- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 17 Sep 2020
Microsoft's six ways to supercharge project management
Microsoft offers six ways firms can 'supercharge' their project management using the latest project planning, management and optimisation capabilities. An integrated, end-to-end project solution, it is claimed, can keep projects, resources and teams organised and on track. It can offer:
- Ease of use from the start.
- Innovative collaboration and communication tools.
- The ability to create projects in the cloud.
- Insights into project status and detailed progress.
- Highest levels of security.
This may be facilitated by:
- Project templates. Pre-populated plans for common project types of projects which are customisable.
- Connectivity to favourite apps, eg, the ability to export data to Excel.
- Smart automation: identifying and automating routine operations to minimise errors and increase efficiency.
 Provide insight for data-driven decisions
- Out-of-the-box reports allowing instant access in a familiar format.
- Graphical representation of complex data for informed decision making.
- Gantt charts to easily create schedules showing the tasks that are critical to a project's success.
 Foster collaboration
- Multiple communication tools.
- Collaborative workspaces eg, a cloud-based project site holding drawings, communications, tasks, timelines, announcements, etc.
- Working together through cloud working, allowing teams to view documents and work on drawings from anywhere.
- Provide easy team access to documents from any device.
- Seamless workflow, allows users to work on the latest version from different devices.
- Real-time updating allows updates to be submitted ‘on the go’.
- Team-wide visibility means updates can be seen as soon as they are made.
- Provide a systematic process for requesting resources can be essential to the smooth flow of project planning and maintenance.
- Quickly identify overused and underused resources to optimise assignments.
- Compare resources across standard data and forecast projected usage to monitor progress and address concerns before they become bottlenecks.
- Group all potential project resources into a single view, so that resource managers can build best-fit teams.
 Make it professional
Project management solutions should provide sophisticated tools, reliability and security. No matter the size of the company, a cloud-based solution offers access to enterprise-level security, along with the intelligence of the cloud.
The following professional-level capabilities may be considered when solutions are being evaluated:
- Ask about uptime performance and verify the supplier provides an uptime service-level agreement. Also look for continuous data backup, disaster recovery and globally redundant datacentres.
- The solution adopted should have separate functionality for IT and management, so everyone can focus on the tasks most important to them.
- Depending on needs, verify that the system complies with industry standards used worldwide.
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- Code of practice for project management.
- Code of practice for programme management.
- Construction project.
- Monte Carlo simulation.
- Pareto analysis.
- Preliminary business case.
- Project execution plan.
- Project monitoring.
- Risk management.
- Strategic brief.
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