Microsoft Office offers a wide range of products, ranging from the most commonly used Word and Excel to more specialized applications like PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Outlook and OneNote. These applications are more widely used among the various Office editions available.
One less commonly used Office application is Project. This application, as the name suggests, is specialized to managing projects. Let’s take a deeper look at Project and perhaps you’ll find it needed in your functions more than you realized.
What is Project?
Many different fields, such as engineering and construction, require constant project management. Microsoft Project is frequently used to manage large projects by tracking progress in many ways. Scheduling and resource management are key in guiding projects and Microsoft Project is a primary application many project managers use during their daily tasks. But other industries and businesses can use Project to manage their internal projects and resources with the same functionality.
Oversight of business costs are very important with project management and Microsoft Project packs in tools to fit the bill. As with all other Office products, Project includes templates to help get started faster but these can also be customized for even greater ease of use. Gantt charts and pulldown menus ease the workload of management while getting tasks for the project scheduled. Additionally, out-of-the-box reports of varying kinds are also available. Information is even available across a Windows, iOS and Android devices.
If you have a project that needs organizing and scheduling. Project is just the application that keeps you making progress while tracking finances, materials, manpower and schedules. Read on and see what’s new as well as which edition best suits your needs.
What’s New in Project 2016?
Here are a few new features found in the latest version of Project:
- Resource Engagements – requesting resources for approval has been added for improved decision-making
- Additional Resource Manager Involvement – resource managers can respond to requests within a Project without using full versions
- Resource Capacity Heat Maps – coupled with new, intuitive reporting, Project 2016 uses heat maps to easily see under and over-utilization within the project.
- Tell Me – this feature allows users to speak to the application and request what they need. A button is used to take a user directly to the needed information.
- Timelines – visualized, stacked reports allow managers to see comparative project progress across a myriad of main and sub-projects.
- Read/Write Office Add-ins – full read-write access of Office add-ins are available from the App-store and allow integration of a variety of office features.
Differences Between Professional and Standard Versions
PC-based Project installations come in two versions: Professional and Standard. Each edition is built to meet needs of any size and demand.
|Fully installed, up-to-date Project desktop application||Fully installed, up-to-date Project desktop application|
|One license covers 1 PC per use||One license covers 1 PC per use|
|Manage project schedules and costs||Manage project schedules and costs|
|Manage tasks||Manage tasks|
|Manage reports and business intelligence||Manage reports and business intelligence|
|Collaborate with Skype for Business presence|
|Sync with Project Online & Project Server|
|Submit timesheets to capture project and non-project time spent for payroll, invoicing, and other business purposes|
With Project Online and Project Server, additional uses can be leveraged for larger organizations such as SharePoint integration.
Why Upgrade to the 2016 Version
Project 2016 includes all the functionality of previous versions and can open files of previous versions back to the 2007 edition. However, this latest version adds additional features that include business intelligence management, a new heat map for spotting under and over-utilization, availability of use on a variety of devices and much more detailed above this section.
Upgrading to the 2016 version is a clear move forward in project management for greater control of resources and costs.
Why Upgrade to Professional
The professional edition of Project offers many collaborative features. If you company is growing, or is already large, collaboration is likely an issue. The ability to use Skype from the office and field is integral for improved business presence. Consider an upgrade for this reason as well as leveraging timesheet management and syncing with the online and server versions for additional collaborative needs.
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