Microsoft Project ConsultingMicrosoft Project is one of Microsoft's oldest home-grown applications and has for over three decades been a leading desktop solution for project management. Microsoft Project has evolved into is a collaborative tool for planning and managing projects using critical-path scheduling, Gantt-chart visualization, and other techniques to track progress and costs and to allocate human resources, and equipment.

Microsoft Project and Project Server are offered with a perpetual license for a one-time fee. Microsoft Project Online, which stores Project information in a cloud-based SQL Server database, is available only on a subscription basis as part of the Office 365 product family. Some Project Online subscription plans include a version of Project Professional called Project Online Desktop Client.

While Project is very strong as a tool for managing people-intensive projects such as product development or for tracking work on timesheets, Project is not intended as a materials requirements planning (MRP) solution for manufacturers, which is addressed by several applications within the Microsoft Dynamics family of business software.

Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers offer in-depth expertise in deploying and using Project, Project Server and Project Online and can provide a broad range of cost-effective online consulting services based on industry best practices to help businesses of any size to take full advantage of this powerful platform. Services available from Progent include project design, software configuration and upgrades, strategies for secure collaboration among local and remote users, network infrastructure optimization, and customized webinar training.

Microsoft Project 2016 and Project 2013
The server tier of Microsoft Project 2016 is available for on-premises environments as Project Server 2016, and for cloud-connected subscribers as Project Online, a service available in Office 365. The two server products offer similar but not identical feature sets. Microsoft Project 2016 includes a new Resource Engagements feature that allows you to lock a resource to guarantee its availability. Project 2016 also introduces Capacity heat maps for at-a-glance visualization of both under-utilized and over-utilized resources. The enhanced Timelines visualization features independent start and end dates for each timeline, support for drag and drop between different timelines, and the ability to save editable objects to PowerPoint.

Project 2013 incorporates enhancements in important areas including improved usability, collaboration, manageability, cloud-readiness, Microsoft Office and Office 365 integration, and support for mobile users. The older Project Web App user interface is revamped with a more modern look and feel based on SharePoint 2013. Project Server 2013 consolidates the traditional Draft, Publish, Reporting, and Archive databases into a single database with four schemas, cutting total cost of ownership (TOC) by reducing administration overhead and expanding web-based access. Project Server 2016 can also reduce TOC through its support for multitenancy when used with SharePoint Server 2013, allowing multiple departments or customers share the same SharePoint Server, Project Server farm, and infrastructure. With Project Online, operational maintenance and multitenancy are handled in the host Microsoft datacenters.

Project 2013 improved collaboration with built-in Lync features that provide convenient access to IM and presence capability. In addition, integration with SharePoint Server 2013 and Exchange Server 2013 allowed team members using Project 2013 to collaborate on task management data from mobile devices powered by current versions of Apple iOS, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows. Progent's mobile wireless consultants can help you integrate smartphones and tablets with Microsoft Project by providing services that include iPhone and iPad integration, Android phone and tablet consulting, and RIM BlackBerry expertise.

The headline feature of Project 2013 was enhanced reporting. Project 2013 introduced a rich set of predefined, customizable dashboard, cost, resource and progress reports for tracking the health and status of a project. For example, a powerful Burndown dashboard report displays a chart that shows at a glance a comparison of a project's work that is planned, completed, and unfinished. The burndown dashboard chart is updated automatically whenever the underlying data changes. Project 2013 also includes design tools for creating reports from scratch by simplifying the addition of charts, tables, text, and images. Project 2013 also includes design tools for creating reports from scratch by simplifying the addition of charts, tables, text, and images. There are a number of differences between the business intelligence (BI) features supported by on-premises Project 2013 Server and Project Online. For example, Project Server 2013 on-premises, unlike Project Online, gives authorized users the option to access Reporting tables and views through SQL Server so they can build reports the same way as in Project Server 2010. Project 2013 Server includes SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) integration. To find out about Progent's support for BI reporting, see Progent's BI reporting consulting. To learn about Progent's Microsoft Power BI expertise, visit Microsoft Power BI business analytics consulting services.

Microsoft Project 2013 Consulting

Project 2013 includes rich, built-in reporting, avoiding the need to export data to another program

It is important to note that the only upgrade method from an older version of Microsoft Project is full database-attach. In-place upgrade is not supported. If you are running Project Server 2007, you must first upgrade to Project Server 2010 before upgrading your data to Project Server 2013. Progent can help you plan and implement an efficient from your legacy version of Microsoft Project to a current version.

Microsoft Project 2010
Microsoft Project Server 2010, which is built on SharePoint 2010, centralizes Microsoft Project information in a common SQL Server database and offers greater management control, enhanced security, and improved collaboration. Project Server 2010 also supports web-based clients, via Project Web Access, as well as users running the Microsoft Project desktop application. Microsoft Project 2010 offers a number of enhancements over Project 2007 in the areas of user interface, scheduling, monitoring, resource management, collaboration, and connectivity. New or improved features in these areas provided with the 2010 version of Microsoft Project include:

  • Improved User Interface
    – More efficient navigation based on the Microsoft Fluent user interface and Microsoft Office Ribbon
    – Microsoft Office Backstage view simplifies saving, printing, sharing, and publishing projects
    – Better integration with Microsoft Office Word and Excel for publishing information
    – More pre-built project templates plus greater ability to share new or customized templates
  • More Powerful Scheduling
    – Users can schedule tasks manually with custom Start, Finish, and Duration fields
    – The new Task Inspector tool helps you detect and resolve resource and scheduling conflicts
    – New support for Inactive tasks simplifies what-if analysis to facilitate more thorough planning
  • Enhanced Monitoring
    – A new Timeline view of tasks, milestones, and phases highlights key dates and possible problems
    – Manual task scheduling lets you create summary plans for later comparison with detailed results
    – Projects can be saved in PDF and XPS format for sharing or documenting how a project evolved
  • Easier Resource Management
    – A new interactive Team Planner tool simplifies resource management and detects overload issues
    – Enhanced leveling helps isolate and mitigate resource allocation problems
    – Visual Reports improvements help you produce summary charts for more detailed data analyses
    – An enhanced Compare Projects tool supports what-if analyses for evaluating project scenarios
  • Better Collaboration
    – Connection to Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 synchronization allows shared status updates
    – A new wizard turns SharePoint lists into projects by mapping SharePoint task list fields to Project fields
    – Project files can be saved directly to a SharePoint Foundation 2010 site for better collaboration and control
    – Integration with Project Server 2010 enables centralized project management and web-based scheduling
Microsoft Project Server 2010
Microsoft Project Server 2010 utilizes SharePoint 2010 to provide an advanced, collaborative Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solution. Project Server 2010 incorporates the capabilities of Office Project Portfolio Server 2007 to help prioritize projects and optimize portfolios by allocating resources across the enterprise based on strategic business values. Project Server 2010 also includes Project Web Access to allow mobile workers to use a web browser for project scheduling with a client application feature set equivalent to Project Professional 2010.

Because it is built on SharePoint Server 2010, Project Server 201o makes it easy to create reports and dashboards, use workflows to control document review and approval, and collaborate via Wikis, blogs, discussion groups, and My Sites. Project Server 2010 also takes advantage of SharePoint's powerful search capabilities for finding people and mining resources, tasks, documents, and other project data.

By including the capabilities of Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007, Project Server 2010 is able to provide comprehensive project and portfolio management (PPM) functions in a single server that streamlines administration and does away with the need for a Project Server Gateway.

For more information about Microsoft Project Server, visit Progent's Project Server 2010 consulting services.

Microsoft Project 2007
Microsoft Office Project 2007 provides a robust project management solution with a powerful combination of usability, power, and flexibility, allowing you to manage projects efficiently, collaboratively, and successfully. You can stay informed and control project work, schedules, and finances, keep project teams aligned, and be more productive through integration with familiar Microsoft Office system programs, extensive reporting, guided planning, and flexible tools.

The Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution streamlines the management and prioritization of projects and resources across your organization. The EPM Solution includes Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007, Microsoft Office Project Server 2007, and Microsoft Office Project Web Access. Important features of Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management include:

  • Manage Multiple Sub-projects as a Single Object. Project Professional lets you manage multiple sub-projects as a single object. This means you can generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and analysis across multiple sub-projects.
  • Import Project Task Lists from Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services. When you want to capture a project idea, you can use Windows SharePoint Services to begin creating a project task list. You can later import your project task list into Project Web Access, or convert it into a complete project plan.
  • Plan for Activities that Follow the Completion of a Project. Project Web Access supports activity plans, which help you to manage the activities that often follow the completion of a project.
  • Identify Specific Owners for Each Task Assignment. By identifying Assignment Owners, individuals other than the assigned resource can provide status updates on a work or material resource's assignment.
  • Track Your Project's Budget. Budget tracking permits Project to support the method with which many organizations allocate their budgets to specify the amount of resources and money that each project or program should use.
  • Undo and Redo Multiple Changes. Reverse the most recent series of changes by undoing changes to views, data, and options with Multiple Level Undo. With this functionality, you can also undo actions or sets of actions from macros or third-party applications.
  • Assign Cost Resources Across Multiple Tasks and Projects. Cost resources allow you to monitor project financials and synchronize your project with data in your accounting systems. For each task, you can assign multiple arbitrary costs (not based on work time) and use custom fields to specify cost type or financial code.
  • Develop High-level Resource Plans. Resource plans provide information about high-level or summary resource allocation when detailed resource assignments do not exist; for example, in proposed and anticipated projects, task-only projects, and for projects where assignments do not accurately reflect resource distribution.
  • Assign Work to Entire Teams of Resources. Team resources allow work to be assigned to a team rather than an individual. Any member of the team can accept the assignment and report time against it.
  • Identify Factors Affecting Task Schedule. Tasks drivers show which factors are affecting the start date of a task. Examples of possible drivers are predecessors, constraints, and calendar exceptions. Simply click these drivers to link to relevant information.
  • Track Project-related Documents and Information by Using Project Workspace Sites. Integration of Project Server and Windows SharePoint Services enables central management and tracking project-related documents and information.
  • Report on Tasks from the Outlook Calendar or Tasks Folder. Team members can view and report progress on tasks directly from their Outlook Tasks folder or their Outlook Calendar.
  • Track Administrative and Non-project Tasks Using Timesheets. Timesheets provide the basis for this information in Project, but they also extend beyond the basics to serve as input for financial systems and analyzing progress. Users can report how they spend their time on project and non-project activities by entering their hours against project tasks, summary tasks, or non-project administrative tasks.
  • Track Task Status Separate from Actual Work Hours. When tracking task status, team members can report effort on their task assignments separately from their actual work hours.
How Progent Can Help You with Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project Server
Progent's Microsoft Project consultants are available online to provide affordable expertise for all facets of Microsoft Project, Microsoft Project Server, and Microsoft Project Online technology from debugging reports to project design and management. Progent can help you maintain, manage, enhance, and troubleshoot your existing Project environment, migrate to a newer version of Project, or move to the cloud with Project Online. Progent can show you how to follow industry best practices to plan complex projects, select or customize existing templates or create new ones, and use Microsoft Project to manage and monitor a project to a successful conclusion.

Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you integrate Project with Project Server and with other Microsoft applications including SharePoint, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE engineers can help you build a fast and dependable network infrastructure to support your Microsoft Project environment and to allow authorized users to access Project files easily from local or remote desktop computers or smartphones. Progent's certified network security experts can help you define and enforce security policies that keep you Project information safe and allow you to comply with industry and regulatory standards. Progent can also provide custom webinar training to help individuals or groups manage and use Microsoft Project efficiently.

Contact Progent for Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project Server Support
If you are looking for a Microsoft Project or Microsoft Project Server consulting specialist, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

Attention IT Specialists
If you are a skilled specialist with demonstrated expertise in one or more of the areas supported by Progent's Experts Team, ask about how to work with Progent by going to Progent's Experts Group.

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