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Microsoft Project is a task administration software, created and distributed by the Microsoft company. Its initial release was all the way back in the year 1984, meaning that the software has been through many changes and re-branding since it was first introduced to the public eye. This was Microsoft’s third application that is primarily for Windows, and it didn’t take a long time for Project to skyrocket and claim an important spot when it comes to PC-based project management. Its most known uses include easy project management when constructing plans, distributing and assigning different assets to projects, creating financial plans and managing workloads. Despite being a part of the Microsoft Office family, Project is not sold as an independent software, and at the time of writing does not have a Mac version release either.
We already established that Microsoft Project 2016 Professional is a powerful tool that makes management easier by offering powerful control and monitoring capabilities in all stages of project development and fulfilment. When developing and implementing new features into Project 2016 Professional, Microsoft had a challenge - the public demanded them to retain Project's status as the industry standard project management software. Integration also became an important part of the industry, meaning that already existing Office users were looking for integration capabilities for all systems.
With Microsoft Project 2016 Professional, not even the smallest of details get ignored, as even small information can become vital later on. This user-friendly, helpful and effective tool lets you and your project managers work effectively and accurately by aiding calculations, assigning resources and manage different types of project details with just a couple of clicks.
In order to fully understand the software, it is important to know the core elements of it and understand some of its terminologies to their fullest. Luckily, Project 2016 Professional can be broken down into a few really important parts, and learning about these will allow you to navigate the application with ease. With that being said, the key elements of Microsoft Project 2016 Professional are the following:
Predecessor & Successor
Resources are referred to as profiles, which are crucially needed in order to perform particular tasks in Project 2016 Professional, and other versions of it as well. Resources can be anything, for example, if your project is about testing something, your resources would be people: test engineers, business analysts, defect managers and more; meaning that the resources required to perform a task are people. Materials can also be resources: if you are building a house, your resources are more likely to consist of materials such as bricks, windows, concrete and other objects.
Allocation is almost self-explanatory, it simply refers to as assigning the resources you are working with to a particular task.
Scheduling is one of the most important parts of Microsoft Project 2016 Professional. There are two types of scheduling that you can use: manual scheduling and automatic scheduling.
Predecessors are tasks which are proceeding before a particular task. In simple words, they are tasks which happen before particular other tasks can happen. The opposite of this is successors, which is the exact vice-versa of predecessors, meaning that successors are tasks that will take place after a particular task has already been executed.
What we have next is the Gant chart. It can be found on the right corner of your screen, and they are represented by horizontal, blue lines. They show you the overall duration of your project with the defined limitation or restriction.
Last but not least comes the Critical Path. It is defined as the longest duration in the network diagram.
Just like every major Office suite application, Project is released in multiple editions, which gradually offer more features, services. As a downside, each step-up from the previous edition also comes with a higher price to be paid. Project 2016 Professional is targeted towards small to medium sized businesses and organizations, which can be seen in the features offered in this edition. As opposed to the Standard edition, Project 2016 Professional also comes with features that a business should definitely need, such as support for collaboration via Skype for Business, the ability to sync tasks in SharePoint, as well as support for Project Online and Project Server sync. You can also access some new features by purchasing Project 2016 Professional, such as resource management, and the ability to submit timesheets which allows you to keep track of time spent on a project, making it easier to create invoices, calculate payrolls and various other business purposes of the like.
All functionality of previous Project editions is still available in Project 2016, and you can even open files that originate from Project 2007. With various additional and innovative features such as business intelligence management, the new heat map view, as well as the the many collaborative features that Project 2016 Professional offers, a growing company - and even companies that are already of a larger size, - can easily collaborate on their projects, making it less of a hassle to work together. You can increase your business presence with the ability to use Skype from the office, take advantage of the timesheet management capacities as well as syncing your work with online and server-based versions for any additional collaborative purposes. Upgrading to Project 2016 Professional is a clear step forward in managing your business' projects, and you can once again gain more control of your resources while also increasing your cost and time efficiency.
Project 2016 Professional is an excellent choice if your company is in need of a project management software, it is designed for small to medium-sized businesses in mind, and the open licensing on this product further reinforces that. This product is an open license, meaning it is for government organizations, charities, health organizations, educational institutions, qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and multinational organizations, who are looking to outfit all of their PCs through the organization rather than by buying individual licenses. Open licensing is the most cost-effective and lowest up-front cost to install Microsoft Office products throughout your entire organization.
Project 2016 Professional has new enhancements in Resource Management and Resource Capacity Planning. For Resource Management, Microsoft has introduced a brand new experience for resource managers. For Resource Capacity Planning, Microsoft has introduced new Capacity heat maps. Now it is possible to systematically request a resource, and once it is approved, lock that resource to guarantee availability. This sets off a workflow that enables the resource manager to approve or reject the incoming requests. The project manager can then see these requests in a list format. Once a locked resource is assigned to a project over time, project managers will get a notification if a resource is overbooked.
The resource manager can now see a colour-coded table of both over and underutilized resources. This new workflow can greatly help your team to plan over time and to utilize all company resources effectively. This software is designed to keep every aspect of your projects in line. In addition, there is an improved timeline, Tell Me integration and full support for Office add-ins.
The new features of the Timeline are the independent start and end dates for each timeline, drag and drop between different timelines, and an option to save to Powerpoint with editable objects. Tell Me is a feature that takes away the hunting game when you’re looking for certain features if you aren’t sure where a feature is, just type the name of it into Tell Me and it’ll pop up. Project 2016 Professional also has additional extensions that you can download from the Office store. The add-ins have full Read/Write access to the projects you are working on. With Project 2016 Professional, no details will be missed and every part of your projects will move forward with ease.
Project 2016 Professional has so many new and exciting features that put it head and shoulders above the competition. Get your top of the line project management software today with a purchase of Project 2016 Professional.
Multiple visual timelines
Ever since releases as early as Project 2010 and the direct predecessor to Project 2016, Project 2013, the timeline has been a vital part of the workflow of every user. It is capable of making a visual representation of your project plan and the progress of it, all fit on a time axis, which is referred to as the Timeline. This timeline can be customised to your very own liking, you can effortlessly share it via email, instant message or show it as a presentation without having to export the entirety of your plan itself. Within Project 2016 Professional, you can separate the timeline bars for important deliverables or summary tasks, and can even add multiple timeline bars added to Project Online by simply editing your project in Project Online via your web browser, clicking on the already existing timeline bar and under the Timeline ribbon action, click add. Easy as that! You can keep adding timeline bars, as many as you just need, and can customise each one of them to differentiate your timeline with colours for easier reading.
Heatmap view for resources
You can view your resource allocation data in a tabular display called the resource heatmap. This aids resource managers to efficiently view proposed and committed resource allocations at a glance, as they are highlighting over and under allocations. You can customise and tweak the percentages needed for an allocation to highlight as over (showing red) and under (showing blue).
Microsoft Project 2016 Professional has seen some major architectural improvements with its complete integration into SharePoint 2016. With this release, Project Server 2016 starts to run as a service application within SharePoint Server 2016, and as a result, if you are a project administrator, you no longer need to separately install Project Server 2016, you can just create and enable the Project Server Service Application directly from SharePoint 2016, turning Project 2016 Professional into a service of SharePoint 2016.
Project unique ID
In previous releases of Project such as Project Professional 2013, it was quite complicated to identify something. Your projects were uniquely equipped with nothing but the Project Name, meanwhile, the project server database maintained something called a project GUID. This is quite impractical and a hassle to work with, and as a result, many Project users have proceeded to create their own, custom made scripts and other pieces of code to have an automatically generated ID paired with their project names. Luckily, in Project 2016 Professional, with the help of Project Online, you no longer have to do all that. Project Online enables users with an admin configurable, automatically generated code pattern that can be defined as part of the Enterprise Project Template (EPT). If this configuration is chosen, projects will automatically get a unique Project ID assigned to them.
Resource engagement request
This feature has been awaited by Project users for a long time, and it finally arrived as a part of Project 2016, as well as Project 2016 Professional. This feature is called Resource Engagement requests. It comes to play when a Project Manager adds an Engagement into the project. After this happens, there is a request that is routed to the Resource Manager. Every Resource Manager is able to quickly view all resources available, which means it is easier to determine which request should be approved or rejected. With this feature, it is almost guaranteed that the work of your team will speed up, as it is significantly more simple and quite a bit faster to communicate for Resource and Project managers by sending request than having to reach out and wait around for replies.
Other Project 2016 Professional features
Collaboration with Skype for Business presence
SharePoint task sync
Ability to submit timesheets
Project Online & Project Server sync
These are minimum system requirements for installing Microsoft Project 2016 Pro Open License
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Microsoft Project 2016 Pro Open License
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