23.02.2023

Future Vision for Microsoft Project

The paradigm shift from a one size fits all solution to an integrated PPM tool set.

The rise and omnipresence of technological diversity is currently transforming business and the way of working in project- and portfolio management. Over the last two years, we see a strong transformation of utilization habits, notably in the context of project management tools (PM tools). The technological diversity of PM tools can generally be seen in the shift from “one size fits all solutions” towards the usage of multiple and integrated tools. 

This transformation of tools can be seen particularly well in the product range of Microsoft where the focus is to efficiently enable project- and portfolio management within their respective work context. Historically, Microsoft Project is one of the first technical PM tools, launched in 1984 and since then developed in many different versions which is globally still being used in more recent versions. Enterprises with large R&D departments, programs, and strongly project-orientated divisions have long considered Microsoft Project Server/Online as one of the market leaders and have therefore built their enterprise-wide PPM solutions on top of this technology for all internal stakeholders and departments.

Hence, Microsoft Project remains the flagship product for waterfall-based projects in departments with a medium to high PM maturity and therefore enables project members to truly leverage the benefits of the many different integrable features.

 

But in recent years, the need to use lighter and more accessible PM tools to work and collaborate more effectively has accelerated, where also external stakeholders are integrated more often. It's no longer about using one particular mature tool, but empowering teams, departments and programs to choose the most appropriate and accessible technology for their respective work. So the choice of the “right” PM tool typically differs depending on – for instance – the preferred methodology (waterfall/ agile/ hybrid) or the PM maturity of the given work environment. This paradigm shift not only leads to the context-based use of different PM tools in one company, but also requires integration between these PM tools to provide an overall PPM solution and reporting in an enterprise with multiple departments that execute projects.

Microsoft has been delivering solutions in the cloud like Project Online, Project for the web (PftW), Azure DevOps, Planner and even To Do for some time, to make project and portfolio management connectable with agile, hybrid or waterfall methods. More precisely, Planner as well as PftW provide team members a way to coordinate or group action items cards, based on a Kanban-style task board. In the specific case of IT related project management, Azure DevOps enables content, code-based and organizational wide collaboration with team members, quite often preferred by (software) development teams and projects. 

In this regard we at Campana & Schott developed an integrated tool to enable the realization of technological diversity, tailored according to your business and different working environments. Our CS PPM Power Suite enables and provides the use of multiple core functionalities for managing projects, programs and portfolio management while offering a multifaceted and customizable connectable set of task tracking tools like Project for the web, Azure DevOps, MS Project Client and MS Planner. For a more detailed introduction to our CS PPM Power Suite solution using an experience driven holistic hybrid PPM approach, read here.

Conclusion

The focus and demand in combining these different technologies enables experts and other involved stakeholders for project or portfolio management to collaborate purposefully with one another. Finally, we are fully convinced of the relevance and forward-looking capabilities of technological, methodological, and collaborative diversity, allowing teams to work the way they want, and companies to get the results they need.

Author

Furat Abdulle

Furat Abdulle

Consultant