Sunday, 14 February 2010

Microsoft Project 2010 – is it different enough for consideration?

Many interactive sections of companies have been forced to use Microsoft Project because it has been the de facto project tool in the organisation. In the past it hasn’t really suited our way of working. With the new version due out soon, has this changed?

The older versions had criticisms from not being web-based, not giving a time-line view of the project, not being team and resource sensitive, and not suiting small businesses. The older versions began from total project management of a single, large project from conception to completion. This mirrored the older style of project management. It went hand-in-hand with the large software development projects coupled with their processes of development – the waterfall method of software development.

Of course, much has changed with approaches to projects, the definition of what a project is, faster software development techniques, simultaneous development of several projects, collaborative team-based processes, and expectations of how to report on progress. The two biggest new features are the timeline view and the team planner. Of course, these have been fundamentals for us from the beginning and that’s why interactive companies have tended to go with other project software solutions that were more suitable.

Well, it seems that this new version can be flexible enough to suit our ways of working. You need to know that there are three versions and apparently the Professional version works in web space while the Standard version doesn’t.
Possibly good news for those forced to use Microsoft Project. There are over 20 million users and 98% of people that use a planning tool use Microsoft Project according to Ivan Lloyd in his article Microsoft Project 2010; Is this the release we’ve all been waiting for?, Project Manager Today, Jan/Feb 2010, pages 12-15.

The last we knew was that Basecamp was proving the most popular project aid in iMedia Companies. Has this changed? What are you using?

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