I regularly run courses in Microsoft Project and many of my clients have been asking me whether it is worth upgrading from Microsoft Project 2007 to Microsoft Project 2010. Obviously, this program is not cheap and when you have large teams of project managers, there is a considerable cost in outfitting the team.
In my honest opinion, upgrading to Microsoft Project 2010 should be a mandatory decision as the new features in Microsoft Project 2010 definetly will help every project manager and in this article I will look at my Top 5 Reasons to upgrade.
1. The Ribbon
The ribbon didn’t make it into Microsoft Project 2007 however in the latest version it is available. What I like about the ribbon is that it makes it easier to use the program and once you get used to the way it works, I find that it is faster to use the Ribbon than the traditional Menu and Toolbars.
2. Timeline Function
The timeline function is a new tool provided in this version which allows you to plot key tasks on a traditional style timeline instead of the Gantt Chart. One of the key reasons I use the timeline function is to highlight key events within the project plan.
3. The Inactive Tasks Function
This is probably the most powerful feature to be added in Project 2010. It allows you to add in key tasks that might be a contingency if something goes wrong without them actually influencing your Gantt chart, costs or resourcing.
4. The Ability To Schedule Data in the Calendar
One of the new features in the calendar is your ability to setup and schedule multiple dates for non-workdays or with specific working times in one go rather than having to set each day specifically.
For example, if your team have a RDO(recreational day off) once a fortnight, you can actually tell the calendar for the first time that every two weeks you want a specific day off. This is a huge time saver in setting up your calendars and was a feature I have been asked about by many large companies who do have RDO’s.
5. Team Planner
The team planner is a huge step forward as you can now clearly see where resources are overallocated or where they are not allocated at all. Some of the advantages of the Team Planner are that you can:
1. See Your resources work load over time
2. Identify problems quickly
3. Drag and drop tasks to resolve those problems
Microsoft Project 2010 is a great step forward in project management software and I would definetly recommend that you upgrade to this version. These five reasons will on their own save you more money in using the program than if you don’t.
I would also add that some of these functions are only available in Microsoft Project 2007 Professional.