Microsoft Project is project management software with a long rich history. It is designed to allow a seasoned project manager to develop a plan for completing a complex but well defined business goal. It further allows the project manager to assign resources to a project, track a project, create and manage the budget of a project, and analyze specific workloads. While it is considered to be part of Microsoft Office, it has to be purchased outside of any Office suite. It comes in either a standard or professional edition, and there are also many subscription options as well.
- Can help a project manager plan out and manage a complex project, from start to finish
- Can create budgets based on plans, work assignments and resources
- Can create critical path schedules and visualize event chains
- Contains a set of high quality tools that work well
- Has a long history of use in many large corporations
- Has an interface that will be familiar to those with experience with other Microsoft Office products
- Requires a seasoned project manager to properly use
- It is a very deep and complex piece of software, and difficult to fully learn
- It is tied to other Microsoft products
- Can be very expensive to use
Microsoft Project is one of the oldest Windows applications in existence, having been launched in 1984, which is way before many people even in the computer industry knew Windows existed. It has lasted so long because it offers high-quality project management tools that work well, as long as the project manager is sufficiently competent to use it. Many large businesses depend on the extensive tools it provides. Project not only allows a project manager to fully plan out and manage a complex project from start to finish, but it also helps the project manager create budgets, based on work that has been assigned, as well as on the prevailing rates of the resources required to complete the tasks. It can even create critical path schedules, and it can also use Gantt charts to help visualize event chains. It does all this within the context of an interface that is very familiar to users of other Microsoft Office products. However, Project is not for every business, or for every project manager. It is a very complex piece of software that requires a seasoned project manager to properly learn and use effectively. It is also very much tied to other Microsoft Office products. Finally, it can be very expensive to use depending on your needs.