New software keeps popping up left and right. Upcoming applications that guarantee that they are the best for the job.
With the overwhelming amount of choices, one can easily feel flustered when it comes to picking the right tool.
In terms of picking the right software, there are a ton of factors that need to be considered. These factors can range from the price, consistency, added features, and a whole list of virtual and physical elements.
When it comes to picking project management software, one of the favorites has always been Microsoft Project. This application has been helping out teams since 1984 and has continued to evolve.
What is Microsoft Project?
Microsoft Project is one of the original project management software. It helps teams to strategize and coordinate accordingly.
Much like most tools today, they have improved over time and adjusted to the needs of society.
At its core, Microsoft Project provides users with an easy-to-use tool to help manage projects. MS Project has a range of features that let users delegate tasks, plan deadlines, allocate resources, and much more.
Accomplishing a project involves a lot of tasks and usually a lot of people. Ensuring that every microscopic cog in the large machine is doing its job is no easy feat.
Project management software helps teams to get past this obstacle and have projects finished in a snap.
Mastering Microsoft Project can lead to a whole new level of efficiency and accountability in your team. Understanding and mastering this simple software is crucial to pushing a team towards its full potential.
Understanding Microsoft Project
Despite the several advantages brought by Microsoft Project, it is a simple application that is renowned for being user-friendly. There are a ton of simple MS Project tutorials that can turn a newbie into a project managing master with a few steps.
These MS Project tutorials help users understand a simple concept even easier and allow a quick mastery of numerous features.
There are different approaches when it comes to mastering MS Project and each has its pros and cons.
Usually, if you’re tasked with assembling or maneuvering heavy equipment you are provided with a manual and a course. The manual and the course give you proper knowledge of the ins and outs of the equipment and how to maximize their features.
Understanding MS Project is no different. Breezing through a quick course can help you master every tiny feature to maximize efficiency.
Mastering this tool is great for you, your team, and even your company.
Pros and Cons of MS Project
As mentioned, there is a wide array of applications that offer amazing features and great usability. Each of these applications has its strengths and weaknesses.
This guide doesn’t simply define what MS Project is. It also gives a quick overview of what sets this tool apart from its competitors.
Reading through these pros and cons will help you decide whether MS Project is what you and your team need.
Pros of Microsoft Project
MS Project is one of the original tools for handling projects and this kind of experience has led to incredible features. These features make MS Project stand out among its competitors.
In the age of application supremacy, here are a few of the pros that make MS Project the go-to software.
- Compatibility with Other Applications
Microsoft Project is a Microsoft product, which means it is compatible with a bunch of systems and applications.
Compatibility means that you won’t have any trouble when it comes to accessing files when you’re on a Microsoft-friendly device. Compatibility also means you don’t need to worry about sudden formatting changes.
Since Microsoft products were made to be friends with one another you can expect the other tools to work just fine along with MS Project.
- Familiar Appearance
As mentioned, MS Project is a Microsoft product and it carries a familiar interface. Most Microsoft products tend to follow a trend in how they present information to the user.
If you are familiar with other Microsoft products, then you will probably have no trouble exploring Microsoft Project.
A familiar interface means that people can attempt to understand things on their own. Exploring something familiar is an easier task compared to wandering the completely unknown.
MS Project has a ton of features and one of their unique ones would be the ability to finance. Through Microsoft Project, you can allocate resources and watch how money and other resources are spent.
Managing resources is a crucial task when it comes to handling large-scale or prolonged projects. MS Project makes this chore feel more like a game because users get to handle their limited resources easily.
Failure to manage resources can lead to a halt in the operation and maybe even cancellation. Resources are important and are often overlooked when it comes to other project management software.
- Incredibly Easy to Use and Customizable
It is impossible to overstress the importance of user-friendly tools.
If you had a choice between using a modern hammer that is full of buttons or a simple and familiar hammer to fix a nail, what would you choose?
In some cases, the modern hammer is preferred but often simplicity is the consistent solution. Having an easy to maneuver tool means less confusion and more time saved.
Whether you’re new to the software or not, a simple tool that gets the job done will probably sit better.
Cons of Microsoft Project
Of course, tools aren’t perfect and for every pro, there is probably a con on the other end. These are the main cons or struggles when it comes to handling MS Project.
- Dependency on Microsoft Products
MS Project is a Microsoft product, and with all the bonuses brought by belonging to the Microsoft family, there are counter effects.
Being a Microsoft product means that Project functions the best when it is paired with other Microsoft products.
This means that if your teammates or customers don’t use Microsoft, they may have trouble accessing certain files.
MS Project is incredibly kind to systems that are Microsoft friendly. Unfortunately, for certain systems that don’t fit the criteria, well there’s going to be some trouble.
In some cases, other people will have no choice but to resort to using Microsoft-friendly systems or applications. They’ll need to adjust so they can access the needed data.
- Some of the Other Features are Difficult to Understand
The project provides a lot of features that let users become the best project managers they can be. This means that there are a lot of opportunities and tools to take advantage of.
MS Project can generally be understood easily but certain aspects need some extra time and patience.
As mentioned, some online guides and tutorials discuss the different features. However, this does not negate the fact that some features of MS Project are simply confusing and hard to use.
These confusing features do not make MS Project difficult to understand as a whole. But it means mastering every area of MS Project may take some time.
- Pricey Option
This is the age of online tools and applications, there are thousands if not millions of free software available. There is some notable free project management software that has nearly the same effect.
Of course, MS Project belongs to Microsoft 365 and Office 365 but Project is still an expensive option. This becomes apparent when compared to other newer free software that has similar features.
MS Project is a wonderful tool that can help you and your team finish projects in a snap. The project, however, is not perfect and despite having a bunch of pros it still has weaknesses.
There are several project management software that have similar features and attempts to do the same job.
Taking a look at the strengths and weaknesses of MS Project will help you to decide if this is something your team needs.
MS Project may have been one of the original tools but that doesn’t mean it is the only viable option.