Project Managers are the ardent, goal-oriented individuals who oversee each phase of a project from planning, to developing trust and communication among all the stakeholders, managing resources, identifying change requests, creating WBS, categorizing risks, calculating profits, and ensuring quality of the project outcome. This is indeed like it reads; a lot of work to do with the help of basic Microsoft tools.
And what if the project manager is in charge of not one, but multiple projects with different clients, diverse requirements, and assorted end-products?
Microsoft Project to the rescue
To set project managers free from unwanted stress, Microsoft Project was created as a part of its EPM suite of tools. Available in two versions, standard and professional, this software program is designed to deal with everything that a manager otherwise needs to execute. With this-
- Resources for multiple, independent projects can be shared and managed
- Task progress can be tracked and prioritized
- Project schedule can be depicted in a timeline view
- What-if analysis can be done
- Reports, Gantt charts and resource leveling can be done
- Critical path evaluation can be made
- Content can be synced with applications such as Skydrive and Sharepoint
Will a certification in Microsoft® Project 2013 client software help?
An individual who is very well versed in Office Tools will find Project relatively easier to understand and work with, and would in reality be liberated with the usefulness of the tool. There is a lot more on offer from Project than other Office products. With Excel you might face one or more of the following constraints:
- Project level data calculation needs to be done manually
- Task and milestone creation becomes quite difficult to handle
- Project deadlines and phases cannot be dynamically administered
- The impact of resource availability cannot be known
- Delays and changes would not automatically reflect, rather has to be fed manually
A project manager with a certification in Microsoft Project gains a distinctive advantage over those who rely on regular Office tools. S/he can manage the scope, time and resources more efficiently, and the benefit continues all through the life cycle of the project. What you need to value is that this tool has been designed specifically for Project Managers and therefore, it makes strategic, financial planning much easier.