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Using Microsoft Project to Conquer Project and Portfolio Management

Does this feel like your company? Everyone is busy, hard at work on something, but it is hard to see across teams what that something is and even if that something is the right something. When people are asked to give a status update on something, there is no common language so it is hard to tell which something’s to be concerned about. When deciding which something’s to invest in, often the loudest executive wins.

If you just answered yes to any of those, don’t worry, you are not alone. Whenever we talk to project managers or people from the PMO, they’re consistently trying to solve some of the same sets of problems. Businesses tend to have more work than people, and we all want to feel like we have a handle on what’s going on so we can make the right decisions.

With Microsoft Project, a project and portfolio management solution, teams can tackle these challenges. There are capabilities to suit everyone’s needs – from project managers who need to build out a schedule, to team members who need to see what to work on, to portfolio managers who need to determine which projects to invest in. Project meets needs head on.

Project Managers

As a project manager, you have a ton going on – you need to make sure your team members know what they’re supposed to be doing, handle issues as they come up, adjust to changes, coordinate with colleagues and report out status to a variety of stakeholders. Microsoft Project is designed to help you handle the details so you have more time for other pressing issues.

It starts you off by enabling you to create a schedule that you’re confident that you and your team can deliver. Take advantage of rich views and reports to stay on top of how your project is progressing and to quickly create status reports for all your various stakeholders.

Sick of having to dig through email and merge many spreadsheets to see what’s going on? Microsoft Project offers multiple ways to collaborate with your team members so the entire team is up to speed on what’s going on and you can go back to your core job instead of being everyone’s personal reminder service.

And of course, your project isn’t the only one happening at your company – so you have to share resources with other project managers. By everyone having one location for their projects, you can see across all projects to check resource availability and if not, you can see what they are scheduled for so you can start the conversation.

Team Members

As a member of the project, your main goal is to make sure you are working on the correct tasks and not blocking anyone else. Your project manager also expects regular updates from you. Microsoft Project offers a rich experience for team members so you can spend more time working on your assignments and less time managing them. We strive to build the most intuitive interface so that you can easily update tasks status and share important information with the rest of the team.

Portfolio Managers

As a project portfolio manager, it is your priority to make sure the correct projects are getting the green-light and ultimately delivered on time and on budget. To do this, senior leadership needs to agree on a set of shared goals dictated by business drivers, and then figure out which projects will help the company hit those goals. Microsoft Project provides a system to walk guide this detailed process, so that your decisions are based on facts rather than emotion.

Once projects are selected, you still have a job to do. You need to make sure all projects are executed on and hitting their deliverables. With Microsoft Project, you get the ease of storing all your projects and critical documents in one place, along with a reporting platform with templates to easily create dashboards that are essential to your job.


Project Professional 2013 – The newest Project client that allows you to easily collaborate with others to quickly start and deliver winning projects. Unlock the full collaboration power by pairing it with SharePoint 2013. Also offered as a subscription through Office 365.

Project Online – Our flexible online solution for project portfolio management (PPM) and everyday work. Delivered through Office 365, Project Online enables organizations to get started, prioritize project portfolio investments and deliver the intended business value—from virtually anywhere on nearly any device.

Project Server 2013 – The on-premises solution for project portfolio management (PPM) and everyday work. Team members, project participants, and business decision makers can get started, prioritize project portfolio investments and deliver the intended business value from virtually anywhere. Requires SharePoint 2013, sold separately.

Learn more at the Microsoft Project website.


Listen to the #PMChat Pre-Game show live as we talk with the team from Microsoft this Friday, 5-April, from 11:30-11:45 AMEDT. Available on-demand after the 5th.


About Robert Kelly

Managing Partner of KPS, Co-Founder of #PMChat, Author of Kelly’s Contemplation & Blessed husband/father of 3

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