Learn how to use MS Project desktop along with Project Online for Efficient Project Management. Understand the entire life-cycle in just 30 minutes. Also understand why you should NOT use Excel for managing projects. Here are the topics covered in the video.
Intro - 00:00:00
How to manage work? - 00:00:20
Why you should NOT use Excel for Project Management - 00:03:43
Why using only MS Project on desktop is inefficient - 00:06:27
Using Project with Project Online - Quick Demo - 00:10:49
All organizations have some kind of projects running.
These could be for new product development, software implementation, customer service, training, upgrading manufacturing facilities, R&D and so on. For simplicity, consider any project which has more than 30 tasks which are interlinked and costs more than say 5000 USD or 5 lacs INR (any number significant to your organization).
How do we manage these projects? Typically, by creating a simple Excel sheet. Each row contains tasks and there are columns like Task name, start date, duration and end date. End date of previous task becomes the start date of the next task. Then we create the progress graphically by formatting Excel cells and putting background color. A weak and ineffective attempt to create Gantt Charts. Not only does this waste a lot of time of intelligent and knowledgeable people, it does it absolutely in accurate. Learn why this is so by watching the video.
Some of us do use MS Project or some other project management tool as well. But even that is not efficient. Why? Because when you save a project it is just a file (MPP) - like Word or Excel file. In real-life there are many projects running. These projects use the same infrastructure, budgets and people within the organization. Therefore, we need to get a combined view. Each project is a separate file. How to get an overall picture?
The only option is to copy paste date from multiple project files and try to make sense of these.
This consumes a lot of time. Therefore, any reviews are typically done at monthly frequency. The status presented during management reviews is always outdated - thereby defeating the purpose of the review. Even if corrective decisions are taken, the status itself has changed - making the actions inefficient and sub-optimal.
The only way is to have all projects combine automatically - without manual work. This can be done very easily by using Microsoft Project on desktop along with Project Online.
Most people are worried about the cost. Project Online licence costs approx 2000 INR or 30 USD per month, per project manager. Resources just need approx 500 INR or 7 USD per month.
When you consider the benefits of having live, enterprise level view across projects and also consider the time saving from manual consolidation activities, the cost is insignificant.
The real problem is neither cost, nor technology. The actual issue is that nobody has seen the entire project life-cycle in a practical manner.
This video shows you a the entire project life-cycle in 30 minutes. Understand the benefits, discuss with your colleagues and calculate the time saving. You don't have to use a Microsoft product. There are other products which provide similar functionality. But continuing to use Excel or MS Project alone is just not accurate nor efficient. It gives you a false sense of Project Management.
Dr. Nitin Paranjape