There are a number of project managers today that use Microsoft Project to create and track project plans to keep tasks on schedule. Project is a fine application for small endeavors with one person in charge. However as a project grows and more decision makers are involved, managers need an application that can provide enterprise-wide project management.
On-line Management with Project Server
When coordinating a large venture, basic management tools like Microsoft Project may not serve the manager’s needs. It is a standalone application that can be used only on one computer. All project information is in one place and all decisions can be made only at that computer.
Once there is a large endeavor with a management team, this lack of access becomes a problem. What is needed is a project management tool that can be shared company-wide and allow all managers to track their respective tasks without needing to wait for printed reports.
Project Server was designed with exactly that capability in mind. All team members can access the application from anywhere on the company network or over the web. Coordination and communication is easier when everyone is on the same page.
Each Team Member Has a Role
Just because everyone can access the software, that doesn’t mean everyone has the same capabilities. Individuals are given permissions appropriate to their role in the plan and in the company.
Project managers use the basic Project Professional application just like they have in the past. However their updates and changes are transmitted to the server where they can be viewed by other managers and incorporated in their plans.
Team members who don’t use Project directly can still access the server to see what their tasks are, what the status of the overall plan is, and can send status reports to be used by managers.
Even interested parties not directly involved in completion of the tasks, such as executives or investors, can be given access over the company network or the web so they can monitor the progress. Comprehensive security settings ensure that each person is given needed access without any excess privileges.
Project Server Training
Even experienced users of Microsoft Project will benefit from training on the unique capabilities of Project Server. The enterprise-level features of the software greatly increase the size of the projects that can be handled but may not be obvious to new users. Tasks such as team building, resource substitution, and information pooling can be used more effectively after taking instructor-led courses.
The transition from Project to Project Server is a major step for any business but with guidance and proper planning, it is a move that can be made with a minimum of complication. The added capabilities will be invaluable to any mid-size to large business.