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Microsoft Project for the Web: reporting with Power BI

17.9.2021

Microsoft Project for the Web and Power BI are each project manager’s power tools for managing and reporting projects. They help you get a better picture, make it easier to track projects, and reduce manual work. 

Microsoft Project for the Web (PfW) provides  a hands-on and easy-to-use  tool for efficient project management. Versatile functionalities, from scheduling tasks to different visual views, facilitate and speed up the processing of information.  

Using PfW through the Power Apps user interface provides more clarity in working with a handy list of projects and forms. In many customer organizations, the purple-themed Power Apps for Project view has been diligently deployed to established use. 

Microsoft’s Project for the Web program also facilitates and clarifies project management from a reporting perspective. Reporting project data used in PfW using the Microsoft Power BI tool is effective for data flow and smooth work. 

Project reporting with Power BI 

Getting started with reporting and connecting data from Project for the Web to Power BI is easy with both tools included in the Microsoft 365 software package. Ready-made report templates are also available.  

Power BI reports clarify how the big picture is perceived.

The Power BI report provides a clear overview of the situation of projects in the project portfolio, for example. You can filter the report e.g., by project completion steps or by project manager. When you click a project link in a report, you can see information about that project in Project for the Web tool. 

In project management, it is often the policy that the project steering group meets once a month. The moments before the reporting meeting may be spent in creating a report with PowerPoint, etc. for the steering group.  The report collects information on the actions taken, the risks associated with the project and other key issues. A lot of time may be spent searching for and processing the necessary data. 

The Power BI report, on the other hand, quickly tells you the real-time status of your project when the tool automatically retrieves the data. You can immediately check the status of an individual project from a report, and the project manager no longer needs to create a separate presentation of the situation in his or her own project. 

Take advantage of Power BI sample reports 

Power BI, combined with Project for the Web, is an easy way to present key project management information. For example, if management is interested in strategic projects, Power BI can create periodic dashboards to visually present key information to management. 

Project management reports are automatically up to date, including information about new projects, project managers, and resources used. This makes it easier to maintain the report in your organization. 

Projects and additional information added in Project for the Web are automatically updated in the report.

The different sections of the report present project management information from different perspectives and context. I recommend that you look at least the following:  

  • Portfolio dashboard is a handy tool for project management. 
  • Portfolio timeline report differs from the PfW roadmap in a sense that the report updates automatically whereas adding new projects in PfW is done manually. 
  • Resource dashboard provides an overviewof the situation of your organization’s project resources quickly and conveniently. The report is used to determine the latest situation in key figures, such as which are the biggest projects in the organization or which projects have the most resources allocated to. 
  • Resource assignments indicate the status of projects by person. For example, a team leader can check their team members’ allocated resources. It is also possible to attach a resource view embedded to Microsoft Teams as a tab to project team channels. 
  • Task overview is a convenient way to present indicators for a specific project at a task-specific level. Typically, the project steering group has a specific project card in use. 
  • Project timeline report shows all projects at the task level. The status of tasks in individual projects can also be viewed in the report. A handy timeline selector helps you visualize task scheduling. 
The Power BI report helps manage project resourcing.
Power BI reports are easy to embed in Teams channel tabs as part of other tools.

To use project data with Power BI reports, you must have a Power BI license in addition to the Project for the Web license. 

 Learn more about project management solutions: 

You can also contact me or my colleagues if you have any questions about project management solutions! 

Mikko Sorsa 
Senior Consultant, Partner 

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