What Microsoft Project Can Do for You

Sometimes ideas and plans have accidental benefits. This is what happened at Microsoft many years ago when the software giant was creating a number of software packages. One employee saw the need for a software program to help in the creation of the programs and thus MS Project was born. It was serendipity, happenstance.

So MS Project came into being. It is a software program designed to help project managers manage their projects. But other employees too will benefit from use of this software as well. Analysts and change managers will find insights into their role and communication between themselves and others in the project is made easier. And because of the efficiency generated by MS Project, better use is able to be made of company resources.  Project managers of all experiences are able to use and benefit from this software.

It first appeared in the mid-1980s but was not a part of the well-known MS Office publications until the mid-1990s. Since then there have been regular new versions of MS Project with version 14.0 released in 2010. And although MS Project does have flexibility to be used with other MS products, it is sold separately.

In a nutshell the software is a support, even a significant support for every project manager when they manage a project. The software allows the PM to

  • Develop a plan
  • Assign resources
  • Analyse workloads
  • Track progress and
  • Manage the budget

All the tasks a project manager tackles with every project are set out within the software. Adding the basic data for the project sees the time scales, cost runs and latest projections all come up on screen thanks to MS Project. It is flexible and multi-functional.

As the years have rolled by the software has been constantly upgraded with some welcome developments. Features have been improved and new options have been added.  MS Project Web Server and MS Project Server are add-ons which enable data from the project to be stored in a database and accessed by those involved. Then use of the company’s web site with MS Project enables staff to log in using appropriate security and visit the project details from anywhere with an online connection.

One of the beauties of MS Project is the ease of operation due to the common repetition of many tasks. Files are listed as MPP files and to begin a new project you use the common steps with other MS programs; click on File, then New and then select Blank Project. You add a start date and Save as you would save files in other MS programs. There is a familiarity and ease of operation wit MS Project.

There are various versions of the software ranging for use with a sole trader or very small business to projects run by large businesses worth huge amounts of money and involving staff over various departments. One of the core strengths of the software is that it can handle multiple tasks in multiple projects using a variety of resources.


Project Community recommends these Project Management Templates for delivering projects.


Useful Products

MS Project 2010 Online Training – Whether you are a beginner or an experienced user looking to refresh your skills, this program is for you.

More great information

What is a project anyway

What is a plan vs a project schedule

The role of the Project Management Office (PMO)


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