Best Project Management Software from Microsoft

Best Project Management Software from Microsoft

Microsoft Project stands out as a distinguished offering in the realm of project management tools, tailored to suit various business needs. It is a robust platform that provides comprehensive functionality for managing your project tasks, regardless of your team’s size. With cloud-based or on-premise deployment options, Microsoft caters to different organizational preferences and requirements.

Features of Microsoft Project include scheduling, which utilizes Gantt charts to visualize project timelines, and board view for a more agile task management approach. Integration is smooth, as it ties in closely with other Microsoft products such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Office 365, enabling seamless collaboration among teams.

Your project management efforts are enhanced with the capability to manage task dependencies and automations, streamlining your workflow and reducing the need for manual input on routine tasks. Furthermore, Microsoft Project empowers you with portfolio management tools, making it simpler to supervise multiple projects holistically and ensure alignment with broader business strategies.

The table below summarizes key components of Microsoft’s project management offerings:

Deployment OptionsCloud-based services as well as on-premise solutions for tailored needs.
Task ManagementAssign, schedule, and manage tasks with ease.
Gantt Charts & Board ViewVisual planning tools that support both traditional and agile methodologies.
Collaboration ToolsIntegrate with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint for effective team communication.
Portfolio ManagementTools to manage a collection of projects and align them with business objectives.
Automation & Task DependenciesFeatures to automate routine tasks and track the sequence of project tasks.

Accessing these powerful project management software options ensures your business is equipped to handle diverse project requirements effectively. Whether for task management or extensive project portfolio management, Microsoft’s suite of tools is designed to scale with your business needs. If you aim to focus on small teams specifically, consider exploring options tailored for smaller setups, such as for overall project management efficiency.

By choosing Microsoft’s project management software, you position yourself to benefit from a solution that supports the entire project lifecycle with precision and professionalism.

Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project is a project management software developed by Microsoft. It forms part of the Microsoft 365 suite and caters to a range of project management needs through both desktop and web-based applications. As a tool, it is particularly adept at managing traditional project management approaches like Waterfall and incorporates features for Agile methodology.

What Sets Microsoft Project Apart Microsoft Project distinguishes itself with advanced resource management, roadmapping, and reporting capabilities. It supports detailed project scheduling with task dependencies and generates automated schedules using templates.

Core Features

  • Advanced Gantt charts for detailed project tracking
  • Automated task scheduling to streamline the planning process
  • Resource management tools for efficient allocation
  • Budgeting features for financial control of projects

Ease Of Use While the software’s advanced features are robust, newcomers may find it challenging due to the steep learning curve and intricate interface.

Security Microsoft Project utilizes Microsoft’s standard security protocols to safeguard data across its applications.

Customer Service and Support Assistance is offered through various channels, including online resources, tutorials, and customer support.

Microsoft Project Pricing and Plans

  • Starting from $10 per user per month

Setup and Customization The setup varies between the on-premise and cloud versions, with customization options available to tailor the software to your project’s needs.

Additional Features Microsoft Project integrates with other Microsoft tools, such as Teams for collaboration and SharePoint for document management.

Alternatives and Comparisons While proficient, Microsoft Project might seem prohibitive in cost and complexity for some teams compared to alternatives with free plans and more straightforward interfaces.

Best For Seasoned project managers familiar with Microsoft’s ecosystem will leverage the most out of Microsoft Project’s capabilities.

Below is a table summarizing key aspects of Microsoft Project:

Gantt ChartsVital for timeline tracking with dynamic task adjustments.
Task SchedulingAutomated to save time in planning, with editable dependencies.
Resource ManagementTools for assigning and tracking resources efficiently.
Customer SupportMultiple channels for assistance and queries.
IntegrationWorks well within Microsoft ecosystem. Limited external integrations.
User InterfaceComplex and requires a learning curve.
CustomizationOffers extensive options to tailor to specific project needs.
PricingEntry-point at $10/user/month with tiered options for additional features.

Remember, while Microsoft Project offers powerful project management capabilities, assessing your team’s familiarity with project management practices and needs is crucial before adoption.

Microsoft Project In Office 365

Microsoft Project Professional for Office 365 is a comprehensive project management solution designed to run on Windows operating systems. With this subscription-based service, you are equipped with the tools necessary for effective project planning and management. It’s vital for keeping track of tasks, timelines, and resources efficiently from a single hub. It provides an array of features including new reporting tools and task management enhancements.

Project Management Tools:

  • Automated scheduling: Minimizes training time by using familiar scheduling features.
  • Visual project timelines: Multiple timelines to help visualize complex projects.
  • Built-in reports: Gain insights with reports like Burndown and Resource Overview.

Integration and Collaboration:

  • Lync 2013 integration: Instant messaging or calls with team members via Project Professional.
  • Apps Connectivity: Use Apps for Office to meet specific business needs or copy data into Office applications such as Word or PowerPoint.
  • SharePoint and Skype for Business Sync: Work collaboratively in real time, with dedicated project sites provided by SharePoint and integrated communication tools from Skype for Business.
Installation MethodDigital Download
Devices Supported5 PCs, 5 Tablets, 5 Phones
Installations Supported15 Installations
License TypeSubscription
License Term1 Year
Operating Systems SupportedWindows 10, 8.1, 8, 7
Minimum Hardware Requirements2 GB Hard Drive Space; 1 GB RAM (32-bit) / 2 GB RAM (64-bit); 1.0 GHz Processor Speed
User License1 User, Licensed for Home and Commercial Use

Task Management Enhancements:

  • Task path highlighting: Identifies vital tasks within Gantt charts.
  • Inactive tasks: Run scenarios without altering the entire project to find optimal task assignments.
  • Synchronized task lists: Team member updates in SharePoint reflect in the Project client.

The key to Microsoft Project’s appeal lies in its capacity to maintain your software up-to-date without manual intervention, freeing you from update-related distractions while offering the most critical project management tools.

Remember, this is a powerful resource for staying organized and in control of your projects, whether you are managing small tasks or handling large-scale initiatives. The integration with familiar Office tools streamlines collaboration and communication, enhancing your management experience.

Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Planner is a task management application that integrates with the Microsoft 365 suite, aimed at facilitating collaboration and organization within teams. Its visual board-based interface allows you to easily create, assign, and track tasks across different phases of a project’s lifecycle. With Planner, your team can leverage Kanban-style boards for progression visualization and employ a variety of tools to enrich tasks, like checklists and file attachments, ensuring that everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done.

When you use Planner, tasks come alive with the ability to add detailed descriptions, set due dates, and categorize work with color-coded labels, thus simplifying the process of prioritizing and sorting through tasks. The application’s integration with Microsoft Teams enhances teamwork by allowing tasks to be created from messages and providing a shared workspace in Channels.

Planner isn’t limited to desktop usage; it’s also available on mobile devices through dedicated iOS and Android apps. While the mobile apps share most of the features with the web version, there is a unique capability to add photos directly using your device’s camera. It’s important to note, the Planner apps cannot be used with Microsoft 365 Personal accounts, and the iOS version is not available for government subscriptions.

To ensure that your projects are transparent and no one is overburdened, Planner includes insightful status charts. Pie and bar charts offer a visual representation of task completion, helping you quickly determine which areas may need more attention.

Below is a table summarizing the key aspects of Microsoft Planner:

Task VisualizationOffers Kanban-style boards with tasks represented as cards that can be moved across different stages.
Task DetailsEnrich tasks with attachments, checklists, and labels.
CollaborationIntegrates with Microsoft Teams for seamless teamwork within a familiar workspace.
MobilityAvailable on iOS and Android for managing tasks on the go.
Status TrackingVisualize progress through pie and bar charts to monitor work distribution and task completion.
IntegrationConnects with Microsoft To Do, SharePoint, and other Microsoft 365 apps for a unified management experience.
SecurityShares the comprehensive security capabilities of the Microsoft 365 suite.
NotificationsReceive updates via email and respond directly without leaving Outlook.

Keep in mind that while Planner is a robust task management tool, it does not replace complex project management software like Microsoft Project but rather complements it within the Microsoft ecosystem. It is designed to streamline team tasks and ensure everyone contributes effectively to the collective effort.

Microsoft Project Alternative

When exploring alternatives to Microsoft Project, you have several options to consider based on your specific project management needs. Here is a breakdown of some widely-regarded alternatives:

SoftwareKey FeaturesPricing Strategy
ProjectLibreCompatibility with MS Project, Open-sourceFree
ClickUpCustomizable views, Real-time reportingFree, Paid tiers
WrikeScalable features for power usersFree, Paid tiers
Zoho ProjectsTask automation, Integration with Zoho suiteFree, Paid tiers
GanttProjectGantt and PERT chart support, Open-sourceFree
Liquid PlannerResource management, Predictive schedulingPaid only

ProjectLibre, an open-source alternative, allows you to import from and export to Microsoft Project formats, ensuring easy transitioning between tools.

ClickUp stands out for its customizable options that allow you to tailor your project management experience, including rich editing features and real-time data.

Wrike caters especially to power users seeking robust, scalable functionalities. It provides an intuitive interface compatible with a variety of industries and project sizes.

With Zoho Projects, you can enjoy seamless integration with the Zoho suite and automated task functions, saving you time and effort in project tracking and collaboration.

If your focus is primarily on charting timelines, GanttProject offers essential tools like Gantt and PERT charts, helping you visualize schedules without a heavy software footprint.

Lastly, Liquid Planner is unique for its resource management capabilities and predictive scheduling, which assist in accurately anticipating project timelines and adjusting workloads dynamically.

Each of these Microsoft Project alternatives brings distinct advantages, and your choice should align with your specific requirements for managing projects effectively.

Office 365 Project Management Apps

When you navigate the suite of Office 365, you’ll encounter a robust set of project management tools tailored for different needs and workflows.

Microsoft Project: A comprehensive project management solution that’s now cloud-based for easier access and collaboration. It allows you to schedule tasks, allocate resources, manage budgets, and track progress with advanced project management capabilities.

Microsoft Planner: Ideal for Kanban-style task management. You can organize tasks into boards and buckets, leveraging visual tools for easier team collaboration. Its features include task assignments, color-coded labels, file attachments, checklists, and comments.

Microsoft Teams: More than just a communication platform, Teams integrates with other Office apps and allows for project collaboration in real-time, bringing together chat, meetings, notes, and attachments for better team coordination.

Microsoft To-Do: For a more individual approach, this app serves as a personal task management tool that syncs across platforms, helping you stay organized with lists and tasks.

Microsoft SharePoint: A highly customizable platform to create and manage collaborative project sites, allowing document sharing and team collaboration.

Microsoft Power Automate: Previously known as Microsoft Flow, this tool helps in creating automated workflows between your apps and services to synchronize files, get notifications, and collect data.

The table below summarizes the key features and use cases for each tool within Office 365:

ToolKey FeaturesIdeal Use Case
Microsoft ProjectAdvanced scheduling, resource allocationComplex project management with detailed scheduling needs
Microsoft PlannerVisual task organization, Kanban boardsAgile teams and simplified project task management
Microsoft TeamsIntegrated communication, file sharingReal-time collaboration and communication within teams
Microsoft To-DoCross-platform task listsPersonal task management and daily to-dos
Microsoft SharePointCustomizable collaboration sites, document managementCollaborative team sites for document sharing and communication
Microsoft Power AutomateAutomated workflows, notificationsConnecting applications to streamline processes

Each application has its unique strengths, and by familiarizing yourself with these tools, you enhance your ability to manage projects effectively within the Office 365 ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions About Project Management Software From Microsoft

What Microsoft tool is used for project management? Microsoft offers Microsoft Project as its primary project management software. This tool provides a range of project management features, such as Gantt charts, resource management, and scheduling.

Can you use Microsoft 365 for project management? Yes, Microsoft 365 includes a variety of tools such as Microsoft Planner that can be used for project management. While not as comprehensive as Microsoft Project, it provides basic project management capabilities.

What is the most used project management software? Microsoft Project is one of the most widely used project management software applications, especially in enterprise environments.

Do project managers still use MS Project? Yes, MS Project continues to be a staple tool for many project managers due to its comprehensive feature set and integration with Microsoft’s suite of applications.

Is MS Project same as Jira? No, MS Project and Jira cater to different needs. Jira is more widely used in agile software development, while MS Project is often the choice for traditional project management methodologies.

Is Microsoft Project management free? No, Microsoft Project is not free. It requires a paid license or subscription.

How much does Microsoft Project cost? Pricing for Microsoft Project varies based on the plan and subscription model. Please consult the official Microsoft website for the most current pricing information.

How much does it cost to add Microsoft Project to Office 365? Microsoft Project is not included in the standard Office 365 subscription and must be purchased as a separate add-on. Specific pricing is subject to change, so it is recommended to check the official Microsoft website for the latest cost details.

Microsoft ProjectComprehensive project management tool with advanced features
Microsoft 365Offers basic project management tools
Use in PMWidely used by project managers globally
Comparison with JiraDifferent focus; Jira for agile, MS Project for traditional PM
Cost of MS ProjectPaid license; varies by plan
MS Project with Office 365Available as a separate add-on; prices vary

We found the best project management software for different business requirements, the curated top 10. Project management software for construction, and for architects specifically. Other classification is related to the project dimensions: software for a single individual in a business venture, for small teams like a start up, and others for a small business.

There is no need to spend: there is free project management software to enjoy an extended trial or a community version. Furthermore, there are open source software options that we analyze as well.

We have studied the complete suite for project management from Microsoft, which can be used on-premise, or cloud based.

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