Portfolio Analysis in Project Online: Engagements Edition

I started writing about the mechanics of the portfolio analysis module of Microsoft Project Server back in 2010-2011 with Microsoft Project Server 2010.  That resulted in this somewhat comprehensive (at the time) white paper that’s probably due for a couple of minor updates.

Over the last several years, I’ve made a couple of attempts to correct some of the errata and omissions in the paper as well as bring it into line with Project Server 2013 and the Project Online cloud based release.  That has resulted in the following posts (organized in chronological order):

  1. Original white paper (See errata in the comments)
  2. Generic Resources and Portfolio Analysis
  3. Resource Plans and Portfolio Analysis (Note: As of writing, Resource Plans are effectively retired in the Online version of the product)
  4. Prioritization with Custom Fields

And now this.  In this episode, I want to get you caught up on how Resource Engagements impact the resource analysis functionality in the Portfolio Analysis module.  Turns out, this is quite easy.  You’ll note in tenants with the features activated, you will now see this option in the setup screen:


So as you can see, you have the option of selecting whether resource engagements decrement from available capacity.  One important thing to note is that if I have assignments that don’t map to an approved engagement – those assignments may not be part of the portfolio analysis if the second option is not selected.

Hence, if you want portfolio analysis to work the way it “used to” work, you would probably want to select the second option, i.e. don’t require resource managers to approve work before it shows up in the resource analysis calculations.

Portfolio Analysis in Project Online: Engagements Edition

3 thoughts on “Portfolio Analysis in Project Online: Engagements Edition

  1. Hi Andrew,

    I very much appreciated your White Paper on Microsoft Project Server 2010 and the follow-up articles. My interest is in applying AHP techniques to problems of this sort and am obviously interested in Microsoft’s approach here. However, I had not previously come across their calculations (described on page 68 of the White Paper) in relation to the “approximate percentage of each project budget to be allocated against each driver”. I do not understand the meaning of this. It appears to be a weighted average of the project costs, with the weights given by the relative strengths or attractiveness of the projects relative to each of the drivers. The inner product of values and costs is a bit puzzling. For example, why would higher-valued projects for a given driver be said to contribute more to the portion of the cost purportedly dedicated to that driver? I would appreciate any guidance or clarity you or any of your readers could provide.

    With thanks

    Sam Sharp

  2. I think you’re correct…and as I recall, I spelled out the calculations in the paper. It is a somewhat arbitrary way of scoring the project, i.e. identifying the various strengths and weaknesses of the project – then allocating dollars to those assessments to get a back of napkin calculation of how my money is being spent. It’s not foolproof – but it’s supposed to be a rough approximation of spend to priorities.

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