Microsoft Project is a software owned by Microsoft that is designed and developed for use by managers for planning and assigning resources to jobs, monitoring of progress, costing and maintain budgets as well as analyzing workloads. The first version was launched in 1984 and was intended for Microsoft Disk operating systems. Development of Microsoft project has ever since been continuing until DOS 1st version which introduced the dependency lines usage concept in the Gantt chart. Further versions have been created, and the current version is an augmentation of the original design specifications topped up with macro capabilities. The app allows for critical path scheduling although event and critical chain methodology with third-party-add-ons exist. Resource leveling schedules, as well as chains visualization in a Grant chart, have been facilitated.
The features in Microsoft Project can create a budget basing it on the project requirements and the rates of available resources. Since resources are an estimation of assignment work, together with project tasks, the MS Project can calculate the cost as equal to the work time’s rate. This is rolled up to the level of the task and any summary tasks and eventually to project level. People equipment and materials (resources) can be shared between projects through a resource pool that is shared.it is possible for resources to bear their calendars that indicate the availability of resources in shifts and days. Rolled up assignments costs can be calculated using resource rates and eventually summarized at the level of resources. Further, it is possible to assign every resource to multiple tasks and in numerous plans. Additionally, multiple resources, application schedules can be assigned to one task as well as stipulated in the calendars of resources. Collectively, an enterprise-wide resource pool can define all resources (“Microsoft? Project – working for you instead of against you”, 2018).
It is easy to use MS Project because the management software can be used in web application system. This means it can be accessed from any computer without having to install it on the computer of the user. On top of that, MS Project is a multi-user with an easy access-control and also allows for centralization of data repository. MS Project is a better tool as compared to others because it can be used to set the dates for both the start and the finish of a given project. It can also do budgeting, costing as well as checking on quality. Additionally, it can as well do the correct planning and initiating and executing control and closing of the project. The application can be used in communication of reports and can incorporate 3D charts and comes with multiple options for redo and undo options. Working times can be defined, and tasks can be organized into phases (“Microsoft? Project – working for you instead of against you”, 2018). On top of that, all the recourses and communications with the staff involved in a project are facilitated.
Some of the challenges anticipated while using MS Project include tackling uncertainties in the task duration estimation. The other challenge may be scheduling people to work on a task and the resources allocation which is termed as resource scheduling. Lastly, handling events dependency in different ways may also be quite challenging.
In conclusion, MS project is a vital application for project managers because of the different futures that it presents to the manager. Better advanced versions of project 2016 contain a reports section, allows for backward- compatibility as well as better integration with other products from Microsoft. It also includes an improved appearance of interface items. However, MS project does not come without some challenges which include its inability to determine the number of finished products can be produced within a specified amount of raw materials and also the cost implication since it is expensive software.
Microsoft? Project – working for you instead of against you. (2018). Pmi.org. Retrieved 22 April 2018, from https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/microsoft-project-working-against-6725