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MS Projects Alternatives and Four Project Management Limitations in MS Project

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Microsoft Project is a software product that needs no introduction. It’s been around for three decades and it’s the most renowned piece of project management software. From our experience in speaking with many of our clients who have previously used MS Project, it’s a very complex tool with vast functionality. It works quite effectively for large businesses and long-term projects, but may not be well suited for small to medium-sized businesses – depending on your workflow of course!  Don’t get us wrong, we love MS Project, and we have truly stood on their genius shoulders to build Birdview PSA.

Alternative to Microsoft Projects How to Choose?

An MS Project alternative refers to project management software that serves as a substitute for Microsoft Project, offering similar functionalities and features. These alternatives are designed to provide users with options beyond MS Project, catering to diverse needs and preferences. Key characteristics of MS Project alternatives include:

Feature Set: Similar core tools for project management and planning, scheduling, and resource management. Task creation, dependency management, and Gantt chart visualization are common functionalities.

User Interface: Intuitive and user-friendly interfaces comparable to MS Project. Navigation and layout that facilitate easy understanding and efficient project management.

Compatibility: Compatibility with common project management file formats to ensure seamless data interchange. Import and export capabilities for Microsoft Project files.

Collaboration Tools: Collaboration features, including team communication, file sharing, and real-time updates. Support for collaborative work environments and distributed teams.

Cost-Effectiveness: Alternatives often offer competitive pricing structures, making them more cost-effective for certain users or organizations. Flexible pricing plans to accommodate various budget constraints.

Cloud-Based Solutions: Cloud-based alternatives provide accessibility from any location with internet connectivity. Facilitate collaboration among team members working remotely or from different geographical locations.

Integration: Integration capabilities with other commonly used tools and software in the business environment. APIs or built-in integrations with project management, communication, or productivity tools.

Scalability: Scalability to adapt to the size and complexity of different projects. Suitable for both small teams and large enterprises managing complex projects.

Learning Curve: Alternatives aim for a manageable learning curve, allowing users to quickly adapt and maximize productivity. User support and documentation to aid in onboarding.

Customer Support: Responsive customer support to address queries, provide assistance, and offer ongoing guidance. Training resources and a community for user support and knowledge-sharing.

MS Project alternatives include tools like Asana, Trello, and others. The choice of an alternative depends on specific project requirements, team preferences, and the desired feature set for effective project management.

Birdview PSA is a Popular MS Project alternative.

Birdview PSA, suitable for growing companies and teams including service teams, is a versatile project management software.

We hope we can help you think about software for managing your projects and find out if you are truly using the best software available to achieve your goals and the success of your projects.

MS Projects are only for Project Management Professionals

Many people who end up using project management software are NOT official project managers. We call them the “accidental project manager”. The steep learning curve is the number one complaint from most accidental project managers. With MS Project,   many of our customers say it can take a long to embrace the extensive functionality, and their teams are usually reluctant to waste that much time on training. The heavy-duty nature of the beast is one of the most common complaints we hear from our prospective clients who are looking for a lighter, easier solution that anyone in their office can pick up and use.

Microsoft Projects is Ridged

MS Project is involved and made for those who relish the finer details in life. A common critique we hear is how difficult it is to change these details. Constant additions to the user interface make it more difficult to find the features needed. Users also say that the newest version is noticeably slower than MS Project 2010 – like Marc Hughes for example,

Waterfall  used to be a classic approach for quite a while, but many teams are Agile followers now. MS Projects is based on Waterfall and thus is more of a long-term planning tool. This may be an advantage if your project is immutable; however, if you, say, manage a development team and use SCRUM, it will most certainly introduce additional inconvenience: MS Projects does not allow this level of flexibility, and as the requirements and estimates keep changing, it will take hours to register these changes.

MS Projects have massive budgets

As we mentioned before, MS Project can be great for massive organizations and operations. If you’re a seasoned MS Project user, we envy you and your genius brain. With that said, MS Project comes with a big boy price tag, and depending on what version you decide to go with, it varies greatly. (Check out our comparison chart of MS Project 2010 here). The most recent version, MS Project 2013 comes with a much heavier price tag than recent versions due to its new features. The price range is between $929.00 – $1559.00 per license depending on what you’re looking for. There’s also a recently launched cloud edition which ranges between $33.00-$58.00 per user/per month.

Again, from our experience, this would be a huge budget constraint for small to mid-sized businesses. If you’re a large business, get ready to spend a pretty penny.

Project Management Software one size fits all

A simple, solid structure may be exactly what your business needs. At the same time, flexibility nowadays is a must, projects may become very complex different depending on the industry or the business itself. More importantly, different departments use project management software in different ways because their portfolios and projects are unique. To make each department as effective as it can be, we’ve found that’s important to allow our clients to customize their experience.   MS Projects doesn’t currently have any customizable features, which can influence the performance negatively because of the inability to adjust. Of course, if you have the budget and the time, it is possible to hire consultants or third-party developers to make it happen, but nothing official from Microsoft themselves.

We wanted to build a simple solution that didn’t require you to be an MSP expert and could be easily adopted by your entire team and thus Birdview was born!

What has your experience with the MS Project been? Comment below and let us know.

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