What is Microsoft Project?
Microsoft Project (MSP) is a type of project management software designed to provide Project Managers, as well as anyone tasked with overseeing a project, with the tools necessary to complete the project on time and within budget. This application enables Project Managers to plan and oversee projects from conception to completion, as well as to assign tasks, track deadlines, schedule, and allocate resources. Best of all, Microsoft Project manages all of these variables in one place so that those working on large projects, as well as multiple projects, have all the necessary information in a centralized location.
The tools included in Project were designed to be easy to use, flexible for different kinds of projects, and versatile enough to help with both small and large-scale initiatives. Several Project plans are available for different price points through Microsoft Office 365.
How do Project Managers use Microsoft Project?
Microsoft Project has three main uses: portfolio management, resource management, and project management. Both resource management and project management have direct applications for Project Managers:
- Resource management: Teams that use Project can anticipate bottlenecks, foresee resource needs, manage utilization, and deliver projects on time. This software also helps Project Managers decide when additional resources are necessary for project completion and helps them assign these resources. Project also provides a way to compare how effectively resources are being allocated in multiple projects. With the help of pre-built reports, progress across an entire team or organization can be easily monitored.
- Project management: This application includes scheduling tools that aid with managing tasks, such as listing tasks, assigning them, and establishing project duration and completion date. Because it provides an array of views, Project Managers can easily oversee schedules. In addition, this software is collaborative in that it provides a means for team members to co-author components of a project. This helps all team members and stakeholders to remain in the loop about task lists, schedules, and timesheets.
Most Helpful Microsoft Project Features for Project Managers
Project Managers must keep track of multiple variables when overseeing a project. Microsoft Project provides many helpful features and tools to ensure that projects are completed successfully. The following are some of this software’s most helpful features for Project Managers:
- Planning and scheduling are two of the most important steps in any successful project. This app helps with prioritization, which allows users to decide which tasks are the most pressing, anticipate unexpected occurrences, and ensure that the most important matters are assigned first.
- Managing tasks is another challenge most Project Managers face. In order to ensure tasks are completed in a logical order and timely manner, Project Managers can use Project to specify which activities need to be accomplished in the project, then assign them to various team members. Shared team calendars ensure that everyone working on a project is kept abreast of approaching meetings and synchronizes their work schedules.
- Project provides Project Managers with a complete, centralized roadmap of how all programs and projects are functioning within an organization.
- Collaborating is a core component of any successful project, and Project offers several helpful features, such as file sharing, a team dashboard in which graphics can be added to visually depict information, and a means for sharing and safely storing consumer data.
- Project’s clean, intuitive interface allows users to switch between boards, grids, and Gantt charts to better monitor progress, and to see the entire project from various angles and perspectives.
- Project Guide allows Project Managers to streamline the process of creating projects, keeping track of tasks, and reporting results.
- In terms of reporting, Microsoft Project provides Project Managers with a simple way to keep track of the amount of work that’s been finished on a project and how much is left. When creating reports, Project Managers can customize data and the report’s structure based on their own needs. They have options for creating a one-page project overview, a burn-down report, a cost overview, as well as a list of pending tasks, among others.
- Project is a powerful tool that can be used to assign resources to tasks and provide projects with appropriate budgets.
- Its customizable Wizard feature was designed to guide Project users from the conception of a project through its completion.
- Some Project Managers are tasked with working on multiple projects. This application provides an option for users to work on different projects for the same company, all in one centralized platform. Project Managers who simultaneously juggle different project plans can elect to combine them into a master plan to stay on top of each individual project.
- One of Project’s most popular features for Project Managers is timeline view, which provides a top-down view of the entire project that can be presented to those independent of the team, such as partners, stakeholders, or managers.
- Resource management is crucial to ensuring the necessary supplies, funding, and workforce are available for project completion. With the help of Project’s resource management tools, Project Managers can keep track of all available resources and how they may be leveraged for the project. In addition, costs can be assigned to each resource in order to decide if they are being overused or underused.
As the above list indicates, Microsoft Project provides an array of customizable, helpful features and tools to help Project Managers manage projects.
Start Learning Microsoft Project with Hands-On Classes
For those looking to learn the skills needed to better manage large projects, look no further than Noble Desktop’s Microsoft Project classes. If you are in the Manhattan area, there are several in-person Project courses available from Noble Desktop and its affiliate schools.
In addition, if you want to learn more about which of these courses are available near where you live, Noble’s Microsoft Project Classes Near Me Tool is designed to help prospective students explore all nearby Project courses. Currently, there are over 40 class listings available, running between three hours and three days in duration.
If you’re looking to work with the entire Microsoft 365 suite, you can also browse approximately 400 in-person and live online Microsoft Office classes in a city near you to find local and remote study options.