The Microsoft Project 2016 Product Suite

Microsoft Project 2016 Interface

Microsoft Project 2016 Product Suite

Microsoft Project 2016 Product Suite

Project Management is incomplete without a scheduler. Microsoft Project is one of the most popular scheduler used in the industry. MS Project is a suite of products to manage projects in an enterprise. Managing projects in an enterprise has three aspects.

  1. Preparing a schedule, tracking and reporting to stakeholders.
  2. Collaborating with project team and other stakeholders to share information & documents and receiving updates from them.
  3. Analyzing the performance of a portfolio. The third one is for senior managers who are responsible for a portfolio of projects.

To manager these three aspects, Microsoft Project 2016 Product Suite has five components.

  1. Microsoft Project 2016 Standard
  2. Microsoft Project 2016 Professional
  3. Microsoft Project 2016 Server
  4. Microsoft Project 2016 Project Web App
  5. Microsoft Project 2016 Portfolio Management

Please refer the figure.

Different components of the Microsoft Project 2016 Product Suite are used to manage different aspects of projects.

Project Standard and Project Professional address the first aspect of a project i.e. scheduling. Project Standard and Project Professional both are primarily made for project managers to prepare plans, track and report. Project Server and Project Web App together address the second aspect. They provide a platform for collaboration and information sharing among team members. Portfolio Management provides a platform for senior managers to create a portfolio of the projects and assess its performance against performance parameters addressing the third aspect.

Project Standard

Project Standard is a standalone software. The purpose of Project Standard is same as of Project Professional except that it cannot connect to Project Server and participate in Enterprise Project Management. Project Standard also does not have few features that are available in Project Professional. Some of the important features that are not available in Project Standard are Team Planner View, ability to connect to Project Server, ability to define generic resources, ability to make a task inactive, Resource Graph View, Custom Fields etc.

Project Professional

Project Professional is more capable product than Project Standard. First, Project Professional has some additional features explained above and second Project Managers can collaborate with team members using Project Professional through Project Server and Project Web Access as shown in the figure.

Project 2016 Server

Project Server is fundamentally a Share Point application and use SQL Server as its database. To install Project Server 2016, you should have Windows Server 2012 and higher, Share Point 2016 and SQL Server 2016.

Project Server provides a facility to make list of all resources in an enterprise. Normally it is done by Resource Manager who holds and owns resources in the enterprise. It also provides a platform for Project Managers to share their plan with assigned resources and receive tasks updates from them. It can also be used to track issues and risks, share project documents and have discussion with team. A simple system works like this…

Project Web App (PWA)

Project Web App (popularly known as PWA) is a web interface to Project Server. Project team can use it for all sort of work such as managing proposals, creating and updating project schedule, managing resources, entering time in timesheet, updating tasks status, generating reports and analyzing portfolio. Administrator can create a project site using PWA to be used for collaboration. Team can share documents on project site, can create issues and risks registers and collaborate, share minutes of meetings.\

Project 2016 Portfolio Management

Project Portfolio Management (popularly known as PPM) is a solution for a senior manager who is leading a portfolio of projects and programs. It provides a platform to a leader to define performance criteria parameters on which performance of the projects in portfolio is to be evaluated to achieve organization’s goals.

MS Project 2016 Portfolio Management

MS Project 2016 Portfolio Interface

A leader can define performance parameters (also called performance drivers) and analyze its portfolio against these parameters. He can understand which projects are performing well and which are not. If he has a resources constraint, he can take a decision which projects to shred off. For example a portfolio manager is running short of money to fund all his projects. He can analyze his portfolio against business goal and put a project on hold which is contributing least to the goals. Using Project Portfolio Management – A manager can create a portfolio of projects and programs, define performance drivers to state his strategy, optimize his portfolio under budget & other constraints and periodically analyze it to achieve goals.

Hope this information will help you to understand Microsoft Project 2016 Product Suite. For more information, please explore following links

Related articles:

  1. What is a project?
  2. What is project management
  3. What’s new in MS Project 2016
  4. Download a trial version of MS Project 2016 Professional

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