Why use Microsoft Project Server?
By: Collin Quiring
If you view our website, you know that we specialize in Microsoft Project Server. You also can see that we are PMP (Project Management Professionals) certified. As PMP certified individuals, we are demonstrating that we understand that there is a body of knowledge that exists to assist an individual with Project Management. This is tool agnostic; but having the right tool that integrates well with the principles and body of knowledge of Project Management can make implementing and using those principles much easier.
There are other valid Project Management (PM) tools on the market today. In fact, the number of PM tools numbers into the 100’s with some very specialized, some home grown that are now being sold and some are variants on more common products. And, some companies use Excel or pen and paper for the PM needs. So, why do we concentrate on Microsoft Project Server?
We understand that there are many tools and we have some experience in a number of them, but, we realized that we needed to be specialists in one tool, and able to use others; rather than trying to claim that we are experts in all tools. This might be a good reason for us, but why would an organization want this tool?
Of course, if you go to Microsoft’s website, you can find all sorts of lists of why this is the best choice but I am going to give a few high level reasons here that seem to recur as I talk to clients.
“One Source of Truth, Part One” – by this I mean that you can have one centralized location for all your project information and it is accessible by the browser. All the schedule information is in one place. This means that EVERYBODY (who has been given security permission) from a single task person to the CEO can see the same information, in real time.
“One Source of Truth, Part Two” – all the documentation, issues, risks and other pertinent data can be associated with a Proposal, Project or Portfolio in one place. No more email chains with attachments that are being modified by different people at different times for various reasons – the most recent version of the document is in one place.
Resource Management – the ability to understand who is available (or not) and when they are available is becoming more and more important and this tool delivers. Depending on the amount of setup detail that an organization wants to provide is directly related to the amount of benefit that they receive. From a company’s perspective, the ability to understand their resources can be an invaluable area of information.
Integration – for a Microsoft dominated IT department, the ability to integrate Project Server with other tools is relatively easy. And, if you use Portfolio Server as well then it is all designed together. And, since Project Server uses SQL, there is often already a database server running that can be used for Project Server. If you are using Microsoft Dynamics, there are connections between Project Server and the Dynamics products that allow for information to flow between systems. And, there are connectors to non-Microsoft products that have been built as well.
There are numerous other reasons, but these are some of the ones that seem to keep popping up about why a company should use Microsoft Project Server.