By Chris Dunne
Microsoft Project Professional 2013 will be on the shelves with the release of the new version of Microsoft Office early next year.
Project managers will like the improvements that centralize project development tracking and reporting that includes (1) better reporting tools, (2) integration with Office 365 cloud features, and (3) handy new project templates and better presentation tools, as well as other tools that make project management and budgeting easier and more transparent.
Better accountability through improved reporting
Project Professional 2013 has improved reporting features like the new Project Overview report that with just a couple of clicks shows everyone up front how the project is going. The reporting tools give a better overall “Office” feel to the application and go far in countering its reputation as software that only project managers can use and understand.
Better integration with other Microsoft Office applications
Older versions of Microsoft Project were somewhat hampered because they did not mesh thoroughly with other Microsoft applications. Now the 2013 version exports project data “through the cloud” to its new mobile Office 365. Remote workers can access and share project data and synchronize task lists over the web and using mobile devices.
New project templates
Companies managing projects that have compliance issues will be happy to see the new library of Project templates in the growing collection on Office.com. There is still a piece missing, however — tutorial and detailed user assistance and instructions for users to “reverse engineer” the templates for their own use.
Better presentation tools
Need to get the scheduling data out of Project and into an MS Word document or PowerPoint slide? Project 2010 did a pretty good job, but the 2013 version has improved the process with better tools for visualization and design and print options. Also the new Task Path helps project managers better manage the complex projects by showing the connectors (predecessors, successors, etc.) involved in the overall project.
Should you upgrade?
Experienced Microsoft Project users will like the 2013 version’s new tools, which are designed for better collaboration, communicating progress to managers and presenting the project data that goes along with keeping budgets and managing resources. Keeping the project collaborative, visible and portable might just be the best reason for upgrading.
This is the first in a series of posts we will be doing on project management tools. If there are tools you would like us to cover please let us know, or leave a comment. We will cover Microsoft OneNote, Jira, and FogBugz in future posts
Need ideas, guidance and technical assistance in project management? Contact us and learn how we can help you improve our project management approach and processes. For example, we’ll help you get the best use from the improved features Microsoft Project 2013.
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