As a longtime user, I’ve seen that one of the biggest obstacles to users adopting Microsoft Project is the app itself. It’s quite a complex application, and so it’s due for a productivity makeover to help it become more accessible to users who aren’t PMI certified.
The launch of the Microsoft Office 2010 Beta brings with it a number of changes. Here are some of its productivity enhancements:
Visually Enhanced Timeline View. Because the Gantt chart can be a miss with some audiences, the multiple and enhanced view options in Project 2010 should help project leads communicate project scheduling and status data to stakeholders and clients.
“Excel-like” User Experience. As part of the core Microsoft Office suite since the beginning, Excel is a familiar application with users of all levels of mastery. Microsoft is finally latching onto the similarities between Excel and Project by adding more Excel-like features to Project 2010, including enhanced copy and paste, enabling you to copy and paste project data into other Office applications; automatic text wrap that adjusts row height to display full task names automatically; and auto-complete for data entry that displays your previously used values for you to select from. Project 2010 also enables you to add columns dynamically to a project. Another welcome feature is additional color and text formatting options, which I’ve longed for in the past when I was trying to make a Gantt chart I was creating more readable for my clients.
Enhanced Collaboration. Project management is not a solitary activity, so Microsoft Project 2010 enables you to save, print and publish project data from the Backstage view. There’s also enhanced integration with SharePoint.
The focus on flexible views of project data and collaboration gives Microsoft Project 2010 great potential to capture and communicate project data in the hands of all users, even those who aren’t trained project managers.
Have you tried Microsoft Project 2010 Beta? Share your experience below.