Author: This is a guest post by Baz Khinda
By now the chances are that you have heard about Microsoft Project Plan 1, aka Project for The Web, the ‘Reimagined Project’, the ‘New Project’ which builds on the legacy that started back in 1984 with the first release of the widely used Microsoft Project desktop application.
Fortunately, graphical user interfaces have evolved since then and the entire approach to project / work management and collaboration generally has been quickened by the move towards the cloud (Microsoft 365) and through solutions like Microsoft Teams.
Despite the evolution in tools, there are still numerous people that fall within the categories of ‘Accidental’ and ‘Professional’ Project Managers who are still attempting to manage complex or large initiatives that involve scattered teams with nothing more than Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.
As we hurtle through 2021, it is time to adopt modern work management and #WorkSmarter. Here are 5 reasons why you might want to start using the new Microsoft Project!
The Top 5 Benefits of Project for The Web (Project Plan 1)
#1: Easier to Use
Project for The Web has been designed to be super intuitive and from feedback, it is! Despite having some of the same raw power offered by Microsoft Project, it’s quite different from Microsoft Project Professional, gone is the ribbon menu and the multitude of sophisticated options.
Most people within a few minutes of self-exploration will be able to start creating projects and getting better organised with Project Plan 1. One of the biggest changes from the traditional Project offering from Microsoft is the jargon-free language that had been adopted, gone are words like ‘Predecessors’ and ‘Successors’, they’ve been replaced with ‘Depends on’ and ‘Dependents’.
Project for The Web is accessible by the everyone, rather than a just group of highly trained Project Managers, it is after all geared towards the ‘Accidental Project Managers’ to discourage them from using the likes of Excel, Planner and Microsoft Paint.
#2: This is the Microsoft Planner you Asked for
Many of you may be passionate users of Microsoft Planner, a great solution for getting better organised whilst also enhancing collaboration. However, there are some gaps as expressed through the Planner UserVoice portal, for example, the lack of Gantt Chart Views and the inability to add dependencies.
Microsoft have listened and rather than continually extend what was / has been intended to remain as a simple task board solution – they released Project Plan 1. Within this solution you retain the task board view, and gain two additional views, the Grid and Timeline (my personal favourite).
# 3: Integrates with Microsoft 365 Groups
For those of you using Microsoft Teams, you may or may not be aware that you are already using Microsoft 365 Groups, for instance each time a new ‘team’ is created it’s either link to a new group or added to an existing one.
Microsoft 365 Groups are effectively bubbles containing people that come together in a shared workspace for projects, emails, conversations, files and so on. The great news is that Project for The Web features native Groups integration, allowing for the effortless creation of teams and to improve existing groups with an integrated project / work management solution!
#4: Access to the newest features
By adopting Project for The Web you are investing in a futureproof solution. It is built on the Dataverse, the same platform as Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform, all of which are areas of substantial investment from Microsoft.
As a SaaS solution, you’ll gain access to the latest features and enhancements and visibility of the development roadmap but notably you can help shape the New Project through the Microsoft Project UserVoice portal.
#5: Extensibility with Power Platform
Lastly (for now) you can extend the base Microsoft Project Plan 1 through the Power Platform. Using Power Apps and Power Automate you can access a richer, fully featured Project and Portfolio Management solution that can be moulded based upon your specific requirements to suit your ways of working.
Rather than provide you with a comprehensive pre-built PPM solution, Microsoft are in essence providing you with a LEGO® set with vast potential.
If you would like to discover more about Microsoft Project for The Web or discuss how Wellingtone can help you to work smarter then please Contact Them.
You can also check out our (members only) Chapter Archive or you can watch the webinars here:
Using Microsoft Project for the Web to increase PMO Maturity and Microsoft Project Plan1 for the Accidental PM
About the author:
Baz Khinda is an experienced Microsoft PPM Consultant and a Director at Wellingtone, a leading Microsoft PPM Gold Partner.
In addition to this, he also works closely with the Microsoft UK Project team as a P-SSP where he is often tasked with helping organisations address their Project & Portfolio Management (PPM) pains and increase their project management maturity.
He has been directly involved in a significant number of implementations across an array of organisations that span both private and public sectors as well as numerous verticals.
With his background, Baz is well versed in educating organisations on the benefits they can realise through Microsoft Project for the Web/Project Online.