MS Project is not part of the standard Microsoft Office packages that most people buy but it is part of the whole Microsoft suite of main line business applications. It is very useful for project planning and scheduling and “runs rings” around Excel in this area. It is not particularly easy to train yourself in from scratch as there are various key initial steps to develop before a plan (called a Gantt chart) can be built.
If you are ever involved with any of the following areas it could be for you:
- Managing people and projects (big or small)
- Managing a set of tasks which are time or cost or resource dependent
- Involved with scheduling of tasks of any kind
- Responsible for the success of projects going in on time
- Want to be work smarter and neater for control of your work tasks
Outlook Tasks are very basic and do not offer the same kind of analyses. Excel has no scheduling capabilities for tasks, resources or costs. So even though you could use either of these packages, the features they have on offer are not as flexible and would not necessarily automatically adjust. Whereas a lot of the features in Project, as long as the initial steps are done, will automatically adjust if details are changed, for example dates or the length of time a task would take.
We have also written a number of hints and tips on all of the Microsoft Office packages including Project, looking at the interesting features that they all contain and how you can use them in your work. You can browse through any of these posts by looking on the hints and tips page or the news page on our website.