Part 3: Visualization of project lifecycle with help of Dynamic Workflow solution starter and FluentPro EPM Pulse for Project Server 2010

This is a part 3 of my series of post related to the project life cycle design and data visualization with the help  of EPM Pulse.

In this part, I will provide an overview of the process of building portfolio-level dashboards with the help of FluentPro EPM Pulse.

Portfolio is a group of projects. Organization can have several portfolios or only one that will contain all the projects that should be performed over a specific time frame. Projects can be included into the portfolio directly or using the Portfolio Analysis features of the Microsoft Project Server platform.

Portfolio dashboards display aggregated information about set of projects and how entire portfolio aligned with goals.

EPM Pulse has 4 sets of widgets that can be used in building portfolio dashboards:

  • Set of widgets that display project start / finish dates on charts ( when started, when planned to start, when planned to finish, when finished, started / late / on track, on which workflow phases / stages the projects are, completion on time)
  • Portfolio Financial information (Planned / Baseline costs, budgets, actual costs, cost distribution, costs by department, cost variances)
  • Project Execution Information (Planned / Baseline work, budgeted work, actual work, work distribution, work by department, work variances)
  • Resources-related information (Utilization, Over-allocation, Generic Resources, Availability, Capacity)
  • Portfolio summary for Risks and Issues

Using these widgets companies can visualize the state of their portfolio and what is the the most important - do some additional analysis and slicing/dicing of the data.

Selecting projects for dashboards

EPM Pulse provides ability to define quite complex rules for filtering projects. To access this functionality click on Project Filter button. Users can filter by any standard and custom project level field and use multiple conditions. It is possible to  manually select several project or use select all - this will select all projects that match that filter criteria - that means that list of projects in a dashboard can be dynamic and updated in real-time


EPM Pulse has a powerful tool for navigating dashboards in a time - Timeline control.

It is visible on all dashboards and in all modes. Changes made to the timeline and project filter will be saved to the dashboard if in the edit mode.

Timeline has several options:
- Auto (earliest start date - latest finish date)
- Day (current)
- Week (current)
- Month (current)
- Quarter (current, calendar)
- Year (current, calendar)
- Custom (users can define custom range).

Note: Majority of the widgets are time-enabled, but there are some that are not - mostly ones that display summary of financial / work information for the entire portfolio. In the description for each widget user can find if it is not time-phased (this is specially stated on one's that are not timeline-enabled). Depending on timeline selection, widgets will use appropriate time scale, but user can override this by using the Timeline setting for the widget (where it is applicable). For example - user might want that Work Distribution widget will be always show data grouped by week, no matter what selected on the timeline.

Sample dashboards

We've created several sample Portfolio level dashboards - and as you will see they might be quite different. If required - users can change dashboards in minutes and without any programming, anytime.

Dashboard #1

Dashboard #2

Dashboard #3

After building 4-5 dashboards, creation of a new dashboard that contains about 10 widgets should take  about 4-5 minutes.

Integration of portfolio dashboards into PWA / SharePoint Sites

EPM Pulse portfolio dashboards can be build-in into any SharePoint site or PWA. The procedure is absolutely the same as embedding dashboard into PDP - add a web part and select dashboard (See blog post Part 2: Designing Project level dashboards with EPM Pulse for Project Server 2010 )

We recommend that users create a filter for projects  - that filter settings saved into dashboard and will be used by default when user not overriding them in the dashboard.

Please note that dashboards must be made "public".


This was a final post on this series. Please visit our blog for the new posts - soon there will be very similar post for Project Server 2013 platform, and instead of Dynamic Workflow solution starter we will use SharePoint Designer 2013.

Webinar about EPM Pulse

We would like to invite you to our webinar on about benefits of using EPM Pulse and Project Server 2010 together. Webinar will take place on June 11th at 9AM PST; You will learn more about EPM Pulse and creating a portfolio and project level dashboards.

Please sign up here - and it is absolutely FREE.

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