Microsoft Project Server Review

Excellent documentation, good technical support, and pretty stable

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution to manage the project lifecycle. Generally the lifestyle starts at demand phase. We design a workflow according to customer's needs. The workflow starts with project ideation and project selection, if the project fits company criteria it will move onto the project management phase.  

Let's say you have 10 projects and you don't know which ones to move into actual project management phase. Customers use the portfolio and analysis feature of Project Server, and decide which project to do according to capacity planning(if they have the resources) and budget. If the company has enough resources then its the projects with most benefit that gets selected. For the selected projects lifecycle will continue. As it moves forward, you will get more project detail pages, more things to work with. This will also produce some reports as well.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very good at helping you pick which project to move forward with.

The stability has been pretty good.

We've found that the solution can scale if we need it to.

The installation is fairly straightforward.

The documentation on offer is excellent.

Technical support is very responsive - particularly on critical tickets.

What needs improvement?

When it comes to integration with other systems Project Server falls short. There used to be out-of-box integration with TFS for example but with Project Server 2016 and forward that integration is deprecated. There is room for improvement here.

When it comes to project management itself, I'd like to see some hybrid solutions right now across the on-premises deployments especially. On-premise only has waterfall style project management. On the other hand Project Online has a lot better integration and hybrid (agile-waterfall) project management abilities. This should also be the case for On-premise customers.

The check-in, check-out feature, makes Microsoft Project Server pretty slow or cumbersome to use. Users mostly forget when to check-in. We have problems with that. If it's a bit faster to use, or easier to use, like your Planner or other programs, it would be better. You should just be able to type in something and it's updated. The ease of use could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for three years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is okay. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is okay. We don't really have any technical performance problems. If we have it, it's because of infrastructure, not because of Project Server mostly.

We mostly work with governmental agencies. On current projects, there are about 300 people working on the solution. We have ten project managers and five profile managers on our end.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is pretty good. We have seen problems due to the infrastructure and management on the customer's side, which affected some services on Project Server. One ticket I opened as normal severity which took two weeks to resolve. That said, when I opened a ticket with critical severity that is blocking some services, somebody contacted me in less than an hour. We were able to fix the problem in three hours total. I'd say overall, the support side is good. 

There's also excellent documentation, which I would rate at a nine out of ten.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is very easy with MinRole helping you along the way. You can do high availability of the SharePoint services fairly easy except for the DB part. For that you have to rely on your DB Admins to give you a listener for a High Availability cluster. 

What other advice do I have?

I'm not just a user, I implement solutions. We are Microsoft partners. I develop the solution from infrastructure to power bi reports. User experience, customization, and reporting.

In Turkey, especially governmental agencies, they don't want to be on the cloud. So all the environments I manage, they're on-prem.

Overall, I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten. We're mostly happy with the product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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