Microsoft Project is now available in a 2010 package and for many people involved in project management it is an excellent solution to the problems involved in keeping track of projects as they develop.
Microsoft Project can easily integrate with other project management software and this easily allows projects to be either imported directly into Microsoft Project, or you can actually export projects from Project into another software programme that you may prefer.
Apart from the flexibility gained by this import and export capability, Microsoft Project also has some key features that make it a comprehensive package.
Although there could be more project management tools built into this programme, one of the key features is the simplicity with regard to the management of project schedules. Anyone familiar with project management and project management software will know how vital project schedules are, but how difficult they can be to create using some software. But with Microsoft Project it is about as easy as it can get, thereby enabling time saved in dealing with this really important aspect of project management.
Ease Of Use
Most project managers will already be familiar with Microsoft Project in some form or another, which means that there is no really steep learning curve involved, since this package is simply an enhancement of the existing packages.
This enables project managers to simply load and then get productive, so you don’t have to spend hours trying to figure out how it works.
Recurring Meetings or Tasks
One thing that is really easy to do with Microsoft Project is to set up meetings, tasks or events that happen on a regular basis. This can help schedule in meetings without too much effort, but also helps to ensure that reviews are carried out in accordance with the time schedule or even maintenance. So this is a pretty cool feature that can save a lot of time and therefore a lot of money.
Despite its features this package will not cost the earth, so there are good economic reasons for choosing Microsoft Project, because it really is good value for money, especially when you factor in the time that using this software will save.
Problems with Microsoft Project
Like any project management software, there are some little ‘blips’ with regard to Microsoft Project. Collaboration is not its strongest feature and there is no dashboard, which means that team members don’t have easy access to information relating to all the projects that are underway.
The trick is to use other software, integrated with Microsoft Project, to ensure that these are created, so it is still possible to have this feature, it would just be nice to have it all in one package.
Given how good this package is, one area where it really could be improved is with regard to document management. There is no way of tracking the different versions of documents and given how often documents do change this can be frustrating. There is also no way of knowing if team members have accessed out of date documents and are working on these, instead of upgraded and more relevant documents. This can only be solved by archiving out of date documents, which can be difficult to manage and can take some time.
Overall however, Microsoft Project is a great package that really will help to ease at least some of the headaches associated with project management. The weak areas stand out a little simply because it is so good on the whole and hopefully Microsoft will address the ‘blips’ in future packages.