What Is Microsoft Project? Understanding the Uses and Features of MS Project

Are you asking, “What is microsoft project?” and trying to figure out the uses and features of MS Project? Read now to learn more.

As important as managing projects is, it’s rarely a walk in the park.

Project managers are often tasked with a variety of responsibilities, including delegating roles, checking in on status updates, and generally making sure that the ship runs smoothly.

Thankfully, there are project management programs, like Microsoft Project, that help take care of a lot of the heavy lifting. But how does a system like Microsoft Project actually do that? And what is Microsoft Project anyway?

Understanding the answers to these questions can help make your work life, and that of your team, a whole lot easier. So continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know!

What Is Microsoft Project?

Microsoft Project is Microsoft’s project management software. It’s designed for project managers who are looking to have more control over their various projects.

Depending on what kind of plan you get, Microsoft Project will let you assign tasks, make reports, plan projects, manage resources, and more. The platform offers a full array of features and tools and quickly took over the sector when it was first introduced.

Microsoft Project is a piece of the large suite of Microsoft Office programs. However, this program isn’t packaged with other software products, such as Outlook, Powerpoint, and word.

Also, there are two versions of Microsoft Project that are available. There is the standard edition and the professional edition. Both of these versions share a unique file format, known as MPP.

Microsoft Project first became commercially available way back 1984. The next year, Microsoft bought all of the rights to the software and released a new version. It wasn’t until 1990 when the first Windows version was released.

The following year, a version was released for Macintosh. Microsoft stopped developing Project for Mac after 1994.

Microsoft Project Features

There are a number of features that managers and their teams could utilize so that they could become more productive. In this section, we’ll go over some of the most useful features that the program has to offer.

Grid view offers you a type of view that can be used to manage and plan projects via a task list. Board view is a visual kanban view that can help with controlling status and workflow.

Timeline view offers the standard Gantt chart that’s used for scheduling tasks within a project timeline. Coauthoring provides team members and stakeholders with the ability to work together to update schedules and task lists and work together.

With Roadmap, users can track project portfolios and programs. Resource Management allows people to manage resources by assigning and requesting projects.

The Communication and Collaboration feature is what lets teams work together on projects. And the Reporting feature provides pre-built reports that can track resources, portfolios, progress, and programs.

Lastly, the Timesheets feature allows managers to collect non-project as well as project time for invoicing and payroll.

Pricing and Plans

Microsoft offers three pricing plans for cloud-based solutions. The cheapest plan comes with an annual commitment of $10 for each user, per month.

This plan comes with limited services and also doesn’t including such helpful tools like resource management, timesheet submission, and reporting.

The next pricing tier costs $30 for each user, per month. And this also is an annual commitment. This plan does come with some more helpful features but it lacks portfolio optimization and selection, enterprise resource management and planning, and demand management.

Lastly, there is the top tier payment plan. This is an annual commitment of $55 for each user, per month. This version of Microsoft Project comes with all of the aforementioned tools and features but it could end up becoming quite costly depending on how many licenses you’re going to need.

There’s also an on-premise solution, which also offers a plan of three different tiers for payment. It will cost you $620 for Project Standard 2019 and $1,030 for Project Professional 2019. Both of these plans only cover one computer for each person.

You will have to request a quote for accurate pricing if you want the Project Server.

Pros and Cons of Microsoft Project

As great as Microsoft Project is, it certainly isn’t perfect. Before you sign up, it’s important to know all of its pros and cons.

Pros of Microsoft Project

Perhaps the greatest pros of Microsoft Project is that it comes directly from Microsoft. This means that it’s compatible with other products from the company, including Microsoft Office as well as other products like Skype and Microsoft Sharepoint.

It also has a similar user interface to other Microsoft products and has been around for several decades. You’ll also know that the product is reliable and comes with plenty of support.

Cons of Microsoft Project

It can be difficult to learn how to use Microsoft Project effectively. It takes a lot of time and trial and error to get the hang of it.

The program is also fairly expensive. Especially when you take into account the purchasing of licenses.

It’s also not shareable. You can only save files as MPP, which can only be read by Microsoft Project.

It’s also not available for Mac. Thankfully, there’s an alternative to Microsoft Project for Mac. You can find out more about it at this link: https://setapp.com/how-to/best-microsoft-project-alternative-for-mac.

The Importance of Knowing What Is Microsoft Project

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now feel that you have a pretty good answer to the question, “what is Microsoft Project?”. But before you sign up, make sure that you take all of the features and pros and cons into consideration.

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