How to · September 2, 2021

Microsoft Project 2020: Project Management Overview

– So in today’s video, we’ll be passing over to Matt from Collaboration Coach to dive into Microsoft project. This is going to be an overview of the tool, the features, and also why it is different from some of the other Microsoft services that deal with project management. Hopefully, this gives you all that you need to know, feel free to use a timestamp to skip ahead to certain sections. And please do give both of our channels a subscription. Thank you very much.

And I’ll pass over to Matt at Collaboration Coach. (soft instrumental music) – Hello, it’s Matt from Collaboration Coach. Thank you so much for having me back on the Keep Productive channel, it’s always a pleasure. In this video, we’re going to talk about the Microsoft project offerings for Office 365. And if you liked this video and you want more on Office 365, then please check out our Collaboration Coach, YouTube channel, where you’ll find lots more of this kind of stuff. Microsoft currently has three offerings for tasks and project management in Office 365 first is Planner. So Planner is an easy to use task management system built specifically for Office 365. It has a very simple user interface and lends itself well to managing small projects or teamwork. You create tasks as cards, and then you add them to boards.
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So it’s very similar to apps like Trello. There are charts and schedule views and it uses Microsoft 365 groups for permissions. There is a web app for the browser and out for teams and ones for iOS and Android. And it integrates with Microsoft to do. So you can assign tasks in Planner and they will show up in people’s to-do lists. It also works well with Microsoft Power Platform. So you can easily build workflows using power automate. There’s no extra charge for Planner, as it is included with the Office 365 plans for business and surprise and education. The next offering is Project Online, which is also known as Project Web App. This was ported from the on-premises version of Project. And it’s based on the classic version of SharePoint Online. It doesn’t work well with modern SharePoint size or Microsoft 365 groups, and there’s no support for the Power platform. However, it does include more advanced project management features like resource and financial management, baselining, and critical paths and project and portfolio management, which you won’t find in any of the other offerings.

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And you can also use the desktop client version alongside it. It’s not cheap. It’s an add on to what you already pay for your Office 365 license. And at the time I’m writing this, it starts at $30 per person per month. And it goes up to $55 for all the advanced features. And although it’s being sold and supported by Microsoft, they aren’t developing for it anymore. And it’s considered a legacy app at this point. So what we’re gonna talk about in more detail today is project for the web, which is also now just known as Project. This was built from scratch for Office 365 and is the most recent addition to the family. It’s all browser-based. So there’s no app or client. And it has a very simple interface that allows project managers to get up and running pretty quickly. As well as project plans, you can add roadmaps to get an overview of how a number of projects are progressing together. Project for the web is not free. It is an add on to your existing Office 365 license. The plan start at $10 per person per month for the basic features. And you can pay up to $30 for the roadmap feature. So let’s take a look at project for the web. When project is activated in your Office 365 subscription, you can access it through an icon in the app launcher. When you do that, you land on the homepage. And from there, you can create your first blank project or roadmap. I’ve created a project to show you how the tasks and views work together. And I’ve also made it a favorite, so I can just click on the top here and open it up. Your project starts out in grid view, which is basically a list of tasks. We also have the board and timeline views that I’ll show you later. Notice on the far right, there’s a groups members link. When I click on that, I see all the people that have access to my project plan. This is because I attached the plan to a Microsoft 365 group, the sales, and marketing group. This makes managing permissions to the plan really simple, and is one of the advantages that this version of project has over the legacy project, Online app. The grid view starts out blank, and I’ve added a list of new tasks here. I can move the tasks around, I can copy paste and delete them, and I can get more info about them. I have some tasks that are sub-tasks and some that are summary tasks, like these ones called video and thumbnails, and I can make any task, a sub-task as well. I have an assigned to column here where I can add people from my organization. And I can see the duration of the task. And I added a completed column here. And I can add more columns if I need to. You can add new tasks from here. I’m just gonna add one called update thumbnails. I’m going to assign it to Alex. So when I type it here, it will draw names from my organization directory and it will suggest them to me. And then I can add more than one if I need to. Once I have my task, I can open it and I can add some more detail, like a start and end date, and also how much of the task has been completed. Also, see here that I can add the task to a bucket. I’ve got buckets here called art and content. To show you what a bucket is and what it’s used for I’m going to switch now to the board view. In board view tasks appear as cards and could be moved around into different buckets. So it’s a way of organizing and categorizing the tasks. Tasks can be dragged and dropped between buckets. And you can create new buckets if you need to. You can also change the view of the tasks. Right now, we’re looking at the buckets, but we can also switch to a progress view. This shows the project manager which tasks have not been started and which ones are in progress and have been completed. The ones marked in red here are overdue. And if I wanted to go in and mark that task as completed, I could either just press the circle in the top left here, or I can open up the task and change the percentage to 100%. Notice that when I do that, it moves the task to the completed column. I could also just drag the task from the in-progress column. It has exactly the same effect. I also have a finished state view where I can see which tasks are due and when. In this view, I get four columns late, today, tomorrow, and this week. The timeline view is like a traditional Gantt view where you can see the tasks mapped across a timeline. I can zoom in and out of the timeline using the slider here. And I can hover over the tasks and summaries to easily see what they’re scheduled for. I can change the duration by dragging the task either from the left or the right. And I can also create dependencies by dragging from this little dot at the end here to connect this task to another one. And I can click on task here to open them up and see the information pane on the right-hand side. We can also add roadmaps, which are like consolidated views of a number of different projects. So this is not quite program management, but it does give you a high-level view of all the work going on in your projects. So this would be useful for someone who was responsible for the delivery of a number of projects or a stakeholder that wanted to get an overview of how things were progressing. I’ve created a roadmap for Collaboration Coach, and I’ve added two of my projects to it, the website refresh and the YouTube updates. So you could see my two projects here, who the project managers are, what the key dates are, and the work going on within them. I can choose which tasks from the projects I include on the roadmap. And I can add key dates to my roadmap. So I can see at a glance, whether my projects are on track or not. I’ve added two here testing and go live. Then I can add risk categories to the tasks in the projects. Here one of the tasks, it looks like it’s going over one of my milestones, so I’m going to set it to high risk. Okay, so that’s your overview of Microsoft project offerings for Office 365. I hope that was helpful. And if you liked this video, then please check out our YouTube channel over at Collaboration Coach. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time. (upbeat music)

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