Project Online: Why am I seeing too many projects when acting as a delegate?

This question has come up a few times now from customers and partners – so thought it was worth a posting.  You may have noticed that when acting as a delegate that even though you are presented with the limited options of the person you are acting as a delegate for, as you would expect – you are seeing more projects than the user for whom you are acting as a delegate.  This is a relatively new behavior – but has been this way for a number of months now.  This will only occur if the user you are logged in as is a global administrator in your Office 365 system – or a Site Collection Administrator (SCA) for the site collection you are working in.  The reason for the change is that in Project Online customers were accidentally locking themselves out of PWA by removing all their PWA administrators – and then the only way to make a user an admin again was to open a support call.  This was obviously frustrating for our customers so a change was made that ensured that a global admin or SCA could always get into PWA and add back the PWA administrators – avoiding the need to call us!  You will also see this behavior in Project Server 2016.  It also helps with the switch between permission modes in Project Server as you no longer need to specify an admin to be added. Obviously the delegation option is only available in Project Permission mode.

There is no security elevation here – as the global admin or SCA would be able to see all the projects anyway – or even reset the users password and log in as them if they really wanted to – so nothing bad is happening.  If you liked the ability to see exactly what the user sees then a good option is to create a new account that is a PWA admin but not a global admin or SCA – then use this account for any delegation work where seeing the exact things the users sees is important.

Comments (7)
  1. Russ Young says:

    Hi Brian, thanks for the clarification. Customers may assess the Project Server security model has “bugs” or “flaws” because of this behavior. It’s worth also pointing out the Delegation session may present too many projects and resources when using Project Web App functions/views. Some customers may also “grump” about extra PO licenses needed to address this situation, therefore awareness is needed for this special case when implementing Project Online.

    1. Thanks Russ, and I agree this change to enable admins to always have access probably could have been architected better to avoid these ‘delegate’ issues – and I have certainly given this feedback to the product group.
      Best regards,

  2. Christoph Mülder says:

    Hi Brian,
    you say that the behaviour is the same in Project Server 2016. But this is only valid for site collection administrators always being able to login to the PWA. But as a site collection admin the delegation behaves differrent regarding the list of projects. In Project Center the delegate session is effective and will restrict the visiblity of projects – what it does not do online.

    1. Thanks Christoph – I’ll take another look at that aspect of it.
      Best regards,

      1. Hi Christoph – finally got around to testing this as I am also submitting a fix request for the issue in Project Online – I’ll let you know how that request progresses.
        Best regards,

  3. Rajkumar says:

    Hi Brian, Thanks for the clarification. As pwa site collection administrator I was able to see to all the projects when I act as a delegate to someone. I was able to acheive with a new account with pwa admin, now the delegation perfectly working for the new pwa admin account.

  4. Rathinavelu says:

    Hi Brain,
    I am working in Microsoft Project server 2010 (PWA 2010) timesheet to update the existing timesheets through web service (timesheet.asmx), I could able to update and submit my own timesheet successfully through web service. Since I am an admin user, I can able to take delegate to other users timesheets and update. I tried this in code and created the delegate successfully using (resource.asmx web service, CreateDelegate() method. However I could not find how to start the delegate session through code.

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