Sensei Books

The Proactive Team Member’s Guide for using Project Online

By In this Microsoft Project learning guide printed in full color, screenshots and illustrations come to life for enhanced learning and comprehension. This book focuses on the role that the Team Member plays in the successful delivery of Proactive Projects.


In this Microsoft Project learning guide in full color, screenshots and illustrations come to life for enhanced learning and comprehension. This book focuses on the role that the Team Member plays in the successful delivery of Proactive Projects. Team Members are key to project success as they provide the weekly status updates, time spent and revised task estimates that are vital to maintaining proactive project schedules. This book focuses on how the Team Member interacts with the Microsoft PPM toolset including: viewing task assignments to ensure timely completion of assigned work; reviewing and updating the project’s risks, issues and action items; reporting status to the project manager.


Book review: The Proactive Team Members Guide to using Project Online
Posted by Erik van Hurck on December 2, 2015

This time the book revolves around a special focus point: The Team Members. Written by Kenneth Steiness, who we know from the other book review I did and his activity at the Project Virtual Conference.

Most Project Management and Project (Server) books focus on the Project Manager or schedulers or even the Administrators of an environment. This book gives a welcome look into the world of Project Management from a resource / team members perspective.

The book starts by explaining (proactive) Project and Portfolio management and gives the reader a good overview into the “what, how and why” of managing Projects. Being “just” a gear in the machine it can be easy to overlook the reason why people want you to write timesheets or submit issues and risks you perceive. You are a resource within the project, you are also a vital part of its success!

Two sentences that I would like to quote from the book are:

“Work that doesn’t get assigned to anyone doesn’t get done!” and

“You can think of Microsoft Project as a very powerful calculator…”

These resonated with my personal believes about successful project management and keeping this in mind, a project will run more smoothly then would be the case if people tend to think themselves as islands and don’t communicate with each other.

Communication is key

The book has two major topics, the reporting of progress within a schedule (by updating tasks or using timesheets) and updating documentation and action lists (such as: risks, issues and action items).

In four chapters each of the essentials are taken apart and described in detail for any team member to be a successful part of the projects he is a part of.

The most important take away I believe is: As a team member it is vital to report on your progress, be it actual work performed or writing a document that describes an important deliverable; communication is key!

The big picture

The book is just 60 pages, full color and has an excellent writing style, being written by a number of great teachers in the field such as Dale Howard, Nate Auchter and Kenneth himself. The book can be a useful addition to any organization that want’s to have their team members to be a more proactive part within Project Management. And while you are at it: it is a great addition to the other book Kenneth wrote: Proactive PPM with Microsoft Project 2013 for Project Server and Project Online. You can get both books by clicking on these links (The Proactive Team Member’s Guide and Proactive PPM) or on the cover image above this post.

Final notes

This has been the second post I did surrounding the organization Sensei Project Solutions. And it will definitely not be the last. I am currently looking into 1 of their apps for Project Pro for Office 365. Kenneth and his team are a great resource of information and experience. If they are active in your region and you are looking for a partner to chat with about Project Online, I would highly recommend them.

But if you are in The Netherlands, I would highly recommend giving me a call… of course ;-).

So keep an eye out for my first ever App review coming up. Hope you have a wonderful last couple of weeks closing 2015!