PM NEED: PMs will very likely want to compare project baseline values with submitted actuals when reviewing and approving task updates from project resources in Project Server 2010.
PROBLEM: The problem is that Microsoft has not provided users with a way to insert any tracking fields in the Project Server 2010 Approval Center view (see screen shot below). The tracking fields are not available to add to the view through Configure Columns (in the view).
Figure A. PWA does not allow users to add baseline (tracking) fields to the Approval Center view.
Neither is there a way to modify the Approval Center view (and thus, those fields) through Server Settings/Look and Feel/Manage Views either, so it cannot be added to any Categories or modified.
SOLUTION: Our team at Advisicon has identified a method for viewing that information quickly and easily, without leaving PWA.
Someone with administrator permissions can add the baseline (tracking) fields to the Tasks Tracking view through Server Settings/Look and Feel/Manage Views. This will make those tracking fields available in the Preview Updates view, which you access from the Approvals Center view.
Figure B. Add baseline fields to the Tasks Tracking view through Server Settings/Look and Feel/Manage Views.
Figure C. Preview Updates impact on Project schedule
In the Approvals Center view, a PM can select a task, click on the Preview Updates button, and select the Tasks Tracking view. (See Figure C.)
A PM can use this customized view to compare submitted actuals with their baseline values. (See Figure D.)
Figure D. Compare baseline, actual, variance, and other values in the Tasks Tracking view.
This is better than methods that require the PM use Project client. This way keeps the PM in PWA and in the Update Center area, allowing the PM to decide which task updates to accept/approve or reject.
-Kevin Williamson, MCTS, PMP