Make Project Management Easier with Microsoft Project



It is possible that you have heard of Microsoft Project, but have never used it. It isn’t included in the standard editions of Microsoft Office, which is why it is relatively unknown. It is, however, a powerful piece of software that can streamline Project Management. In this article, we set out its capabilities.

1 – Planning, Tasks and Resources

Project managers can use it to develop plans, assign resources to tasks, track progress, manage budgets and analyse workloads. Perhaps its most useful feature is it’s ability to see a project in a number of different views.  A View in Microsoft Project is a representation of data in the form of table and graph.

2 – Many Different Views

Essentially, the project can be viewed from different perspectives and representations, all from one platform. These views can also be customized providing particular solutions for specific projects. In the latest versions there is even a Board view, that looks like a traditional Kanban board.

3 – The Gantt Chart

The default view is the Gantt Chart view. This has two sections; a Table on left hand side and Graph on right hand side. Traditionally a Gantt Chart contains Tasks names, tasks duration, start and finish dates and a bar chart drawn to show the tasks duration over time.

There is also a Network Diagram view, a Team Planner view, a resource usage chart view, a calendar view, and many, many more.

4 – Create Tasks and Timelines

Microsoft Project helps planning and scheduling, by allowing the definition of project tasks and setting the prioritisation of these. A Timeline view can be added to identify important tasks and Milestones in the project.

5 – Customised Reports

Project has extensive reporting facilities, allowing complex and detailed reports to be generated very easily. As well as built in reports, it provides the facility to create custom reports that meet your own organisation’s requirements. Reports include burn down reports; an overview of the entire project on one page; the conditions of available resources and their utilisation; a cost overview; a list of pending tasks; and a list of targets achieved and upcoming goals.

6 – Easy Resource Management

There are a number of tools in project that allow effective resource management, allowing the tracking and monitoring of available resources. Project also allows the assignment of costs to individual resources, and check if certain resources are being overused or underused. Tasks can be correctly assigned to match resource availability. A Resource Pool can even be created that can be accessed by multiple projects.

7 – Subprojects and Master Projects

Smaller projects, being looked after by different teams can be merged together into a Master Project, but still exist as separate entities, allowing a lot of flexibility on how the projects are managed, whilst still showing how smaller projects fit into a larger overall Project.

Project is a very flexible tool that is extremely useful for project management. It is also quite simple to master. Infero Training offers courses in Project at all levels. Click here to find out more:

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