Yes, ladies and germs, today was actually my first rodeo.  A major milestone perhaps.

Today was Day 1 of the actual conference formal, Day 3 of the overall festivities including the top secret Ignite presentations which will get unveiled tomorrow mid-morning or so, PST.  On this day, we saw Tad Haas, Doug McCutcheon and EPM Joe take to Microsoft branded horses (!) and do their best Three Amigos impression – while a bilingual MC cracked jokes about Oracle and CA.  Then, we all watched a bunch of project managers (and one unnamed VBA guru) chase calves around the ring and have a goat milking contest.  A good metaphor for this escapes me right now, but I am sure once I have the chance to confer with my esteemed colleagues, we might have some interesting ideas about how to describe the evening’s activities….

I should point out that Pete wimped out and decided to stay in the hotel to “work” tonight, leaving me and Tony to work through our drink tickets and the best Mexican food that I’ve had since, well, Friday when I took the kids out to the local taqueria.

Good content today, although the 2007 stuff was honestly a bit worn around the edges for consultants who have been working in it for a couple of years, and the 2010 stuff doesn’t start till tomorrow.  The keynote was good – and short and sweet – which is usually a good thing for me. Ludo Hauduc did an excellent job of summing up the challenges ahead, and then they had a couple of customer testimonials. 

They were playing Jai Ho before the keynote, which perhaps gave me the wrong expectation.  Quite surprisingly, the Project team did not actually take the stage and reenact the closing credits of Slumdog Millionaire.  I’ll make sure to post that as a suggestion for the next conference.

Adrian Jenkins delivered an excellent chalk talk about the issues in 2007 – in a nice way that only he could pull off.  That’s the third time I’ve seen him give that presentation at a conference, and he does a great job of defusing much of the tension around some of the bugs.  It quickly became apparent that:

  • There’s an apparent disconnect between end user perceptions of post-SP2 check out issues and the support team’s perception of those same issues, or more specifically, the existence or nonexistence thereof.
  • Microsoft recommends actually deleting stuck projects from the cache using the MPP UI, and not Windows Explorer.  This was news to quite a few people in the room and met with skepticism by a number of other folks I mentioned it to.  Paradigms are shifting even as I write this.

 

In a number of other presentations, it also became apparent that the Microsoft recommended way to implement Project Server 2007 properly is with PWA and the project workspaces in their own site collections. Period.  That’s how it should be done. 

Tomorrow’s hot picks:

  • Aaron Shenhar’s Strategic Project Leadership presentation.  I sat next to him at dinner, and he told me it would be interesting.
  • Ben Howard’s Cut the **** – How to Speedily and Successfully Implement Project Server, in which we find out what “****” stands for.  My vote’s on “mustard” – or maybe “red tape.”