Last edited 07 Oct 2020

Microsoft Project - software for project management

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[edit] Introduction

Microsoft Project is project management software first published by US-based Microsoft in 1984, since when it has become a market leader in PC-based project management software.

Microsoft Project (‘MS Project’) has been designed to enable project managers to track the progress of projects, manage budgets, develop schedules, allocate resources to tasks and scrutinise workloads. It is available to purchase either as software or as an online toolProject Online. Available in ‘Standard’ and ‘Professional’, Project has never been included as part of the Office suite of software. It comes in either 32- or 64-bit options.

[edit] Project management software

It is generally accepted that the use of project management software can increase the productivity of project managers and their teams. Generally, project management software (PMS) has the power to help plan, organise and manage resource tools and develop estimates.

The Microsoft Windows-based application is claimed to help project managers, key stakeholders and teams stay productive through the use of built-in templates, familiar scheduling tools and reports. Typically, MS Project can manage tasks, including:

Some of these can be shared between projects using the shared resource pool. The software can also create critical-path schedules that can be presented in Gantt chart format.

With Microsoft Project, project managers can break down the tasks of a project into a ‘work breakdown structure’ (WBS) and assign workers (called ‘resources’) to those tasks. The user can also create reports that communicate the status and progress of a project.

The ability of the software to recognise different classes of user means that varying access levels to project and other data can be ascribed according to need.

Studies have found that the most desired planning tools in project management include file sharing, time tracking, email integration and Gantt charts. However, this does not take into account communication in all its social media forms – video chat, real-time chat, social media integration and mobile access. This is pertinent given that a Project Management Institute (PMI) report found that poor communication is one of the top causes of project failure. Such communication abilities are integrated into Microsoft Project.

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