Project Server 2007: Changed behavior with Activity Plans and Timephased time tracking

*** Update *** See http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2009/06/18/project-server-2007-tracking-method-updates-since-sp2.aspx for details of settings changes to see previous behaviour, and http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2009/07/16/project-server-2007-office-system-june-2009-cumulative-update-is-now-available.aspx for the CU details that reverted to the previous behavior for Activity Plans and Proposals. 

Sometimes we fix bugs and then find that customers had been relying on the “broken” behavior.  I have covered this topic in some comment postings to the Service Pack 2 article but thought it worth a full posting to help customers understand why they are seeing different behavior.

In the Infrastructure Update we introduced a timephased grid for task time tracking.  Most customers thought this was a great thing – but it did introduce issues in that Project Managers who had specified a project tracking method of % Complete and remaining work could no longer enforce this method – the timephased grid was a back door to “hours per period” statusing.  So we fixed this in SP2 so that Project Managers could once again control how task time was entered.

How does this affect Activity Plans and Proposals?  These server-side, or Light Weight Projects, as they are sometimes called, have certain limitations; only 100 tasks, only one assignment per task and also only one method of task statusing – which is % Complete and remaining work!  This cannot be changed or over-ridden.  In fixing this issue for “real” projects the fix also applied to all projects with this tracking method – and included Activity Plans and Proposals.

Now we are finding that between the IU and SP2 many customers were enjoying the ability to enter timephased data against these server-side projects.  As always, I’d love to hear your comments.

Thanks to Laksh for his suggestion to make a full posting, and Ville for raising my awareness via comments to my blog.

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