- Microsoft Project allows users to input a large and varied amount of detail pertinent to a specific project and then creates numerous varied out reports, as per the specific needs of a certain user working on that project.
- Microsoft Project is very flexible in relation to the familiarity of a specific user with the Project. Someone with very little knowledge of Project can still input some data and receive some useful reports, without using the whole capability of the package.
- Project allows a varied types of data to be inputted, such as definition of various subtasks related to the project, time information about the original estimates for tasks and the actual figures, monetary information about the cost of all items required to complete a project (such as rate per hour of specific participants working of a project, cost of equipment to be bought or rented, cost of materials required for project execution, etc).
- A Project Manager very conversant with Project can get a very large number of reports, each one for a specific need.
- The Project software package, while being very powerful, it also has a rather lengthy learning curve. A fresh Project Manager which didn't use Project before (due to being in a different role, or using until now a different project management tool) and put in charge of a project having as a requirement the utilization of Microsoft Project for a new project starting very soon, will have a hard time to assimilate all aspects of the package, if he wants to take advantage of Project's full capabilities.
- While not being exaggerated, the cost of the software package is relatively high (around $650.00) This is maybe not a lot for a company needing one or two packages, but is relevant to a company needing to procure 20 packages.
- I would like to see more specialty books pertinent to Project. 'Leaning Microsoft Project Step-by-Step' issued by Microsoft themselves and used by me when I started learning Project is a bit cumbersome, unlike other books in their series for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.
On the other hand, a company specializing in projects that are relatively simple and only have a span of a few weeks or a couple of months would be better off adopting a simpler Project Management tool, one that costs less and has a much shorter learning curve.
Review: "Microsoft Project 2016 - It's come a long ways, and thank goodness, because Project 2007 sucked."
- The custom columns and the ability to use formulas within Project allows the user flexibility with respect to the data that they want to display, and how they want it displayed. For example, I was able to enter a formula into a custom column that calculated the week of the project a particular task was scheduled to finish. We have also used custom columns to upload data from other systems into our schedules, for example the work package status out of SAP, and material information as well.
- Using VBA to automate certain task is very useful and can be a great time saver. For example, I recently worked a program where I was managing 10k+ tasks in a single schedule that were comprised of material, engineering, and production activity, which required inputs from multiple stakeholders. Using data downloaded out of our enterprise systems, I was able to create a single set of data in Excel's Power Query, and I uploaded this data into Project using code developed in the VBA editor. Typically it would take a week or more to manual status a schedule of this size. But because I was able to automate this step, I could update my schedule in 20 minutes. This allowed me to status my schedule on a daily basis, making my schedule more relevant. We were also able to make the schedule more informative: we loaded any kind of material and/or engineering issues in to the schedule, along with comments from other systems that provided benefit to correcting an issue, or to help with taking advantage of an opportunity. Where I worked prior, we received various audits from different entities, and we always received positive input for the kind of data we were able to present.
- Timelines! Timelines offer the user a way to quickly convey a high level narrative of the schedule. This gives the audience a more efficient way to dive into the schedule. The timeline view can allow for a super clean view of the project, and is great to use in presentation.
- Project Online/Server - when this version of Project is used it really does turbo charge the functionality that is available to the user and tremendously grows the collaborated engagement with stakeholders. Project Online/Server is able to take advantage of all the resources that lay within Office 365 and SharePoint. Those resources would be SharePoint lists, Power Apps, Flows, Team, & Planner. And Project Online/Server makes it available for stakeholders to make updates directly into the schedule through several different mediums with all of these inputs having to go through an approval process prior to updating the schedule.
- The reporting functionality is really impressive. The reporting features within the standalone Project allow the user to quickly cobble together some really impressive metrics that their IPT will find very helpful to managing a project. The reporting layout is really intuitive, and looks something similar to what you would find working with PivotTables in Excel. And the format that is provided for displaying data is really flexible and gives you several options on how to display the data. In a very short time, the user can put together a fairly impressive looking dashboard. But as impressive as the new reporting functionality is, the standalone version is nothing compared to what is available in Project Online/Server. With this version you are able to use Power BI to drive your reporting, which will put you into Superman status with your co-workers.
- As impressive as the reporting piece is in the standalone version, currently it does not allow you to report on the data that resides in the custom fields. It's only the standard columns that you can report against. If Microsoft would work to include the data out of the custom columns into the reporting it would make for some really cool reports and would negate the need for exporting the data into Excel for the most part.
- Even though custom columns allow for formulas to be entered in, there is a max of 256 characters that can be entered. There have been a couple of times that this has created an issue, not only with entering formulas but also with the entry of data from other systems. Doubling the amount of characters for certain custom column types would go a long ways to alleviating this issue.
- the simpleness of tracking budget for a project
- track projects on a task level basis
- real time what if scenarios in terms of task delay
- better built in Visualization capability like One Pager offers as an add on
- sometimes it feels the software is too big and complex to manage really simple projects
- There are not many choices of nice icons to use
The biggest issue this helped me resolve was that I can now view the actual schedule and make changes if I need to rather than getting a PDF of the schedule and having no control of the document. The benefit of this is that I can edit the schedule to realize hypothetical scenarios and dates for a particular project.
The software enables me to manage resource pools effectively, assign resources to tasks, manage tasks and complex schedules ranging between 100 and 2000 tasks.
- Has advanced cost estimation capabilities, as it calculates varying hourly rates, overtime, off schedule work and provides advanced cost reports
- Easy to use when preparing gantt charts and timelines. Dependencies can be set and auto scheduling can be enabled
- Takes into account resource calendars, holidays and other unexpected off days
- Has advanced project management features for crashing activities, leveling resources and handling over allocations
- You can easily customize and export reports
- Compatible with Excel
- It is hard to understand advanced features without a training or advanced project management knowledge
- Resource pools feature can be added
- Team planner and web access would make it a full solution
- It's a great tool to manage resources, costs, people involved, assignments, and many other things.
- It allows the integration with other MS Tools like Power BI, Excel and PowerPoint to strengthen & enhance project collaboration
- The Office 365 version is such a great option to run into major collaborative scales, using Skype for Business conference or GoToMeeting hands-on.
- Advanced features will require a moderate effort to conquer the complex learning curve.
- Reports and Dashboards insights can turn your goals into unsatisfactory results, and this can make it hard to truly stay on top of projects.
- You must have a standard version in all your company computers, or you may experience lack of visuals and features.
- Ease of use
- Allows me to make charts
- Way to make a successful project
- I think starting the dates one after another is the hardest part.
- I would like to see Microsoft Project be a little more colorful, it is a little dull.
- The Gantt chart tool has many options to manage costs and time in an organized way.
- The file created in MS Project may be exported to be used in another MS Office software.
- Customer support coming from Microsoft is great. There is always an article or forum to help me.
- I would like MS Project to be more user-friendly. There are some functionalities that keep being hard to use like the time organization.
- It should have a way of exporting a nice and well presented PDF document to be shared. Today is very hard to create a nice image showing the goals.
- I think it should have integration with internet and social networks in order to engage other people to work together in an easy way.
- Gantt charts Gantt charts Gantt charts! It is the best tool for flexibility of creating and updating the scheduing charts
- Flexibility and ease of updating relating certain tasks relating to or relying on other tasks.
- The resource management tools are very useful
- Integration with the other Microsoft tools that we also all use.
- With not every team member using project, is difficult to share the full plan.
- Not super intuitive as other MS products...but not that bad.
- Allows Collaboration using the File sharing option, this is very useful to share files with other members of your team.
- Reporting is one of the strengths of Microsoft Project, allowing you to generate great reports with little effort.
- Allows you to manage multiple Projects at the same time in the same organization; this can be achieved thanks to Master Project Plan feature.
- Provides multiple views of the projects state, making use of Gantt Charts, resource usage charts, calendars.
- The installation can't be done with the same Microsoft Office suite.
- Requires significant training and experience with the tool to use it effectively.
- Licenses cost could be somewhat expensive for little organizations.
- I found that MS Project is a great tool for developing your WBS with your team. The tool is great to use during a planning session as it easily allows you and you to enter tasks, determine the sequence, add level of effort, and determine resource requirements.
- Tracking tracks is made simple. Based of your lead or lag, you can adjust your timelines and determine the best outcome or solutions.
- Report wizard helps you easily report on the project status, forecasts, resource usage, costs, etc...
- I feel there is still some room to improve on the reporting, to possible simplify the exporting of reports and how they can be imported into presentations.
- Detail Project Schedule timelines.
- Gantt Chart.
- Highlights tasks in critical path.
- It would be great if we can schedule multiple projects in one file.
- It is slightly complicated for beginners.
- All the features are not being used because of complexity or lack of expertise.
- Task Management
- Project Reporting
- Project Workflows
- As usual with Microsoft products, it can be difficult sometimes to find exactly what it is that you are looking for.
- Would be nice if there was more integration with third-party products.
- Automated scheduling is super helpful, especially when you have hard deadlines.
- It's extremely visually intuitive and you don't have to search around until you stumble into something.
- It's an easy way to share information among a team that isn't necessarily all in the same place. Also nicer than Google Drive (which a lot of people use).
- If work didn't pay for it, I don't think I would pay for it. There are free options I could use (for what we're doing, but for some people they might need it).
It could be more helpful if I was able to utilize other software with it, such as Excel or Word.
- Ability to track Milestones
- Ability to track Resources
- Has a really good Gantt chart
- Steep learning curve
- To get the full suite with the Project server, it is very expensive
- Printing the project plan is a bit challenging
- Project Planning
- Project Tracking
- Cost analysis vs budget
- Time analysis vs budget
- Not industry specific - No templates for Telecoms
- Difficult to learn initially
- No integration / API's for 3rd party collaboration tools
We have found it essential during kickoff to review the detail tasks within each milestone to obtain consensus with our clients that we are meeting their objectives and the project will be tasked and resourced properly. This avoids scope creep due to unclear milestones.
- Resource Assignments are integral when you have several complex projects occuring during the same time frame and utilizing the same resources across those projects which include different skills. The resource usage sheet allows a program manager to see where a resource is over committed or needs assisstance.
- Small companies are able to stay on task and meet timelines by using the Inspect and Respect links features of MS Project to ensure that dependencies are addressed if delays affect other tasks.
- Report features are essential to small companies to track, not just the resource utilization but to allow accounting and C-level to see costs analysis from the beginning of the project, each week to the end. These costs help C-level in planning for future projects as ongoing projects are spending up or down.
- Program Management using MS Project can be a heavy handed task at times, it would be nice to see in AI in some of the combining features to alleviate the overhead of checking each project detail to ensure the Program is reporting accurately
- The export to Excel can be more friendly in allowing the fields to all export into one worksheet rather than three.
- Helps keep transparency in a project.
- Keeps tasks visible to the entire team.
- Shows time needed to complete and allows you to work backwards from deadlines.
- Microsoft project is not intuitive to the user.
- It can be challenging to use the software effectively because it does not feel user friendly.
- When you move one task, you need to make sure to reset all the precedents.
Microsoft Project Review: "MS Project, an Easy to Use Tool to benefit from Project Management Methodologies"
- Easy set up for a project and additions/deletions of activities is straightforward
- Interfaces well to many other Microsoft programs
- The basic feature set is easily accessed by any user quite easily. More advanced functionalities are accessible to those who need them
- Server additions are costly and needed for true sharing between local users
- Printing functionalities and flexibility need to be enhanced to better window section of project plans to print
- Tiered training programs would enhance broader utilization within organizations
- MS Project is fairly easy to use. Adding Projects, Activities, Tasks, etc. are easy to add, and adjust when necessary.
- It offers many different views, so based on your own needs, it is very flexible.
- The reporting functionality is terrific. You can customize what you need to look at, from a full-blown project, or a more slimmed down version of just key milestones.
- It can be a little more difficult to work with when you use all of the hooks, bells and whistles that are available. It will take some time for the Novice user to pick all of this up.
- The columns (if all are used) offers a very crowded view, but I have never used all of these columns and most are hidden, so this may not be an issue to most users of MS Project
- Graphics need to be brought into the 21st Century.
Our project managers plan all their projects in Microsoft Project, our resources all put in their time sheets for official billing records into Project Online, we reconcile our financials using Microsoft Project and Power BI.
- Provides a base line
- Built in critical path view
- Complex predecessor relationships
- Multiple path task chains
- Ease and Simplicity of using multiple billing rates or seasonality in billing
- User management is still complicated and time consuming
- Project deployment can be advanced and require additional configuration instead of out of the box functionality
Small, temporary, time-bound projects with small teams could be managed using something like Microsoft Planner or Workfront.
Microsoft Project Review: "Strong, established tool for traditional planning, need more for today's projects"
- Adding dependencies between tasks. MS Project allows 4 types of relationships to be built (SS, FS, SF, FF) and adding lag between tasks, so you have the ultimate flexibility to define how tasks are related.
- Once relationships are defined, MS Project does a good job to highlight/identify the critical path.
- If you put in the details (resource allocation, task priority), then resource leveling works well.
- Ability to select specific tasks or summary tasks for the timeline is good to give an overview of the project.
- Linking tasks between different MS Project files. It can be done, but it's hard to manage and easy to completely break the project plan. We've learned to save multiple versions of the plan in case an external link breaks the project catastrophically.
- Inability to look at resource loading over multiple projects or multiple project files. This has led us to link multiple files together as a mitigation, which has shortcomings (see above).
- Network diagram has improved in recent versions, but still limiting. I often use VISIO to create network diagrams instead of MS Project & end up duplicating information.
However, understand resource loading cannot be done or is not easy, especially if resources are on multiple projects (and multiple project files). MS Project is a static tool and doesn't offer much for collaboration. It is also not as tuned to Agile methodologies. When there are lags and the relationship between tasks is more complex, MS Project is unable to calculate critical path.
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