Microsoft Project is one of the latest centuries inventions of clever resource assignment features combined with a powerful interface. It is a powerful project management solution armed with project budget forecasting, cloud computing on-premise variants, Advanced Gantt charts as well as detailed tasks descriptions.
Even though Microsoft Project cloud version is quite expensive for large teams and also lacks a decent mobile application, and is not the most user-friendly project management solution you can find out there, it still stands as one of the more advanced project management platforms available today.
What’s Good About Microsoft Project?
Microsoft Project features cutting-edge technologies that enable you to identify the best way to schedule projects and find optimal solutions for distributing workloads across your team.
It comes with a customizable Gantt chart, which enables you to visualize project workflows and resources.
A clear example of this is the high-level project budgeting toolkit which comes with the platform. Through the budgeting toolkit, you can do “Earned Value” calculations that return estimated cost and return figures for a proposed project. This is an excellent feature that can help you strategize about which you can take on.
For those who are experienced project managers, Microsoft Project system can be taken to the next level with interactive dashboards that communicate the current status of your projects, which requires some programming skills and a separate subscription to Microsoft Power BI.
Plans & Pricing
If you are accessing Microsoft Project software via Microsoft Project cloud-based solution, it can be accessed through three different subscription packages namely; Project Plan 1, Project Plan 3, and Project Plan 5. These plans vary in price ranging from $10 – $55 monthly, and all are billed annually.
Now, note that all three subscriptions collaborate and help you organize your workflow via Gantt charts. Thus, no matter the plan you settle for, you’ll be able to use grid and board views to arrange the different tasks you and your team are responsible for.
Note, that Project Plan 1, can only be used as a browser-based application while Plan 3 and Plan 5, is accompanied by a downloadable desktop client. On the other hand, you may need to upgrade to Project Plan 3, if you want to be able to assign specific resources to different tasks, or if you need access to reporting and timesheet functions.
For experienced project managers who need to model project proposals and compare them to key business metrics, Project Plan 5 will come in more handy. The top tier Microsoft Project subscription supports demand management, enabling users, create a standardized way to evaluate project ideas from your colleagues.
You can also sign up for Microsoft 365 subscription to access the cloud-based version of Microsoft Project, which allows you to access Microsoft Project Online.
You can also opt to pay for a one-time license rather than sign up to a rolling subscription plan. This you can do by going for an on-premise version of Microsoft Project instead. They come in 3 categories namely; Project Standard 2019, Project Professional 2019, and Project Server.
The cost for the first two is $620 and $1,030 respectively although you’ll have to request a quote directly from Microsoft if you are interested in purchasing Project Server.
The three on-premise versions of Microsoft Project are ideal for installation on a single PC at a time. Even though it lacks the collaborative features of the Cloud Microsoft Project editions, Project Professional supports synching with Project Online while Project Server has cutting edge optimization tools.
With loads, if exciting features and a few downsides, Microsoft Project still remains an excellent project management tool crafted for experienced professionals.