Microsoft Project is a project management application that is developed and sold by Microsoft. The app comes in handy to assist you in developing a schedule, assigning resources to your tasks, and track the progress of your projects. Furthermore, it helps you manage your budget as well as analyze your workloads.
Although it was the third Microsoft windows-based software, it has never been incorporated in the Microsoft office suite. It comes in two editions, the standard, and the professional edition. Several versions of this app have been released since its initial release 35 years ago, and each version builds on the weaknesses of its predecessor.
Here are the similarities and the diversities that define each of the above versions of ms projects:
What are the Similarities between Microsoft Project 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019?
Although you might have a preference for a specific version of this application, they are all similar in the following perspectives:
Planning and Scheduling
These are the bedrocks of any project management experience and go a long way to determine whether your project will be successful or not. This stage dictates what should be done, by whom and when it should be done in the bid to complete your project.
Microsoft project brings to the table several entities that aid in your project management quest.
- Prioritization, the app helps you place your tasks in order of priority so that that you first focus on what is more important.
- Task management allows you to define tasks and how they should be distributed amongst the members of your team.
- The team calendar ensures that all members are up to date and on the same page in the project. Notifications and synchronization of works schedules come in handy.
Project Timeline View
This feature presents a top-down view of your entire project progress. It acts as a third party supervisor of your work and shows you a preview of what you have done. As such, before you make a presentation of your work to colleagues or friends, you have a clear picture of what you are showing.
You can always add value to your timeline view by making formatting changes that appeal to you. Such could include changing colors of phrases, alignments, and other modifications.
Any ms project version would successfully help you to collaborate and connect all the tasks involved in your project. Such is achieved by:
- File sharing, the app allows you to share files with members of your team so that each of you has the relevant documents.
- The team dashboard offers an overview of crucial information and statistics that relate to your work. Ms. Project enables you to add graphs, charts, data presentations, and any other graphics that help you organize your work for proper display.
- Sharing client data, this app ensures even a customer’s data is on the dashboard for all members to see. The project entails more than your information but also that of your customers.
Microsoft thrives in the art of tracking and reporting on the progress of your project. It gives you a clear picture of what has been achieved and what is yet to be done.
The app allows you to see a burndown report, an overview of your project, state of resources, cost incurrence, targets to be attained, and pending activities.
To derive a report, all you do is click on the reporting interface and choose your way of report presentation.
Ms. Project enables you to make proper use of your available resources. It helps you to track and monitor the available resources and suggests the best way to utilize the resources.
The management tool allows you to assign costs to resources, and hence you can tell how resources are being utilized. Furthermore, it enables you to prioritize your tasks according to resource availability.
Microsoft Project gives you the pleasure of working on different projects on the same platform. As such, you can deal with several projects concurrently through a master project plan. If you have several projects to tackle and time is a limiting factor, this is the best option.
You can customize all the tools to enable you to work with a master project plan with ease so that you have several dashboards.
This app allows you to view a project from different perspectives and representations but on the same platform. For instance, you can use a Gantt chart, a resource usage chart, or a calendar. Even better, you can customize your views as per your project requirements and join them to form one big project plan.
How Do Different Versions Of Microsoft Project Compare Against Each Other?
Each of the Microsoft Project versions has distinct features that make it stand out from the rest of the pack.
Microsoft Project 2010
A Better Interface
Microsoft Project 2010 adopted the Microsoft office 2010 ribbon, which execution of tasks faster and more efficient. Traditional menus commands were replaced with logical command grouping.
Improved Resource Planning
The app uses a Team Planner View, which enables you to view team tasks and modify accordingly. It helps you manage overallocation and tasks with the assigned resources.
More Flexible Scheduling
You can manually schedule tasks as you please without considering the project calendars. Such allows you to do your projects at your own pace.
This feature identifies problems and scheduling issues so that you can sort them out with ease.
Microsoft Project 2013
Unlike its predecessors, this app does not first take you to a blank file when you launch it. It sends you to a one-stop center where you can kick off your project. Here you encounter multiple templates from which you can choose your preferred option.
You can also start a blank document or export from external or internal sources or previous open projects.
Better Data Projections
This version allows you to create appealing data presentation reports without going to other programs. You can add pictures, charts, and links, among others.
There is also the incorporation of new reports that come with better graphics and formatting abilities. Burndown reports are a perfect example.
Interact With Your Team
You can stay in touch with your team members directly without leaving the project. All you have to do is select their name and commence an IM session, send an email, make a phone call, or even start a video chat.
However, you need to have installed Lync 2010 to access this feature.
Trace Task Paths
Complex projects can cause your charts to be tangled. However, you can highlight the link chain, and whenever you click on a task, all that relates to is shown up in one color.
Save and Share File in the Cloud
You can now save your files online on OneDrive or in your company’s online site. Furthermore, you can share these files on these sites online.
With Ms. Project 2013, you can access your documents remotely over an internet connection without having to install the app. This allows you to work from anywhere and whatever time you please.
Microsoft Project 2016
Microsoft Project 2016 was a massive upgrade on its predecessor. It added the following features on the good qualities of the next older version:
A New Default Theme
A new default theme was one of the significant highlights of project 2016. The new theme is labeled "Colorful" and gives the screen a whole unique touch. However, if you prefer the older version theme, you can still change.
Tell Me What You Want to Do Query Box
Sometimes it is possible to get lost in the maze of menus that Ms. Project has as witnessed in the older versions. Furthermore, if you are not an experienced user, it can be quite a hustle to locate commands that you need. As such, the project 2016 comes in handy to solve this problem.
The "Tell Me What You Want to Do Query Box” available on the top of the ribbon allows you to type in whatever command you want. The project then presents you with a list of options from which you can choose your option.
Multiple Timeline Bars
With this version, you can add several timeline bars on your timeline view. All you have to do is click the “Timeline bar” on the format group menu. If you do not need the bars anymore, you can also delete them by right-clicking on them.
This feature enables you to work on multiple projects at the same time and on the same platform.
This feature allows you to coordinate resource planning with your resource manager. It accounts for the available resources and determines how best they can be shared.
Microsoft Project 2019
This is the most recent and best-improved version of Ms. Project. It has retained most of the features that you enjoyed from its immediate predecessor but has also come to some impressive improvements. Some of the additions you are likely to experience include:
Linking of Tasks Using a Drop-down Menu
Project 2019 saves you the torture of having to recall the identifications of performed tasks whenever you need to open them. To access a task you previously worked on, all you do is select a cell in the predecessor column, then hit the down arrow and a list of recent tasks is displayed.
The order of tasks perfectly matches your project so that you can access them with the utmost ease. Furthermore, you can also look up your tasks in a drop-down in the successor column.
Presence of a Task Summary Name Field
Your project might involve multiple tasks such that it becomes hard to know what a particular task is indented under in your project. Incorporation of the Task Summary Name field helps you know the name of a task’s summary task. Having such a field in your Task view will make your project’s structure clearer.
To add this field, right-click a column's title and select the insert column. You can go ahead and select the Task Summary Name in the drop-down list displayed.
Timeline Bar Labels and Task Progress
You can now get a clear picture of the progress of your project courtesy of this app. Furthermore, you can label your timeline bars for clear identification. Task progress is indicated on the tasks as you work on them, making it easy to show your plans and work stages whenever you need to present your work.
Ms. Project 2019 flaunts multiple features that are meant to make it more accessible to users. You can customize your project to fit your needs like with the following features:
- Change the magnification; you can change the magnification of your text so you can read with ease. Furthermore, there is the option of enlarging buttons so that they are easier to spot and use.
- Changing the text color, with project 2019, you can create a customized color palette that contains your preferred colors.
- Changing views outlook, you can alter the look of bars, boxes, texts, and link lines to your preference. You can also change fonts or increase the size of writing for a different outlook.
- Customize toolbars and menus; you can add or deduct buttons on the quick access toolbar.
- The project also comes with features that automate repeated tasks to save you time.
Despite the diversity of the Microsoft project versions, they all serve the same purpose. However, the efficiency with which they serve this purpose is what sets them apart. The later the version, the more efficient the release is.
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