Microsoft Project 2016 - It's come a long ways, and thank goodness, because Project 2007 sucked.
Jason Leidig | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 04, 2018

Microsoft Project 2016 - It's come a long ways, and thank goodness, because Project 2007 sucked.

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Project

I am currently using Microsoft Project for a construction project where we are using it to plan out and track Work Packages. We have budgets for each work package and we also have resources loaded for each work package as well. We are able to track both cost and schedule performance using Project.
  • 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.
  • We are currently only now opening the door to these opportunities but do see ways to implement and save in areas that include a reduction of man power and gaining efficiencies and reducing cost and schedule by providing more real time relevant data to our project team which will allow them to make better informed and timely decisions.
Primavera P6 is the only comparative tool I have worked with, and when you stack Primavera P6 against Project Online/Server I would hands down every time go with Project. The only exception to this would be those projects were there is an enormous amount of data, and a multitude of stakeholders, and a very large team of schedulers working a single project. For example, building an aircraft carrier where there is a multitude of activities going on at the same time and an immense amount of information being worked with over 5 years or greater. This is where Primavera's database just may provide you a little more stability, but then you are losing all the collaborative and reporting functionality that comes with Project Online/Server...just for that reason I still may push ahead with Project Online/Server.
Microsoft Project--the standalone version--is great for those smaller to medium size projects. But when engaging larger projects where you are engaging with multiple stakeholders who are providing inputs, then Project Online/Server is the way to go; It does an amazing job by driving collaboration in a multitude of ways.

Microsoft Project Feature Ratings

Task Management
10
Resource Management
10
Gantt Charts
10
Scheduling
10
Workflow Automation
10
Team Collaboration
10
Support for Agile Methodology
9
Support for Waterfall Methodology
9
Document Management
8
Email integration
8
Mobile Access
9
Timesheet Tracking
9
Change request and Case Management
7
Budget and Expense Management
9
Quotes/estimates
9
Invoicing
8
Project & financial reporting
10
Integration with accounting software
9