August 20, 2013 10:52 am
Microsoft Office is the most popular suite of office computer tools in the world, with a range of useful applications for everything you need to do at work. Microsoft Project is the project management part of this suite and its useful tools, usability and practical features have made it an indispensable part of project planning. The new release, Microsoft Project 13 looks to have some useful additions and benefits, all with the ease of interoperability you expect from Microsoft software.
Clean look, easy use
The whole of Office 2013 has been given a cleaner look, which tidies up some of the extraneous extra graphics and messy menus we saw in the previous incarnations. This takes a little getting used to but ultimately makes for much simpler, nicer project management software. There are still plenty of bells and whistles, they’re just a little nicer to look at and easier to look for. For instance using Gantt charts and other tools at your fingertips, Project 13 helps you to make sure your resources and budgets are on track at each stage of your project.
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Two nice new features in Project 2013 are the ability to use Linc (the messaging tool) to make calls or send messages directly from the project you’re working on. This makes it easier to collaborate with others but also aids in keeping your work all together. Hover over a name and you’ll get options from IM to phone call and video chat, making it easy to communicate in the best way for that moment. As you can see from early reviews, such as this one, Project 13 has improved integration with other MS applications and software, too, so even if the people you’re working with are using older editions of Office you’ll be able to work seamlessly with them.
Scheduling and reporting
One of the most popular features of MS Project is its use of the Gantt chart, which breaks down phases, outcomes and start and finish dates of a project, among many other useful things. Project 13 makes the system more streamlined, with the ability to use your charts, add pictures and create some really beautiful reports, without having to export all your data. Even with the simplicity of using different MS software in conjunction with each other, removing this step makes creating your reports much faster and makes it that much easier to pass on reports and findings to colleagues and customers. There are new report styles, too, with some lovely visuals and formatting to help you get your information across without letting it become a wall of text that goes over your audience’s head.
The ways and whys of using any project management software are as varied as the projects being completed and the people completing them, but these are some of the main ways people find MS Project useful. MS Project 2013 is not only the latest edition of this useful software, it looks set to be the most useful incarnation yet.
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