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Project Server 2010 – Departments

BY:  Collin Quiring

First things first – I want to give credit to Microsoft for having some great documentation!  I have been working with Microsoft Project for many years and started becoming very involved with the tool starting with the 2000 release. While there has always been some “documentation”, I have to say that it has gotten better, easier to find and more detailed with each release.  With 2010, the documentation is pretty extensive and there is even a whole section called “Ignite” that has documents and videos which concentrate on the new features.  One of the catches with so much documentation (which I am VERY happy to deal with) is trying to assimilate all the documentation and moving parts as it pertains to a specific subject.  This entry is my version of putting that documentation as it relates to “Departments” into a high level summary.  Some of this is my own research but the majority of this is summarizing an overview of the documentation and of the wonderful video that Christophe Fiessinger made for the Ignite training.  (See that video here:  )

 I think that this is one of those cases where it might be easier to define what this is NOT.  The word “Department” is a word that Microsoft chose for this functionality and should not necessarily be defined as we normally define it in the business environment.  A “Department” should not be considered a “division of a business” like Human Resources or Information Technology or Marketing Department. 

 We need to think of “Department” as a grouping mechanism.  As an example, think of a company that has an IT group that has two separate functions – a Help Desk and New Development.  Even though these are the same “department” in a company, they may have totally separate work processes, requirements and reporting needs.  Therefore, we would set each up as a unique “Department” in Project Server 2010.

 As with numerous items within Project Server, the “Department” appears to be “only a custom field” at first glance but actually can be very powerful since it is possible to be used in many areas of the Server from users to Enterprise Project Types.  It should be thought of as a very powerful tool within Project Server rather than just a mere “custom field.”

 Now for some of that high level summary information about “Department”:

  • The Primary purpose is to be a filter for:
    • Projects
    • Resources
    • Resources’ Custom Fields
    • Enterprise Project Types
    • Drivers
  • Users can be assigned to none, one or multiple departments
  • Projects can be assigned to none, one or multiple departments
  • Different Users can see different User Interfaces based on their departments
    • It filters out EPT’s and Custom Fields
  • Can be used for OLAP database data filtering
    • See the “Guide for IT Pros for Project Server 2010”, Departments section on the OLAP database detail information
  • Different groups can have their own custom fields
  • (Note:  a custom field NOT assigned a Department are global)
  • Projects associated with different departments will only show their custom fields
  • Portfolio Drivers can be associated with departments
  • Driver prioritization can be associated with departments
  • Departments allow for Enterprise-wide consistency AND different processes, forms and fields for different groups
  • Departments are NOT tied to the RBS directly


2 Responses to “ Project Server 2010 – Departments ”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ChristopheFiessinger, Collin Quiring. Collin Quiring said: New Post about #Microsoft #Project #Server #2010 and Departments #msproject […]

  2. cynthiani says:

    Yes, the documentation has improved a lot. Thankfully, they did it because the new ones face a lot of difficulty while working. Now they can just go to and get their answers. Thanks Microsoft!


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