Two Serious ‘Specs’ of MS Office Project Server 2007

I can’t understand why no company seems to complain about serious ‘bugs’ of Microsoft Office Project Server 2007.
My company is now trying to update Microsoft Project 2002 suite (i.e. Project Server, Project Professional and Project Web Access) to 2007 Service Pack 2. However, we found two serious ‘bugs’ as follows.
Let’s call Project Professional simply ‘Pro’ and Project Web Access ‘PWA’.
Bug-1: When team members input the actual working hours of any assigned task through ‘My Tasks’ page on PWA2007, the planned working hours, planned start date and planned end date are also automatically modified based on the value of inputted actual working hours, in case the tasks are with ‘weak constraint’, i.e. default constraint setting of a task.
Bug-2: When project managers update the planned working hours, planned start date and planned end date of a task and publish it by Pro2007, it is applied only to ‘Project Center’ page on PWA2007, not applied completely to ‘My Tasks’ page on PWA2007. As a result, no team members can clearly recognize the task updates by project managers.
I’d like to explain these 2 ‘bugs’ more in detail.
Concerning Bug-1, you might think it’s not a bug but a reasonable spec because weak-constraint tasks work like that by definition.
However, let’s imagine how the weak-constraint tasks work in a real project management.
Team members are expected to input their acutual working hours, e.g. on daily or weekly basis. And everytime they input their actual working hours, the planned working hours, planned start date and planned end date of each task are continuously changing.
Let’s call such various planned aspects of a task ‘task plan’.
The everyday input of actual working hours by each members continuously change the task plan without being recognized by project managers who published those tasks.
When can project managers recognize such ‘unintentional’ changes of task plan?
Team members ‘submit’ their input of actual workin hours to project managers through ‘My Tasks’ page of PWA2007 and project managers receive e-mail notices.
Then project managers open PWA2007 ‘Task updates’ page and ‘approve’ and ‘publish’ the actual working hours inputted by team members.
At this moment project managers still don’t recognize how the original task plan they planned and published is changed by team members’ input of actual working hours, based on the ‘weak constraint’ rule.
Project managers launch Pro2007 and check the property of each task. At last they recognize how the origianl task plan is changed.
Let’s suppose that a project manager assigns a task which starts July 1 and ends July 15 to a team member. But the team member could start the task only on July 16.
So the team member inputted some working hours for the task on July 16.
As a result, based on ‘weak contraint’ definition, the start date of the task is automatically changed into July 16.
The end date is also automatically changed into some day depending upon how many actual working hours the team member inputted on July 16.
The same thing happens to all team members. This means that almost all task plans are changed in an unexpected way.
If project managers want to bring back such unintentional changes of task plan into the original task plan they planned, they have to re-input the task plan of all the affected tasks with Pro2007 and publish them again.
But I’m sorry this doesn’t help project managers.
Even if project managers re-input the original task plan and publish them by Pro2007, it is applied only to PWA2007 ‘Project Center’ page, not completely applied to ‘My Tasks’ page of each team member.
This is how Bug-2 works as I described above.
Let’s summarize what on earth happens when Bug-1 and Bug-2 work together.
By the definition of ‘weak constraint’, the original task plan by project managers is continuously modified every time team members input their auctual working hours to assigned tasks.
In order to recognize such unintentional modifications of task plan, project managers have to ‘approve’ and ‘publish’ all the inputted actual working hours.
As a result, the original task plan is overwritten at random and thrown into a chaotic situation.
So project managers have to re-input their original task plan and publish it again through Pro2007.
However, because of Bug-2, the publishment is only applied to PWA2007 ‘Project Center’ page to which team members usually don’t pay attention, and NOT completely applied to ‘My Tasks’ page to which team members input their actual working hours every day.
This means that team members continue inputting their actual working hours based on a continuously modified task plan which cannot be corrected by any means just as project managers would like to correct.
In a word, in the environment of MS Project Server 2007 suite, the task plan recognized by team members through PWA2007 ‘My Tasks’ page and the task plan planned by project managers through Pro2007 will never meet forever. Conversely the difference between them is continuously widening.
Of course, Bug-1 can be easily ‘fixed’ by changing all the tasks into constraints other than ‘weak constraint’.
However, regarding Bug-2, what can we do?
I suppose that the synchronization between the back-end database tables of ‘My Tasks’ page and those of ‘Project Center’ doesn’t work well.
I already reported these problems to Microsoft technical support in Japan (because I’m Japanese and working in a Japanese company) but they insist that they are the ‘specs’ of Microsoft Office Project 2007 suite.
So our company’s decision is like this.
We will not use Microsoft Office Project 2007 for the purpose of project management any more. We will use it only for the purpose of totalizing and analyzing the actual working hours of team members.
When we used Project 2002 suite, we had no problem like this.
I wonder why Microsoft developed version 2007 of Project suite.