects, especially our large projects, periodically.

To learn more features on creating and managing projects, please watch these brief videos:
Video Tutorials: http://www.projectmanager.com/project-management-courses

Move your project into a department's project group (aka "group" or "portfolio")

  1. Open your project by showing its task list as shown below. The short-name for this sample is called "IO Portal..."

    IO Portal

  2. Click on the "All" tab, then click on the "Projects" tab. A list of I.T. department folders (aka "groups" or "portfolios") should appear on the left as shown below, i.e., BI Dept.; Client Services Dept.; EIS Dept.; etc.

    Projects Tab

  3. Within the department group list on the left, click & highlight the top "Projects" group. When this top group is highlighted as shown below, a list of projects should appear on the right. These are usually projects that have not yet been moved into a departmental group folder.

    projects that have not yet been moved into a departmental group folders

  4. To move your project into your department's group folder, make sure that the "Projects" group at the top of the department folder list on the left is still highlighted then click on the box next to your project. In this example, we see the long-name of the project we want to move: "IO Portal Creation" and you will want to check the box next to its name.

    Departmental group folder

  5. Drag and Drop your project into the desired folder (this is the shortcut).  Or, you may: note the sub-menu called "Projects, Templates & Groups." Within this sub-menu, click on the "Move" icon. This will cause a pop-up menu to appear which shows a list of all of our department groups. This menu is called the "Move Projects to Group" pop-up menu.

    Move Projects to Group

  6. Within the "Move Projects to Group" pop-up menu, click & highlight the departmental group where you want to move your project, then click on "ok." In the image below the project called "IO Portal Creation" is being moved to the "Systems & Networking" group.

    Systems & Networking group

  7. Verify that your project has moved to the correct group by clicking on your department's group folder and seeing your project among the other projects for your department. Below we see that the "IO Portal Creation" project has been successfully moved to the "Systems and Networking Dept." group folder.

    Systems & Networking Dept.

  8. If you head a department and have the appropriate access rights, you can view a dashboard of all of the projects within your department group by: right-clicking on your department's group folder; clicking on "open" which opens a window of all of your department's projects; then clicking on the dashboard icon. 

    Make sure that only your department's projects show up on your department's dashboard rather than *all* projects in I.T. If all projects in I.T. show up in a dashboard, it simply means that you've opened a global listing of *all* projects in the "Pepperdine-IT" hosted environment. If this happens, try to go through these steps again, watch the instructional video, or contact 'support' to guide you through opening a dashboard of a single group's projects (i.e., a single department's projects) vs. opening a dashboard of "all" projects in our hosted environment.

    PLEASE NOTE: we should never need to delete or move someone else's project. If someone else's project appears in your folder in error, contact that individual and have them move it to the appropriate folder. You may also contact Rita Schnepp, the Pepperdine administrator for Projectmanager.com.
  9. To learn more on managing groups of projects, please watch the short video entitled "Multiple Projects" at this link: http://www.projectmanager.com/project-management-courses

Email tasks to your project team members

  1. Click on the "Circle" Menu and select "Alerts."

    Alerts

  2. A list of users and clients will appear. Highlight the name of the user or client that you wish to receive an email when you assign them a task. Mark the check boxes for: "Alert when: I receive a message" and "My tasks have changed." This will only alert your user or client when you assign them a task, change their task, or send them an internal PM.com message. Caution: if you check more boxes than these two, you may inadvertently SPAM your colleague. Next, click on "send from" at the bottom of this menu to verify the source of your alert.

    List of Users and Clients

  3. Be sure that "Send on Behalf of...." "Project Manager.com" is selected. Then "save."

    Send on behalf of...

  4. Add your colleague's name to your project's task list under the "resource" column. Then save your project. At the moment you save your project, an email will be sent from Projectmanager.com to your colleague informing him/her of this task.

    save - colleague's name

  5. Below is a sample email sent from projectmanager.com to the 'pepperdine.edu' address of a colleague who has received a new task. (Note: Within projectmanager.com, only an administrator has the ability to associate an email address to an individual's name).

    sample email

Dashboard

  1. For easy and consistent viewing, all IT dashboards should display the same sequence of widgets. A widget is an informational window within the dashboard. The dashboard below has its nine widgets labeled and shown in the order in which they should be arranged by the project manager. Widgets are moved by dragging and dropping. The default widget sequence is: "Health," "Time," "Cost," "Progress," Tasks," "Resource," "Risks," "Issues," "Changes."

    dashboard1

  2. If you believe your project should have another type of widget, you may add a 10th or 11th widget if the program allows. Or, you may substitute your one preferred widget for widget #7 (risks) or #8 (issues) or #9 (changes).

    dashboard2

To learn more about dashboards and widgets, please view the appropriate video tutorial at this link:

Video Tutorials: http://www.projectmanager.com/project-management-courses

Support

More detailed support may be found by clicking on the "support" icon in the upper right corner of most Projectmanager.com application screens. If you email a support request to tech support, an automated ticket # will be sent back to you, and within 12 hours, a support technician will email or phone you. Also, support self-help can be found at these links:

- Support Center: http://www.projectmanager.com/project-support
- Video Tutorials: http://www.projectmanager.com/project-management-courses
- Free Webinars: http://www.projectmanager.com/project-management-webinars
- FAQs: http://www.projectmanager.com/project-management-faqs.php