Spotlight;  Microsoft Project Management

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Many business owners, project managers, and Information Technology specialists find Project Management useful. Startups, small and medium enterprises, and large corporations use this approach in the supervision of projects from beginning to conclusion. Project management strategies can help a profit-oriented organization accomplish wide-ranging initiatives promptly and according to the spending budget without interrupting the other aspects of operations.

The Project Management Institute provides a very appropriate definition for Project Management which is the utilization of techniques, technologies, and expertise in finishing or completing a specific business activity. The five stages of Project Management include conception and commencement; definition and planning; implementation; performance and control; and completion.

A look back

Bill Gates and childhood buddy Paul Allen founded Microsoft during the latter part of the 1970s. However, it took more than two decades before the company eventually became a global technology conglomerate. The MS Windows 95, a sophisticated Graphical User Interface-powered Operating System, propelled Microsoft into the center of the computer software enterprise until it emerged as the leading player in this industry. It developed Windows XP and the video game console XBox to makeup for unsuccessful applications like Windows Vista and the Zune media management app for MS Windows.

Core services and products

Microsoft focuses on three essential solutions for businesses namely; Project, Portfolio, and Resource (Management). It also caters to industries like financial, professional, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, government, oil, and gas. In Project Management, Microsoft introduced innovations that help corporate professionals and small entrepreneurs to execute projects in the most cost-efficient manner.

The built-in and customized templates help users formulate project plans effectively without starting from scratch. Microsoft uses scheduling features like the Gantt (bar) Charts which list down tasks for implementation on the vertical axis and time gaps on the horizontal axis. The parallel bars in the grid point out the intervals for activities performed. These graphs, along with pre-populated pull-down menus, reduce the training period and shorten the entire process of project planning.

Users of Microsoft’s Project Management software can share their reports so everyone involved stays on the same page. Proponents can see project activities from assignments to future milestones quickly. Modified timelines correspond to specific data that users can also share with all project stakeholders. Users can access project and portfolio management services of Microsoft on Windows (OS) and Android mobile devices.

Microsoft’s continuing leadership

Microsoft emerged as a standard tool for many corporations with more than 60 percent of small business organizations using its Project Management software. This field developed quickly further than what IT experts envisioned. Sarah Meerschaert, a Centrak project manager, affirmed their clients feel confident with Microsoft’s Gantt chart. Centrak, with offices in four countries, creates and markets real-time locating platforms for healthcare institutions.

On the other hand, Cerila Gailliard, former Xerox Corporation project manager, used Microsoft Project because of positive client expectations. Xerox clients purchased and managed their primary tasks through MS Project.

The two managers chose Microsoft based on their clients’ preferences. Another loyal client that benefits from the project and portfolio management of Microsoft is ARUP, a multinational services corporation that provides engineering, consulting, design, and planning services.

Microsoft’s Project and Portfolio management software remains a boon for industries and businesses worldwide. It helps corporate staff as well as entrepreneurs to start their projects quickly and implement them without much difficulty. This kind of Project Management with necessary software, scheduling instruments, and easy access to devices will surely help project managers and their respective team members in achieving their goals.

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