Microsoft Project has been supporting business professionals such as project managers, resource managers, business managers, consultants, executives, IT professionals and project team members for more than a decade. Because its design is based on standard project management principles, the Microsoft Project product family supports every aspect of a project from start to finish.
Effectively managing projects gives organizations an edge in planning for and responding to the demands of a rapidly changing business climate. The newly released Microsoft Project 2002 has been touted as the tool of choice for delivering cost-effective project management results.
Whether you're implementing a single project or managing a project portfolio across your organization, Microsoft Project 2002 provides flexible options that help organize project and resource information and make it available to the people who need it. With intuitive project management tools and Web-based access, you can share documents, manage resources and schedules, track issues, and analyze project information.
New features support enterprise resource management, multiple project
analysis, and reporting across your organization, ensuring that business
initiatives and projects meet strategic goals.
Installation and Settings
The Microsoft Setup User Information window will load first. Users will be required to enter your username, initials, organizations and a 25-character product key. The End-User License Agreement will load next. After accepting the EULA, users will be able to choose the type of installation. The installation options available are:
Aside from the hassle of installing the above, the installation will be similar to a normal Project installation and thus requires no more elaboration.
Project Management Basics
In today's business climate, project management methods and tools are being applied to a broad range of activities, from traditional projects and innovative organizational change processes to management of a portfolio of projects across an organization.
For any type of project, project management means delivering results on time and within budget. Numerous models exist for managing projects, but each includes a similar set of basic phases: project definition, project planning, performance tracking and project closure. The project management tools and features offered by Microsoft Project support the best practices defined by the leading project management models.
During this phase, you establish the framework for the project, including the following:
An effective plan provides the direction for a project, maintaining information about scope, resources and schedule in one place. Developing a project plan involves the following steps:
Tracking mechanisms help you evaluate your project's progress by analyzing performance against specific criteria. By regularly reviewing results, you can better direct and refine the project. Tracking performance involves the following:
Spending the time to close a project properly gives you the opportunity to analyze your results and apply what you learned to future projects. To close a project, you can do any of the following:
When project managers publish plans from Microsoft Project 2002 to Microsoft Project Server 2002, they can automatically notify their team members through email. Email notifications help team member with the latest updates, upcoming milestones and even more. Such email messages even have links to project plans, enabling team managers to access projects quickly and conveniently over the Internet.
Team members do not have to install Microsoft Project on their computers to see project details. All they need to do is to acquire Microsoft Project Server Client Access Licenses, or CALs to view project information through Microsoft Project Web Access. Permission and access can be easily administrated by each company’s IT department. Another thing to note is that Microsoft Project Web Access happens to have the same consistent interface used in all other Microsoft Products, thus enabling minimum learning and maximum productivity. At the same time, each team member will also have customized information and updates that are relevant to his role in the team. Features in Microsoft Web Access are as follows:
Each team member can assign new tasks and even delegate tasks to fellow team members. Of course, it is typical of Microsoft to integrate their products with other Microsoft Products. Project 2002 is no exception. There is enhanced collaboration with SharePoint Team Services. Team members can thus post and share documents and issues located in a central location. Project 2002 also enables team members to link documents to specific tasks and an icon will appear, indicating supporting documentation. Team members are also allowed to centrally record issues to keep note of project concerns. An issue can also be linked to a task enabling further convenience.
The enterprise features are available only on Microsoft Project 2002 Professional and require Microsoft SQL Server. It provides company-wide views of project information or portfolio, thus enabling executives to see at a glance their entire portfolio of projects. Portfolio Analyzer is also included to perform analysis of the information available.
Templates are also available, enabling users to:
The feature set included with this new version of Project is astounding. It not only provides a project team to manage a project from start to end, the enterprise features also ensure that enterprises can make use of such a product in all on-going projects. But sadly, the extensive features also mean that users will have to go through training to make use of them. This may be something Microsoft should look into – how to make project managers’ work easier, and at the same time, shorten the time required to master the software.
Without any doubt, Microsoft Project offers an integrated solution that will be able to satisfy all of your project management needs. Its extensive feature set and unified interface with Office provides Windows users a product that is unmatched by any other solution in the market. I would recommend it to anyone involved in project management, regardless of how small or big size your business.