Add templates to project for the web
When creating a new project we don't want to start from scratch each time. We should be able to select a type of project (or an existing one) and use that as a starting point.
I’m updating this to “partially complete” as we have finished rolling out the “Copy Project” feature. You can access this by opening a project, clicking on the title to open the details pane, hitting the “…” in the top corner, and then the Copy command.
You can get more details, tips and tricks here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/project-blog/copying-projects-in-project-for-the-web/ba-p/1477766
We’re still thinking about the specific templates scenario and reading your comments below. Please try the feature out and let us know what other feedback/improvements can be made.
Matthew Maycock commented
How do we copy a project in project web app? I cant seem to see how to do it?
Tamara Frey commented
As already stated - as long as the "template" project can be altered by everyone it is not a real template as it can not be guaranteed that it is still correct. And as I don't have any versioning I don't even notice it.
It would help, however, if I could select a reference project to be used as template (or copy) on project creation and make this functionality available for the connectors as well.
Trutz-Sebastian Stephani commented
Templates are still needed because with the current security model anyone needs to be part of the o365 group that hosts the original template and can therefore alter it
The Copy Project feature would be very useful - has this been progressed?
Since you have announced that you are creating a copy function rather than a template, I hope that the copy function will be available outside of the project for the web UI. I would also hope that it will be available as a function through a standard Power Automate connector such that it can be called from elsewhere.
Having to open a project and then select copy would not be an acceptable solution. From a user perspective that is too many clicks. At a minimum the user should be able to go to project home, find a project, select it and then create it from there as part of the menu. For an example see the attached file.
Without templates, tasks in the planner have to be created regularly and in a time-consuming manner. This is also unsatisfactory for employees. If at least the tasks (without time constraints and user links and flows) were available as a template, that would help a lot.
Why not just unlock the Project Task entity and let us create our own tasks with parent tasks etc.
Creating project with a generic WBS, very important if this is to become a solution for real project management in the enterprise space
A Copy Project Would be great as long as it can be triggered on the project create action from both the interface or using CDS/connectors, possibly use a reference to the GUID of the the project to copy.
It would be nice to have this feature for project opens, or to append an existing one from a template. Having this would allow a project to naturally evolve as it changes phase, minimize clutter during the project life cycle, and allow flexibility for larger projects.
I can see having multiple templates available for project type or phase that can be appended to the project as needed. Basically using templates as building blocks.
As for task assignment, having ghost roles would be the best case with using templates. Opening up another conversation about resources here, but those ghost roles could be assigned to group members after the project is created and avoids adding members to a project that were from an existing project (an scenario if you were to use copy project I expect).
Having a dashboard for resource roles and group members would be ideal to "batch" assign by role, but that's getting away from this topic...
I agree whatever you can get done quicker would be best (CDS, Copy Project or Templates). This is a main reason why our organization hasn't implemented P4W.
Victor Goncalves commented
Having a template is important when dealing with a large number of projects, e.g., Portfolio Management. Having a template could allow Project Managers to establish standard rules and responsibles for each task (Project Analyst for tasks A, B and C, Project Manager for task D, H and L, Project Sponsor for task E, and so on). When importing a template, a Project Manager could be asked who will be filling these roles and the responsible for the task would be filled automatically.
It is an excellent new, "copy project" will make this tool more usefull, but it is still a starting point, it is necesary to organice the projects, as templates, as use, or even an another characteristics "for example programs, or portfolios.
In other hand, migration from pwa its necesary, and integrate a few new rows for tags.
Antti Pajunen commented
Copy project would be a starting point but it's not the same as templates. Right now it feels like customers are consistently asking for templates in projects. They like the lightness of use and approach to P4W but the lack of templates is making them question implementation in projects where projects follow a pattern.
As an interim solution, allowing to create projects with Power Automate would allow us to create templates ourselves with Flows and canvas apps.
Roger Manwaring commented
"Copy Project" would be a helpful band-aid; but we really need to be able to create templates...or have the ability to import a template/project from PWA.
Honestly whatever you can get done faster would be best. This is very painful to not have.
nuno costa commented
It is a excellent news that MS is planning on building the "Copy Project". Please build also the "Template" function. Thanks.
The P4W represents a huge interface improvement but is not ready to be in Production Environment.
Copy would be a good start...however I would like to see the ability to create our own templates as we have many different types of projects that use different methodologies which have different naming conventions for Stages/Phases. Types of projects include...Facilities, IT Waterfall, IT Scrum, Business Process Improvement, etc.
Copy project would not work for us currently because it doesn't allow us to pre-assign users. We have projects that are basically the same setup over and over throughout product development - one user is the assigned person for all of X tasks, another is the assigned person for all of Y tasks, one person is the assigned person and the only one who handles Z task.
Our current project setup is about 54 tasks long and manually assigning someone to each of those tasks every time is one of the primary factors in our decision not to switch. The only thing that really changes is who is the person handling all of X tasks, but that person's role is interspersed throughout the project so it wouldn't be possible to simply do all of their tasks in one group/bucket/section.
Additionally, our templates are set up as modules for various finishing sections. If it's planned for X region of the world, it needs to include these steps. If it's going through that licensor, it needs to include these other steps. We build our projects by building template module by template module until it includes the correct steps.
Where I could see you improving on this functionality for us from our current software: We could eliminate several modules and have fewer templates if we had the ability to assign a role rather than a person for some of the tasks and then assign a person to that role when the template is used.
Another argument for a template over "copy project". For too many years, we did packaging by picking up a previous project. And things changed as time went on. Dimensions were updated, legal information was updated, and so on. So we would pick up packaging that had been done a year ago because it had the right languages on it. And it would turn out to have the wrong dimensions and then we'd have to backtrack and readjust everything. With a template, the template is always updated. Everybody uses the template and only THAT template. It is always correct and updated because there is a person assigned to template creation and updating. Everyone knows to go to that person to get the template updated/created, etc. There's never a question that we are working with the version we want to be working with.
Rick Bojahra commented
Copying a project is a great solution for this, but It needs to be possible manually and through Power Automate. Every possible use for this platform we have come across so far would benefit significantly through templates or copying an existing project.
To expand a bit farther, I would recommend that ALL new functionality (like this) should be available in Power Automate.
Most of the examples I can think of would kick-off as a result of another action in another system.
For example, a Request for Quotation in CRM would generate a project for the delivery of the Quote.
Having Power Automate be able to grab the request (state change in CDS) from Crm and then create a new project with assigned tasks etc would be ideal.
Well... the majority of the competitive products have the idea of templates so there is that. A template provides a predefined series of tasks according to some criteria. It also then provides something to measure against to ensure that the standards represented by the template are followed. It also allows for easier adoption of the system and more widespread use across the organization since new staff will know what to expect when managing projects, events, product launches, board meetings, new construction etc. in such a way that meets standards. Having templates is one of the key parts that makes a system easy to use. I can start out with a list of tasks and deliverables and know I am doing the right thing. It also feeds into a lessons learned/gradual improvement process. ie. I just ran this event, we missed these three things, we had better add them into the event template for next time. It is one of the first things all of the non-traditional project managers we have shown the product to ask for as they are used to starting out with templates for word documents, excel spreadsheets, etc.
You could even make this work like how Power Automate does over time and have a list of the templates provided by Microsoft (and others) and list how often they have been used. This then becomes another competitive advantage for the product.