What is Microsoft Project Online?

Project Online is a flexible online solution for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and everyday work. Project Online provides powerful project portfolio management software for planning, prioritizing, and managing projects and project portfolio investments. Project Online can do this from almost anywhere on almost any device.

Project Online can be used by administrators, portfolio managers, team members as well as project and resource managers, team leads and team members. Project Online is built on the SharePoint platform, and it stores data in the SharePoint data store.

Modules of the Microsoft PPM Cloud Solution

Microsoft Project Professional

Microsoft Project Online Professional is the cloud version of Microsoft Project Professional. It can be used standalone or connected to Microsoft PPM online. The product is installed and updated from the Microsoft Office 365 cloud. This is awesome as you will get critical updates and new functionality as needed all year round!

Microsoft Project Online

A component of Office 365, Microsoft Project Online is a service provided by Microsoft in the cloud. Microsoft Project Online offers more capabilities that on premises versions of Microsoft Project Server. Project Online is continuously extended with new capabilities.

Microsoft Project Web App

The browser-based Microsoft Project Web App is available both in Microsoft Project Server and in Project Online. With all established browsers, its users have role-based access to central data.

The central data is available via project center and other views, as well as resources and functions. It allows project managers to plan projects. However, the desktop version offers a notably higher range of functions.

Project management Capabilities in Microsoft PPM

The following project management features are available in Microsoft Project Online.

Issues and risk management in Microsoft Project Online

Microsoft Project Online includes features to prevent, identify, and mitigate potential business- or project-related risks and issues. This is done via the project site.

The Issues and Risks lists are paramount to effective project management. Issues and Risks may also have alerts set to notify responsible parties the moment an entity is updated. Stay on top of your project!

Manage project resources

The Resource Center provides multiple ways to view resources Capacity vs. Demand information in Project Online. Information for a resource may be viewed at the project-level as well as down to the individual assignment. Also utilize the build team capability to build project teams and resource engagements to request resources from your organizations resource managers.

Reporting and business intelligence

With the Microsoft PPM solution, you have several options for viewing and creating reports. By far the two (2) most used technologies for using Project Online OData are Excel and Power BI. Power BI is especially effective at creating robust reports and dashboards. Power BI does this with an endless number of visualizations and a powerful DAX language.

Schedule management

A project schedule represents all the work of the project as tasks and deliverables. These tasks and deliverables must be completed to produce the overall goal of the program on budget and on time. Timelines, a visual representation of your project, may be created to help visualize progress and management changes.

Time and task management in Microsoft Project Online

Capture work and nonworking time for your organization, whether it’s payroll, invoicing or project tracking. Do this all using a centralized and common approach to time reporting and task management. Also communicate status efficiently on projects to gauge usage and progress on tasks. This helps you, the project manager, anticipate the effect on cost, effort and ultimately, time.

Project Portfolio management in Microsoft PPM

The following project portfolio management tool features are available in Microsoft Project Online.

Analyze projects and optimize portfolio

Analyze your potential projects to determine which of them will give you the best return on your investment. This process is known as portfolio analysis. The process aligns portfolios with an organizations business objectives to give you the big picture.

Create and edit projects

Create a project plan in multiple ways in Microsoft PPM. Use Demand Management functionality to initiate individual project proposals from within the Project Web App environment. Demand management allows requests to be entered in a way that accepts requests of varying types. Also create projects with MS Project Professional using templates or other methods.

Enterprise resource management

Resources are the people, materials, or costs that are required to get your project done. Microsoft PPM lets resource managers handle the pool of resources, plan for resource capacity, as well as approve, modify or reject incoming resource engagements.

Financial management in Microsoft PPM

Financial management processes help to improve estimates of costs and benefits. Learn to effectively track cost and it’s performance based on baseline tracking information to make sure projects finish within acceptable standards. That is within budget and that the overall portfolio achieves the expected results.

Participate in workflow

Microsoft PPM workflows provide a standardized way for project requests to proceed through an organizations approval process and project phases. The workflow understands the lifecycle stages defined through which the project will progress. Such as the creation of a proposal and an initial approval process. The workflow also sets information as being read-only, required or editable in each stage.

Portfolio analytics and selection

Identify, select, and deliver project portfolios that best align with your organization’s business strategy. Maximize your organizations return on investment (ROI). The Portfolio Analysis module in Microsoft Project Online allows you to setup a set of busines drivers and impact statements. You then prioritize the business drivers, which help determine which set of projects will most contribute to the strategic objectives of the organization.

Program management in Microsoft PPM

In a program management situation, each project has it’s own set of deliverables and overall goals. When these two items are combined with multiple projects in a program they deliver the benefits of the entire program. Use intra-project dependencies and a program custom field to create a Project Center grouped by program. For a single, cohesive view of what’s going on in real-time.

Roadmap

Roadmap combines information from multiple waterfall and agile projects to provide a highly visual, aggregated timeline view.