The 2014 Project Conference was held on February 2-5th this year in Anaheim, CA (sunny and in the 60’s every day); and yes, it was a great event! There were 1,200 attendees from over 30 countries on site to discuss and learn about Microsoft’s flagship Project Management toolset. With 154 presentation sessions and 24 exhibitors, we certainly took advantage of the wealth of information offered. Both Milestone and EPM Solution Partners were well represented at the conference.
Of course, what would a conference be without one big party to make sure everyone came back again? This year’s event was a big night at the “House of Blues” in Downtown Disney. It’s a great open place offering delicious food and karaoke with a live band. Thirty of our conference attendees were brave enough to show-off their singing talents, but that did not include any of us from our great state of Minnesota. As you can tell though, we did have fun with the best of them.
Microsoft also took advantage of the Super Bowl taking place on the first night of the conference. The conference exhibitor area was populated with TVs, game food, and great football fans. However, given that Microsoft’s headquarters are in Seattle, it was a bit difficult for us Bronco fans…
The following is what I thought were the big highlights in the news of Microsoft Project:
Project Online is hot…and now cheaper than ever. Project Online is currently provided for $33/month/user rate for everyone, but there will soon be a “Project Lite” available for team members at a reduced cost of $7/month/user.
Apps are growing exponentially and are very robust. I saw some very sweet apps for both Microsoft Project and Project Server. If you have Project or Project Server 2013 (or have any thoughts on upgrading) and haven’t browsed through the apps available, you should take a new look. They might make a big difference in a decision to migrate sooner than later.
Project Online continues to improve, especially in the area of reporting and Business Intelligence.
Along with the record crowd, Microsoft gave away 700 toy ducks and 1,000 stress footballs. (Interestingly, stress relief was more popular than football-playing rubber ducks). Some of those even made it home with us…. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to further discuss any part of the conference..
MPUG Twin Cities 2013 Sessions in Review
MPUG Twin Cities chapter board went through some changes in 2013. We saw the departure of Dave Thomas and the addition of Laurel Doherty. Jason Rice became the father of twins and now has the excuse that he is a very tired Dad. With all of the changes, we still managed to fit in some diverse and informative sessions.
January started with Dave Fischer of Milestone Consulting presenting What’s New in Project Server 2013. Dave wasn’t able to show us all of the new features as Project Server 2013 didn’t come out until March.
February was our annual Ask the Experts panel or as Larry says Stump the Chump.
March brought us the PMI MN Project of the Year—Client Case Study 3M Optical Systems Division. Brian Kinder and Colleen Brenner presented their implementation of Project Server 2010 in their division. They focused on the people involved, processes implemented and how the tool was deployed and maintained.
April’s session was canceled due to a late snowstorm. In May, SharePoint and Project Management was presented by Don Donais, Dave Fischer and Richard Courtney. They demonstrated how SharePoint works well with Project and can help manage the information and communication of a project.
June’s presentation was Microsoft EPM 2013—Full Life Cycle Enterprise Project Portfolio Management given by Dave Fischer and Richard Courtney. They demonstrated all of the features that Dave could only talk about in the January session.
September’s session was Estimating Techniques and Building a Work Breakdown structure presented by Larry Christofaro.
Jason Rice, our tired Dad of twins, gave us Project Tracking and Reporting on the Desktop in October. We closed the year with Project Server 2013 Deployment Planning.