You can love or hate Microsoft Project, but don’t ignore Project 2010.
If you’ve always loved it, you’ll love it more. For those that hate it, take another look. The Microsoft Project team really listened this time. Dramatic new features will change the way we view project communication and project planning.
First up, the Timeline. This is the ultimate in executive reporting graphics. A customizable high level graphic to show the project from start to finish.
A single graphic shows milestones, tasks and summary tasks. This example is for a simple project to update Microsoft Project courseware.
Turn it OFF! That’s right, turn OFF the scheduling engine. Quit fighting with Project when it shrinks the duration of a task just because you added people. Lay out a schedule with or without task relationships. They call this Manually Schedule mode and it blew my mind when I saw it demonstrated last year. This is exactly the OPPOSITE of everything every Project expert knows and believes. But start to mess around with it and it makes a lot of sense. We messed around with it a lot to create our new Mastering Microsoft Project 2010 course, and came up with pretty good strategies for planning and managing in Manually Schedule mode and for switching from a Manually Scheduled project to an Automatically Scheduled project.
Team Planner is the “People Gantt.” Everyone knows that a Gantt Chart is the default first thing you see in Project. That means a list of tasks on the left, and a calendar on the right. Microsoft heard that some project leaders don’t see the world that way. “Let’s put a list of people on the left, and use the calendar to show what is assigned to them.” Incredible. Intuitive. And absolutely easy to use. Excel users, take a hard look at this.
Team Planner view shows tasks on this family landscape project. A "People Gantt."
What are the three most important features in any new Microsoft Office 2010 product? SharePoint, SharePoint, SharePoint! Share your project plan with your team through SharePoint. Take status from team members through SharePoint. And, of course, document collaboration. You get the picture.
The practice of project management has always been closely intertwined with the available technology. This time, technology will definitely shape practice.
Microsoft Project 2010 shipped in April, 2010.