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4 things that MS Project has wrong about Project Management

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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-scale businesses and long-term projects, but can be quite a bad fit for smaller 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 Easy Projects.

We’re hoping that we can help you think about your projects and if you are truly using the best software available to reach your goals and make your projects a success.

Project Management is only for PMPs

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 really 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.

Project Management 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.

Project Managers 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.

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 possibly 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 Easy Projects was born!

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

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