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Deliver Your Projects Successfully Using Microsoft Project

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By Author: Kirti
Total Articles: 53
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Microsoft Project is an industry agnostic product suite offering Project, Portfolio Management (PPM) solution to help organisation achieve strategic objectives aligned with its mission and vision. MS Project Training plays a very vital role in understanding the wider knowledge about the subject.

Broadly speaking it consists of

a) MS-Project Desktop Program
• MS-Project Standard – This is an entry-level desktop programme with which you can create, modify and track plans.
• MS-Project professional (a.k.a. Project Pro when it bought via MS-Office 365 subscription)– This has all the functionality of a Project Standard plus a few additional features such as the Team Planner View, Inactive Tasks, Generic Resources. We will explore this further in subsequent modules. Project professional can also work with Project Online and Project Server, SharePoint etc.

b) MS-Project Server - This is Microsoft’s on-premises Project and Portfolio Management Solution. It brings together the business collaboration platform services of MS-SharePoint Server with structured execution capabilities to provide flexible work management solutions. It unifies project and portfolio management to help organisations align resources and investments with business priorities, gain control across all types of work and visualise performance through powerful dashboards.

c) Project Online – Project Online is delivered through Office 365 and is Microsoft hosted cloud solution for Project and Portfolio Management. Note that Project Online is not a web-based version of the MS-Project program.

d) Project Web App (PWA) – This is a browser-based interface for PPM solution.

MS Project Certification not only enable a person to improve trust in the present focused activity market, and result in higher gaining potential. Microsoft Office Specialist Certification likewise enables representative to build their skill, efficiency, and validity with their partners and customers.

The capabilities of PPM solution include

a) Assisting Project managers in Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling the project. Assisting Project managers in building and analysing what-if scenarios and their impact on overall project.

b) Assisting Program and Portfolio managers in investment appraisal, project selection, assessing strategic fit and continued business justification on an ongoing basis, resource optimisation across program and portfolio and in delivering business value

c) Assisting Project Management Office and Project managers in extracting required information and reports and alerting them to early warning signs with appropriate suggestions where possible.

d) Capturing organisation’s best practices with regard to workflow models and resource skills in enterprise templates.

e) Developing consistent ways of describing and tracking project activities across the organisation

f) Collecting, analysing and reporting broad range of data related to various projects in timely and informative ways.

g) Allowing action from virtually anywhere and any device.

Thus, as you can see, the project management functionality of PPM extends far beyond the desktop functionality of MS-Project and is useful for not only project managers but a range of stakeholders within the organisation. PPM is one of the complex but rewarding practices that organisations, especially large organisations can adopt. Just to get an idea of PPM capabilities, imagine a large number of project managers managing hundreds of projects each with hundreds or thousands of resources and tasks within an organisation. Project management at this scale requires high degree of planning, coordinating and executing a large number of projects simultaneously and this is the realm of PPM.

Implementing and succeeding with PPM in an organisation is not an easy task, it is a transformation program in itself that requires strong willingness and support from organisation’s leadership, a well-trained group of administrators, project and resource managers, organisational change managers, appropriate hardware and software infrastructure and strong process focus. It takes time but practising project management using desktop functionality would be definitely a right first step in the journey and this is what we will focus on in the course. Let us have a look at MS-Project Product family.
Microsoft project training guides in understanding wider aspects of MS Project Suite.

The key benefits offered by collaborative working capabilities of MS-Project Suite combined with SharePoint are
a) Quickly come up to speed and focus on what matters most
b) Take action from virtually anywhere and from any device
c) Maintain alignment of organisation’s vision, mission, strategic objectives, programs, portfolio and projects.
d) Effectively manage resources across organisation.
e) Strengthen everyday collaboration by taking advantage of new social capabilities to facilitate discussions, information sharing and your team’s ability to get work done.
f) Seamlessly communicate and improve communication with Lync, SharePoint and Exchange integration.
g) Make Data-driven decisions by discovering insights and make better decisions with summary dashboards and self-service portals in Excel
h) Act and innovate with apps from the Office store or SharePoint store and extend and customise MS-Project with apps to fit your business needs

The first and most important thing in the journey of implementing PPM solution is to get all the project managers trained on atleast Microsoft Project Desktop client and institutionalise MS-Project’s usage within the organisation.

More About the Author

I am Kirti, a freelance writer and a blogger for ProThoughts. http://www.prothoughts.co.in/

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