Microsoft Project is the most widely used project management software by team members and project managers. It is part of the Microsoft 365 family, and if you are seeking a comprehensive, user-friendly tool to manage your projects, here’s everything you need to know about this software.
What Is Microsoft Project?
Microsoft Project or MS Project was first developed as an MS-DOS application in 1984. Over the years, the software has evolved into one of the best project management programs for creating project plans and schedules, keeping track of time, and managing resources.
The software has features like kanban boards, Gantt charts, and project calendars for seamless project management. So whether you have a team of one or thousands of workers, you can use this project management software to let everyone know the project’s progress.
Sadly, if you are a Mac user, there’s no Mac-compatible version of MS Project, and there’s no guarantee that Microsoft will ever release such a version. Luckily, there are alternatives.
You can use Merlin Project Express as a Microsoft Project alternative for Mac. This all-in-one planning software includes by-the-minute tracking, outstanding planning tools, custom templates, precise resource management, and more.
Features Of Microsoft Project
Different project views
One of the best features of MS Project is the different views your team can use to visualize, create and manage several projects simultaneously. For example, you can try timeline, board, or grid views.
It is possible to swap between the views quickly. For example, project managers can mandate that the team members use one particular view so that everyone views the same data.
Task management system
A comprehensive range of management tools offered by MS Project allows users to create or modify plans on the fly. For example, if you need to reschedule a task, you can quickly do this by cutting out the tasks on one of the above project views and moving it to wherever required.
Seamless project planning
Users can use kanban boards and Gantt charts to plan work.
Management of resources
MS Project offers a slew of resource management tools so users can manage project resources without a fuss. In addition, users can assign or request tasks to individual team members.
According to the details put in by users, the software will automatically assign or request those resources. Therefore, you will ensure that each member receives the resources requested, and other team members can see how the resources are divided between different project workers or departments.
Assigning tasks and assessing goals are not the only aspects of project planning and execution that MS Project can help you with. The software comes with pre-built reports that users can swiftly generate and share with other team members.
Based on your needs, you can generate reports to track statistics and portfolios, track the progress of a specific project, or report on project status and efficiency.
The software has co-authoring functionality, and this feature focuses on teamwork and collaboration. Thanks to this feature, stakeholders and team members can collaborate to update and edit schedules, modify task lists, etc.
Therefore, multiple department heads or project workers can collaborate on updating tasks and keeping everyone in the loop.
Last but not least, MS Project comes with file-sharing features and allows every team member to share files with other members. Sharing files on MS Project means you don’t have to open a separate program to view or edit the files.
What Are The Advantages Of MS Project?
If you use MS Project, you will enjoy the following benefits:
- The software easily integrates with the company’s other products like Sharepoint, Skype, and Office 365.
- It has templates that allow users to get started on their projects quickly. In the long run, this saves time.
- The program’s interface is similar to other MS products. Hence, if you have used Word or Excel, it won’t take you long to understand how MS Project works.
- It offers financial management tools, and this helps project managers to estimate budgets and allocate resources.
Pricing And Subscription Plans
MS Project has evolved from desktop software to a subscription-based project. Users can select between three monthly plans –
- Project Plan 1: Pay $10/month and use Project for the web and Project Home. This plan is recommended for team members.
- Project Plan 3: Pay $30/month and use a package that is enough to manage projects. However, there are no portfolio management features.
- Project Plan 5: Pay $55/month, and you can use everything MS Project offers.
The plans are for individual users. If you add team members, the prices will go up.
The Bottom Line
Manage multiple projects and make it easier for your team members to collaborate using MS Project. You can get started by using a premade template or start from scratch.